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Clinton Puts Up Popular Vote Ad

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) took to the airwaves in South Dakota and Montana today with an ad that pushes the idea that she is winning the popular vote in the race against Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.)

"Some say there isn't a single reason for Hillary to be the Democratic nominee," says the ad's narrator. "They're right. There are over 17 million of them."

Let's watch the ad in full:

According to Real Clear Politics, a must-bookmark for political junkies, Obama actually has 166,186 vote lead over Clinton in the popular vote -- 17,267,658 to 17,101,472. If Michigan's primary is included, where Clinton received 328,307 votes and Obama none due to the fact he removed his name from the ballot, Clinton takes a 162,123 vote lead.

So, there is a bit more dispute about the popular vote leader than might initially be apparent in the Clinton ad. To the campaign's credit, however, the narrator says only that "17 million Americans have voted for Hillary Clinton...more than for any
primary candidate in history" -- a statement that is entirely true.

Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, said that "both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have gotten more votes than any presidential campaign in primary history" but added: "We are, however, ahead in the popular vote now and will be ahead when all of the votes are counted Tuesday."

Remember that even if you grant Clinton the popular vote edge -- and many within the party do not do so -- the metric by which the Democratic nominee is chosen is delegates.

And, following the decision of the Rules and Bylaws Committee yesterday, Obama has 2,052 delegates while Clinton has 1,877. The new magic number to formally become the party's nominee is 2,118.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 1, 2008; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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