I admit it. I have Kerry disease. I admit I am flip-flopping. I have no idea who will come out. Every time I feel like I get confidence on one position, something changes.
Per CNN, Hillary won by an expected 10% of the popular vote, or about 215,500 votes at the time of this post. In and of itself, not a big deal, considering Obama’s pledged delegate lead.
However, per RealClearPolitics count (and sorry if the info changes by the time you check, they will probably update soon), Hillary will still be down about 284,000 votes, which is less than 1% of the vote. If you include the Florida votes, Hillary is ahead.
Again, let’s go through the remaining states. Hillary will lose, and lose big in North Carolina, but will probably win huge in WV and Kentucky. I think that combination will essentially cancel itself out. Hillary will lose in Oregon, but by single digits, but Hillary should win in Puerto Rico by a comparable amount, so she will lose some ground. However, the amount of more votes counted will mean that while the total deficit Hillary will face might be 300 or 400,000 votes, the amount of votes counted will mean that the difference between the two on the popular vote will be less than 1%…probably. (Although, note, all of this could be thrown out with timely support by Gore or Edwards).
That leaves the May 20th primary in Indiana and the June 3rd Primaries of South Dakota and Montana as the states that might determine who the nominee is. According to RealClearPolitics, Hillary has a 2.2% lead, although the differences from the component polls show that that prediction is hardly set in stone. Who knows what Montana and South Dakota would vote for.
Here is my point though. These are the three states that are left that are legitimate battle ground states. However, all three states have voted consistently for Republican presidents in recent history, and by generally large margins (Indiana, South Dakota, Montana). Indiana and Montana have open primaries.
This means, that if the Republican Party in Indiana and Montana really wanted to throw a wrench in the Democratic primary, they could go out and vote for Hillary, win her those states and decrease the overall popular vote lead Obama has, if not totally erase it. Indiana had 1.5 Million Republican voters in the last election, and 266,000 in Montana (of approximately 450,000 total). It would take 15% of the people who voted Republican in those states last year to come out and vote for Hillary and to totally erase Obama’s popular vote lead. And then, it becomes a question of do you base the nomination on an incomplete computation of delegates or the popular vote, which leads to an active convention.
The next couple of months should be fun to watch.