Convention Floor Fight Here We Come

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 15:31

We are now virtually guaranteed to have a floor fight at the convention, since no Michigan revote will take place:

Senate Democrats emerged from a closed-door caucus this morning and proclaimed that a fledging idea floated by top Michigan Democrats to create a special June 3 primary election is all but dead.

"The votes aren't there to do it," said Sen. Buzz Thomas (D-Detroit), the co-chair of the Barack Obama campaign in Michigan

Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, a supporter of Hillary Clinton, also conceded the chances of a June 3 redo of the Democratic presidential primary were slim. She stopped short of declaring it dead, saying instead that it was "on life support" and in need of CPR.

The Legislature would need to approve a bill by a two-third vote to put in place a June 3 special primary that would replace the results of the Jan. 15 presidential primary, which the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is not recognizing because the early date violated national party rules.

Barring a miraculous deal on Michigan that both the Clinton and Obama campaigns agree to, the failure to secure a revote in Michigan all but guarantees that the nomination campaign will head straight through to the convention. Consider the current delegate count:

Democratic Nomination Campaign Delegate Projection
Delegate Type Obama Clinton Other Remaining 50%+1
Pledged 1,417.5 1,252.5 18 566 1,627
Super 207 244 0 268 NA
Projected Add-ons 40 24 0 12 NA
Total 1 1,664.5 1,520.5 18 846 2,024.5
Florida 71 116 13 10 NA
Total 2 1,735.5 1,636.5 31 856 2,129.5
Michigan 1 82 55 19 NA
Total 3 1,736.5 1,718.5 86 875 2,208

Notes: State by state pledged delegate details in the extended entry. Superdelegate totals are from Democratic Convention Watch, although I separate add-ons from supers for the sake of clarity. The schedule for add-on delegates can be found here. For the add-ons, I am projecting a split in Missouri, a Clinton win in New Hampshire, and Obama wins in Nevada and Texas. The Michigan and Florida delegations include pledged, add-on, and superdelegates.

According to Total 3, Obama needs 471.5 of the 875 remaining delegates, or 53.9%, in order to reach the magic number. Clinton needs even more, 489.5 of 875, or 56.0%. Both scenarios are extremely unlikely. What is likely is that the Clinton campaign will push for Michigan and Florida to be seated as is, and use the Michigan and Florida delegations to argue that Obama has not yet clinched the nomination. After June 3rd, they will take that argument to the credentials committee, which gains authority over the matter on Jnne 11th. From that point, the credentials committee will probably deny the Clinton's campaign's argument to seat both delegations as is, since Obama will probably control the majority of seats on the committee. The next step will be for the Clinton faction on the committee to file a minority report on the delegations, which will then be referred to the full convention. The full floor vote on the Michigan and Florida delegations will then be a good proxy to determine who will win the nomination on the first ballot.

And that is what the convention fight of 2008 will probably look like. Obama will still probably win, since he leads by 18 delegates even with both Michigan and Florida included, by a much larger amount without either delegation included, and since a significant majority of the undecided Michigan delegates will probably vote for him. However, this will probably make the task of defeating John McCain much more difficult. The party simply won't have as long of a time to unify after the nomination fight, and quite a few people are going to be extremely upset no matter who ends up winning. After a campaign like this, we need more time to unify than usual, but instead we will have much less. Also, the media surrounding Clinton and Obama will focus on the nomination campaign, not on any general election messaging in which they will engage. One positive could be that after June 3rd, both the Clinton and Obama campaigns will probably start spending the vast majority of their money on the general election. This could actually cause McCain to face an avalanche of resources that no single candidate would be able to muster against him.

I would say that this means we should start focusing our attention in the blogosphere on attacking John McCain, but since I'm not in the mood to joust at windmills right now, I won't. Still, there is a huge danger if we, the activists, remain almost exclusively focused on the Clinton vs. Obama campaign all the way through late August. There are a lot of other campaigns, including the general election for President, that also need our attention well before August 25th.

Also, I would yell at the parties responsible for this one, but in truth virtually everyone is to blame. Michigan Democratic leaders were stupid to move up their primary so far, since clearly holding an early contest is not the only way to have influence on the campaign. The DNC probably should have just stripped half of the delegates, not all of them, especially since New Hampshire was not punished for changing their primary date. The Clinton campaign should not be pushing to seat such an insane delegation from Michigan which, if seated, which would the be worst abrogation of democracy in this entire nomination campaign. The Obama campaign should not have taken their name off the ballot in the state, since they suffered no hit from Clinton's "victory" in Florida. If there was ever a case in point where virtually the entire range of the Democratic leadership let the party down, this is it. After right years of Bush and a rising progressive tide in America, there was almost no way to blow this presidential election. However, with this galactic screw-up in Michigan, we are now operating with a pretty thin margin of error.

