Ultimate Delegate Math

by: Chris Bowers

Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 18:30


In the extended entry, I provide a complete breakdown of the delegate situation. It is far more expansive than any breakdown I have completed in the past.
Chris Bowers :: Ultimate Delegate Math
Democratic Nomination Campaign Delegate Projection #1
Delegate Type Obama Clinton Other Remaining Total 50%+1
Total 1 1,415.5 1,253.5 18 566 3,253 1,627
Super 209 246 0 263 718 --
Projected Add-ons 40 24 0 12 76 --
Total 2 1,664.5 1,523.5 18 841 4,047.0 2,024.0

In this table, "Total 1" includes pledged delegates outside of Florida and Michigan, while "Total 2" includes pledged, super and projected add-on delegates outside of Florida and Michigan. Detailed pledged delegate results can be found at the bottom of this post. Superdelegate totals can be found at Democratic Convention Watch. Add-on delegates are projected, winner-take-all, from the states each candidate has won. Obama is projected to win the add-on delegates from Nevada and Texas, Clinton is projected to win the add-on delegate from New Hampshire, and the two add-on delegates from Missouri are projected as split.

Based on current polling or, when no polling is available, analogous contests, here are the projected delegate totals for the remaining states and territories:

Democratic Nomination Primary Schedule
State Date O % C % P. Del Obama Del Clinton Del
Pennsylvania Apr 22 36.4% 52.6% 158 66 92
Guam May 03 -- -- 4 2 2
Indiana May 06 40.0% 25.0% 72 41 31
North Carolina May 06 46.7% 41.3% 115 60 55
West Virginia May 13 24.5% 49.0% 28 9 19
Kentucky May 20 -- -- 51 21 30
Oregon May 20 -- -- 52 27 25
Puerto Rico Jun 01 -- -- 55 23 32
Montana Jun 03 -- -- 16 8 8
South Dakota Jun 03 -- -- 15 8 7
Total June 10 46.0% 45.5% 566 265 301

American Samoa is the analogous contest for Guam, Tennessee is the analogous contest for Kentucky, Arizona is the analogous contest for Puerto Rico, and the Washington primary is the analogous contest for Montana, Oregon and South Dakota. These numbers lead to a third total:

Democratic Nomination Campaign Delegate Projection #2
Delegate Type Obama Clinton Other Remaining Total 50%+1
Total 2 1,664.5 1,523.5 18 841 4,047.0 2,024.0
Projected Pledged 265 301 0 0 566 --
Projected Super 0 0 0 263 718 --
Projected Add-ons 6 6 0 0 76 --
Total 3 1,935.5 1,830.5 18 263 4,047.0 2,024.0

The entire remainder in the above projection comes from superdelegates.

If a deal is struck to seat Florida as is (notes on the projected Florida and Michigan delegations can be found at the bottom of this post), but no deal is struck to seat Michigan, a fourth total emerges:

Democratic Nomination Campaign Delegate Projection #3
Delegate Type Obama Clinton Other Remaining Total 50%+1
Total 3 1,935.5 1,830.5 18 263 4,047.0 2,024.0
Pledged 67 105 13 128 -- --
Super 4 8 0 301 -- --
Add-ons 0 3 0 2 -- --
Total 4 2,006.5 1,946.5 31 431 4,415.0 2,208.0

The remainder in the above projection is a combination of superdelegates and the entire Michigan delegation.

If a deal is struck to seat both Florida and Michigan as is, a fifth total emerges:

Democratic Nomination Campaign Delegate Projection #4
Delegate Type Obama Clinton Other Remaining Total 50%+1
Total 4 2,006.5 1,946.5 31 431 4,415.0 2,208.0
Pledged 0 73 55 0 -- --
Super 1 7 0 293 -- --
Add-ons 0 2 0 0 -- --
Total 5 2,007.5 2,028.5 86 293 4,415.0 2,208.0

The entire remainder in the above projection comes from superdelegates.

