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Tying Obama Down?

I was just listening to a discussion on MSNBC between The Politico's Jeanne Cummings and a Democratic operative I hadn't seen before, both of whom agreed that, even if Hillary loses tonight, her efforts in Wisconsin will have yielded her a tactical victory, since they forced Obama to spend time and money which he would have rather spent in Texas and Ohio.

Maybe. But doesn't that logic apply in the other direction, too? If Hillary loses Wisconsin after spending a decent amount of time and money there, aren't those resources should would rather have saved for Ohio and Texas? (That is, assuming the counterfactual wasn't getting blown out by 25 points or something in Wisconsin, which I find hard to imagine.) After all, under this scenario, Obama's the one who comes out of Wisconsin with a victory. And money seems to be more scarce for Hillary these days than it is for him.

On top of which, Obama seems to have gained ground in Ohio and certainly Texas over the last week or two without spending much time there. So it's not like being tied down in Wisconsin really dented his mo'.

I think a victory for Hillary tonight will be defined very literally--winning Wisconsin, or maybe holding Obama's margin of victory to under three points. Short of that, I don't see how you can call it time and money well spent for her. (Again, unless the counterfactual was a blowout loss, which I don't think it was.)

--Noam Scheiber