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Who Won The Texas Caucuses? Who Knows?

The chaos and utter lack of planning I experienced on election day was a state-wide problem.

A week after Texas Democrats trooped to nighttime caucuses to choose between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Texans don’t know which presidential candidate won the town-hallish events — and might not for about 18 days.

The delay in Texas contrasts with Iowa, where results typically settle out the night of its caucuses, said Peverill Squire, a University of Missouri political scientist who worked until recently at the University of Iowa. The difference "is a result of not being prepared for the tidal wave of participation," Squire said. "Given the importance attached to these numbers, I’m a little surprised that they’re not going to move more quickly."

Hector Nieto, spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party, agreed the estimated turnout of 1 million voters at the caucuses was taxing.

"There was no way to estimate how many people were going to participate in the caucuses," Nieto said. "We did everything we could within our capabilities."

No one could’ve predicted…

Oh, wait. Someone did.

State and local officials expect a huge turnout on Tuesday as well, as Texans relish the rare opportunity to play a key role in nominating a president. With the state’s March primary, nominations are usually locked up long before voting begins.

"It’s just unlike anything I’ve seen in a primary — ever," said Bruce Sherbet, who’s been the elections administrator for Dallas County for 21 years.

It does seem like everyone but Democratic officials expected record crowds at the caucuses, which leads me to believe we need new Democratic officials.

As for who won, we don’t know yet but estimates favor Obama:

Unofficial and incomplete tallies posted online by the state party suggest that Obama won the caucuses by enough of a margin, 56 percent to 44 percent, that he could reap up to 38 delegates from the caucuses compared with Clinton’s 29. If that happens, he stands to take more pledged delegates from Texas than Clinton (though that arithmetic leaves out how 35 Texas superdelegates, consisting of U.S. House members and party dignitaries, eventually shake out).

Maybe Texas will have the results before the national convention, if the date doesn’t catch them by surprise.

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