CNN estimates that Barack Obama won the Texas caucuses — the precinct meetings across the state that followed the voting on the March 4 primary — by getting the support of 56% of the voters to Hillary Clinton’s 44%. According to CNN, this translates into a delegate count of 38 delegates for Obama, 29 for Clinton, and it reverses the previously reported outcome in Texas of a Clinton victory. Clinton won 65 of the 126 delegates at stake in the voting in the 31 state senatorial districts to Obama’s 61, but Obama’s success in the caucuses means that he emerges with 99 delegates overall to her 94.

This is an unofficial tally. The Democratic party doesn’t have a clue about the outcome. Here is CNN’s description of the process it used to arrive at its conclusion:

[R]results of the caucuses were up in the air on election night and for several days afterward, due to state party rules that did not require local caucus officials to report their results to a centralized location.

Partial caucus results, representing 41 percent of all caucus precincts, showed Obama last week with 56 percent of the county-level delegates chosen at the caucuses to 44 percent for Clinton. The state party says it will not be able to provide a further breakdown of the caucus results from March 4….CNN’s estimate is based on a statistical review, which combined the county-level results provided by the state party with data from the U.S. Census, exit polls and telephone surveys.

That analysis showed that the counties that reported data to the state party last week appear to be a representative cross-section of the Texas population. The analysis also indicates that areas that were won by Obama reported results at essentially the same rate as areas that were won by Clinton.

Every procedure used to statistically model the outcome of the caucuses indicated that Obama had more support than Clinton. When the votes of the state’s 35 superdelegates are added in, the allotment of Texas’s 228 delegates to the Democratic National Convention currently stands at 109-106 in favor of Obama, with thirteen superdelegates uncommitted. Superdelegates may change their minds right up until the roll call of the states for president.

It is, of course, ridiculous that the state Democratic party does not require precinct chairs to report the results of their caucuses to the party headquarters. What a horse-and-buggy system this is.