I was trying to get a handle on how close McCain really was to clinching the nomination. It matters because when the most generous interpretations get to 1091, they’ll start beating up on Huckabee to quit, even if other interpretations don’t agree with those number.
I had been watching RealClearPolitics.com, but they started making predictions about who uncommitted delegates might vote for, and then ascribing those votes to the top-line total. This doesn’t clear up anything, but rather makes things muddy.
So I went to the NYTimes political website. Whatever else you say about them, their presentation of raw data was pretty useful.
According to their detailed state-by-state count,
McCain has 865 committed delegate
Huckabee has 205 committed delegates
There are 147 delegates formerly committed to other candidates (now unallocated)
There are 422 formally uncommitted delegates
There are 741 delegates left to be selected (counting March 4)
The only way McCain can be considered to “within reach” of securing the nomination is if you count uncommitted delegates into the mix.
Funny, no one considers that Huckabee’s 205, plus just half the delegates yet to be selected, plus other candidates’ delegates, plus uncommitted, equals more than enough to clinch the nomination.
Guess I fail math, huh?