These five totals result in the following magic number projections:

Magic Numbers and Percentage of Remaining Delegates Needed
Total Clinton Del Obama Del Remaining Clinton % Obama %
Total 1 373.5 211.5 566 66.0% 37.4%
Total 2 500.5 359.5 841 59.5% 42.7%
Total 3 193.5 88.5 263 73.6% 33.7%
Total 4 261.5 200.5 431 60.7% 46.8%
Total 5 179.5 199.5 293 61.3% 68.1%

According to totals #1 and #3, the campaign is over as, short of the most destructive political scandal against Obama ever, there is simply no conceivable way that Clinton can acquire either 66.0% or 73.6% of the remaining delegates. According to totals #2 and #4, the campaign is virtually over, since Clinton needs to string together significantly and repeatedly outperform current polling in order to achieve the requisite number of delegates. According to total #5, we are inexorably headed toward a floor fight over at least the Michigan delegation, since there is virtually no conceivable way that either candidate can acquire the delegates necessary to win.

Obama will reach 2,024 delegates outside of Florida and Michigan sometime between May 20th and June 21st. From that point, the length of the nomination campaign depends on whether or not deals are struck to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations, and what sort of deals those will be. As such, there are only two contingencies that would result in the nomination campaign continuing into July. First, there is an extreme outside chance that Clinton could go on a remarkable run in the remaining states and territories which pushes the delegate count so close that even if Obama was given all 55 uncommitted delegates in Michigan, there is simply no way to know who is ahead without a roll call at the convention. Second, no deals are struck on Florida and Michigan, and even though Obama has reached 2,024 outside of Florida and Michigan, the Clinton campaign argues it still has a chance if Obama is given no pledged delegates in Michigan.

So, basically we are waiting to see if Clinton can pull off a string of landslides, force a favorable deal in Florida and Michigan, or prevent any deal thus resulting in a floor fight over Florida and / or Michigan at the convention. That is the ultimate delegate math, and that is what this campaign has come down to.

Detailed Pledged Delegate Count
State Reporting C % O % Delegates Clinton Obama
P. Delegates 82.6% 46.7% 52.7% 2,687 1,253.5 1,415.5
Alabama 100% 42% 56% 52 25 27
Alaska 100% 25% 74% 13 4 9
Am. Samoa 100% 57% 42% 3 2 1
Arizona 100% 50% 42% 56 31 25
Arkansas 100% 70% 27% 35 27 8
California 100% 52% 43% 370 204 166
Colorado 99% 32% 67% 55 20 35
Connecticut 100% 47% 51% 48 22 26
Delaware 100% 42% 53% 15 6 9
Dems Abroad 100% 33% 66% 7 2.5 4.5
D.C. 100% 24% 75% 15 3 12
Georgia 100% 31% 67% 87 27 60
Hawaii 100% 24% 76% 20 6 14
Idaho 100% 17% 79% 18 3 15
Iowa 100% 29% 38% 45 14 25
Illinois 99% 33% 65% 153 49 104
Kansas 100% 26% 74% 32 9 23
Louisiana 100% 36% 57% 56 22 34
Maine 99% 40% 59% 24 9 15
Maryland 99% 36% 61% 70 28 42
Massachusetts 100% 56% 41% 93 55 38
Minnesota 99% 32% 66% 72 24 48
Mississippi 100% 37% 61% 33 14 19
Missouri 100% 48% 49% 72 36 36
Nebraska 100% 32% 68% 24 8 16
Nevada 100% 51% 45% 25 12 13
New Hampshire 100% 39% 36% 22 9 9
New Jersey 100% 54% 44% 107 59 48
New Mexico 100% 49% 48% 26 14 12
New York 100% 57% 40% 232 139 93
North Dakota 100%. 37% 61% 13 5 8
Ohio 100% 55% 44% 141 75 66
Oklahoma 100% 55% 31% 38 24 14
Rhode Island 100% 58% 40% 21 13 8
South Carolina 100% 27% 55% 45 12 25
Tennessee 100% 54% 41% 68 40 28
Texas Caucus 40% 44% 56% 67 29 38
Texas Primary 100% 51% 47% 126 65 61
Utah 100% 39% 57% 23 9 14
Vermont 100% 39% 59% 15 6 9
Virginia 99% 35% 64% 83 29 54
Virgin Islands 100% 8% 92% 3 0 3
Washington 96% 31% 68% 78 26 52
Wisconsin 100% 41% 58% 74 32 42
Wyoming 100% 38% 61% 12 5 7

