Thursday, April 17, 2008

New Democratic Delegate Predictions for Pennsylvania and Beyond

There has been no shortage of polling in Pennsylvania recently. Of course, as I've noted in earlier posts (as have others), this polling has been all over the map. How does this effect the estimates of how Pennsylvania's pledged delegates will be divided? Well, consider the following. If the most recent Survey USA poll from Pennsylvania (which shows a 54-40% advantage for Clinton) is correct, then Clinton would capture a net gain of approximately 24 delegates from the state's primary. On the other hand, if Public Policy Polling (which shows a 45-42% Obama advantage) is more accurate, then Obama would take a 6 delegate net gain from the state.

Of course, it has been our tradition to generate delegate predictions based on averages of all the recent polling in each state. For Pennsylvania, this average currently stands at 47-42% in favor of Clinton. If that division holds up, then Clinton would win approximately 83 delegates from the state compared with 75 for Obama, a net gain of 8 delegates.

Using the polling data in the upcoming states, we can also project further ahead. This information is presented in the table below. I use the averages in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and North Carolina, where there have been several polls conducted. In West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oregon, I simply use the most recent survey.

Note that based on these projections, any gains made by Clinton in Pennsylvania and Indiana will be made up for by Obama's large lead in North Carolina, where he is currently projected to pick up 23 delegates. Clinton is set up to pick up big gains in West Virginia and Kentucky, but Obama is favored in Oregon. Altogether, the estimates show that if Clinton remains in the race for the next month, she will make very little headway in cutting into Obama's lead, with a net gain of fewer than 20 pledged delegates in the next six contests.

Finally, the graphic below shows the projected pledged delegates that Obama will accumulate over the next month or so. The line drawn at 1,627 indicates that point at which Obama will have accumulated a majority of the total pledged delegates available (not including Florida and Michigan). The 1,627 mark may end up being a significant milepost in the discussion about when Clinton should leave the race.

Finally, it has been a while since I updated the superdelegate predictions. I am hoping to find time to put together some new predictions tomorrow.

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