Posts Tagged ‘delegates’

Florida and Michigan Will Not Have Revotes

March 18, 2008

During the past two days the Democratic Parties in both Florida and Michigan announced that revotes are unlikely to occur for legal and logistical reasons.  So, the only choices open to the Democratic Party at this point are the following:

  1. Do not seat any delegates from Florida and Michigan.
  2. Allow some of the delegates to be seated with full votes based on the January primaries.
  3. Allow all of the delegates to be seated with partial votes based on the January primaries.
  4. Allow all of the delegates to be seated with full votes based on the January primaries.

While option 1 (the current de facto option) would respect the DNC rules, it could hurt the chances of the Democratic nominee to win Florida and Michigan in the general election.  So, it is not really a good option for the party.  While Barack Obama’s lead would be cut with any of options 2-4, it is in his longer term interest to accept one of them in some form after negotiations with the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and the state parties.

I proposed a Plan B compromise in my prior post on this issue which was a form of option 2 above.  This is the proposed compromise I made:

  1. The DNC should refuse to reinstate any superdelegates from either state for the reasons I previously gave here.
  2. The DNC should reinstate 100% of the pledged delegates from each state that manages to hold a new primary or caucus before the June 10 deadline.  The allocation of delegates would be based on the new contests.
  3. The DNC should reinstate 50% of the pledged delegates from each state that does not hold a new contest.  The allocation of delegates would be based on the January primaries that these states held with the following modification:  in Michigan, the 40% of the vote that was “Uncommitted” would be given to Obama on the assumption that he would have gotten most or all of those votes if his name had been on the Michigan ballot.

I think this  plan is still a good option.  However, to make it more flexible as a framework for negotiating a solution between the Clinton and Obama campaigns, I would like to suggest the following modified version:

  1. The DNC should reinstate superdelegates from these states with partial votes ranging from 0% to 50% of a standard delegate vote.
  2. The DNC should reinstate 100% of the pledged delegates from each state that manages to hold a new primary or caucus before the June 10 deadline.  The allocation of delegates would be based on the new contests.
  3. The DNC should reinstate 50% of the pledged delegates from each state that does not hold a new contest.  The allocation of delegates would be based on the January primaries that these states held with the following modification:  in Michigan, the 40% of the vote that was “Uncommitted” would be given to Obama on the assumption that he would have gotten most or all of those votes if his name had been on the Michigan ballot.
  4. As far as the popular vote is concerned, all votes cast in the January primaries in these states would be fully counted if no new voting contests are held with “Uncommitted” votes in Michigan again being given to Obama.

The modified version allows the superdelegates to be seated at the convention but limits their vote, thereby imposing a direct penalty on the politicians who had the power and knowledge to avoid the rule-breaking primaries in January.  Some penalty on the superdelegates is needed in order to send a clear message to all state parties that their members will pay a personal price for breaking DNC rules in the future.  However, it is flexible enough to give both campaigns some room to negotiate.  It also fully counts each vote cast in Florida and Michigan as far as the popular vote is concerned.

I had previously estimated that Clinton would cut Obama’s pledged delegates lead by about 25 via item 3 above.  Florida has 25 superdelegates while Michigan has 28.  The modification to item 1 above adds an effective total of at most 26.5 delegate votes.  Assuming Clinton received 2/3 of these, she would get 17.5 of these votes while Obama would get 9.  This would cut Obama’s lead by an additional 8.5 delegate votes.  So, even if the superdelegates from Florida and Michigan were seated with half of their normal votes, Clinton would only cut Obama’s lead by about 33.5 delegates under my modified plan.  Given Obama’s current lead of about 142 delegates, he can probably live with this.  Clinton will obviously want more, but 33.5 is better than 0 which is all she currently has from these states.

Plan B for Florida and Michigan

March 13, 2008

I’ve written several posts in this blog advocating that Florida and Michigan should have new primaries or caucuses in the Democratic Presidential race.  Democratic leaders in both states are trying to figure out ways to do this, but an article on MSNBC.com today suggests that legal and logistical problems might prevent this in Florida.  So, this leads me to ask what should be done if one or both states cannot hold new primaries or caucuses.

