Thursday, May 29, 2008

Delegate Predictions for Puerto Rico, Montana, and South Dakota

Amazing to think that the final three primaries are less than a week away. I mean, it seems like the cold dark night of the Iowa Caucuses was just the other day. Or is it just me?

One thing I've neglected to do over the past month or so is go back and check on how well the polls have done in predicting the delegate break downs in the last several primaries. Let's take a look:

Indiana prediction: 38-34 Clinton.
Indiana actual: 38-34 Clinton.

North Carolina prediction: 62-53 Obama.
North Carolina actual: 67-48 Obama.

West Virginia prediction: 20-8 Clinton.
West Virginia actual: 20-8 Clinton.

Kentucky prediction: 35-16 Clinton.
Kentucky actual: 37-14 Clinton.

Oregon prediction: 29-23 Obama.
Oregon actual: 31-21 Obama.

Using the poll averages, I got Indiana and West Virginia exactly correct and only missed Kentucky and Oregon by 2 delegates. In North Carolina, the polls were off significantly, which meant Obama performed 5 delegates better than I predicted.

Now on to the final three primaries. I know it is hard to believe, but there have not been a whole lot of polls conducted for the last three primaries. Perhaps, as Mark Blumenthal points out, it has something to do with one island's Spanish-speaking population and the tiny share of delegates at stake in Montana and South Dakota. Nevertheless, we do have at least one survey in each of the last three states, and we'll have to rely on those polls to generate the final delegate predictions of the race. These predictions are below.

As expected, Clinton should take a significant delegate total out of the Puerto Rico primary on Sunday. On the other hand, Obama is expected to continue his strong performance in the Mountain West by winning more delegates in both Montana and South Dakota. When all is said and done, these projections have Clinton cutting all of 4 delegates off Obama's lead.

Later this week, I'll lay out how the various proposals that the RBC is considering will influence the end game scenarios faced by the Obama campaign.

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