Count It

Matt Yglesias takes on Clinton campaign spin on what does and does not count for primary/caucus wins:

Back in October 2007, Clinton was beating Obama in Maine by a hilarious 47 to 10 margin, but it seems he’s carried the state today, once again by a large margin. My understanding, though, is that this doesn’t really count because it’s a small state, much as Utah doesn’t count because there aren’t many Democrats there, DC doesn’t count because there are too many black people, Washington doesn’t count because it’s a caucus, Illinois doesn’t count because Obama represents it in the Senate even though Hillary was born there, Hawaii won’t count because Obama was born there. I’m not sure why Delaware and Connecticut don’t count, but they definitely don’t.

Separate from the relative absurdity of how the campaigns spin the media and the public, it strikes me as obvious that the reason we have over 50 primaries and caucuses is because they all count.* No one win is inherently representative of more than itself until spin is added; that is, Obama won x delegates more than Clinton in Maine, a clear sign that he’s bringing himself closer to the total needed for the nomination. And he can win the Maine Democratic caucus.. At minimum, narratives following wins can’t realistically be crafted to suggest that a win is a sign of a loss. When the Clinton campaign casts wins as something other than that, they’re wading neck deep into absurd waters.

*Except for, you know, Michigan and Florida.

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