Which Dem Won Nevada?

The news agencies are reporting that Clinton won, because she won something called a “delegate equivalent total” of 51.

But apparently the Obama camp is saying it won in a more important sense, because they won a slightly larger number of actual delegates–13 compared to Clintont’s 12.

Which is the more significant victory? What’s a “delegate equivalent total” and why does it matter?


Nobody really knows who got the most delegates because Nevada is a caucus. They elected delegates to the state conventions, which won’t happen until April 8, IIRC. The delegates can still change their minds before then. That’s probably why some news organizations are using the more technically accurate “delegate equivalent total” term for the percentage vote.

The significance of Nevada? None. Some minor significance in media coverage of the horse race, but of no real import to who gets to be the nominee.

It probably has something to do with superdelegates, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out where they got 51 (unless it’s a percentage). Nevada gets 25 pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention who are required by the Nevada Democratic Party to cast their votes in proportion to the caucus results, but they have an electoral-college-style system – the popular vote and the delegate counts can diverge in close races. They also get eight superdelegates (for a Nevada total of 33) who are not required to support a candidate the day of the caucus, and if any news agency is reporting which way they’re voting without a direct quotation from that superdelegate, they’re crazy. Superdelegates can (and do) change their mind up to the day of the Convention, and most of them will fall in line behind the obvious nominee to give the appearance of consensus.

She did win the popular vote in Nevada… but she also did that in New Hampshire. None of that changes the fact that the nominee is decided by the delegate total, and Obama is leading that total 38 to 36.

On preview: if Exapno is right about the mechanics of their caucus, then it’s even hinkier. Even their “pledged” electors could theoretically change their minds. I think that for the duration of the spring, we probably ought to have a sticky thread with the relevant Wikipedia links.

Well Clinton won in six counties and Obama won in eleven, but apparently Clinton counties have more people.


It is a percentage. Clinton got 51% of the vote. That appears to translate into so many delegate equivalents, assuming that everybody sticks to their pledges.