Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

As DemConWatch rightly points out, the goal posts for what constitutes a win have been moving, but legitimately so, not just by the shear force of will of a campaign, as the number of total delegates has fluctuated over the past few months. As of last night, with Travis Childers's MS-01 win, a new superdelegate was added to the mix, bringing the total delegate universe up to 4049, which means the candidates need 2025 to win (when Donna Edwards officially wins her MD-04 seat on June 14, that number will bump up to 2025.5.)

In all likelihood, the number of delegates needed to win will once again bump up on May 31 when the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meets to deal with the seating of the Michigan and Florida delegations. Yet until then, it's hard to argue the number is anything but 2025.

Now, both campaigns have been a bit disingenuous when it's come to what it takes to declare victory. Team Obama has been spreading the idea that because they'll get to a majority of pledged delegates by May 20 (1627 of the current 3,253 pledged delegates currently in play), that constitutes victory. Well, unfortunately, that's a fake measure and will likely be moot as of May 31 when the entire pledged delegate universe, and hence the number needed to achieve a majority, likely shifts once at least part of the Michigan and Florida delegations are ratified. There's nothing lamer than declaring victory one day only to have to retract it 11 days later.

The Clinton campaign though continues to insist that the magic number of total delegates to win is 2209, which is 2025 plus all of Michigan and Florida's pledged and superdelegates. This presumes that the DNC RBC will reinstate 100% of Michigan's and Florida's delegates, which just simply isn't either a terribly likely scenario (one suspects the committee will keep some punishment in tact, perhaps docking them half their pledged delegates...) nor is it technically operative prior to the 31st.

Does any of this really matter since Hillary Clinton has said she's in it through June 3rd anyway? Last night on Larry King, Obama booster Ed Schulz suggested the one scenario in which it could matter: if Barack Obama reaches 2025 before May 31. But is that likely to happen?

After last night's contests and any pledged supers announced today, the delegate count according to DemConWatch's running tally is Obama 1885, Clinton 1717. There are only two contests left between now and May 31, Kentucky and Oregon on May 20. After allocating pledged delegates from those primaries according to the Obama projection spreadsheet, as of May 20 the total delegate counts will be up to Obama 1936, Clinton 1769. Hence Obama would need 89 superdelegates to declare for him in the next 16 days to be able to declare a 2025 victory prior to May 31. Could it happen? Well, it's possible but at a rate of more than 5 supers a day between now and then, it doesn't seem terribly likely, especially after Clinton's huge win last night with another one on the way next Tuesday.

At this point, it just doesn't make sense for supers to force a showdown over whether victory has been achieved, which is what allowing Obama to reach the 2025 threshold before Michigan and Florida are settled would essentially do. Also, no doubt part of why the DNC is even hearing the cases of MI & FL prior to the end of voting is to make MI & FL feel that they were a part of the process, which is arguably important psychologically for voters in those states. Do supers really want to derail that? So, as of now, I have to say, while for the next few weeks we're going to have to listen to both campaigns spin what constitutes victory, I doubt we're going to see the rate of superdelegate declaration for Obama that would be required to force a real showdown between Clinton and Obama prior to May 31. Of course, I've been wrong before...

Update [2008-5-14 16:0:27 by Todd Beeton]:Per Ben Smith, Howard Wolfson said today that Childers's win bumps the total delegates needed to win up to 2210.

Update [2008-5-14 16:44:55 by Todd Beeton]:Via e-mail, with the endorsement today of Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan, the Obama campaign has their total superdelegate count at 288.5, making the number needed to reach 2025 down to 134.5. By my count, approximately 80 of those would need to be supers to reach 2025 before May 31.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama, Democratic nomination, Florida, Hillary Clinton, Michigan (all tags)

Comments

80 Comments

Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Heh, who will Childers cast his superdelegate vote for?

Will he finally get around to meeting Barack Obama, after winning with a "never heard of the guy" campaign? :)

by Steve M 2008-05-14 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

In that seat, he may not cast a superdelegate vote at all.

But isn't it fantastic that he won -- and very telling that the ads tying him to Obama and the national Democratic party were stunningly ineffective?

by politicsmatters 2008-05-14 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Well, of course it's fantastic that he won.  I hope no other Congressional candidates take it as a sign that their strategy for November should be to run television ads saying they've never met Barack Obama and have nothing to do with him.

by Steve M 2008-05-14 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

You apparently didn't hear that he walked, no ran screaming away from Obama in his campaign.

