The Other Math: How the Democratic Race Was Really Won

This year's Democratic nominating process was so convoluted and arcane, who could possibly make sense of it? Here's how the outcome could have been determined with just as much accuracy and without the affliction of 21 election nights:

"Obama Girl" makes the case for Obama in her hit video, "I Got a Crush on Obama," singing about how universal health care reform "makes me warm": + 100 partly naked Obama delegates.

Oprah endorses Obama, fueling hopes of a possible dream ticket and free cars for everyone: + 200 delegates for Oprah.

Hillary Clinton says she is "ready to lead on day one," but is suspiciously vague about her plans for day two: +100 pantsuited Clinton delegates.

Obama's followers, feeling the audacity of hope, adopt, "Yes, we can" as their rallying cry: + 200 swooning Obama delegates.

Clinton's followers, feeling the audacity of plagiarism, adopt, "Yes, we will" as their rallying cry: + 50 Clinton delegates believing in change you can Xerox.

Clinton cries during an emotional moment in New Hampshire, locking up the "Grey's Anatomy" vote: + 100 McDelegates.

Bill Clinton disses Obama by saying, "Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen." He is referring to Obama's Iraq record, and possibly also to the fact that all the hot chicks are flocking to Obama rallies: - 20 undersexed Clinton delegates.

Inspired by Obama's election-night speech in New Hampshire, of the Black Eyed Peas releases the music video "Yes, We Can," featuring Scarlett Johansen and other pretty people lusting over Obama: + 200 hipsters for Obama.

The words "Obamaniac," "Barackstar" and "Obamentum" are coined: + 200 Obamalicious delegates.

Bill Clinton is accused of playing the race card after comparing Obama's South Carolina victory to Jesse Jackson's victories there in 1984 and 1988, and subsequently gets stripped of his title as the "first black president": - 100 delegates for maxing out the race card after one purchase.

Rumors circulate on the Internet that Obama is a crypto-Muslim who was educated in a madrassah, doesn't wear a flag pin, refuses to say the pledge of allegiance, and enjoys shooting puppies: - 100 Drudge Report readers.

Hillary Clinton says the above rumors are false "as far as I know": - 20 Clinton delegates who aren't terrorists as far as anyone knows.

Chris Matthews admits that when he hears Obama speak he feels a "thrill going up my leg": + 100 enamored journalists ready to caucus for Obama.

Saturday Night Live airs a skit lampooning the media's love affair with Obama and mocking journalists for lobbing softball questions during debates: + 200 jilted Clinton delegates.

Clinton invokes the SNL skit during the next debate, saying "If anybody saw Saturday Night Live, maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow": + 50 Clinton delegates.

Clinton releases an ad insinuating that Obama does not know how to answer a phone: + 100 Clinton delegates.

One of the actresses in Clinton's 3 a.m. ad turns out to be an Obama supporter: - 50 Clinton delegates.

Tina Fey, appearing on SNL, endorses Clinton, saying "Bitch is the new black": + 100 Clinton delegates.

Tracy Morgan, appearing on SNL, responds to Tina Fey by saying "Bitch may be the new black, but black is the new president, bitch": + 100 Obama delegates.

Clinton boasts about how she bravely dodged imaginary sniper fire in Bosnia. After video surfaces showing Clinton being greeted by a poetry reading in Bosnia, she admits to "misspeaking" and confesses she "said some things that I knew not to be the case." - 500 mis-pledged delegates.

Footage circulates featuring Rev. Jeremiah Wright urging God to damn America for perpetrating genocide against chickens inflicted with the AIDS virus that came home to roost on his oversized head on 9/11 (or something like that): - 300 Reverends Gone Wild

Seeking to put the Jeremiah Wright controversy to rest, Obama delivers an eloquent speech on race in America, and to Bill O'Reilly's surprise, does not scream "M-Fer, I want more iced tea" even once: + 200 Obama delegates.

Obama bowls a 37 in Pennsylvania, and worse, gets accused of bowling like a little girl: - 37 Obama delegates.

Audio tape is released of Obama explaining his troubles winning over some working-class voters because they get "bitter" and "cling to guns or religion": - 100 bitter and clingy delegates.

Clinton, attempting to prove she's not an elitist like Obama, goes on a drinking binge across the state of Indiana, knocking back beers, downing whiskey shots and chugging Jaegermeister out of a beer bong while standing on her head: + 50 drunk delegates.

Clinton, playing up her underdog status while campaigning in Philadelphia, compares herself to Rocky Balboa: + 50 Clinton delegates.

Jay Leno points out that Rocky had the crap beat out of him and then lost to a black man:- 50 Clinton delegates.

Rev. Wright shows up at the National Press Club and delivers a fiery rebuttal to his critics that devolves into self-parody when, for no apparent reason, he begins mocking the way white people clap, impersonating J.F.K.'s and L.B.J.'s accents, and acting out black and white music and dance styles: -15 minutes of fame.

Obama, channeling President Bush, says he's visited 57 states with one left to go: + 57 comedians suddenly hopeful Obama may give them some material to work with.

John Edwards endorses Obama and Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Shampoo: + 200 silky and shiny Obama delegates.

Explaining why she's staying in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton invokes Robert Kennedy's assassination. The remark outrages her critics, most notably Keith Olbermann, who, not satisfied after screaming into a TV camera for 10 minutes, storms off the set to go deliver a special comment to his Hillary Voodoo Doll with his Hillary Nutcracker: - 100 super-apoplectic delegates.

After footage surfaces of another nutty pastor at Trinity United Church engaging in political theatrics and mocking Hillary Clinton, Obama finally parts ways with the albatross that was his crazy-making church: + 300 delegates singing the hallelujah chorus.

Clinton suspends her campaign to spend more time focusing on her 2012 exploratory committee: - 2,000 Clinton delegates.

O.K., so maybe the numbers don't exactly add up, but anyway you look at it, the winner of the Democratic primary is still ... John McCain.

This piece originally appeared in the New York Times Laugh Lines blog.

Daniel Kurtzman edits the Political Humor page of, which is part of The New York Times Company. He is author of the books "How to Win a Fight With a Conservative" and "How to Win a Fight With a Liberal."