Hillary Clinton isn’t planning to win the nomination directly, just stave off losing the popular vote delegates so she can close the deal with the superdelegates.
Firewall states? Seriously, a firewall is a defensive measure.
What she’s doing is what I currently think of as the Giuliani strategy (and yes, that tells you how I think of it’s success chances.) “I don’t have to win all the states. I don’t have to win the most states. I just have to win most of the Big states.”
Thus – NJ, NY, and CA. And the current focus on OH, TX, and PA.
There are a couple of really significant problems with this plan. First and foremost is the fact the Dem popular delegates are distributed based on vote proportion – no “all or nothing” states. Thus a 20% margin in a medium state nets more “lead” than a 1% margin in a large state. And for the most part, Obama has been pulling 20% while Clinton has been running under 10%.
Right now, it looks like she’ll get her +20% in Ohio. And she might get +20% in Pennsylvania. But she needs a trifecta, and it’s not going to happen. The trend in Texas has been going the wrong way, and it’s accelerating. And it doesn’t help her that it’s not a straight vote, either, but WEIGHTED caucuses.
Weighted. The more heavily Democratic an area voted last time, the more weight it carries for final consideration. (Inaccurate example – your house voted D, mine voted R. You get 2 votes in the caucus, I get 1. See?) And the population groups that have tended to vote HRC are heavier in, you guessed it, heavy R areas. High D areas are trending BO.
I suspect that the popular vote for Texas will be fairly close. In fact, I lean right now toward thinking HRC will get 51 to 55%. But the final delegate distribution? That’s Obama’s, and it’s far from inconceivable that he’ll get another +20%. More likely +10%, but…
Without Texas, Obama maintains the lead in popular vote — and pretty much every state AFTER Texas votes (as well as most of those between now and then) are looking at Obama +20%.
It seems likely that HRC will lose, and the point that makes it obvious will be Texas. And it’s all because instead of running for all the party, she just focused on the Big States. After, of course, she was surprised to see she wasn’t “inevitable.”