Josefin Malmqvist

”We are gonna imagine what might be”

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Barak Obama. The next American president?

He is a fantastic speaker. But I can help getting an uncomfortable feeling. In Europe, we haven’t seen mass rallies like this one since …. the 30s. Most political commentators now take his victory (in the fight for the nomination) for granted; the question is rather, when will she give up?

In this week’s Economist, they are trying to show that you can prove anything with electoral statistics. Quite an interesting idea, as Clinton keeps on saying: count the votes.

”Might Hillary Clinton end up winning more votes in the primaries than Barack Obama? It wouldn’t necessarily alter anything: rules are rules, and it is delegates, not raw votes, that count. But it would be embarrassing for the front-runner, and it might give a few party elders pause for thought.

With only three primaries left, Mr Obama is ahead, with 16.7m votes to her 16.2m, a slender edge of 450,000. But that is not the end of the story. It is only fair to take some account of what happened in Florida and Michigan, which were stripped of their delegates for voting too early, but which are electorally vital and whose views ought to carry some weight. In Florida Mrs Clinton won 295,000 more votes than Mr Obama; in Michigan she won 328,000 while he won none because his name was not on the ballot. Add these in, and Mrs Clinton is magically 174,000 ahead.

That, of course, is unfair to Mr Obama, who took his name off the Michigan ballot to respect party rules. So add to his total the 238,000 people who voted “uncommitted”, the only way they could register a preference for him. Now he is back ahead, by 64,000 votes. He deserves another 100,000 votes as four of the states he won do not release vote counts: these can be estimated. But when Puerto Rico votes on June 1st, its largely Hispanic population could give a boost worth at least a couple of hundred thousand votes to Mrs Clinton, putting her back in the lead. Like Al Gore in 2000, though, the popular vote will probably be her only victory.”

So, what happens remains to be seen. To be continued.

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