The only reason why Wright was inneffective in his campaign is because he distanced himself from Obama.

by Sensible 2008-05-14 01:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

I missed the statement rejecting and denouncing Obama and throwing his support behind Hillary. Heavy black turnout in a district with a large African American population usually underrepresented at the polls together with socially conservative white Democrats provided the stunning margins.

Childers would not have won without Black voters. He had no desire to piss off any of the segments of the coalition he needs to win so he is staying out of the national race. But the ads tying him to Obama didn't hurt him with white voters and may have helped a lot in motivating Black voters to come out in unprecedented numbers. So a win win for him and a disaster for the Republicans.

by hankg 2008-05-14 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Actually, I think that it would be very possible.  Once Obama clinches the majority of pledged delegates, it's very likely that the superdelegate movement will accelerate -- unless they just want to wait a little longer until SD and MT have spoken.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-14 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Am I missing something or doesn't he already have the majority of the pledged delegates?  And, not be contrarian or anything, but the superdelegates do not actually vote until the convention.  They can declare now, but nothing is preventing minds from changing before August.  If something happens that makes it personally politically expedient to switch their votes, better believe they will.

by jarhead5536 2008-05-14 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

He does have the majority as it stands. Todd is also quoting hearsay. The total number of pledged delegates to win is a number defined only by the democratic party.

The person that Todd quoted in this article, as an authority - is not associated with the Democratic party in that fashion and does not speak for them.

by Trey Rentz 2008-05-14 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Obama is 25 from having a majority of all available pledged delegates.  He'll get the majority after OR and KY.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-14 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

He is leading so he has the majority of pledged delegates that have voted.  On Tuesday voters will make it impossible for Clinton to overtake that lead.

by thezzyzx 2008-05-14 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

He doesn't technically have a majority of all pledged delegates yet, but due to proportional allocation there's no way he's going to lose that metric.  I think at this point, he would have to fail viability (<15%) in a substantial number of CDs, and that just ain't gonna happen.

Overall, I think Todd has some very good points, and I agree with him that declaring victory before May 31 would be premature.  I'm guessing we won't see enough supers to hit 2025 by then anyway.  The Rules committee can either punt (no decision, let Credentials take it up later) or seat with half votes -- full votes won't fly -- probably either splitting MI 50-50 or assigning all uncommiteds to Obama.  At that point we'll have a clear definition of victory, and it can wrap up in the first week of June.

Clinton seems to be in conciliatory mode, rather than mutual destruction mode, so I see no harm in letting the contest play itself out naturally.  (If she keeps insisting on fighting to the convention after MI-FL are settled and he has enough pledged + endorsed supers, then I will have a problem with it;  but I don't expect that.)

peace,
lilnev

by lilnev 2008-05-14 12:28PM | 0 recs
When they say majority.

They mean taking all the pledged delegates available in all the states and dividing by two.  Whoever gets more than that number has a true majority.  Obama has a majority of the ones pledged so far but not yet a true majority of all available.

by GFORD 2008-05-14 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Todd,

Could you please comment on my diary about more transparency for the electoral vote maps?  I think they're a real service to the community and I would very much appreciate more detailed information linked to them.  The last I looked, 93% agreed.

Here's the diary (and it's now on top of the Rec List) http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/5/14/1450 42/287

Thanks much!

by politicsmatters 2008-05-14 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

There is a "Big" Endorsement coming tonight...if it is Gore or Edwards that could help up the flow of supers.

by cardboard 1 2008-05-14 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?
For which candidate? and what is your source?
by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-05-14 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

For Obama - Per a friend with the campaign....though I just now read in the diary of "Will Edwards Endorse" that Halperin is suggesting Edwards ThePage.Time.Com and the Atlantic is reporting a "Big Endorsement" at 7pm tonight.

by cardboard 1 2008-05-14 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Bob Barr for Obama?  He's a libertarian for Pete's sake! What does your tag line mean?!

by Trey Rentz 2008-05-14 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

haha... he takes votes from McCain - may even make Georgia a toss-up

by cardboard 1 2008-05-14 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Yeah, Georgia is a very interesting situation with Barr.  Obama still would have some wok two do, as polls show him down double digits, but I could see it happening if Barr siphoned 5% of McCain's votes

by edparrot 2008-05-14 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

His tagline means stealing Republican votes to a third party so as to increase Obama's chances, I'm reasonably sure...

