January 20th, 2008
09:45 AM ET
9 years ago

Who won more delegates in Nevada? It's complicated.

 There is some confusion on who won more delegates in Nevada.

There is some confusion on who won more delegates in Nevada.

(CNN) - There are several possible answers: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and no one, and each answer is correct to some degree.

The purpose of Saturday’s caucuses was to elect delegates to next month’s county conventions, where delegates to the state convention in April will be chosen. It isn’t until this April meeting where the state’s 25 delegates to the national convention in Denver will actually be selected.

Hillary Clinton indisputably won the battle for county convention delegates, nabbing at least 5,300 compared to about 4,800 for Obama.

However, one could argue that Barack Obama won the battle for national convention delegates – even though no national delegates were actually awarded tonight – if you assume that the national convention delegates would be allocated in proportion to Saturday’s caucus results. CNN, the Associated Press, and other news organizations adopted this approach and estimated that Obama would go on to win 13 national convention delegates to 12 for Clinton if both candidates remained in the race by the time of the state convention in April.

But how is it possible that Clinton could win a majority of county convention delegates and not go on to win a majority of national convention delegates?

Under state party rules, Nevada’s 25 national convention delegates were divided up across Nevada’s three congressional districts. Then, the party took the additional step of dividing the Second Congressional District into three parts: Washoe county in northwestern Nevada which includes Reno; parts of Clark county in the southeast near Las Vegas; and then the rural and sparsely populated but geographically vast counties that make up the rest of the state.

Of those three subdivisions, Clinton's best showing was concentrated in the Las Vegas area in Clark county, while Obama beat her in Washoe and in the rural counties. Obama’s win in these two key areas, which were worth more national delegates than the area Clinton won, enabled him to overcome Clinton’s estimated lead in national delegates in the rest of the state.

“In a nutshell what happened is in the rural areas, Obama had a majority in the district that had an odd number of delegates, so he won an extra seat,” the Obama campaign’s director of delegate selection, Jeff Berman, told reports in a conference call. “Where Clinton won, the delegates were split evenly.”

The Clinton campaign, not surprisingly, chose to emphasize their candidate’s win in county convention delegates, rather than their narrow loss in the estimated allocation of national convention delegates.

“Hillary Clinton won the Nevada caucuses today by winning a majority of the delegates at stake,” the campaign said in a statement Saturday. “The Obama campaign is wrong. Delegates for the national convention will not be determined until April 19.”

Which campaign was right? According to the state party: both of them and neither of them.

Nevada Democratic Party Chair Jill Derby said in a statement, “What was awarded today were delegates to the County Convention, of which Sen. Clinton won the majority.”

“No national convention delegates were awarded. That said, if the delegate preferences remain unchanged between now and April 2008, the calculations of national convention delegates being circulated by the Associated Press are correct.”

That estimate would give Obama a 13-to-12 edge in Nevada’s national convention delegates.

Obama still trails Clinton in the overall hunt for national convention delegates. According to a CNN survey, Clinton now leads Obama 210 to 123 in delegates overall when the preferences of party insiders known as “superdelegates” are factored in. A total of 2,025 national convention delegate votes are needed to clinch the Democratic nomination.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Nevada
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Nowhere Man

    All these commentaries on the analysis of the percentage of black voters voting for Obama or Clinton, especially in SC, is ridiculous. Clinton may lose SC, but the majority of the rest of states will probably go to Clinton. In the general election, 90% of the black vote will come back to Hillary anyway. I want Obama cuz I cannot imagine those two despicable Clintons in the WH again. By the end of Super Tuesday, Obama will be done, and Hillary will be the nominee, which is the saddest thing I can imagine for this country.

    January 20, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. val

    how petty can obama be? if he is so confident that he will prevail, why does he make comments like that of kindergarteners "oh yeahhhhh but i won more delegates!" a simple congratulations/ concession would have sufficed. he wants to be the better person/ candidate/ president so maybe he should act like one. just as gore lost to bush in 2000 with more of the popular vote but not enough electoral votes, this situation should show us that "every vote" doesn't really count now does it?

    January 20, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. val

    maybe edwards should drop out instead of taking votes away from either hillary or barak and then let the games begin. clearly he isn't a viable candidate since all of the media attention goes to the other two, as does the votes.

    January 20, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. shay

    one thing is for shure,cnn is endorsing/supporting clinton.

    cause there is no coverage of other candidates(maybe obama?)

    January 20, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Dem08

    Mr. Yoon,

    I'm not sure how you have arrived at the conclusion that "According to the state party: both of them and neither of them" were right.

    I'm not even going to try to interpret what the two campaigns are saying about the national delegate count, but what the NDSP chair Jill Derby said was simple plain english (probably a Spanish version was circulated too, but I didn't see it ;)–no national convention delegates were awarded yesterday, but only county convention delegates.

    Most of the MSM seems to get this delegate part of the primaries/caucuses wrong, except New York Times, which chose to explain how the delegate process works for each state and chose not to calculate national convention delegates after the primary/caucus.

    In April, come state convention time, this race could be so different we may not be even talking about delegate count. Or may be we could be. Why not wait until then!?

    January 20, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Monte

    So, did Hillary or Obama win? It's a tie, friends. It's a squeaker. It means nothing except on to the next battle.

    January 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Chris

    I hit the button to fast....anyway, hold them accountable. If it happened as stated, then they should have no problem filing a formal complaint in a court of law. I suspect they won't because it is a LIE. In any case, never let them forget they have made such accusations and make them prove it. They will do anything to get her elected – but this is overboard and way more than what is needed. Hold them accountable America. To her supporters, you too should do the same. If you believe in her so much, make her prove she is diserving of your loyalty. Make her prove to you that she is not using you as sheep.....

    January 20, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Vic, Las Vegas, Nevada

    Hillary Clinton is the most experienced and knowledgeable candidate for president.

    This Obama hype is just that. Wait till super tuesday. We will have our parties nominee and that will be Hillary Rodham Clinton!

    Go Hillary!

    January 20, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Angie

    ron January 20, 2008 4:27 pm ET

    clinton / obama ticket? Any possibilities or is it dead!

    Ron that is dead. I wouldn't vote for any ticket that has Clinton on it. I don't care if she put my own mother on it, I would still not vote for her. Ironically, I supported her at first. Heck, I even sent money to her campaign. However, the tactics of her campaign soooo turned me off that my support ended.

    Cecelia, Maryland January 20, 2008 4:36 pm ET
    Cecelia you have nothing to worry about, even if Hillary wins the nomination she will still be defeated in the general election. The many people that don't like her now, will still not like her then. And let us not forget, the mass mobilaztion of the Repubs. come Nov. So, I highly doubt she will be able to overcome the massive amount of people that will be voting against her and the number of votes she will be losing. No, her supporters made their bed and come Nov. they will be crying in spilled milk laying in that very bed.

    January 20, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Howard

    This is Fantastic comments, I am a senior white man of 78 yrs old, and if you think voting for the Clintons is the best for the American, Then you better think twice.

    I am appealing to you all reading this message, there is something in that man OBAMA. Listen to his words and deeply you will find out that his words are for real.

    Bill & his Wife were in the white house for 8 yrs, and with their so called 35 yr experience, can someone tell me what they have done for the American People??
    And it was a big disappointment that the Latinos and the few white people voted for Clinton in Nevada.

    If you believe that Clinton will make a change, please sit back and think again. We are tired of this lies.

    American is smarter than such lies.

    I have been offer money to vote, but guess what. I will be honest for my next generations than few dollars to put America into a dark hole.

    Bill & Hillary, The time is up, please be kind enough to withdraw.

    SHAME on you both for attempting to role your lies over us again
    I voted for you twice, but this time. I will not be fool again.

    God Bless you all fellow American, this is our chance to get back the white house, Only with OBAMA. ( Change we can, old & young)


    January 20, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. Mar

    I will be so happy come November when the Republicans defeat Hillary. I will proudly vote with the Republicans to defeat her. I ASK ALL ANTI-HILLARY PEOPLE TO JOIN ME. With the number of Repubs. coming out to defeat her and our votes, she will go down in the most HUMILATING MANNER possible to men. If you are against her now, you clearly are for a reason. Please remember that reason and stand on principle and help defeat her. Her supporters might be blind to her but the rest of us are not. The woman and anyone around her is toxic damaged material.

