Not Good At Math

I was never good at math, but it seems Ezra Klein is worse. Ezra gets it completely wrong on the popular vote:

[Clinton]'s far behind in the popular vote. If you add Florida, where neither campaigned, she's still 300,000 votes behind. If you cheat and add Michigan, where Obama wasn't on the ballot, and you give him the "uncommitted" voters (as some Clintonites have suggested), she's still 188,000 votes behind. If you do all of that, and then Clinton wins every remaining contest by 10 points, according to Rick Hertzberg's calculations, she'll still be 160,000 votes behind.

(Emphasis supplied.) So Ezra's "math" says that if Clinton wins the last 10 contests by 10 points she only makes up 28,000 votes? Say what? But it gets worse.

Ezra continues:

[These totals] doesn't even include Obama's caucusgoers, who aren't in the straight popular votes tally.

Actually it does, as anyone familiar with the RCP tallies would know. Indeed, these totals reflect the improper inclusion of the Washington caucus numbers instead of the Washington primary result, which inflates Obama's lead by 50,000 votes.

It is not likely, imo, that Clinton will catch up in the popular vote, by my metric, which includes all caucus result where a primary result is not available, Florida and assigns uncommitteds to Obama. But that remains to be seen. Clinton could very well do so. I say let's count the votes. But more importantly, I say stop believing Left bloggers, who seem to have no respect for the facts.

< Ras WV Poll: Clinton By 29 | NC: An Obama Win May Gain Him Few Delegates >
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    I believe she will (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:13:07 PM EST
    Jay Cost's spreadsheet has been updated. There are a number of scenarios where I believe she can win the popular vote--assuming FL is included.

    Who knows? (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:15:50 PM EST
    Clearly she is going to win WV by more than 15.

    But here is a novel idea, why don't we count the votes and see?


    That's fine (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:21:26 PM EST
    I give her 40 pts for WV and KY. We'll see.

    Because the Senator (none / 0) (#14)
    by DCDemocrat on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:25:10 PM EST
    from Illinois is dog tired, and he wants everyone to agree that he it locked down.  He needs to get away for a little R&R, kind of like Dukakis did in 1988, so he can regroup for the Fall.  

    As far as I can see it, if Obama has such a lock on the thing, why doesn't he go get that catnap now and just leave poor benighted Hillary the playing field.


    Don't forget Kerry! (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by dianem on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:46:32 PM EST
    On vacation in August, while the Republican Party started swift boating him with no fear of opposition. I couldn't believe Obama took a vacation when he did. McCain is campaigning right now, even though he has the nomination locked and nobody is paying attention. McCain really, really wants this. It's his last shot for something he has been hungry for for (at least) the last 20 years. Obama doesn't seem that hungry.

    And Netroots darling Ned Lamont (none / 0) (#30)
    by andgarden on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:01:17 PM EST
    who probably lost the general election because he went on vacation.

    He just HAD a vacation (none / 0) (#16)
    by cmugirl on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:30:20 PM EST
    in the islands, remember?  Jeez, if he needs another vacation after only a month of campaigning, how is he going to run the country? Take a vacation in February of 2009 because the inaugural balls wore him out? </snark>

    The comparisons (none / 0) (#23)
    by DCDemocrat on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:42:46 PM EST
    between George W. Bush and Barack Obama just keep rolling in.  

    Yes (none / 0) (#13)
    by hitchhiker on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:24:25 PM EST
    The argument against considering the Florida popular vote is very thin and getting thinner by the day.  If she's ahead with FL and behind without FL, it makes NO sense to hand him the nomination.

    That scenario is what the SD's are losing sleep over, I bet.

    If he's ahead either with or without it, he wins.

    Looking at the chart, it's obvious that she can get there.


    adding Florida makes sense. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Salo on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:37:40 PM EST
    Michigan less so. It's very hard to measure intent when someone's name is off the ballot.

    Here's an op-ed from a contributor (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:47:25 PM EST
    on how Clinton can amass the most popular votes w/o MI or FL:



    So Many Numbers, So Little Time.... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:17:03 PM EST

    Also, a good widget tool (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by jcsf on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:21:39 PM EST
    For North Carolina contest.

