Clinton Leads the Popular Vote? Maybe, Maybe Not. But Does it Matter?
Today, Clinton will be running this ad, “17 Million,” in Montana and South Dakota which trumpets her popular vote lead and claims that “More Americans have voted for Hillary Clinton than anyone in primary history.” One of Clinton’s final arguments to the superdelegates is that it would be electoral disaster to nominate a candidate who didn’t win the popular vote.
Of course, the DNC’s rules were always intended to override the popular vote if Democratic party leaders disliked the leading candidate. But what started out as a means of reining in recklessly overexcited primary voters turned out to be just as subject to the passions of the superdelegates. No doubt the very un-democratic process (for example, half the superdelegates are white men) will be scrapped after this year, not least because of its un-democratic nature.
No matter which candidate ends up with the popular vote lead (and Clinton’s claims are premature according to Byron York’s count), it’s going to be very, very close. As Byron’s figures show, there’s just no way that either side will be able to persuade anyone but true believers that they’ve won. The Democrats have spent the last eight years questioning the legitimacy of close elections. They’re still bitter about 2000 and whispers of stolen Ohio votes in 2004 persist. Holding a grudge over this sort of thing is a lifestyle choice for liberals.
All of which adds up to the same thing: John McCain is one lucky candidate.