Sunday, February 10, 2008

obama's rough ride

It takes 2,025 delegates to win the dem nomination. Under their system, however, over 19% are unpledged and can enter the convention floor and vote for any candidate they choose. In order for Obama to secure the nomination, he needs to win a supermajority prior to the convention. By my calculations, in order to silence Hillary, he needs to win 60% of the remaining total delegates.

Going to open-source-and-always-fun-if-not-frightful-to-cite answers dot com, I found a context for these numbers. There are currently 4,049 total delegates to the Democratic National Convention, including 3,253 pledged delegates and 796 superdelegates. The total number of delegate votes needed to win the nomination is 2,025.

As an aside, there are currently 2,380 total delegates to the Republican National Convention, including 1,917 pledged delegates and 463 unpledged delegates all but 123 of the unpledged delegates are vote assigned. The total number of delegate votes needed to win the nomination is 1,191. Bottom line to this digression? 19.4% of the dem delegates can vote for any candidate they choose, compared to only 5% of the pub delegates.

I suggest that 2,025 is not the real number to secure the nomination for Obama. It is 2,183. He needs not just a split on pledged, but a supermajority of unpledged in order to lock those folks into casting according to popular vote.

Pick a number to represent the supermajority, but I am going to assume that number of is 70%. Anything less and Herself is on a level playing field. One-half of the unpledged is 1,626; 70% of the pledged is 557. The total Obama needs is 2,183.

According to CNN, here’s the pledged and unpledged dem counts so far: Omaba, pledged 908, unpledged 131, total 1,039; Herself, pledged 877, unpledged 223, total 1,100. There are 1,910 total delegates left, both pledged and unpledged.

With 2,183 delegates coming from primaries and caucuses as the goal, Obama needs 2,183 less 1,039, or 1,144. With 1,910 left to be decided (4,049 less 2,139), Obama needs 60% to achieve the goal.

So now the superdelegates and pundits are talking. Maybe they’ve done the same math and realize that 60% is a tall order. Chris Bowers, whoever the hell he is (even though he is from my home state), says he will quit the dem party if the superdelegate vote goes against the popular vote. Donna Brazile says the same thing.

Conversely, Ann Althouse, “a check on freewheeling democracy.” (Hunh?) Glenn at Instapundit, says he understands the logic (I guess something akin to a judicial function in government), but that Ann’s “attitude is not going to be shared by many people who've spent the last nearly-8 years claiming that winning the popular vote is more important than winning the electoral vote.”

More than interesting … are all of the remaining runway walks proportional delegate allocations? If Herself gets a winner-take-all contest by a couple of points, the 60% climbs quickly.

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