By Nancy Jane Moore
NPR reported tonight what I suspected all along: unofficial results show that Barack Obama has a substantial delegate lead in the Texas caucuses.
I added up the partial delegate totals on the Texas Democrats website and figured out that if the current ratios hold up, Obama is likely to end up with 37 delegates to Hillary Clinton's 30. Add that to the projected totals from the primary (Obama 61, Clinton 65) and you get the actual outcome of the race: Obama 98; Clinton 95.
Now that's not a concrete number yet. For one thing, all the caucus results haven't been totaled up yet. (Don't ask me why. The process isn't that complicated.) For another, what we're calling caucuses are actually precinct conventions, which elect delegates to the county conventions, which elect delegates to the state convention, which elects delegates to the national convention. It's conceivable that some odd things can happen in all that process.
But still, it seems very likely that Obama took more delegates than Clinton in Texas. Since getting delegates is the purpose of the process, it should be clear that whichever person ends up with the most delegates wins. Winning the popular vote in the Texas primary was good for Clinton's momentum and it got her very close on delegates, but she didn't win Texas.
I know some people are now complaining about the process. But the system wasn't invented to help Obama. It's been in place for awhile. It was designed to give heavily Democratic districts a stronger voice in selecting the Democratic nominee. And that's what it did. Those who are objecting to it now should have argued for different rules back when it was set up.
Obama's success in caucus states makes one thing very clear: His campaign knows how to do grass roots organizing. The people who ran my precinct convention weren't political insiders; they were enthusiastic people who showed up and brought their friends.
The Democratic Party has been weak in this area for a long time -- a real shortcoming in a party that should represent the interests of the working class. Obama is showing how it's done. The rest of the party should be paying attention.