Friday, March 14, 2008

Florida and Michigan: By the numbers

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

Important Note 5/2/2008:
This post will no longer be updated. A new post, with more current options, can be found here.

There are all sorts of options concerning Florida and Michigan, so we do what we do best - we run all the numbers:

The options are:

  1. Do not seat Florida or Michigan.
  2. Split the Florida and Michigan pledged delegations 50/50. Superdelegates are free to vote as they wish. (The list of Florida and Michigan superdelegates)
  3. Florida and Michigan hold new elections. (3/17 - Florida has announced they will not hold a new election as did Michigan on 3/19)
  4. Split Michigan 50/50 including supers. Give Florida pledged delegates 1/2 vote, but based on January election. 1/2 vote for superdelegates also. This is supposedly under significant discussion.
  5. Seat them based on the elections that have taken place. Give Obama the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.
  6. Seat them based on the elections that have taken place. Don't assume Obama gets the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.
We are not endorsing any of these options. We're just providing information so our readers can judge how each option will affect the race.

Note: Many readers have asked why we continue to include options 5 and 6 in this post, and why we include option 6 in our sidebar. It's because politics is a strange business, and you never know what might happen in the future.

Important Note 4/5:
DCW has switched from AP to the Green Papers(GP) as our primary source of "Pledged Delegates". The Green Papers has done a better and quicker job of keeping their numbers up-to-date.

Option 1: Do not seat Florida or Michigan. Current Status
Total Delegates Available: 4047Required: 2024

ObamaClinton EdwardsOthers(1)NYA(2)YTV(3)Total
Pledged Delegates(GP)1489133719----4083253
Superdelegates (DCW)244265--285----794
Total Delegates1733160219285--4084047
Delegates Lead131-- ----------
Delegates needed to win Nomination291422------Left693
Option 2: With FL & MI 50/50 Split
Total Delegates Available: 4415.0Required: 2208

ObamaClinton EdwardsOthers(1)NYA(2)YTV(3)Total
Pledged Delegates(GP)16391487 320--4083566
Superdelegates (DCW)249280--320----849
Total Delegates1888176732320--4084415
Delegates Lead121-- ----------
Delegates needed to win Nomination320441------Left728
Option 3: FL & MI hold new elections
Total Delegates Available: 4415Required: 2208

ObamaClinton EdwardsOthers(1)NYA(2)YTV(3)Total
Pledged Delegates(GP)1489133719----7213566
Superdelegates (DCW)249280--320----849
Total Delegates1738161719320--7214415
Delegates Lead121-- ----------
Delegates needed to win Nomination470591------Left1041
Option 4: With FL 1/2 Vote & MI 50/50 Split
Total Delegates Available: 4309.5Required: 2155

ObamaClinton EdwardsOthers(1)NYA(2)YTV(3)Total
Pledged Delegates(GP)1489133719----4083253
MI 50/50 split including supers78.578 .5--------157
FL 1/2 Delegate Vote including supers35.556.5 6.57----105.5
Superdelegates (DCW)244265--285----794
Total Delegates1847.51737.5 25.5292--4084309.5
Delegates Lead110-- ----------
Delegates needed to win Nomination308418------Left700
Option 5: With FL & MI (Obama gets MI 55)
Total Delegates Available: 4415Required: 2208

ObamaClinton EdwardsOthers(1)NYA(2)YTV(3)Total
Pledged Delegates(GP)1611151532----4083566
Superdelegates (DCW)249280--320----849
Total Delegates1860179532320--4084415
Delegates Lead65-- ----------
Delegates needed to win Nomination348413------Left728
Option 6: With FL & MI included - Results Upheld
Total Delegates Available: 4415Required: 2208

ObamaClinton EdwardsOthers(1)NYA(2)YTV(3)Total
Pledged Delegates(GP)155615153255--4083566
Superdelegates (DCW)249280--320----849
Total Delegates1805179532375--4084415
Delegates Lead10------------
Delegates needed to win Nomination403413------Left783
Last Updated: 05/01/2008

Notes: The options and table are sorted from the highest candidate's lead to the lowest.

Others(1): Include Unknown, Uncomitted & No endorsements yet
NYA(2): Not Yet Assigned.
YTV(3): Not Yet Voted.


Matt Parker said...

I've been trying to find the impact of FL and MI delegates based on his current lead. I knew it was big, but I had no idea it was that substantial. Basically, FL is not enough by itself to help her. Bottom line is that the ONLY way for Hillary to take a delegate lead is to count as a "victory" an uncontested election. That'll go over well.

Miller said...

I want to see if I understand this.

Unpledged delegates, or superdelegates, are party leaders or elected officials that make a judgement call on who to vote for at the Democratic National Convention.

Pledged delegates are people who are selected by some group of people to place a vote at the National Convention. They pledge to make a certain vote. They don't have to honor that pledge, but overwhelmingly, they do.

