Wednesday, May 21, 2008

From caucus to convention

The results of Colorado's state and congressional district conventions are finally in. So now we can see if Clinton's post-caucus strategy has paid off.

Recall that, back on caucus night, Obama received 67.3% of the Obama + Clinton vote. Colorado has now picked the 48 pledged delegates (36 district, 12 at-large) it will be sending to the Democratic convention. If we just predicted the delegate share from the caucus vote, we would expect that Obama would have 32 of those 48 delegates (67.3% of 48). In fact, he has 31.

This could all just be due to rounding errors and chance variation, but let's just say for a moment that it was due to post-caucus organizing by Clinton. I don't know how much money her campaign has spent on Colorado since February 5th, but it looked like pretty impressive organization. Very extensive signage, very fired-up supporters. And this was at the county convention, the state convention, and all seven district conventions. And all this managed to do was flip exactly one delegate going to the DNC.

I can't help thinking that this wasn't a great use of resources, particularly when you compare it to how much good those resources might have done her before February 5th.

Meanwhile, if you include the alternates in the delegate math, it looks like a gain for Obama. Of the nine alternates that will be going to the national convention, all of them are Obama supporters. That means that if a Hillary delegate gets sick or something, she'll be replaced by an Obama supporter. So if you add those nine alternates to the 48 delegates, Obama has 40 of them, or 70.2%.

Sound and fury... signifying nothing...

I'll have more to say on this soon. There are some interesting county-level variations in delegate gains by the two candidates, but I haven't had time to crunch all the numbers yet.

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