Update: Just got an email from the DNC:

New Hampshire wasn't punished for moving up because the Rules and Bylaws Committee voted to allow NH, IA, NV and SC  to move their primary dates after Florida and Michigan moved their primaries forward. So that the was the reason there was no punishment. The RBC members felt that because they (the 4 states) had been granted early state status they should be allowed to move their primary based on FL and MI's decision.

I can live with that. To be honest, of the four groups I listed above, the DNC always seemed the least responsible for causing this mess.  

Chris Bowers :: Convention Floor Fight Here We Come

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Michigan / Florida (0.00 / 0)

Doesn't your post make a very good argument for the superdelegates to slam-dunk it for Obama sooner than later?

Maybe, but (0.00 / 0)
There are only 268 supers left, and if they haven't endorsed now, they might not be prone to do so for a long time.

Also, might be better to wait until after June 3rd, and see who is ahead in the arious popular vote counts.  

[ Parent ]
Supers (4.00 / 1)
My sense is, and it's only a hunch, that the superdelegates who have not committed to Clinton yet (despite the pressure of an ex-president and calling in whatever favors they have done for the supers over the years) are remaining on the fence as a temporary compromise position. As if they were told, "if you're not going to endorse me, at least stay on the sidelines and see what the voters do."  I don't think the supers are afraid enough of Obama to be sitting on the sidelines even if they are pro-Hillary but I do think they are afraid (or loyal) enough of the Clinton machine to wait for the voters.  But, if Clinton does outperform her past record in the remaining contests, I would expect a flood of Supers to commit to Obama in June. So I'm still doubtful of a "fight" at the convention unless Clinton starts doing well (or Obama fades because of Wright).

[ Parent ]
correction (0.00 / 0)
should be: "But, if Clinton does NOT outperform..."

[ Parent ]
more defections? (0.00 / 0)
You're assuming there won't be more defections from Clinton. If Obama survives this Wright business and still looks viable in the general election after Puerto Rico and still leads the pledged delegates, the popular vote, and the number of contests won, wouldn't many of Clinton's superdelegates decide to avoid a brokered convention by switching to him?

[ Parent ]
The delegate chart (0.00 / 0)
I must say I have problem with how you deal with delegates below total 1.  Pledged delegates already allocated and committed supers properly reflect the firmest ground possible in these uncertain times.  

I can even agree to your adding in supers leaning one way or the other.  But putting in results from Florida and Michigan as reflected as what are looking more and more like straw polls is not fair.

Realistically, the allocation of delegates will NOT end up as you have displayed the information in totals 2 and 3.  As you correctly point out, it could be a split down the middle, a 30 or 50% penalty, or something we have or have not yet considered.  

Further, now that we're fairly certain there will be no re-votes in either state, some compromise will be reached or these delegates will not be seated at all.

I think it would be more accurate if you ended the count after total 1 and put an "*" in with a statement of how several hundred delegates from FL and MI are not reflected in the total.  

Your current display adds legitimacy to votes that are simply not going to stand as is.

[ Parent ]
Just sayin' (0.00 / 0)
Doesn't your post make a very good argument for the superdelegates to slam-dunk it for Hillary sooner than later?

I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD.  

[ Parent ]
Also some who have (0.00 / 0)
committed could switch. There is nothing to stop them from doing that.

If Obama keeps losing ground in pubic perception as he has been then Supers switching could be very possible. Another Wright type dust up could bury him.

[ Parent ]
Did you watch the same speech that I watched? (4.00 / 2)
I'm guessing you didn't bother. If you did. Then you'd probably be saying that another Wright type incident could put him over the top and help him secure the nomination. You crazy...

[ Parent ]
I'm not seeing it (0.00 / 0)
The superdelegates are going to break like crazy after May 6th (the last of PA, IN, NC) and Speaker Pelosi has basically said how she's going to rule on the floor of convention in August. Clinton can take all of this to the convention if she wishes but it's going to be in a quiet procedural way, not a bloodletting. I heard John McCain called the presumptive nominee the other day and I expect Obama to start calling himself the same as soon as he's locked in more pledged delegates.

