Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Final March 4th Democratic Delegate Estimates: Clinton 190, Obama 180

As I've done since Super Tuesday, I'm using survey data to estimate how the delegates will be allocated on March 4th. For the most part, these estimates have been fairly accurate (see here and here). I'm using the Pollster.com average of the recent surveys conducted in each state.

These estimates show that, if the polls are correct, Clinton will take a net gain of about 10 delegates today. This is actually a slightly bigger gap than has shown up in recent estimates I've produced, partly because Clinton appears to have gained a bit of momentum over the past weekend. While Obama had a 3 percent lead in the Pollster.com Texas average a week ago, Clinton now holds a 1 percent lead in Texas based on her strength in surveys released in the last couple of days.

However, there is one important reason to be cautious about these estimates. The Texas system is quite complicated and it is not easy to estimate how things will turn out there. They use a primary-caucus hybrid; while 126 of Texas's pledged delegates will be allocated according to the results of the primary, the remaining 67 pledged delegates will be determined by caucuses tonight. Obama's strength in caucuses is well-known by now...he has been winning caucus events by 2-to-1 margins. (See my post on this). If this advantage holds up in Texas, then Obama could come out of the state with a lot more delegates than the polling suggests, perhaps as much as a net gain of 15-20 delegates.

So, what will happen? Could Clinton win both Ohio and Texas and yet still finish behind Obama in pledged delegates because of the Texas caucuses? If that happens, which candidate will be viewed as the winner? I'll be live blogging tonight as we find out the answers to these questions.

1 comment:

Malcolm said...

I think Hillary is about done.