Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Primary Patterns: Clinton vs. Obama


Remember the joke about the person who makes a small fortune? The humor comes when you learn they started with a large fortune. This is the Hillary pattern against Barrack Obama. She starts the primary season with an overwhelming advantage in name recognition, fund raising and long time connections in the Democratic party. Consequently, her lead in the polls appears to be insurmountable - especially for a Junior Senator for Illinois. In the contested states that she wins, she is able to turn those large leads into much smaller leads which include 15 of the 29 states with contested primaries to date. However, a deeply flawed campaign strategy or execution of that strategy yields only a single win in 14 caucus states. Overall record: 16 wins in 43 contests. Pennsylvania is just more of the same. Hillary starts with a 20-25+ point lead and finishes with a 9+ lead.

So Hillary can sometimes turn a large lead into a small lead and can more often turn a large lead into a loss. In business terms, she reminds me of the Industry leader that loses out to the new, under-capitalized upstart with fresh ideas.

Currently, against McCain, both Hillary and Barack are losing in the Polls by three percent. The pattern to date shows that Obama can overcome an opponent's early lead. On the other hand, the pattern for Hillary is that she more often than not loses, even when she had the early lead.

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