John McCain

Not convinced of that (0.00 / 0)
I wish that it would happen like you say, but I can't see a huge wave of Obama supers breaking after a Clinton win in PA, and IN and NC might just reset the momentum in the way that MS reset it after March 4.

I could see it happening if Clinton manages to lose PA, but she'll probably win and possibly win BIG if things keep on as they are. In that case, pressure would be on Obama to win big in NC and then IN would become the new showdown. And even a blowout Obama win in IN wouldn't silence Clinton, whereas a big Clinton win in IN would be huge for her even while the math gets worse.

Wild card: there was a rumor going around that Obama had 50 supers set to announce en masse after March 4, and that Clinton worked to freeze them after her marginal victory. If such an event would occur before PA, it would bring out more fence-sitters and drastically steepen the slope for Clinton. And if ever there was a good time for that to happen, it might be later this week, when the afterglow of Obama's big speech may give some of those 50 enough cover to come out.

So, look to press coverage and see if the Wright controversy vanishes overnight, see if the media is loving Barack again, and we might see lots of supers doing the same very soon. Otherwise, I do see it playing out the way Chris describes.

[ Parent ]
He doesn't necessarily need a wave (0.00 / 0)
He needs to increase the flow, yes, but doesn't need a big whooshing wave. If he could get 10-20 in a relatively narrow time frame due to this speech (over the next two weeks, say), that would be very damaging to her strategy.

[ Parent ]
Remember the "50 Supers" (0.00 / 0)
I think the Obama campaign really did have fifty supers lined up to hammer the coffin shut, if they could have won the popular vote in TX.  And they're still out there, and presumably still leaning Obama.

If he gets the right opening, say Hillary finally releases her tax returns, this could endgame in a hurry.  The Supers can read a map, and a calendar.

[ Parent ]
Inclined to agree (0.00 / 0)
With Joe here.  There is no reason for it not to go to a vote in PA and NC/IN, but after that, it gets dicier.  If Obama gets a sufficient percentage of delegates in the contests through May 6, and gets sufficient superdelegates, he can clinch.  He only needs 42.55% of the 846 remaining for 50%+1 on the Total 1 votes.  If it is clear that he is the leader in delegates and popular votes after May 6, and Hillary can take it only by getting Mich and FL and PR, will she be able to get the supers she needs to pull that off?  She not only isn't getting supers, she may start to bleed some if this is her only strategy.  Some went with her out of loyalty, but many went with her based on her inevitability argument, and may be having second and third thoughts.

I just can't see it going beyond May 6.  If the efforts to paint Obama as the "black" candidate continue and if Clinton wins PA and IN and NC by such large margins that it appears that a majority of US voters might not be willing elect a black candidate, the scenario would change.  But that is going to be what it takes, and it is a pretty ugly scenario.

If his speech does get us beyond racial polarization, or at least quiet things somewhat, then that isn't going to happen, and supers will drift and then rally to him.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
After Wright (0.00 / 0)
there are probably more that a few Obama Supers thinking that they could switch their votes - especially if another shoe or two drops on Obama.

[ Parent ]
You crazy... (0.00 / 0)
We'll see tomorrow if any other Supers "trickle" over to Obama.

[ Parent ]
Why don't the party leaders just stop this? (0.00 / 0)

We won the Battle. Now the Real Fight for Change Begins. Join and fight for progressive change.  

The party leaders caused this (4.00 / 2)
So, that might be your answer right there.

[ Parent ]
If our elected democrats are afraid of... (4.00 / 1)
...standing up to mister 19%, what makes you think they have what it takes to stand up to the Clintons?

It's the DLC infection that still plagues this party.... don't make waves, don't stand for anything, just hope that things get better on their own...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

[ Parent ]
superdelegates (4.00 / 1)
If the superdelegates start moving into the Obama column, we will hear endless whining from the Clinton camp about how they are acting in haste and not giving Hillary a chance.  But if my recollection is correct, she had 96 superdelegates in her pocket before Obama even got into the race.  So after witnessing 19 debates and 40 primaries, I don't think the remaining superdelegates could be accused of acting irresponsibly.

We'll also hear lots of grumbling from Hillary and her supporters about the fact that Florida and Michigan might not be seated at the convention.  But if Obama had come out ahead in those two primaries, does anyone believe that HRC would be advocating righteously for the seating of those delegates?  Her argument that she is sincerely concerned about the disenfranchisement of the voters in MI and FL is transparently self-serving.

