Monday, January 28, 2008

Why John Edwards is Still a Serious Candidate

John Edwards lost in South Carolina. He's lost in all the primaries and caucuses so far. But the question becomes, how is that relevant?

It may not be. The simple truth is that the Democratic nominating process is being held by precinct and Congressional district this time around - not by state. True, all the precinct in a state may vote on the same day, but the relationship almost ends there in most states. John Edwards may have lost in South Carolina, but he still left the state with eight new delegates committed to vote for him on at least the first ballot in Denver when the party has its nominating convention.

At the moment, after events where delegates were awarded in four states, Barack Obama has acquired 63 delegates committed to him through the primary/caucus process. Hillary has 48 and Edwards has 26. That means that Obama has gotten 46% of the hard delegates who are required to vote for him in the first round of balloting. Hillary has gotten 35% and Edwards about 19%. How many delegates do they need? Two Thousand and Twenty-Five (2025)...

We're a long way off. It doesn’t look like Edwards can come in first. But it doesn't look like anyone can win. And that means that Edwards could end up as the compromise candidate on a second (or third) round of balloting at the convention. He could truly end up being the nominee based on the support of the "grown up wing " of the Democratic Party after all the blood is mopped up from the Clinton-Obama fight.

Of course, he's not along in that. After a first ballot in which no one achieves the magic number of 2025 votes, we could end up with Bill Richardson or Al Gore or Mark Warner or, well, use your imagination...

If Edwards withdraws and the race becomes a two-candidate race, either Hillary or Obama will most definitely win. Personally, I think both of those candidates have electibility issues in the general election. And they look determined to cripple each other before the Democratic Convention.

Let's hope Edwards hangs on until Denver.

1 comment:

Edeline said...

Keep up the good work.