Final Chuck

March 5, 2008 12:13 a.m.

Chuck Todd’s a really good guide to the nitty-gritty of vote totals and delegate distributions. Just a few minutes ago he was giving his latest read on how this all nets out in terms of delegates.

Now, remember one key thing. When people are ballparking delegate distributions they generally take the vote total percentages and assume, for the sake of a rough estimate, that the delegates are distributed roughly in proportion to the popular vote, perhaps with the bonus a given state will use for winning over all. But it doesn’t actually work that way. There are all sort of little details about winning particular congressional districts, or sometimes local legislative districts. And on top of that the delegates often take into account how those jurisdictions voted in previous elections. So the devil’s really in the details.

Todd was just on and said, not surprisingly, that Rhode Island and Vermont (the battle of the New England micro-states) basically cancel each other out. What he seemed quite confident of is even with Clinton’s currently very solid spread in Ohio, she nets only 7 delegates. He seemed pretty solid on that number. So I assume he and his crew had run the numbers on that.

The Texas numbers are still up in the air. But he seemed to be suggesting a possible range from a 4 to a 9 delegate pick-up there.

Put that all together and it seems likely that we’re close to no movement at all on the pledged delegate front, conceivably even Obama picking up delegates, not withstanding losing the popular vote in three of the four states.

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