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Good Morning everyone. The results of the Texas caucuses are not yet in and it will take a short while still until the dust settles a bit and more political analysis is available. So, mostly, the papers in Europe are reporting the statistical facts and stating the obvious. Until the pro’s have decided on what to say, here’s a piece of my mind. I’ll give you the press clippings from Europe later in another post. Injun honest. This is an open thread, so whatever’s on your heart, let us know!
Using the pure facts and getting back to my “gut feeling” later, the advantage still lies with Barack Obama. First of all he has the lead in delegates and, never mind her strong showing in Ohio last night, Hillary Clinton has not made a significant dent there. Ohio is clearly hers, as expected, as is Rhode Island, equally as expected. Vermont is a win for Barack Obama with the significant margin we have seen in his other victories, too. Texas has been attributed to Senator Clinton, however, this state’s message is mixed. The caucus results are not in yet and point to Senator Obama. So, when it comes to Texas the number of delegates allotted may be evenly split or even slightly higher for Barack Obama. Even if she wins all remaining primaries by huge margins, unlikely, she will not be able to get in front of his count in pledged delegates. This puts Senator Clintons “bounce back” into perspective.
The campaigning has turned aggressive during the last few days with the notorious “3a.m. ad” at it’s center. Senator Obama seemed flustered by this and he should quickly start getting used to that kind of campaigning, because this is exactly what will be coming from Republicans during a presidential campaign. Here, too, lies a weakness of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In exit polls voters showed discomfort with the aggressive style. So, while this style has brought her some advantage in the short term lead-up to the primaries, it may be a disadvantage in the long run. It points too much to her being the political animal, the power-hungry member of the political elites in Washington.
No matter what, right now voters in the United States strongly disapprove of the government branches in Washington. In Reuters’Zogby Index you can see, that the Republican President has a 35% approval rate and the Democratic Congress a dismal 18% approval rate. Congress has squandered the landslide win in 2006, which was broadly considered a mandate to end the war in Iraq and a mandate to hold the current administration accountable for breaches of civil rights and international law. Their approval rate shows that voters consider their will disregarded by them. Now, if Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party should disregard the popular vote and nominate her against the majority in pledged delegates this would resonate badly with voters and would do damage to herself and the Party. Moreover, her aggressive campaigning is damaging beyond the nomination process as well. If Senator Obama is going to be the candidate, Hillary Clinton has already done a lot for Senator McCain’s campaign, by chipping away at Senator Obama’s standing.
The decision is in the superdelegates’ and party leaders’ hands now. The fact that Barack Obama will have a lead in pledged delegates is not likely to change, they may as well decide how the’re going to handle it now.