Clinton’s Chances of Overtaking Obama Now Smaller

After the March 4th primaries, I wrote a blog post asking whether Clinton could possibly overtake Obama in the race for pledged delegates.  I pointed out that her chances of doing this were poor even if Florida and Michigan have new primaries or caucuses.  I wanted to give an update of that analysis after tonight’s Mississippi primary which Obama won.

CNN finally posted estimated delegate counts for the Texas caucus from last Tuesday. Their estimates match the ones I gave in my prior post: 38 for Obama and 29 for Clinton. The combined results of the Texas primary and caucus were: Obama: 99, Clinton: 94. So, Obama won Texas as far as delegates were concerned.  Clinton did win the March 4th contests as a group, cutting Obama’s pledged delegates lead by 6.  However, Obama increased his lead by 2 on Saturday in Wyoming and by 7 in tonight’s Mississippi primary.

Despite all the talk about Clinton’s resurgence, Obama has actually increased his pledged delegate lead by 3 since the Wisconsin primary. That might not sound like much, but it is significant because there are now 415 fewer pledged delegates left to be divided than there were on February 19. In fact, there are now only 566 pledged delegates (not counting Michigan and Florida) in future contests and Obama currently holds a lead of 162 pledged delegates (using CNN’s numbers on March 11th).  Clinton now has to win 364 of the remaining pledged delegates in order to catch up to him. That represents 64.3% of the remaining pledged delegates.  If Michigan and Florida do have new contests, then there will be a total of 879 pledged delegates remaining.  In that case, Clinton would have to win 521 of the remaining delegates or 59.2% of them.  Either way, she now has to win a higher percentage of the remaining delegates than she did 1 week ago.

The primaries are like a marathon. Clinton is approximately the same distance behind Obama at the 22 mile mark as she was at the 20 mile mark. With only 4 miles left to run, her chances of winning are now smaller than before.

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One Response to “Clinton’s Chances of Overtaking Obama Now Smaller”

  1. rberlind Says:

    Sam Stein of The Huffington Post wrote a good blog post pointing out that the Obama camp is pointing out that it is also unlikely that Clinton can overtake Obama in the total popular vote. See

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/12/obama-camp-our-popular-v_n_91118.html

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