Clinton math

Hillary Clinton's campaign is now arguing for a different count of the total number of Democratic delegates.

By Alex Koppelman
May 6, 2008 10:27PM (UTC)
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Recently, Barack Obama's campaign has started something of a new tradition. Every time it picks up a new delegate in its favor, it sends out an e-mail that's a countdown for when Obama will have enough delegates to wrap up the Democratic presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton's campaign, meanwhile, is apparently trying to change the math involved in that countdown.

The generally accepted number of total Democratic delegates is 2,025. But the Clinton camp has apparently been using a different total lately -- 2,209 (or 2,208, depending upon whom you ask). That count assumes that the disputed delegates from Florida and Michigan have been seated, which the Clinton campaign has been pushing for.


On Tuesday, the Washington Times reported on this new math. Reporter Christina Bellantoni wrote:

Top Clinton aides said the nominee must win based on a tally that includes delegates from Florida and Michigan, which held January primaries that were disqualified by party rules. The campaign's "Delegate Hub" Web site identifies 2,208 as the total delegates needed to be nominated, or 183 more than the threshold of 2,025 set by the Democratic National Committee's rules.

"That's what we believe is the standard for deciding this -- who has the majority of the total delegates including Michigan and Florida to decide the nomination," said Clinton strategist Geoff Garin.

Asked about this on Tuesday, the candidate confirmed that she too is working with her campaign's new math, saying, "I think it's 2,209."

Update: Sorry, should have been clearer when I wrote this post -- the first sentence of the second paragraph should actually read "The generally accepted number of total delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination is 2,025."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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