Updated Delegate Math: What Each Needs
Chris Bowers at Open Left has been numbers-crunching:
Obama needs 471.5 of the 875 remaining delegates, or 53.9%, in order to reach the magic number.
Clinton needs even more, 489.5 of 875, or 56.0%. Both scenarios are extremely unlikely.
Those numbers are very close to each other. Put another way, Hillary is only 18 delegates behind Obama in the race for the next 875.
Chris then makes predictions. But they all start with his (probably educated)guess that the credentials committee will refuse to seat MI and FL because it will have more Obama supporters than Hillary supporters on it. But these committee members like superdelegates can change their support at any time, and not all of them have declared, so I'm not prepared to agree with that. That said, here's how Chris sees it playing out:
What is likely is that the Clinton campaign will push for Michigan and Florida to be seated as is, and use the Michigan and Florida delegations to argue that Obama has not yet clinched the nomination. After June 3rd, they will take that argument to the credentials committee, which gains authority over the matter on June 11th.
From that point, the credentials committee will probably deny the Clinton's campaign's argument to seat both delegations as is, since Obama will probably control the majority of seats on the committee. The next step will be for the Clinton faction on the committee to file a minority report on the delegations, which will then be referred to the full convention.
The full floor vote on the Michigan and Florida delegations will then be a good proxy to determine who will win the nomination on the first ballot. And that is what the convention fight of 2008 will probably look like.
Chris also got this e-mail from the DNC on why they didn't penalize NH for moving its primary date up:
New Hampshire wasn't punished for moving up because the Rules and Bylaws Committee voted to allow NH, IA, NV and SC to move their primary dates after Florida and Michigan moved their primaries forward. So that the was the reason there was no punishment. The RBC members felt that because they (the 4 states) had been granted early state status they should be allowed to move their primary based on FL and MI's decision.
Update: Thanks to a commenter below, I see that on Feb. 12, Chris argued for the seating of the Florida delegates in accord with the Jan. 29 votes.
And for the record, I can't make heads or tails out of his chart. I'm not vouching for it, just putting it out there.
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