    Fun to play with, figure out results, based on demographics.

    Actually Hendrik Hertzberg (none / 0) (#3)
    by jcsf on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:16:10 PM EST
    Who Klein relies on - link here.

    Again, there are around 15 different ways to count popular vote, most of which Obama wins by - a few of which Clinton wins by.

    Question (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:24:18 PM EST
    Do you agree that if Clinton wins the remaining contests by 10 points she only nets a 28,00 vote gain?

    I want to know if I should treat you seriously.


    Read Hertzberg article (1.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jcsf on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:51:45 PM EST
    You are asking the wrong question. 28,000 is not a magic number, in any way.

    If you had read the Hertzberg article, you would have seen:

    I calculate that roughly another four and a half million people will vote in the remaining Democratic primaries. If Clinton wins these by the overall margin she piled up in Pennsylvania--i.e., around ten points, 55-45--she will net another 450,000 votes.

    The larger point of course, is that given the various options to count popular vote - all of which are suspect in some way, and that in different counts, one candidate or the other wins,  the popular vote count is essentially a tie, if not in Obama's favor.


    I quoted Klein (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:56:39 PM EST
    And you did not answer my question.

    Your answer is given. You are NOT to be taken seriously.


    "You are NOT to be taken seriously" (none / 0) (#54)
    by sar75 on Mon May 05, 2008 at 07:27:55 PM EST
    How can anyone take such a statement like THAT seriously? I haven't been here for a while, but I see BTD is still the same old bully he's always been.

    The marjin in WV would net (none / 0) (#20)
    by Salo on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:40:03 PM EST
    about 100,000 at least. That's close to the margin between Kerry and Edwards in 2004.

    If anthing that number could double given all the factors involved.


    Why should Obama get the MI (none / 0) (#5)
    by myiq2xu on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:17:29 PM EST
    uncommitted votes?

    He got ZERO votes there because he chose to tak his name off the ballot.

    Not to mention that Edwards was still in the race at that point, and running a strong third.

    You know (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Edgar08 on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:46:13 PM EST
    Given my history of pro-Clinton partisanship, I hope what I say here is remembered by everyone.

    What you're saying, as it has been proposed by others on this blog, it doesn't meet the Democracy PR test.  In a way, you're right, Obama and Dean should be punished for doing their part to make sure MI is what it is right now.

    Make no mistake, I believe it was on purpose, and given a chance to take a state he knew he would lose and make it not count by taking his name off the ballot, Obama jumped at it.  Two for one situation for him.  Pander to Iowans.  Deny Clinton a victory in Michigan.

    That was their game, no question.

    The question is, do we punish Obama supporters in MI for that?

    I don't think so.

    It doesn't work.  To sit at the table and pretend no one in MI would have voted for Obama doesn't work.

    Voters should NEVER, and I mean NEVER be punished for the politicking shenanigans of party leaders.  That's the argument as it pertains to Florida.  You can't punish voters for what politicians did in Florida.

    You should not punish Obama supporting voters in MI because Obama took his name off the ballot.  No matter how much it's his own darn fault for doing so, those folks have a right to be counted in this process somehow.


    Obama took his name off the ballot (none / 0) (#37)
    by myiq2xu on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:38:59 PM EST
    It's not about "punishing the voters" it's about Obama facing the consequences of his own actions.

    I might have won all the votes, but I didn't run either.  Award me the votes so we don't punish the voters.


    But you have to figure out a way (none / 0) (#40)
    by Edgar08 on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:54:28 PM EST
    For Obama to face those consequences and still enfranchise his supporters in MI.

    Sounds strange, I know.

    But really, as often as I point out that Obama's victory will be illegitimate if MI and FL aren't counted...., ... if Clinton won, her victory would be illegitimate if Obama's popular vote tally in MI read 0.


    OUCH! (none / 0) (#48)
    by flashman on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:32:55 PM EST
    But... isn't it Obama who punished his supporters?  Tell me how it is that WE are punishing them when we didn't have anything to do with it.

    Yes (none / 0) (#52)
    by Edgar08 on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:54:00 PM EST
    To sum up, Clinton supporters must not allow Obama to deny his own supporters to be heard.

