MSNBC Estimated Obama Won More Delegates on Super Tuesday

Early this morning at 12:49 am EST, the Political Director of MSNBC, Chuck Todd, estimated that Barack Obama will probably end up winning more delegates than Hillary Clinton.  With counting still going on in California and New Mexico, Todd estimated that Obama would end up with 841 delegates while Clinton would fall slightly behind him with 837.  He predicted this even though MSNBC and CNN both declared that Hillary Clinton would win the popular vote in California.  Todd went on to say that his margin of error is probably about 10, meaning that 10 votes could shift one way or the other.  Even if 10 delegates shifted to Clinton, she would only end up beating him by 847 to 831, a margin of 16 delegates or less than 1% of all the delegates contested on Super Tuesday. Either way one slices the numbers, Super Tuesday was effectively a tie for the Democrats.  But a tie is a big victory for Obama given the enormous lead Clinton had in all the polls one month ago.

Having just raised $32 Million in January, Obama is in this race for the long haul which could be all the way to the Democratic convention in Denver in August.


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6 Responses to “MSNBC Estimated Obama Won More Delegates on Super Tuesday”

  1. rberlind Says:

    As of 1:15 pm EST on 2/6, MSNBC indicated that Obama had won 838 delegates while Clinton won 834 in the Super Tuesday Democractic primaries and caucuses. So, Chuck Todd’s estimates were on target.

  2. scotchcart Says:

    What are the numbers they have in hand? Over here in the UK we are being told that Clinton is 100 ahead.

  3. rberlind Says:

    My blog post only counted pledged delegates won on Super Tuesday itself. One hears different numbers about delegates for the Democratic Party depending on whether the source includes (unpledged) superdelegates who are members of the Democratic Party who hold elected or party offices. There are a total of 796 of these this year. Some of them have announced who they plan to support while others have not. But they are all free to change their mind at any time. The delegates selected during the primaries and caucuses are pledged to vote for specific candidates unless those candidates drop out of the race and release them to vote for other candidates. Additionally, some sources like The New York Times do not count pledged delegates until they are officially selected which can happen some time after the state has its caucus or primary. For instance, the Times does not currently list any delegates from the Iowa caucus since the pledged delegates will not be officially selected until June 14, 2008.

    For more details about how The New York Times counts delegates, see

    For the actual 2008 delegate selection rules of the Democratic Party, see

  4. Jo Says:

    Now this is most un-American! This famously precise culture!

    So no-one knows who’s ahead? When would you find out who has won the race?

  5. rberlind Says:

    We might not know which Democrat wins the nomination until the Democratic convention in Denver which is being held August 25-28.

  6. rberlind Says:

    A good article was written by Tom Curry on today about how different news outlets including MSNBC count and report delegate counts:

    By the way, NBC News estimated the popular vote in the Super Tuesday Democratic voting as follows: Clinton: 7,347,971, Obama: 7,294,851. So, it does appear that Clinton won the popular vote nationwide.

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