Politics

Pennsylvania Popular Vote/Delegate Realities

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A lot of people have been asking “what’s a win for Hillary tonight?”

Well, the whispers have been she has to win by double digits, and that’s certainly doable. However, the New York Times sets a higher bar when you look at it from a popular vote delegate standpoint…

Mr. Obama has now drawn 13.3 million votes, about 700,000 more than Mrs. Clinton: a single-digit win in Pennsylvania not going to take her very far in making up that deficit.

Similarly, under the taxing Democratic Party rules for counting delegates, Mrs. Clinton is going to need to defeat Mr. Obama by margins of 15 percent or more across the state in order to avoid simply dividing the 188 delegates at stake tonight.

So far, Mr. Obama has won 1,418 delegates in caucuses and primaries to date, compared with 1,250 for Mrs. Clinton, according to a count projection by The New York Times. A candidate needs 2,024 delegates to win.

If Mrs. Clinton survives tonight, from here, the next big day is May 6, when Indiana and North Carolina choose 218 delegates. “We’ll see where things stand then,” David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, said this morning. “If she has not netted a large amount of delegates — and I doubt she will — she will be running out of track.”

So a lot hinges on the contest tonight, and it’ll be interesting to see how the outcome is framed in the morning. There’s no doubt that Hillary has every right to stay in this, but will she if her frame doesn’t play tomorrow?