Numbers game

Before taking some of the claims about turnout in the Nevada Democratic caucuses to the bank, consider how good the news coverage of those numbers has been. The Associated Press reported turnout at both 120,000 and 116,000, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported 116,000, the Washington Post chose 114,000. Nevada Democratic Party spokesperson Kirsten Searer said Tuesday that the count is still not complete so no final number is available.

“We are still verifying some results and tracking down a few temporary chairs who did not call in their results,” she said in an email message. “So we know that with 98 percent of precincts reporting, we had more than 115,800 attendees. We should have all results verified in the next few days.”

Regarding claims that Obama won 13 of Nevada’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, while Clinton received only 12, in fact no one has received any national delegates. Those will be allocated at the state convention in April, which will be controlled by 5,372 Clinton delegates to 4,783 for Obama, so he will be at the mercy of the Clinton campaign in the delegates he gets. The caucus results are not binding on the state convention.