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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Current Democratic Delegate Count 5-21-2008

George Wenschhof

The Democrats are finally near the end of a long and exciting primary schedule with only three remaining primaries with a total of 86 pledged delegates. In less than two weeks, Montana (16 pledged delegates) and S. Dakota (15 pledged delegates) will hold the last primaries on June 3rd. Two days before, Puerto Rico (55 pledged delegates) will hold their primary.

So what does the delegate math look like? Well, after yesterday's primaries in Kentucky and Oregon so far Clinton won 53 and Obama won 42. There are still 7 outstanding delegates to be assigned from Oregon and 1 from Kentucky. The best Clinton can hope for is a 5-3 split in her favor and most likely it will be a 4-4 split. The 12 delegate pick up by Clinton I predicted yesterday is just about correct. has the new total delegates with the above numbers as Obama 1957 and Clinton 1775

We all know by now that 2025 delegates are needed to secure the nomination - or is it? The 2025 figure was arrived at by not including the total 366 delegates from Michigan ( 128 pledged and 28 superdelegates) and Florida (185 pledged and 25 superdelegates). These two states had their delegates stripped by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) because they held their primaries at an earlier unsanctioned date in the Democratic primary schedule.

So currently, the number of available delegates are 86 pledged and 158 superdelegates for a total of 244 delegates. Out of the 86 pledged delegates, even if Clinton won all three contests by 60%, she would not win more than 52 delegates to 34 for Obama. However, this would leave Obama 34 delegates short of the 2025 needed. But then the remaining superdelegates will weigh in and Obama would only need approximately 34 of the 158 remaining superdelegates which is only 22%. Looks like a slam dunk for Obama.

However, the Clinton campaign's "Hail Mary" is that when the DNC credentials committee meets on May 31st, they somehow resolve the Florida and Michigan situation in a manner that is overwhelmingly in Clinton's favor. They will also continue to press their case that Clinton won the majority of the popular vote which is a good argument but is not currently used to determine the democratic party nominee.

By adding these two states, the majority of the delegates needed becomes 2209 and sometimes you will hear 2210. In order for Clinton to reach this figure she would need to win 410 of the new 610 remaining total delegates or 67%. Obama would need to win 250 of the 610 or 41%. The Clinton's campaign other hope would be that she won at least 60% and then neither of the candidates would have the 2209 or 2210 needed delegates. This would then lead to a broker-ed Democratic Party convention in August - don't look for this to happen.

The Clinton campaign should not count on the above scenario. Her own campaign adviser, Terry McAuliffe who is a former chair of the DNC stated when on "Meet the Press" recently, the most the DNC can sanction is half of the delegates. Obama was not even on the ballot in Michigan and no candidate campaigned in these two states per agreement with the DNC.

So look to see a compromise solution to the seating of delegates from these two states on the 31st. It is also becoming clear that Clinton will formally withdraw within a week of the last primaries on June 3rd or even better yet, for the benefit of the Democratic Party, withdraw in a speech the night of June 3rd. She will be able to say she worked hard to include Michigan, Florida, and voters from every state in the process. It's been an historic primary with a African-American and Woman candidate and now it is time to unite to ensure the end of a continuation of the failed policies of the President George W. Bush administration.

Although this Democratic Presidential primary has exposed many shortcomings in the nomination process, it has been one of the most exciting primaries ever. Democratic voters have turned out in record numbers from across the country making it be known that it is time for a change.

Stay Tuned

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