Tuesday, June 3, 2008

When Will It All Be Over?

With Montana and South Dakota having had their Presidential primaries today, all the pledged delegates have now been allocated. according to CNN, these are the current totals:
Delegate TypeClintonObama
Pledged (elected)1,6361,762

Including superdelegates, Obama has enough delegates to win by this count.

There are a couple of catches, though.

First, are superdelegates obligated to vote the way they've pledged? I don't believe they are. They probably won't change their minds, unless Obama does (or has done) something really, really stupid that could make him unelectable. Many superdelegates are elected officials. Their word, at least when dealing with each other, is important. But that's one reason for Clinton to hang on.

The other reason is that Obama's only "over the top" by 38 votes at the moment. There are challenges going on in Texas. There is still the very remote possibility that the DNC's decision concerning Michigan and Florida will be overturned. It's a very slim margin. There are still unpledged superdelegates, though, so that margin could become greater.

Conceivably, it could grow smaller, as well.

I expect Clinton will stay in the race until such time as it's completely clear that she can't win. In fact, no one in his right mind would expect any less. That could happen any time between tomorrow and the middle of the convention.

Until then, revel in the suspense.

UPDATE: Filled in the blank on who had the other primary, and corrected my arithmetic (it's a 38-delegate margin). Oops.

UPDATE 2: I also neglected to point out something that should be obvious from this table - when it comes to elected delegates, Obama's lead is 126 votes, not a big lead. For all the caterwauling about how the superdelegates are undemocratic from the Obama side, that's where their margin of victory comes from. If the superdelegates were evenly divided, Obama would still need 16 votes to have the nomination. If they went the way it looked like they would go in January, with Clinton getting the vast majority, she'd be the presumptive nominee at the moment.

UPDATE (Jun. 6): It looks like we have our answer. Think maybe all the whining will be over? Not a chance.

No comments: