Common Sense, From Nevada

## Hillary Clinton probably won the "popular vote" by a larger margin than six percentage points ... because Obama probably received the lion's share of re-allocated votes from Edwards supporters in non-viable precincts.

## The news media seems to think that this means that Clinton won Nevada.


## Based on the demographic/turn-out sensitive delegate allocation formula, Obama won 13 delegates to Clinton's 12. This process is neither democratic, in that the power of one person's vote differs from another's, nor republican, in that the person who is preferred by the largest number of Nevadans can, in the end, not receive the majority of the delegates.

The Obama campaign also points out that because the nomination can only be secured if a majority of national delegates are accumulated, it matters who wins the delegates. Ok. But zero delegates have actually been pledged... so if, by the Obama campaign's own definition, the winner of Nevada ought to be determined by delegates, we'll have to wait until April 19 to see how the national convention delegates are apportioned. If Obama and Clinton are still in the race at that point, then those delegates are pledged to Obama.

## Unless we're headed to a brokered convention, Nevada's delegates will probably not matter.

## So is the Democratic primary a fight over delegates? At the lowest level of abstraction, yes. But at a higher level of abstraction, it's about expectations; it's about the marriage of popular vote performances by the winner and the will of the candidate who does not receive the support of a majority.

## Both the Clinton and Obama campaigns have accused each other of playing dirty; there's no question that the party machine, mostly in the corner of Hillary Clinton, had an incentive to help her, and that the Culinary Union bosses had an incentive to help Obama. There is no evidence, as of yet, of any organized effort to disenfranchise anyone.

## Expect trench warfare until Feb 5., if not beyond.