My Plan B is as follows:

  1. The DNC should refuse to reinstate any superdelegates from either state for the reasons I previously gave here.
  2. The DNC should reinstate 100% of the pledged delegates from each state that manages to hold a new primary or caucus before the June 10 deadline.  The allocation of delegates would be based on the new contests.
  3. The DNC should reinstate 50% of the pledged delegates from each state that does not hold a new contest.  The allocation of delegates would be based on the January primaries that these states held with the following modification:  in Michigan, the 40% of the vote that was “Uncommitted” would be given to Obama on the assumption that he would have gotten most or all of those votes if his name had been on the Michigan ballot.

My plan would satisfy the two principles I laid out in the post I mentioned above, namely that the DNC delegate selection rules should be respected to avoid chaos in future elections and that new contests should be held in Florida and Michigan (if possible) so that voters in those states can have influence on the nomination of the Democratic nominee.  While the DNC stripped these states of all their delegates when it punished them for scheduling early primaries that violated Rule 11.A of the DNC’s Delegate Selection Rules, Rules 20.C.1.a and 20.C.4 only mandated that the DNC strip the states of 50% of their pledged delegates and some specified superdelegates.  The DNC used the discretion it had under Rule 20.C.5 to impose a more severe penalty but presumably still has the discretion to reduce that penalty back to the mandatory penalty or some penalty in between these two extremes.

So, my plan still fully respects the DNC rules.  It also lets the voices of the voters in these states be heard.  While their votes will only count half as much as they could have, this will only happen if their states do not have new contests.  While it would be better if their votes could be counted fully, doing so based on the January primaries would simply not be fair to Senator Obama.  Even allocating 50% of the delegates based on the January primaries is unfair to him, but it is hard to conceive of any solution other than new elections that is fair.

What would the impact of my plan be on the delegate counts if neither state managed to hold new contests? I don’t know exactly how the delegates would be allocated since this would require detailed knowledge about the vote in each congressional district and the delegate allocation rules for these states.  But it is possible to calculate estimates of the pledged delegates that would be allocated based on the vote percentages reported in the original primaries.

Clinton won 49.7% of the vote in the Florida primary while Obama won 33.0%.  Allocating half of Florida’s 185 pledged delegates accordingly would give Clinton 46 delegates and Obama 31, giving her a gain of 15.

Clinton won 55.3% of the vote in the Michigan primary while “Uncommitted” won 40.0%.  Allocating half of Michigan’s 128 pledged delegates accordingly would give Clinton 35 delegates and Obama 26, giving her a gain of 10.

Clinton’s net gain in pledged delegates would therefore be approximately 25 under my plan.  Given that Obama currently has a pledged delegate lead between 150 and 160 , he can probably afford to tolerate a 25 delegate cut in his lead and might agree to do so out of the desire to let the voters in Florida and Michigan have some influence in the nomination process and to make sure they do not harbor resentment towards him in the general election (if he wins the nomination).  He might even do better under my plan than he would if new primaries are held and superdelegates from these states were counted.

Clinton would probably object to this plan since she expects to get more of the superdelegates from these states and would cut Obama’s lead in pledged delegates by 50 if the original primaries were fully counted.  But the chances of that happening are very small, so she might agree to my plan to get some delegates out of these states, especially if one or both of them are unable to schedule new primaries.  Also, even just counting the original January primaries 50% would strengthen her “Big State” argument since she could then claim to have won the legitimized primaries in both states. 

The only potential roadblock to my Plan B is giving Obama the “Uncommitted” vote from Michigan.  But if Clinton agreed to the plan, that should not be problematic.  Of course, if Michigan does hold a new primary, then this issue would disappear.

Clinton’s Chances of Overtaking Obama Now Smaller

March 11, 2008

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.

