The PoliBlog

The Collective
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via CNN: McCain claims front-runner status; Dem race not settled.

At this point, McCain is over half-way to the goal of 1,191 delegates. His estimated 615 delegate represents 51.64% of the needed number and his nearest opponent, Mitt Romney, has 268 delegate (or 22.5% of the needed total) and lags McCain by 347 delegates. If one combines Huckabee, Romney and Paul1 at this point, they have, together, 453 delegates, which is still 162 behind McCain.

Clearly, McCain is the front-runner at this time, and it could even be argued that he is the prohibitive front-runner, given that he has demonstrated his ability to win in a variety of regions in very different states, while Romney has mostly won home states and small-state caucuses. If Romney was going to have a surge, it was going to have to come last night, and it didn’t. There is no reason to expect that he will all of a sudden start surging now.

On the Democratic side, the race is quite tight, with Clinton at 825 to Obama’s 732. The magic total for the Democrats is 2,025, meaning Clinton is at 40.74% of her goal and Obama at 36.15%.

As of this morning, CNN is reporting that Clinton won 582 delegates yesterday and Obama won 562. As such, despite all of the “wins” for Clinton yesterday, the tallies show a tie.2

Sphere: Related Content

  1. Huckabee has 169 and Paul 16 []
  2. It is unclear to me at the moment if the tallies represent all possible February 5th delegates or not. Update–It does not include all the delegates, as for sure it excludes the results in New Mexico []
Filed under: US Politics, 2008 Campaign | |


  1. Politico and MSNBC are reporting that Obama leads the delegate count (albeit by a whopping 10 delegates).

    Comment by KipEsquire — Wednesday, February 6, 2008 @ 8:44 am

  2. The numbers are somewhat fluid at the moment, to be sure.

    At the moment they are, for all practical purposes, tied.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, February 6, 2008 @ 8:55 am

  3. Good afternoon.

    Finally got myself interested in your elections - perhaps due to all the exciting stats available - but there are a couple of things I don’t understand, and I was hoping you might explain them for me, or else direct me to places where I can get the info.

    Firstly, I don’t get the diference between Primary and Caucuses, secondly, and more importantly, how come Obama won percentagewise in Alabama but has less delegates allocated to vote for him (cnn stats).

    Thanks kindly, regards.

    Comment by james — Wednesday, February 6, 2008 @ 10:25 am

  4. The short answer is that a caucus is a sub-group of a political party. In states where a caucus selects the presidential candidate, delegates are normally elected in some fashion, and those delegates then nominate a candidate. For example, in Iowa, residents elect delegates to represent the 99 counties of the state. These delegates then meet to elect delegates to attend the presidential nominating convention, and it is these people who ultimately do the choosing. States that use caucuses don’t all do it the same way, and I’d be lying if I said I knew how all of them worked, or that I was 100% certain that what I just told you is accurate (perhaps Dr. Taylor can correct me if I’m wrong.) These states are usually not “all-or-nothing” wins; that is, you might be able to win some delegate votes, even if you don’t win the majority.

    Contrast this to states that use primary elections; my state, Georgia, is such a state. We had our primary election yesterday, and it’s sort of like a “mini national election” in that there is a popular vote, and the winner gets all of the state’s delegates; the losers get nothing. Most of the states with primaries are “all-or-nothing” states.

    Basically, you’re just looking at internal workings of the two major political parties in the US - how they pick their candidates for the national election. The rules vary from state to state.

    Comment by Captain D. — Wednesday, February 6, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  5. I can’t help but think that the longer the race for the Democratic nomination goes on, the better it is for the Republicans, now that McCain has achieved clear front-runner status.

    Comment by Captain D. — Wednesday, February 6, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

  6. So far the delegates froim California’s congressional districts have yet to be alloted. Clinton probably has 30 or so more than Obama of these.

    Comment by CCBC — Wednesday, February 6, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

  7. […] UPDATE: Emperor Misha’s refreshingly alarmist take is here. Despite a trend I noticed, that Obama and McCain almost never win the same state (Illinois and Connecticutt being the only exceptions I see), and a number of votes where the three GOP candidates were within points of each other (Georgia leaps to mind), Dr. Taylor/Poliblogger says it is soon likely to be all over on the GOP side (and gives reasons - reason beyond mere delegate counts). Honestly, the far more cordial (said so last night on All Things Considered and this morning on NPR’s Morning Edition - not GOP freindly bastions, but professinal reporters) GOP race may help the party if it goes on, but I was just one vote. […]

    Pingback by Pros and Cons » Election Results — Wednesday, February 6, 2008 @ 9:32 pm

  8. On the GOP side, in Georgia, the first place finisher had 34% when I turned off the TV and the third-place finisher had 30% of the vote. Neverthless, first past the post.

    Comment by Jenda — Wednesday, February 6, 2008 @ 9:34 pm

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