Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Geek Out on Delegates

Here's a great online tool from Slate for geeking out on the delegate counts in the Clinton-Obama race. It's actually useable!

It shows that there is no circumstance under which regular voters can grant the nomination to either candidate: if Obama gets 100% of the remaining popular votes, he ends up 46 delegates short; if Clinton gets 100% of the remaining popular votes, she ends up 184 delegates short.* No matter what, Super Delegates will decide the outcome.

It follows that all of the primaries will actually take place -- even the one here in lowly, forgotten Oregon -- and, despite the above, all of them will actually count. I say they'll count because the Democratic party would show a surprising and unprecedented flair for self-destruction** if its Super Delegates did not line up behind the candidate who wins the most popular votes.

* These sums may shift slightly -- slightly -- as the arcane math of delegate apportionments plays out. But there's not enough foreseeable shift to alter the point. Math PhDs! Can't live with 'em, can't select a Democratic candidate without 'em!

** Translated from the ironic: a predictable and typical flair for self-destruction ...

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