Clinton wins in Nevada! That was the story (and headline) for all of the major media outlets yesterday. They made it sound like Barack Obama really took a beating, and left the state with his tail between his legs. Of course, that's not really what happened at all.
If all you care about is the "beauty contest" part of the Nevada caucuses (the number of caucus members that turned out for each candidate), then I guess you could say that Hillary Clinton won. She did have slightly more. But is that really the important thing that came out of the Nevada caucuses? No.
The only thing that matters is who won the most delegates to the national convention -- and that was a tie. Both Clinton and Obama won 14 delegates in Nevada yesterday. With Clinton being 24 points ahead in the polls there a month ago, I think the fact that he was able to split the delegates evenly made it a very good night for Obama.
While the major media outlets would have us believe that Clinton is doing better than Obama in the primaries, the number of delegates each has won in the primaries and caucuses show something different. Obama actually leads Clinton in the number of primary and caucus delegates by 38 to 36. Edwards has 18.
There was a big loser in Nevada though -- John Edwards. The polls showed him nearly equal to the other two in Nevada, but he was unable to win a single delegate as a result of the caucus. That is a devastating result for him. This makes South Carolina a very important primary for Edwards next week. He was born there and if he doesn't at least make a respectable showing, this could quickly become a two-person race.
It is only after adding in the super-delegates, that Clinton shows a lead in the delegate count. And most of these super-delegates picked their candidate weeks ago, before any primary or caucus had been held (and at that time, it looked like Clinton would easily win).
Counting both super-delegates and pledged (primary and caucus) delegates, there have still only been 386 delegates out of 4,049 total delegates that are in the camp of any candidate. There is still a long way to go and anything can happen. Here is how those 386 delegates stack up: