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Thursday, February 14, 2008


Hillary Clinton tried to downplay Barack Obama's "red state" electoral victories this past week:
"It is highly unlikely we will win Alaska or North Dakota or Idaho or Nebraska," she told reporters. "But we have to win Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Michigan ... And we've got to be competitive in places like Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma."

On Monday, the former first lady went a step further saying that it would take a "tsunami change in America," for Democrats to carry some of Obama's red states. "It's just not going to happen," she told ABC7 and Politico.
If Clinton thinks she can win Oklahoma or Texas in November, then I doubt her political instincts.

Likewise, I seriously doubt that candidate Obama would lose Massachusetts, California, or New York. Those are fairly solid blue states.

Still, Clinton's underlying point has some merit. Has Barack Obama been winning the overall delegate count by sweeping a bunch of red states that won't vote for the Democratic candidate this November?

Even more importantly, which candidate is doing best in the so-called purple states?

This is the data to-date:

Red states (13, Obama 11-2)
Alabama: Obama
Alaska: Obama
Arizona: Obama
Georgia: Obama
Idaho: Obama
Kansas: Obama
Louisiana: Obama
Nebraska: Obama
North Dakota: Obama
Oklahoma: Clinton
South Carolina: Obama
Tennessee: Clinton
Utah: Obama

Blue states (11, Obama 7-4)
California: Clinton
Connecticut: Obama
Delaware: Obama
District of Columbia: Obama
Illinois: Obama
Maryland: Obama
Massachusetts: Clinton
Minnesota: Obama
New Jersey: Clinton
New York: Clinton
Washington: Obama

Purple states (9, Obama 5-4, nearly 5-2-2)
Arkansas: Clinton
Colorado: Obama
Iowa: Obama
Maine: Obama
Missouri: Obama
Nevada: Clinton (Obama won delegate count)
New Hampshire: Clinton
New Mexico: Clinton (nearly tied)
Virginia: Obama

Obama's delegate lead is likely inflated by his wins in the red states, but the candidate has proven that he can win blue and purple states that the Democrats will need in November to win the 2008 election.

Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are important purple states with upcoming primaries.


Two very critical purple states may need to vote again to be counted. Clinton "won" a Michigan primary that was not supposed to count -- and Obama was not on the ballot. She also won Florida, which was not supposed to count, but where Obama was on the ballot. The DNC penalized these states for moving their primaries to early dates. All the candidates pledged not to campaign in those states -- and they did not campaign. No delegates were awarded.

One could make an argument that both Minnesota and Tennessee should be swing states. New Jersey and Washington might also be considered swing states by some measures. Those states went 2-2 for Obama-Clinton.

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