Saturday, 26 April 2008

A drop in the bucket

After losing twelve straight states, Hillary Clinton finally has something to smile about.

Clinton won Wednesday's Pennsylvania primary election by 9%. But that number doesn't matter, because after the results were tallied she only claimed a single delegate more than Obama, 65 to 64. The first candidate to break the 2,025-delegate threshold will win the Democratic nomination. Currently Obama has about 1,700; Clinton 1550. Advancing by a single delegate is meaningless, and her victory this week had no effect except for a bump in fundraising.

It is mystifying that the major media outlets are touting the wrong number, especially considering the percentage was heavily whittled down from polling earlier this year (at times Obama's Pennsylvania numbers were 20% down). Not only was Clinton losing ground every week coming up to the election, her victory was neutered by the delegate count: a 65 to 64 margin equals a mere three-quarters of one percent.

It's a mathematical sort of race right now. One blogger has calculated the ratio of superdelegates needed by Obama to deny Clinton the possibility of nomination: less than one in five of those still undecided. Given that he has picked up over 60 superdelegates to Clinton's 2 since February 4th, it's not so much a probability as a certainty.

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