Obama starts losing Nevada spin

In the hours after the Nevada caucuses, the Obama campaign was able to spin its loss into a victory by getting reporters to run stories saying that the Illinois senator still gained more delegates than Clinton—13 to 12—because of an arcane rule in Nevada. In fact, neither Clinton or Obama got any delegates out of Nevada. Delegates won’t be allocated until April when the Nevada Democratic convention, controlled by Clinton backers, decides the matter. The Obama claim is still being repeated everywhere from local newspapers to Slate, but one newspaper has corrected the record. The New York Times, whose Adam Nagourney reported on Jan. 28 that in Nevada “Obama won 13 delegates to [Clinton’s] 12,” reported in a Feb. 7 delegate wrapup that Nevada’s delegate allocation will actually be “decided April 18-20.” The Times also said it was not using caucuses in its delegates tally for exactly that reason: “The Times, unlike the other news organizations … is not estimating delegate totals in most states that held caucuses because they are just the first in a multi-step selection process that occurs over weeks.”