Friday, May 02, 2008

Preview of Indiana and North Carolina primaries

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Tuesday brings us the next two Democratic primaries: Indiana and North Carolina.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, all the major polls have Obama with a comfortable lead of 8-10 points. While this is smaller than Obama's earlier leads of close to 20 points just a month ago, it's enough to safely notch this state in Obama's column.

North Carolina has 134 total delegates. 115 will be assigned according to the results of the primary, the remaining 19 are unpledged PLEO (Party Leader and Elected Official - 9 DNC members, 7 US Representatives and the Governor) and add-on delegates (selected at the state convention on June 21st).

Of the 115 pledged delegates that will be allocated proportionally, the assignment breaks down as follows: 77 by the results for each candidate in each of the 13 state Congressional Districts, and 38 assigned by the overall state-wide results.

So, assuming approximately a 55-45 win, you would see a breakdown of about 63 Obama, 52 Clinton (this will of course vary by the CD results).

Indiana is a much tighter race, and while a recent poll came out statistically tied in polling, the overall trend is Clinton with a 7 point lead. Interestingly, Obama had taken the lead in polling up until early this week, when Clinton appeared to break ahead, possibly due to the Rev. Wright noise that dominated the media earlier this week.

With NC out of contention, Clinton is looking to make a dent in Obama's delegate lead and continue her momentum from her win in PA, and Obama wants to show he can compete in a predominately white, blue collar state, especially one next door to his home state of Illinois.

Indiana has 85 total delegates, of which 72 will be allocated proportionally according to the results of Tuesday's primary. The remaining 13 are unpledged superdelegates or add-ons.

Of the 72 pledged delegates, 47 will be allocated according to the results in each of Indiana's 9 Congressional Districts, and the remaining 25 will be allocated according to the overall state-wide results.

Assuming a Clinton win of 56-44, the delegate breakdown would be approximately Clinton 40, Obama 32. Actual results will of course vary.

Interestingly, taking these two most likely outcomes, you would see each candidate walk away with a "win" but Obama will end with a net delegate add-on to his lead of +3, further padding his lead and making it even more difficult for Clinton to catch him.

And on a totally random Indiana note, old polling on the Republican primary (which is occurring on the same day) has Mike Huckabee polling at 23%. Apparently even as a dropped-out candidate conservative voters in Indiana would still rather protest vote Huckabee than vote for McCain.

Update: Thanks to readers for some corrections: NC has 13 Congressional Districts, not 12. Clinton does not having a winning "streak" (unless you cound 1 as a streak after PA), and the Republican poll is actually from Feb, not May as I thought (I read too quick).


erikwm said...

And it should be noted that North Carolina and Indiana are the largest remaining states. Together they have 187 pledged delegates. The remaining six contests offer a combined 217 additional pledged delegates.

Brian Watkins said...

Clinton is looking to make a dent in Obama's delegate lead and continue her winning streak

What streak is that? She's won once in PA after losing big in MS and WY. If she pulls off a long-shot victory in Guam, that will be a 2-win streak. Otherwise it'll be a 1-loss streak which I doubt she'll be looking to continue.

rtls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rtls said...

The McCain/Huckabee poll is from February, which is hardly current.

Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see some anti-McCain protest votes as was seen in PA.

Seth said...

... which is great, except North Carolina has *13* Congressional districts, not 12.

Charlie Anthe said...

To Brian: Good point on the "streak", I modified the post to say Clinton is looking for a follow up to her win in PA.

RTLS - The poll results I linked to said 5/6, but I may have read them wrong? I'll check it again.

Michael said...

If Obama wins North Carolina (by 5-10 points) and keeps it close in Indiana, it will be a wash with pledged delegates. Supers will conclude, rightfully, that the race is over.

Even if they split 50-50 on the remaining Supers, Obama wins.

It's already May 3. I hope we get all of June, July, August September and October to run against McBush.

DocJess said...

I ask this in all seriousness: HOW COME Hillary was up in PA by 20 points, won by 9, "everyone" called it 10 (and therefore double digits) and called it a "major win" and MEANWHILE Obama was up in NC by 20, now up by 8, will likely win by 9, and then "they" will call it as a win for Hillary since Obama didn't win by 20?

I can see this happening -- and I just want to know -- WHY????

Aren't the numbers just THE NUMBERS?


Dan said...

I think that Indiana has the potential to be much closer than Charlie's original post suggests. The polls have gone back and forth, and I get the sense that the different pollsters aren't entirely sure of what the likely demographics will be. (Add to this the fact that it is an open primary, and has had early voting for several weeks.)

I'm not going to make a prediction--I'll just say that it has the potential to be a real nail-biter, like Missouri.

Richard said...

My analysis of congressional districts suggests Clinton will net only one delegate at the district level. Assuming a 56-44 statewide split, which I think is generous, at-large delegates would split 14-11, for a net of three. If Obama can keep it within 8 points, that net drops to one (13-12). Therefore, I wouldn't predict that Clinton would net more than four (and perhaps only two) delegates from Indiana.