Clinton Wins, Obama’s Still Ahead; What’s Next?

By Ed O'Keefe

Mar 5, 2008 9:44am

ABC News’ David Chalian Reports: This is where math and momentum meet. 

On the heels of three victories in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., turned back a surging Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who came into Tuesday with 11 straight victories and picked up another win in Vermont.

So, what’s next?

1. If Clinton and Obama basically tie in the remaining 12 contests, Obama would need 164 superdelegates to come his way to put him over the magic number of 2,024

2.  Assuming no currently committed superdelegates switched and no uncommitted superdelegates jumped off the fence. . .

Clinton would need to win 59% of the delegates in the remaining 12 contests in order to overtake Sen. Obama’s delegate lede.

If the upcoming 611 delegates at stake split 59/41 for Clinton — 360 would go to Clinton and 251 would go to Obama — netting Sen. Clinton 109 delegates. . . which would be enough to overcome Obama’s current 106 delegate lead.

3.  There are 611 delegates up for grabs in the remaining 12 contests.

ABC News’ current delegate estimate has Obama at 1,556.

That means he would need to win 77% of all the remaining pledged delegates to hit the magic number of 2,024 to secure the nomination. That is highly unlikely due to the proportional delegate allocation rules in the Democratic Party.

Clinton would need to win 94% of all the remaining pledged delegates to hit the magic number of 2,024.  (ABC News currently has her at 1449.)

So, clearly they both are going to be relying on superdelegates to secure the nomination. 

Stay tuned…

For all the latest from the campaign trail, read The Note every morning exclusively on ABCNews.com

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