Comments on Corzine/Rendell Op-Ed Column

March 11, 2008

Apparently, even some of our Democratic governors don’t fully understand the DNC delegate selection rules and are not very good at math.  In an Op-Ed column in today’s Washington Post, Governors Jon Corzine and Edward Rendell write that neither Obama nor Clinton is likely to win 2,025 pledged delegates by the end of the primaries and warn about the downside of having the nomination decided by superdelegates.  “But allowing superdelegates to determine the outcome of our nominating process while 366 pledged delegates, elected by more than 2 million democrats in Michigan and Florida, remain unseated is especially undemocratic.”  Their first mistake is that these two states have a total of 366 delegates (210 from Florida and 156 from Michigan) including both pledged delegates and superdelegates.  The actual number of pledged delegates from these states is 313 (185 from Florida and 128 from Michigan).

They then suggest that having revotes in Florida and Michigan could avoid reliance on the superdelegates: “Fortunately, we do have another, more democratic choice: We can choose to enfranchise Democrats in Florida and Michigan, thereby increasing the likelihood that voters, not politicians or party elders, will determine who faces Sen. John McCain in the fall.” The governors also voice their support for the principles that all voters should be able to participate in the nomination process and that all nominating contests must be fair.

As I indicated in a prior post, the total number of delegates needed to win the Democratic Party’s nomination for President will increase from 2,025 to 2,208 if delegates from Florida and Michigan are reinstated.  There are good reasons for having new primaries in Florida and Michigan (which I have advocated here and here), but making it more likely that one of the candidates can clinch the nomination without superdelegates is not one of them.  The bottom line is that neither candidate is likely to clinch the nomination with pledged delegates alone since the DNC rules allocate delegates from all states proportionally and Clinton and Obama will share the remaining pledged delegates.  For the math on this, see this post.

Corzine and Rendell are right in advocating new primaries in Florida and Michigan, but they should have checked their facts more carefully.  Instead of advocating new primaries as a way of avoiding the nomination being decided by the superdelegates, they should have argued the issue solely on the principles that voters in all states should have a voice in nominating the party’s candidate and that only fair elections should count.

New Clinton Spin on Caucus Delegates

March 10, 2008

Chuck Todd wrote an interesting article on MSNBC today about how the Clinton campaign is now distinguishing between pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses.  Asked how she can win the nomination when she is so far behind in the delegates race, Clinton told Newsweek that there are three kinds of delegates — “elected delegates, caucus delegates, and superdelegates” — by which she clearly meant that “elected delegates” are those selected in primaries. Her phrasing conveys the impression that the caucus delegates were not really elected and somehow have less legitimacy than those won in primaries.  Here is her full answer to the question:

It doesn’t look bleak at all. I have a very close race with Senator Obama. There are elected delegates, caucus delegates and superdelegates, all for different reasons, and they’re all equal in their ability to cast their vote for whomever they choose. Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to. This is a very carefully constructed process that goes back years, and we’re going to follow the process.

Beyond implying that caucus delegates have less legitimacy than those picked in primaries, she also appears to be suggesting that she might try to persuade some of Obama’s pledged delegates to support her at the Democratic National Convention in August.  While that might conform to the rules, it would be highly distasteful and probably harm the Democratic Party.

Clinton obviously could have said “primary delegates, caucus delegates, and superdelegates”, but did not.  She also could have simply talked about “pledged delegates and superdelegates” as is usually done.  It is particularly interesting that she did make the distinction because it was not required to make her point that all the delegates are free to support anyone they want at the convention.  Her wording made Chuck Todd think that Clinton and her campaign staff have been formulating a new argument to discount the importance of the delegates Obama won in so many caucuses, the ones that have given him his big lead over her.  I suspect that her phrasing was a premature and accidental revelation of this new argument.

Todd pointed out that Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania, a Clinton supporter, argued that new caucuses in Florida and Michigan would be less democratic than new primaries.  In fairness, he was talking about Michigan and Pennsylvania and did not imply that delegates won in caucuses should count less than those won in primaries.  But his remarks could be further evidence of the caucus vs. primary argument that the Clinton campaign might be constructing.