    January 20, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. Tom Davie

    YES they are.

    Super delegates are people in the senate or govenors or whatnot within the party whom can be a delegate without being 'voted' in.

    Super delegates do not HAVE to pledge to a candidate. But if they DO , then it is really written in stone.

    While nobody can FORCE you to then go thru with your vote, its rare to unheard of for those who do 'endorse' to change their mind.

    John Kerry endorsed Obama. This was added as a delegate to Obamas total. Now, if Obama is found to be some kind of ridiculous 'scandal' , then Kerry will obviously withdrawl his endorsment. But to save political face, he wont, even if it looks like Clinton is going to win the nomination.

    So , CNN , like other media outlets, has tallied up these pledged votes.

    No. They arent just 'guessing' and assigning delegates. No. the super delegates arent saying 'maybe' blah blah blah.

    This is why there is still a a fair number of people who havent 'endorsed' yet.

    So yes, Clinton is winning by about 90 delegates.

    By the way, only 80% of the voted delegates can count in the total. The rest come from the super delegates.

    At this rate, Obama needs a LOT of endorsments by super delegate because he isnt going to make up the difference in the voting .

    This is why JOHN EDWARDS who has 60 delegates, is still in the race. He could chuck them at Obama, (if he would stop pissing edwards off) and tip the scales.

    January 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  13. tina ny, ny

    To be honest Obama is getting all this attention for number of reasons:
    1) he is attractive.
    2) he went to harvard
    3)can give good prepared speeches. He seems to searching for words when asked question out of his prepared or antcipated question.
    4) he is black.

    That is why black hollywood is jumping to back him.

    January 20, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. Joelene Reno, Nevada

    I went to work this morning to find that my place of business had been vandalized by candidate Obama's people.

    At 3:08 AM this morning 2 men in business suits/ties, in their late twenties/early thirties were observed (and filmed) kicking my 4X8 Hillary signs from a metal fence on my property.

    As vehicles approached, the two Obama guys hid on the ground behind the signs. After the vehicles passed they continued their kicking of both the fence and signs causing damage to the fence itself as well as the ridge-cap at the top of the bricks upon which the fence is anchored.

    The Obama guys managed to finally destroy both Hillary signs, damage my fence and crack the ridge cap on two 20 ft sections of my fence.

    How do I know they were Obama's people? Because I zoomed in on their badges.

    These miscreants do not belong in a campaign, THEY BELONG IN JAIL!

    January 20, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Joe

    PJ is right! Hillary will get the Democratic nomination but will lose to
    McCain in the fall. The Clintons bring too much baggage along with
    them. Hillary is such a phoney....but she can always blame the "vast
    right wing conspiracy" and laugh or cackle all the way back to New York.
    New Yorkers deserve the Clintons...they should keep them there!!!

    January 20, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. Fair,Washington,Dc

    Obama will win African American votes and young voters. Obama will win SC probably by a large margin, but unfortunately for him it will be so skewered by the heavy AA vote that it will be seen as just blacks voting for the black candidate , right or wrong. I think it will hurt him in the long run.

    January 20, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  17. Ryk

    I am surprised anyone would want Hillary to be the first woman president. While I am
    judging all the candidates according to their positions and character, I understand peoples desire to be part of history. Electing the first black or woman president is a big deal.
    However I would like the first woman president to be great. I would want history to say that Americas first woman President made the world a better place. I would want
    her time in office to inspire women to run for office and motivate people to vote for them.
    With Hillary we are going to get four years of slime, corruption, and incompetence. People will regret ever putting a woman in the white house. Her presidency will do more to smear women in politics than Bush has disgraced men.
    If Hillary is elected, the first woman president may well be the last.

    January 20, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. Ben, Dallas

    A few months ago HRC was crushing everyone in the polls across the nation. HRC had the name recognition and I think a lot of voters thought that it was a forgone conclusion that HRC would win the democratic nomination. They didn't want to throw away their vote on Obama. The longer this race drags out, the more exposure Obama will get and the more voters will see that he has a viable shot at beating Hillary.

