Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Democrats by the Numbers: What to Do about Michigan and Florida

There are 4,048 delegates to the convention. 2,025 needed to nominate.
There are 3,253 pledged delegates. 1,627 is a majority of pledged delegates. Whichever candidate reaches that number first can claim that they deserve not to have the nomination stolen by "insiders."

The above numbers do not, of course, count the Florida and Michigan delegations. Those are 210 and 156 respectively. Michigan would have 81 for Clinton, 55 "uncommitted" (presumed to be intended for Obama or Edwards), 2 "write-ins" (unknown) and 18 superdelegates. Florida would have 210: 111 for Clinton, 69 for Obama, 13 for Edwards, and 17 superdelegates. Altogether that's 192 for Clinton, 137 for Obama/Edwards. I think it's safe to presume that any deal to seat those delegates would award all 137 non-Clinton pledged delegates to Obama. This would mean that Clinton would get a net 55 delegates if Michigan and Florida pledged delegates were seated. That would be 3,584 pledged delegates, of which 1,792 would be needed for a majority of pledged delegates.

If Michigan and Florida were to be seated (although Obama was not on the ballot in Michigan, which causes problems of its own) there would be 4414 delegates, of whom 2, 208 would be needed to nominate. That's 183 extra delegates needed to win. I suspect any deal to seat their delegations would not include the 35 superdelegates (how do they add to the legitimacy of the process?) If so, that would be a total of 4,379 delegates, of whom 2,190 would be needed to nominate.

If Michigan and Florida are seated now as proposed (192 for Clinton, 137 for Obama) all it would really do is wipe out the net gain (~50 pledged) in delegates from the February 12th voting for Obama today. Obama's large margins of victory net him lots of delegates today (168 total pledged available today, Obama will likely get 100-105 of them). Therefore, I suspect that those Michigan and Florida delegates will ultimately be seated. They're not the ace in the hole some might wish they were.


Dr. Strangelove said...

We posted simultaneously. Sorry, I would have made my post a comment if I had seen yours first.

Nothing here changes the conclusion I put on my post. But seating these delegations would add wiggle room for Hillary. And they add uncertainty to the delegate count, which could be to Hillary's advantage if Obama just edges her out. She could claim the pledged delegate count is inconclusive because of the lack of MI and FL, so this would justify superdelegates. But they may well tie in superdelegates. You never know.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I meant to add: these are good numbers you put together, and I truly have not seen this breakdown anywhere else. Nice to see the figures!

Raised By Republicans said...

I suspect that if the party heirarchy can throw the nomination to Clinton, they will.

She has been the "establishment" candidate from the start.

Dr. Strangelove said...

When the Clintons managed a hostile takeover of the Democratic party in 1992, many resisted. Those strains persist. There are two establishments and two establishment candidates now. It is a small but important victory, however, that a either a woman or a black (or both?) could be the "establishment" anything.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Two establishments? I don't think so. The DNC is firmly in one particular camp, the Clintonites. Eight years of the Clinton presidence and the Gore nomination did that. Howard Dean is the odd man out. What is the other establishment?

Dr. Strangelove said...

Obama has a lot of mainstream support within the Democratic Party, with veteran campaign staff, loads of money and resources, and a host of endorsements from major party figures. He's no outsider.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I'm not sure what you're aiming at, Dr. S. It's so obvious that Clinton has around her all the big Democratic names and party insiders. Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe and all that crowd. They even designed a primary schedule that was front-loaded in part because McAuliffe and others believed she could win a knockout blow early.