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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Can Hillary Catch Up?

George Wenschhof

Today, many from the Obama campaign will be saying it is an impossibility for Senator Clinton to catch up to the delegate lead that Senator Obama currently holds. But is it? Let's take a look.

First, let's examine the current delegate count as reported by
Obama: Total -1542, Pledged -1340, Super-202
Clinton: Total -1447, Pledged -1206, Super-241

These numbers will change over the next several days as tallies come in on the Texas caucuses and on some of the state district allocation. There are presently 45 outstanding delegates in Texas and 9 in Ohio to be counted. This will effect the current 95 delegate lead Obama has on Clinton at the moment. If Obama's past success in caucuses hold true in Texas, he could increase his lead by another 10 delegates.

After yesterday, approximately 75% (2989 of the total 4049 delegates including superdelegates) available have been awarded to the candidates. Ten states along with Guam and Puerto Rico have yet to hold their primaries and they have a total of 613 pledged delegates.

In addition, there is the outside possibility of do-over primaries in Florida and Michigan where the democratic voters are sure to want to have their voices heard and votes count in such a historic nomination process.

From a statistical analysis, it appears doubtful that Senator Clinton could catch up by the winning of pledged delegates alone. However, it is not an impossibility, especially if Michigan and Florida are added to the equation.

This leads us back to the superdelgate involvement in the Democratic Party nomination process. Most voters were unaware of their existence or the fact they made up 20% of the overall delegate count. By now, we all know they are the Democratic elected congressmen, Governors, U.S. Senators, Party officials and activists in each state.

Most voters have expressed their dipleasure over their existence and feel they should not be the ones to determine the nominee of the Democratic Party. In fact, a poll we ran on our site showed 84% said superdelegates should not decide the nomination. When we reported the final results of the poll we also posted a column by Geraldine A. Ferraro explaining why the committee she served on for the Democratic Party created superdelegates:

Anything can still happen in such a closely contested race so stay tuned. Wyoming is up next this Saturday with 12 pledged delegates and Mississippi follows on Tuesday with their 33 pledged delegates. Then, it is six weeks until the next primary in Pennsylvania with 158 pledged delegates on Aprill 22nd. A lot can happen over a six week period.

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