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Monday, March 17, 2008

Updated Delegate Math

If you can, try to remember way back to January, back when there were eight Democratic candidates for President. Back in January the all important state of Iowa voted to determine who would be the Democratic candidate for President. Back then people complained that Iowa had to much sway, that it didn't adequately represent America, that it is as diverse as a Mayflower reunion, and that other states ought to have a say. This year the primary season has lasted longer than any other time in recent memory, and as it turns out the other states went with the same guy Iowa did anyway.

If you will also remember about that night, John Edwards came in second, and earned some delegates that night, some of whom have now been reapportioned. Also, California finally finished counting out their votes and their final totals are in. As always, the updated math is reported first here at AskHodder.com

Obama 1618 Clinton 1479

The magic number still sits at 2025

There are 603 pledged delegates remaining, 957 including super delegates

Number of remaining pledged delegates needed to clinch:

Obama 407, 68%
Clinton 546, 91%

Including Super Delegates
Obama 43%
Clinton 57%

Mrs. Clinton needs 73% of all pledged delgates to be aloted in order to pull even with Mr. Obama, 65% including Super Delegates

Friday, March 14, 2008


Geraldine Ferraro is one of the most respected women in the United States, and rightly so. Before being elected to the US House of Representatives in 1978, Marymount Manhattan College’s most famous alum served as a teacher, and district attorney in New York City. As a member of congress she held several leadership positions, many of which had previously only been held by men. In 1984 Democratic Presidential candidate and Senator Walter Mondale tapped Mrs. Ferraro as his running mate and got a huge boost in the polls, and though the ticket lost big in the Electoral College, the race was closer than the map would indicate. During that campaign Mrs. Ferraro became one of the first people to say publicly (and certainly the first to do so with such a large megaphone) that President Reagan’s strategy of illegally funding and selling weapons to extremist rebel splinter groups and installing monsters as world leaders would come back to haunt us.

All that being said, in 1984 was she qualified to be the vice president? Absolutely. The world would be a much better place if the Mondale Ferraro ticket had won the 1984 election. But if she were a man, would she have been on the ticket? I don’t think so, and neither does Mrs. Ferraro who has said that many times publicly.

But so what? Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsberg likely would not have been appointed to the Supreme Court if they were men, and they were/have been exceptional in that role. Senator Clinton, though exceedingly brilliant would never have become a serious candidate for even the Senate were she a man. General Powell and Justice Marshall were phenomenal public servants but would not have been appointed to their positions if they were white. Every semester thousands of students make Dean’s List at schools they would not have been admitted to if they were white males. In fact, it happens all the time that people end up in positions with help from their race, sex or gender and excel, even though a more “qualified” person may have been out there. Some might argue that doing so disadvantages white men, but no more so than handicap parking spaces put non-handicapped drivers at a disadvantage.

All too often we look only at past performance when we ought to also be looking at future potential. Maybe Mrs. Ferraro is right and the biggest reason that Senator Obama has made it so far in this campaign is because of the color of his skin. Is there anything wrong with someone saying that? No. Especially not Mrs. Ferraro, so Obama supporters need to get over themselves, cool it with the racial talk and well, LEAVE GERALDINE ALONE!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Post Mississippi Math

Oh my how things have changed. Mississippi is now colored in after Senator Obama's 2-1 victory last night, AskHodder.com is prepared to call the Texas caucus, and there has been some Super Delegate movment (I know I said before that I wasn't counting them, but I meant that I'm not counting the ones who have not yet declared as still up for grabs, so when they do endorse I will still factor them in, it makes them more like a bonus).

