April 24th, 2008
03:05 PM ET
10 years ago

Was Pennsylvania a double-digit Clinton win - or not?

Did Clinton get a double-digit win?

Did Clinton get a double-digit win?

(CNN) - It's one little point that's making for a whole lot of discussion. Was it 9 points or was it 10? That’s the question many people are asking about Hillary Clinton’s margin of victory over Barack Obama in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Primary.

According to the most up-to-date vote totals from the Associated Press - used by all networks and national news organizations - Clinton won 1,260,208 votes in Pennsylvania to Obama’s 1,045,444. If you break it down by percentages, that’s 54.65 percent for Clinton and 45.34 percent for Obama. If you round up the Clinton number to 55 percent and the Obama number is rounded down to 45 percent, you get a ten point margin of victory for Clinton.

But if the difference between 45.34 and 54.65 is 9.31 percent - the margin of victory for Clinton - the result should be rounded down to nine percent.

Got it?

(Updated numbers after the jump)

Why does this matter? Maybe because the candidates spent six long weeks campaigning in Pennsylvania, and because so many political pundits said Clinton needed to win Pennsylvania by double digits to keep her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination alive.

But regardless of the margin of victory in Pennsylvania, the race has now moved on to Indiana and North Carolina, the next battlegrounds in the road to the White House.

UPDATE: As the count in Pennsylvania continues, Clinton's margin has edged up slightly. According to the latest tally released by the Associated Press, she now has 1,260,416 votes, or 54.7 percent of the total; Obama has 1,045,910 votes, or 45.3 of the total. That makes the current margin of victory for Clinton 9.4 percent, which still rounds down to a 9-point victory.

soundoff (464 Responses)
  1. Marty

    Obama was never going to win Pennsylvania. Of the 50 states, it was perhaps the one state tailored to Hillary. It has every ingredient tailored to her liking..... that is why she started out 20% up.

    And yet, Obama took an impossible situation and turned it into a possibility. It actually was a miracle.... an incredible effort by Obama. So my questions.... if it was a perfect scenario for Hillary....

    Why didn't SHE close the deal?

    April 24, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Brandon

    Its obviously more accurate to round the percentage after finding out the actual difference... Since when did rounding occur before the answer is calculated? Back to school US Media

    April 24, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Lawrence

    So much for that double digit victory. Its down to 9%. She needed 20+% to even have a chance in all remaining contests. That's not going to happen at all.

    April 24, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. cecil

    She started with a lead of almost 20 points. But her final margin was 9% period. CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC Just state the facts please, you have them!

    This was no blowout.

    All those White Americans really help her in Penn.
    All those African Americans really help Sen. Obama in Penn..

    Clinton faces uphill battle in North Carolina, welcome to Obamas world.

    9% in Sen Hillary play ground not bad . Lets see how she does in NC.

    Obama Supporters Lets continue to give of our time and money.

    Sen. Obama 08

    April 24, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Eddie G

    Woofy and AC both are spinning for Clinton...maybe Bill promised to get them some action in the white house if his lying, cheating, math wizard gets into office.

    April 24, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Karen in Cape Cod

    Oh give me a break! If it had been Obama who won, this would never have come up!

    April 24, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Delaware

    1,260,416 and 1,045,910 is not a double digit win. These are the double digit win for Obama: District of Columbia 75 percent Hillary 24 percent, Virginia 64 percent Obama, Clinton 35 percent, Ilinois 65 percent Obama, Hillary 33 percent. Florida cannot be consider as a win for her when the guy did not even compaign there. So is Michigan.

    April 24, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Tim

    I agree, 9.31 is 3-digits. Hehe, has anyone reading this ever seen anything more rediculous. This kind of reminds me – why are gas prices always quoted ar x.xx99 a gallon. Why do we need the 0.99? I would love to see the price of gas at $3.5855 but it will be $3.5899. Maybe these two candidates could discus this.

    April 24, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. sharon

    From here on in, it should be stated on CNN 9 points. NINE.

    They must use the math the rest of us Americans are using, when rounding! Or if they are incapable of doing that, don't round at all, and say 9.31.

    CNN has been biased toward Clinton in the past week in my opinion and others.

    Lou Dobbs is vindictive with regard to his hatred for Obama. He never fails to put Obama down – every night. Obama mentioned his name once, and Lou cannot let it go.

    April 24, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    I read that Senator Clinton has raised $10 million in 24 hours. I'm wondering if this is from how many donors? The Clinton's have lots of "big buck" supporters who want Clinton, not Obama, in the White House.

    April 24, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Chriss

    When I took math in elementary and junior high school, I was taught to always ROUND DOWN when LESS than 5 [1.4 – 1 vs. 1.5 – 2]

    Rules are rules unless you are a Clinton then they are subject to change.

    Come on Indiana, North Carolina, Oregon, et al, give Hillary the break she so desparately needs!

    Her Royal Clintoness tires easily, causing her to lie about her name, her daughter and 9/11, Bosnia sniper fire, Rose Law Firm files, opposing the pre-emptive war with Iraq before she voted for the bill, how she made a lot of money on Wall street, her brothers being paid to get pardons, opposing NAFTA, accepting "donations" greater than the legal limit from Peter Paul, …

    Giver her a gift – time off!

    She needs to take a nice, long vacation and get some rest.

