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. The Young & Educated for Obama

    simple math 1 and 1 = 2
    Some folks in the media thinks 1 and 1 = 11
    Oh wait.. that was just a Hillary spin!

    April 24, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. steve dumford, Scotts valley ca.

    Stupid nitpicking.

    April 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. vjh

    Got it ! 9 points it is........

    April 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Boye

    To be mathematically accurate it is a 9point lead but what difference does it make, a win is a win. We should be congratulation Hillary on her win and not try to diminish it in any way. Hopefully, after Indiana and North Carolina, she would realize that her chances aren't good and gracefully bow out 😀

    April 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. ShirleyY - Seattle

    I heard the machines had malfunctioned and his name was not on some ballot, this need to be check out. Hillary stayed in Pennyslvania on Tuesday, I am sure Rendell and Nutter helped her win, bu malfunction the machines.

    April 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Tristan, Salt Lake City, Utah

    And while we're all being nitpicky... What percentage of obama is actually white or black or other? How far in the lineage should we go back? Two generations? Three? Four? Are we all related to Autralopithecus afarensis?

    April 24, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. FC MIKE

    Don't confuse us with facts.

    April 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. gini

    this was the dumbest article I ever read, I just thought CNN should know this.

    April 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Mike - Texas

    It is for bragging rights.

    It is about time somebody got it right.

    April 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. red white and BLUE

    With a state full of old people and blue-collar workers, she should have won with 60% of the vote.

    April 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Joshua College Station Texas

    Bingo. Thanks CNN. Great job. Each candidate is clinging to every edge they can get. Nailing down the accuracy of the information is always a good place to start. It's nice to see you point out the truth sans spin.

    April 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. bob

    in mathmatics, you round after the summations. 9.31 %

    April 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. ben two

    ...and most of those votes were from crossover Republicans.


    April 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. Claire

    Thank you CNN for posting this!!!!!

    April 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. fred

    LMAO....a win, is a win. I would call it a 50 point margin with all the money Obama spent in PA and still lost by ALMOST 10%!!!

    Go Hillary!!!

    April 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. Obama 08

    Single digit and it is Obama who cut through Clinton's win. The media has played Obama's win in Pennsylvania even thought they know he made major major strides and he is capable of winning the state in November. They are just blowing Clinton's win and yet, Clinton lost to Obama by 15 per cent. People need to speak the truth.

    April 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. Louis

    None of this matters–go to Slate.com Delegate Counter and see why it is mathematically impossible for Clinton to catch Obama in delegates. The only way she can get the nomination is by the superdelegates over-riding the will of the voters. This event would fracture the Democratic Party and lead to a loss in November. If any reader sees another realistic fact-based scenario, please respond.

    April 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Eli

    It actually doesnt matter since she won, I would not care if she won by 5 points, she WON. I think that you go by the first numbers if you are going to round up or down. BUT HEY SHE WON.

    April 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Anette

    Slow news day huh....

    April 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Mike

    I have gathered some numbers based on the democratic primary to show what will happen in November if Obama is the nominee.

    The democratic primary is different as it shares delegates based on percentage but in the general election it is winner takes all in each state. Each state won is that many delegates to winning the overall count. So if we treat the democratic primary just like the general election this is what we are looking at against McCain.

    I have taken each state that has won by Obama or Clinton and given all the delegates of that state to the majority winner. I even gave Obama all the upcoming states and made him the winner giving him the delegates from them. I did not include Florida or Michigan to avoid any argument. This includes Guam and others that are counted in the democratic primary. This is only actually won states and future states given to Obama:

    Obama won 37 "states"
    Hillary won 17 "states"

    However in a general election setting:

    Obama delegate count: 1486
    Hillary delegate count: 1750

    If you count Florida and Michigan which Hillary won and polls show that even if Obama campaigned in those states Hillary would have won them at that time:

    Obama delegate count: 1486
    Hillary delegate count: 2118

    If we gave Florida to Obama and Michigan to Hillary as polls suggest a primary today would give them:

    Obama delegate count: 1692
    Hillary delegate count: 1907

    The bottom line is that Hillary has won in a general election model based on primaries of the democratic party and even giving Obama all the next primary states coming up. The reason Hillary won is she won all the big states practically? These states are historically won by the Republican party as to why Bush beat Kerry in 2004. Therefore if Obama cannot win the big states that Republicans tend to win he has no chance against McCain in the general election. Hillary has the only chance of being a democratic president in 2008.

    So do you want a Republican in office or do you want a Democrat. The choice is clear who is more electable in November.

    April 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. An Agnostic Democrat

    Give it time and Hillary and her slimey surrogates will be adding a few zeroes and doing more cherry-picking of the important states (which for the record the Democrats always win). Heck, they're still trying to count Florida and Michigan for which Hillary continues to deny pledging and signing on to with the rest of the candidates.

    I say let's send her back to the Senate to achieve her double-digit win so she can actually put a dent in her embellished tall tale of "35 years of experience".

    April 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. Ernest

    No, but Elvira -mistress of the dark thinks so.

    April 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. kiki

    The careful research of the vote/delegates and primary/caucus history of this campaign clearly shows that irregularities and totally undemocratic situations exist. For example, Sen Obama received 320 delegates from a total of 390,238 caucus votes. This translates in 0.0082 delegates per vote. On the other hand Clinton receives 0.0010 delegate for primary vote. It means that every caucus vote is worth 8 times more than each primary vote. Totally unfair and non-democratic.
    Maybe the "super delegates" should bring fairness to the process, "super delegates" may not be very democratic but the caucuses are even less democratic and make no sense since a few activists dominate the "smoke filled" caucus rooms....

    April 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. kris

    barack obama tried to close the gap after been down in the polls almost 30 points before heading to state and despite all the attack leveled at him by both McCain and Clinton camp..and then there is Rev. Wright controversy, bitter comment etc...Obama still rocks and pulled the lead down to single digit.

    April 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. Jay

    Lets see, How have all the other results from other Staes been rounded? Im sure the way that gives Hillary a 10 digit lead right? I thought so!

    April 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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