Friday, March 7, 2008

indiana is the new florida

Yeah, yeah, yeah, too much politics. But I am so tired of delegate math being confusing and contradictory, and analyses being useless, that I had to get my hands around it.

I think I learned something interesting. Want to know? It is impossible for Herself to win without Florida and Michigan coming back. And if they do come back, she has to win both AND Indiana to have any chance of getting the nod.

The structure is this:

The “pledged” delegates are supposed to be bound by the votes cast by us (except the dems allow them to vote anyway they chose on the first ballot) and are comprised of three groups: District level; at-large; and PLEOs (public leaders and elected officials).

Super-delegates do not have binds.

The democrat problem with super-delegates is not present with the pubs, but not because McCain has locked already. The pubs designate super-delegates to just 5% of their total delegate; the dems, over 19%. The effect is this: For a pub to get the nomination without supers, the candidate needs 53% of the pledged delegates; the dem, 62%. Winning 53-47 is a lot easier than consisting wining 62-38.

Let’s resolve the pledged delegates first. Gotta pick a source data for delegates since they all the news outlets seem to have different counts. I picked CBS News because their data is exhaustively explained on that bastion of free thought Wikipedia.

Count so far: 1,362 Obama; 1,213 Herself.

In order to give the future contests some meat in return for winning, I assumed every race to be won 60-40. Anything closer and the delegate assignations is pretty much a wash (read, Herself: Toast).

I went to a bunch of polling places, and found most to be consistent with this article.

Obama: Wyoming, Mississippi, Guam, North Carolina, Oregon, Montana, and South Dakota.

Herself: Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico.

Left out, so far, Indiana, Michigan, and Florida. Be patient.

New counts: Obama 1,627; Herself 1,487.

That’s a 140 delegates Herself has to make up.

Indiana is just 84 pledged delegates. So, you see, unless Michigan and Florida come back, there isn’t enough pie in the tin to feed Her.

Michigan and Florida together have 367 pledged delegates.

A series of 60-40 wins yields the following net gains: Indiana, 14; Michigan, 26; Florida 37.

If Herself loses any one of the three, the pledged delegate lead remains 91 or more. Winning all three drops the lead to 63.

Of course, if the wins are inside 60-40, which is likely, then the Obama lead will be even more.

Note that Herself is out there saying that Michigan and Florida must be seated and that no new voting should occur. Michigan is talking about the worse possible situation for Her: nice, cheap, easy caucuses – which she always loses.

There is no way her position can win: Obama played by the rules of the DNC and stayed out. They’d burn Detroit to the ground. The body of Howard Dean is probably going to wind up in some park with dirt in the cuffs of his pants.

Most likely outcome? Revotes, Michigan to Obama, Florida to Herself, Indiana a push (50-50).

Projected pledged delegate count at end of all voting: Obama, 1,814; Herself, 1,685. New total needed to win: 2,208 (half up of 4,415).

Of the 849 supers, Obama would need 394, or 46%. Herself, 523, or 62%.

If the supers vote like the Electoral College and cast all their votes in accordance with the winner of the popular vote in their states, they would split Obama 442, Herself 402. That would give Obama a first-ballot win.

If the supers split along the lines of the popular vote in their states, then Obama still gets his 46% - the supers would reflect the pledged split: Obama, 52% (441).

Herself has no light-of-day argument for supers to go almost two-thirds for Her. All she can do is fight like an animal to prevent revotes, and then do whatever it takes to win Indiana.

Indiana is her Florida 2000. Latest numbers Obama 40%, Herself 25%. She would have to take ALL the undecideds to achieve 60-40 – that’s why, at best for Her, it will be a draw. It’s also an open primary, and Herself doesn’t do well in those.

If Michigan revotes, Herself is toast. If she pushes Indiana, she is toast. If she fails to rack up 60-40 wins elsewhere (Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Puerto Rico), she has another net gain of 61 pledged votes endangered – toast in degrees.

Ah, the smell of toasting carpetbagger …

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