Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Delegate math update

For those who may still be unconvinced of the futility of Hillary Clinton’s continuing bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, MSNBC has helpfully run the numbers again:

Obama leads among pledged delegates 1408-1251; Clinton leads among superdelegates, 255-218. Added together, Obama's overall delegate lead is 120, 1626-1506. Now, what's left? There are still 10 pledged delegates NBC News hasn’t allocated from contests already held. In addition, there are 566 delegates at stake in the remaining contests. On the supers front, there are 321 folks who haven't picked sides (76 of whom have yet to be named; they'll get named at state convention meetings held between now and the end of June). OK, now, let's play the math game. If the remaining contests split up "as expected" meaning Clinton wins her base states (PA, KY, WV etc.) and Obama wins his base states (NC, OR, MT etc.) and the two split Indiana down the middle, the two campaigns will likely split those 566 delegates right down the middle 283-283 (margin of error +/- 5 delegates). This means Obama would need 34% of the uncommitted superdelegates to hit the magic 2024 number, while Clinton would need 72% of the uncommitted Supers to hit 2024.  

And splitting the remaining delegates down the middle is probably an overly optimistic scenario for Hillary right now. But even if that does happen, she has to somehow persuade an overwhelming majority of the Super delegates (72 percent) to overturn the will of the Democratic primary voters and support her at the convention. Ain’t gonna happen.

In the meantime, the Jeremiah Wright controversy is starting to fade as the pack-dog press has turned its attention to chasing a sex scandal in the Detroit Mayor’s office; Obama has increased his poll lead in North Carolina to 20 points; and his fundraising efforts continue to outpace Hillary and is leaving John McCain in the dust.

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