It’s a tie damnit.

Just so we’re clear, the idea that the difference of Hillary or Bernie either having a few more estimated delegates (these aren’t even delegates to the DNC at this point) makes the “winner” is entirely silly on a practical level.  That said, if the current margin holds (Hillary 659 to Bernie 654 with 94% reporting) pretty much everybody will declare a “win” for Hillary.  That’s preposterous.  Given that she’s trailed Bernie in a number of polls even “winning” by a single delegate is a huge PR win for her campaign, since political reporting tends to only understand “winning and losing” not “picking up essentially 5 more meaninglessness delegates to the next level of Iowa delegate selection.”  Given how the press feels about Hillary and wants a race, if she does finish on the wrong side by half a dozen delegates or so, the media will be full of stories of her huge “loss.”  Of course in primary/caucus reporting it is all relative to expectations, but the idea that “winning” by being on the right side of 49.8 vs 49.7 in an ongoing contest with proportional delegate allocation is an example of a newsmedia doing the American public a huge disservice.

More, plus the Republicans tomorrow.  Big winner?  Rubio.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

2 Responses to It’s a tie damnit.

  1. ohwilleke says:

    Even if the margin is tiny, the practical difference between losing New Hampshire and winning Iowa, and losing both New Hampshire and Iowa is huge for HRC. In the latter case she has to overcome a historical trend not overcome since 1972. In the former case, its anybody’s race based upon historical precedent.

    Never mind that the real issue is that uber-white and rural Iowa and NH are not at all typical of the national Democratic party electorate to a much greater extent than for GOP where those states are demographically more like their base.

  2. Jon K. says:

    Man, I never thought a sinus infection could knock me out as bad as the one I am currently fighting did (terrible headache, Pink eye in both eyes, and low grade fever), but it makes me incredibly thankful for antibiotics…. Calling a medical practice “Fast-med” should come with rules that make 2 hour waiting room waits illegal…

    Anyway, I agree with you that it is ludicrous to describe the outcome of Iowa as anything other than a tie. However, the fact that HRC can claim a win is a very positive development for anyone who wants to have a president who is not an extremist.

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