Friday, April 25, 2008

Edwards delegates: Up-for-grabs in Iowa, in control in NH

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

We've been following the status of the Edwards delegates ever since he dropped out of the race. The quick summary: He keeps his 4 delegates from New Hampshire, his 8 delegates from South Carolina (as long as his campaign stays officially suspended), and, if they were to ever get seated as is, his 13 delegates from Florida.

But his Iowa delegates have shrunk from 14 to 6, and 3 of the 6 are in the critical stage on Saturday:

At five district conventions, hundreds of Iowa Democrats will meet to choose 29 delegates to the party’s national convention in August, the first chunk of the state’s 45 pledged delegates that will make the trip to Denver
Caucus states, with their complex rules, have been good to Obama. And that complexity could come into play in a couple of congressional districts where the ability of Edwards backers to hang together could make a difference this weekend.

In the 1st District, where Obama now has enough strength to claim four national delegates compared with Clinton’s two, Edwards is just a few votes short of the 15 percent viability threshold required to claim a national delegate of his own.

If he’s successful, that delegate would come from Obama. Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba, an Obama backer, said Clinton’s camp could try to help make Edwards viable, thus damaging Obama. “We’re going to try to work them, too,” he said.

In the 5th District, Edwards has enough strength to be viable, but just barely.
It's the same math as we were all familiar with going into the Iowa Precinct Caucuses. Looking at the numbers in Iowa, Edwards will probably keep 2 national delegates, one each from CD2 and CD3. If Edwards loses viability in CD5, Obama would need to pick up 56 of the outstanding 58 state delegates (Edwards-55, Uncommitted -3) to get the extra national delegate. Otherwise, Clinton gets it. So Clinton could end up net +2 after Saturday, winning a delegate in CD 5 and Obama losing one in CD 1. The CD1 scenario seems likely, as it takes only 4 Clinton state delegates to switch to Edwards to give him a national delegate. But then the Obama people could persuade some other Edwards delegates to come to their side, saving the national delegate spot. Wouldn't you love to be inside these caucus rooms on Saturday watching this all take place?

Update: Iowa Independent goes deep into the numbers in each CD, and notes that Edwards might pick up a delegate in CD 4 also.

And then there's New Hampshire, which is picking its add-on superdelegate this weekend. In most states, the add-on is picked by some state-level committee, or by a large group of delegates to a state convention. Not in New Hampshire. In New Hampshire, the add-on is picked by the District level delegates. And what's the breakdown of the district level delegates in New Hampshire?

Clinton 6, Obama 6, Edwards 2.

Edwards 2 delegates are Joshua Denton of Portsmouth and Deborah Bacon-Nelson of Hanover. Capt. Denton is a veteran of the Iraq War. Bacon-Nelson is a World Literature teacher at Lebanon High School

So the 2 Edwards delegates essentially hold the balance-of-power in determining the add-on superdelegate in New Hampshire!

Friday update: The Manchester Union-Leader notes that "State party chair Raymond Buckley will nominate one or more candidates" for the add-on spot. Buckley is uncommitted, and it's possible he could submit just one name to the district delegates for their vote. So maybe Buckley is really in control.

We'll have all the results here this weekend.


Brian said...

At 4th district Iowa, 6 national delegates up for grabs, Obama 4 Clinton 2. Going on to state convention 6-14-08 Obama 316 Clinton 187 Edwards 2.
After the district convention concluded a horse and a Hillary supporter walked into a local watering hole. The bartender asked the Hillary supporter, Why the long face ??????? More reporting on 6-14-08.