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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Delegate Watch

posted by on April 29 at 12:18 PM

CQ Politics has been doing a great job parsing the proportional allocation rules in Democratic primaries, and their Indiana write-up is a must read.

The takeaway: In all but one of Indiana’s congressional districts (the unit by which most delegates are assigned), there are an even number of delegates available:

There are four Democratic delegates assigned to the Republican-leaning 3rd, 4th and 5th districts and six delegates in each of five districts that are more friendly to Democrats—the 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th. The 6th District has five delegates.

It’s notable that eight of the nine districts have an even number of delegates. Because of this, a wide range of vote percentages for the candidates will yield delegate ties of 2-2 or 3-3. In the four-delegate districts, Clinton or Obama would need 62.5 percent of the vote to garner a 3-1 delegate split; anything lower than that would yield a 2-2 tie. In a six-delegate district, the winner would need 58.3 percent of the vote to turn a 3-3 tie into a 4-2 edge.

That accounts for 47 delegates; the other twenty-five are allocated by statewide vote, but again, there are smaller units of division that increase the likelihood of ties.

The other 25 pledged delegates at stake—16 “at-large” delegates and nine party leader and elected officials (PLEOs)—will be distributed in proportion to the statewide vote. The 16 at-large delegates will split 8-8 if the winner takes less than 53.1 percent of the vote. The statewide winner is guaranteed a 5-4 victory among the nine PLEOs; it would require 61.1 percent of the statewide vote for a 6-3 edge.

It’s entirely possible, CQ writes, that a 6-point win for Clinton would net her just one delegate.

But I love this part. The easiest way to pull a delegate one way or another in Indiana is to zero in on the single 5-delegate district. Sounds like Obama should be pulling out all the stops in Ball State University in Muncie.

• 6th District (East — Muncie, Anderson, Richmond). Indiana’s 6th, represented in Congress by Republican Mike Pence , is the only district with an odd number of district delegates (five), so either Clinton or Obama will emerge from here with a 3-2 edge. (It takes a 70 percent supermajority for a 4-1 split). The university community in and around Ball State University in Muncie is likely to lean Obama, but Clinton should otherwise do well elsewhere in this district, which is overwhelmingly white and has levels of income and education that are lower than the state at-large—a profile that matches many other districts in previous primary states where she has done well. Fayette County, which includes Connersville in the southeastern area of the district, has the highest unemployment rate of any of Indiana’s 92 counties. CQ Politics Projection: Clinton 3, Obama 2.

Unfortunately for Obama, this is finals week at Ball State—good luck getting the kids to stick around till Tuesday.

RSS icon Comments


All of which means that Clinton needs an even larger landslide of super delegates to make any of this worth while.

And still, nobody wants to talk about Hillary's gas tax holiday. Is ANYBODY at The Stranger interested in transportation and the environment? Anybody?

Posted by elenchos | April 29, 2008 12:29 PM

Unless IN is completely different from my home state of IL, wouldn't the students have to vote where their permanent address is, not where they go to school?

So, sure, most of the kids will take off after finals and we hope that they will/ did vote in their district... but the article should be talking about the folks in/around Ball State that actually live and are registered in the 6th.

Posted by Sarah | April 29, 2008 12:30 PM

Yeah, I've been waiting for an ECB or Feit rant here about Hillary's love of the environmentally irresponsible and pointless gas tax holiday plan, and yet ... somehow it doesn't seem to be coming. Imagine that.

Posted by tsm | April 29, 2008 12:39 PM

The funny thing is, if the Dems apportioned their delegates the way the Republicans do -- winner-take-all -- Clinton would have clinched the nomination long before McCain did. Ah, to be a Democrat.

Posted by Fnarf | April 29, 2008 12:44 PM

If the Democrats ran winner take all primaries, well, number one, they wouldn't be Democrats, but more importantly, Team Hillary would have picked any strategy but the right one. Mark Penn would have made sure of that. And something tells me Obama would have planned it out so he would win. Winners know how to win, and losers know how to lose.

Posted by elenchos | April 29, 2008 12:52 PM

If the dems apportioned delegates like the GOP, would we have to hate America the way Republicans do, tho?

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 29, 2008 1:11 PM

@2: No, students may vote in the precinct where they attend school, but they do have to change their permanent address to their address at school.

89% of Ball State students are from the area or other places in Indiana--here's what the Indiana Secretary of State has to say about that.

Posted by annie | April 29, 2008 1:41 PM

It all sounds like counting chickens to me.
Oooops Ha I crack me up.

Posted by Vince | April 29, 2008 3:02 PM

Aw, shit, if the latest polls out of North Carolina (showing it neck-and-neck) are to be believed, Hillary's gonna drop-kick Indiana. Thank you, Rev. Wright!

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 29, 2008 5:43 PM

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