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Sat Apr 23, 2016, 08:09 PM

Someone check my math, please [View all]

Seth Abramson has pointed out something the mainstream media don't mention:

Hillary is unlikely to win enough pledged delegates in the remaining primaries to be able to clinch the nomination before the superdelegates can vote at the convention.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-abramson/sanders-is-right-on-super_b_9695718.html

As far as I am aware, Abramson's last post running the numbers was made before the NY primary.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-abramson/a-contested-democratic-convention_b_9672328.html

So can someone check my back-of-the-hand calculations?
It looks to me that Hillary remains unlikely to win enough pledged delegates outright to secure the nomination without having to rely on superdelegate votes--which will not be cast until the convention.


Hillary has already won 1,443 pledged delegates in primaries and caucuses. (This is 538's count. Other sources report slightly different numbers; Bloomberg says 1,428; NY Times/AP says 1,446. We'll kep it simple and use 1,443.)
http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/election-2016/delegate-targets/democrats/
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/graphics/2016-delegate-tracker/
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/elections/primary-calendar-and-results.html

Based on polls summarized at RealClearPolitics, we are looking at the following in upcoming primaries (I've tried to generally lean toward using the figures that give Hillary a higher percentage of votes; so for Pennsylvania, for example, I used 55%):
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_democratic_presidential_nomination-3824.html

Legend:
state---total pledged delegates available---Hillary's predicted take (based on polling)---Hillary's likely delegates yield

CT 55--0.51--28
MD 95--0.58--55
PA 189--0.55--104
IN 83--0.48--40
CA 475--0.48--228
NJ 126--0.53--67

(In other words, for Connecticut, for example, there are 55 total pledged delegates available. Polling predicts Hillary will win about 51% of the votes, meaning about 51% of the pledged delegates will be awarded to her. 51% of 55 means she should get about 28 pledged delegates from Connecticut, based on recent polls.)

total pledged delegates Hillary is likely to win from these 6 states, based on recent polling:
28 + 55 + 104 + 40 + 228 + 67 = 522

That will give Hillary 1,443 + 522 = 1,965 pledged delegates.

There are an additional 13 states & territories that will also contribute pledged delegates, but I haven't seen polling for them, so I can't say what fraction Hillary is currently expected to win. These states/territories are:

DE 21
RI 24
Guam 7
WV 29
KY 55
OR 61
Virgin Is 7
PR 60
MT 21
NM 34
ND 18
SD 20
DC 20

The total yield from all of these latter states/territories is 377. In other words, if Hillary won 100% of all the pledged delegates from these states/territories where we don't have good polling, she would take an additional 377. (Obviously, she won't will ALL of their delegates in reality.)

The magic number to clinch the nomination is 2,383.

Since Hillary's pledged delegates haul is likely to be 1,965 after winning the 6 upcoming states for which we do have polls, she will need 2,383 - 1,965 = 418 additional pledged delegates from the states/territories for which we don't have good recent polls.

However, as noted above, even if she won ALL of the pledged delegates from those 13 states/territories, she would still fall short by 418 - 377 = 41 pledged delegates.

Of course, anything could happen in the next few weeks. The polls could dramatically change based on a terrorist attack or huge gaffe or something--or the polls could just be wrong. But if the polls are reasonably accurate and nothing changes, if my math is correct, Abramson is still right.




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Reply Someone check my math, please [View all]
TheDormouse Apr 2016 OP
Peace Patriot Apr 2016 #1
ALittleBirdie Apr 2016 #2
TBF Apr 2016 #3
greymouse Apr 2016 #6
TBF Apr 2016 #7
LiberalElite Apr 2016 #4
findrskeep Apr 2016 #5