Dead Heat In Delegates Too?


Using Marc's projections for which candidate will win each state, a reader created this hypothetical delegate counter. To view the spreadsheet as an excel document click here. The reader writes:

1.  Marc didn't provide a point spread which, given the proportional distribution of delegates, is really the key metric (yup, I side with Hillary on this one; its about delegates, not states).  I made up the numbers basing them, where I could, on polling data from  Where there wasn't data, I just made it up based on Marc's predictions.  In some cases Marc makes wild predictions (Massachusetts doesn't seem like much of a toss up to me...), in which case, I corrected his error (but of course the beauty of this is you can go an play with the numbers yourself and see what the effect is).

2. Actual delegates are awarded by congressional district and so the split really depends on the spread within district.  But that would be way too much work for a back of the envelope calculation.  So I just allocate delegates by percent spread.

3.  I included some separate analysis at the bottom to see what the effect of adding Michigan and Florida would be.

4.  Superdelegates are based on the NYTimes count as of Jan 23 with Teddy and Gov. Sebalius added in (the two I'm familiar with).  This is easily updated as endorsements come in.

5. The last column is called "marginal effect".  This is just a basic calculation showing the effect that a one percentage point change in a candidate's vote percentage has on the delegate total.  So, what is the delegate pay off for putting in the effort to get a one percentage point shift in the polls?  This basically just confirms the obvious, but its interesting to put some actual numbers on it.  For instance, in American Samoa you would need to move the polls 5 percentage points to get just 1 delegate.

6. What's nice about the spreadsheet is you can play with the numbers and the results are fairly sensitive to minor changes in the vote spread.  For most states, a two percentage point change in the spread yields a change in the delegate count.  This of course, is not true of the very big states. 

7. I haven't included any of the post Feb 5 states (it would be easy to do of course), but the "needed to win" number shows how many delegates each candidate would need coming out of Feb 5 given the rest of the scenario. I think it all points toward an election thats going all the way to Puerto Rico.