Monday, January 21, 2008

Democrats and Republicans Starting to Say It May Come Down to Texas

Texas has been characterized by people within my party, the Democratic Party, as a huge ATM machine where Democratic presidential hopefuls visit every once in a while to perform a massive cash extraction, only to then go off to another state, an early primary state, to spend it all.

Well it is starting to look like, to these candidates, or to representatives of both Democratic and Republican campaigns, that the hens are about to come home to roost in The Lone Star State.

There may not be a decisive winner in the February 5th super Tuesday primary where 2064 Democratic delegates and 1048 Republican delegates are at stake. A successful Democratic nominee will need 2025 votes for the nomination, and a Republican nominee will need 1191votes.

Doing the numbers, Clinton currently needs 1815 of those 2064 delegates for the nomination (88%), Obama needs 1902 additional delegates (94%) and Edwards needs 1973 delegates (97%). At the current rate of voter attraction (54%, 32% and 13%, respectively), none of the candidates will achieve this goal on Super Tuesday. And the problem is, there is nearly no momentum build-up here. No one can go from victory to victory throughout the month of January and demonstrate the clear choice of the electorate that can be capitalized on for the Super Tuesday delegate fest.

It’s no better for the Republicans. Some say it is worse. Romney, the current front-runner, in order to clinch the nomination, needs all but one of the 1048 delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday, McCain with only 38 votes, so far falls 105 votes short of the nomination if he gets each and every vote on February 5th, and Huckabee, Huckabee needs a miracle on the order of the loaves and fishes to get the delegates he needs for the nomination on Super Tuesday.

So with 288 votes to be split among the 5 Democratic players in March, and 140 delegates for the Republicans to haggle over, it looks like Texas will be a player this year, and possibly a king maker for one if not both of the political parties.

OK, so I have not counted the primaries yet to be held in January. These include the Florida and South Carolina primaries for Democrats, and the Florida and Maine primaries for Republicans. For Democrats, Florida is a non-issue, because like Michigan, Florida has had all of its delegates stripped from the Democratic National Convention because the state, like Michigan, moved its primary to before February 5th without permission. For Republicans, who are apparently far more forgiving, the RNC has stripped half of Florida’s delegates for the same reason. This means that between now and February 5th, a total of 54 delegates are at stake for Democrats and 78 for Republicans.

For Democrats it is not clear cut. If Obama polls high among black voters, as currently seems to be the case, he could take South Carolina by a slim margin. With an additional, say, 30 delegates in his pocket, this means Obama needs 90% of the Super Tuesday vote for the nomination, and Clinton needs maybe 87% of the same vote pool.

For Republicans, it is still only Romney who would have enough delegates to clinch the nomination by February 5th.

So my guess is that there will be nothing totally resolved for Democrats by February 5th, and with 596 delegates at stake between 5 February and 4 March, it is beginning to look like Texas, with the largest delegate total of any of the states holding a primary on that day, will have more than the usual to say about the outcome of this primary season with its 228 delegates at stake on March 4th.

Republicans are also looking to Texas for an anointing. With 303 delegates at stake between the 5th of February and the 4th of March, Texas’ 140 Republican delegates may just do the trick for one of them (Let it be . . . Huckabee!).


nuts101 said...

I can't wait for the Lone Star State to be overun with Presidential candidates. I have images Of Hillary eating tacos in San Antonio. Obama in South Texas .
Menudo, Tamales and Mariachis.
Already the locals are talking. Who loves Latinos(Stupid word)more Hillary or Obama ? Who do Latinos
love more. We will see. I can't wait.

Kenneth D. Franks said...

There is a chance that the Texas House of Representatives can be Democratic next year. Support your Democratic Candidates this year.
Kenneth D. Franks
State Representative Candidate District 9. Sabine Shelby, San Augustine, Nacogdoches, and Jasper Counties.

nuts101 said...

Support Juan Garcia.Nueces County

Anonymous said...

Go Dora (D)!

Hal said...

A vote for Ron Reynolds is a vote for women's choice. A vote for Ron Reynolds is a vote to support stem cell research in Texas. A vote for Ron Reynolds is a vote against HillCo PAC and Tom Craddick.