Friday, May 9, 2008

Magic Number: 7

Jim Tankersley at the Chicago Tribune takes Barack Obama's lead in the Democratic Primary race and compares it to a baseball pennant race. If anyone has been having a hard time figuring out exactly where things stand, this analysis might help bring it into focus (at least if you're a baseball fan):
Clinton and rival Barack Obama have combined to secure about 88 percent of the available delegates in their nomination battle, the rough equivalent of playing 142 games in a 162-game baseball season...

At a similar point in a baseball playoff race, fans start obsessing over their team's "magic number," the games it must win--or its opponent must lose, or a combination of the two--to wrap up a postseason berth.

Obama needs to win about 36 percent of the remaining delegates, according to The Associated Press, to wrap the nomination. If the primaries were a baseball season and Obama were a team, there would be 20 games left to play, Obama would have a 14-game lead and his magic number would be seven.
If this were baseball, a Clinton comeback would be the greatest comeback in baseball history. It wouldn't happen in baseball and won't happen in politics. That's why Obama has started working on his getting his playoff rotation set instead of worrying about remaining contest.

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