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Monday, March 3, 2008

Will the Democrats have a Nominee Tomorrow?

George Wenschhof

The results from the primaries tomorrow will determine if this historic battle for the nomination of the Democratic candidate for President continues or comes to an end.

As of today, has the total delegate count (including superdelegates) as Senator Obama - 1389, and Senator Clinton - 1279. As everyone now knows, the nominee needs 2025 delegates.

Ten states along with Guam and Puerto Rico on June 7th representing a total of 747 delegates, remain on the democratic primary schedule. Some statisticians are saying it will be difficult for either candidate to secure the needed 2025 delegates. This could result in the superdelegates determining the nominee or the consideration of holding do-over primaries in Michigan (156 total delegates) and Florida (210 total delegates).

However, the nomination process could be over tomorrow when 443 total delegates are at stake in the four states holding a primary. Ohio (161 Total) and Texas (228 total) has received the most attention while Rhode Island (32 total) and Vermont (23 total) also hold their primary.

Polls are showing a dead heat in Texas with a Rueters/CSPAN/Zogby poll from 2-29 to 3-2 showing Obama at 47% and Clinton at 44%. This is a state that has given us yet another civics lesson in the Democratic Party nomination process. Here, the delegates are awarded in what is referred to as the Texas Two-Step method. First, the vote at the polling booth will result in approximately two-thirds of the pledged delegates being awarded. Second, caucuses are held across the state that will result in approximately one-third of the delegates being awarded.

In Ohio, a state where Clinton recently had a large lead, a Rueters/CSPAN/Zogby poll from 2-29 to 3-2 show Obama with the lead with 47% and Clinton at 45%. This is basically a tie with some voters still undecided.

After March 4th, approximately 75% of the states will have held their democratic primaries. It is not possible for either candidate to win enough delegates tomorrow to secure the nomination. However, a Obama win in either Texas or Ohio would almost certainly bring the Clinton campaign to a halt.

These recent polls seem to accurately reflect the sentiment of the Democratic electorate that have participated in the primaries to date. The voters who participate in democratic primaries typically number less than 30% of those registered and can sometimes reflect the more liberal views within the Party.

By the closeness of the delegate count, it is apparent the voters are torn between their support for Senator Clinton and Senator Obama. The opinions are many as to why the primaries have yielded the current results to date. I'll share some of them in my post tomorrow.

Meanwhile, stayed tuned to this exciting Democratic Party nomination process. Tomorrow evening we will do some live blogging as the results come in.

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