posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 08:22 AM
It's important to note that, while the final primary gave Obama enough pledged (ie "estimated") delegates to secure the nomination, Hillary has not
actually backed out of the running yet, and those delegate counts can very easily change by the time of the DNC. It is anticipated more or less across
the board that she still step down in the next few days, but she is both tenacious and skilled at dirty politics, so nothing is quite certain at this
point. It would not surprise me if she took this all the way to the DNC in hopes of gaining more super delegates, and final state delegates.
One of the key things to remember is that in the Democratic party, delegates are split in each state, and pledged delegates are really just an
"estimate" of that state's final representation. A state has several delegate conventions. The night of the Primary for a state establishes the
percentage, per precinct, of Obama vs. Clinton. Then a number of precinct delegates is allocated for the precinct as a whole, then split according to
Those Precinct Delegates then meet at a county caucus a few weeks later. If the precinct is large enough, it might send one or two delegates of its
own to state. If not, then several precincts will be joined until there's enough to represent one delegate. Here is where you see the percentages
begin to change. You might have 4 precincts joined together, 3 of which voted 95% Obama, and 1 of which voted 55% Clinton, and of these, more
delegates from the "Clinton" precinct show up to the county caucus to make a majority, who then decide to send a rep from the Clinton camp to state
because they outvote the number of Obama delegates that showed up. This is one way that pledged delegates from a primary get "flipped".
Then, for each delegate sent to state, there is an alternate. ONE VOTE determines both the delegate and the alternate. Typically, to make it simple,
each camp per precinct or grouping will unite behind one delegate, and then the vote will be something like "everyone for Candidate A raise your
hands" followed by "everyone for Candidate B raise your hands". If Candidate B wins, then Candidate A is the alternate. Unless one camp outnumbers
the other by MORE than a 2/1 margin, then the alternate will support a different candidate than the delegate. If anything happens to that delegate and
they can't make it, for any reason, to the state caucus, then the alternate will attend and vote in their place. This is another way that pledged
delegates get flipped.
Finally, yet more weeks later the same thing pretty much happens at State, only now you have reached a level where the phone calls started the night
the County Caucus ended, and wheeling and dealing has happened among the regulars to the point where the state delegates are practically already
chosen for you by the time you attend state, and the only X factor, which is a pretty big one, is how many alternate/delegate flips there has been,
and if anyone has changed their mind (which is technically legal). This is another way the votes get flipped.
So when you see those exit polls that release a State Primary delegate count of, say 35 for Obama and 30 for Clinton, what you are actually seeing is
an estimate based purely on theory and speculation that everyone will always show up if they are a delegate, vote strictly along candidate lines, that
no one will get sick, and that any vote flips will cancel each other out.
The reality is that by the time State Delegates are sent to the Democratic National Convention, the state with 35/30 might end up being more like
Thus, I would not be surprised in the least if Hillary stayed in the race. She would be well aware of these flips, and now that the primary is over,
she might start working very hard behind the scenes to ensure those flips happen in her favor.
[edit on 6/4/2008 by thelibra]