As Barack Obama wrapped up the pledged delegate war several weeks ago, the remaining battle for the democratic nomination had two remaining and interrelated battlefronts: momentum and the popular vote. Hillary Clinton’s aim since mid-March has thus not simply been to win states to gain momentum and appear to be the more ‘electable’ candidate, but to win them by large enough margins to eventually catch Obama in the popular vote count. Clinton is on pace to do just that.
On May 14, the day after the West Virginia primary, Smart Politics made popular vote projections for the Kentucky and Oregon primaries.
- Smart Politics projection: 243,000 net vote gain for Clinton
- Primary results: 249,269 net vote gain for Clinton
- Difference: 6,269 vote underestimate for Clinton
- Smart Politics projection: 99,000 net vote gain for Obama
- Primary results: 108,458 net vote gain for Obama (99% of precincts reporting)
- Difference: 9,458 vote underestimate for Obama
Smart Politics projected a total net gain of 144,000 votes for Clinton for the May 20th primaries. The final results: Clinton gained a net 140,811 votes—a difference of just 3,189 votes.
In sum, out of more than 1.3 million votes cast in the Democratic primary on May 20th, Smart Politics’ projected net vote gain for Clinton was off by just 0.2 percent.