    That's part of being a Clinton supporter.

    We look out for everyone!!!!


    I Still Like the Argument JOC Made (none / 0) (#15)
    by BDB on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:25:15 PM EST
    at Corrente - that Clinton should pull her name off the NC ballot, then Obama gets none of those votes and Clinton gets 50% of the delegates.  Hey it puts lie to the argument that a candidate deciding to pull his or her name off the ballot should make a state not count.  There may be reasons to not count MI, but Obama's decision to pull off his name is not one of them, IMO.

    the removal of the name off the ballot (none / 0) (#22)
    by Salo on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:41:11 PM EST
    is an interesting tactic.  

    Probably unrepeatable under other circumstances.


    Because it isn't about Obama (none / 0) (#27)
    by dianem on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:50:52 PM EST
    It's about counting votes in a way that represents the way the voter's wanted them counted. We shouldn't discount any of the voter's of Flordia and Michigan - even the ones who wanted to vote for Obama, but couldn't because Obama had taken his name off the ballot because he assumed that the votes wouldn't count. Saying that we should ignore those voter's undermines the entire "Count the vote's" argument by making it appear that all we care about is getting votes for Clinton.

    Exit polls (none / 0) (#53)
    by eleanora on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:55:14 PM EST
    might be the most fair way to allocate MI votes. I believe they had Clinton at 55%, Obama at 27%, Edwards at 13%, and "other" at around 5%, which would track with the uncommitted totals.

    Why does Obama get all the uncommitted vote? (none / 0) (#6)
    by OrangeFur on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:18:21 PM EST
    There were other candidates around at the time, including John Edwards.

    to shut them up? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:21:21 PM EST
    Not all (none / 0) (#26)
    by Edgar08 on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:47:30 PM EST
    Something has to be done to acknowledge some existed.

    See my comment above.


    Yes, definitely some, or even most. (none / 0) (#47)
    by OrangeFur on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:10:53 PM EST
    But not all.

    Ezra is clearly wrong... (none / 0) (#9)
    by OrangeFur on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:21:35 PM EST
    ... unless there are other assumptions in his reasoning. I'm not clicking through out of a general boycott of people afflicted with CDS.

    For a 10-point victory to net only 28,000 votes, there'd only be 280,000 votes total.

    I wonder if the attacks continue (none / 0) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:23:27 PM EST
    if she should win.

    Always perplexed at . . . (none / 0) (#17)
    by wurman on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:32:16 PM EST
    . . . the way some pundits attempt to "count" the popular vote in caucus states.  Can't even keystroke the words here on this website to properly describe that absolute banal baloney.

    By definition, even to a total troll, a caucus is not an election.  Ya' don't need Noah Webster to just throw that malarkey in the compost pile.

    And, in my opinion, as a Democratic caucus delegate, there is no popular vote representation at a caucus.  Not.  None.


    HELP (none / 0) (#39)
    by DFLer on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:52:06 PM EST
    when they refer to the four caucus states, which ones are those?

    Iowa....and ?


    Truly don't know (none / 0) (#43)
    by wurman on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:00:00 PM EST
    The pundits & lame stream media make up anything they want there are many caucus states.

    Iowa, California, Wyoming, Alaska, Washington, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota & Texas  are some I can name that use the caucuses or a combination of election & caucus.


    IW, NV, ME, WA (none / 0) (#44)
    by flashman on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:01:23 PM EST
    thanks- makes sense (none / 0) (#46)
    by DFLer on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:05:07 PM EST
    'cause MN was a "caucus" state with a tallied secret ballot, so they would have amounts.

    Boutique voting hour(s)


    Penalty box (none / 0) (#19)
    by AlSmith on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:38:45 PM EST
    [These totals] doesn't even include Obama's caucusgoers, who aren't in the straight popular votes tally.

    We dont need to hear what you are saying- at least on this subject because you, Ezra, obviously have such a shallow, superficial understanding of it.

    If someone who had actual knowledge of politics had typed that sentence, and they had been following the race for months, it would be obvious to them that it is grossly improbably. Hillary won all of the large states; how could she possibly be behind? Fact check, fact check, fact check.

