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Hey, Catch Up, National Media

by: David Dayen

Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 19:49:12 PM PST


Being that I kind of don't pay attention to the national media's delegate counts, I hadn't realized that they were all getting California so very, very wrong, and in fact are about 800,000 votes off from the official tally.  Apparently many news organizations predict that Clinton will reap 207 delegates from California, and Obama 163.  MSNBC has this.  Real Clear Politics has this.  CBS has this.  The New York Times has this.  CNN has it as 204-161 with 5 to be decided.  They're all simply wrong, and I know math is hard and everything, but get out your calculators, people.

Here's an example at MSNBC's site.  They list 2,144,251 votes for Clinton and 1,746,013 for Obama, which was right... about two weeks ago.  The actual official returns, readily available at the Secretary of State's website, are 2,553,784 for Clinton and 2,126,600 for Obama.  That's really, really off.  The final percentage is 8.7% and MSNBC lists it as 10%.  And that translates to a 70-59 split in delegates statewide.  They're probably getting that wrong, too, not recognizing that there are two kinds of statewide delegates which are calculated separately.  When you add in the district-level delegate allocation (and I could list them all, but trust me on this), you get 203-167.  It takes about 10 minutes to come up with this and it's completely irresponsible for the national media to have this wrong for over two weeks, and to relentlessly show a graphic of delegate counts with bad, outdated information.  In fact, it calls into question ALL of their other counts.

MSNBC, The New York Times, CBS, CNN and RCP need to get this right, today.  They're screwing up and hurting America (again).  What a bunch of incompetents.

UPDATE: Just to embarrass the national media further, I'm going to show my work on the flip.

David Dayen :: Hey, Catch Up, National Media
I noted the popular vote totals before: 2,553,784 for Clinton and 2,126,600 for Obama.  All other candidate totals drop out because they're under 15%, so the statewide delegates are factored by proportion of the head-to-head vote.  There are 81 at-large delegates and 48 PLEO (Party Leader/Elected Official) delegates.  If you do the math, Hillary got 54.56% of the head-to-head, and that factors to a 44-37 split on at-large and a 26-22 split on PLEOs.

So we're at 70-59.  The delegate allocations for each of the 53 districts are here.  The district-wide returns are here.  The key numbers are:

It takes 62.5001% of the head-to-head vote for a 3-1 split in a 4-delegate district.
It takes 58.3301% of the head-to-head vote for a 4-2 split in a 6-delegate district.
In the 21 CDs with an odd number of delegates, the presidential candidate with the most votes gets the most delegates in each of those CDs.

So, and you can do this math yourself given all the parameters outlined for you:

District   Delegates  Obama   Clinton
CA-01           5               3             2
CA-02           4               2             2
CA-03           4               2             2
CA-04           5               2             3
CA-05           5               3             2
CA-06           6               3             3
CA-07           5               2             3
CA-08           6               3             3
CA-09           6               4             2
CA-10           5               2             3
CA-11           4               2             2
CA-12           6               3             3
CA-13           5               2             3
CA-14           6               3             3
CA-15           5               2             3
CA-16           4               2             2  (this one is really close, but she has 62.47% of that vote)
CA-17           5               2             3
CA-18           4               1             3
CA-19           4               2             2
CA-20           3               1             2
CA-21           4               1             3
CA-22           4               2             2
CA-23           5               3             2
CA-24           5               2             3
CA-25           4               2             2
CA-26           4               2             2
CA-27           5               2             3
CA-28           5               2             3
CA-29           5               2             3
CA-30           6               3             3
CA-31           4               1             3
CA-32           4               1             3
CA-33           5               3             2
CA-34           4               1             3
CA-35           5               3             2
CA-36           5               2             3
CA-37           5               3             2
CA-38           4               1             3
CA-39           4               1             3
CA-40           4               2             2
CA-41           4               1             3
CA-42           4               2             2
CA-43           4               1             3
CA-44           4               2             2
CA-45           4               1             3
CA-46           4               2             2
CA-47           3               1             2
CA-48           4               2             2
CA-49           4               2             2
CA-50           5               2             3
CA-51           4               2             2
CA-52           4               2             2
CA-53           5               3             2

If you add that all up, the district totals are 133 for Clinton and 108 for Obama.  Add that to the 70-59 statewide split, and it's 203-167.

Nice job, national media.

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nice catch! (8.00 / 1)
Knowing what I know of the media and of you, I'm neither surprised that they screwed this up, nor that you caught it. :-)

are you going to xpost on dkos? n/t (8.00 / 1)


How (8.00 / 1)
much you want to be that they steal your work and don't give you credit.

Oh well, I do love an 8 delegate swing in Obama's favor.  It really helps wipes out what happened on Tues.


great work (0.00 / 0)
I'm very glad you posted this with the chart, too.

Vis a vis RCP I wrote them and the email bounced!!

Argh...

k/o


Nice post (0.00 / 0)
But you see here, I saw the similar record here:http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/3/7/0190/93691/842/471056 , i really hope that Clinton would win!!!

Nice post (0.00 / 0)
But you see here, I saw the similar record here: http://www.dailykos.com/storyo... , i really hope that Clinton would win!!!

Huh? (0.00 / 0)
These are delegate counts for California by congressional district. The link goes to a breakdown of national superdelegates based on statewide results. I fail to see the similarity.

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