The Numbers Game

From the way the press is covering it, you would think that the Democrat Primaries are practically wrapped up and Sen. John Kerry is the de facto nominee. The only real race left now seems to be for Vice President, whether it will be Sen. John Edwards or Gen. Wesley Clark.

In reality, just 18% of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention have been decided, or 795 out of 4,321. Of those 795, 495 are for Kerry, 174 are for Gov. Howard Dean, 116 are for Edwards and 82 are for Clark. (Sharpton and Kucinich have a few delegates, too, with 12 and 2 respectively.)

What does this mean? The numbers game favors Kerry, but Dean, Edwards and Clark can conceivably pick up enough delegates in the remaining states to prevent Kerry from securing the 2,161 delegates needed for the nomination. Dean seems to have the strongest support on the West Coast, while Edwards and Clark have shown themselves to be formidable candidates in the South and Mountain States.

In related news, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sums up Dean's effect:
"Whether he wins or not, Dean forced Kerry, Clark and Edwards to sharpen their message to come out more strongly against Bush and run a much more populist campaign. He dictated where everybody else is."

Just wait until March 2nd, when primaries will take place in California, New York and several other states. This contest is by no means over.