The voters here select the actual delegates by name on the ballot, I don't know if that's the case everywhere or if the actual people are selected by the state party in some places. But the people that are selected really don't matter. Each one is a just Democratic National Convention vote, in human form.

In scenario #3, the uncommitted delegates would pledge to Obama, and they'd be just like every other pledged delegate.

But in scenario #2, for all effective purposes, the 55 uncommitted MI delegates are unpledged. That pretty much makes them superdelegates, doesn't it?

The thing that separates The Michigan 55 from other superdelegates is, as of now, we have no idea who they are. Whoa.

Albeit being a really stupid way to run a country, The Michigan 55 concept is really exciting. It's kind of like Lost.

DocJess said...

I think, as always, your numbers are spot on. And I say that with both awe for the detail work and the correctness, as well as great appreciation.

Sadly, as much as the numbers matter in terms of who wins THIS nomination. Rather, "sadly as much as the numbers SHOULD matter in terms of who wins THIS nomination" there is a far broader issue.

If the Michigan and Florida votes are allowed to stand, the Democratic party AS a party effectually dies. This because it will have lost the ability to set rules which its members (the state delegations) are required to follow. We lose the party of Jefferson to effective anarchy.

They can re-vote, and it will be what it will be.

It's been said that it is wrong to disenfranchise the MI and FL delegations, but they knew the rules. NOT ONE Democratic voice in either state stood up in either state when the dates were being discussed and said they should follow the rules.

The turnout numbers in most states were far lower as relates to Republican turnout -- meaning to accept the current tallies is to disenfranchise potentially MORE voters who did not vote than the ones who did. And that doesn't even get to the point of whose names were and were not on the Michigan ballot.

While the numbers truly mattered, every time I think of it, I am sickened by how ugly the Clinton campaign is willing to stoop.

They are willing to cheat to win, to the point of dismantling the oldest and greatest political party in the history of the world.

It's shameful.

page in Jax said...

As a Florida Democrat I would be willing to accept the option where FL gets half as punishment, like the RNC did. I think it is important that the allocation of the delegates reflect the will of the voters. Non-Floridians need to understand that the primary was not the only race on the ballot--there was a Constitutional amendment that will effect all Floridians very soon, so the excuse that some did not vote is not valid. Those that didn't vote made that choice.
As to breaking the DNC rules--I didn't!!! I voted in a state run election and I believe my vote should count! I don't give a rip about the silly rules that are NOT laws or even state statutes, or even county ordinances.
My understanding is that the candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida and expect for the Obama ads on CNN, this agreement was not violated.
Since the voters are not subject to DNC 'rules', and the candidates mostly followed their agreements, the vote should stand!!

DocJess said...

Page in Jax --

While I feel for your position as a voter -- the United States is a country of law, founded on the rules promulgated by the Constitution.

When Florida sued the DNC to get the votes accepted, the decision was based on Constitutional law. Amendement 10 gives the state the right to set any voting legislation they want because of "other powers" not expressed granted to the Federal Government fall to the states OR THE PEOPLE.

BUT the DNC operates as a group protected by the First Amendment's right of assembly. They are free to set any rules for their members as they desire, provided those rules do not break other laws (e.g. even if your group says it is okay to murder, it isn't.)

Your problem SHOULD be with your state, not with the DNC. Your state DID break very public and discussed DNC regulations.

Voters in primaries are subject to DNC and RNC rulings. While the states are free to set dates and times of elections, and whether they be mail-in, primary, caucus, or the Texas 2-step, for the findings to be accepted, they must meet the requirements of the the RNC/DNC. This is the same way that the National election date is set and states are not free to suddenly decide they want to vote in the Presidential election on the first Monday in November.

If we give up Constitutional law, we lose everything as a Nation.

Unknown said...

Accepting the results of the previous election is such an absurd notion that I don't know why people keep mentioning it. Oh, wait - Hillary keeps talking about it because it gives her a big advantage, even though she signed a pledge that the primaries wouldn't count...

Unknown said...

"Just say no to another primary": Editorial opinions from MI. I thought folks might be interested in this article from our very well-read alternative newspaper here in Michigan's capital. It's a novel or at least interesting argument against a revote.

Unknown said...

There is only one viable and appropriate option for Florida:

Here is the fundamental problem with Florida. The culprit here is the FDP and not the voters or the candidates. But any penalty you mete out hurts the candidates and the voters more than the party.

There is only one viable option:

A re-voting of one sort or another which while the most equitable and enfranchising still has the potential of altering the results and thus potentially penalizing or benefitting one candidate or the other and at the considerable cost of a campaign in the state to both candidates.
On this I come back to the issue of the people should have a reasonable expectation that the vote they cast either will on will not count. The people were informed that the vote would not count and were told to vote anyway by the FPL. Shame on the FPL for telling the people of the state that ultimately it would the results would be binding even when the candidates had not campaigned. People did not vote because it was being called a beauty contest. There may well have been a record turnout, but there were many potential voters who did not vote because they understood it was a waste of time in the eyes of the DNC.

