FRIDAY ESSAY – The Arithmetic Inevitability (Almost) of an Obama Democratic Party Presidential Nomination [by Bolaji Aluko]

No Comments » February 22nd, 2008 posted by // Categories: Essays



 

 

 

 

FRIDAY ESSAY:  The Arithmetic Inevitability (Almost) of an Obama Democratic Party Presidential Nomination

 

By

 

Mobolaji E. Aluko, PhD

alukome@gmail.com

Burtonsville, MD, USA

 

February 22, 2008

 

I like looking at numbers, many numbers, large numbers, and distilling facts from them – and in this intriguing titanic political contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the numbers are not looking good for Hillary.

First some facts….

First, who will be the Presidential candidate-nominee between these two political gladiators is the one that has the most number of delegates AT the Democratic Convention in Denver come August 25-28, 2008, not before.  So we are STILL in the realm of speculation here, in the realm of probabilities and possibilities, rather than realities. 

But we must not let that fact arrest our speculations.

Secondly, there are a total 4,049 delegates, out of which 796 – or 19.66% – are so-called “Super-delegates,” not pledged to any delegate AT THIS TIME.  The rest (3,273) are divided – and thereby pledged – in a way effectively PROPORTIONAL to the percentage won by the contending candidates in the primaries, and to a lesser extent in the caucuses.  A winner emerges when his or her number of pledged delegates won totals 2,025, or failing that, when the pledged plus un-pledged delegates total 2,025.

Both scenarios can be confirmed ONLY at the Convention proper – and as the saying goes, “between the cup and the lip, a lot can still slip.”

As of this minute, according to the CNN website http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/, Obama has won 1,158 pledged delegates and Clinton 1,016, with 26 for Edwards (who has dropped out), giving a total of 2,200 delegates. On the other hand, the MSNBC website puts the numbers as 1,168 and 1,018 respectively, with 26 also for Edwards, for a total of  2,212 delegates.  Since these two sets of numbers are not too different, for our purpose here, going forward we will use the CNN information.

This means that from the remaining 1,073 delegates that can be pledged, Obama needs 867 delegates (or 81%), while Clinton needs 1,009 (or 94%) if they are to win WITHOUT the help of the super-delegates.

Now if experience in the thirty-eight contests reported so far between the two contestants is anything to go by, then the ONLY person of the two candidates who can come ANYWHERE close to winning 80% in any ONE contest, not to talk of an average of 80% in ALL the remaining contests is Obama, having won 79%, 76%, 75%, 75%, and 74% in Idaho, Hawaii, Alaska, DC and Kansas respectively out of his 25 contests won so far.  On the other hand, Clinton has only been able to muzzle a 70% in a single contest  won in Arkansas, the home state of her husband President William Jefferson Clinton born in Hope, Arkansas, and a former governor of Arkansas.

It is most UNLIKELY that either of them will get the kinds of percentages that we have just stated, so it is now clear that the Super-delegates WILL indeed play a role.  My prediction about the Super-delegates is that their role will ultimately be based more on what they sense that their voting people tell them rather than on what they themselves wish.

Now, if we add in the 796 Super-delegates to the 1,073 delegates left to get a total of 1,869 delegates,what kinds of percentages are we looking at for Obama and Clinton, going on from here?   They are 48% and 54% respectively, which appear quite achievable by both candidates just by looking at those numbers by themselves.  Doing a little hand-waving here, that is Obama needs less than the majority of all the delegates left, while Clinton needs MORE than the majority – and then some.

However, it is VERY interesting to note that in ALL of the 13 contests that Clinton has won so far – which include the two renegade states of Michigan (she is credited with 55% win) and Florida (50%) – she has averaged only 53.5%, while Obama has averaged 62.5% in all the 25 contests that he has won including the first one in Iowa.  A 55% win and above in any one contest  – so far, Obama has twenty of those, to Clinton’s  five –  implies that a candidate has beaten ALL the other candidates put together by at least double digits.  In fact, in the past eleven contests between the two of them – all of which Obama has won – it has been a 66% average for Obama, compared with the 60% of the earlier 14 contests that he garnered, meaning that he takes in a 6% added “momentum” into the rest of the contest – another 14 states in all plus Puerto Rico, all primaries except for two caucuses (in Wyoming and Puerto Rico). Clinton tends to do better in primaries than in caucuses.

So what is my prediction at this time? 

I believe that from here on until the end of the day, Barack Obama will win on average 54-60% of the rest of the delegate votes, to win the nomination as 2008 Presidential Candidate of the Democratic Party of the USA with a delegate count of 2,181 [ equal to 1158 + 0.54(1869) + 0.54(26)] to Clinton’s 1868 for a delegate lead of 313 – or just 8% of total – to 2,295 to 1,754. or 13%.

So folks,  unless Obama makes a MAJOR political misstep – which is inconceivable to me at this point – then he wins over Clinton in August in Denver by between 2181-1868,  and 2295 – 1754.

There you have it – cheery news for all Obama-Cans and Obama-Crats – and we Obam-Africs.. ….

How Obama will do against McCain in November is the subject of another symposium.

 

 

APPENDIX

 

DELEGATE RESULTS SO FAR

CNN
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/candidates/

Candidateà Barack
Obama
Hillary
Clinton
Delegates    

Pledged:

1,158

1,016

Superdelegates:

161

234

Total Delegates

1,319

1,250

 

States are shown in two-letter code and percentages won by each candidate is show below each state.

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

0

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

DA

HI

WI

MD

DC

VA

ME

LA

WA

NE

AK

UT

ID

MN

KS

CO

ND

65 

76

 58 

  60  

 75 

 64

 59  

 57

  68  

 68

 75 

 57 

79

 66  

 74 

 67

 61 

 

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

MO

 IL

 DE

 CT

 AL

 GA

 SC

 IA

49 

65 

 53  

 51 

  56 

 67 

  55 

38

 

 

Hillary Clinton States won (13):

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

CA

 NM

 AZ

 NY

 AR

 MA

 NJ

 OK

 TN

 FL

 NV

 MI

 NH

52 

 49  

  51 

  57 

  70 

  56 

  54

 55  

 54 

 50

  51

  55 

 39

 

 

 

 

 

 MSNBC

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21660914/

Obama – 1,168 (pledged delegates only)

Clinton – 1,018 (pledged delegates only)  

BBC / ASSOCIATED PRESS

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/629/629/7229830.stm

Obama – 1,351  (total delegates)

Clinton – 1,262 (total delegates)


Delegates Needed to Win Nomination – 2,025  [Out of a total of 4049]


Next set of elections :

Tuesday, March 04 (all primaries)   OH| RI | TX | VT
Saturday, March 08 (caucus)                       WY |
Tuesday, March 11 (primary)
                        MS|
Tuesday, April 22 (primary)
                           PA |
Tuesday, May 6 (primaries)
                           IN | NC
Tuesday, May 13 (primary)
                            WV|
Tuesday, May 20 (primaries)                        KY | OR
Sunday, June 1 (caucus)
                 Puerto Rico

Opt In Image
Send Me Free Email Updates

(enter your email address below)

Leave a Reply

*

Home | About | Contact | Login