Pledged Delegates: Obama +2 in Alaska

Apparently the Alaskan Democratic Party had its state convention this weekend, and with the convoluted ways in which delegates are elected at the various levels, Obama ended up getting one delegate that was previously thought to have been Clinton's.

According to DemConWatch:

[I]n Alaska, a caucus state, Obama picked up a few more delegates to the state convention, putting him over the 75% threshold, and therefore splitting the state-wide PLEO pledged delegates 2-0 instead of 1-1. Green Papers has confirmed the change, and the sidebar tables have already been updated.

This increases Obama's lead by two delegates and brings Obama one delegate closer to the 2025 delegates that Hillary Clinton and Howard Wolfson have long told us are required to secure the nomination.  Just over fifty to go.

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Projections through Puerto Rico

1. Changes in the delegate count for Saturday: Obama 4, Clinton 0.

Obama picked up a GA superdelegate, a WY superdelegate, and an Alaska superdelgate.  In addition to those three, there was a reallocation at the Alaska state convention based on final numbers, so Obama gained one pledged delegate.

Clinton picked up a GA superdelegate, but lost a pledged delegate in the Alaska reallocation, giving her a net of zero for the day.

Source: http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/

2. Further changes over the weekend
-Hawaii choses three delegates at their state convention. These will probably all go to Obama, who handily won the state.

3. Puerto Rico is Sunday, June 1
I must admit that I don't know much about PR politics. However, most think Clinton will win.  There are 55 pledged delegates.  Based on a 55-45 split, Clinton would get 30 delegates, Obama 25.

TOTAL projected AS OF POST-PUERTO RICO
Currently (and this includes today's delegate shifts, described in point 1):
Obama needs 52 delegates to clinch the nomination
Clinton needs 246 to clinch the nomination.

If the numbers in points 2 and three are correct and neither gains any other delegates before PR:
-- Obama would need 52 minus (3+25) or 24 delegates to clinch
-- Clinton would need 246 minus (30) or 216 delegates to clinch

Please note that these are /very/ conservative projections, since there will very likely be other superdelegate endorsements before PR. Also next weekend is Maine's state convention and the add-on will be an Obama supporter, but is not added into the numbers. That said, the number of delegates needed to nominate may very well increase after the Rules committee makes its decision.

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All votes are equal--but some are more equal than others.

A lot has been made lately of the "every vote is equal" prinicple, mostly to argue that Florida and Michigan must be accorded their full delegate tally in the interest of fairness.  What such arguments ignore is the fact that even in "enfranchised" states, not every vote is equal; for instance, a single delegate from Utah represents far fewer votes than a single delegate from Wisconsin.

So which states are the most "enfranchised"?  Here's a full list of all states which held primaries so far this year and their vpd (votes per delegate, calculated by dividing the total number of votes cast in a state by that state's number of pledged delegates) ratios.  I included Florida and Michigan twice--once with a full delegate slate, and once with delegates halved.  Feel free to draw your own conclusions, I just think that vpd ratios are a relevant data point which ought to be taken into account in the Michigan/Florida debates.

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Primary endgame, VP BBQ

If you love Hillary, you won't love today's Left, Right & Center...but it's a good show, with discussion of Hillary's endgame (I know! don't blame me, I am just the messenger!), McCain's age, health and Veepstakes, Obama's gaffe and lastly, Bob blames Bush for high oil prices. We'd love to hear your comments, tune in to the podcast anytime, the live stream at 2:30 and 7 pm pacific time, or listen later on-demand at KCRW.com. (Oh yeah: in SoCal, we're on air, too! We are a radio station, after all! 89.9 FM and other frequencies.)

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Carl Levin: I'm fighting for Michigan, NOT Clinton

Michigan Senator Carl Levin is sending signals that he intends to fight for the full restoration of his state's voting rights at the 2008 Democratic National Convention...

...Regardless of whether or not Sen. Clinton remains in the race.

U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, one of the architects of Michigan's early primary, said he would support a convention-floor fight if Michigan's full delegation isn't seated -- though Levin signaled he was less concerned about how many delegates are awarded to Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.

Levin said he supports taking the issue to the floor if Michigan isn't fully seated.

"If we're punished in any way by the rules committee, I would be in favor of going to the floor," he said.

He said he would fight regardless of whether Clinton has conceded the nomination -- meaning Michigan could sit at the center of a divisive battle over the party's nominee.

Source:  5/23/2008 Detroit News article "Michigan's battle to seat delegates intensifies"
Regardless of how you feel about this issue, you must admit that Sen. Levin is doing his job; he's fighting for his state.

United States Senators are elected to represent their states, fight for their states, and bring home the bacon for their states.  I, for one, commend Sen. Levin for his due diligence on this major issue.

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