...as a sidenote, it disappoints me that liberals don't appreciate libertarianism more, as I consider them natural allies when in their finest forms, and both enemies of the state-corporatists/militarists/authorita rians/social-reactionaries that the Republican party represents -- but that's a different discussion, I guess.

by Aris Katsaris 2008-05-14 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Libertarians are republicans who want to smoke pot, nothing more.  They belive that businesses should be completely and totally unregulated, and if we are poisoned or injured or whatever... toughski.  Libertarianism sounds nice at first... freedom, right?  But the dirty secret of libertarianism is that people with money and power can just trample over everyone else and you can't do anything about it.

That's just not our way.... sure, we like the personal freedom part, but that's only the tip of the libertarian iceberg.  It gets much uglier deep down.

by LordMike 2008-05-14 12:26PM | 0 recs
Actually what you are talking about

is an offshoot of libertarianism that is called Anarcho-capitalism.

by JDF 2008-05-14 12:34PM | 0 recs
Libertarians

Liberals and libertarians have about half of a world-view in common.  We both believe that America should not be a bully internationally, and that the government should stay out of our bedrooms and off our phonelines.  These are the issues where we can split libertarians off from the Repubs.

The other half, where we differ, is on the role/value of goverment and the "free market".  Liberals believe that capitalism has to be regulated to keep it fair, and progressively taxed to ensure basically decent conditions for all our citizens.  Libertarians tend to believe that the government can do no right, and unfettered capitalism will solve all problems.

I'm a liberal, and proud of it.  I can see the intellectual appeal of libertarianism, but ultimately I believe that we are collectively responsible for the collective welfare.  And I want to live in a society that embraces personal freedom in most spheres, and harnesses the energy of capitalism to provide "collective goods" for all of us, and a minimum decent standard for the least of us.

by lilnev 2008-05-14 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

The corporate capitalists in America are pushing for many things that proper libertarians wouldn't like - intellectual property rights for examples. Not many corporations would love patents and trademarks no longer being valid, everyone being able to copy and improve on their designs, true freedom of information.

It's not the mere anarchy of the Corporations that's the problem with capitalism - corporations often use the laws to protect their interests, and that's worse. True libertarianism would oppose that.

There's anarcho-capitalism, then again there's anarcho-socialism. Both are equally valid interpretations of libertarianism, I'd say.

Though unfortunately (because capitalism is so much stronger in America than socialism) you've gotten the nastier form of libertarians over there, it seems.

by Aris Katsaris 2008-05-14 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

For Obama at his Rally in MI tonight at 6:30PM

Both Politico and Time are reporting. Recv'd press release from campaign.

by jsfox 2008-05-14 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Last time their notion of "Big" was Joe Andrew. Edwards would be a bit after the fact.

by souvarine 2008-05-14 12:25PM | 0 recs
Wolfson?

Howard Wolfson said today that Childers's win bumps the total delegates needed to win up to 2210.
I don't care who one supports, but the day we start accepting comments from campaign communication directors as facts, we're through as a thinking people.

by rb608 2008-05-14 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Wolfson?

Agreed. Also, Ben Smith is not an authority for the Democratic party ie. not an official voice of the party.  

Looks like Todd quoting a source, quoting a source that ended up being the campaign communications director.

by Trey Rentz 2008-05-14 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Even if they did, which is unlikely, their votes don't count until the convention

by TexasDarlin 2008-05-14 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

You are correct they don't vote until the convention. However, this would make him the presumptive nominee. Similar to what McCain is right now for the Republicans.

by jsfox 2008-05-14 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Why can't McCain seal the deal?!?!

by enozinho 2008-05-14 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

LOL

by jsfox 2008-05-14 12:21PM | 0 recs
Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

Edwards' pledged delegates remain up for grabs between the candidates, even considering the impending endorsement:

"The Atlantic's Ambinder: Obama to announce a 'big national endorsement' at 7 pm ET.

Radio silence from six senior Obama officials when asked directly by The Page: 'Is John Edwards endorsing Barack Obama today?'"

Wow, I've never seen this much pressure on a candidate to get out of a race! It's unbelievable, because the pro-Obama peeps know that the longer Hillary stays in, the dimmer Obama's chances of clinching the nomination become.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-14 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

If it is Edwards, Gore or someone of that stature, I would say they showed a great amount of restraint in waiting this long.  Especially considering how many Supers Clinton had before a single vote was cast.  And remember, it is possible that this person would be endorsing the candidate they find most qualified.  I know, a crazy idea.

by enozinho 2008-05-14 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

Edwards was wrong about a lot of things during the campaign; that's why I didn't support him. His losing streak continues unabated.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-14 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

Wow, now you are bashing Edwards for no good reason?