Notes

  • The remaining 18 delegates from states with completed results are for John Edwards.
  • Delegate counts for caucus states might alter following county, district and state party conventions, which take place variously from March through June. Click here for a schedule of state conventions.
  • The Michigan Democratic Party has claimed it will send a pledged delegate count of 73 Clinton, 55 uncommitted to the national convention. The DNC has ruled that Michigan has no pledged delegates. This conflict will be worked out by the DNC credentials committee, sometime in June or July. For more on the DNC credentials committee, click here.
  • The Florida Democratic Party has claimed that it will send a pledged delegate count of 105 Clinton, 67 Obama, and 13 Edwards to the national convention. The DNC has ruled that Florida has no pledged delegates. This conflict will be worked out by the DNC credentials committee, sometime in June or July.
  • There are 794 unlpledged, or "super" delegates, to the DNC convention, plus another 54 from Michigan and Florida, and minus 81 add-on delegates (including 5 from Michigan and Florida). Historically, they have lined up behind the pledged delegate leader. In the event that there is no clear pledged delegate leader in June, they will come into play. In that "tiebreaker" event, Clinton currently holds a large, but declining, advantage.
  • For more on a possible brokered convention, click here.

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delegate math (4.00 / 8)
Chris,

You did all that number-crunching and nobody has responded yet?  Let me be the first, and say that without being dismissive of all your good work, I think that the crucial dynamic at play here is not the raw numbers, but the political reality that the Democratic Party will have to confront if the superdelegates decide to hand the nomination to Hillary Clinton in spite of Barack Obama's likely lead in the various metrics.  Here's the scenario I worry about:

Let's suppose that Hillary has a very good day in Pennsylvania, perhaps a 15-20 point win.  If that happens, there is no way the superdelegates are going to move to lock it down for Obama.  It's not too far-fetched to imagine that she will also do fairly well in Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky, chipping away at Obama's lead.  She probably won't overcome his current margin, but she will be close enough to be able to make the case to the superdelegates that she has the momentum, and that the Pastor Wright mess renders Obama unelectable.

Thus, we go into the convention with a bitterly divided Party, with tensions running high, and both of our potential nominees battered and less able to take on McCain in November.  The superdelegates will be in the very uncomfortable position of having to risk alienating the newly-inpspired and huge African-American and youth components of the Party if they hand the prize to Hillary Clinton.  If they give the nod to Obama, the Clinton faction is going to raise all kinds of hell and may not be supportive of Obama in the general election.

I think that we are headed toward a very unhappy ending, largely as a result of insufficient leadership from the Party bosses, and if I were a superdelegate I'd be inclined to slam-dunk it now for Obama. The Clinton camp would have no cause to complain; they started this campaign with 96 committed SD's who didn't even bother to take a look at the other contestants-- they were in Hillary's pocket from the start.  It is also worth noting that the Clinton team was saying that they expected to wrap this whole thing up by Super Tuesday, so they are in no position to claim that the SD's who come out for Obama have acted in haste.  At the moment, Obama leads by every conceivable metric-- pledged delegates, popular vote, states won, caucuses won, and yes- primaries won. The uncommitted SD's who have been patient enough to witness 19 debates and 40 primaries could easily justify their decision to line up behind a nominee so we can begin to consolidate support for our general election candidate.  

The fact that those superdelegates haven't pulled the trigger yet makes me inclined to believe that they are going to let the process run its course, and I'm betting that when we reach July we are all going to wish that they had summoned up the wisdom and the courage to end it back in mid-March.  


The Washington primary?!?!? (4.00 / 3)
Are you serious?  That wasn't even a contest.  The most analogous for those Western state primaries to come is probably the Utah primary...it is in no way the Washington primary.

I agree (0.00 / 0)
The polls coming out of WA before the caucus showed him 10-15 points ahead. I think Obama supporters were more likely to know that the primary didn't count, than HRC supporters were.

I phone-banked for Obama in WA (I live in CA) and reached quite a few HRC supporters who said they'd be voting for her in the primary.


[ Parent ]
Yes (0.00 / 0)
Neither Washington contest is really fully predictive of what a real primary there would have resulted in.

