The closeness of the Democratic race is providing a dilemma for party leaders. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - With Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York nearly splitting the delegate count in the race for the Democratic nomination, party leaders have a major dilemma on their hands: a tie ballgame heading into the convention.
"I think we're going to have a nominee by middle of March or April." Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said. "But if we don't, then we're gonna have to get the candidates together and make some kind of arrangement, because I don't think we can afford to have a brokered convention. That would not be good news for either party."
That's because unlike recent conventions, when the party tickets were firmly established, Obama and Clinton could conceivably end up short of the 2,025 delegates needed to secure the nomination.