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Electoral College: First Polls for Tennessee and Florida

The first Obama vs McCain polls for Florida and Tennessee were posted at Pollster.com. Tennessee is a weak McCain, Florida is solid McCain.

We now have polls covering more than 50% of the electoral votes for the first time. And as of now, looking at the “weak” totals we have Obama 157, McCain 136. But still 245 electoral college votes with no polls at all.

Also a note, right now I just have “Solid” (at least a 10% lead) and “Weak” (less than a 10% lead). I keep thinking that maybe I want to add a third category, with “Weak” restricted to a less than 5% lead, and a new “Strong” or “Medium” or something category being 5% to 10%. I haven’t so far for three reasons:

  1. At the moment only 3 states would fall in this new category… Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee… all on the McCain side. So it really wouldn’t change the picture all that much. Although it would show that some of McCain’s “weak” support is actually a little stronger than it would seem otherwise.
  2. If this primary season has shown us anything, it is that a 9 point lead isn’t really all that strong. It can evaporate in a week if the right things happen in that week. It isn’t just the places with leads less than 5% that are “weak” and therefore “in play”. So maybe any lead less than 10% really is “weak”.
  3. It would make the graph more cluttered and harder to read. (Imagine a third line squeezed between the two current lines for each candidate.)

Anyway, if anybody wants to chime in on that particular comment, I’d welcome thoughts and opinions, and might be influenced by them. If I do make this change, I’d rather do it sooner rather than later, because the longer I go, the more work I’d have to do to make the change.

Delegates by Inches

Definitely all superdelegates this time. Obama picks up four. Clinton loses one. She just can’t catch a break lately. Obama just keeps slowly growing the gap.

We now have Obama 51.4%, Clinton 47.6%, Edwards 1.0%.

Obama needs 656 more delegates to win. Clinton needs 758.

Minor change on the Republican side. McCain picks up one “Unpledged RNC” delegate, which is the Republican version of a superdelegate.

McCain needs 158 more delegates to win.

The Math

It is not quite as stark as for Huckabee, but the math for Clinton to catch up and win is pretty bad.

How Many Delegates Does HRC Need To Win?
(Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic)

Let’s go to March 4. Let’s assume that Clinton wins Ohio by four points – 52 to 48, netting her roughly 5 extra delegates, and loses Texas 49 to 51, netting Obama three extra delegates, and loses Vermont, netting Obama three extra delegates, and winning Rhode Island by 6 points, netting herself an extra delegate. She ends that day with no additional delegates – she can blame Vermont.

Under the rosiest of scenarios, it’s hard to see her winning more than about 50 percent of the remaining earned delegates, even if she whips Obama in Pennsylvania and earns, say, 16 extra delegates, and drums him in Puerto Rico, where, even if she wins seventy percent of the delegates, she’s still, in essence, playing catch up.

If Clinton wins half of the remaining delegates – about 493 – and loses none – she still trails Obama by a net 50 or so earned delegates.

Now let’s run the scenario with Florida and Michigan’s delegates in play – the best iteration of that scenario, with both pledged and unpledged delegates seated and Clinton’s having earned fully 60% of or more of them. She’ll need at least 52.1% of remaining pledged delegates to surpass Obama.

Playing with the numbers a bit, here’s how she could – in theory – accomplish this.

If Florida and Michigan’s delegations are seated fully to her advantage, and if she wins in Ohio by 65% and wins in Texas by 65%, and all other percentages hold, she can win the nomination.

(via The Daily Dish)

She’s not going to take Ohio and Texas. Maybe not at all. Certainly not by those margins. And the superdelegates will NOT save her if Obama is way ahead on pledged delegates coming into the convention. And unless she comes into the convention already ahead, (or unless Obama is so far ahead it won’t matter) Florida and Michigan will not be seated.

She’s done.

Jumpin Jumpin Jumpin

Happy leap day!!!