The DNC did not recognize that election, nor should they now. It would be disenfranchising to voters who did not vote and unfair to candidates who did not campaign. There for the only logical option if you are going to revote. It has to be a full primary. It will be far more expensive, but there ultimately little difference between $10M and $25 Million given the amount of money that is available from fat cats.

The problem I have with this is that it effectively imposes no actual penalty on the FDP If they are seeking outside financing for the event.

The Only way to effectively penalize the FDP is to strip the state of its super delegates and reapportion them according to the popular vote in the new Primary. This empowers the voters, gives them more power at the convention and only penalized the party hacks who created this mess in the first place.

Le Fou said...

Here's my solution for Florida and Michigan.

It's cheap, and it's fair, and it's decisive.

Apportion their delegates according to the number of delegates each candidate wins in all of the other remaining primaries. They also have their super delegates.

Unknown said...

Two other things to consider:

1. The candidates and party officials could agree to apportion the delegates by some other abritrary proportion (say 51-49) in either or both states to avoid the uncertainty and cost of new elections

2. There is already a lawsuit in the works to make the superdelegates in both of those states count regardless as they say excluding them violates the DNC bylaws

Fixbone said...

to accept the previous votes is utterly absurd and to propose it, as hrc has, is truly pathetic. If those who are winning about this are so worried about the voters who did vote HOW about the voters who didn;t knowing that their votes would not be accepted, HOW about those who were not allowed to hear the candidate campaign in their state/town etc - why choose to disenfranchise them. Only complete revotes should be allowed and then what penalty for not following the agreed upon rules - perhaps discounting the new votes as a percentage per delegate 1/2 or 3/4 vote perhaps.

kjoe said...

The solution is for obama to win in pennsylvania, then NC, Indiana, and oregon would follow---and the most fitting justice of all would happen---no one would care what florida and michigan did.

Benjo said...

There's another possibility that isn't addressed: each state does something different. Florida's democratic party seems to be having major organization issues that could theoretically preclude a reelection; similarly, one state or the other could run into funding issues, resistance from one of the many groups who have a say (voters, the state party, the campaigns, the state's representatives, etc.), or any of a number of other problems that the other state is able to work around.

Of course, the campaigns would likely reject one state re-voting if the other does not. But still, in the sort of up-in-the-air scenario that is playing out, this is a distinct possibility.

Yamaka said...

Here is my two cents on this matter:

There was no logic to the Rule that only 4 States can vote in Jan 08. A Rule that cannot be justified is no Rule.

Since the candidates are very closely tied, forget about the czarist arrogance of the DNC to be punitive in its stand.

Don't disenfranchise several million voters because of what some illogical Rule said, or what State Govt did.

Either take AS-IS, or run another Primary, period.

Running another Primary in these two States will be very costly, time consuming and the outcome will NOT be any different from what it is now. Then why bother?

What's wrong with AS-IS? Nothing.

BHO removed his name voluntarily, a poor judgment in his part; the Rule did not ask anyone to remove the name from the ballot. Alas, he ran campaign commercials in FL violating the Rule. He has problems.

HRC did not violate any Rule.

Therefore, give the votes that she earned in these States, and the rest goes to BHO.

That's only fair and simple.

DNC must act fast and do the right thing than taking the Party to the train wreck, which is simply suicidal!!

Bill UK said...

Yamaka you say a redo will produce the same outcome. This blatently flies in the face of the fact that in Michigan the polls have both candidates tied on 41%. Also the outcome of any properly run redo primary in Florida is likely to favor Obama as it would seem more Obama supporters did not vote in the unofficial primary than Clinton supporters.

All candidates were asked to remove their names from the primary ballot sheet, but Clinton 'forgot' to do this in time for her name to be removed (how surprising - after all we all know what a poor memory she has).

DocJess said...

Assume we follow the tact that Yamaka recommends. In 4 years, we actually have no Democratic party left. Each state will do as they please in terms of setting up primaries. They will keep playing date-hopscotch until we're actually having a kick-off primacaucus in June of 2011.

The true solution involves setting up either regional, or size primary sets, on a rotating basis so everyone can go first at one time or another.

But for this year, and this set -- rules are what they are. If you don't like them, change them -- but the exist because they were voted on and agreed to.

If you agree to follow it, you're not allowed to change your mind. A simple example is that if an event is black tie, and you agree to go, you do NOT show up in tattered jeans and act surprised when they tell you that you cannot come in.

DocJess said...

