Can Clinton Win the Popular Vote?

New polls show Clinton could still win the popular vote while Obama takes the delegate count.

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Back on March 28, I posted some projections of the popular vote in the remaining contests, projections based on optimistic assumptions from the point of view of Hillary Clinton's campaign, to see if it was possible she could win a plurality of the vote in Democratic primaries and caucuses. My projections said she could, if she won certain percentages of the two-candidate vote in these states.

How's she doing? She's running short of what she needs. The following table shows her percentage of the two-candidate vote in the latest RealClearPolitics.com average of recent polls in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana, and the percentages I projected for her in each of those states.

State Current Polls My Projection
Pennsylvania 54 60
North Carolina 42 45
Indiana 53 60

There is one polling firm, however, that shows results close to those projections, SurveyUSA. So I've added their numbers to the table:

State Current Polls My Projection SurveyUSA
Pennsylvania 54 60 60
North Carolina 42 45 44
Indiana 53 60 59

Is SurveyUSA right? I don't know, but I'm sure Hillary Clinton hopes so.

Let me remind you of what happens after the last primaries June 3 if my projections prove to be right. Barack Obama will be leading in pledged delegates, those elected in primaries and caucuses. Clinton will be leading in popular votes. Obama's delegate lead will be entirely due to his victories in caucus states. Clinton's popular vote lead will be entirely due to her projected victory in the Puerto Rico primary. Who then is entitled to the nomination? You could easily think up plausible arguments for either side. This would be a nightmare for the superdelegates who will have to make the decision.