He knows how to play by the rules. He's taken extreme advantage of the Democratic Party's rules in this primary season. When Hillary Clinton wants to see that the people of Michigan and Florida get counted, Obama points to the Democratic Party rules and makes sure everyone understands that they can't be counted under those rules. (See this post.) He wins big in caucus states, where only small numbers come out so that a few voters can influence a lot of delegates. Meanwhile, in the big states with lots of delegates, he relies on the proportionality rules that the Dems have put in place, so even if he loses, he still gets a slew of delegates. Many people (including Bill Clinton) have pointed out that if the Democrats had allowed winner-take-all primaries and (like the Republicans) a number of major states had used them, Hillary would be leading in the delegate count, probably by a lot. This, among other things, is why John McCain got the Republican nomination relatively early, while the Dems are still going at it.
Of course, the actual Electoral College system used in the general election does use winner-take all (at least in 48 of the 50 states). So Obama vs. McCain would be fought under different rules. I wonder whether Obama will be able to re-orient his candidacy to play by the different rules that will apply for the general election.
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