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Does Hillary Want To Lose The Texas Caucuses?

One other quick thought about that Clinton conference call: Up to this point, the CW has been that the primary/caucus "two-step" in Texas is good for Obama, since he can come out ahead in delegates even if he loses the popular vote. The Clinton campaign is strongly pushing an alternative interpretation: As Wolfson put it, this will be an almost scientific experiment about the relative democratic-ness (pardon the neologism) of each type of contest--a primary side-by-side with a caucus.

You almost get the sense the Clintonites want to win the popular vote and lose the caucus, so they can then argue that all these caucuses are bunk, and that if the states whose caucuses Obama won had actually held primaries, Hillary would be running away with the nomination.

There are some flaws in that logic--the biggest being that you develop a different strategy for each state (and the primaries as a whole) depending on the rules there, so you can't run these counterfactuals assuming Obama wouldn't adjust, and that he wouldn't have won primaries in those states, too. But it's not a crazy argument. It'll be interesting to see how it plays in the press if that's the scenario we're looking at.

--Noam Scheiber