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March 2008

Initial TX/OH/RI/VT Delegate Results

OK, to start with, these delegate results come in SLOWLY. So todays update is by no means the final result from yesterday’s voting. On the Republican side there were 256 delegates at stake yesterday… we have the results for only 183 of them… 71%. On the Democratic side the count is even slower. Of 370 delegates at stake, we have the results for 169. That’s 46%. The results will presumably continue to be finalized over the next few days. In the mean time, despite what you may hear, we don’t actually know yet what really happened yesterday.

OK, the charts as of now…

We’ve gone from Obama 51.5%, Clinton 47.5%, Edwards 1.0% to Obama 51.1%, Clinton 48.0%, Edwards 0.9%. Clinton narrows the gap in percentage terms from 4.1% to 3.0%. In terms of raw delegates yesterday she was behind by 109 delegates, today she is behind by 86… a net pick up of 23 delegates.

Obama needs 574 more delegates to win. Clinton needs 660.

Now, in a post yesterday I said to look at the percentage of delegates being earned by each candidate to see which candidate was “on pace” to win. Of the delegates from yesterday allocated so far, Clinton grabbed 56.8%. To be on a pace to win, she needed to be over 55%. Which means, if every delegate still available (including both pledged and super) breaks at the same percentage she got with the delegates in this update, then she’d get the magic number and win the nomination. I’ll repeat again, given just the delegates allocated since yesterday, Clinton *IS* on a pace to win the nomination.

Of course, looking at which delegates are still “missing” from the counts, the expectation is that as those results come in, Obama will win more and reopen the delegate gap. Estimates I have heard seem to indicate that when everything is counted, rather than narrowing the gap by 23, the gap will be where it was yesterday, plus or minus five delegates or so. But we shall see. Nothing to do other than wait for the final results to keep coming in over the next few days. At that point we’ll have a better picture of what is really going on. What you see right now is looking at partial results, with only 26 out of 193 of Texas delegates accounted for. And given how Texas allocates delegates, between the caucuses and the weighting of precincts, a popular vote win for Clinton does NOT necessarily mean a delegate win.

You’d think that in this day and age we could have instant results, but we don’t. This will take a little while to settle.

And of course we have more voting this coming Saturday and Tuesday. Results from yesterday may or may not be final by then.

And the Republicans… John McCain did indeed go over the magic number. Absent death, disability, or a major scandal that causes him to step down, McCain is the nominee.

More importantly, Huckabee is now only 4 delegates away from catching Mitt Romney for second place. There are still a bunch of delegates to be allocated in Texas and Ohio… so he may well still do it!

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