Saturday, January 12, 2008

Clinton Didn't Actually Win New Hampshire; She And Obama Tied For First

I just realized something, and blame my ignorance of the presidential primary system for not bringing it to your attention earlier.

Hillary Clinton did not win New Hampshire.

Sure, she won the popular vote. And that two-percentage-point lead over Obama (which amounts to about 8,000 votes) has become the subject of every political analyst in the country.

OMG Clinton won. Was it because she cried? Was it because white people in New Hampshire hate black people? Was it because the local universities were closed, so Obama couldn't claim his youth vote? Was it because of Gloria Steinem and her "most-emailed" editorial?

Even I fell into that trap. I saw the results and thought that Clinton had won.

But she didn't. Clinton won the popular vote. That's all. In terms of delegates (the people who actually count, since the presidential nomination -- like the presidential election -- does not rely on the popular vote but is instead based on the number of awarded delegates from each state), Clinton and Obama tied. Nine delegates each.

It's worth noting, btw, that currently Clinton has 24 total delegates and Obama has 25. This is going to be a tight race.

And why aren't these statistics on the front page of the newspapers, instead of all of this analyzing the decisions of 8,000 people whose votes didn't actually affect the final outcome? (Of course, the incessant analysis will probably affect the future outcome: the Michigan primary, next week.)

Grrr politics.

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