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Post-Super Tuesday Delegate Graphs

So, I wouldn’t be surprised if CNN continues to tweak their delegate counts a bit between now and tomorrow. If so, I’ll have another update. BUt as of right now, here is what things look like when we look at the whole year so far. This includes additional updates since the end of my “every half hour” effort at 12:00 UTC.

The trend I mentioned for Obama within the Super Tuesday results obviously applies overall. When one looks at these total numbers, which include CNN’s estimate of superdelegates, the story is just one of Obama slowly but surely continuing to erode Clinton’s initial lead. When we started the year, that gap was 37.8% (based only on early pledging superdelegates) to only 4.9% as of right now. Yesterday that gap was 17.8%. That is a HUGE closing of the gap. Any spinning of yesterday’s results any other way seems somewhat dishonest to me.

Another important note. From CNN’s totals, in terms of delegates who have been directly “earned” through primaries and caucuses, Obama is actually AHEAD by a margin of 603-590-26. But Hillary has 193 superdelegates to Obama’s 103, which puts her ahead in total delegates at 783-709-26. Now, this is with CNN’s methods of estimating super delegates. Pretty much every news outlet has different counts for those folks based on how they determine the leanings of the superdelegates and how hard the superdelegates have to lean in order to count. So different outlets will have different counts for the totals. I’m sticking with CNN mainly because that is who I started with. But the point here… it is damn close. And certainly within the margin of the superdelegates. Which of course brings up the very interesting possibility that if current trends continue, we may get to the convention with Obama having more of the primary/caucus delegates, but with Clinton being pushed over the top by SuperDelegates. That would be a VERY interesting convention… and I imagine there would be a lot of unhappy people.

Also, while I note that these delegate estimates are indeed estimates, and may continue to be updated and modified as we go on… I would actually be surprised if they don’t. But, as of when I pulled numbers from CNN’s site about 45 minutes ago the net results for the day in delegate totals were that Clinton went from 232 to 783, an increase of 551 delegates. Meanwhile Obama went from 158 to 709, an increase of… 551 delegates.

551 to 551. If anybody at all is on TV talking about how EITHER Clinton or Obama “won” SuperTuesday, ignore them. They are idiots. It was a tie.

A tie however favors Obama, because Hillary was ahead on delegates coming in, so a tie in new delegates results in him catching up further in percentage terms.

In terms of additional delegates, in order to have a majority when she comes to the convention, Hillary would have to get 49.1% of all remaining delegates. Obama would need 52.0% of all remaining delegates. If Edwards were to jump back into the race now, he would need to win 79.0% of all remaining delegates in order to win. (I think we can say there is no chance of that last unless both Clinton and Obama are hit by meteors from space or whatnot.)

OK, Republicans. McCain gains a big lead, jumping from 43.3% to 55.4% of delegates. Romney did indeed have a really bad day. Despite his wins, he plummeted from 41.1% which was within spitting distance of McCain, down to 26.3%. Once can understand why he would not be happy. Huckabee rises from 12.9% to 16.7%. Good for him. He went up. But he is still so horribly behind. The people who are doubting him as the new clear alternative to McCain are I think just deluding themselves. It is just too little too late. Now, if Romney drops out and Huckabee is able to pick up a lot of his support… maybe. But it would still be hard, and would depend on exactly what the rules are on how delegates can switch around after their candidates drop out, which I am not sure of on the Republican side. Lets run the numbers like I did for the Democrats above.

In order to come to the convention with a majority McCain needs to win 46.0% of the remaining delegates. Romney would need 67.5%. Huckabee would need 74.5%. Paul would need 85.7%. Now, again, those percentages might change a bit if people drop out depending on the rules for what happens to those delegates at that point. But even 67.5% would be a huge margin of delegates to start collecting for someone who’s average has been more like 25%. Let alone the even rougher numbers for the other two candidates.

I really do think that absent a MAJOR unexpected event that would put McCain out of contention, he has this wrapped up. Anybody spinning this in any other way is just looking for ways to prolong things, but they are not being realistic.

OK, a couple more things.

First, for anybody who has any doubt of how BIG Super Tuesday was, and how insignificant everything else so far was except in terms of momentum, here are the graphs of raw delegate counts (rather than percentages) so far:

And one more thing. Since I started writing this post CNN has added 65 more delegates to their counts for Democrats, and 59 more for Republicans. So these numbers are indeed still changing. So I’ll have another update tomorrow. But I imagine that none of the general conclusions above will change all that much, just some adjustment around the edges.

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