NBC's Todd writes, the results of the NC and IN primaries 5/6 "kill[ed]" Hillary Clinton's "two best talking points" for continuing to fight on against Barack Obama.
"First, the popular vote: After last night, Obama now leads Clinton by more than [700K]. When you include" FL, "Obama leads" by about 420K. "When you include" both FL and MI "(and don't give Obama 'uncommitted')," his lead is still about 91K.
Based on a conservative estimate in "our pop.-vote simulator," Clinton will net about 98K in the remaining contests. "So Clinton can win the popular vote if you count" FL and MI, "but it'll be close." However, "it's just as likely with a bigger than expected win for Obama [in OR] that he can actually win the popular vote even with netting ZERO votes" out of MI.
"Second, on the delegate front," if FL and MI "were seated as is and Obama got the uncommitted delegates" in MI, "Clinton would net an additional" 32 delegates from FL and 18 from MI -- "for a total net of 50. So add those numbers into the current pledged delegate count and Obama still would lead in the pledged delegate count by more than 100, approximately 110 in fact."
"So let's use 110 as the baseline. For Clinton to overtake him in the pledged delegate lead using THEIR math" on FL and MI, "she'd need to win 75% of all remaining delegates. That's an impossible task."
"Most importantly, knowing the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee the way we THINK we do, the likelihood of the committee NOT punishing" FL and MI "in some way (say a cut in half of their delegates a la the Republicans) would then make this FL/MI exercise moot" ("First Read," 5/7).
This article appears in the May 7, 2008, edition of Latest Edition.