The new delegate count:

Obama 1611
Clinton 1480

The magic number still sits at 2025

There are 609 pledged delegates remaining, 960 including super delegates

Number of pledged delegates remaining needed to clinch:

Obama 414, 68%
Clinton 545, 90%

Including Super Delegates

Obama 43%
Clinton 57%

Mrs. Clinton needs 72% of all pledged delgates to be aloted in order to pull even with Mr. Obama, 64% including Super Delegates


Last night the 20th state to join the Union and the second state to join the Confederacy, a state that held436,631 men women and children in bondage in 1860, a state famous for its river, fried chicken, corn bread, breath taking views, mockingbirds, magnolias, honey bees, Grand Opera House, crawfish, folk dance, and large mouth bass, the home of John Grisham, Thomas Harris, Oprah, Morgan Freeman, Brett Favre, Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, Kermit T. Frog, William Faulkner, B.B. King, James Earl Jones, Elvis Presley, Tennessee Williams and Parker Posey, a state still ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, the one, the only, the Great State of Mississippi, held a presidential primary.

The result? With 99% of precincts reporting, askhodder.com is comfortable calling the state for Senator Barack Obama. Mr. Obama has taken 61% to Senator Clinton's 37%, 19 delegates to 14. Here is a county by county break down with my apologies for the coloring, I had to make the map myself, counties carried by Obama are in blue, Clinton in brown.
By its self, this is likely not that interesting, but let's look at the same map, except we'll color the counties that President Bush won by at least 70% in yellow. If you noticed, the Clinton Campaign won all of them. Now let's take the same map and color the counties that the Kerry Campaign won in green. If you noticed, Mrs. Clinton only took one county carried by Mr. Kerry. See all three of these maps on the same page
What does this tell us? I talked this morning with a couple different Clinton Campaign staffers who argue that it shows she can win over conservative Democrats, and that Republicans are showing up for Mrs. Clinton. I think they are right about the second part, but not for the same reasons they do.
There are a dozen different polls out there that preview head-to-head match ups, in every Obama v McCain, Obama wins by double digits, and in every Clinton v McCain, it's very close, a statistical tie. I've said it before, national polls tell very little about how a presidential election will turn out, I'm not going to argue the merits of those polls, but rather the perception they give people who read them, the wikiality is that if Mr. Obama is the nominee, game over, if Mrs. Clinton is the nominee, game on (this is generally more true among Republicans, Democrats who support Mrs. Clinton think that she can pull it off and ignore those polls).
It's my contention that last night Republicans in Mississippi voted for Senator Clinton to try and give Senator McCain an easier opponent come November. Possibly even taking the advice of Rush Limbaugh and trying to "bloody up Obama ", of the mindset that the longer the primary goes on the better it is for the Republicans.
I don't think it's going to work though. I think that Mr. Obama has a lock on the nomination at this point, and really the longer the primary season goes on the better it is for the Democrats, it keeps them in the news. But also I think Mrs. Clinton's initial strength is part of what has pushed Mr. Obama to be the powerhouse candidate that he has become, the longer she stays in the better for him. With no opponent the McCain campaign has been relegated irrelevant until the Democrats have a nominee, which might just make Mr. McCain irrelevant until August, while people stay excited about the Democrats.
For more on how the race is shaping up, check out my next post on post Mississippi math.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Post Wyoming Update

The Wyoming results are in and Senator Obama has won the state with 61% of the vote compared to Senator Clinton’s 38% and 1% voted uncommitted. Wyoming has twelve pledged delegates, seven of whom will go to Mr. Obama and five to Mrs. Clinton. This is using the AP numbers (CNN only apportioned four delegates to Mrs. Clinton)

New delegate math, using last week’s numbers and only making changes based on the Wyoming results:

Magic number 2,025

Remaining pledged delegates: 735

Obama total: 1567 + 7 = 1574
Clinton total: 1462 + 5 = 1467

Number of reaming pledged delegates needed to clinch the nomination:

Obama 451
Clinton 558

Percentage of reaming pledged delegates needed to clinch the nomination:

Obama 61% (same as last week)
Clinton 76% (a 1% increase from last week)

Mrs. Clinton needs 65% of the remaining pledged delegates to pull even with Mr. Obama

Mississippi votes tomorrow, there are 33 pledged delegates up for grabs. Mississippi also has 7

super delegates, 3 of whom are committed to Mr. Obama, and 4 are uncommitted.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Much Ado about Nothing

On Tuesday Senator Clinton won three out of five contests. Bam! She’s smack back in it, right? No. According to John Zogby, going into the Tuesday contests she needed about 62% of all the remaining pledged delegates to catch up to Senator Obama, by my math she took 53% (the actual percentage is likely a little lower because the Texas Caucus results are not in yet). She now needs 65% of the remaining delegates to catch up to her opponent by the convention, so in a way, Mrs. Clinton actually lost some ground Tuesday night, despite picking up 18 delegates. On the positive side for her, she did push back the goal posts on Mr. Obama’s hopes of clinching before the convention.

