The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Obama will stay a step ahead

For those who have lived in a cave for the past week, a video of Obama’s long-time, now-retired pastor Jeremiah Wright, showed him making controversial statements. The sermon alluded to several government conspiracies against African-Americans, some real and some imagined. The most politically harmful comment, however, was his repeated use of “God damn America.”
Obama attempted to ease the tension by admonishing the statements by Reverend Wright. When that didn’t work, Obama gave a speech on race in America that some have compared to speeches made by John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
While early polls showed that Reverend Wright’s statements hurt Obama, follow-ups after the speech showed that the damage had been mitigated after it was announced that Wright was no longer working for Obama’s campaign.

Clinton will probably win Pennsylvania by a large margin, but there are only nine contests after that. Obama should win at least half of those outright, and even his losses will not affect the vote and delegate lead. As The Politico reports: “There are 566 pledged delegates up for grabs in upcoming contests. Those delegates come from Pennsylvania (158), Guam (4), North Carolina (115), Indiana (72), West Virginia (28), Kentucky (51), Oregon (52), Puerto Rico (55), Montana (16) and South Dakota (15). If Clinton won 60 percent of those delegates, she would get 340 delegates to Obama’s 226. Under that scenario – and without revotes in Michigan and Florida – Obama would still lead in delegates by 1,632 to 1,589.”

Michigan and Florida, who forfeited their delegates by breaking party rules to schedule an early primary, have all but made the decision not to revote. Most likely, the Democratic National Committee will either split the delegates between the candidates (which would help Obama) or give each delegate a half vote (which would help Clinton to a degree). But this is really a non-issue, as even if they count the vote and delegate count as is, Obama would retain a narrow lead regardless of not even being on the ballot in Michigan. Even with a re-vote, Clinton would have to pull 60/40 in both of those states as well, a possibility in Florida but highly unlikely in Michigan, where polling showed the potential matchup a dead heat.

In the end, the superdelegates, Democratic officials who attend the presidential nominating convention and are not bound to vote the same as state primaries or caucuses, could step in and hand Clinton the nomination. If they do, the Democratic Party would suffer and essentially hand John McCain the White House. It could also lead to possibly losing seats in Congress as well.

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