Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Decision '08, Politics — Rick Moran @ 1:48 pm

My post on Friday that somewhat petulantly complained about people still saying that there was a legitimate chance for Hillary Clinton to win the nomination elicited many angry responses from Clintonites and even some Republicans.

While it is true that math was my worst subject in school even a numbers-challenged dummy like me can read the writing on the wall and declare without reservation that Hillary Clinton is toast and has been for weeks.

A casual examination of the delegate numbers reveals the unstartling truth that it is likely Senator Obama will have the nomination wrapped up shortly after the primaries end on June 6. It also shows that it doesn’t matter a hoot in hell what happens with Michigan and Florida’s delegates.

Using the RCP delegate totals (which differs from others by no more than 3 or 4 delegates), here is how we find the race today:


Obama: 1742
Clinton: 1606


Obama: 251
Clinton 269


Obama: 1491
Clinton: 1337

The chart shows Obama with a 136 delegate lead overall.  With 520 Superdelegates already committed, that leaves around 275 supers yet to choose (I’ve seen that number as low as 268). But let’s give Hillary the benefit of the doubt and use the higher number for our purposes.

Now let’s look at the remaining contests and the number of delegates at stake:

May 6: Indiana (85) and North Carolina (134)
May 13: West Virginia (39)
May 20: Kentucky (60) and Oregon (55)
June 1: Puerto Rico (63)
June 3: Montana (25) and South Dakota (23)

(Note: There are some state conventions in May and June that will determine some additional delegates but are based on primary and caucus results and hence, are predictable with a large degree of certainty. Most pledged delegate counts have included all but a handful of these delegates which is where the discrepancy between counts occurs.)

Now let’s take a pro-Hillary split on these delegates since she is really expected only to lose NC, OR, and possibly MT out of these remaining primaries although I think those three states will be close - no blow outs by Obama. Now let’s take each state and award Obama the absolute minimum he will win. Remember, Democrats award delegates proportionally:

Indiana: 38
N. Carolina: 65
W. Virginia 15
Kentucky: 25
Oregon: 30
Puerto Rico: 25
Montana: 10
South Dakota: 10

Total: 218 minimum delegates for Obama.

I don’t see how anyone could accuse me of overcounting Obama’s delegate totals in any of those states - especially since I assume Hillary will win every single primary. But let’s look now at Obama’s totals. Add the 218 additional delegates to Obama’s RCP total of 1742 and you get:

Total Delegates for Obama on June 3: 1960
Needed to Nominate: 2025

With 275 supers yet to commit, Obama needs only 65 Superdelegates to go over the top. And that is not counting those supers who come out for Obama between now and June 3!

In short, it is possible that at the end of the primaries, Obama will need only a handful - perhaps as few as 25-30 supers - to make Michigan and Florida moot and Hillary’s candidacy kaput.

Does anyone believe that the moment Obama goes over the top that anyone, anywhere is going to deny him the nomination? If you believe that, go back to sleep because the only place you’ll see a scenario like that unfolding is in your dreams. Just imagine Republican attack ads against Hillary and the Democratic party if that were to occur.

It would probably not only doom Clinton’s candidacy but possibly affect some of the down ballot races, especially for the House. The Democratic brand would be poison. Hillary would be a pariah with half the Democratic party and those superdelegates who switched or went for Hillary wouldn’t be any better off.

But there is nothing to worry about if you’re a Democrat because it isn’t going to happen.


  1. I must have missed the “angry” responses. Obama will likely win the nomination. There is no question about that but he is by no means a shoo in. Republican attack ads will not matter. What will ultimately matter to the super delegates is who has the better chance to win the general election. If it turns out that this is Mrs. Clinton, the super delegates who go with her will likely be commended by a large majority of the press and the electorate. I say Obama has approximately a 55% chance of getting the nomination with Clinton having a 45% chance of getting the nomination. Alot can and will happen between now and August. If mew information comes out or the mood of the electorate changes, super delegates can likely change as well. The point is it seems premature to count Mrs. Clinton out at this time.


    55% is a ridiculous number, not connected to reality in any way. Try 98.5% as a true reflection of Obama’s chances.

    And to believe that once Obama has enough delegates pledged to him - both supers and others - that the Democratic party will deny him the nomination is idiotic.

