Saturday, March 08, 2008

CNN messes up delegate math bigtime

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

I really wish the media would do a little research on these things. I mean, the DNC's phone number is available. We'll also continue to talk to reporters to help them make sure the facts are correct.

CNN did none of those things:

Now, neither Illinois Sen. Barack Obama nor Clinton will be able to attain the 2,024 delegates needed to clinch the nomination without delegates from Florida and Michigan.
First, lets give them credit for getting 2,024 right. Even Kos got it wrong today.

But the premise of the statement is so wrong. Assuming no other candidate gets a vote, it is impossible for neither of the candidates to not get 2,024 votes. There are 4,047 votes. Someone has get to get 2,024 of them.

But what if you add Florida and Michigan's delegates back in? Well, then you have 4414 delegates, and you need 2205.5 delegates to win. (As shown in the sidebar table).

Its called a simple majority. And its a pretty simple concept.

And its not just the media getting it wrong. Marc Ambinder, on the same subject:
(Thanks to the readers who realized this -- you would be amazed -- maybe scared -- by how many folks in both campaigns didn't know this.)


David said...

Thank you for bringing this up. I have been posting on different blog sites indicating the same thing when the idea came about to seat the delegates from the two states but couldn't get any attention. Thank you again. I think the best solution for Florida and Michigan is to do a re-vote for pledged delegates and take away the super-delegates since they are the ones who signed to have the date moved.

David D. from Overland Park, KS

sunkissed said...

My boyfriend thanks you. My mom thanks you...and so does everyone else who has been listening to my rantings for the last 3 days. I have lost total confidence in CNN over this. I make pizza for a living...I shouldn't be smarter than these folks. I hope another news network picks this up not to necessarily discredit CNN but to advertise this site (and some of its links)so my fellow democrats can get some accurate info...and to help simmer down the MI/FL 'crisis.'

cbsmith42 said...

I've been telling CNN through the tv every time they bring it up... they just don't listen ;)

timbo said...

Actually, there are some delegates pledged to Edwards and some listed as "uncommitted" or some such -- so Obama and The Monster could both roll into the convention with less than 2205 (assuming the D wins in IL today)...

But CNN is vapid, point taken on them not having a clue.


Travis said...

But the premise of the statement is so wrong. Assuming no other candidate gets a vote, it is impossible for neither of the candidates to not get 2,024 votes.


To be fair I think they are referring to a scenerio without superdelegates.

Matt said...

Well they may be, but they don't say that. And even if they did, adding FL and MI would not help matters.

antigravity said...

it's just another in a long list of ways they're trying to keep things "up in the air". it's good for the press, having things play out the way they are, i understand that. but misleading people - in error or more dangerously in intent - is sickening.

thank you, DCW, for giving us an alternative to the nightmare. seriously, i would have given up following it all long ago...

Stephen said...

What amazes me is when all the news shows act like the superdelegates will get in a back room and then decide who is going to win, like somehow they are a organization unto themselves. My take on it that i have not seen mentioned by anyone is to consider the superdelegates vote as another state or block of delegates that will have some sort of predictable statistical reality to it. I think it is safe to say that if the super delegates split 50/50 that obama will win the simple majority. I do think though all the analysis in the world can not account for a domino effect of chaos surrounding the mich and fla delegations leading to some of the other states "pledged" votes to all of a sudden be changed as well... peters principal is alive and well witht the Dems

WANDA said...

I agree with Travis: everything I've read obviously refers to the delegate count WITHOUT the superdelegates. CNN is not my favorite, but c'mon people, they CAN do simple math. Maybe the people who didn't understand that they MUST have meant without the superdelegates are the ones being simple!