Hog the airwaves and keep McCain sidelined (4.00 / 1)
The upside of taking the nomination all the way to the convention is that McCain spends the summer in a vague way sort of in the background shadowboxing two candidates, while the Democratic horse race gets all the media and the attention of the voters.

Hardly.... (4.00 / 1)
...McCain gets to go on Iraq trips and pretend to play president without any challenge to his legitimacy.  He gets to look presidential, while we swipe barbs at each other!

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

[ Parent ]
McCain gets to look senile while we sharpen our barbs (4.00 / 1)
McCain is going to play president anyway ... with the full faith and backing of the Bush administration & all the official apparatus it can gin up! "Challenging legitimacy" from the Democratic candidate is not going to slow down the McBush express even a little. Moreover Obama or Clinton don't need to have the nomination in hand before they challenge any legitimacy.

[ Parent ]
Absolutely (4.00 / 1)
He said in Iraq that Iran was arming al Qaeda!  Then Lieberman whispered in his ear and he corrected himself to say they were training Shiite fighters.  He doesn't understand economics, wants to shred the safety net so we can have even more tax cuts--and he's a winner?

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
Deja vuz? (4.00 / 1)
Don't you get the impression that you've seen this all before?

Maybe a little conflict is in the works come October in order to move some votes in McCain's direction?  

[ Parent ]
he gets to look like Cheney (4.00 / 1)
because he followed him to Iraq.

He also reminds us that he can't go to the market he (and Lindsay Graham and others) went to last year with the heavy military presence now, because that neighborhood is out of the hands of the US/Iraqi army.

He also made news for mentioning that he doesn't know much about the economy.

In other words, with the little media attention he's getting, he's using it very poorly.

[ Parent ]
addendum... or is that "addendumb?" (4.00 / 1)
I just read that McCain made news today by getting Sunni and Shia confused in Iraq. (h/t to Hullabaloo):
Sen. John McCain, traveling in the Middle East to promote his foreign policy expertise, misidentified in remarks Tuesday which broad category of Iraqi extremists are allegedly receiving support from Iran.

He said several times that Iran, a predominately Shiite country, was supplying the mostly Sunni militant group, al-Qaeda. In fact, officials have said they believe Iran is helping Shiite extremists in Iraq.

McCain's BFF Joe Lieberman was the one who corrected "the maverick".

So, he's clueless and out of touch regarding who is engaging in the troubles in Iraq. Another nice addition to his list of media gaffes.

[ Parent ]
Opportunity Costs (0.00 / 0)
This is what dragging the primary out is costing us.  We could make so much hay with this for the general, if we weren't still stuck in the primary.

[ Parent ]
don't worry... video lasts forever (0.00 / 0)
YouTube will be a useful campaign ally. :)

[ Parent ]
not so bleak (4.00 / 1)
I wouldn't say it's "extremely unlikely" that Obama gets 53.9% of the remaining delegates, supers included. If he gets half of the remaining pledged - which is about what'll probably happen - most of the remaining supers will probably move his way, doncha think? Then Michigan won't even matter.

Punishing NH Would Go Against the Spirit of the Rules (0.00 / 0)
Which was to protect the geographically and demographically balanced early foursome of IA/NH/NV/SC which had been agreed to.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

Yeah but the rules sucked (4.00 / 1)
To listen to many from Michigan the only way the other states ad a way to force the DNC to change the rules in the future was to move up their primaries.

I love Dean. I worked for his campaign. But he screwed this one up. He should have had a rotation plan with 4 or 5 or whatever number of Super Primaries so that states would sit tight knowing their day in the spotlight would come. If anything Iowa and NH should have been moved to the bottom of the pile this year because they have has their spotlight already.

[ Parent ]
I agree with all of the super delegate comments above (0.00 / 0)
I would add that this increases the likelihold of one of the resource-free delegate compromises to be implemented. Obviously there will be fighting over the specifics of the compromise (50-50 v. as is or somewhere in between) but there's some range of choices that are agreeable to both candidates. Once they get there it's done -- no money, no fuss. No convention floor fight.

Supers Are Waiting For There States To Ratify Their Delegates (0.00 / 0)
If you look at who the uncommitted supers are (what states)  - Obama only needs 2/3s of the supers from the states that he has won (or is likely to win)(none from the states that Clinton has won) plus 50% of the at large and add ons to come to 2024.

Many states do not ratify their delegate counts until April and May. I expect that many supers will go with their states. And that come June 10th Obama will be the presumptive nominee.

