"What? There Are Rules?"
I’ll be the first to admit that the math by which the Democratic Party turns support in a state into delegates to the national convention are pretty complicated and more than a little obscure. The process used in Texas is, meanwhile, especially complicated and obscure. Still this is the kind of thing you would think a presidential campaign would take a strong interest in. But it’s seemed for a while now that some of the Clinton campaign’s moves only make sense if you assume the Clinton campaign didn’t really understand the rules, something that appears to be the case according to The Washington Post‘s latest reporting where we read things like this:
What Clinton aides discovered is that in certain targeted districts, such as Democratic state Sen. Juan Hinojosa’s heavily Hispanic Senate district in the Rio Grande Valley, Clinton could win an overwhelming majority of votes but gain only a small edge in delegates. At the same time, a win in the more urban districts in Dallas and Houston — where Sen. Barack Obama expects to receive significant support — could yield three or four times as many delegates.
When did they make these crucial discoveries? Just “this month” according to the article. But understanding the rules would have been a big help in designing a strategy for Super Tuesday and the rest of February. Hilzoy correctly notes that this sort of thing cast some doubt on the notion that Clinton’s veteran savvy makes her the ideal choice to go up against the GOP.