Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Moving the goalposts

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Moving the goalposts, what's the definition of victory, has been a controversial topic this year. But the goalposts have been moving for legitimate reasons, as the number of superdelegates has gone down and up and down and up again. On December 11, 2007 we were at 798 superdelegates (not counting MI and FL), but a week later we were at 797, and we haven't been back to 797 since. But with Travis Childers' big win last night, we're back up to 796 superdelegates, which gives 4,049 total delegates, with 2,025 needed to win.

But we're not quite done yet. There's one more Special Election to go, in MD-4 on June 14th, where Donna Edwards is a sure bet to win. Al Wynn isn't resigning until the end of this month, and we took him off our lists a couple of months ago, but others have kept him on. Either way, when he leaves, we'll all be at 796 supers. We told you, those goalposts keep moving.

Until Edwards wins the Special Election. At that point, she'll be the 797th superdelegate, there will be 4,050 total delegate votes, and it will take 2,025.5 votes to win the nomination.

And that's where the goalposts will stop moving.

Or will they? There is that pesky RBC meeting at the end of the month - something about a couple of states not having their delegates counted?


rgzuber said...

And the supers start early this morning! 1.5 super delegate votes for Obama.

Amot said...

And we are stuck with 0.5s till the end of the campaign :)

Jeff in CA said...

Note that the RBC is not the final word on seating FL and MI, as Andre pointed out here:

If the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee (RBC)decides to restore the voting rights of some or all of the delegates from Florida and Michigan, then its decision is the "supreme law of the Party" unless a challenge is filed with the Convention Credentials Committee seeking to overturn the ruling of the RBC.

The same goes if the RBC decides to dismiss the challenges from Florida and Michigan. An appeal could be filed with the Convention Credentials Committee.

There is an avenue of appeal beyond the Conventin Credentials Committee too -- the body of the Convention itself, with a majority of Obama delegates.

tmess2 said...

The only way that Michigan and Florida goes to the Convention floor is if there is a minority report from the Credentials Committee. Since most of the Credentials Committee is composed of people from the states and territories selected by the two campaigns, it would require one of the two campaigns being unwilling to compromise at the Credentials Committee stage.

If we are still going toe-to-toe in August, we will know who to blame for four years of a President McCain.

Jeff in CA said...

Sorry, that link for my earlier post should be this here.

Unknown said...

Regarding the moving goalposts... As it stands right now, I believe Obama needs about 24 pledged delegates to clinch the majority of pledged delegates--which would entitile him to the Pelosi club supers.

Will, DCW immediately shift the Pelosi club supers into his column once he gets those 24 (assuming my math is correct) or will you wait until the goal posts finally become stationary?

Based on current projections, does anyone know when we should expect Obama to secure a majority of pledged delegates? I'm sure it could be estimated based on current polling data, but I haven't worked it out yet.

Unknown said...

OK, I'm going to attempt to answer my own question.

If Clinton wins both KY and OR on 5/20 by a 70-30 margin, then BHO should get 31 pledged delgates (15 and 16 respectively.) By my number, that 31 would clinch the pledged delegate majority, and should mean the Pelosi club SDs are his. Correct?

Political Realm said...

First Read is saying the number is 4051, thus 2026 needed to win. Why the discrepancy?

They say the count is 797 supers now(presumably they're counting Wynn now and eventually factoring Edwards in) and they add that to the pledged delegates to equal 4051, not 4050 as you guys cite.

Who's right here?

Matt said...

Well they can't add very well. There are 3,253 pledged delegates. Add 797 supers and you get 4050 total delegates. It's simple addition. And Edwards has nothing to do with it, since he's not a delegate, super or otherwise.

Matt said...

We will not move the Pelosi club members to Obama's column even when he clinches the pledged delegate majority, until we have heard from each one, like we've already heard form Romer. This has been standard DCW practice with other conditional endorsements.

Also, because the Pelosi Club members have not specified whether their definition of majority of pledged delegates included MI and FL, we wouldn't move them when Obama reached the non-FL/MI majority anyway.

Political Realm said...

Thanks for clarifying, Matt.

I was talking about Donna Edwards, not John, btw.

Matt said...

P Realm - my mistake, sorry about that. So if you count Wynn/D. Edwards you get 797 supers, and 4050 total delegates. If they're still saying 4051, they're just wrong.