    It obvious to me that "progressivism" is little more than tribalism and that facts are of little import.

    in the primary states.... (none / 0) (#51)
    by p lukasiak on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:48:23 PM EST
    (not counting FL and MI) Clinton is behind by 302,263 votes... and eight delegates

    In the caucus states (not counting Guam, or the Texas Caucuses) she's behind by 302,194 votes, and 135 delegates.

    On super tuesday, Clinton won the popular vote by 86,200...and wound up with 14 fewer delegates.

    But Obama's margin is based on winning states that haven't gone democratic in the last three years (and, except for Georgia & Colorado when Perot was on the ballot in 1992, have not gone democratic for the past 5 elections) -- he won those states by 910K votes so far.


    Rulez iz rulez (none / 0) (#21)
    by OxyCon on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:40:31 PM EST
    By the DNC's own rules, Hillary gets half the Florida delegates she won (because of the penalty for moving the primary up), and Obama gets zero delegates because he ran commercials and went to an official campaign fund raiser in Florida, against party rules.

    Not quite (none / 0) (#29)
    by dianem on Mon May 05, 2008 at 03:53:03 PM EST
    Obama got a waiver to run those ads in Florida, which were purchased as part of a national ad buy (according to his campaign). And both of them held fundraisers in Florida. Let's just count the votes the way the people voted. That's fair. All I want is for Clinton to have a fair shot.

    Well (none / 0) (#34)
    by Steve M on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:13:45 PM EST
    There wasn't really a "waiver."  He got permission from the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, a superdelegate who now supports him.  But I mean, if you think the technicalities really matter, the language of the DNC rules is pretty clear.  Those ads counted as campaigning.

    Fund Raisers Were Not Against The Rulz (none / 0) (#32)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:04:32 PM EST
    The commercials and the impromptu press conference he had after the fund raiser were against the rulz.

    It's Not Bad Math (none / 0) (#31)
    by flashman on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:01:29 PM EST
    rather dishonesty.  The calculations cited has, for a 10-point Clinton win in the remaining contests:

    Regular + Florida + Michigan + caucuses + uncommitted:

    Clinton's margin: 261,561

    For a split in the contests:

    Regular + Florida + Michigan + caucuses + uncommitted:

    Clinton's margin:  36,561

    Klein dishonestly leave out FL and MI in the final numbers.  The math he cited is pretty interesting, actually.

    Screwed Up The Link: (none / 0) (#33)
    by flashman on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:04:40 PM EST
    Try again: math

    BTD... (none / 0) (#35)
    by p lukasiak on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:29:28 PM EST
    I use your formula (use WA election results, assign uncommitted michigan to Obama) and I come up with Clinton down by 69K... which she can easily make up.

    But the caucuses have to be included (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:55:07 PM EST
    geez, I'm trying to reproduce my calculations... (none / 0) (#49)
    by p lukasiak on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:32:56 PM EST
    and I can't!  :-0

    Additional math (none / 0) (#36)
    by bordenl on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:30:48 PM EST

    Rhodes Cook argues in NYT
    that Hillary can win the popular vote without FL, MI, any of the caucuses where we do not know the popular vote, or any nonstates. Didn't see this blogged anywhere.  

    Ezra Klein: Media Whore (none / 0) (#38)
    by Petey on Mon May 05, 2008 at 04:39:05 PM EST
    Ezra is willing to lie through his bared teeth about MI & FL, over and over and over again.

    Ezra's career prospects lie in the opposition to his beliefs on universal healthcare policy, and he's decided to go in the tank for his career prospects.

    Ezra Klein stands for Ezra Klein.

    Hillary Clinton stands for all of us.

    That's really bad math, but... (none / 0) (#45)
    by arky on Mon May 05, 2008 at 05:02:09 PM EST
    This is the part I have an issue with:
    If you add Florida,where neither campaigned...

    Can we please stop accepting this as fact? BO did campaign there through TV ads.  If you go by the DNC rules (heaven forbid), campaigning in a sanctioned state is forbidden and as a result of doing so, the candidate loses ALL delegates in said state.