Mathematical Notes in the Wake of the Primary’s End

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

We finally have some hard answers on the popular vote.

According to Real Clear Politics, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote if you give zero votes to Obama in Michigan and/or you leave out estimates for the four caucus states that have not released popular vote totals (IA, NV, ME, WA).

However, if you use estimates for those four states and you give Obama the “uncommitted” vote in Michigan the final tally was:

Obama: 18,107,710
Clinton: 18,046,007

That’s 48.1 percent to 47.9 percent. Obama’s margin of victory was thinner than turnip soup, as Dan Rather would say.

Also, Open Left has a good rundown of when each candidate earned their delegates. (Obama pulled down more than Clinton in January and in February, there was essentially no difference in March, and Clinton beat Obama in April-June.) Noting that the only period where the results were truly lopsided was that post-Super Tuesday period in February, blogger tremayne notes:

Delegate-wise, Sen. Obama won the race by essentially tying Sen. Clinton on Super Duper Tuesday (can we go back to just regular-sized Super Tuesdays or smaller?) and then going on his “rest of Feb. run.” 121 of his 126 pledged delegate margin occurred in this period. And incidentally, only 4 of those 11 contests were caucuses which benefited Obama by a margin of +48. The other +73 pledged delegates in this period came from primary states.

For an excellent article on how Obama’s people understood the rules of the race and the impact of the calendar from the very beginning, check this out.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend