Given their inability to catch up on the popular vote, contests won, or delegates earned (the real measure of success in this primary), the Clinton campaign is now shifting their argument toward "electability". They argue that Wright has made Obama unelectable. As we've seen in a fair amount of recent polling, while Obama suffered a second Wright-driven dip in the polls, he's rebounded strongly from that.
Again I'll go to Electoral-Vote not because I agree with its methodology (which I think could be improved), but because Clinton supporters cite it frequently and offers what is possibly the best-case scenario for Clinton.
Back on May 1, the map was 243 Obama, 269 McCain, 26 tied. For Clinton, it was 291 versus 247 for McCain.
As of yesterday, Clinton was still at 291, McCain at 236, and 11 tied. However, with the post-Wright headache waning, Obama is up to 264 Obama, 263 McCain, and 11 tied.
But that's not what's most remarkagable. It's this:
Strong Dem 135 109
Weak Dem 72 135
Barely Dem 57 47
Exactly Tied 11 11
Barely GOP 99 17
Weak GOP 67 88
Strong GOP 97 131
So check it out: Obama locks down this base (strong Dem) better than Clinton, and he strips down McCain's "strong GOP" base by 34 EVs.
Then, in the "Barely Dem" category, Obama has to defend 129 EVs versus Clinton's 182 EVs, a dramatic difference.
Then let's look at the "Barely GOP" category -- Obama puts 99 additional EVs in close play while Clinton only has 17 EVs within easy range.
What's that mean? Clinton has few places to play offense, and a lot more marginal states to defend. Let's take a look at some of those swing states, using Pollster.com's averages:
Obama v McCain Clinton v McCain Margin
CO (9) 46 43 40 49 O+12
FL (27) 39.2 47.1 43.6 43.9 C+8.2
IA (7) 48.4 41.8 42.7 46 O+9.9
ME (4) 51 39 47.5 42 O+6.5
MI (17) 42.5 41.2 40.5 45.7 O+6.5
MN (10) 51.1 39.7 44.3 46.8 O+13.9
MO (11) 39.9 52.8 46 48.2 C+10.7
NV (5) 45 43 40 49 O+11
NH (4) 41.2 51 42.7 48.3 C+4.2
NJ (15) 53.4 37 51.3 41 O+6.1
NM (5) 44.2 50 45.1 47.1 C+3.8
OH (20) 43 44.8 48.7 41.4 C+9.1
OR (7) 51 42 47.9 45.4 O+6.5
PA (21) 43.7 43.9 47.4 41.1 C+6.5
WA (11) 49.3 44 44.2 45.2 O+6.3
WI (10) 47.3 43.1 42 46.7 O+8.9
What about non-swing states that could be in play this year?
AR (6) 30 53 51 38 C+36
IN (11) 43.5 50.5 41.5 52.5 O+3
NC (15) 40.5 48.9 38.3 51.2 O+4.5
TX (34) 43 48 42 49 O+2
VA (13) 43.1 52.2 37.7 55.5 O+8.7
Note that these aggregate polling numbers includes some numbers from the worst of the Wright mess, so this is sort of a worst-case scenario for Obama. And yet Obama does better in competitive (or potentially competitive) states with
134 168 EVs, while Clinton does better in states with 128 94 EVs.
Now this list omits several potential competitive states because of a lack of multiple polls. But early (and sometimes outdated) polling suggest that Clinton puts additional pressure on Kentucky and South Carolina, while Obama puts pressure on Alaska, South Carolina, Nebraska, Montana, and North Dakota.
Let's do another chart, this one of states that are in play or potentially in play with the two matchups (based on polling):
Obama Clinton Obama Clinton
McCain v. CT AK
MI MI CO
NH NH FL FL
OR IN IN
PA PA IA IA
WI WI MO
What's this all show? For one, either candidate can win, so the notion of "electability" is moot. They're both electable, and they would both beat McCain.
Obama gets to play less defense and has more targets to stretch thin an outmatched McCain. Clinton would have more defense to play, and fewer places to play offense. But that's all keeping in character with a campaign that is committed to running the same six-state strategy from the last two cycles (OH, FL, MO, WI, PA, and MI).
But I didn't do all this to show that Obama is "more electable" than Clinton. Rather, I wanted to show, conclusively, that Clinton is not more electable than Obama. At worst, it's a wash.
The Clinton campaign is asking the supers to stage a coup against the will of the voters predicated specifically on this "electability" argument. For the delegates to dramatically spurn its voters, as well as its loyal African Americans, energized youth, and generous creative class professionals, there would have to be a dramatic disparity between Obama's and Clinton's chances this November.
Clearly, that's not the case.
Not a single argument in favor of a superdelegate putsch holds water. Not a one.
Update: I'm not sure why I slotted in Texas for Clinton. As the commenters pointed out, he runs two points better than she does in the Lone Star State.
Update II: The Clinton trolls seem to have missed the fact that I'm using polling averages, not whatever favorable single poll they can cherry pick out of each race.
Check out the matchups at Pollster.com for yourself. And if a state doesn't have enough polling, I didn't include it. No need to cite single polls that could be outliers or hopelessly obsolete.