"Fear of a Black Plurality"
In addition to allocating delegates to the winner of the overall District vote, here in DC we also allocate some delegates on a ward-by-ward basis. In places like Ward 7 and Ward 8 east of the Anacostia River, Hillary Clinton is hopelessly doomed. But in diverse Ward 1 where I live, she ought to have a shot. We’re not nearly as white as Ward 2 or Ward 3, but we are “the only ward where you’ll find no population group with a majority”. In short, there are black people and white people plus a healthy dollop of Hispanics. Are City Council representative, Jim Graham, is of the caucasion persuasion, so it should be possible for a white politician to secure some support here. Indeed, Graham is a Clinton supporter.
What’s more, while Precinct 22 (pictured above) where I vote was pretty heavily black during the 2004 cycle, when I voted there this morning it was about half and half. And yet, while Obama has a volunteer standing outside in the cold by a table full of campaign literature, urging passersby to vote for Obama, Clinton had nobody. Similarly, her campaign doesn’t seem to have gotten any “HILLARY” signs into the hands of any of the residents of my neighborhood. Consequently, in what looks like a pretty decent turnout I imagine Obama’s going to dominate:
What seems to be going on here is that Clinton feels that she can’t maintain the pretense that Maryland and Washington and Virginia and The Other Washington and Maine and Nebraska and the US Virgin Islands and Louisiana “don’t count” if she bothers to campaign in these places. But thanks to the way Democrats allocate delegates, there’s a substantial difference between “losing” a jurisdiction and getting blown out in that jurisdiction. My guess is that Clinton’s lackluster campaigning is creating a situation where she’s leaving delegates on the table.