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Obama, McCain Lead In Pledged State Delegates

By February 11, 2008

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With slightly more than half of the states having held primaries or caucuses, Barack Obama and John McCain lead in their respective contests in pledged delegates -- those based on caucus or primary votes.

In the Republican race, McCain leads Mike Huckabee 720 delegates to 222, due in no small part to the widespread "winner take all" system in GOP contests. (These are soft estimates!)

In the Democratic race, Obama is leading Hillary Clinton 922 to 896 (estimates, no unpledged or super delegates included), due in no small part to his overwhelming success in caucus states. With 2,025 delegates needed for the nomination, and the Democratic proportional vote allocation, it looks like super-delegates will make the final decision.

Many media are including super delegate estimates in Democratic results. I believe that this is misleading. Super-delegates can change their mind at any time; caucus and primary delegates do not have this flexibility, under party rules.

I also believe it is wrong for candidates, other party learders or media to pressure super-delegates into making endorsements. Let's separate the "party member" votes from those of "party leaders," shall we? That is, after all, the reason the super-delegate system was put in place: to be a reality check on electability at the convention.

The weekend race held no real surprises on the Democratic side: three states (ME, NE, WA) held caucuses, and Obama's campaign won (pledged delegate count) every caucus state. Louisiana was the lone primary state this weekend and, like Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, it went for Obama.

On the Republican side, Washington had intriguing results. McCain barely edged out Huckabee and Ron Paul was a very strong third (26%, 24%, 21%). Republicans who did not caucus can vote in the primary; mail ballots are due on 19 February and half the delegates will be allocated via the primary vote. [Huckabee edged McCain in Louisiana caucuses (43% to 42%) back in January; Mitt Romney took Maine the first weekend in February; and Nebraska's Republican primary is in May.]

Next up: Virginia, Maryland the District of Columbia on Tuesday.

Comments

February 12, 2008 at 9:54 am
(1) Alphast says:

Hi Kathy,

Just an amusing comment on European main stream (i.e. TV and internet) media. On this last GOP vote, the unnanimous comments here were that McCain won again and that it reinforces his position. No mention was made of Ron Paul. I actually believed, based on this week-end European reports that he had dropped out…

February 19, 2008 at 1:48 pm
(2) Bob says:

Super delegates should be thrown out. The voice of the people can be negated by them. Another way for the voice of the people to be silenced, by political power.

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