Obama Won Texas
A week after Hillary Clinton revived her campaign with media reports of her wins in Ohio and Texas, we get official word that Barack Obama actually won Texas.
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has won the Texas Democratic caucuses and will get more delegates out of the state than his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, who won the state’s primary, according to CNN estimates.
Under the Texas Democratic Party’s complex delegate selection plan, Texas voters participated in both a primary and caucuses on March 4. Two-thirds of the state’s 193 delegates were at stake at the primary, while the remaining third were decided by the caucuses.
An additional 35 superdelegates were not tied to either contest. Clinton, of New York, defeated Obama in the primary by a 51-47 percent margin. But results of the caucuses were up in the air on election night and for several days afterward, due to state party rules that did not require local caucus officials to report their results to a centralized location.
Partial caucus results, representing 41 percent of all caucus precincts, showed Obama last week with 56 percent of the county-level delegates chosen at the caucuses to 44 percent for Clinton. The state party says it will not be able to provide a further breakdown of the caucus results from March 4.
The news isn’t any surprise; indeed, I had it in my day-after postmortem. Most of the political reporters covering the race had to know this was the likely outcome, too. Yet the coverage focused on Hillary Clinton’s “Energizing Victory.” The Obama camp won’t be able to roll back the momentum at this point.
This simply reemphasizes the fact that, while the contest is ostensibly about getting more delegates at the national convention — and ultimately it is — the real race is about public perception, which depends on media coverage. Because of the proportional allocation of delegates, neither candidate makes much progress with “wins” in closely fought states. But the false perception that Obama was running away with the contest after a series of narrow wins in small states was altered with the false perception that Clinton won both Ohio and Texas.
Photo credit: Texans for Obama via Google