Tell me, are you a Democrat or do you believe the party begins and ends with the Clinton family?

by JDF 2008-05-14 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

I imagine that they will pick the one that they think is the most qualified.  So lets see tonight who the Super thinks that is.

by tominstl 2008-05-14 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

Is Edwards a super?

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-14 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

No, but I think he has 18 pledged delegates.

by The Animal 2008-05-14 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

As a senator, wouldn't he be a superdelegate automatically?

by Aris Katsaris 2008-05-14 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

Ya, if he were still a Senator.

by Endymion 2008-05-14 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

Dim like the sun is dim, lolz

Which is to say, you are completely wrong as usual.

Plenty of room for you on the bus.  It isn't too late.

by Lawyerish 2008-05-14 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up
I don't think you'll get many takers for your invitation with comments like that.
by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-05-14 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

Do you think if the situation were reversed that there would be less pressure on Obama to get out?

by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-05-14 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

No, there'd be just as much!

Clinton is about the only person in the world who would be able to withstand this much pressure. So the longer she stays in, the greater her chances are because then the race becomes a matter for the superdelegates to decide using whatever set of factors they want.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-14 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

Cool.  Was just curious.

I agree that she has little incentive until after June 3 to get out.  Obama supporters (like me) should not be calling for her exit either assuming she keeps the trash talk to a minimum.

by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-05-14 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

I have always been fine with her staying in, but have had real problems with the way she has tried to fillet Obama.

That being said, I think she will either go the distance OR drop out soon. I don't think there will be a middle ground.

(Also, I think that if this goes to the convention previous experience shows how that will work out for the eventual nominee.)

by JDF 2008-05-14 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

I think she's been significantly more conciliatory since NC-IN.  I think she recognizes that she isn't going to win, and she's maintaining her leverage for some other position (VP?  Lead author on the healthcare bill?).  If she's not actively trashing him, then there's no harm in letting the Rules committee settle MI-FL, and the remaining states vote, before Obama declares victory in early June.

by lilnev 2008-05-14 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards' Endorsement Mixes Things Up

Yeah, my sister, who is training for a future in healthcare, thinks that Ms. Clinton will become the Al Gore of healthcare reform if she loses the nomination.  Personally, I'm skeptical, but it's a nice dream.

by Endymion 2008-05-14 02:59PM | 0 recs
Keep spinning, Todd

This has been over since February.  Really.

by NM Ward Chair 2008-05-14 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Keep spinning, Todd

Why don't you tell Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia that?

I'll pay for the long-distance charges.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-05-14 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Keep spinning, Todd

I called up Texas just now and she said she's happy with both of them.

Oh yeah. And Ted Nugent said he wants his shirt back.

by Trey Rentz 2008-05-14 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Keep spinning, Todd
I have the sleeves to the shirt, but last time I talked to Ted he didn't seem interested in those.
by Fluffy Puff Marshmallow 2008-05-14 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Keep spinning, Todd

And what has, exactly changed.  Obama is still up by the same number of pledged delegates he was at the end of February.

by LordMike 2008-05-14 12:30PM | 0 recs
RE: Do supers really want to derail that?

This question sort of presupposes that the SDs are all of the same mind on this. I'm sure that many of them would love to end the contest as early as possible . . . though one might assume these people have already declared for their candidate. Others might just want to jump in as soon as possible so that they perceive they could gain influence with the candidate and could care less how their decision is perceived by others.

Also, it assumes that they've all been chosen by May 31. How many SDs have yet to be assigned by their state delegations (or, will yet to have been assigned by the end of the month)?

by Clancy 2008-05-14 12:20PM | 0 recs
by The Animal 2008-05-14 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: RE: Do supers really want to derail that?

Thanks for the link, Animal. It looks like 28 or 30 supers are add ons which are selected after May 31.

by Clancy 2008-05-14 12:40PM | 0 recs
Will

Will the restrictions placed on people who RECed diaries not in the REC list have those lifted by May 31?

Will we know by May 31 how RECing a document is a threat to this website?

Sorry to hijack Todd, but this backhanded attempt is ridiculous.
In the end I am not hijacking, it is a constant conversation in EVERY diary.

It's like MYdd has second class citizens.

by GeorgeP922 2008-05-14 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Will

It's just like our party!  There are superdiarists and pledged diarists... You are obviously not a superdiarist! ;-)

BTW, does anyone else hate the concept of superdelegates as much as I do?

by LordMike 2008-05-14 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Will

Damn, well Im still in the air.

If there was ever a purpose for them it would be June 2, where they theoritically all vote for Obama and prevent a brokered convention.

On the other hand it can back fire like it did in the Mondale incident, and you get some DLC Dino candidate.

In the end I say scratch SD's or at the least make it illegal for them to endorse until their state votes.

What I found most egregious is people like my Govenor, O'Malley of MD endorsed Hillary a year early.

Its wrong for SD's to shape a race 12 months before the first contest.

by GeorgeP922 2008-05-14 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Will

I say, eliminate them from the candidate-choosing process.  Let the voters do that.  Do bring them to the convention for things like determining the platform.  That's the kind of thing that they're perfectly positioned for, plus we want them at the convention for networking purposes.  And, I've heard the argument that superdelegates were created to keep elected officials from hogging all the regular delegate slots away from ordinary citizens.  As long as they get to go to the party, that argument doesn't hold and we can put the nomination strictly in the hands of the people.

by lilnev 2008-05-14 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Will

Now will we get our REC privleges back.

by GeorgeP922 2008-05-14 02:27PM | 0 recs
If Edwards endorses Obama

does Obama get his pledged delegates?  I think there are 18 or 19.  Just wondering.

by GFORD 2008-05-14 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: If Edwards endorses Obama

Edwards cannot control his delegates...  He can only urge them to go a certain direction.

by LordMike 2008-05-14 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

All this stuff is just splitting hairs.  Obama will be the nominee and, while I would have preferred Clinton, I am over it.

by deepee 2008-05-14 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Hey deepee,

Glad to have you on board.  I support Obama, but would've been happy with Clinton. (Ick! get that Bush/McCain stain off my country!)

I think Todd makes a reasonable point that it won't be settled (and shouldn't be declared a "victory") before May 31.  But I think it will be settled early in June.  As long as Hillary doesn't play "trash the Democratic frontrunner" (recent signs are good), then that's OK.

peace,
lilnev

by lilnev 2008-05-14 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

The Clinton campaign though continues to insist that the magic number of total delegates to win is 2209, which is 2025 plus all of Michigan and Florida's pledged and superdelegates.

Well.. thats not entirely true.  Strikeout "continues to insist" with "insists"..

by soros 2008-05-14 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

I view the May 31st meeting as an equivalent to a photo op. At this point, the damage is done with the imposed penalty. Hopefully, enough superdelegates will not endorse prior to the last vote casted and counted.

by Liberty 2008-05-14 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

My guess is that we'll see a flood of superdelegates  after Sen. Obama breaks the 1627-pledged barrier on May 20th, and he'll have 2025 total delegates by the end of the week.

I don't see the MI/FL solution changing the numbers. Their punishment was too harsh, but at this stage in the game we can't make their punishment be "being allowed to change the outcome of the election".

Here's what I think is going to happen:
1 - Between May 20th and May 31st, the party leadership will encourage uncommitted superdelegates to declare "for the sake of party unity".
2 - On May 31st, the MI/FL committee will look at the current delegate count and come up with a way of seating MI/FL that will keep Sen. Obama above the 50% mark. This will probably involve seating both delegations with half-votes and making them wear dunce caps until the end of the convention. (If there are still a lot of uncommitted superdelegates, MI/FL might be seated with quarter-votes, or Sen. Obama might be awarded some bonus delegates in MI to compensate for his not being on the ballot. The dunce caps are non-negotiable, though.)
3 - Some superdelegates might want to wait the end of the primary season to commit, in an effort to increase voter registration in the last few states. If there are too many of them, then the MI/FL committee will postpone their decision for a couple of weeks.
4 - Any superdelegate who still hasn't committed a few days after the Puerto Rico primary will also be required to wear a dunce cap until the end of the convention.

Superdelegates are free to change their votes, so we're still safe if there's an unprecedented disaster between now and August.

by mazement 2008-05-14 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?


I think it's a lot of fun to play around with delegate numbers, but I doubt the superdelegate split and rules are going to be settled and go out into the open before all the 50 states finish their primaries and caucuses.  (Puerto Rico might get ignored, though.)  I don't see the incentive for superdelegates or the DNC to give one candidate the clinching number yet.

The way I read what has happened the past few weeks, the Obama campaign's been engaged in a stupid (and insecure) attempt to bullrush the superdelegates into declaring for him and perhaps clinching.  That ran into the Clinton campaign's counter (and some implementation to prove its threat as serious, it seems) to go scorched earth on Obama with the voters.

The net effect is the right one- that the remaining voters are going to see their votes apparently matter and the primary process is being allowed to run its conclusion.  It also allows the runthrough of the 50 State Strategy machinery for the General to finish.

One larger lesson for the Party from the process that the caucus system is on its way out- the Party is becoming more small 'd' democratic internally.

by killjoy 2008-05-14 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Great interview on CNN.

Clinton should be the President. Period.

When supers endorse Obama after he gets crushed in elections in WV and PA, this election is a joke.

by gotalife 2008-05-14 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

This 2025 number is worthless.  2209 includes FL and MI which is what we will rely on ultimately especially after the DNC rules committee comes out in favor of counting ALL of Florida's delegates (since both names were on the ballot) and awarding HRC her 73 delegates that she received in MI.

by nzubechukwu 2008-05-14 12:41PM | 0 recs
Obama pamphlet. lol... :)

Did any body see the pamphlet that is being distributed across Kentucky by the Obama campaign?  Hilarious!! Go over to drudge and check it out.  It makes Huckabee's Christmas ad look like a novice.

by nzubechukwu 2008-05-14 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Until Howard Wolfson actually quotes a rules or makes some other contact with the real world, I am going to assume that the addition of one more Democratic congressman will add 1 to the total of delegates (however that total is being calculated at the moment) and raise the total needed to be nominee by at most one delegate's vote.

Whenever Wolfson wants to adjust his tin foil antennae to communicate why the addition of one delegate meaning that the number needed for a majority increases by five, I'll be listening.

by anoregonreader 2008-05-14 12:46PM | 0 recs
NO: Supers cannot vote until Convention

therefore any claim can be based on number of pledged delegates only, which unachievable by both candidates

by engels 2008-05-14 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: NO: Supers cannot vote until Convention

If HRC continues on after June to make a play at the convention, she will be dumped by 90% of her supers.  She knows this already, as the supers do talk.  A convention fight is out of the picture for all except the hardcore deniers.

by haystax calhoun 2008-05-14 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

The answer is: YES!
Obama is getting superdelegates to come over to him at a rate of 5/day.  This will increase if Edwards endorses tonight (Halperin and others are reporting Edwards boarding a plane to MI!)

Obama has 1886.  Add 5 supers/day x 17 days= 85.
That makes 1971.
On 5/20 we have KY and OR, for a total of 125 delegates up for grabs.  A conservative estimate gives Obama 20 from KY and 36 from OR, for another 56.  Add that to 1971 and you get 2027.  BINGO!

Any further disputes raised by the Clinton campaign, as to the required number, will be countered by a sufficient number of superdelegates to seal the deal, regardless of whatever crazy math the Clinton campaign wants to push.  It's already done, and the supers know it.  The rest of the schedule is orchestrated for the best spin possible going into the GE.

by haystax calhoun 2008-05-14 01:21PM | 0 recs
It's a moot point

The thing is, the DNC and Obama will have control over the credentialing committee and can block the seating of any delegates from Florida and Michigan.  The DNC would block them to enforece its rules and the Obama camp would block them if they could give Clinton the win.

The practical upshot is, the goalposts will only get shifted to 2,210 or whatever if it is done so in such a way as to not affect the outcome of the nomination contest.  Moving the goalposts will not help Senator Clinton.

by CA Pol Junkie 2008-05-14 02:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Superdelegates have been coming out for Obama at a 5.2/day pace since N.C..   He IS on pace to reach 2025 before May 31st.  I wonder if Edwards will ask his delegates to back Barack.  If all 18 of them decide to do so, he will get a boost toward the 2025 that is larger than the boost Hil got out of West Virginia.

by lockewasright 2008-05-14 02:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Could Obama Pass 2025 Before May 31?

Yes. The question is not "if" the question is "when". All of the discussion about what super delegates will do is just talk. Of the remaining 230 undeclared super delegates, Obama will need 30 to 40 (<20%). Obama has committments from 130. The when depends on Clinton.  If Clinton continues the "republican like" attacks, the superdelegates will move soon.  

If the DNC fails to enforce their rules, how will they set rules in the future. Hopefully, the Florida and Michigan Democrats will vote out the representatives that played chicken with their votes. Calling for Florida and Michigan to be seated "as is" sells out the DNC, make no sense and would undermine the DNC credibility. The DNC will not change rules because one candidate cnn't win with the rules in place before the primary started

by smoothfrederic 2008-05-14 08:16PM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads