The Final Math

Months ago, Clinton successfully convinced supers to wait until today to declare. FL and MI also added to the uncertainty of the math. And the Clinton campaign has leveraged this period of uncertainty with a number of spins of the delegate math. Some would argue some of the math coming from the Clinton campaign was more like Rovian math than real math.

But today, this week, and this month, we face the real math.

As of this writing, Obama needs 34 delegates to hit 2117.  Assume, for a moment he wins in SD/MT 17 PDs to 14 for Clinton. DCW shows that Spratt (SC), Dawson (NY), and Edwards PD Moore (SC) are announcing for Obama. Plus we know that 5 MT supers will support their state's winner as soon as the contest is officially declared. That leaves Obama less than 9 SDs from 2217.

But consider this scenario. If Obama, in addition to the 9 Obama needs to win, gets an additional 13 supers(or Edwards PDs), more than Clinton, he will go ahead of her 200 delegates. A big number for sure.

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The tea leaves

A read of the tea leaves looks like this may be over tomorrow or Wednesday.

1. Clinton has a phone conversation with Obama. He MUST have told her his plans. He has picked the same location as the RNC convention to announce his victory tomorrow night.

2. Tom Vilsack a Clinton national co-chair says it's pretty clear Obama is going to be the nominee.

3. Bill Clinton claims he won't be campaigning any more.

4. Clinton calls a big meeting (in a big venue) of her supporters. She needs to share with them what's in store.

5. MSNBC announces that Obama has 35 Representatives that will endorse tomorrow

6. Democratic whip Clyburn (SC) says he is endorsing tomorrow, as does Spratt.

7. Rep Mike Doyle (PA) also says there are 36 SDs announcing tomorrow.

8. Obama only needs 41.5, and can expect 16-17 PDs tomorrow in SD/MT, leaving him 25 shy of a win.

9. Montana Governor says he is endorsing tomorrow.

10. Montana Senator hangs Obama sign in his door.

11. There is a meeting of uncommitted Senators and expectations they will all endorse this week, a majority for Obama.

12. Let's not forgot the Cardoza threat from May 23rd. He stated that he knows of 40 Clinton SDs ready to switch if she doesn't bow out gracefully. Any argument that Clinton will take this to the convention over a 4 delegate dispute from Michigan, or that she has won some contrived popular vote count, or that the supers can always change their minds may no longer be enough to keep her supers from bolting.

It's been a long, long contest. We have had two truly remarkable candidates. Only one could win.

Time to come together.

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The new math

Where do we stand today with the proposed numbers, as they will be on Tuesday after PR/MT/SD are completed? If MI/FL delegates are cut by 50%, the new math is as follows. The 2025 number increases by 92 to 2117. The formula for majority of delegates becomes:

Delegates needed today, plus 92 minus (half the MI/FL delegates for a candidate) minus projected delegate pickup in SD/MT/PR.

For Obama that translates into:    41 + (92 - .5  x  101) - 38 = 44.5 delegates needed to win after Tuesday (19% out of 235 remaining)

For Clinton that translates into:  244 + (92 - .5 x 193) - 48 = 191.5 delegates needed to win after Tuesday (81% out of 235 remaining)

Of the 235 remaining, Obama will have extremely high confidence of 20, which includes 6 in the Pelosi club, and 15 of 20 add-ons, still to be selected in states he won.

This is why Obama expects to announce a victory on Wednesday. He has obviously talked to enough uncommitted supers to know how this is going to go.

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McCain Shill Begala strikes again

The McCain shill Begala has struck again. Don't you just love these guys. I wonder if some are like Scotty McClellan. They will spout whatever the right wing tells them to, without thinking, and a few years later they develop.... A CONSCIENCE.

Nah, not for our friend Begala.

The up and coming right wing meme, like the Kerry flip-flop meme, is that Obama is an ivory tower dwelling, prius driving, latte-sipping, arugula eating, nazi appeasing, ignoramus. An elitist and stupid to boot.

And McCain, our man of the people, what does he own? 8 houses? Yea, real salt of the earth.

What's so comical is that the right wing is now starting to show small hints of disloyalty to Bush. Sure they will trash McClellan for the next couple of weeks, but notice Begala's ever-so-slight criticism of Bush's verbal gymnastics. Notice there are NO criticisms of Bush's lying our way into an unwinnable Middle East cauldron. Or how about  Bush's total trashing of the Constitution. Or how about Bush's fiscal policy that has done so much to burden our children and grandchildren with his unchecked budget deficits funded by the Chinese.

All this is the hallmark of a McCain troll, masquerading as a Hillary supporter.

What's really comical about this elitism charge is that both McCain and Bush got free passes to elite colleges because of the families they were born into. Neither had the smarts or the work ethic to get into Yale and the USNA. McCain graduated at the very bottom of his class. Bush's vast ignorance shows a total lack any value of a Yale education. Neither got to where they are by hard work. Both got to the top completely and undeservedly soley through family connections. (Oh, did Begala mention to us that McCain dumped his wife to marry an heiress with a cool $100M.)

Obama, on the other hand, didn't get to be President of the Harvard Law Review due to connections. He got their because of hard work and remarkable intelligence.

Obama didn't get invited year after to year, to teach one of the most popular University of Chicago Law School classes because of family ties. He did it because of hard work and remarkable intelligence. And as every lawyer and law student well knows, a person cannot excel in the teaching of constitutional law without a deep foundation in American history. Read Obama's books, listen to his speeches, and he shows the depths of his historical knowledge.  

That's what makes Begala's RNC talking points so utterly wierd. Only someone completely ignorant about history, would have the gall to come to a left wing blog and spout out the nonsense that Obama has some deficiency when it comes to deep historical knowledge.

And only someone with no shame whatsoever would bring up the holocaust, and the sacred liberation of the camps, and try to use it for cheap political points.

Yes Begala is both ignorant and shameless.

And so we should expect so many more RNC talking points to spout from his keyboard.

Well, the upside is that you don't have to go to fox to see what current slime the RNC is brewing up for Obama.

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This is not going to the convention

Obama needs 53 supers to prevent this from going to the convention.

Let's look at the 3 scenarios remaining, and see why this will not go to the convention. The basic reason is that uncommitted supers in Obama-won states greatly outnumber uncommitted supers in Clinton-won states, and therefore Obama is likely to get many more supers than Clinton. Leaving aside supers in MI/FL, of the 86 remaining uncommitted DNC members, 52 are in Obama states versus  34 in Clinton states.  With the 15 remaining Senators they are in Obama states 11 to 4. The 48 uncommitted reps are split evenly. Unselected Add-ons remaining in Obama states are 22-8 compared to Clinton states. That gives Obama an advantage of about 109 to 60.

The three scenarios to consider are:

1. Current - 2025 Obama reaches this number on June 3rd

2. With MI/FL penalized half  - 2118 - Obama needs 35 SDs to reach on June 3rd

3. With MI/FL with no penalty  - 2209 - Obama needs 68 SDs to reach on June 3rd

The math:

Scenario 1 - (2025) Today
PDs - 1660.5
SDs - 320.5
Minimum PDs from SD/MT/PR - 37 of 86
Pelosi Club - 7
ME add-on selected June 1 - 1
Total 2026 - Obama needs no additional supers

Scenario 2 - FL/MI penalized half (2118)
2026 from above
57.5 (Half of Obama's 115 MI/FL Delegates - 74 PDs from FL, 31 PDs awarded by the MI DC, and 10 supers)
35 SDs needed on 6/4 to get to 2118
15 of 21 add-ons from Obama states by June 21st
Number of supers needed to get to 2118 on June 21st- 20

Scenario 3 - FL/MI - no penalty (2209)
2026 from above
115 MI/FL Delegates
68 SDs needed on 6/4 to get to 2209
15 of 21 add-ons from Obama states
Number of supers needed to 2209 on June 21st - 53

Why is this third scenario so important, even after the RBC imposes a penalty on MI/FL? Because Clinton will claim that a full counting of MI/FL is the only fair counting, and once Obama gets 68 of the remaining 228 Supers (counting FL and MI), Clinton's argument falls apart, since Obama would win in that scenario.

Here's the REALLY important math. Obama WILL get, at minimum, 15 of his 21 unselected add-ons, and this process won't be complete until June 21st. So the number of supers Obama needs by June 4th is really 53 supers, out of a total of 213. To make it to 53, he needs only one in four, and with that, he renders moot Clinton's argument that this needs to be decided at the convention. And the reason he will so clearly gain closure in June, is that if Obama gets supers to go for him as he has over the past 1, 2 or 3 months, he will get at least 150 supers out of the remaining 213 (after his add-ons are subtracted). And he will also pick up some of Edwards 18 PDs, and MI remaining PDs.

