In the cold gray light of dawn …

Obama slightly won the delegate count last night. He’s now even money in the betting, which seems about right. $end money.

* Obama turns out to have narrowly won the night in the delegate count: reportedly net +9.

* The total raw vote was just about even: 7.35M for HRC, 7.29M for BHO (and of course he won more of the caucus states).

* HRC’s California margin has shrunk to just under 10 points.

* The betting markets now show Obama and HRC even-odds to win the nomination, and equally likely to win the general.

* The rest of February looks good for Obama, which should help him build momentum going into Ohio and Texas March 4.

* If it’s true, as it seems to be, that the more people see of Obama the better they like him, an extended campaign season ought to help him. He’ll have three weeks to give Ohio and Texas his mostly undivided attention, and then six weeks to do the same in Pennsylvania.

* The arithmetic of proportional delegate-splitting rules means that the race is likely to go at least into Pennsylvania April 22. That’s far enough off to allow Obama to use his financial edge to do some serious on-the-ground organizing, which worked for him in Iowa and South Carolina but which he didn’t have in, e.g., California.

* Obama’s money advantage ought to grow. That could make the difference. Now would be a good time to send some more love his way.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: