Mathematical Notes in the Wake of the Primary’s End

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


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.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate