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."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

And then there were 280...

Over the last couple weeks, the number of pledged superdelegates has significantly increased. Much of the change comes from "add-on" delegates. The Democratic party allots delegates per state, and most states reserve between 1-5 unpledged superdelegates delegates to be elected specially by the party central committee or state convention. These are called "add-on" delegates, about 80 or so in all. In other words, not all of the 796 superdelegates are actually specific individuals at the beginning of the delegate selection process. As they are appointed by their state parties, they have the option to endorse a candidate or not. Unsurprisingly, most are appointed specifically for that purpose. In CA, for example, party chariman Art Torres has agreed to allot the unpledged add-ons in proportion to the primary results, giving HRC three and Obama two. Those persons remain unappointed (and not part of any delegate count) until the 5/17 convention. Most of the add-on selection process takes place from mid-April through May. Accordingly, the number of available superdelegates is shrinking. There are now only about 280 superdelegates who have not yet committed to a candidate.

There are 400 pledged delegates remaining (more or less). If the remaining 400 delegates are split evenly (this is a favorable assumption for Clinton given the character of the remaining states), and no additioanl superdelegates come to his side, Obama will be about 80 votes shy of the nomination on June 3rd. In addition, other superdelegates will come into the both camps, and a number of superdelegates (Nancy Pelosi, Jimmy Carter, to name two) have pledged to support the winner of the pledged-delegate battle as of June 3 (i.e., Obama). Obama will probably attain a majority of pledged delegates (1625 is the # - he has 1491 now) as of May 20th when Oregon votes. That will also push supers into his camp. What this means is that Obama will probably be no more than 40-50 delegates shy (pledged plus endorsements of supers) of the nomination on June 3rd, with some 150-200 delegates left to claim. If Obama were to win Indiana or do better than expected in PR and KY, it could be much closer.

In such a scenario, I think we can expect a significant shift of superdelegates to Obama after June 3rd, with the magic 2025 being achieved by June 15th or so. Then, with that table set, and Obama declared the presumptive nominee, Michigan and Florida's delegations will be seated in such a manner as not to change that result. Thus, I expect an Edwards endorsement and a Clinton withdrawal around July 4th. And Democrats can begin the process of trying to find a VP nominee who will torpedo their chances in the Fall.


Raised By Republicans said...

Who would be the biggest torpedo VP?

Al Franken?

Raised By Republicans said...

More seriously...So, if we can do this math, and the Clintons can to, why is Hillary still in the race?

Her chances of winning the nomination are clearly at a very low order of probability and have been since Ohio and Texas were closer than she needed them to be.

Assuming she knows there is almost no chance, why spend all this time and money to bash Obama?

The behavior seems inconsistent with the preference ordering for November outcomes of most Democrats: Favorite Democrat > Second Favorite Democrat > Republican.

Instead Hillary's preferences seem to be: Hillary > McCain > Obama.

It is this apparent preference ordering that really is beginning to tick me off. Especially when I think of the logic that would likely underly such a preference ordering. Hillary (assuming she has that ordering) would rather see McCain win in 2008 because it would allow her to run in 2012. If Obama wins in 2008, Hillary would probably have to wait until 2016. The only scenario that has Hillary running in 2012 if Obama wins in November is if Obama is so wildly unpopular by then that the party would split and allow a primary challenge of an incumbent president. But in that case, the chances of Hillary winning that challenge let alone going on to overcome what would be a massive disadvantage for the Democratic Party generally would be astronomical.

The more I think about this the clearer it is to me that Clinton's goal right now is to sabotage the party.

I can understand how some Democrats would like her so much they wouldn't want to give up. But the time has passed when this is about "fighting the good fight." This has moved into a period of stabbing your supposed political allies in the back.

Clinton supporters need to start writing her letters telling her to drop out. Or at the very least telling her to cease ALL negative attacks on Obama.

Raised By Republicans said...

Of course by 2016 Bill will have died of a heart attack in a hotel room with another woman and Chelsea will be in Congress.

History Buff said...

She could be VP and then become president when Obama gets assi?sgnated?!

Raised By Republicans said...

Actually, the way the right wing hates Hillary, her being VP could keep Obama nice and safe. ;-)

The Law Talking Guy said...

It is certainly very vain to continue the race in the hopes that Obama will conduct some major slip-up, killing his candidacy for some reason (like what - being caught with a crack whore?) before she does. That's because she believes she's been "vetted" meaning, sadly, somehow invulnerable to the Republicans in the Fall. If she were the nominee, she will be totally blindsided by their attacks due to her naivete about having been "vetted."

It would be far, far better for her to try to unite the party rather than going state by state trying to create disaffection amongst the base with the party's all-but-foregone nominee.

Raised By Republicans said...

Hillary thinks she's Jack Kennedy.
She's really Ted Kennedy (i.e. one hell of Senator).
And she's running against Bobby Kennedy.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Hey, RBR, we came up with that one together. No fair claiming the credit. =)