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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Democratic Primary Delegates and Projections

Here are enough numbers to make you grin and enough analysis to make you cry.

Updated pledged delegate count in the Democratic Primary:

Hard Count (Allocated pledged delegates... the only thing we know for sure)
Obama - 1,168
Clinton - 1,018
Unallocated - 53 (19 in Maryland, 10 in Colorado, 10 in Georgia, 6 in Wisconsin, 4 in Hawaii, and one each in DC, Tennessee, New York and Illinois.
Difference - Obama +150
Presidential Politics for America analysis: For a month, I have been projecting 150 as approximately the lead Obama would need to maintain a pledged delegate lead and superdelegate lead through March 4th. This lead combined with his ten-straight-contests momentum, he will easily maintain his lead in both categories through March 4th.

MSNBC's conservatively projected split from the unallocated 53 delegates is 27-26 in favor of Obama, bringing the projected pledge delegate standings to:
Obama - 1,195
Clinton - 1,044
Difference - Obama +151
Remaining - 981
Percentage of remaining pledged delegates needed by Obama to win pledged delegates - 44%
PPFA analysis: Slap a guarantee on this: Obama will win pledged delegates. Clinton cannot comeback in that category.

Delegate count with superdelegates:
Obama - 1,195 + 185 superdelegates = 1,355
Clinton - 1,044 + 257 superdelegates = 1,276
Difference - Obama +79
PPFA analysis: As the number of announced superdelegates grew, Clinton's lead in the category was supposed to have grown with it. Instead, as Obama keeps pace, her percentage lead in superdelegates shrinks. This is yet another sign of momentum for Obama. He can cut into the superdelegate lead if he maintains a pledged delegate and popular vote lead for the rest of the contest, and he will.

Pledged Delegates up for grabs on March 4th (Clinton's last stand):
Texas - 193
Ohio - 141
Rhode Island - 21
Vermont - 15
Total - 370
PPFA analysis: A surprise to no one who has paid attention to this blog or the mainstream media, March 4th is Clinton's last stand. If she does not win both Texas and Ohio, you might see a Clinton concession some time in March. If she wins both, even by the smallest of margins, she will stay in at least until the Pennsylvania Primary on April 22nd, continually reminding us that she wins the big states.

If Clinton wins an unlikely 60% of the split on March 4th:
Clinton - 222 pledged delegates
Obama - 148 pledged delegates
Difference - Clinton +74
PPFA analysis: It is highly unlikely that Hillary Clinton wins 60% of the pledged delegates on March 4th, so we will consider this the most extreme plausible scenario. She would have to win 60-62% of the vote in Texas and Ohio, which means winning by 20-25 points. Her lead has not been that large in those states in months, and one would expect those leads to shrink to single digits with Obama's unchecked momentum since February 5th.

Totals delegate count, superdelegates included, with the unlikely 60/40 split on March 4th:
Obama - 1,503
Clinton - 1,498
Difference - Obama +5

PPFA Final Analysis: Even with Clinton's very best performance on March 4th, she still trails pledged delegates by 80-100, and trails in the overall delegate count by a handful. Of course, if she pulls off 60% of the vote on March 4th, the following scenario could unfold:

1. A lot more superdelegates will come out of the woodworks to support her, and she might be able to reclaim her total delegate lead on the morning of March 5th.
2. Luckily for Clinton, she does not have to be in the lead on the morning of March 5th. This entire primary has been shifts of momentum. If she can significantly win Ohio and Texas, she would reclaim the momentum heading into Pennsylvania's 158 delegates on April 22nd, where she currently has a commanding lead in the polls. With only tiny Wyoming and small Mississippi separating March 4th from Pennsylvania, it would be difficult for Obama to reclaim momentum.
3. This would lead to Clinton officially reclaiming the total delegate lead on April 22nd, and with even more momentum at that point, the eventual nomination when superdelegates push her over the top.
4. This would lead to a loud but ultimately benign outcry from the electorate. In an attempt to appease the masses, Clinton asks Obama to be on the ticket, an offer he respectfully declines for several reasons.
5. Clinton gets beat by McCain in November
6. Obama beats McCain's vice-president in 2012.

Of course, that is all under the assumption Clinton wins by a convincing margin on March 4th, 2008. First things first.


The Dude said...

Nice breakdown. The primary season is clearly more about hype in that the numbers dont lie, but people surely do. The superdelagates situation is a mess, and both candidates are secretly hoping to use it to win while publically repudiating the system. Then their is the Michigan/Florida situation. Is a fink like Howard Dean going to solve this situation? I see it going into at least April.
The projections just make me chuckle. We are living in a post 2/3 world. Nothing is sure thing.

Aaron said...

Clinton will win enough military votes (the sensible ones who dont want to be in a war) to keep McCain out of the Whitehouse. Obama wont win those votes, he is too much of an obvious liberal wimp. The only way Obama gets to the Whitehouse is as Clinton's running mate. McCain can't use the same tactics on CLinton that he would use on Obama. And those are his only tactics at this point. MCCain has to appeal to the right, or they wont turn out to vote, so he cant be all touchy feely with the middle like he usually is. Clinton, if she gets the nomination, will easily hold all of the left, and she has a long history of appeal to the middle. Obama, on the other hand, will turn off the middle, he is too fruity. More importantly, the military vote will go to either McCain or Clinton, but certainly noit to Obama, again, he is too floppy wristed. The war-lovers will vote McCain no matter what, but the smart military folks will vote for Clinton if they have the chance, because they want the war to end. Now, Obama promises to end the war, too, but he is a baby in the foreign policy department, and it shows. The Military voters have zero confidence in him. Even the smart military folks would rather be in a war with a good leader who knows what he is doing than vote for a guy who might screw it up because he is too weeny.

Anonymous said...

Um, I noticed that Ron Paul is considered out of the race. This is wrong. McCain is the presumptive nominee. The Texas delegates don't vote until september. I'm not saying that Ron Paul has a chance, because to be honest it is highly unlikely for him to make it to a brokered convention. But the bias is starting to irritate me. Makes me believe that this country isn't for American's, it's for politicians.

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