UPDATE FEB. 12, 2008: Contrary to what it looked like Tuesday night, it appears that Obama did win more delegates on Super Tuesday than Clinton did, tightening the race. Please visit the VichyDems home page and then check the "recent posts" links in the right margin for up-to-date, and regularly updated, info.
I'm tracking the more reliable exit polls and other election feedback, and will post it periodically below. (For those still seeking substantive info on the candidates: VichyDems' posts on polls and electability, strange connections to Fox News, etc. are immediately below this one and can be accessed here.)
Feb. 5, 10:30 PM Pacific: FINAL BEFORE-BEDTIME WINS/LOSSES/STILL COUNTINGS; ROUGH DELEGATE COUNTS; AND SOME ANALYSIS:
Here's where things stand on a national basis, with most states being called one way or the other:
Technically, 2,025 delegates are needed for a Democratic candidate to clinch the nomination. However, 40% of those -- 842 -- are "super delegates", influential current and former office holders who can vote however they want rather than being "promised" to one particular candidate. "Super delegates" are not included in the totals below. (I'll post soon about the unbelievable antidemocratic bias that the super delegate system creates, but that's for later.) For the present, all it means is that (according to my math; I may be a few off) there are only about 3,208 "promised" delegates at stake in the 'democratic' part of the process, meaning that a candidate must win something like 1,605 delegates in the primaries and caucuses to lock up the nomination (barring meddling by the superdelegates). Delegate counts below are extremely approximate, based solely on percentage of statewide vote, when in actuality the calculation is "winner takes all" by Congressional district, percentages under 15% in any district don't count, etc. Also, "percentage" breakdowns are, in most cases, preliminary (based on less than 100% of returns).
But ballpark figures are better than nothing -- so here are the standings as of now, using NPR's figures:
Delegates previously won: 232
Arizona, 56 delegates ( 50%- 41%)
Arkansas, 35 delegates (72%-23%)
California, 370 delegates (54%-33%)
Massachusetts,93 delegates (59%-38%)
New Jersey, 107 delegates (55%-43%)
New York, 232 delegates (62%-35%)
Oklahoma, 38 delegates (55%-30%)
Tennessee, 68 delegates (61%-30%)
DELEGATES WON SO FAR TONIGHT: approximately 534
TOTAL DELEGATES: approximately 766
Delegates previously won: 158
Alabama, 52 delegates (62%-36%)
Colorado, 55 delegates ( 67%- 32%)
Connecticut, 48 delegates (50%-47%)
Delaware, 15 delegates (52%-43%)
Georgia,87 delegates (61%-36%)
Idaho, 18 delegates ( 81%- 17%)
Illinois, 153 delegates (65%-32%)
Kansas, 32 delegates (71%-29%)
Minnesota, 72 delegates (65%-33%)
North Dakota, 13 delegates (61%-37%)
Utah, 23 delegates (51%-31%)
DELEGATES WON SO FAR TONIGHT: approximately 425
TOTAL DELEGATES: approximately 583
JURY STILL OUT:
Alaska, 13 delegates ( %- %)
Missouri, 72 delegates ( %- %)
Montana, 16 delegates ( %- %)
New Mexico, 26 delegates ( %- %)
--Check out the map: Obama swept the midwest and northern states, proving what his Iowa win suggested: that he resonates with middle America. He also took a couple of key Southern states with large black populations. Clinton won mainly in the Northeast, deep South (does racism run deeper than misogyny?) -- and California. Clinton's win in California presents particularly serious problems. Previous polls showed a closer race. However, exit polling today suggests that as much as 29% of the people actually showing up at polling places are Latino, a group that strongly supports Hillary and that she considers her "firewall." This should put Obama's feet to the fire: as I've said before, I don't think he can afford to wait until the convention to take drastic action to stop that Latino bleeding. For instance, he could at least leak, if not announce, a strategic choice of running mate, such as Hispanic New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who could recover some of those Latino votes that, in terms of their own self-interests, should be swarming to Obama rather than Clinton.
--Obama's strategy heading into today's races -- targeting states with caucuses rather than primaries; smaller states; and states Hillary expected to win but appeared weak -- appears to be working as planned, though the total number of delegates gained that way is much smaller than those Clinton is racking up tonight.
--More on Super Delegates: Bloomberg: "Clinton has an edge among so-called super delegates, Democratic officeholders and party officials who get a vote at the convention and aren't bound by election results. Coming into today, Clinton had 190 of those delegates in her corner, compared with 104 for Obama, according to The Green Papers."