I also think that it's highly unlikely Obama will do as badly as projected in North Carolina.  He'll win by a good ten points, I think.  (And Obama going -26 in Pennsylvania seems pessimistic, as well.)


[ Parent ]
WA Primary & Caucus Challenges (0.00 / 0)
It isn't that HRC supporters didn't KNOW the primary in WA didn't "count". It's that many HRC supporters I spoke with could not attend caucuses because of work and voted for her in the primary as a protest to the caucus system (at least many that I spoke with).

Also, be aware that WA and TX caucus results are now being challenged for irregularities by both campaigns.


[ Parent ]
We are well aware of the schedule conflict (0.00 / 0)
Hillary supporters are at work when caucuses take place, we get that. We also realize that her supporters work while we Obama supporters spend our trust funds. On a positive note for HRC, I guess that valets working at the caucuses would be her supporters and can participate.

I was just noting my anecdotal experience. I talked to quite a few people who firmly mentioned that they had already voted for HRC by mail. One person answered the phone and said she supported HRC while her roommate supported Obama. I mentioned the caucus and she said they were both working that day and couldn't go. I was shocked, maybe the Obama supporter had not reached the age where she started cashing in on her trust fund yet.


[ Parent ]
Thanks Chris! (4.00 / 1)
I truly appreciate your work here, keep it up! Cheers to being able to make a living writing kickass political analysis.

Question re total 4 (0.00 / 0)
Great job.

Total 4 (seat FL, not MI) dumps all the Michigan delegates into remaining and has the same 50%+1 number as Total 5. Why? If Michigan is not counted then why are they a part of the total one must get half of?

Maybe you did not want to over complicate things, but there are  at least the following scenarios:
For FL: seat all, seat all but count as half, seat none.
For MI: seat all, seat but give Obama the uncommitted, seat but just divide between Obama and Clinton.

Yes, there are nine combinations of FL and MI options. Yes, your analysis, by omitting most, is as favorable to Clinton as possible.

Again, good work.



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yeah, I wondered abot Projection 3 too (0.00 / 0)
I think the total without MI should be 4247 and the 50% +1 without MI 2123.5

Thanks for all this amazing work.


[ Parent ]
A Time for Courage (4.00 / 4)
Under every scenario, barring a complete collapse of Obama's campaign, which is highly, highly unlikely, the only way for Hillary Clinton to get the nomination is to reverse his pledged delegate victory.  That is a fact that everyone must face squarely.  She will have many arguments - winner of the big states, winner of the primaries that count, winner of the most important swing states, possibly even big mo if she ranks up victories in 7 or 8 of the remaining contests - to try to convince the superdelegates to override Obama's pledged delegate lead and award her the prize.  But it will only happen after a long, bloody fight, and none of those arguments will wash with Obama's supporters or with history.  This picture is perfectly clear to most observers right now.  I repeat: Hillary can only win by convincing enough SDs to overrule Obama's pledged delegate lead, and they simply will not do it.  Courage is what she needs - to call a press conference first thing Monday morning, and concede.  The uncommitted SDs are probably hoping she will do this on her own, so it doesn't appear that she was coerced.  I agree with the contributor above that they better not wait for her too long, and John McCain will be our next President.  Will she concede?  Has she the courage?  I sincerely hope she does.  She will need to have someone around her who will serve her better than the people she has enlisted to date, including her husband. Maybe she will take counsel from Bill Richardson's endorsement; she must know how difficult a choice that was for him - and yet he made it because the reasons for doing so were compelling.  So are the reasons for Hillary to concede.

Absolutely (4.00 / 1)
Also, if Hillary gets the SD to switch at the convention, how do you think African Americans will feel if Obama goes in with the lead in pledged delegates and it's overturned by the supers? Do you think they will flock to the polls in November to support the person that robbed them.

At this point, it is better to lose the election with Obama than to even try with Hillary.


[ Parent ]
I know what you're saying (0.00 / 0)
about African Americans, but as a white guy, I'd feel pretty friggin' robbed as well.  

[ Parent ]
The real question is: (0.00 / 0)
How much damage can the party take and still prevail?  By all measures this campaign is for the democrats to lose.  And if the candidates and/or the democratic leadership (DNC/DLC) don't start making decisions then it really won't matter who the democratic nominee is--the GE will be lost before the real election process begins.

