If you are a Clinton supporter, please read the following email and send to every potential voter you know in GUAM, INDIANA, NORTH CAROLINA, WEST VIRGINIA, KENTUCKY, OREGON, PUERTO RICO, MONTANA, and SOUTH DAKOTA. Have friends or family in any of those states or territories? Don't overlook anyone! Ask your friends and family first to get out and vote (because it is our privilege to be able to do so, even if it is a primary that feeds into party the party nomination) and second to get out and vote for Hillary Clinton if she has their support. I cannot stress enough how important every single vote is.
First of all, a little background just in case you are unaware. The Democratic Party is picking the nominee; we as individuals are not. The popular vote nationwide at the nomination stage does not mean didley. (If you don't like it, YOU need to become politically active and change the system, rather than expecting the candidates to not play the existing system for all it is worth.) In primaries and caucuses, we vote and delegates are selected based on the results. Those delegates are the ones who vote for the nominee. I believe those delegates are locked in for their first vote only, and I'm sure that varies from state to state and from primary to caucus, so with the race this close, it is likely that the Democratic Party will have a convention floor nomination this year. For me, into politics as I am, this is a very exciting prospect. Delegates used to be selected in smoky rooms full of white men or in not-so-different caucuses (changed gradually over only the last 90 years or so), so the possibility of an open, televised process, with all the obscure rules of the Democratic Party in play...I can hardly contain my glee. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity whether you are into politics or not.
On to the numbers -
I've taken a look at delegate counts this morning, the raw numbers, not anyone else's projection or guess, and come up with some scenarios of delegate counts leading up to the convention. Things to remember about these numbers, they do not include Michigan or Florida. If delegates from those states are seated and committed, these numbers and percentages will shift slightly as total delegate counts will change.
Currently, the number of delegates needed to win on a first vote at the convention is 2,025. The numbers already in from the various states and territories are all over the news, so I won't duplicate those here, but the current delegate count is about 1,728 to 1,595 Obama-Clinton. The remaining state and territory contests and delegate counts are as follows:
5/3 Guam - 4
5/6 Indiana - 72
5/6 North Carolina - 115
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5/13 West Virginia - 28
5/20 Kentucky 51
5/20 Oregon - 52
6/1 Puerto Rico 55
6/3 Montana - 16
6/3 South Dakota - 15
Undeclared Superdelegates - 306
We saw a 55%-45% Clinton victory in Pennsylvania this week, but I didn't feel that would be an accurate assumption for the remaining contests. I selected 52%-48% Clinton-Obama as the standard assumption for remaining contests, based on the shift that seems to be taking place in opinion polls this week. So if you watch the above contests and you see a shift in either direction from a 52%-48% Clinton-Obama result, you can at least get some idea which way the results will lean. Delegates will be divided up approximately based (lots more little rules and regulations of the party, but close) on percentage of popular vote, so taking my estimate into consideration, the assumed delegate distribution would be:
Guam - (2-2)
Indiana - (37-35)
North Carolina - (60-55)
West Virginia - (15-13)
Kentucky - (27-24)
Oregon - (27-25)
Puerto Rico - (29-26)
Montana - (8-8)
South Dakota - (8-7)
If Clinton wins every remaining state contest 52%-48%, the delegate count will be approximately 1,923 to 1,808 Obama-Clinton. That's right, still not enough votes for either candidate to win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention.
Don't forget those 306 Superdelegates though. They may choose to commit before the convention or they may choose not to commit. But if they would all choose to commit before the convention, and assuming the above numbers for state contests, the nomination could go to Obama if he secures just 35% (Clinton-65% or less), 107-199 Obama-Clinton, of those Superdelegates, resulting in 2,026 to 2,001 delegate counts. Clinton could also win the first vote with 73% (Obama-27% or less), 223-83 Clinton-Obama, of those Superdelegates voting in her favor.
So see what a delicate balance it is? Factor in the possibility that she may win state contests by more and pick up more delegates there and things can change. Factor in any unexpected happenings with Florida or Michigan and things can change. And finally, factor in that Superdelegates do not have to declare before the convention and on the first vote, they can VOTE as undeclared, and all hell could break loose. Some delegates only have to vote as the states directed them on the first ballot and after that can shift, meaning that they could change their support to whichever candidate they wish. At that point, they could vote for some as-of-yet-not-in-the-picture candidate if they wanted to. Or they could just decide to vote for the person they think most likely to win in November.
My point is that these last state and territory contests still matter very much. Get out the vote in those places! Contact everyone you know in Guam, Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Montana, and South Dakota. Share this email with them. And definitely stay tuned.
I'm an unemployed civil engineer, totally into politics, and always searching for the unbiased reality. I live in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with my four animals.