    Obama '08

    April 24, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. Harry

    You always round the way the media did it, that's the way they did it in every other primary/caucus this primary season. There fore it is fair-she won by 10 and she can capture the poular vote even w/o FL and or MI. 2.5-3mil voters in Peuto Rico with a 60% spread for CLinton will give her the popular vote, that with the states she won versus Obama's republican/red state victories will give all the super delegates they need nominate her..and uh... oh yea media when she is the President, you might not want to be so slanted against her. But you better do somoething about both of them or you will see a Republican administration-AGAIN!

    Signed: Longing for the eight years of peace and propserity we had before Bush!

    April 24, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. norb

    9 points, 10 points who cares? What's happening is that over 2 million people voted in the Democratic primary. Not only that but they are also out fundraising the Republican's for money which is unprecidented. This doesn't bode well for the Repbulican's in the fall regardless who the Democratic nominee is. More people are registering to vote than ever before. The John McCain/Joe Lieberman tag team duo will soon be history my friends. Adios, George. Don't let the door hit ya on the way out!

    April 24, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. Obama for President

    Time to go Hillary.

    Remember, I need to win big in order to stay in this race...by big you said at least double digits.

    April 24, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Tamika

    Why isnt CNN(the most watched news channel in my opinon)covering where Mr. and Mrs. Clinton are going to be tomarrow and why? Are you afraid of them like everyone else is..why isnt anyone covering "The Hillary Movie".. if this were Obama.. it would be OVER!!!!! you all should be ashamed of yourself as journalists…I am sure you wont be posting this!..people go to you tube and see the movie(full)for yourselves and wake up!!!!.. google Clinton V Paul (California April 25th 2008)…

    If i get this posted it would be a miracle…and then you'd remain my MOST watched news channel(maybe)

    April 24, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Roger

    It wan't Hillary's fault that the news reported it as a double digit win.

    April 24, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Frank

    In a political season dominated by the dumb and dumber, this has got to be the dumbest question of them all.

    The only reason that "double digit" became the supposed margin of victory for Clinton in PA is that TV journalists (an oxymoron?) like saying the phrase.

    April 24, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Jude

    It's important because of how much pressure there was for Clinton to win by double digits. It's the same as how stores will sell an item for $9.99 instead of $10.00... the extra digit does make a difference in perception, and perception is important. The fact that everyone said "She needs to win by at least double digits" brings this detail into play, and the fact is that she didn't get it by double digits.

    April 24, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Sharon Osmond

    This would have been a huge story by the Clinton campaign if it was reversed . I cannot believe the media and their reporting.

    April 24, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Jack in ND

    I can't believe CNN is daft enough to ask the question. Have they never heard of decimal points?

    The way they would calculate things, a single voter's ballot that changes a spread from 54.4999999999-45.5000000001 (rounded 54-46) to 54.5000000001-45.499999999 (rounded 55-45) is the difference between and 8 point win and a 10 point win.

    Hillary won by 9 and some change percent. And not even 9.5, so the 10 is just wrong by any measure.

    I'm afraid to ask CNN who won Florida in 2000...537 is way less than a percent...the question would probably stump them.

    C'mon, CNN. I love your webite's election coverage, but don't be retarded.

    April 24, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Ellis Tibbett

    Whether Sen, Clinton won by 9 or 10% it hardly makes a difference. The truth of the matter is that Sen. Obama is leading by about 130 delegates and according to the rules, that counts. For Hillary to win she will have to win all the remaining States with about 65% to catch up to Barack. Surely nobody believes that is possible. The only way for Hillary to get the nomination is by a large number of
    Superdelegates and some pledged-delagates supporting her. This is unlikely to happen. But should this indeed happen the chances of McCain winning the nomination would be greatly enhanced as many of the Democratic voters, particulary African-Americans, will not vote for Hillary because they would consider that Barack was cheated. Many orthers will vote for McCain out of spite.

    April 24, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. dmw

    Why are you doing this for Pa only? What about all of the other states that have already voted. I thought all percentages were rounded. I do not recall seeing other results with the decimal point.

    The Obama campaign is a sad bunch. Obama will not be President no matter how hard you all want him to be or for him to look like a saviour of the democratic party.

    April 24, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. Jodie a white gal from Idaho

    Hillary had almost every governor, mayor, congressman, and senator from Pennsylvania on her side. She also has family ties. It would be like her going into Illinois or Hawaii and only losing by 10%. Obama beat Hillary by almost 30% in Illinois and 50% in Hawaii, so what now? In Pennsylvania she still only got 55% of the vote. I think that says a lot about Barack Obama. All it says to me is that 10% of Pennsylvania is either ignorant to Hillary's evil or there are a lot of prejudice people in Pennsylvania. Only Pennsylvanians know the answer. I am afraid a lot of the older people did not vote for Obama because they are prejudice. Lets record them and put their comments on TV and play them over and over again. See how they like it. I forgot it only works one way because whites have ran this nation for years. Its time all people are represented in this democracy.

    April 24, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Grade 3 student

    Almost all the medias said Hillary won by bouble digit. She actually won by 9.3% - SINGLE DIGIT.

    The math of the medias is as good as that of Hillary. It is why a lot of people hate the medias.

    April 24, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Deb, IN

    I've been out of school for a while but the last time I checked 54.65 would be rounded up to 55 not down. You don't round the difference between the numbers up or down you round the actual total up or down to figure the difference.

    No wonder this country has a problem with education.
    I doesn't matter if it was 1 percent difference a win is a win.

    April 24, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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