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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Delegate math

When I should have been finishing a paper, I played around this morning with the Democratic delegate numbers for a few minutes..

Using CNN's delegate counter, it is VERY difficult to engineer a Hillary Clinton victory from the remaining contests.

I gave her huge 60-40 victories in PA, WV, IN, and KY, a 2 to 1 win in Puerto Rico and a 3 to 1 rout in Guam.

I limited Barack Obama to a very narrow margin of victory in NC (+3 delegates, a 51/49 vote split) and declared MT, SD and OR virtual ties (tilting 1 odd delegate to Clinton).

In my scenario, which seems incredibly optimistic for Clinton, she has to win the remaining superdelegates 221-130 to get to the current magic number, 2025.

Conversely, if Obama earns the delegates he expects to win in the coming states, then he only needs to garner support from 131 of the 351 remaining unpledged superdelegates.

The Obama projections look very reasonable to me, though I suppose Clinton could earn bandwagoning momentum in the race if she pulls off a huge victory in PA. His team projects a win in Indiana, which means they think Gary is far more important than the Ohio/KY part of the state.

What about Florida and Michigan? The Slate delegate calculator has the ability to add FL and MI. Give Clinton all the optimistic scenario results from above, make MI and FL 60-40 for her, and she still needs 216 of the 351 remaining unpledged delegates to win.

Her magic number of superdelegates needed to win does not drop much at all even with FL and MI because she is currently quite a distance behind in pledged delegate support (53.6% to 46.3%) and the overwhelming majority of pledged delegates have already been committed.

Everyone knows that, right?

I'm trying to figure out if the people giving Clinton money realize it?

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