[ Parent ]
If we go to the convention... (4.00 / 2)
...the next president will be John McCain... count on it!

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

Hey, I'm holding out for the sixteenth ballot... (0.00 / 0)
... and the spontaneous nomination of Al Gore from the floor.

"And the crowd goes wild!"

I have very little sympathy for the highly tendentious arguments the Obama folks keep making that Hillary should quit. Frankly, I want a President who isn't a quitter. And the argument comes up every time Obama wins, and then Hillary evens the score again. We're talking very thin margins, here -- even leaving aside all the legitimacy questions.

I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD.  

[ Parent ]
Hillary a Quitter? (4.00 / 2)

You're probably aware of the delegate math.  There is a link to a good analysis of it below.  The point that many of us are trying to make is that there is almost no chance for Hillary to win the nomination outright.  The numbers just don't support it, no matter how creative you get with the calculations.  So, that leaves the Democratic Party facing the reality that HRC can only be our nominee if the superdelegates slam-dunk it for her in spite of Obama's lead. I have yet to see one Clinton supporter lay out a realistic scenario for how we keep the Party together if that should happen.  It would lead to an implosion that would take us decades to recover from.  Who in the Democratic Party is going to go the African-American community and explain to them that the establishment white candidate took the prize even though Obama did better in the primaries?  How are we going to keep the millions of newly-inspired and freshly registered youth engaged and loyal to us?  Until somebody can offer a good answer to those questions, I remain convinced that this race ought to be over.

[ Parent ]
I agree with lambert (0.00 / 0)
Sure, Hillary will not finish with a pledged delegate lead when all is said and done - it is practically mathematically impossible as you suggest.  But I've been saying for a long time now that, whether Obama supporters like it or not, superdelegates are a part of the nominating process.  Likewise, if superdelegates were there to simply rubberstamp the winner of the pledged delegate race, why bother having supers?

If Hillary is, say, 30 pledged delegates short of Obama's lead, she would NOT be "stealing" the election - a favorite term of Obama supporters - from Obama because superdelegates have the right to vote for whomever they choose to for whatever reasons they choose.  Now, I DO agree that there would be a nasty revolt at the convention should Hillary take it without a pledged delegate or popular vote lead and that she WOULD be seen as overturning the will of the voters.  That said though, what if she comes out ahead in the popular vote, with or without FL/MI?  Can't she legitimately claim that she was indeed the will of the voters?

If she has the popular vote lead and wins this with the help of superdelegates, Obama supporters are going to have to get over it, because it will have been won fair and square.

Netroots for Gore

[ Parent ]
Negative on the fair and square (0.00 / 0)
See Pelosi's comments the other day - the leader of the pledged delegates will be the winner.  In fact, see also many of the references Clinton has made to the race being about delegates.  For better or for worse, that is how we elect presidents in this country and it's how we elect our party nominees.  Hillary could take 100% of the popular vote in NY and CA in the fall and still lose the electoral college without delegates from the other states.  Thems the rules we have all agreed to play by...  Delegates level the playing field between the states and all of their various election rules.

[ Parent ]
Except... (0.00 / 0)
"Thems the rules we have all agreed to play by"

Last check, the rules state that superdelegates are free to vote for whomever they want, yet somehow, despite being within the rules, that is seen as "stealing" the election by many Obama supporters.  I'll never understand the double standards being thrown around (on both sides).

Netroots for Gore

[ Parent ]
Whatever (0.00 / 0)
You can call it a double standard if you wish.  Yes, the Supers can vote however they chose.  And I chose to give them hell if they overturn the pledged delegate count.  Doing otherwise will result in the complete breakdown of the Democratic Party.

[ Parent ]
Dear Hillary... (4.00 / 2)
There's another reason why I think it's time for Hillary to raise the white flag.  We all know that she trails in pledged delegates, popular vote, number of states won, fundraising totals, and Obama has been polling stronger in the matchup against McCain in Novemeber.

The only way she can overcome Obama's lead is by trying to tear him down.  Going out and cheerfully trying to sell her healthcare plan, or giving us some happy talk on the environment or education isn't going to close the gap.  The only viable strategy for HRC and her advisors at the moment is to try to bloody Obama and make him appear to be unelectable.  That is why we have seen over a thousand re-runs of the Pastor Wright video in recent days.  She has no other options-- she has to get down and ugly for the balance of the campaign to have any chance of overcoming Obama's lead.  Is that what we want for our Party?

