Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Richmond Democrat predicts a narrow victory for Obama

Just a brief note to go on record saying that I expect a narrow victory for Barack Obama in today's contest for Democratic primary delegates. I expect that Barack Obama will receive in the neighborhood of 850-860 delegates to Hillary Clinton's 830-840, narrowly edging Clinton.

Others with similar prediction (delegate-wise) are Lowell of Raising Kaine and Poblano of Daily Kos. I believe their reasoning is accurate and consistent with my own.

Going into today's contest the momentum has all been with Obama, and given another week he might have cemented a larger margin of victory. Even with today's slender margin of victory, the momentum will presumably continue with Barack. At some point in the near future we can look to see Clinton go massively negative in an effort to stave off defeat. That will have, as it so often does, the opposite effect and will clinch Obama's victory as Democrats and left-leaning Democrats in the remaining states finally begin to see Hillary Clinton for what she is.

In the unlikely case that Hillary emerges from today with a strong victory, I predict that either or both Ralph Nader and Michael Bllomberg will launch independent campaigns. Nader's campaign will be an explicit veto of Clinton's candidacy aimed at throwing the election McCain (or Romney). Bloomberg will run in hopes of exploiting a large perceived gap in the middle between the supporters of Clinton and the isolated Republican base of 32-35% of the voters. Bloomberg would hope to exploit the high turnout among independents who reject Hillary to come up with a plurality in enough states to win in the electoral college.

Now begins the long wait. California's polls do not close until 11:00 PM EST and it is anticipated that counting California's votes will take a long time due to a decision to abandon electronic voting machines in favor of paper ballots in many jurisdictions. We won't know who won today's contest until tomorrow morning about this time.

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