Saturday, May 24, 2008

Alaska and Wyoming: State Convention Day (18 Delegates at Stake)

The weekend isn't just slow for political news. There isn't much going on by way of delegate selection either. Two of the least Democratic states have state conventions scheduled for today and offer both Clinton and Obama one last opportunity to shift the pledged delegate numbers in Alaska and Wyoming before the convention.

In Alaska, all 13 of the state's pledged delegates are on the line. If the convention voting follows the precinct/county level vote, then Obama will walk away with an estimated 9-4 advantage from The Last Frontier. That count is slightly more advantageous to Clinton since she was outpaced in the state's February 5 meetings by a 3:1 margin. Obama may be able to squeeze one more delegate out for a seven delegate advantage. That is Obama's best case scenario, whereas the 9-4 count is Clinton's best but Obama's worst case scenario. According to the party's agenda, that process should be completed by 10pm eastern. Also, as this is the state convention, one add-on superdelegate will be selected. As we saw with Kansas (another caucus state that leaned heavily toward Obama) last weekend, that person is likely to be (but not assured of being) an Obama supporter.

Further south and east of Alaska, Democrats in the Equality state are also meeting to put the finishing touches on their slate of pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer in Denver. Wyoming Democrats selected 7 of the state's delegates at the precinct meetings on March 8. Clinton was able to keep Obama from getting over 64% of the vote that would have given him a 5-2 edge among those 7 delegates. So, even though Obama received over 61% of the vote in the Wyoming caucuses, he only got just more than 57% of the delegates. For the Illinois senator to get anything more than a 3-2 split among the remaining 5 (state convention) delegates he'll need to get 70% of the vote. The most likely result, then, is that 3-2 split which will produce a final tally 7 Obama delegates and 5 Clinton delegates from the state. As with Alaska, Wyoming also has one add-on superdelegate to be allocated at the state's convention. And given the vote spread, that add-on is most likely to be an Obama backer. The delegate portion of the convention should be completed by around 8pm eastern tonight.

At the end of the day, Obama may be able to add one more delegate than has been estimated from these two state combined. That would fall in line with the results in Nevada (which was supportive of the caucus question hypothesis: A winner in the original step of the caucus or the presumptive nominee stands to gain as the process continues.

Hopefully the results are a bit quicker to emerge from these two states than they were from Kansas or Washington last weekend.

Recent Posts:
Colorado Final Tally: Clinton Gains 1 Delegate

Clinton in 2012: The Caucus Quandary

Rules Matter...but Luck Does Too


Robert said...

More news this morning on the religious front.

It is situations like these that I think doom Huckabee and Romney as VP candidates. It will also affect the Democrat VP selection. Religion will continue to play a major role in this campaign.

Anonymous said...

Here's Rob's link to The Times article.