4:47 PM Pacific: Brian Hartman, ABC News: "[C]hange continues to be a powerful draw for Democrats, who rank the ability to bring about change their top attribute for a candidate by 2 to -1 over other concerns. Democrats — most important attribute: bring needed change 52 percent; best experience 23; empathy 13; best chance to win 9." [My note: this bodes well for Obama, who's suffered in "experience" but kicked tail in "change".]
MyDD poll watch
Talking Points Memo poll watch
2/05/08 4:38 PM Pacific: The Times [of London] Online: "Exit polls suggest Barack Obama's recent momentum had propelled him to victory in a swath of early results and is locked in a too-close-to-call race with Hillary Clinton in other, delegate-rich states. Mr Obama won the first contest of the night – Georgia – at a stroll and is also expected to win another Southern state, Alabama, by a landslide with black voters, who accounted for half the turnout, supporting him by a margin of four-to-one. He was headed for an easy victory in his own state of Illinois. More worryingly for Mrs Clinton are signs that she was narrowly behind, or neck-and neck, in a series of states running down America's east coast. These included New Jersey – where she had led polls until recently – Connecticut, Delaware and Massachusetts. Mrs Clinton, however, appeared on course for victory in New York – for which she has been a senator for the past seven years – Arkansas, where her husband was governor, and Oklahoma. Exit polls suggested she may also win in Tennessee but Missouri and Arizona, as well as California – the biggest prize of all – appeared to be tighter fights. The AP survey's findings, leaked to The Times tonight before polls closed, should be treated with caution because they have been wrong before."
2/5/08 4:05 PM Pacific: Heard on NPR: "NPR is projecting that Barack Obama will win [Georgia] over rival Hillary Clinton."
Jason Zengerle, The New Republic: "The perils of posting these are obvious (President Kerry and all that), but the exit poll results that I've seen show: Obama trouncing Hillary in Georgia, Alabama, and Illinois; Hillary trouncing Obama in Arkansas and Oklahoma; Hillary with leads in New York and Tennessee; and Obama with leads in Delaware and Utah (although there's only one wave of exit polls for Utah). Everywhere else--including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Arizona, and California--is extremely close."
Jim Kuhnenn, Associated Press: "Barring a remarkable sweep of most of the 22 states in play, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama will end the day with a mix of wins and losses. And each will accumulate delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer, but neither will have enough to secure the nomination. *** The campaigns, like sports teams that have clinched a playoff spot, already have been looking to the contests ahead. Obama has been advertising in states with primaries and caucuses over the next seven days. Clinton strategists are looking over the horizon into March and April when Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania hold primaries.*** [T]he two candidates have essentially divided the electorate into two component parts. He gets young voters, educated voters, black voters. She gets women, working-class voters and Hispanics. *** In Tuesday's balloting, Obama appeared to be encroaching on Clinton support, according to preliminary data from exit polls of voters in the 16 states holding Democratic primaries. Clinton had only a slight edge among women and with whites, two areas where she has generally dominated Obama. Obama had a small advantage with men _ including with white men, a group with whom he has struggled for votes in most previous contests. As usual, Obama had a decisive lead with blacks, with about eight in 10 favoring him, the early national figures showed. But Clinton was getting support from nearly six in 10 Hispanics, a group that could be pivotal. *** With voting under way, Clinton led Obama in the hunt for delegates, 261 to 202, on the strength of so-called superdelegates. Those are members of Congress and other party leaders not chosen in state presidential contests. Clinton aides said Tuesday that Obama might win more delegates on Tuesday than Clinton, but that they would emerge from the voting with more delegates overall."
Chris Cillizza, WashingtonPost.com: "At stake in today's contests for Democrats were 1,681 pledged delegates -- more than half the total of those delegates nationwide. A total of 2,025 delegate votes are needed to win the nomination at the party's convention. Of 4,049 total delegate votes to be cast at the convention, 3,253 will come from the "pledged delegates" that are awarded on a proportional basis to presidential candidates in the primaries and caucuses. Heading into today's contests, Clinton was leading Obama, 261 to 196, in total pledged and unpledged delegates, according to a tally by the Associated Press. Democrats use a proportional system to award their delegates, with any candidate taking over 15 percent in a congressional district qualifying. What that system means in practical terms is that unless either Obama or Clinton is able to overwhelmingly win a congressional district, the two candidates will receive the same number of delegates - ensuring neither builds too large a delegate lead. *** Each candidate has several states that seem almost certain to wind up in his or her column. For Clinton, that list included her home state of New York as well as Arkansas and Oklahoma. For Obama, Illinois and Georgia seem very likely wins. At issue are a handful of battleground states where both campaigns have spent heavily and campaigned in over the last weeks. Included in that list are: New Jersey, Massachusetts, Missouri and Arizona. The first polls to close will be in Georgia at 7 pm. Eastern time. Four hours later, California, the last of the major states, will conclude its voting."
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