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April 2008


Polls close at 00:00 UTC. I have meetings until 01:00 UTC. Ones that are important and I should be at. If it isn’t close, I may miss the network calling it. Boo Hoo. :-( Well, as soon as the meeting is out at 01:00, I’ll have CNN on Slingbox via my phone… Hopefully I won’t miss anything really good in that first hour of coverage.

Falling is not Fun (Still Hurts)

(That’s my left leg, thigh area… 58 hours or so after my fall down the stairs… Yum!)

Last Delegate Update Before Pennsylvania

CNN does a last update catching up on final tallies for various states. They updated counts in DC, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico and Ohio. End result, Clinton picks up 6 more delegates, Obama picks up 4.

Given this is just a few hours before the polls open for a long awaited primary, let me do a full run down on the current stats.

There are 4048 democratic delegates.

3170 have already been pledged to a candidate or have stated a preference for a candidate.

That leaves 878 delegates left to be determined.

158 are at stake in the Pennsylvania primaries which start in a few hours.

Right now the count is: Obama 1648, Clinton 1504, Edwards 18

In percentage terms that is: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.4%, Edwards 0.6%

2025 delegates are needed to win.

Obama needs 377 more delegates to win.

Clinton needs 521 more delegates to win.

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 42.9% of the remaining delegates to win.

Clinton needs 59.3% of the remaining delegates to win.

Specifically in terms of tomorrow, that means that in order to be “on pace” to win the nomination, the candidates need to get more than the percentages above.

If they get better than the percentage given, then they will need a LOWER percentage in all the remaining contests (including the contest among the remaining superdelegates) to win. If they get less than the percentage given, then they will then need a HIGHER percentage in all the remaining contests.

Specifically, since there are 158 delegates at stake that means:

Obama needs to win 68 or more delegates of the 158 to be on pace to win.

Clinton needs to win 94 or more delegates of the 158 to be on pace to win.

Note, this is NOT the popular vote. It is about delegates. We’ll start getting popular vote estimates as soon as the polls close. It may be many hours later before we get delegate estimates. If Pennsylvania follows the pattern of many of the previous states, it may actually be DAYS (or even longer) until we get a full accounting of all 158 delegates here.

The media will be all over the popular vote margin. Most likely about just what percentage margin Hillary is winning by. (Absent an Obama upset of course.) But if you are watching any of this, just remember that the POPULAR VOTE NUMBERS ARE IRRELEVANT!!!!! The *only* thing that matters is the delegate count. The popular vote count only matters in that it is a rough predictor of the delegate count before real delegate counts are available.

Don’t watch the popular vote numbers, watch the delegate counts. As mentioned, it may take a long time before all 158 are accounted for, but look at the percentages.

Is Clinton getting 60% of the delegates? If so, she is doing what she needs to do and it will be a really huge important night for her. If not…. then despite however much anybody is talking about her “win” she will actually have a MORE DIFFICULT ROAD to the nomination, not an easier one.

We shall see. I’ll post a delegate update sometime in the evening, but chances are things will still be in flux at that point and we’ll have to wait a bit before we know what really happened.

I don’t expect that will stop the press from calling a Clinton win 30 seconds after the polls close and then spending the rest of the evening talking about her popular vote margin and how it stacked up to “expectations”. And then it will be all about whose spin manages to win the night.

But if you want to know what is really happening rather than just being spun, just watch the delegate numbers, and see which candidate is at or above the pace they need to win.

[Edit 23 Apr 2008, 07:37 UTC – Fixed Typo on Obama percentage, I had miscopied 56.8% as Obama’s number when I was looking at Edwards numbers and misread the decimal point. The correct number is now above… 52.0%.]