[ Parent ]
If HRC gets the nomination (0.00 / 0)
with neither the pledged delegate lead nor the popular vote lead, I'd put my life savings on McCain. If she's wins by way of superdelegates, a lot of dems will collectively lose their shit.

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't take your bet (0.00 / 0)
because I'm certain you are right!

[ Parent ]
Probably no fight; but if any, perhaps not so bloody (0.00 / 0)
Reversing the popular vote margin won't happen at all as things stand, with Obama apparently having survived the Pastor Wright problem.  Hillary and the rest of us will want to see what happens in Penna, Kentucky, and West Virginia -- as well as the others -- though, before too much stock goes into that "apparently."

If Wright and the "Barack X" attacks do damage him enough, though, we'll have an entirely different ballgame, in which your scenario is not as compelling.  If Obama's support craters, he'll lose superdelegates and potentially even current pledged delegates.  That's not the way to bet, right now, but it's also not yet so incredibly unlikely as to justify dismissing it.  So we fight on until the numbers, the superdelegates, or the muses of the second-place candidate say otherwise.

I speak only for myself, not for those voices in the next room that won't leave me alone.


[ Parent ]
Exactly why I come here (0.00 / 0)
But really, Obama can veto the 'seat Michigan as is' scenario. Why on earth do we still consider it?

I think you should come to that line of thinking and declare the race for Obama.

Come on Chris, everyboby's doing it :)


The only way it happens... (0.00 / 0)
...is if the race is over.  Then he can look magnanimous by supporting their seating.  As long as Hillary is jousting with a turbine, MI and FL can expect to be pawns.  As soon as the tilting is over, the delegations will probably be seated without any additional to-do.

Yeah I blog.

[ Parent ]
Shifting (0.00 / 0)
As in Iowa, I believe there will be continued modest but meaningful gains for Obama in add-ons and other second & third tier delegate selection proceedings.  Iowa was a special case because of Edwards, but trends favor Obama.  This is politics and politicians will gravitate toward the leader, that is what politicians do.  They gravitated toward the early frontrunner but ever since her peak, before Iowa, there has been a shifting of the "plates" that form the basis of the Democratic Party which should culminate in an earthquake well before Denver.  Of course, it's fragile and I don't think we have seen the last of the slimy kitchen sink being tossed toward Obama.  It's such a long time until the Convention.  Once the Democratic party has crossed the rubicon I just don't think they will look backward.

Michigan District Conventions postponed (0.00 / 0)
Michigan has been scheduled to hold their District Conventions on March 29, which would have given us the first read on what would happen to the 55 Uncommitted votes. The conventions have been postponed to April 19.

Also, as mentioned above, the math in Projection 3/Total 4 is very confusing. This projection is supposed to show a deal to sit Florida only. It's misleading to then show Michigan's delegates in the Remainder column as that assumes Michigan's delegates will also be counted in some way, but that's not part of this projections assumptions.

DemConWatch


Total 5 makes it as clear as day (0.00 / 0)
That if every state in the union and every voter who wanted to vote in the Democratic primary votes that Hillary Clinton would be in the lead...

AND THAT IS WHY BARACK OBAMA IS MAKING SURE BY HOOK OR CROOK OR ANY UNETHICAL SCHEME IMAGINABLE THAT NOT ALL DEMOCRATS WILL BE ALLOWED TO VOTE.

A nasty, contentious convention is on hi sdoorstep...because revotes in Michigan and Ohio would be an indisputable and definitive end...one that would be accepted by almost everyone...It would be over...but he won't because he's more afraid he might lose than and not concerned about its effect on the Democratic party or the election in November.

If a Republican was doing this we would be howling bloody murder...but since it's Barck Obama who can do no wrong...it's wonderful!!!

This is going to be how he governs...there will be no holding him accountable.  The front page bloggers may come to a cruel realization but the acolyte readers won't allow it.

He will have coopted this movement.