Oh, stop blaming Hillary for this right-wing stuff. (0.00 / 0)
That Wright video didn't come from the Clinton campaign, it's been floating around the right-wing sites for weeks, and they finally managed to push it into the corporate media.  I'm sure they were always planing this as soon as they were sure Obama was the nominee.  If the Clinton campaign were going to do it (which was never likely), they would have done it much earlier.

More liberal media at The Sideshow

[ Parent ]
Wow! (0.00 / 0)
But I heard at TalkLeft and MyDD that Iowa, NH, and SC broke teh rulz too!!

Explain this to me (0.00 / 0)
The general word out of MI is that it's the Obama camp that's not signing off on the revote.  If a brokered convention and floor vote are the outcome of no MI revote, then can it really be true that they are the ones stopping it?  Or if they are the ones stopping it, is there some other scenario that they are aware of that avoids this mess?  Surely the Obama camp has every incentive to avoid the scenario above.  

Seems much more likely the MI Republicans would be the ones sabatoging it.

I'm not really sure either... (0.00 / 0)
Apparently it needed to pass with 2/3 of a vote in a Republican controlled chamber... Republicans want to continue the chaos, and thus, no re-vote.

The argument could be made that Obama should've shown more leadership on this front in trying to get a re-vote, but I'm not sure why he should be held to that.  It seems that his position was more or less "If something is worked out, we'll go along with it."

Marc Ambinder is now reporting that it may have had something weird to do with college kids, since they'd be gone in June and that would represent a problem for Obama.  I have no idea... I just wish something had been worked out so that, as Chris says, these two "sticking points" could be taken off the rhetorical table.  Even though it sort of "hurts" Clinton more in the direct sense, since she can just continue to hammer away on it until, like Chris says, the convention... I don't see how this is a good thing for Obama.

Not only that, the longer Clinton gets to make this argument about "disenfranchising" voters, the more salient the argument goes that Democrats don't care about MI and FL in the general election.  Will that have much play?  I have no idea... I suspect FL was going to be a tough one for Dems anyway, but if MI swings Republican, this will probably be pointed out as the reason why.

[ Parent ]
Hillary... (4.00 / 1)
NY Populist,

Thanks for the response.  First, the notion that delegates ought to cast their vote for the winner of the popular vote is an invention of the Clinton campaign.  They came up with that after she started falling desperately behind in the pledged delegate count.  The race for the nomination has always been about delegates, not the popular vote.  In any case, the calculations offered in the Kos diary that I posted above indicated that Obama will likely win the popular vote as well.

But we still have to address the fundamental question, and I have yet to get a response from anyone on this--

Who in the Democratic Party is going to go the African-American community and explain to them that the establishment white candidate took the prize even though Obama did better in the primaries?  How are we going to keep the millions of newly-inspired and freshly registered youth engaged and loyal to us?  

Hillary will send Bill... (4.00 / 1)
... or Chelsea if she can find time to get off work which is proabbly not going to happen considering she works on Wall-Street where soon everyone will be shoving petty cash into their pockets and stealing office supplies.

Like father, like daughter!

[ Parent ]
yeah, Chelsea's a snake-oil criminal just like all the other hedge fund workers. (0.00 / 0)
she's part of the reason why I can never ever vote for HRC.

For some reason, it seems that Obama has some pathological and deep-seated psychological need for Republicans to like him.  Seriously.  It's weird.

[ Parent ]
Michigan voter weighing in (0.00 / 0)
I'm glad (and frankly not surprised whatsoever) that there will not be a do-over in Michigan. While I am still very angry at the MI Democratic Party (MDP) for playing chicken with Howard Dean, defying the national rules despite clear warnings of the consequences, and making Michigan votes irrelevant, a do-over was not wise. MDP shouldn't be rewarded for breaking the rules, then having an expensive do-over to play kingmaker in this election.

As far as the potential for this contest going all the way to the convention... I'm not very clear on how all this math is going to work out. I'd be a little surprised if someone (most likely Obama) doesn't get the momentum, and the other candidate drops out before the convention.

I suppose we should be happy that the Democratic party contest for the nomination is getting the lion's share of the political coverage these days. Even if it's somewhat ugly, no one is talking about McCain unless they're laughing about how he's hanging out in Iraq following Cheney's footsteps.

Here's to making sure Mark Brewer and Debbie Dingell of the MDP get ousted from their many examples of terrible judgement demonstrated in this past year.