To Bill UK --

Here in Pennsylvania, another Clinton "memory lapse" is that the Clintons do not have a full delegate slate on the PA ballot, despite being allowed extra time by Rendell (a Hillary supporter)to get their slate in order.

Unknown said...

Clinton got 55% in michigan not obama
uncommited for 40%
so this doenst make sense ... do you mean 40% of the uncommited delegates

Don't assume Obama gets the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.

Matt said...

Nolawi - Uncommitted got 55 delegates in the original Michigan election. It's normally assumed they will all be Obama supporters, but that's open for debate. This has nothing with vote percentages.

Unknown said...

RealClearPolitics show a slightly improved current delegate count.
Obama 1406Pledge Clinton 1246 Pledge
212Super 248 Super
Total 1628 1494

I don;t see Florida being able to do anything but Michigan is up in the air. I do worry that the 4 people putting together the possible Michigan revote are essentially Clinton people.

Has anyone seen any recent polling data in Michigan?

JTNk said...

what's striking to me about this is that the only scenario you listed that *really* helps Clinton is that both MI and FL get to count their original election. I'd be ok if FL were allowed back in, really, because both names were on the ballot and neither candidate expressly campaigned there. The MI election was much screwyer with Clinton being the only major candidate on that ballot.

Thanks for running these numbers!

Yamaka said...

My Two Cents on this matter.

I prefer AS IS:

1. I don't think DNC asked the candidates to remove their names from the ballot in MI and FL. If it did, why did Obama leave his name in FL, and removed it in MI? It was a poor judgment in his part.

HRC left her name in both MI and FL. It was a sound judgment in her part.

2. DNC asked all candidates not to campaign in MI and FL. HRC followed this mandate, but Obama broke it in FL: he ran cable TV campaign ads.

He must be punished for this violation, to be fair.

3. There are nearly 200 million eligible voters in US. During General Election about 55-60% go to polls and about 27% go to the Primary. One can argue since 73% are not participating in the Primary, we have to ignore ALL the results at all!

In FL and MI, there were lot other issues on the ballots (like Constitutional Amendments etc). All interested people went to the polls. You have to work with all those who went to the polls and ignore all who did not care to go to the polls. That's how all elections are treated.

4. After IA and NH, the election fever was in full swing. In MI and FL surrogates of all candidates were working very hard (in FL Obama even ran cable Ads as I said before). In MI people like John Conyers worked very hard to pull the votes into "Uncommitted" and HRC's people worked hard to get her votes in. Therefore, it is naive to say there was no campaign. Candidates didn't but the surrogates did lot more work.

5. Give the MI "Uncommitted" to Obama (55 delegates) and the rest goes to HRC.

6. In FL since Obama violated the Rule, he must be given only 50% of what he earned, and HRC should get whatever she earned. She has NOT violated any DNC Rule.

It is ironic that DNC wants to give proportional delegates to the candidates (unlike RNC which gives the winner takes all), but it is eager to disenfranchise several million voters!

The "Representative" who agreed to the original date clearly DID NOT have any teeth to enforce it on the State Govt. Why didn't DNC get a binding contract from the Governor of MI and FL?

Taking AS-IS is quite reasonable given the closeness of the race, and DNC need not wreck the Party's chance of winning the General Election. Without FL and MI Democrats, the Nominee cannot win the General Election, I believe.

Another thing, if their delegates are not seated, then the States have the right to remove the Nominee's name from the ballot in the General Election! How will you solve that? McCain will be unopposed in MI and FL! Is that okay? NO,,NO,, NO.

If funds can be raised on time, yes go for re-voting. But it is quite unnecessary, in my view.

Taking AS-IS in NOT going to wreck Democratic Party in the future; that thinking is just an unnecessary fear out of paranoia.

DNC is standing on its czarist arrogance.

The Credential Committee has all authority to solve the problem immediately. Cheers.

Keryl said...


Here are some facts: Both candidates signed a pledge to neither campaign nor participate in MI and FL elections. Clinton decided to participate and had to defend her position then (when everyone thought it wouldn't matter).

Obama tried to take his name off the ballot in FL, but the rules there made it impossible.

Obama did not "run cable in FL", he ran national cable that bled into Florida and he asked the DNC for permission first. Hillary also had fundraisers in Fl before the election which she also asked permission to do. Both campaigns followed the rules.

All empirical evidence shows that when Obama and Hillary both campaign in a state, he has closed or eliminated an initial gap among voters.

I'm not sure of this as fact, but I believe Howard Dean has said that the DNC offered initially to help Florida Democrats put on the election on an acceptable date, but they refused.

It is the states rather than the DNC that have shown exreme arrogance. "I don't care about the rules, you need my votes", pretty much sums it up.

I agree that the rules aren't great, and that NH and Iowa shouldn't necessarily have a lock on going first, but if the DNC doesn't uphold some rules we'll have one week of primaries, and nobody will get a chance to see the candidates first hand.

