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June 2008

Delegates after the Rules Change

So the rules nonsense is done (at least for now). They shouldn’t have, but they gave Florida and Michigan some delegates. And in Michigans’s case they completely threw out the election results and just allocated delegates the way they felt like. They shouldn’t have done that either. They decided to seat the full delegates, but give them half votes. For purposes of our counts, they all count as half delegates. All of this is bogus. They shouldn’t have done it. And if they did do the half delegate thing, they should have seated Michigan by the actual election results, they should not have used completely made up numbers. But they have indeed done it.

Because of all this, there is a new “magic number”. Depending on who you listen to, it is now either 2117 or 2118. There is an explanation of the difference at For now I will use 2118 since that is what CNN is using, and I have been using them for my delegate counts all along.

So, after all of yesterday’s shenanigans, the magic number moves from 2026 to 2118. And Obama gets 63 more pledged delegate votes and 4 more superdelegate votes. Clinton gets 87 more pledged and 7 more super. Oh yeah, and Edwards gets 6 pledged delegates too. (Comparing CNN’s Counts to Democratic Convention Watch I think CNN is rounding off half delegates. I don’t like that, but it is a little late to switch data sources, so I’ll stick with CNN.)

The new statistics:

Delegate count is: Obama 2051, Clinton 1877, Edwards 13

In percent terms that is: Obama 52.0%, Clinton 47.6%, Edwards 0.3%

2118 delegates are needed to win.

There are 293 delegates yet to be determined.

Obama needs 67 more delegates to win. (Up from 42 yesterday.)

Clinton needs 241 more delegates to win. (Down from 243 yesterday.)

In percentage terms, that means:

Obama needs 22.9% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 15.2% before the RBC.)

Clinton needs 82.3% of the remaining delegates to win. (It was 88.0% before the RBC.)

This one day of rules changes benefits Clinton more than any primary or caucus since, well, ever. This is the single hugest improvement in her position (in terms of percent of delegates she needs to get to win) that she has ever had. In the end though, it puts her percentage needed back to where it was ELEVEN DAYS AGO. So, she puts Obama back by less than two weeks. Her percentage needed is still over 80%. Which is pretty much impossible. It just slightly delays Obama clinching the nomination.

Of course, her camp is threatening to take this all the way to the convention, once again disputing Florida and Michigan, and changing the magic number once again. Of course, she’d still be behind, she’d still lose. But whatever.

Right now, assuming no further changes in Florida and Michigan, Obama needs 67 more delegates to win. Based on the limited poll data available, I expect Obama to get 23 delegates in Puerto Rico and 17 in Montana and South Dakota, for a total of 40 delegates. That would leave him needing 27 more delegates to clinch the nomination.

How long will it take to get them? I’m not sure, but I don’t think it will be very long.

Will Hillary concede? Or will she fight on to the convention regardless. Dunno. That is perhaps the harder question.

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