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. Mat

    It was 9 points – although i'm sure the Clintons will come out today saying that if you're over .5 it should be rounded up and if you're below it should be rounded down?? spin, spin, spin!!!

    Can this be over all ready –

    April 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. wwf

    This is easy enough. Anyone with any brains knows that you round down below .5 and round up at .5 or above. I am sure that Clinton will try and spin this that it is the wrong way to look at it. Just like the popular vote. If she thinks hard enough, maybe she can bring lower gas prices, food prices, world peace, etc. and win the race, if she only thinks hard enough. The woman seems to think she can change everything and anything to suit her needs.

    April 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Tom

    It's fact that Obama startet with 20 points behind. Moreover Clinton had the big endorsements, so it was clear that Obama couldn't win. He reached a good result under this circumstances...

    April 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Monica

    No wonder why the U.S. is flunking when it comes to math and science.

    April 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Wait, 9.3 doesn't round up to 10?

    More Clinton math...

    April 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. mitch from ark.

    she didn't win enough delegates,to make any difference.that's the bottom line.

    April 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Yonas

    Hillary it wasn't a double digit win.

    Got it?

    April 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Obama Supporter In Indiana

    Uh oh! Here we go again! Fuzzy math, my friends!

    April 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. lessBS

    Stick with the actual: 9.31%

    And if you must round, round once to 9%.

    Rounding twice is about as bad as using "averages".

    Ben Franklin's warning about those: stick one foot in a bucket of boiling water & the other in a bucket of ice water, on average, the "water temperature is fine".

    April 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. Will SF CA

    WOW..CNN stoops to a new low.

    April 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Philly Boy

    A win is a win and we conceed that fact, but please tell the truth "call it like it is" No sense in distorting the truth because I know CNN to be fair. Now if this was FOX news it would be expected....

    April 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. A.L. Hall, Kansas

    It's comical to watch actually. Of course the media has rounded the number to 10...that keeps this thing going and traffic driven to their networks which equals big money. It's not brain surgery to figure it out.

    April 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. daniel dbe

    America has overcome many obstacles, but racism is still alive and fighting in states such as Pennsylvania. Obama fought hard and lost but he was not DEFEATED. YES WE CAN. ONE NATION ONE COLOR ONE PEOPLE!

    April 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Nuwan Samaranayake

    This is what I called pure bias attitude of the media. I don't know why media hates Hillary this much to scrutinize every tiny details when they are giving big breaks to Obama. Does it matter whether she is ahead if 9.31 or 10 points ? What matters is that Obama outspend her almost 3-1, all most all the black voters voted for him because he is "one of them", media was all against Hillary and the general attitude towards her was negetive. Amidst of all these she pulled a victory there. She fought relentlessly. I give her credit for that. You in the media needs to recongize that instead of taking this nonsense and blowing it up out of propotion.

    April 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Spartacus Levi

    She won by 'almost' 10 percent is the only way to say it. I expect some sort of coronation in Indiana, though, for Obama.

    April 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. VJ

    Are people so dumb in this country that they need everything rounded off? Can't you just say clinton won by 9.31% ?? No wonder Bush became president, twice!

    April 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Vakeel

    Well, what you have guys done in all the other primaries to date? Have you rounded the numbers up and down and then figured out the difference, or have you figured out the difference first and then rounded it up or down? It should be as simple as that. But, given your bias for Obama and the fact that you bother to write this little piece, I suspect this is the first time anybody has even thought about doing the latter!

    April 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Roger

    Doubt people will be able to grasp this concept of math.

    April 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. carl

    She didn't do it

    April 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Grif

    How can anyone tell?

    April 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. An Agnostic Democrat

    Don't worry, by next week she'll be adding a few zeroes, still trying to add Florida and Michigan, inflating her resume, dodging sniper fire for the umpteenth time and cherry-picking states that she won – (Which for the record, the Dems always win). Doesn't matter either way, it wasn't enough! End of story. (If the media would just let it go and report the truth or real news for a change, we'd really be down with that).

    April 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Tarek El-Messidi

    So please stop saying she won by double digits on your CNN news programs. It's not accurate reporting!

    April 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. CW in DC

    OK Clintonites – GOT IT?!

    April 24, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. Fuzzy Math

    It is 9.31 percent. You don't round up before you do the math for God's sake. But then who would ever says the Clintons or the media are wanting to be fair at this point in the election. She is behind, she can't win and this is about to be over. The media is wringing their hands for more ugly sound bites.

    She is wanting to rewrite all the rules and campaign law and even the entire premise of the Democratic primary and for that matter the entire democracy this nation was founded on. Some President she would make!

    Hillary said I know Florida and Michigan don't count...oh but I'm gonna need them so you have to count them...oh I'm still behind...we CAN'T COUNT THE CAUCUS STATES and we give Obama a ZERO in Michigan. Let me remind everyone over 40% voted undecided or AGAINST HER in Michigan.

    For God's sake...her cry to count ALL the votes isn't anything but another lie if she wants all the caucuses and the other 40% of Michigan votes thrown out.

    Put a fork in her. She is desperate but done. I would say put a stake thru her heart but she doesn't have one.

    April 24, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. bigben

    Are you serious? I think it silly season again

    April 24, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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