Todd calculated that Obama has currently won more delegates than Clinton even just counting those selected in primaries: approximately 1,086-8 to 1,074-6.  But, that is a smaller lead than the one he holds counting all pledged delegates won so far.  This gap is small enough that Clinton could overtake him (in pledged primary delegates) if she wins Pennsylvania’s primary and possible new primaries in Michigan and Florida.  Fortunately for Obama and for the integrity of our democratic process, she can make any argument she wants but all the delegates Obama won in caucuses will still be seated and be able to vote for him.

All that being said, I actually do agree that primaries are more democratic than caucuses and would like to see all states use them in the future.  However, I do not believe it is fair to make a distinction at this point in time for the current election.  Obama won his caucus delegates fair and square and any attempt to discount them should be rejected by the superdelegates.

Florida and Michigan Superdelegates Should Not Be Reinstated

March 10, 2008

While I have been advocating new Democratic primaries in Florida and Michigan in this blog and was one of the first people to propose financing them with money raised through donations, I am against the reinstatement of the superdelegates from these states.

I have consistently supported two principles in several blog posts about the possibility of new primaries in these states:

  1. The DNC delegate selection rules must be respected to avoid chaos in the scheduling of primaries in future elections.
  2. Operating within those rules, Florida and Michigan should hold new primaries or caucuses so that the voices of voters in these states can be heard.

The second principle does not require that the superdelegates should be reinstated.  It is the pledged delegates who represent the voices of the voters based on actual elections.  The superdelegates primarily represent themselves rather than the voters of their states.  It is entirely possible to respect the second principle by holding new primaries in Florida and Michigan and only seating the pledged delegates selected by the voters.  In fact, there are good reasons to not seat the superdelegates if new primaries are held.

The Florida and Michigan Democratic Parties both knew the DNC delegate selection rules ( published in August, 2006) long before these states scheduled their rule-breaking primaries that took place in January.  While an argument can be made that it was the Republican-dominated Florida legislature that set Florida’s January 29 primary date, the Florida Democratic Party could have decided to run its own voting contest on a later date and could have refused to participate on the date picked by the Florida legislature.  The DNC even recommended that Florida have a separate caucus on a later date (that would adhere to the DNC rules) before stripping Florida of its delegates in August, 2007.  So, the Florida Democratic Party had plenty of time to schedule a primary or caucus on a different date.  Unfortunately, Florida’s state party chairwoman, Karen Thurman, complained at the time (in a Washington Post article) that the Florida Democratic Party did not have the money to run its own caucus; she and the rest of the leadership of the Florida Democrats should have been a little creative and searched for ways to raise the required funds as is now being proposed by people like James Carville, Senator Bill Nelson, Governor Corzine, and Governor Rendell.

Similarly, Michigan was stripped of its delegates in November, 2007 after setting its January 15 primary date.  But Michigan Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer arrogantly told MSNBC at the time that he did not think the delegates would be lost for good and said he expected the Democratic presidential nominee would insist that the state’s delegates be seated.  He knew the rules and knew the penalty, but didn’t believe the penalty would stick.

I believe that the superdelegates from Florida and Michigan should not be reinstated for the following reasons:

  1. Florida and Michigan violated the DNC delegate selection rules and deserve some sort of penalty.  While it is desirable to hold new primaries or caucuses in these states so that their voters can participate in the nomination process, these states should not get off scot free.  By not reinstating the superdelegates of these states, the DNC would penalize the people who had the greatest ability to avoid the illegal January primary dates.  This would send a clear message to state-level party leaders in all states that any future attempts to hold early voting contests would ultimately penalize those party leaders directly.
  2. Senator Clinton has been the primary advocate of either reinstating the Florida and Michigan delegates or holding new contests in these states.  She has clearly been motivated by Senator Obama’s lead in the delegates race.  She needs the delegates from these states to be reinstated much more than Obama does.  The voters and superdelegates of these states might therefore be somewhat biased in favor of Clinton because of her advocacy to count their delegates.  There is nothing that can be done about voter bias while respecting principle 2 above; Obama will just have to live with that bias and strive to turn out as many voters as possible.  But it is possible to avoid bias amongst the superdelegates by simply not reinstating them.  (Please note my comment below where I point out that I would want to avoid bias in favor of either candidate and would make the same argument if it was Obama who needed the delegates more than Clinton.)

