Mienfoking Films

Mienfoking Films
Reality Check ?

Friday, February 8, 2008


Here is the math on the Democratic side:

* There are 3253 delegates up for grabs in all the Democratic primaries and caucuses. 1829 have already been decided, 1424 more are in play.
* The current count: Hillary Clinton 885, Barack Obama 918, (Edwards 26).
* The number needed to nominate is 2025. Therefore, Hillary would need 1140 out of the remaining 1424 (80%). Obama would need 1107/1424 (78%).

It is not possible for either candidate to acquire 78% or more when the delegates are apportioned proportionally (although it would be possible in winner-take-all contests), so neither candidate can win the nomination from pledged delegates alone. The winner will be determined by the so-called superdelegates.

Unlike what the networks might have led you to believe, Barack's big night on Saturday brought him farther away from clinching the nomination with pledged delegates, not closer. Before the night began he needed 76% of the remaining delegates, now he needs 78%. Why? On the surface, it sounds impressive that he took 64% of the delegates available. But since he needed 76% of the remaining delegates to clinch the nomination, every primary where he gets less than that percentage increases the percentage he needs in the others. The only consolation he can take is that he pushed Hillary's requirement up from 76% to 80%

Needless to say, the cable networks do not really want you to understand this because they want you to tune in to their coverage of important primaries, as opposed to tuning out their coverage of perfunctory rituals which are nearly meaningless.

It is possible that either Hillary or Barack will go to the convention with enough to win if the locked-in superdelegates are included. Right now the delegate count including superdelegates is Clinton 1108, Obama 1049. (Clinton has 223 superdelegates in her column.)

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