I think there are some valid arguments of how to solve the situation, but I also think your Clinton love fest of facts actually works against your candidate on a site like this where most people seem extraordinarily will acquainted with the actual facts.

Bill UK said...

It would seem that the Florida Democrat Party like playing chicken, they have rejected the latest idea of a postal vote (a bad idea anyway) and also a do-over primary, but instead of coming up with a sensible alternative have chucked it back in the lap of the DNC.


In Michigan things are starting to look a little more hopeful for a do-over primary. This would be interesting because this is one thing Clinton definately doesn't want. At the moment Clinton is claiming all pledged delegates from Michigan, unfortunately for her the latest poll shows Michigan is tied between Obama and Clinton at 41% each. This means a do-over would substantially reduce the number of pledged delegates Clinton would be able to muster at the national convention. Instead what Clinton will be hoping is that the gap may close in pledged delegates, but even if Michigan were to go to Clinton the 'gap closing' would be minimal and Clinton would still have fewer delegates than Obama.

Nancy Pelosi's comments are clear and carry considerable weight, the candidate with the most 'pledged delegates' should be considered the winner at the National Convention.

This is becoming not a soap opera but a running farce. Clintons sole hope for nomination are to convince Super Delegates to go against the results of all the primaries and caucuses by voting against them and voting for her.

In the meantime a report in the Boston Globe shows how Republicans and the GOP are now manipulating the Democratic Primaries by voting heavily for Clinton as she will be the easier candidate for McCain to beat. Indeed the 119,000 Republicans who voted for Clinton in Texas swayed that result so much it changed the result from an Obama win in Texas to one that Clinton won.

Keryl said...

Boston Globe article is scary. If that's not enough reason for the party leaders to step in and try to make this thing work out sooner, I don't know what it.

sgifford said...

A few comments on the above from a Michigan voter...

DocJess said...the United States is a country of law, founded on the rules promulgated by the Constitution... That basic fact is certainly true, but as you go on to mention, the DNC is a private organization not subject to any special constitutional rules in setting up their voting. It would not threaten our constitution in any way for them to make changes to their rules. It would certainly threaten our constitution and democracy less than allowing them to set rules which determine who can and can't vote according to any rules they choose, which is the current state of affairs.

DocJess also said... If you agree to follow it, you're not allowed to change your mind. A simple example is that if an event is black tie, and you agree to go, you do NOT show up in tattered jeans and act surprised when they tell you that you cannot come in. Another interesting point, but if you agree to go to a party and the organizers change it to Black Tie without consulting the partygoers, they should not be surprised when many people choose not to show up, or show up at the party down the street. I don't think this is what the DNC wants in the general election.

Keryl said...Here are some facts: Both candidates signed a pledge to neither campaign nor participate in MI and FL elections. Clinton decided to participate and had to defend her position then (when everyone thought it wouldn't matter). It is a matter of interpretation whether "not participating" included removing the name from the ballot. The rules did allow some participation, such as fundraising, so there really is a legitimate question of what is meant. The agreements were with the four early-primary states. Certainly they knew about the primary system and could have demanded that candidates remove their names from ballots if that were important to them. And I have not heard them complaining, so I assume this interpretation was OK with them.

I'm hearing a lot of talk about splitting the delegates 50/50, or proportional to the other states. This does not give any voice at all to Michigan or Florida voters, and I for one will not be happy.

In fact, I have decided that if the Democratic Party doesn't find a fix for this mess, I will not be able to support them in November. I'm really hoping it doesn't come to that.

For more information about our primary debacle, see

Keryl said...

Scott: Good post. You're right "participation" is definitely up to individual interpretation. The rules of the DNC were pretty clear though. Move your election, lose your delegates. It wasn't complicated or up to interpretation. Those states bet their votes in a bid to get an early say. They knew it was against the rules, they did it anyway. It shouldn't matter who was on the ballot. I know who stole your votes. The Michigan leadership. Unfortunately it doesn't really matter anymore, because either way this goes, the democratic party will be kinda screwed. There's people just like you on both sides of the issue that want to take their votes and go home. New polls show McCain handily beating either Obama or Clinton in the fall. Sigh.

Unknown said...

Given that FL is very unlikely to re-contest their primary, and that it is also very unlikely that he'll lose any delegates there under any scenario, I think Obama should concede MI (agree to a 55-45 delegate split, and if possible, reduce each delegate's vote to 1/2) and remove that uncertainty.

sgifford said...

Hi keryl,

I agree that the DNC rules were very clear. The complicated thing is that the decision was made by state party leadership, with very little consultation with the voters. In fact, talking to people involved with our state party right up until a few weeks before the primary, everybody was saying that there would be caucuses and the primary would be ignored. That's a big reason why Michigan voters didn't get more actively involved early on in getting this fixed.

