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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Can Obama or Clinton Win Nomination With Only Pledged Delegates?

George Wenschhof

If the states, Florida and Michigan continue to have their pledged delegates excluded from the democratic party nomination process, the answer is no. Even with their inclusion as a result of a do-over primary, it is still likely neither candidate would receive enough pledged delegates to reach the required 2025 needed to win the nomination.

As mentioned in the previous post, the remaining ten states, Guam and Puerto Rico have 613 pledged delegates up for grabs. If you added Michigan (128 pledged delegates) and Florida (185 pledged delegates), there would be a total of 926 pledged delegates which would be allocated to the candidates based on their performance in each state.

The present delegates totals reported by as of 6:30 PM ET are as follows with 10 delegates still outstanding in Texas.
Obama: Total-1570, Pledged-1366, Super-204
Clinton: Total-1465, Pledged-1222, Super-243

So Obama would need to win 659 out of a possible 926 pledged delegates (this would be including Michigan and Florida) to reach 2025. Clinton would need to win 803 out of the 926 pledged delegates including Michigan and Florida to reach 2025. Even if you throw in the 25-35 delegates that John Edwards still has pledged to him since he suspended his campaign instead of withdrawing, neither candidate can win the nomination by pledged delegates alone.

The Obama campaign has for some time been busy shooting down the inclusion of superdelegates in determining the democratic nominee for President. This is because Senator Hillary Clinton had been leading in a big manner. However it is now 243 for Clinton to 204 for Senator Barack Obama. Out of the 797 total superdelegates available, there are still 350 superdelegates who have not indicated who has their vote. So look for continued arm twisting to be happening in this area.

Regardless of your position on the role of superdelegates in the nomination process, it is apparent they will be who will make the determination on who the democratic party nominee will be unless one candidate drops out of the race.

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