Say it with me: Selected, not elected.
From this point, quick math shows that after Super Tuesday, only 1,428 pledged delegates will still be available. Now, here is where the problem shows up. According to current polling averages, the largest possible victory for either candidate on Super Tuesday will be Clinton 889 pledged delegates, to 799 pledged delegates for Obama. (In all likelihood, the winning margin will be lower than this, but using these numbers helps emphasize the seriousness of the situation.) As such, the largest possible pledged delegate margin Clinton can have after Super Tuesday is 937 to 862. (While it is possible Obama will lead in pledged delegates after Super Tuesday, it does not currently seem possible for Obama to have a larger lead than 75). That leaves Clinton 1,088 pledged delegates from clinching the nomination, with only 1,428 pledged delegates remaining. Thus, in order to win the nomination without the aid of super delegates, in her best-case scenario after Super Tuesday, Clinton would need to win 76.2% of all remaining pledged delegates. Given our proportional delegate system, there is simply no way that is going to happen unless Obama drops out.
Everyone on the same page here? 2,025 delegates needed to clinch, but the Messiah’s made such a contest of it that realistically neither one of them can win enough pledged delegates (i.e. delegates you earn by picking up districts and winning the state popular vote) to do it. Which means it falls to the 796 unpledged “super” delegates — the party elite, many of whom are accountable to no one — to decide. And what does that mean? Wonderful things, my friends.
Follow the link to Bowers’s post and read down to the update. I think he’s right about how the Democrats are going to handle this. Call it a party version of the “national popular vote” initiative. If the super delegates won’t bind themselves to vote as a bloc, the pressure on whoever trails next month to drop out and avoid a convention fight will be enormous, thus raising the tantalizing prospect of a melodrama where Hillary has to commit hara kiri because the party establishment, of all things, simply doesn’t love her anymore. Dude. Dude.
We’re getting closer but we’re not there yet. Given how next week’s primaries favor the Messiah, a shock tonight could give him such Mo that Hillary’s on life support by the end of the month. The polls say that Teddy’s endorsement surprisingly hasn’t done much for him. Check back tonight at 11 when California comes in; then we’ll know.
I leave you with an attack on Barack Obama, warmonger, from the left. Er, I mean, right.
Update: And then there’s the identity politics angle…