I also agree that our state party was largely to blame, but I don't think that most voters in November will be interested in parsing exactly which faction of the Democratic party prevented them from voting. I think the perception will be that the Democratic party didn't want their vote in January, why should they have it in November. I'm pretty well-informed about the situation, and even I am uninterested in figuring out exactly who to blame. The bottom line is that it's the responsibility of the party as a whole to compromise on these things, and if they fail to, the party as a whole should expect to suffer the consequences.

It's unfortunate, because it could well cost them the election.

Keryl said...

If Michigan & Florida delegates are seated, and they overturn the election, not only will the party pay a heavy price in lost young and/or independent Obama supporters. The party will never convince them that the process was fair. They also face a future in which every state has their primary in January. BAD.

If they don't seat the delegates that would have overturned the results, then they have disenfranchised those states and pissed off every Clinton supporter, who the party can never convince that the process was fair. ALSO BAD. (although they might still have some control of primary voting dates)

The DNC is praying for the moment those states results won't be material to the outcome. Which won't happen soon unless the SDs rush to Obama, which won't happen until the SDs are confident of the outcome, so it won't happen.

Add to this the Boston Globe article that arch-conservatives are voting in extremely large numbers in the democratic elections to make sure the battle goes on, and the party leadership has to take action.

sgifford said...

Yes, that's exactly right. The Democratic Party is left in a lose-lose situation. The DNC and the Michigan Democratic Party tried to play games with our votes, and those games could well cost them the election.

Amot said...

I think the fair thing here is to play the game in a manner to secure the votes and probably the states for the Democrats. So 50/50 split for MI and accepting the current numbers for FL should do. But they also have to be punished. GOP did it halving the votes - I propose the same for FL and MI. About the supers - they did all that mess and keep making it worse - dont let them vote at all!!! You have pledged delegates sitted and in FL you also have popular vote somehow accepted. In MI anything but 50/50 is unfair since he was not on the ballot. And if the supers get not sitted people all across the country will be pleased with the decision. For Obama it will be little harm - 19 votes net loss (but no loss due to FL and MI supers). For Clinton it is net gain of 19 in a moment when everything seems lost plus she can continue counting FL to the total popular vote and pretend she is winning it. For DNC it is working solution. For the supers it is deserved punihment. As general it is positive PR for the Democrats. Like it? Let's make it written proposal :)

Fulcanelli said...

Regarding Florida and Michigan superdelegates. Will the Credentials Committee have absolute power to make any ruling it likes? Or will it be, in effect, just hearing an appeal alleging that the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee failed to properly apply its Delegate Selection Rules? Well, it seems to me that the latter is the right, because the Rules of Procedure of the Credential Committee say, at Section 4.B.7, that any challenge submitted to the Committee must include “a plain, concise and specific statement of how the challenging party has complied with all applicable laws, rules and regulations and has participated in the delegate selection process.” Now, the issue is that Section 20.C.1.a of the Delegate Selection Rules makes it clear that the minimum sanction to apply in the case of a timing violation is a 50% reduction in pledged delegates and the unseating of all unpledged delegates. The only avenue provided by the rules for a variation of this minimum punishment is where it can be shown that “the state party and the other relevant Democratic party leaders and elected officials took all provable, positive steps and acted in good faith to achieve legislative changes to bring the state law into compliance with the pertinent provisions of these rules and determines that the state party and the other relevant Democratic party leaders and elected officials took all provable, positive steps and acted in good faith in attempting to prevent legislative changes which resulted in state law that fails to comply with the pertinent provisions of these rules…” (Section 20.C.7) Both states will have difficulty with this last requirement, so it seems to me that the best anyone can hope for in Michigan and Florida is an application of that minimum sanction in Section 20.C.1. This would mean that whatever happens, Michigan and Florida superdelegates would not be seated.

Matt said...

Fulcanelli - interesting comment, but from what I've heard the Credentials Committee has absolute power to do anything it wants (subject to approval by the whole convention, of course). Remember, this is politics, and if a deal is made between all sides, it will pass regardless of what the rules say. (I mean, they could probably just pass a rule that overrides the timing rule you quoted).

Fulcanelli said...

Matt – Okay, I’ll concede to your knowledge about the powers of the Credentials Committee. And that said, I suppose I have to agree that if a deal is made between all sides, anything can happen. Yes, all right. But thinking about this further, we can’t lose sight of the fact that the DNC itself is one of those sides, and that it has a long term interest in a strict application of the rules, regardless of what it has the power to do via its Credentials Committee. I mean, if the DNC bends its rules (or changes them), it is surrendering power to candidates. And where will that end? Will state parties in the future apply directly to the candidates if they want to hold an early primary? Will candidates bargain for support in particular states by supporting their proposed rule violations? This would be a big can of worms, and I doubt the DNC wants to open it. Its consistent line is that they want a “solution that's fair and within the rules,” and I suspect it will stick to it.

