2008-01-09

Clinton's New Hampshire victory not enough to tie Obama with pledged delegates

Yesterday's race was not nearly as invigorating as the Iowa caucus, it was, however, very enlightening. As of a few minutes ago, 100% of the New Hampshire precincts/townships have reported in their results. And Hillary Clinton has ended up holding the 2-3% lead she's had since the results first began coming in, giving her the win of the popular vote in New Hampshire.

As Obama said last night, it was a well fought victory for her. Still it's not a true victory - as I will explain in this post - there is a key to the New Hampshire primaries that was not awarded to either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama: the number of convention delegates.

You see, as with the general presidential election, it's not the popular vote that directly matters. The popular vote decides how many pledged delegates the candidates will have at the National Convention for the party.

This year in Iowa, Obama won 16 delegates, Clinton 15, and Edwards 14. This meant that in order to truly beat Obama, Clinton would have had to gain at least 2 more delegates than Obama in New Hampshire. However, a 2-3% difference in popular vote was not enough to separate the two by even one delegate. Both Hillary and Barack won 9 delegates while Edwards won the remaining 4.

This puts the number pledged delegates for the candidates at the following totals: Obama 25, Clinton 24, Edwards 18.

There remains a 1 delegate difference between Obama and Clinton. So, while Hillary won the popular vote in NH, she did not change her standing amid the delegates who will be responsible for selecting the actual Democratic candidate.

So now, let's turn our eyes and our thoughts toward Nevada (who has 33 delegates for the Democrats). Michigan is next on the calendar, however they're in violation of party rules leaving their delegates (157!) unable to vote! (More on that explained in the "February 5 controversy" section of the wikipedia article linked later in this post.)

Let's keep the momentum and keep hope alive! Barack Obama 2008! "Still fired up and ready to go!"

Read more about how the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries work.
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