Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Math Problem That Hillary Clinton Cannot Solve

....No matter how she tries to spin it.

Everyone (well at least the corporate media pundits) has been talking about how Obama cannot win the nomination and that Superdelegates would have the last word. They swear that neither candidate will be able to reach the 2025 delegates needed to clinch the nomination outright.

But according to my math, Obama will get extremely close to the number of delegates that he needs from earned pledged delegates alone....not counting the Superdelegates that are likely to get behind him between now and June.

However, in order for this to be a possibility, the problem of Florida and Michigan would have to be solved. I am a little more open to the idea of a "do-over" as long as it would be fair. The problem that I see is that Clinton is not only being allowed to call for the "do-overs", but she is also being allowed to dictate exactly how the do-overs will take place. It's extremely annoying...and Obama has to be more aggressive with both States and with the Democratic Party elites in making sure that the process is not being manipulated to benefit Clinton.

Just imagine for a moment that the situation was reversed, and it was Obama who was behind. I am confident that there would not even be a discussion about seating delegates from Florida and Michigan. There would be no discussion about any "do-overs". Clinton is being allowed to do this because her name is "Clinton", she's a former First Lady, and as a prominent White figure within the Democratic Party, she is being afforded a certain amount of priviledge.... This is the kind of advantage and leverage that Obama would never be allowed to have.

The vote has to be fair. Currently the two camps, and the State Party officials are discussing which method of voting to use. First they considered a Primary...but that would probably be the most costly method. Neither State wants to pay for new Primaries. So the idea of Caucus's came up, but the Clinton camp quickly rejected that method (worried about losing their advantage). So now they are talking about a mail-in vote. This method does not seem to be the most fair or the most cost effective. It would also be open to all sorts of fraud. It could easily be manipulated.

Then there is the issue of voters needing a "mailing address". This may disinfranchise poor and minority voters. If Obama was smart, he would push harder for the Caucus idea. The Caucus could be cheaper than a mail-in system... (less materials required...and fewer issues with logistics and postage).

Another problem is that the "mail" method would be an experiment for both States. It's not a good idea to have an experiment on a process that you have to get right the first time and the only time. A better compromise might be a Primary in one State and a Caucus in the other....and have the Federal government pay for it. The cost would be equal to a few hours of Iraq war costs. If the U.S. can pick up the tab for elections in other Countries, certainly it can pay for two State elections here at home.

But with that in mind, Obama could benefit in the end. As things stand now, and barring any major collapse or setback on the part of Obama, he would reach 2025 delegates before Clinton would, and the Michigan and Florida results would make it possible. I think Hillary might come to regret calling for "do-overs" in those two States. She would be better off calling for the delegates not to be seated and setting the stage for Obama to fall short...so that she could argue for Superdelegates. Don't be surprised if Clinton reverses course on this, once she realizes that Obama could benefit more than she would.... that's if she wants to drag this thing on through May and June.

But here are how things stand:

Obama has 1608 total delegates after his win in Mississippi.

With pledged delegates only... he would get very close to the 2025 requirement by June.

The following are rough estimates of what Obama's delegate take would be from the remaining States. The numbers are extremely conservative...and I was generous in giving Clinton a few big wins...

April 22nd

Pennsylvania - 158 Pledged Delegates at stake

40% of delegates would give Obama 63


Florida and Michigan (assuming that this will eventually be resolved...hopefully fairly).

Florida has 185 pledged delegates at stake.

45% of delegates would give Obama 83.

Michigan has 128 delegates at stake.

45% of delegates would give Obama 57. (Although Obama has been looking good in recent polls.... he could actually win the State. But as I stated...these are modest predictions).


May 3rd

Guam - 6 pledged delegates at stake.

50% of delegates would give Obama 3 of course.

May 6th

Indiana - 72 pledged delegates.

I will give Obama a win in Indiana...he has been looking good in recent polls and may even be stronger by the time we reach May 6th.

55% of delegates would give Obama 40.

North Carolina- 115 delegates at stake.

55% of the delegates would give Obama 63.

May 13th

West Virginia - 28 delegates up for grabs.
This is Clinton territory.

with 40% of delegates, Obama would get 11.

May 20th

Kentucky - 51 delegates at stake.

This part of the South would be more friendly to Clinton.

But I still give Obama 45% of delegates for a take of 23.

Oregon - 52 pledged delegates at stake

This should be Obama Country.

I will give Obama 55% of delegates for a take of 28.

June 3rd

Montana- 16 delegates

I will give Obama at least 50% of delegates for 8.

South Dakota - 15 delegates

I will give Obama 7

June 7th

Puerto Rico - a whopping 55 pledged delegates are at stake. Puerto Rico officials have just announced that they will hold a Primary.... Delegates will not be given as a block as in previous elections. Since Puerto Rico is going to play an important role this time, they want to make the most of it. The Governor has endorsed Obama.... Obama also seems to be in tune and in step with what most of the people want... however, they don't know Obama as well as they know Clinton.

Obama's team could benefit from bringing up the issue of Vieques. The Island of Vieques was at the center of a bitter battle between the Puerto Rico grassroots and the Clinton Administration. Puerto Ricans, who treasure the island, successfully fought against the Clinton administration to stop the Navy from using the Island for live fire bombing exercises.

But Clinton also has support from several members of the legislature. Obama should begin campaigning there as soon as possible...at least with surrogates.