Matt said...

Fulcanelli- agreed. The DNC will have a big say in this, and they will have a lot of support on the Credentials Committee. But, honestly, I don't think it will get that far. I think a compromise will be struck before the June which essentially gives Clinton a net 20-30 delegates, and essentially says - you have to convince 75% of the remaining supers to support you if you want the nomination. It will be fascinating to watch it play out.

Fulcanelli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amot said...

I agree the Credential Comitee can take any decision about both delegations, but there are rules after all. If the delegations are not punished in a severe manner, next time 20 states will do the same and only chaos will occur! So if the rules state at least 50% reduction and no supers, better stick to that, unless you make a 50/50 split and make the supers pledged too. I still believe supers are to be punished the most. But delegations have to be seated somehow...

Ed Church said...

I live in Tamarac Florida.
The only fair way to both the voters and Senator Obama, is to have a full primary re-vote. Short of a re-vote, the only fair thing for Senator Obama is to not seat our delegates or split the delegates 50/50 and not seat the super delegates as punishment for the early primary.

Fulcanelli said...

Matt - I hope you're right. One thing makes me wonder me though. While Obama says he wants to make sure that Michigan and Florida delegates are seated, he keeps reiterating that will leave the matter to the DNC to resolve. Politically, he's in a bind. On the one hand, he can't be seen to be anything but supportive of Michigan and Florida, but on the other, who wants to take any risks in such a close race? I think he'll want the nomination well in the bag before he even thinks about agreeing to anything, and with 10 races to go and more than 300 superdelegates undeclared, when will he cross that threshold? (Especially as the front-end of the April-May schedule favours Clinton.) Does Obama know more about the state of mind of the undeclared superdelegates than we do? How worried is he about perceived momentum on the part of Clinton after Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia? Does he think a perceived legitimisation of either of the Florida and Michigan elections helps Clinton to argue she's ahead in the popular vote and should get the support of superdelegates that came out early for Obama? Questions, questions. And yes - fascinating.

DocJess said...

So here is my question for those of you who live in Florida and Michigan and STILL want a re-vote:

WHERE WERE YOU last fall when your states ***CHOSE*** to run illegal primaries? Where was the outcry? Where was a SINGLE letter to the editor of any major paper in either state (or nationally) from ANYONE, saying "this is a bad idea"?

How is it that the move-up date legislation in both states had bipartisan support, and Democratic co-sponsors?

I've about had it with the whining.

Michigan and Florida thought they were above the rules, thought they would get more early attention if they broke the rules.

Well, you broke the rules, and you're getting attention.

Had there been ONE PERSON standing up against the rule breach, I'd have some sympathy.

The DNC quietly told State DNC leaders in both states that nat'l would not back down if they went along with the early primaries.

I heard Karen Thurman speak last fall, GLAD about the early primary, and cock-sure that the date didn't matter -- NO ONE would DARE not seat Florida.

Arrogance has its price.

Next time, play by the rules. And if you don't -- quit whining when you lose.

Amot said...

People there (in FL and MI) are not guilty! And we don't have to blame or insult them! What have they done wrong? They believed their state PLs... Is that wrong? NO, it is normal to trust your state PL! DNC is far far away while your leaders are next to you... It would be disaster if we stop believe in our leaders! Of course, no one deserves 100% trust, but you know what DNC has been like in the old days, so when you have the chose - believe your state PLs or believe DNC, 99% chose to believe PLs. FL and MI PLs misled the democrats of the two states! And if a lawsuit has to take place I guess Floridians and Michiganians have to sue their PLs! And those PLs, those supers have not to be seated, only the pledged delegates have to be (1/2 vote each FL and 50/50 MI)! I hope Howard Dean will be the leader he is expected to be and will do exactly that! We have choice here - to punish and teach (and probably give some legal chance for some 4-5 states to have early primaries on rotation basis) or not to punish and create precedent, resulting in total primary anarchy! People have to be represented, supers - NOT!

DocJess said...

Amot --

I actually DO blame the population. I certainly understand that they might not have had an impact, but NO ONE SPOKE UP -- even to write a letter to the newspaper. Or blog on the internet. NOTHING.

Whether or not you speak up when your leaders are wrong is in certain ways more important than whether you win a battle.

If no one stands up, people like Hitler come power. No one stands up, and genocide occurs in Africa, Armenia, Cambodia.

There is likely a picture in your brain of a student with a flower staring down a tank in Tiannamen Square several years ago. He may not have won, but he certainly stood up.

Whether one stands up, or blindly trusts his/her leaders matters as much in a democratic society as it does in a closed one. Maybe more, because there are more options to stand up without ending up dead or in a political prison in an open and free society.