"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"
Stoller


No it doesn't (4.00 / 1)
There are 55 pledged delegates from Michigan voters who specifically chose not to vote for Hillary Clinton despite that no one else was listed on the ballot.  So at best (for your case), it leaves things uncertain, even after counting results from irregular elections that all of the candidates agreed not to contest.

[ Parent ]
What we really know (0.00 / 0)
is that Obama is ahead of Clinton based on pledged delegates, popular vote, number of states won, and is pretty much tied with Clinton in super delegates that are assigned to elected representatives (Se., Rep., Gov's), but Clinton has the lead in super delegates ONLY from DNC/DLC.

This means that Clinton beats Obama in the race for the nomination only in the support received from non-elected democratic party elite.  ALL other stakeholders in this contest support Obama--and not by just a little bit!


[ Parent ]
The representatives of the people of Michigan (0.00 / 0)
forfeited their right to vote on their behalf.  That's what "having rules" means.  Obama didn't do it.  And if they could have come up with a plan earlier for letting everyone vote who should have been allowed to vote -- that is, not only registered Democrats, but those who Democrats who voted in the Republican primary because there was no Democratic contest -- it may well have succeeded.  Hillary's campaign didn't do so because they started too late, didn't offer an equitable plan, and wanted to grind the axe of popular disgruntlement.

Given the prospect that the vote would be split fairly evenly, sinking her last hope, Hillary didn't really want a vote anyway: she wanted to make a proposal that would seem fair to partisans and to those who aren't paying close attention, have it be rejected, and then blame the failure to vote on Obama.  She's not getting away with it.

I speak only for myself, not for those voices in the next room that won't leave me alone.


[ Parent ]
Your argument amounts to this absurd unfairness (0.00 / 0)
If some small number of people  don't get to vote in Michigan twice...than all the Democrats in Michigan shouldn't be allowed to vote at all.

The Obama people are such sticklers for rules ...well that was a DNC rule.

And you misrepepresnt who the Obama camapign was fighting for their right to vote twice.  Those who voted in the Repbulican primary might be Democrats or they are much more likely to be Republicans.  So the Obama campaign was fighting for the right of Republicans to vote twice.

But really this objection was just a poison pill meant to kill any revote plans.

She wanted a vote...the Obama people don't want a vote...This election would be settled in June if not for Obama's moral cowardice ...the person dragging this to a nasty convention is Barack Obama...

Votes in Michigan and Florida would mean every element of the race would be known in June and the Superdelegates can actually make a decision.  

"Incrementalism isn't a different path to the same place, it could be a different path to a different place"
Stoller


[ Parent ]
There was an easy solution: (0.00 / 0)
Registered Democrats who voted in the GOP primary this year should have been allowed to vote in a do-over.  This is because there was no Michigan primary, according to the rules.  The GOP primary occurred in January, and the Democratic primary would occur in June.  There is nothing to stop one from re-registering in between those times.

The bigger problem is that because Granholm and Levin et al. decided to gamble the state's right to participate in the nomination, there is no "correct answer" to what could be done here.  Hillary ostensibly needed the vote to take place more than Obama did -- not really, because she felt she was better off with a grievance than a vote -- and so she should have agreed to quite reasonable terms that would allow the most Democrats to vote.

As for "moral cowardice": heh.  Rich coming from a supporter of the Fabulist of Tuzla and Richard Scaife's new religion-dictating BFF.

I speak only for myself, not for those voices in the next room that won't leave me alone.


[ Parent ]
Thanks Chris (0.00 / 0)
Your detailed analysis is why I've been reading your for all these years.  

this is all unrealistic (4.00 / 1)
Let's intrude some reality into these scenarios.

Michigan's January results aren't going to be seated unless 1) Obama has already wrapped up the nomination with superdelegates or 2) Clinton has surged ahead in pledged delegates and thus controls the credentials committee in which case she is going to be the nominee anyway. The chances of Florida's January results being seated as is are only slightly better. A far more likely scenario is a 50/50 delegate split in both states.

Secondly as we have already seen (John Lewis for instance) superdelegates are not locked in stone. If Clinton doesn't blow Obama away in the remaining contests thereby showing that he is mortally injured by Wright and he ends up with the pledged delegate lead (especially if he has a majority of all pledged delegates), the most contests won, and the most primary votes, then even Clinton's superdelegates are going to accept he is the nominee and most of them will switch to avoid a convention fight and start the general election campaign.

