Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

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.

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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.

Clinton Campaign Wants to Change Rules Again

March 4, 2008

It won’t be any surprise to those who have been watching the Obama-Clinton race that the Clinton campaign is trying to change the rules again in the middle of the game.  They first tried to change the rules by getting the delegates from Florida and Michigan seated at the Democratic National Convention even though those states were told as soon as they scheduled their early primaries that their delegates would not count.  And they still hope to suceed based on an interview I saw with Terry McAuliffe tonight.

Now, according to CNN’s political ticker, former HUD secretary Henry Cisneros, a Clinton supporter, complained about the Texas caucus being a “great burden on voters” and that it would be unfair if Obama won more delegates from Texas as a result of the caucus (which was in addition to the primary).  The reports coming from the Texas caucus make this look likely.

If the Clinton campaign had really considered the Texas “primacus” unfair, they should have protested about it last year when Texas submitted its election plan to the Democratic National Committee just like they should have complained last year about the DNC’s decision to strip Florida and Michigan of their delegates.  It is incredibly insincere to complain about these things now under the guise of “counting all the votes”.