Saturday, January 19, 2008

Nevada delegate controversy

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

While Clinton won the Nevada caucus with more votes today, the delegate situation has gotten all muddled. First, the news media gave Clinton 13 and Obama 12. Then, they changed to it Obama 13, Clinton 12, based on Obama gaining a couple of delegates in rural areas, but likely with small vote margins. Then, the Nevada Democratic Party said, wait a minute, no one got delegates, its a 3 step process.

A couple of things. Nevada sounds no different than Iowa. Both have these 3-stage processes of electing delegates, so estimates of national delegates for both states are the same. If you accepted the Iowa delegates counts, you have to accept Nevada.

Also, there are a lot of people (i.e., Obama supporters), saying, isn't it the delegates that matter? Well, we're talking about only 1 delegate difference in a pool of over 4,000. And then there are a lot of other people (i.e., Clinton supporters), saying, we won the popular vote - that should be what matters. Well, as Al Gore saw in 2000, winning the popular vote in an election is only worth something if it actually wins you the election.

Update: The Nevada Democratic Party has backtracked a little, realizing they were delegitimizing their whole caucus by saying that no national delegates were selected today:

If the delegate preferences remain unchanged between now and April 2008, the calculations of national convention delegates being circulated by the Associated Press [Obama 13, Clinton 12] are correct.


Anonymous said...

I've been watching the blogs all over yakking it up and you are the only guys who nailed the likely truth that Nevada rules are the same as Iowa. It isn't really official until the entire process is complete. Caucuses are only the start.

I'm getting to be a big fan of this site.


Daniel said...

I've done my own analysis of what Obama needs to do to get the nomination. I'll do the Republicans tomorrow.

Matt said...

Jeff, thanks for the comment. Come back often, and tell your friends! The Iowa comparison is slowly starting to get out there also, and I think in a day or two this is all going to blow over. There are hundreds of delegates to be elected in the next 2 weeks - yapping about 1 delegate is really a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Do you have historical data on the superdelegates? If I recall the numbers correctly, Obama has gained 12 in comparison to Clinton within the last 1-2 weeks.

Anonymous said...

I found demconwatch a few days ago. This is the type of data I really like to read.

Thanks also to electopundit, comment above -- nice spreadsheet at that site.

Also, I found this poster at DailyKos that is tracking delegates in a detailed way:

Any others?

Matt said...

We're keeping the historical data going forward, but don't have it clearly for the past. We'll try to recreate some of it though, as we'd like to see it also. Maybe somebody saved some of the original posts?

Matt said...

On 1/11 we had:

Clinton 177
Obama 70
Edwards 30
Kucinich 2

Matt said...

Ignore the previous comment, that was with Florida and Michigan. Here's what I've been able to recover, but remember that some of these gains are merely due to us finding older endorsements but not reporting them until now:

Clinton Obama Edwards
1/10/08 134 50 25
1/13/08 165 69 27
1/20/08 171 77 28

So by this calculation, Obama has only gained 2 on Clinton in the last week.