So, while I continue to advocate new primaries in Florida and Michigan, I oppose the reinstatement of the superdelegates from these states.

Senator Nelson Proposes Plan for New Florida Primary

March 8, 2008

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida told Newsweek  yesterday that he has discussed plans for a new primary in Florida with the Florida Democratic Party, Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist, and the DNC.  His plan is similiar to the proposal  I have made in that it would solve the thorny issue of funding by paying for a new primary with donations.  More specifically, he has proposed that the Florida Democratic Party could raise “soft money” to fund the primary.  This is also similar to what James Carville  seemed to suggest on CNN’s The Situation Room yesterday afternoon.

Nelson indicated that he and Governor Crist met earlier this week and agreed on 3 points about solving the Florida delegate issue:

  1. A revote should be held.
  2. The revote should be a primary conducted via mail-in ballots.
  3. The Florida taxpayers should not bear the costs.

He also indicated that the DNC’s legal counsel determined that it would be legal for the Florida Democratic Party to raise soft money for a revote.

Soft money is money raised by organizations such as 527 groups that is not spent to directly advocate the election of a particular candidate.  For example soft money can be used for voter registration efforts and to promote positions on specific issues.  Individuals and groups can donate more soft money to such groups then they can directly to candidates and the national political parties.  The latter were banned from accepting soft money by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, otherwise known as the McCain-Feingold Act.  But the ban does not apply to the state political parties.

The bottom line here is that it’s looking more and more likely that a new primary will be held in Florida.  While the Obama campaign has not yet signaled its support for a new primary in Florida, it won’t really have any choice if the Florida Democratic Party submits a plan for a new primary to the DNC and the DNC approves it.

Clinton Campaign Just Offered to Raise $15 Million to Cover New Primaries in Florida and Michigan

March 7, 2008

James Carville, a Clinton supporter, just announced on CNN’s Situation Room that the Clinton campaign can quickly line up $15 Million to help underwrite the costs of new primaries in Florida and Michigan and would do so if the Obama campaign also did the same.  He even said he had big donors ready to contribute.  Unfortunately, the Obama surrogate who appeared opposite Carville, David Wilhelm, seemed reluctant to agree to this proposal.  I suspect that he did not feel he had the authority to accept this proposal on behalf of the Obama campaign.  Wilhelm ultimately did say that Carville’s proposal would be “one of the options on the table”  and “a reasonable position” but he did not want to hammer out an agreement on the show.  He seemed more focused on scoring political points about the Clinton campaign’s former advocacy of counting the original primaries.

Carville’s proposal is essentially in line with my proposals in recent blog posts  in which I suggested that the states and campaigns could raise the money needed for new primaries in Florida and Michigan through voluntary donations from voters.

Now the ball is in the Obama campaign’s court.  I hope they quickly step up and agree to contribute or raise the same $15 Million that the Clinton campaign (through Carville) agreed to raise.  Note that while Carville might have been talking about raising “soft money” from big donors, it would probably be easy to raise the money from ordinary voters $25, $50, and $100 at a time.

New Contests in Florida and Michigan Would Bring Higher Threshold for Victory

March 7, 2008

An article  on CNN.com about the possibility of new contests in Florida and Michigan made a the following erroneous statement:

“Now, neither Illinois Sen. Barack Obama nor Clinton will be able to attain the 2,024 delegates needed to clinch the nomination without delegates from Florida and Michigan.”

The current number of delegates (2,025) needed to win the Democratic nomination is predicated on the fact that both Florida and Michigan were stripped of their delegates for holding their primaries early leaving only 4,049 delegates.  If they held new contests and their pledged delegates and superdelegates were reinstated, then the total number of delegates would increase by 366 (210 from Florida and 156 from Michigan) giving a total number of delegates of 4,415 which means the winning candidate would need 2,208 delegates to win the nomination.

While it is true that neither Clinton nor Obama can win the nomination with pledged delegates alone, the target number of 2,025 can and will be achieved by one of them after all officially recognized delegates are counted.  (Even if the difference between them was so small that John Edwards’ 26 pledged delegates were needed, he or the delegates would ultimately end up going over to Clinton or Obama and a winner would still be declared.)  The candidates do not need delegates from Florida or Michigan in order to win the nomination.

It is possible that the writer of the article meant to say that neither candidate would win the nomination with pledged delegates alone without Florida and Michigan.  That would have made a little more sense, but only a little.  There are 611 remaining pledged delegates as I discussed in a recent post.  According to CNN’s Election Center, Obama currently has 1,326 pledged delegates and Clinton has 1,198 pledged delegates.  So, it is true that neither one of them can currently win the nomination with pledged delegates alone.  However, if Florida’s 185 and Michigan’s 128 pledged delegates were reinstated, there would then be a total of 924 pledged delegates remaining.  So, Obama could theoretically win the nomination in that case with pledged delegates alone if he won 881 of the remaining 924 delegates.  But given the fact that delegates in the Democratic party are split proportionally, that is virtually impossible.  So, even if the writer did mean to say that reinstating the pledged delegates from Florida and Michigan would enable one of the candidates to win with pledged delegates alone, he or she was still wrong in practical terms.

That being said, I do believe that new primaries should be held in both states so that the voices of the voters in these states can be heard.  See my previous post  on this topic regarding how new primaries could be financed by voluntary donations from voters in Florida and Michigan and the rest of the country.

Can Clinton Overtake Obama in Pledged Delegates?

March 6, 2008

A look at the results from the March 4 election results on MSNBC.com and CNN.com suggests that Hillary Clinton probably only netted a gain of 7 delegates from Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio, and Texas.  While the results from the Texas caucus are not all in yet, CNN’s Election Center  reported that Obama had a 56% to 44% lead with 40% of precincts reporting.  So, if we allocate 56% of the Texas caucus delegates to Obama, we get the following results:

State

Clinton

Obama

Clinton Gain

Ohio

75

66

9

Rhode Island

13

8

5

Texas Primary

65

61

4

Texas Caucus

29

38

-9

Vermont

6

9

-3

Total Clinton Gain:   6

So, Clinton probably only picked up 6 delegates on March 4, leaving Obama with a large lead in pledged delegates of 135 according to CNN’s  calculations and 142 according to MSNBC’s  calculations.  CNN’s number does not yet include the projected gain of 9 for Obama from the Texas Caucus.  So, both networks essentially show a lead of between 142 and 144 for Obama when the Texas Caucus is factored in.

There are only 611 pledged delegates up for grab from the remaining states (not counting Florida and Michigan).  So, Clinton would have to win the rest of the primaries and caucuses by a margin of 377 to 234 in order to end up with more pledged delegates than Obama.  These numbers represent a 61.7% to 39.3% margin in the remaining contests.  Note that she would have to win 61.7% of the remaining delegates; she would probably need to win a higher percentage of the popular vote due to the way the rules determine delegate allocation.   If Florida and Michigan held new primaries or caucuses, then there would be an additional 313 pledged delegates (185 from Florida and 128 from Michigan) giving a total of 924 pledged delegates remaining.  In this case, Clinton would need to win 533 of these 924 delegates or 57.7% of them.

I think her chances of overtaking Obama’s lead in pledged delegates without Florida and Michigan are poor.  Her chances will improve if Florida and Michigan do hold new contests.  However, there were 370 pledged delegates in the 4 March 4th states and Clinton only gained about 6 delegates which is less than 2% of the contested delegates.    Net gains of 2% of the remaining 611 (or 924) delegates would only cut Obama’s lead by 12 (or 18) delegates which is far less than the 142 delegates Clinton needs.  So, it seems unlikely that she will end up with more pledged delegates.