The story of the Texas primary has only just begun

Did Hillary Clinton win or lose in Texas? While she prevailed over Barack Obama in the primary vote tally, by 51 per cent to 48, in a state where the Democratic asylum has seemingly been taken over by the lunatics, that was far from the end of the story.

Texans, uniquely, had the opportunity to vote twice – first in Tuesday's primary, and then directly afterwards in caucuses. The media dubbed this the "Texas two-step", but political scientists and participants alike decided it was just plain nuts.

Many caucus sites were so overwhelmed by voters and so unclear on procedure that the second part of the election stretched on late into the night. In some of the most crowded big-city precincts, primary voting didn't end until close to 11pm – almost four hours after the last of them were admitted at the close of polls. So the caucuses, which couldn't start until the primary finished, turned into the electoral equivalent of a midnight showing of Night of the Living Dead.

The results were as confused as the process. Senator Obama appeared to have the edge in this second election, winning about 52 per cent of caucus votes against 48 per cent for Senator Clinton, but those figures were based on just 36 per cent of returns, with no certainty when the rest might be tallied and reported.

Under Texas Democratic Party rules, two-thirds of the state's 193 pledged delegates are allocated based on the primary, and one-third based on the caucuses. But the mathematics is far from straightforward, and it is distinctly possible that Senator Obama will end up slightly ahead even in the primary delegate count.

Rather than basing the delegate allocation on the statewide popular vote, Texas Democrats divide the process into 31 distinct parts, one for each district represented in the upper house of the state legislature.

Those senate districts are then weighted according to voter turnout for the Democratic candidate in the last two statewide elections. Senator Obama's good fortune is that his strongholds – the urban areas around Dallas, Houston and Austin – saw much higher turnout in 2004 and 2006 than Senator Clinton's strongholds in rural areas and Latino-dominated south and west Texas.

The final results might not be known for days and won't do much to alter the emerging picture – which is that Mr Obama remains less than decisively ahead in both the overall delegate count and in the overall popular vote, and that Mrs Clinton has no obvious way to overtake him between now and the end of primary season in June.

Despite the deadlock, Texan voters were delighted to have a place in the national political spotlight for the first time since the 1960 presidential election and flocked to the polls in unprecedented numbers, with almost 4 million voting in the primary alone.

For rolling comment on the US election visit: independent.co.uk/campaign08

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific