Thursday, February 14, 2008

Obama's Lead in Delegates Shifts Focus of Campaign

A front-page article in tomorrow's NYT with more on the Clinton campaign's difficulties -- and the dirty tricks they're contemplating:

With every delegate precious, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers also made it clear that they were prepared to take a number of potentially incendiary steps to build up Mrs. Clinton’s count. Top among these, her aides said, is pressing for Democrats to seat the disputed delegations from Florida and Michigan, who held their primaries in January in defiance of a Democratic Party rules.

Mrs. Clinton won more votes than Mr. Obama in both states, though both candidates technically abided by pledges not to campaign actively there.

Mr. Obama’s aides reiterated their opposition to allowing Mrs. Clinton to claim a proportional share of the delegates from the voting in those states. The prospect of a fight over seating the Florida and Michigan delegations has already exposed deep divisions within the party.

Julian Bond, the head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, called for the delegates to be seated, saying failure to do so would amount to disenfranchising minority voters in those states. But on Wednesday, such a move was denounced by the Rev. Al Sharpton of New York, who said many people in those states did not go the polls because they assumed their votes would not count.

Mrs. Clinton’s advisers acknowledged that it would be difficult for her to catch up in the race for pledged delegates even if she succeeded in winning Ohio and Texas in three weeks and Pennsylvania in April. They said the Democratic Party’s rules, which award delegates relatively evenly among the candidates based on the proportion of the vote they receive, would require her to win by huge margins in those states to match Mr. Obama in delegates won through voting...

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign showed signs of being buffeted by conflicting forces as it sought to grapple with a dwindling number of options. Mrs. Clinton’s advisers, after some discussion about whether to focus exclusively on Ohio and Texas for the next three weeks, finally decided to send her for three days this week to Wisconsin, which votes next Tuesday.

Mrs. Clinton’s advisers said that they did not think she could win there but that they had concluded at this point they could not afford to leave any delegates on the table or allow Mr. Obama to run up another big margin of victory in the popular vote.

February 14, 2008

Obama’s Lead in Delegates Shifts Focus of Campaign

WASHINGTON — Senator Barack Obama emerged from Tuesday’s primaries leading Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton by more than 100 delegates, a small but significant advantage that Democrats said would be difficult for Mrs. Clinton to make up in the remaining contests in the presidential nomination battle.


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