(CNN) - The friction over fractions continued Friday, as staffers for Hillary Clinton and Barack grappled with the solution to some high-stakes campaign math: was her victory in Pennsylvania a double-digit win, or wasn't it?
This time, at least, it turns out: both. According to the final tally provided by the Associated Press, which gathers precise counts for the networks and other major news organizations, Hillary Clinton won 1,260,444 votes to Barack Obama’s 1,046,220, for a difference of 214,224 votes, or 9.2871 percent - which rounds down to 9. But calculated another, more traditional way: she captured 54.6435 percent of the vote - which rounds up to 55 - to his 45.3564, which rounds down to 45, for a difference of 10 points.
Why the demand for extra decimal places? Because every win is important, but some are more important than others. It had been widely predicted that a double-digit victory would give Clinton a key psychological edge heading into upcoming contests. Due to the vagaries of rounding, early coverage was split on whether she’d passed that bar.
Obama supporters protested, pointing out that the winning margin was below 9.5 percent – which, as any fifth-grader will tell you, rounds down to 9, not up to 10. Clinton supporters pointed out that if you rounded each candidate's total votes - not the margin of victory itself - those whole numbers gave you the critical extra digit.
Unfortunately: every vote counts, but some are counted more quickly than others. Some returns typically trickle in for days after the winner is known in virtually every election – usually under much less scrutiny. As the days passed and the difference in the tally hovered near the critical 9.5 percent mark, backers of both candidates kept their gaze fixed on the numbers.
They can put their calculators away for now. The final votes to come in were from the city of Philadelphia, which went for Obama, and the results will forever be safely rounded – if you dare – down to 9 percent, or up to 10. The winning margin, it seems, will remain in the eye of the beholder.
As for the only numbers that really count: it appears that Clinton will walk away from the state with a double-digit edge in pledged delegates - 83, to 73 for Obama.