The American presidential election (22)

In the race to secure the Democratic nomination for the presidency, tomorrow is what some call Super Tuesday 2. It’s not as big as the real Super Tuesday – which was 5 February when some 22 states voted in Democratic primaries or caucuses – but four states, two of them huge, do go to the polls tomorrow and, given the closeness of the Obama/Clinton contest, the results could be decisive. Indeed I suspect that we could see real tears from Hillary.
The two big states are Texas with 228 delegates and Ohio with 161, while the two smaller ones are Rhode Island with 32 delegates and Vermont with 23.
Now the system for choosing presidential candidates is complicated and I’ve attempted an overview here. Texas is even more complicated than the typical state.
While most states allocate delegates to the Democratic convention in August proportionally based on the popular vote, and some hold caucuses where supporters must openly declare their support for a candidate, Texas does both. The Lone Star state selects its 228 Democratic delegates using a two-thirds, one-third combination of voting and caucus.
Those who have voted – and voting started weeks ago – using a ballot can return when the polls close tomorrow to caucus, traditionally one of the Obama campaign’s strengths. For this reason, the Clinton campaign has been handing out flyers at its Texas rallies telling supporters: “Don’t forget to vote twice.”
Additionally, delegates are apportioned according to turnout in the two previous elections, votes in which African-American and urban turnout was significantly higher than that in Latino areas. So, a congressional district in a Latino border area which had a low turnout in 2004 and 2006 might offer just three delegates, while an urban, heavily African-American district such as Houston could offer as many as eight delegates.