Obama People Don’t Fret

8 03 2008

Jonathan Alter at Newsweek has an interesting take on the delegate crunch in the Democratic primary. According to Alter, Hillary Clinton would have to pull off a string of very convincing wins for her to even come close to Barack Obama delegate total.

So at the end of regulation, Hillary’s the nominee, right? Actually, this much-too-generous scenario (which doesn’t even account for Texas’s weird “pri-caucus” system, which favors Obama in delegate selection) still leaves the pledged-delegate score at 1,634 for Obama to 1,576 for Clinton. That’s a 58-delegate lead.

Let’s say the Democratic National Committee schedules do-overs in Florida and (heavily African-American) Michigan. Hillary wins big yet again. But the chances of her netting 56 delegates out of those two states would require two more huge margins. (Unfortunately the Slate calculator isn’t helping me here.)

So no matter how you cut it, Obama will almost certainly end the primaries with a pledged-delegate lead, courtesy of all those landslides in February. Hillary would then have to convince the uncommitted superdelegates to reverse the will of the people. Even coming off a big Hillary winning streak, few if any superdelegates will be inclined to do so. For politicians to upend what the voters have decided might be a tad, well, suicidal.

Read the rest here.

I should also note however, that the Hillary campaign probably already know this. But their plan is win probably to win enough delegates in the remaining contests to prevent Obama from getting the 2,025 delegates needed to clinch the nomination as opposed to trying to outright overtake him in the delegate race.

If they amass enough delegates come by the convention, then the Hillary campaign hopes to cajole as many superdelgates as possible to support her. Many of those superdelegates will probably come from the big states that she has already won such as Massachusetts, New York, California, Texas, and Ohio and New Jersey. These states have huge Congressional delegations and may in fact be decisive in Denver.

No wonder the Clinton campaign hired Harold Ickes to spearhead their superdelegate lobby efforts.

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One response

12 03 2008
Obama Clinton Convention Superdelegates

This is a close battle. Down to the wire methinks. Down to the wire.

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