I have been talking about the Electoral College and the way in which the primary wins for Obama simply do not add up to victory for a few months:
- There is No National Election
- Life of the Party
- Fun With the Electoral College
- Legitimacy = 2214
- Cause for General Concern
Hillary's campaign and most of the major blogs are reinforcing the argument that she is a stronger candidate in the general because she has stronger support than Obama in states that A) the Democrats have a real chance of winning in November and B) have a high enough Electoral College vote count that it will add up to 270.
I have already made the formal arguments for this position in the above articles. Below, I simply list the reasons why the general election and its electoral map trump the party delegate math:
- The general election (Electoral College) is winner take all based on a simple majority of votes in that elector’s state. They are all secret ballot elections. All voters are eligible.
- No candidate can win in November by gaming caucuses or manipulating delegate counts. The majority vote that day is all that counts. If you don’t win the state outright, McCain gets it.
- All 50 states are counted, including the places that didn’t vote for a candidate in the primaries and including the states the Democratic Party is currently refusing to allow to vote on the eventual nominee.
- A candidate can manipulate their way into a high delegate count, but if they have failed to be the winner of primaries in the must-win states, they are at an electoral disadvantage in November.
- Obama has his pledged delegate majority by leveraging unrepresentative caucus votes in Republican dominated states and by blocking attempts to revote Florida and Michigan. He does not have the support of the majority of Democrats who voted. He is at a disadvantage in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan, and the party needs three of those four in our column to win November.
Long story short: The ability to manipulate the primary race to eke out a whisker thin majority of pledged delegates is irrelevant in the general election because it does not reflect the way in which the Electoral College votes are awarded. Our current contenders are both able to get the necessary 2209 party convention delegates, but only one of them is also able to win the necessary number of Electors – 270.
Hillary can deliver the White House. Obama can’t.