Late surge by Obama clouds Dem race

A surge by Barack Obama has allowed him to leap  ahead or pull even in several states he trailed badly in last week which means that it is likely neither he or Hillary Clinton will come out of Super Tuesday with a large lead in delegates.

According to published polls and analysts in the know, Obama has an edge in Idaho, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Alabama, Georgia, North Dakota and Illinois while Hillary Clinton is ahead in New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Up for grabs are  California, Connecticut, Democrats Abroad, Arizona, Missouri, Delaware, Utah, American Samoa, Alaska, Massachusetts. Of those states, Hillary is ahead in Massachusetts with Obama closing while Obama has surged ahead in California but not by much. Clinton is also ahead in Connecticut and Missouri but by less than 5 points.

Obama has been surging in the national polls as well, drawing within the margin of era in most of the daily tracking polls. This could mean that a few of those toss up states may end up going to Obama.

As far as delegate totals, most anaylsts expect only a 50-75 delegate edge to either candidate come Wednesday morning. And this could mean - probably means - that the Democratic race will be decided by Superdelegates; those 750 elected officials who will be attending the convention and can pledge any candidate regardless of how their home state voted.

Chris Bowers, a savvy Democratic strategists lays out the scenario:


[Q]uick math shows that after Super Tuesday, only 1,428 pledged delegates will still be available. Now, here is where the problem shows up. According to current polling averages, the largest possible victory for either candidate on Super Tuesday will be Clinton 889 pledged delegates, to 799 pledged delegates for Obama. (In all likelihood, the winning margin will be lower than this, but using these numbers helps emphasize the seriousness of the situation.) As such, the largest possible pledged delegate margin Clinton can have after Super Tuesday is 937 to 862. (While it is possible Obama will lead in pledged delegates after Super Tuesday, it does not currently seem possible for Obama to have a larger lead than 75).

That leaves Clinton 1,088 pledged delegates from clinching the nomination, with only 1,428 pledged delegates remaining. Thus, in order to win the nomination without the aid of super delegates, in her best-case scenario after Super Tuesday, Clinton would need to win 76.2% of all remaining pledged delegates. Given our proportional delegate system, there is simply no way that is going to happen unless Obama drops out.
Clinton already has a large, unofficial lead in Superdelegates with at least 184 pledged to her candidacy already to Obama's 95. As the establishment candidate, Clinton can be expected to scoop up a large percentage of the remaining Supers - unless Obama can prove he would be a stronger candidate against McCain in the general election. In this case, both candidates poll within the margin of error against McCain so no advantage to either can be seen.

A likely scenario would be the Clinton machine being able to rack up enough endorsements to put Hillary over the top within a couple of weeks of the last Democratic primary in June.
A surge by Barack Obama has allowed him to leap  ahead or pull even in several states he trailed badly in last week which means that it is likely neither he or Hillary Clinton will come out of Super Tuesday with a large lead in delegates.

According to published polls and analysts in the know, Obama has an edge in Idaho, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Alabama, Georgia, North Dakota and Illinois while Hillary Clinton is ahead in New York, New Jersey, Tennessee, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Up for grabs are  California, Connecticut, Democrats Abroad, Arizona, Missouri, Delaware, Utah, American Samoa, Alaska, Massachusetts. Of those states, Hillary is ahead in Massachusetts with Obama closing while Obama has surged ahead in California but not by much. Clinton is also ahead in Connecticut and Missouri but by less than 5 points.

Obama has been surging in the national polls as well, drawing within the margin of era in most of the daily tracking polls. This could mean that a few of those toss up states may end up going to Obama.

As far as delegate totals, most anaylsts expect only a 50-75 delegate edge to either candidate come Wednesday morning. And this could mean - probably means - that the Democratic race will be decided by Superdelegates; those 750 elected officials who will be attending the convention and can pledge any candidate regardless of how their home state voted.

Chris Bowers, a savvy Democratic strategists lays out the scenario:


[Q]uick math shows that after Super Tuesday, only 1,428 pledged delegates will still be available. Now, here is where the problem shows up. According to current polling averages, the largest possible victory for either candidate on Super Tuesday will be Clinton 889 pledged delegates, to 799 pledged delegates for Obama. (In all likelihood, the winning margin will be lower than this, but using these numbers helps emphasize the seriousness of the situation.) As such, the largest possible pledged delegate margin Clinton can have after Super Tuesday is 937 to 862. (While it is possible Obama will lead in pledged delegates after Super Tuesday, it does not currently seem possible for Obama to have a larger lead than 75).

That leaves Clinton 1,088 pledged delegates from clinching the nomination, with only 1,428 pledged delegates remaining. Thus, in order to win the nomination without the aid of super delegates, in her best-case scenario after Super Tuesday, Clinton would need to win 76.2% of all remaining pledged delegates. Given our proportional delegate system, there is simply no way that is going to happen unless Obama drops out.
Clinton already has a large, unofficial lead in Superdelegates with at least 184 pledged to her candidacy already to Obama's 95. As the establishment candidate, Clinton can be expected to scoop up a large percentage of the remaining Supers - unless Obama can prove he would be a stronger candidate against McCain in the general election. In this case, both candidates poll within the margin of error against McCain so no advantage to either can be seen.

A likely scenario would be the Clinton machine being able to rack up enough endorsements to put Hillary over the top within a couple of weeks of the last Democratic primary in June.