Superdelegates trickling toward Obama
Democratic Party super-delegates continue to break for Barack Obama in ones and twos. He has now closed what was once an over 100 delegate lead for Clinton among the super-delegate category to just 21 (259-238)
This pattern is occurring as Hillary Clinton begins to pull away from Obama on the most important measure: how each candidate runs against John McCain . For the first time in months, Clinton now runs better than Obama against McCain in the composite of realclearpolitics.com surveys Given that Obama has consistently run a few points better (5-7%) in polls than primaries, the gap between Clinton and Obama may be larger than 1.5%, in fact, much larger ( a new AP survey out today shows Clinton ahead by 9%, Obama by 2%). .
In key state polls: Ohio Pennsylvania and Florida , Clinton runs much better on average than Obama does against McCain : by 7.6%, 5.2% and 11.4% respectively . These individual state differences may be even larger due to the Obama polling factor.
Increasingly, it looks very likely,that due to fear of alienating black voters, and enthusiastic young voters, the Democrats will choose the far weaker candidate for the general election. Obama has a very thin popular vote margin of margin of 0.7% over Clinton , excluding Michigan, but including Florida. Howard Dean's legacy in this race- to penalize both states by wiping out all delegates associated with the early primaries (the GOP was far wiser with its 50% delegate penalty), has hurt Clinton, as has the fact that Obama has built up his elected delegate lead by winning big margins in low turnout caucus states, and sweeping all the delegates in black majority Congressional districts.
Obama's lead in elected delegates is disproportionate to his popular vote lead, which may by the end of the primary season, not exist at all. For the Party which screamed bloody murder over George Bush's win in the Electoral College trumping Gore's win in the popular vote in 2000, there may be a similar situation this year- a Clinton popular vote win, and an Obama delegate win.
Add one more issue to the Democrats' toxic brew: Obama has struggled in the last few contests (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas) and seems headed for more trouble in Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and Puerto Rico, though he should win North Carolina,with its heavy mix (one third) of African American primary voters. Obama's troubles began after revelations about Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, and his San Francisco comments. Had any of this occurred four months back, Clinton would now be the certain nominee.
The current race for the nomination reflects the lead Obama built up when the mask was still on.