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« Morning Thoughts: To The Victor... | Blog Home Page | Edwards Sticks With Message »

All About Perception

Barack Obama thumped Hillary Clinton in Iowa, right? His eight-point victory was enough to stun the political world, right? That's how the media plays it, and that's how voters around the country will hear about it today. But what would the story going into New Hampshire be if this were the headline:

"Virtual Iowa Tie, Obama Up One"

That headline might be more accurate. Based on where the candidates earned their delegates, CNN projects Obama will likely get 16 of the pledged national convention delegates, while Clinton, who finished third in the raw vote but won delegates in more strategically valuable places, will get 15 and Edwards will have 14.

On the GOP side, things were more lopsided. Mike Huckabee won 17 delegates to Mitt Romney's 12, three each for Fred Thompson and John McCain and two for Ron Paul. That's right, come rain or shine, Ron Paul will have at least two delegates to the national convention (three, including himself as a super delegate).

When the votes were tallied yesterday, Clinton still leads with 169 total delegates, including super delegates who told CNN they would cast their lot with the New York Senator. That's a whopping 52% of the committed delegates, compared with 20% for Obama, 14% for John Edwards and 6% for Bill Richardson. Dennis Kucinich, who remains in the race, has himself to count on for a vote.

Obama did score a huge win last night. But, at the end of the day, the fact that he earned just one more delegate than Clinton does speak, perhaps, to the undue influence the media -- this reporter included -- places on Iowa and the hunger to get some real actual voter casting a real actual vote.

Or maybe we just love porkchops on sticks.