News from the Votemaster
According to CQ Politics, the delegate count is as follows:Hillary Clinton: 187
Barack Obama: 124
John Edwards: 45
Bill Richardson: 13
Chris Dodd: 7
Joe Biden: 5
Dennis Kucinich: 1
Needed to get the nomination: 2025
These totals include Michigan delegates, who don't count until the DNC reverses itself in August in the name of party unity.
The Republican count is like this:Mitt Romney: 42
Mike Huckabee: 32
John McCain: 13
Fred Thompson: 3
Duncan Hunter: 1
Ron Paul: 0
Rudy Giuliani: 0
Needed to get the nomination: 1191
Delegate counts won't be important at all until after Feb. 5 when about half the delgates will be chosen.
The way it is looking now, it might not be all over Feb. 6. Most of the Democratic primaries split the delegates in proportion to the votes, so it could easily happen that Clinton has about 40%, Obama has about 40%, Edwards has 15-20%, with the rest uncommitted. Another factor are the PLEOs (Party Leaders and Elected Officials), senators, governors, state chairmen, etc., who together make up 20% of the delegates and who are not pledged to any specific candidate. However as politicians, they are keenly aware of which way the wind is blowing.
The Republican primaries are mostly winner-take-all, but there we could see a split with Romney winning the northern states, Huckabee winning the southern states, and McCain winning most of the rest. And don't forget Giuliani (although everybody else has). If he wins Florida, he might then win a few of the big states Feb. 5.
The Michigan exit polls hold some interesting clues about John McCain's future. In New Hampshire, McCain coasted to victory due to the many independents who supported him. In Michigan, 68% of the people who voted in the Republican primary were registered Republicans, and he got only 27% of that vote. In many future states, only Republicans can vote in the Republican primary, so being popular with independents but not popular with Republicans is a good way to win the general election--assuming you can get nominated some how. McCain also did badly with voters who strongly oppose illegal immigrants and with voters who are highly religious. There are going to be a lot of those voting in the next 3 weeks. On the other hand, the other candidates have problems too, and he may yet win as the last man standing.
We finally have a couple of polls for Nevada (see below), where both parties have caucuses Saturday. There haven't been too many polls there because the caucuses there are going to be tough to predict. They will undoubtedly have very low turnout for two reasons. First, unlike, Iowa, Nevada does not have a decades long tradition of caucusing. Second, tourism is a huge industry in Nevada and many people work in the evening at casinos, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, bordellos, and what not, and don't have time to take off a couple of hours to caucus. (In the small towns of Iowa, the caucuses are the highlight of the year, not a minor distraction.) With low turnout, it is hard for the pollsters to tell who is actually going to show up and vote.
South Carolina has a normal primary (for the Republicans--the Democrats go a week later). The January polling data is given below. All of these polls were conducted before Romney won in Michigan and he may well get a bounce from that victory.
-- The Votemaster