This means that if MI and FL were seated in full, Obama would wind up with more like 2309, versus the 2209 needed to win, making Clinton's argument completely untenable.

Obama has run a brilliant campaign, beating one of the best known democratic brands in memory. He will end this contest with the same resounding success that he has run his campaign with.

So don't worry. Chill out. It ends shortly. There will be closure. We will have a presumptive nominee. If Obama can bring out only 53 supers on 6/4, we will have to wait until the 21st when his last add-ons are selected. But if he brings out 68 or more on 6/4, then it will be over.

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Supers decide today and tomorrow

I know that some dedicated Clinton supporters still believe that this can be pulled off. But when Obama takes the stage in FL on Wednesday, it will be over. You will say, but MI and FL are disenfranchised. But it is still over.

For the 2024.5 math, Clinton needs 306 to win. There are two pools of delegates. 198 pledged delegates remain. (KY-51,OR-52,PR-55,SD-16,MT-15,Edwards-9 ).

There are also 211 uncommitted super delegates (217-6 in the Pelosi club-Carter, Cantwell, 2 Pelosis, 2 TX DNCers). Assume Clinton blows out Obama by 21 PDs with big wins in KY and PR compared to modest wins by Obama in OR, SD and MT (105-84).

Take Clinton's 306 (needed to win) and subtract the 105 PDs she will win. That leaves her with 201 remaining SDs to get to 2024.5. But with the SD pool down to only 211, Obama only has to take 11 more supers to reduce it below the level Clinton needs to reach 201.

That will happen by Wednesday evening when Obama will announce many more than 11 PDs. And therefore whatever conceivable gains Clinton could make in PR won't make a difference. Obama is rolling out so many supers today and tomorrow that PR just won't matter.

With Obama passing the 1627 halfway point, the supers no longer have a reason to wait to commit. They've been coming out all May, and they'll be coming out today and tomorrow. Obviously, they can't all come out. There are still 27 add-on supers in Obama states still to be selected. (Clinton has only 7.)

So as this campaign moves to the general this week, for those still believing there is hope for Clinton, remember:

-that there are twice as many uncommitted DNC members in Obama states than there are in Clinton states. And Senators are in Obama states 11-to-4.

-that in May Obama has (on May 19) a net gain of nearly 70 supers (soon to be 80-90). Aside from Clinton's 8 add-ons from NY ,CA,MA,TN, she netted just 5.5 supers this month.  

-that by the end of tomorrow, Obama will have a 200 delegate lead over Clinton, and will be just 50 delegates shy of 2024.5. (And for those who can't forget FL and MI, please not that even if they were seated as is, with no delegates for Obama from MI, Clinton would still be nearly 100 behind.)

-that last week, Obama finally edged above Clinton in super delegates and is rapidly climbing into the 30s.

-that among pledged delegates, Obama surpasses Clinton in Senators, Governors, Representatives, and now DNC members.

-that despite Clinton's big win in WV, that Obama got Senator Byrd's endorsement. (For WV's supers, Obama has two senators and a rep to Clinton's 3 DNC members)

-that Clinton's big wins in March through May netted her 40 PDs to Obama's 46 in the same period. (OH-7,RI-5,PA-12,IN-4,WV-12 vs. TX-5,VT-3,WY-2,MS-7,NC-19,Edwards-10)

-that between Super Tuesday and Wisconsin, Obama had an 11 state blowout gaining him 122 PDs. To win, Clinton needed to overcome that number. Since then, she's netted a deficit of 6 PDs.

Clinton has survived in large part on two factors. First, she had a big buffer of supers, especially her buffer of DNC members. And second, she was able to convince many supers to hold out on voting until she had time to make her case, to win some big victories and prove her greater strength in November. That didn't happen, and now the supers will be deciding, in a big way today and tomorrow. The math is clear. Obama only needs between 10 and 15 supers to make it numerically impossible for Clinton to win. He'll get that number and many, many more by tomorrow night, when Obama will take the stage and point a unified Democratic party right between the eyes of John McCain.


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Obama's Razor thin margin.

In the comments of another post, a contributor expressed a belief that Clinton and Obama are split by a razor thin margin.

So if you think the lead is small, and surmountable, let me shed some light on the numbers.  

The lead is not small, and is widening at an alarming rate. The numbers may seem small, but they are huge.

Much more below.

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