    Comment by B.Poster — 5/4/2008 @ 2:09 pm

  2. Given that analysis, why is she still running, and making it easy for the Republicans?

    Comment by susan — 5/4/2008 @ 4:24 pm

  3. I agree taht it will be a tall order for Mrs. Clinton to get 90% of the reamining super delegates. It is more likely than not that Mr. Obama will get the nomination. In any event, it will take more than the Wright controversy to derail Mr. Obama at this point. There is a strong possibilty that more will happen. As the electorate learns more about Mr. Obama, the polls which reflect the mood of the voters at a given time seem to be getting tighter.

    I don’t think 55% is ridiculous at all and I think its quite realistic. Given that the polls seem to be tightening and more is learned about all of the candidates the opinions of the electorate seem to be in a state of flux right now. I’m pretty sure Mr. Obama’s campaign is not operating as though the candidate has a 98.5% chance of victory. For his sake, I sure hope not.

    When the convention starts, if the super delegates and the Democratic party leaders believe that Mrs. Clinton has a better chance of winning the general election than Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton will get the nomination even if Mr. Obama has more pledged delegates. I find nothing idiotic in denying the nomination to Mr. Obama if party leaders do not think he can win the general election.

    Again, it is more likely than not that Mr. Obama will get the nomination but I think it is premature to declare him a shoo-in. I think it was Yogi Berra who used to say, “it ain’t over till its over.” This one’s far from over. As someone else once said, “get ya popcorn ready.” This one’s gonna be interesting.

    Comment by B.Poster — 5/4/2008 @ 6:36 pm

  4. Please do not forget the four other shoes (at least) that will drop on Obama before the Democratic convention:
    1. Rezko trial and press revelations of Obama’s cooperation, collusion, and collaboration [CC & C](forget ‘association’)in unethical/criminal activities with Rezko and his pals.
    2. CC & C with William Ayres and his terrorist cohort both past and current. Look out for the beneficiaries of those activities.
    3. CC & C with what’s-his-name who had close ties to Middle-East terror groups. Will this be another case of ‘I was there participating but not caring?’
    4. Re-emphasis about Obama’s willingness to allow genocide to occur in Iraq when he was promoting,in 2007, immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq during the time BEFORE the Surge had reaped benefits for the innocent Iraqi men, women, and children — many of whom had risked their lives to vote for a democratic Iraq! And didn’t Obama vote against funding for our troops in Iraq, or was it that he simply did not vote for funding?
    Now, Obama is taking a position for gradual withdrawal — after he’s seen the success of the Surge.

    Obama smacks of someone who is soulless, unprincipled, unscrupulous, and unfit to lead America.

    All of those issues will resonate with independents. But Democrats are not upset about Rezko, or Ayers, or abandoning Iraq. He won’t lose much support in his own party from now until the convention unless something really bad comes out - and no one is expecting that at this point. Rezko has no dirt on Obama that would send him to jail. Democrats admire Ayers as much as Obama might admire him.


    Comment by FamouslyUnknown — 5/4/2008 @ 9:53 pm

  5. Rick,

    The problem is that superdelegates are free to switch at any time.

    As long as Hillary sees any hope at all of getting those delegates to switch to her, she won’t quit.

    Therefore, sometime after June 3rd, the superdelegates will put Obama over the top. Hillary will not surrender. There will be an outpouring of appearances by Obama supporters in the media at that point, and the fireworks will be intense. It will be a joy to watch.

    In the end, I think she caves into the political pressure and SUSPENDS her campaign, hoping against hope that between June 10th and the Denver convention, something will happen where she can revive her campaign to get the superdelegates to switch to her.

    It will be a very tense June-August between Obama and Clinton as she continues to seek to weaken him. But behind the scenes.

    I think that is a very realistic scenario.


    Comment by MikeDevx — 5/4/2008 @ 10:07 pm

  6. “All of those issues will resonate with independents…” Yes they probably will. As such, those issues are going to resonate with the super delegates and other decision makers within the Democratic party.

    Comment by B.Poster — 5/5/2008 @ 10:17 am

  7. The whole point of the Democratic process is that delegates and particularly superdelegaltes are not obliged to vote for anyone in particular and can switch their professed allegence if they wish. If Obama proves unelectable then he has to hold on to his support all the way to the Convention - a long way with constant Republican sniping

    Comment by Michael Kay — 5/5/2008 @ 1:28 pm

  8. Hillary makes me gag, Obama is a flash in the pan. And still each are better than the pseudo straight talker.

    McCain just like dubya will not be the real president. cheney was president, or what? Shall we choose McCains VP as the real president?

    Hello to lesser-evil choices once again. We are so doomed…awaiting real leadership in my lifetime.

    Comment by bobwire — 5/5/2008 @ 11:26 pm

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