In short the only scenario that gives Clinton the nomination is she wins the remaining contests by huge margins and overtakes Obama's pledged delegate lead or at least gets it so close that the superdelegates are forced to conclude Obama is damage goods and instead hand the nomination to her. I don't see that happening especially after her Bosnia lie.  


The real delegate math (4.00 / 1)
at this juncture is the count on the credentials committee.  I don't think anyone has done the math on that and it's the most vital piece of information out there.  If Obama gets to 2024 AND has control of the credentials committee, the race is over, since he'll have the ability to dictate the terms of whatever Michigan/Florida deal is made.  In my mind, the most likely scenario is some sort of even split that doesn't tilt the balance Clinton's way.  If Clinton controls the credentials committee, all bets are off, but the magic number will still be 2024 floor votes on the credentials committee report.  Even in that case, Obama has the upper hand -- if his floor operation is disciplined enough.  Given the number of contests Obama has won, he should have a lead in the standing committee slots, but I haven't done the math and the allocation formulas are different than for the pledged at-large and PLEO delegates.

A separate issue is the Ausman challenge that argues that the DNC violated the Charter by unseating the DNC members from Florida and Michigan.  I think there's a valid counterargument to that, but it will be decided by the Rules and Bylaws Committee, not the credentials committee.  It's worth remembering that there are a lot of Clinton people on the RBC and the decision will essentially be a political one, not one on the merits.  So, at this point, you can't discard entirely the possibility that the RBC may reinstate those DNC members, who tilt heavily to Clinton.  That, too, may shake up the math a bit.


Indeed - and it comes with a small states bonus (0.00 / 0)
That is indeed a spreadsheet on its own, and a big one at that. But I'll take a guess: All states get one rep, and reps have to be divisible by one, which in all likelyhood means smaller states will have a larger say, relatively, which would benefit 1. the delegate leader and 2. the one who have won most states.

Which makes it all but certain taht Obama will control the credentials committee. (But please, someone, do that math!)


[ Parent ]
Preliminary calculations (0.00 / 0)
Based on this file, detailing the number of delegates from each state (pdf), it seems Obama would have the edge.

Sates like Alaska, Idaho, DC (an "as if"-state for this purpose), Hawaii, NH, and so on get 1 member(as does Arkansas). States with 2 members, like Arizona, CT, LA, and Kentucky, will split 1-1. And the members from more populous states, like California and Illinois, will be split proportionally. The system is quite proportional to the delegate math, but slightly beneficial to the candidate who has won most states with an odd number of delegates (including one) and that will benefit Obama.

The 25 members nominated by Howard Dean are not likely to shift that balance.


[ Parent ]
Forget about Michigan 73-0 already (4.00 / 1)
Chris, I read your blog regularly, and with great pleasure, and I moved here from mydd with you, but I registered anew anly to make this comment: You are thinking way to much about a hypothetical question, making way to much math based on faulty assumptions. (And I don't mean the error in total 4/projection 3, which you will find soon enough.) But thanks anyway, you have showed that Obama will be roughly 100 delegates ahead in June, not counting FL/MI, and that is under some quite preferable assumptions for Clinton.

As several commenters have pointed out: Every scenario for a Clinton nomination means SDs overriding an Obama win in pledged delegate winner (and just forget the 73-0 in Michigan). It. Won't. Happen.

What is left for Senator Clinton now, is looking for the most dignified (least undignified) climb-down. Losing at the convention will be THE night-mare scenario for her. She will only take it to the convention if she thinks she can actually pull it of there. And it will have dawned on her now, at least after her "uncomfortable" talk with Bill Richardson Thursday night, that she will not be able to win from behind at the convention, barring some extreme unforeseen event.

Which means: At what point in time between now and August will be the least painful time to concede? Not after Pennsylvania, not after NC/IN, because that's before W.Virginia, not just before or after Kentucky, and not just before or after Puerto Rico. And not on June 4th, because she will have slightly more delegates than now. Which means, the least painful time to suspend her campaign will be well before voting starts inn Pennsylvania. The party leaders are pressuring her already, hard. Count on it.