Clinton thinks that her success with Hispanics elsewhere will translate to PR. I am not so sure... Puerto Ricans have different concerns than Mexicans, Cubans in Florida, etc. The candidate who is perceived as being the most knowledgeable about local history, culture, and political/social issues, will be in a better position to win. That's why it's important for Obama to get to PR quickly. This dead time between now and April 22nd would be the perfect time to gain a foothold in PR and begin campaigning hard.

I will give Obama at least 50%...for a modest 27.

Obama's pledged delegates from the remaining States should total at least 413.

1608 + 413 = 2021

That 2021 is not including any of the approximately 300 Superdelegates who are uncommitted as of now. Assuming that Obama get's a few of those Superdelegates, he should be in a position to reach 2025 before Clinton.

But even without the Superdelegates... a guy by the name of John Edwards is still sitting on 26 pledged delegates of his own. He could be instrumental in swinging the election.

It is inconceivable that Obama would lose any Superdelegates during the next few months... He will only gain Superdelegates. He will likely reach the 2000 + mark before Puerto Rico (with the help of Superdelegates). But certainly after PR he will be well into the 2000's.... while Clinton would be just short.

Over the same period, Clinton would accumulate approx. 468 pledged delegates. Added to the total delegates that she already has (1476) she would have 1944 to Obama's 2021.

The above represents the best case scenario for Clinton. with 1944 earned delegates...she would have a much higher mountain to climb than Obama in terms of convincing Superdelegates. And if it came down to John Edwards.... I just can't imagine that he would support Hillary Clinton.

This could be a photo finish.

But reaching 2000 is important because it should end all of the silly talk about a brokered election where the Democratic Party establishment would essentially dictate terms to Barack Obama. That would be unacceptable.

(Note: This guestimate is unscientific... because delegates in each State are weighted differently and are awarded under rules decided by each State legislature).


Anonymous said...

Hillary and Bill Clinton have made a significant issue about how the press is treating Hillary unfairly in their hyper-critical reporting on her and their “softball” reporting on Barak Obama. Hillary maintains she has been fully investigated by the media and Barak hasn’t!

As the Tony Rezko trial begins in Chicago, Clinton and her surrogates are linking Obama to Rezko and the media is speculating about whether Obama will be called to testify as a witness in the case. Obama has always admitted he received $85,000 in contributions from Rezko which Obama has now donated to charity rather than keep.

Yet the civil fraud trial of Bill Clinton for defrauduing Hillary’s largest donor in 2000 into giving her campaign more than $1.2 million, pending in Los Angeles courts since 2003, is now preparing for a November, 2008 trial. The discovery that is now proceeding after a February 21 hearing, and the pending trial, have NEVER been announced by the mainstream media.

Hillary was able to extricate herself as a co-defendant in the case in January, 2008 after years of appeals to be protected by the First Amendment from tort claims arising out of federal campaign solicitations she made. Her abuse of the intent of California’s anti-SLAPP law after the California Supreme Court refused to dismiss her from the case in 2004 is emblematic of her contempt for the Rule of Law.

Hillary will be called as a witness in both discovery and the trial according to the trial court Judge who so-advised Hillary’s attorney David Kendall when he dismissed Hillary as a co-defendant in 2007. A subpoena is being prepared this month and will be served personally on Hillary, along with Chelsea, Pa Gov. Ed Rendell, Al Gore and other well known political and media figures.

Yet the media has refused to report about this landmark civil fraud case- brought by Hillary’s biggest 2000 donor to her Senate race, regarding allegations that were corroborated by the Department of Justice in the criminal trial of Hillary’s finance director David Rosen in May, 2005. That indictment and trial was credited as resulting from the civil suit’s allegations by Peter Paul, the Hollywood dot com millionaire Bill Clinton convinced to donate more than $1.2 million (according to the DOJ prosecutors and the FBI) to Hillary’s Senate campaign as part of a post White House business deal with Bill.

The media - except for World Net Daily- has also suspiciously refused to report on Hillary’s last FEC report regarding her 2000 Senate campaign, filed in January 30, 2006. In a secret settlement of an FEC complaint by the plaintiff in Paul v Clinton, Peter Paul, the FEC fined Hillary’s campaign $35,000 for hiding more than $720,000 in donations from Paul, and it required Hillary’s campaign to file a 4th amended FEC report.

In that report Hillary and her campaign again hid Paul’s $1.2 million contribution to her campaign and falsely attributed $250,000 as being donated by Paul’s partner, Spider Man creator Stan Lee, who swore in a video taped deposition he never gave Hillary or her campaign any money.

Lee did testify to trading $100,000 checks with Paul to make it appear he gave $100,000 to Hillary’s campaign (admission of a felony) but none of that has been reported by the “overly critical” media!

Where is the outrage from Obama that the press is engaging in a double standard relating to his possible role in the Rezko trial and his refunding the $85,000 contributed to his campaign by Rezko- which Obama has always admitted taking. The media makes no mention of Hillary’s role as a witness in Bill’s fraud trial for defrauding Hillary’s largest donor- and Hillary’s refusal to refund the $1.2 million she illegally received from Paul, which she has denied taking from Paul ever since the Washington Post asked her about Paul and his felony convictions from the 1970’s before her first Senate election in 2000?

Visit Hillcap.org for videos and info.

Toure Zeigler said...

Interesting, the mdeia always said it's unlikely for either candidate to reach 2,025. But your break down has shown that Obama could reach that with help from the Superdelegates

Brian said...

I had to make a few corrections. It actually looks even better for Obama.

I forgot to include Oregon, which is having a mail-in vote. I gave Obama a win there.

I also had to change Puerto Rico from 63 delegates to 55. Only 55 will be considered earned pledged delegates.