The Math (0.00 / 0)
I found this spreadsheet pic in a dKos thread:

If the rest of this plays out as expected, the magic number for Obama is 96 SD's.  His campaign's spreadsheet has been amazingly accurate up until now, where it has been wrong it's been too conservative.  The PA projection is Clinton's best case.

In practice, if a block of 75 supers declared at once, it would be over right there.  At 53 delegates above projections for Obama, it's mathematically impossible for Clinton to get the nomination on a first ballot even if everything else breaks her way.

[ Parent ]
this might be a dumb question... (0.00 / 0)
but, does the total number of delegates needed to win now get reduced by the number of pledged FL and MI delegates? In other words, 2024 delegates minus 210 Florida and 157 Michigan delgates would have contributed (which would be 1657).

If so, how does this change the potential delegate counts/predictions? Besides the obvious point that this makes unpledged superdelgates even more important, does it mean that Obama might get to the magic number needed sooner?

Or, are they still requiring 2024 to be nominated?

2024 is the number (4.00 / 1)
They already accounted for no MI and FL.  Chris puts the new 50%=1 number in each line item.  

I still keep thinking the Obama camp knows something about this.  If no MI revote was really so disasterous for them, they would have gotten out in front of it.  They see some way of this not going to the convention floor.  Pelosi has indicated as much as well...

[ Parent ]
thanks (0.00 / 0)
I didn't realize the 2024 was without the MI and FL regular pledged delegates.

Michigan Democratic party had a problem with this whole re-do proposal. They tried to shove it through with a lot of problems, and the state party doesn't have the considerable amount of cash that would be required to create a caucus or new primary. The DNC wasn't going to pay for it. While Clinton's backers were interested in helping to finance it, they couldn't really do it all... and frankly the only way we could have done it is via caucus or mail-in, and Clinton didn't want that.

It was a doomed proposal in MI.

[ Parent ]
Wright (0.00 / 0)
Probably a combination of their having to focus on Wright, plus I think they really wanted an MI revote (polling indicates they would have won).  But the GOP-controlled state senate kept putting poison pills in it, and Hillary's campaign was more than happy to cast every statement from his local co-chair in the bargaining process as obstructionism (and TalkLeft and MyDD ate it up).

What we've got is the Limbaugh effect writ large, with GOP dominated state legislatures doing everything they can to make the Democratic nomination process as drawn out and painful as possible.

With MI and FL off the table, there's no longer any real reason to play this out.  If Obama's polling rebounds from the Wright affair (and I expect it will) and the trend of McCain gaining strength as the Democrats bicker continues (and it will), the supers will have to get off their butts and force a conclusion, or face wholesale slaughter in a cycle that could be a slamdunk win all across the ticket.  End this in the next few weeks, and there's time to heal the wounds before November.  Wait until the convention, and we're screwed no matter who the nominee is.

[ Parent ]
I'm starting to think... (0.00 / 0)
...that the Florida delegation should be seated at full strength.

I think Florida Democrats should not be punished for supporting voting rights.   Can anyone reasonably blame them for voting for paper ballots just because the Republicans added the poison pill of jumping the primary calendar?

This is not like MI where two of the front-runners removed their names from the ballot - all of the candidates' names were on the ballot and no one campaigned there (unless you count Obama's national ad buy), so just seat them.  It doesn't really make a difference and it stops the Florida Dems (who are very angry) from freaking out.  A quarter of them are threatening not to vote in November if their delegates aren't seated.

In my heart, I'm hoping that Hillary is planning to parlay her position into forcing Obama and the party to take a strong stand on the domestic issues she cares about.  I don't know if that's a realistic hope, but it's not an unreasonable one.

More liberal media at The Sideshow

FL Dems not the victims they paint themselves (0.00 / 0)
The early primary date got nearly unanimous support in the FL legislature.  Both parties believed Florida was so big, and so critical to the general, that they could dictate to the national party.

That being said, I would have been okay with the FL delegation being seated, even at full strength.  But it wound up inextricably bound with the MI farce of a chinese ballot.

Screw 'em.  This is one year where the Democrats can win without MI and FL.  They wanted to play chicken, and they just swerved into the ditch.

[ Parent ]
FL Democratic Party Complicity (0.00 / 0)
Here are a couple of diaries from DailyKos showing how the FDP was, by its own admission, equally guilty in the early date:

FL Dems removed inconvenient FAQ question.  The FDP Executive Committee voted twice to affirm the early date.

