Thursday, February 07, 2008

Dem delegate math: trouble to follow?

At Captain's Quarters Ed Morrissey does some Dem delegate math and sees trouble ahead for the Dems [excerpt]:

The delegate assignments have mostly shaken out from the Super Tuesday contests, and the situation looks even more grim than yesterday for the Democrats. Barack Obama now has a narrow five-delegate lead among non-superdelegates, 635-630, at roughly the halfway point.

The remaining state delegates will now have to break markedly in favor of one candidate over the other in order to avoid making the superdelegates select the party nominee….

Democrats have 4,049 delegate that will attend the convention, but 796 of these are superdelegates. That leaves 3,253 elected delegates, of which 1,291 have already been assigned to one of the candidates. That leaves 1,961 delegates left, and the winner has to have 2,025 to gain the nomination. Both Hillary and Obama would need almost 1,400 of them to win -- or 69%.

One of them would have to start winning all the proportionally-allocated states by more than a 2-1 margin the rest of the way through the calendar, at least if they wanted to win without the superdelegates. That looks like a complete impossibility.

The Democrats will have to either broker a deal between Hillary and Obama to avoid a floor fight, or they will have to have the party establishment pick the winner. And the closer the two candidates are at the end of the process, the more divisive that outcome will be.

I hope you read the entire post.

"Divisive outcome" may turn out to be an understatement.

Hillary's waited 16 years for her chance to be President. She has passionate supporters. Look at the bitter public denunciations of Sen. Ted Kennedy by many Clinton allies after he endorsed Obama. Obama's people are passionate about "the dream" and "Change."

It's very possible we'll see a situation in the fall in which there'll be public declarations of unity and support from both Hillary and Obama, but the supporters of one of them will be resentful and not "fully in the fight."

Hat tip: Mike Williams