A worthwhile use of time, however would be calculating the balance of the credentials committee, and the rules committee. Should be doable without too much work, based on your above spreadsheet. My assumption would be that Obama's edge in states won, in combination with his delegate lead, would put him firmly in control of these committees.


after NC/IN (0.00 / 0)
why would that not be the least painful time? she gets beat. has her wins in Penn erased, Obama looks solid, she could drag it out but wouldn't be enough. At that point she can fold on having hoped to win both (unrealistic but it will make a good excuse that most people will allow) and she's out while saving face.

Before Penn will never happen because of all the build up to Penn already. She's not going to concede the fight before having it (again).

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare


[ Parent ]
Because of West Virginia is May 13th (0.00 / 0)
That's because West Virginia is up the following week, where Sen. Clinton would expect to do well. (Rust Belt / Appalachia, her best region.)

Yes, your point about the problem of suspending before Penn is is a good onn, but my point is that her suspending her campaign at any later stage (at least until mid-June) is even more painful. The alternatives are: 1. Exiting (or "suspending") right away, or: 2. Suspending in mid-June, because the SDs jump ship. The latter scenario is more embarrassing.

Edwards conceded a week before Super-Tuesday. Remember what he said as late as three days before?

"I'm in, until the convention" is the most often repeated lie in presidential primary politics. You go full throttle, or you pull the plug. There's no option in between.


[ Parent ]
Obama % is Total 5 is incorrect, I think. (0.00 / 0)
Isn't it supposed to be 38.7% or have I missed something?

OK, I'm wrong. Just skip last comment. (0.00 / 0)


Evil Superdelegates (0.00 / 0)
Lord, but I hate to intrude on these Obama back-patting parties (all over the Internet, especially in the far left hemisphere), but y'all act as if superdelegates are these nefarious evil-doers against "justice" in the Democratic Party. If you don't like the rules, change them after this election cycle is over, but stop acting like they're taking something away by making a determination, based possibly on factors other than "pledged delegate" count.

Only 46% of voters believe that SDs should support the candidate with the most pledged delegates. By contrast, 30% believe that SDs should support the candidate who can win a GE and 21% believe that SDs should choose whomever they want. (CBS News poll).

I happen to believe that HRC is the most electable in a GE. Polls conducted over the last few days indicate that she fares better than BHO in critical states that Dems need to win in November. Obama is losing white middle-class voters in upcoming primaries, in part because he has never really connected with them and their needs, in part because of the Wright "hate speech." Anybody who thinks these voters don't matter really is deluded. Neither candidate can win a GE without them and the way things are headed, it doesn't look good for Obama. Clinton is surely anethema to the far-left hemisphere of the Democratic Party, but she "gets it" among centrist, left-centrist voters nationwide.

It would be nice, just once, if Obama's campaign and his cadre of followers would take a look at the "other" realities on the ground among voters other than highly-educated, intellectual class of the party. These voters don't read the blogs, follow the Internet gossip, subscribe to left, center or right-wing online ezines.
Obama ignores these voters at his -- and the party's -- peril.


Sadly, you ignore the case that would be made as well or better (0.00 / 0)
by Fox News, which gets the credit for flogging the Wright affair, against what they will say is the radical lesbian Marxist feminist Hillary Clinton, who they will also smear as a serial liar (on Bosnia and elsewhere) in league with her corrupt (considering the trip to Kazakhstan with his big donor) husband.

There's no safe choice.  Might as well not overturn the popular will in search of one.

I speak only for myself, not for those voices in the next room that won't leave me alone.


[ Parent ]
Because of West Virginia is May 13th (0.00 / 0)
That's because West Virginia is up the following week, where Sen. Clinton would expect to do well. (Rust Belt / Appalachia, her best region.)

[ Parent ]
Sorry, forget the above comment (4.00 / 1)
replied to the wrong comment.

[ Parent ]
Clinton "electability" not credible (0.00 / 0)
Precisely because the superdelegates would be considered evil by Obama supporters. This is how the Clinton "electability" concept breaks down. The superdelegates understand that they would be wounding the party which would make Clinton unelectable. That. is. the. point. Clinton electability in the general requires that she win more pledged delegates in the primary.

[ Parent ]
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