Hillary Won Nevada! No Obama Won!
Hillary Clinton won the Nevada Caucuses yesterday, getting 51 percent of the vote to Barack Obama’s 45 percent and John Edwards’ 4 percent.
“I guess this is how the West was won,” Mrs. Clinton told her supporters during a victory rally at the Planet Hollywood hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Speaking over loud cheers, she added: “We will all be united in November. I don’t think politics is a game. I don’t think elections are just another day in the calendar.”
But wait! Obama is claiming victory, claiming 13 delegates to Clinton’s 12.
The more populous Clark County, which Clinton won, awarded a even number of delegates, and Clinton and Obama split those down the middle. Meanwhile, the more rural areas, which Obama won, awarded an odd number of delegates, which gave Obama the edge.
The media tallies concur, giving us rather odd graphics like this one from ABC News:
All this is moot, though, because yesterday’s results are non-binding:
“I don’t know why they’re saying that,” said Jill Derby, president of the Nevada State Democratic Party, referring to the Obama campaign. “We don’t select our national delegates the way they’re saying. We won’t select national delegates for a few more months.”
At which point, presumably, they’ll throw their votes to the national winner to curry favor.
One thing’s for sure, though: This campaign in going to get ugly, fast. Both sides are whining up a storm.
David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign chairman, is screaming about dirty tricks:
“We currently have reports of over 200 separate incidents of trouble at caucus sites, including doors being closed up to thirty minutes early, registration forms running out so people were turned away, and ID being requested and checked in a non-uniform fashion. This is in addition to the Clinton campaign’s efforts to confuse voters and call into question the at-large caucus sites which clearly had an affect on turnout at these locations. These kinds of Clinton campaign tactics were part of an entire week’s worth of false, divisive, attacks designed to mislead caucus-goers and discredit the caucus itself.”
The Clinton campaign is whining about voter suppression.
Democrats may have cooled down their flash war over race and gender earlier this week, but by the time the vote took place Saturday, each of the two top campaigns was flinging some very ugly charges about the other. Bill Clinton accused the powerful Nevada culinary union of suppressing voters, claiming he’d witnessed it first hand. Obama’s campaign manager in turn threw out some very charged coded language about efforts by the Clinton campaign to suppress the vote. “It is a sad day when Democrats start trying to suppress the vote of other Democrats,” he said of push polls, robo-calls, and what he called “old-style say anything or do anything to win” Clinton politics.
I guess this is what they mean by “hope” and “change.”