13 May 2008

Another Week, Another Primary

West Virginia held its primary election today. Delegates will be split roughly 20 to Clinton and 8 to Obama, precisely as I predicted the last time around. Obama has a 154 pledged delegate lead after West Virginia.

This leaves 189 pledged delegates to be allocated in five remaining contests over the next three weeks.

The remaining contests are:

* Kentucky (May 20) 51 Clinton strongly favored
* Oregon (May 20) 52 Obama favored
* Puerto Rico (June 1) 55 Clinton favored
* Montana (June 3) 16 Obama favored
* South Dakota (June 3) 15 Obama favored

In something on the order of the most favorable to Clinton plasuible scenario that I would foresee, the following delegate split from these contests:

KY 35C 17O (i.e. 67% for Clinton)
OR 21C 31O (i.e. 40% for Clinton)
PR 33C 22O (i.e. 60% for Clinton)
MT 6C 10O (i.e. 37% for Clinton)
SD 6C 9O (i.e 43% for Clinton)

Total pledged delegates: 101C 89O (net +12C)

Obama has a 12.5 delegate lead in superdelegates, a net gain of 24 superdelegates in the last week. There are 241.5 superdelegates who have not yet stated a preference.

Obama needs 142 more delegates to win, Clinton needs 308.5 more delegates to win.

A deal on Michigan or Florida seems less likely than it did a week ago. It seems increasingly likely that there will be no delegation seated from either state. Their saving grace may be that Obama's lead could be great enough to render these states irrelevant to the outcome reducing the incentive to exclude them for breaking the Democratic Party's rules.

Simply put, there continues to be no plausible scenario in which Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for President in 2008. The general election race, it is increasingly clear will be between Barack Obama for the Democrats and John McCain for the Republicans (who is struggling to secure 75% support in West Virginia even after all of the other candidates have dropped out of the race and he is the presumptive nominee). And, Obama is favored to win in the general election based upon current polling data and predictors like the "election futures markets."

Democrats also picked up another Democratic seat in Congress in what should be a safe Republican district (R+10) from Mississippi in a special election by a 53-47 margin.

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