How Many Delegates are Left for Clinton and Obama to Compete Over?

There are 9 presidential primaries left. However, three primaries are Republican only – Nebraska, Idaho and New Mexico. The six (6) remaining Democratic primaries are West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota, all of which account for 217 pledged delegates.

Is the Democratic primary race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama over? Let’s do the math.

On the eve of the West Virginia primary, Clinton trails Obama by 168 combined pledged and super delegate votes. Obama currently has 1,865 total delegates so needs 160
delegates to secure the Democratic nomination (2,025 – 1,865 = 160). Clinton, incidentally, needs 328 delegate votes. At stake over the next few final weeks are only 217 pledged delegates, 103 of which are at stake on May 20th in the Oregon and Kentucky Democratic primaries. As a result, Clinton cannot win the nomination on pledged delegates. There aren’t enough to cover the 328 she needs. There are enough delegates, though, to cover the delegates (160) Obama needs to grab the nomination.

How likely is it that Obama can win 160 pledged delegates over the remaining six (6) Democratic primaries? Not too likely. Obama would need to carry 75% of the vote to get over the top. In fact, the best he’s done recently – pre Reverend Jeremiah Wright and associations with the Muslim religion – was the 61% he picked up in Wyoming back in early March. Even in Illinois on Super Tuesday, he could only muster 64% of the vote.

So, it seems, the whole shebang gets decided by super delegates or at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Date State Delegates Obama 75% Clinton 25%
5/13/08 West Virginia 28 21 7
5/20/08 Kentucky 51 38 13
5/20/08 Oregon 52 39 13
6/1/08 Puerto Rico 55 41 14
6/3/08 Montana 16 12 4
6/3/08 South Dakota 15 11 4
Total 217 163 54

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