FL Dems offered "pro forma" resistance before the FL senate voted 115-1 for the early date.  The FL Minority leader is in the audio record saying the amendment (which was literally laughed down) was offered only to show the DNC they "tried" to stop the early primary.

[ Parent ]
FL Dems were at fault as well (0.00 / 0)
The DNC rules had a provision allowing the Florida Democrats to submit an alternative plan if the legislature did something like this. They'd have to have the early primary because of the law, but it wouldn't count and they'd have a real contest later, after the early period. But instead they didn't submit any such plan and wholeheartedly embraced the line-jumping primary.

DC did something similar in 2004, but we ended up playing by the rules. We tried to have a primary in January, before Iowa, to call attention to DC's lack of a vote in Congress, but the DNC made us change it into a nonbinding "beauty contest" and hold the real primary months later. And even after that, most candidates removed their names from the January ballot because of DNC pressure. The only ones left were Al Sharpton and -- wait for it -- Howard Dean.

[ Parent ]
Florida Dem Here (0.00 / 0)
Florida Dem here who supports Obama but didnt vote.  I say re-do the election without telling everyone that it is a beauty contest and wont matter, or seat the delegation only after the nominee is decided.  

[ Parent ]
Maybe, maybe not (0.00 / 0)
If Obama is ahead in both pledged delegates and the popular vote total, I think this is over in May/June.  If he gets within 10 in PA, which is possible if he gets momentum after today, I don't see how this goes much further, with friendly primaries for Obama coming up in NC and IN.

Clinton has to crush in PA, and be competitive elsewhere to even get to that stage.  We'll see what happens, but I'm not ready to say we're heading to a floor fight yet.

Fairy Tales, Can Come True (0.00 / 0)
In essence, the Clinton supporters are all over this because it's wish-fulfillment for them.  The campaign has been telling them if they'd just hang on long enough, Obama would melt down and the party would come running to Hillary for salvation.

So they banked on Rezko, and on "NAFTAgate", and now on Reverend Wright, as the promised meltdown that would take out Obama and give Hillary her due.  And they're all over the polls that show her getting a bump, just as they were after the NAFTA mess.

They're never going to give up, and there's no way to let them down easy.

[ Parent ]
What happened to the compromise? (0.00 / 0)

Weren't all sides ready to agree to seat the FL delegates and split MI 50/50?  Maybe those were just unfounded rumors, but I seem to recall a Quick Hit on this last week.

This race wont come down to a floor fight. (0.00 / 0)
For a simple reason: Clinton is not the establishment candidate, Obama is.  

Clinton is a DLC machine candidate, and she used that machine impressively, as she created the "inevitable nominee" campaign.  But that machine was not enough to deliver victory, and everyone can see that Obama will come out of the process a little ahead.

If Obama was truly an insurgent nominee, that might mean the establishment would throw everything to "their candidate."  But seeing how things have unfolded, the establishment will significantly strengthen Obama's relatively narrow victory, and force Clinton to accept defeat well before the convention.

I make some assumptions here, that may turn out wrong, but I would be very suprised.  When the time comes, Obama will have the aggressive or subtle support of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Party leader Howard Dean, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Al Gore and Jimmy Carter.  In and of themselves they are not the establishment, but do represent its heart, and their support does not an insurgent candidate make.

addendum (0.00 / 0)
I am sure others have commented on this more lucidly, but I have been thinking for several weeks about how we, the netroots, have made this all possible.  

If a Clinton tool like Rahm Emmanuel was leading the Democratic Party, he would be bending over backwards to cater to Clinton.  But Howard Dean is there.  And we put him there.  We put him there but breaking fundraising records, and though he tanked in primaries, that clout allowed him to ascend to his current post.

And he started investing in a 50 state strategy, over the objections of the Clinton machine.  And he was right, and that investment paid off, and will continue to pay off.  And Barack followed suit, not writing off the small red states, but going to them, and respecting the people of this Democratic terra incognita, and using his skills as a community organizer to bring them into the fold.  

And once again that investment paid off.  And I think that if we didnt put Howard Dean there, Obama would not have been as successful.  

And I also think that whatever the outcome of the nominating process, the Democratic party is gonna be changed for the better, and the reductionist Clinton/McCauliff/Begala/Emmanuel swing state strategy is a thing of the past.

[ Parent ]
One more thing (0.00 / 0)
If Hillary had gone with "Right Here, Right Now" as her campaign song instead of that other piece of shit, she woulda won Wisconsin.

[ Parent ]

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