Democratic Race Update Feb 16th


I found out today that Wikipedia seems to be keeping tabs on state polls.  I found at least one that was up to Feb 15th, yesterday.   The atest ones for each state seemed to be in the last 20-25 days, so it seems like a fairly good source.  With Wikipedia, it can be a little dodgy on some things because of the open-source editing, but I have no idea what anyone would have to gain by editing in bad information on this.

A surprise was that it looked like Hillary Clinton was leading an awful lot of them. Bernie Sanders, in fact, was only leading in 4 states, including one just past, New Hampshire.  The other three states are his home state of New Hampshire, Maine,  and Alaska.  Those are really small states, delegate-wise.

How Good Does it Look for Bernie?

Bernie is within 5 points in 6 states and within 10 points in 2 others.  The <=5 states are Nevada (0 points – tied), Missouri (5), Ohio (5), Oregon (5), Virginia (3), and Wisconsin (2 points).  The 5-10 point deficits for Bernie are Massachusetts (6 points) and Utah (10).  Basically, Hillary is REALLY kicking his butt in 26 states of the 40 listed, and leading in 10 others – 36 out of 40. For 10 states there were no state polls listed.

How bad?  In 1 state 50 points bad.  In 2 others over 40 points.  In 3 others by over 30 points. In NINE states by over 20 points.  And in 11 states by over 10 points.  It is conceivable that Bernie could surge in some states, especially ones where he can visit frequently.  He seems to have momentum at the moment, but after Super Tuesday will that still be the case?

Bernie will need to budget his visits almost like they were swing states – to go after the ones he can win and forget the others.  Will that be enough?  He has no margin for error.

Right now it looks like the primaries being proportional will give Bernie several hundred delegates that he would not have gotten at all in the old winner-take-all system.  If that system were still in place he would have to think about dropping out in two weeks.  If it were winner-take-all in Super Tuesday states, the only delegates Bernie would win are the 26 from his home state of Vermont. The other 979 from the  other 10 states would go to Hillary.  And it would be all over.

Current Delegate Count So Far

With only Iowa and NH completed, the regular delegate count sits at 36-30, in favor of Bernie Sanders.

Superdelegates So Far

Superdelegates are a slaughter at the moment, too.  Hillary has 395 superdelegates to Bernie’s 14.  These are real delegates with real voting power at the Convention (which opens July 25th).  These delegates are NOT pledged firmly to any candidate, though, so Bernie does have SOME chance of purloining them, if he gets on a tear and it looks like he will win the nomination. That happened in 2008, when many superdelegates switched from Hillary to Barack Obama after he won something like 11 primaries in a row.  This possibiity happening this year is discounted, but you never know.  At this point 8 years ago, most poeple thought Hillary would still take the nomination.

The Running Total, Maestro. . .

So, adding up those really early returns with superdelegates, Hillary has a 415 to 50 lead on Bernie.  With the total needed at 4763, there is a LONG way to go.  But Hillary leading in 45 of the 49 states with polls (Wyoming and DC don’t have any polls listed), AND a 365 overall delegate lead at the moment, Bernie’s outlook is fair to moderately poor.  He’s closing fast in some states, but with the primaries and caucuses coming fast and furious very soon, his ability to get results like Iowa and New Hampshire are not really great.

Nevada this Saturday s a caucus and, though that is a 45-45 tie at the moment, my information is that no one has a clue about what is really going on in Nevada. Like the caucuses in Iowa, no one knows WHO will show up, or how people will vote with everyone looking on.  Caucuses are NOT secret ballots.

Super Tuesday Is Coming Up

Super Tuesday is March 1st, only 3 days after the South Carolina primary, which is a week from Saturday.  (Nevada’s caucuses are this Saturday.)  So, it being Wednesday the 17th today, Super Tuesday is only 13 days away.  Wow!

I did some numbers on the Super Tuesday states, with rules and delegate information gleaned from a site called The Green Papers.

What did I find?   Well, that was when I found out that polling information was being updated pretty well on Wikipedia.  And from the numbers I put together from the latest state polling percentages, I came up with the following for Super Tuesday.  In doing it, I went all the way down to the Congressional District (CD) level and followed the rules for winning delegates proportionately.  Most CDs have 4 to 6 delegates, with a range in Super Tuesday states of 2 to 10.  Most delegates are won at that level.  And those are pledged delegates.

So, my projected count:

Hillary – 610 delegates, of which 525  would be solid, pledged delegates.  85 are what is called PLEOs – un-pledged delegates, but IMHO probable for Hillary (based on MY projecting the polling percentages for those as well as the Congressional District delegates).  PLEOs are “Party Leaders and Elected Officers.

Bernie – 395 delegates, of which 334 are pledged.  61 are un-pledged PLEOs.

Super Tuesday, then, looks at this time to be a boon for Hillary and a bane for Bernie’s chances.  Ignoring the Nevada and South Carolina events for the moment, Hillary looks like she will have about 1,069 total delegates. Bernie minus NV ad SC would have about 445.

Prognosis

Let’s call Nevada a wash and give 23 of its overall delegates to Hillary and 20 to Bernie.  13 of the 43 are PLEOs, 5 pledged and 8 un-pledged. hose being party officials, one has to give the edge there to Hillary.  We will give her 8 to Bernie’s 5. Don’t holler – it’s more likely 9 or 10 for Hillary – maybe even all 13.  It’s a political party, after all, and people who pay their dues get benefits.  Bernie has been in the Democratic Party only since last year.  Hillary has been in it for over 40 years.

Let’s also call South Carolina for Hillary, and of their 59 overall delegates, and with Hillary having a 17-point lead, she will take probably about 35 of the 59 total delegates.  So, Hillary will come out of the next 2 events no worse than even, but likely about 14 delegates to the good.

Hillary figures to be taking about 60% of the delegates on Super Tuesday PLUS she is currently leading by more than 10 points in about 40 states, so one MUST consider the probability that Hillary is going to pull away and keep on pulling away.

At this point I’d have to figure Hillary is a 90% lock.

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