February 8th, 2008
06:42 PM ET

Doing the math on superdelegates. It ain’t pretty.

I’m sitting here doing math, which, trust me, is not my long suit. I’ve been adding, subtracting and dividing the numbers for an hour, and the conclusion of all my numerical prognostication seems absolutely clear. If Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue running as close as they have, neither one will arrive at their party’s convention with enough delegates for the nomination. Even if they split the remaining super delegates, the result will be the same.

I won’t try to walk you through all the math because it is too confusing, and frankly because it is now a vicious scribble of notes piled all over my desk, and it’s all making my neck ache. I need aspirin. And maybe an election process that makes more sense.

Anyway, this is bad news for the Democrats, for at least two reasons.


One: When parties remain split late into the campaign season, they often pay a terrible price. They don’t enjoy the run up time of a united team heading into the general election - for rallying voters, raising funds, working out sticking points in their platform.

Two: If the elite members of the Democratic Party, the super delegates, have to settle the race ultimately by hand-picking either Obama or Clinton, the losing side is going to scream. Independent and moderate voters won’t like it. And, again, the nominee will likely pay in the general election.

Anyway, I’m cranking away on some maps to explain all this on the show tonight, but if you are a Dem out there, I’m warning you, the picture is not pretty.

Maybe the Dems will pull it together. Maybe Obama or Clinton will finally break out and put the other candidate away. Or maybe we’re in for a very ugly finish to a very long race.

What do you think?

– Tom Foreman, 360° Correspondent

Filed under: Raw Politics • Tom Foreman
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