The magic number to clinch the nomination is 2,025. Including the Texas Caucus, by my math there are 747 pledged delegates left, and if we use the AP numbers, Mr. Obama has 1,567 delegates and would then need 458, or 61% to clinch, and Mrs. Clinton would need 563, or 75%. Sticking with the AP numbers there are 272 non-committed Super Delegates, if included there are then 1019 votes up for grabs and the break down becomes 45% for Mr. Obama to seal the nomination and 55% for Mrs. Clinton. The Super Delegate math is really pretty fuzzy because their support is so fluid it makes them hard to factor them in. I would guess that most of the remaining non-committed will not endorse before the convention, as Al Gore and John Edwards have pledged to do (or not do, depending on how you look at it.) So in the interest of simplicity I will not use the
Super Delegates.

There are twelve contests left (see chart). Right now it looks like Mr. Obama will win the Texas Caucus, and it is predicted that he will also carry Wyoming and Mississippi. Based on the trends that have been established Mr. Obama should also carry Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, North Carolina, Kentucky and Indiana. Because the contests are now so spaced out, I’m willing to bet that Obama runs the table. Why am I willing to make such a bold statement? Because so far, everywhere he has campaigned, his numbers have gone up, and everywhere Mrs. Clinton has campaigned, her numbers have gone down.

I was an early Clinton supporter, I went to some of her rallies, gave money to her campaign, I voted for her in the Senate, wrote and spoke favorably about her. I was excited to think about having another Clinton in the White House, and even more so at the thought of a woman finally being elected President. But the more I listened to her speak, the deeper I looked at her record, the closer I looked at her specifics, the more hollow her vanilla message rang and I became disenchanted. I am inclined to think that many other people had a somewhat similar experience.

Texas Caucus - ?? 67

Wyoming – 3/8 18

Mississippi – 3/11 40

Pennsylvania – 4/22 188

Indiana – 5/6 84

North Carolina – 5/6 134

West Virginia – 5/13 39

Kentucky – 5/20 60

Oregon – 5/20 65

Montana – 6/3 24

South Dakota – 6/3 23

Puerto Rico – 6/7 63

Florida - ??

Michigan - ??

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Michigan and Florida

I am so frigging sick of hearing about how the Democratic Party disenfranchised Michigan and Florida, because that is not what happened at all.

Party primaries are a PARTY function. The party decides to have them, and how much they matter, period. The Democratic Party decided to have Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada vote in that order, before February 5th. They made it very clear to the other 46 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, Saipan, and Americans living abroad to set their primaries any time after February 4th but before the convention in August. 48 states, a district, four territories, and block of people living in over 100 different countries were able to follow those rules and schedule their primaries and caucuses accordingly.

Two states decided that they were better than that and scheduled primaries in January. The rules were overwhelmingly clear. The Florida and Michigan primaries are null and void, meaningless. They have no more legitimacy than if I were to organize voting in my basement and ask the party for delegates.

I will agree with Governor Christ that based on its diversity Florida is probably the state that best represents the whole country, or at least top five with California, New York, Oregon and Texas. Although I suspect Mr. Christ was really just trying to get his electorate pissed off at the Democrats as part of a larger effort to be elected Vice President.

I will certainly agree with Governor Granholm that Michigan needs more attention. They have got to be the most economically depressed state in the whole country and they are consistently ignored. Detroit is their best city. P.s. forget Arnold, amend for Jennifer, she is doing a fantastic job in Michigan and would be a brilliant presidential candidate if only she weren’t born in Canada.

Absolutely Florida and Michigan should send delegates to the convention, but they have to have legitimate elections first.