    January 20, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. AJ, IL

    Based on the formula weighted to certain distrincts, Obama won the most delegates. In fact, CNN reported that one of the delegates Hillary won was by card draw due a caucaus having equal support for Hillary and Obama. It could have easily been 14 delegates for Obama and 11 delegates for Hillary instead of actually being 13 delegates for Obama and 12 delegates for Hillary.

    I think Obama could have done better than Hillary in the majority of Nevada caucaus sites won (thereby being at 52% or higher) if he had emphasized more of his community organizer and civil rights attorney status. Everday Americans don't have a detailed view of what Obama was involved in as a community organizer in the poor side of Chicago and civil rights attorney. He needs to elaborate more on how came out of his Ivy league college and worked going house-to-house and church-to-church in the poor urban side of Chicago. He should emphasize how he was underpaid and his own poor living conditions he endured to help bring about change at the grassroots level as well as the lessons he learned from that experience.

    Hillary can't compete with this type of experience level because her experience is based on working for prominent law firms and organizations making mega-bucks once out of law school. He also has to stay semi-aggressive in showing that he is consistent and resilant in his views and party affliation as opposed to Hillary who was a Republican supporter of Barry Goldwater for President in 1964 even though Goldwater opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    January 20, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  20. Angela

    Have you read the story!!! Neither Senator Obama nor Senator Clinton have won the most delegates in Nevada as these are not determined until April...... The numbers are an estimate by the media... Senator Clinton won the popular vote in Nevada.

    January 20, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  21. Chinnu

    Even after the GREAT CULINARY workers UNION –OBAMA still LOST.

    The great INSPIRATIONAL speaker OBAMA STUTTERS ....... during the DEBATE. I believe he has NO substance and lack of knowledge.

    Chage can happen only by doing things,not just by TALKING.

    January 20, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. Lisa

    Hey all you Obama supporters, would you be saying that HIllary had won if the results had been reversed? No you wouldn't. So just grow up and get over it. Your guy lost; he didn't think he would once he got the Culinary Workers Union, but he did, plain and simple. He couldn't carry the Hispanic or women's vote or a host of other core Democratic voters. And those who think that McCain is such a formidable candidate have not been paying attention to what he's been saying and who has been supporting him (I wonder how formidable he'll be when he has to put that wing-nut, Huckabee, on his ticket as his VP.)

    January 20, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Tom Davie

    This is what the PROBLEM is in caucus's.

    Bill Clinton said it best.

    Become a democrat for a day, vote against the strongest democratic candidate to help the republican party.

    In a primary, you can only vote ONCE.

    Just like Iowa was a caucus.

    Here are the facts. Hillary won the actual vote. Hillary won the state delegates.

    But because of some tap dancing system, obama gets one more delegate?

    Whatever. it isnt that big a deal.

    Then why did he concede DEFEAT when he lost NH by only 2% points and TIED in the delegate count?


    He was still on a ROLL after NH and could AFFORD to admit defeat because it was a slim loss.

    Since then. Michigan went to clinton by all the uncommited and other candidates combined.

    Nevada went to clinton with all the other candidates COMBINED.

    Obama isnt in a great position to play the 'gallant man' now.

    Why? Why does he need to play the 'delegate card' now?

    Simple . He got CRUSHED in the latino vote.

    January 20, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  24. Gobama

    There is so much racism coming from the press, it is sickening!

    First of all, Barack is running as AN AMERICAN!
    Barack has never been running as a so-called 'black', especially when he fell from white loins,.

    And all this talk about South Carolina being half-Black?
    What's up with that?
    Wouldn't the other half of South Carolina count as Americans?

    The media morons need to cease pushing the racism. And the media cannot blame the candidates for pushing the racism.

    Every stupid media outlet is constantly blasting Americans with THEIR racism, and the evil effort to further polarize the America and make us unable to confront and solve the big issues that confront the nation.

    For shame on the racists in the media!

    January 20, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. maynard

    cecelia from maryland.

    thanks for you responce. i tell it like it is been in politics too many years to do it any other way

    January 20, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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