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Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Presidential Politics for America Average

Democratic Standings

As most political junkies know, we do not have an exact delegate count in the Democratic Primary. Different websites and news networks have different tallies. For example...

(pd=pledged delegates, sd=superdelegates)
CNN has
Barack Obama: 1413 pd + 208 sd = 1,621 total
Hillary Clinton: 1242 pd + 237 sd = 1,479 total
Difference: Obama +171 pd, -29 sd = +142 total

Obama: 1408 pd + 217 sd = 1,625 total
Clinton: 1251 pd + 255 sd = 1,506 total
Difference: Obama + 157 pd, -38 sd = +119 total

Goobergunch Political Report has
Obama: 1377.5 pd + 209 sd = 1,586.5 total
Clinton: 1224.5 pd + 227 sd = 1471.5 total
Difference: Obama + 153 pd, -18 sd = +135 total

Wikipedia has
Obama: 1414 pd + 209 sd = 1,623 total
Clinton: 1252.5 pd + 246 sd = 1498.5
Difference: Obama + 161.5 pd, -37 sd = +124.5 total

Real Clear Politics has
Obama: 1414 pd + 213 sd = 1627 total
Clinton: 1246 pd + 248 sd = 1494 total
Difference: Obama + 168 pd, -35 sd = 133 total

Yahoo has
Obama: 1404 pd + 213 sd = 1,617 total
Clinton: 1249 pd + 250 sd = 1,499 total
Difference: Obama +155 pd, -37 sd = 118 total

Confusing right? Why can't they agree, especially considering it's been over a week since the last primary? Well, there are a few reasons.

Similar to election nights, some sources like to be the first to call a state. In primaries, often times you will have results from a state broken up by districts. Some districts take over a week to confirm their voting, and news sources vary as to when they will add the district to their voting totals.

What adds to the confusion is that some states don't choose all of their delegates on the day of the primary. Some state rules wait until later in the primary season and make amendments. For an example, read this week's post on the Iowa Caucus.

Also, superdelegates are fluid. For anyone who has played close attention, the number of superdelegates for Hillary Clinton, from some sources, has actually declined in the past month. Superdelegates are not locked in until the convention, and that includes this summer after the final primary in June. Potentially, they could all decide to support one candidate to push them over the top. Both candidates are fighting like heck to win these superdelegates early. They want to make their total delegate numbers, broadcasted constantly by the networks, to look gaudier, thereby attracting more voters. If Clinton were to look like she was out of it, her voters would be suppressed.

Anyway, websites and networks can estimate the superdelegate count at their discretion. What counts as a commitment? Who makes the final decision to change the number? Which candidate's internal total do they trust?

Clearly, many factors are at play, and a true delegate count will not be known until the Democratic National Convention at the end of August, when the delegates officially record their votes before the national committee.

Therefore and finally, I unveil the Presidential Politics for America Average (or PPFAA), averaging the numbers from the above six sources. This will be the number I use until the Democratic Party has a nominee. Here is the first such aggregate count:

PPFA has:
Obama: 1405 pd + 212 sd = 1,617 total
Clinton: 1244 pd + 244 sd = 1,488 total
Obama is up 161 in pledged delegates
Clinton is up 32 in superdelegates (subject to change without a primary)

Obama is up 139 in total delegates.

1 comment:

Tim L said...

I think you should add Fair & Balanced to the title of your blog. Come to think of it, where was Fox News on your list of news sources?

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