Follow the leader blindly?

Not a chance.

FL and MI would have serious support for a revote had ANYONE objected originally -- they asked for what they got, even after they were warned about what would happen.

Amot said...

I disagree people are to be blamed... Yes, they were told by DNC vote will not count, but they were told by PLs vote will count. It is a crazy idea to run a beauty primary contest so people thought 'Our PLs have something in mind to set the contest January, they should know that votes will count, no matter what Dean is saying'. People liked the idea to have early primary, they were proud to! Have the PLs misled them? Sure! If half FL leaders had stood up and said 'It is wrong' the mess would not happen! Yes, DNC makes strange choices who to vote early and that must be changed! Yes, FL and MI broke the rules and must be punished! Yes, the supers are to blame the most! Yes, people made mistake too! If any state makes the same trick next time - his population is to be blamed! But not this time! People were unaware that DNC can really punish them; there was no precedent... It was like Dad says you are to be punished if you eat the cake, but Mom says: 'Trust me, he will not punish you!'. How many were those that knew rules were broken and it was wrong, I mean how many really knew the rules? And how many of those believed rules couldn't be adapted or overrun? Maybe 20-30 Floridians! I believe some sent e-mails to the press and to the media. But would any FL media dare to go against readers/viewers and deny them the right to vote early if they want so? No!
I don't say voting process was fair. I don't say delegates must be seated according to the results. But polls show people in FL think they had fair contest and they don't want revote. Don't forget this election is all about people. It is arrogance to say 'FL is needed, seat us' but it is partially true. And that is why they must be punished according to the rules but since there was no such precedent, they must not be severely punished. Supers - they knew it was wrong, dont get them seated at all - even splitted, even turned into pledged. About MI - they were conscious there, especially after all but Clinton left the race. No supers for them! And no results accepted. Just seat them 50/50!
After this campaign everyone in the USA knows the rules, and if any state next election cycle try to cheat his population will riot! If rules are not overrun after all...

DocJess said...

Amot, I was reading your reply, and I'm shaking my head as "this is okay" right up to "they must not be severely punished."

Sadly, if their delegates are seated in any way, shape or form, 4 years from now, there will be anarchy.

No punishment -- no crime.

Minor punishment -- no reason to not try to push the limits even more next time, since nothing REALLY bad will happen.

Amot said...

Doc, imagine FL punished with 1/2 or 1/3 vote instead of a full vote per delegate. As I understood the rules state punishment must be at least 50% decrease = 1/2 vote or less. Punishment by 1/2 will make FL no more important than Georgia is, punish them by 1/3 and they will equal to any middle size state delegation! Take away the supers! But seat them... Will FL dare to repeat it? I bet NO! NEVER! Dont forget, RNC punished FL exactly by halving their votes. They knew it, they accepted it, they played not a major role...

sgifford said...

DocJess, here in Michigan everybody with connections to the state party was telling us not to worry about it, we would just have a caucus and ignore the primary. Every piece of coverage I heard in the fall mentioned this. Michigan has often had caucuses, so everybody I talked to believed this, right up until a few weeks before the primary when it became clear nobody was working on this. That is why there was very little outcry beforehand.

If the voters in Michigan made a mistake, it was in trusting that the Democratic Party would do everything in it's power to count our votes. The Michigan Democratic Party and the DNC failed us, and I believe they will regret it in November.

sgifford said...

I left out of my last post: after it became clear that there weren't going to be caucuses, people did start speaking up. I set up, wrote a letter to the editor of my local paper (which was published), and contacted my state legislators, all of the major candidates, the DNC and the Michigan Democratic Party. Other people took their own actions.

Just because a quick Google search doesn't return any hits doesn't mean nobody was doing anything.

Amot said...

Scott, that is exactly my point. And I believe in FL happened much the same thing... I think if in MI they try to repeat that next election you will stand up and speak at the beginning. As a Michiganian what would you propose? 50/50 or something else? And do you think only MI party leaders are to blame or DNC and MI PLs equally?

Annette M said...

To any of you folks who are from Florida -- could one of you give me your input on this?

I wondered if you could clarify something for us non-Floridians, about the primary date being moved up.

I know the Democratic party in Florida had options, but I still wondered whether some things I've recently discovered complicated matters.

I'm including a link and a quote below, which was posted BEFORE the January (against-DNC-rules) primary in Florida took place.

But before I insert that link/quote, I wanted to explain my train-of-thought.

Here's what I'm wondering, the Florida legislature (Republican, from what I understand) moved the date early. They also placed a classic-Republican-type property-tax proposal on the ballot for that primary that would have cut services quite significantly. (I'll cut-and-paste some text below, and links)

Again, I KNOW the Florida Democrat party had an option of holding a separate primary that would have kept within the Democratic National Committee rules.

But I gotta wonder what kind of screws the Republicans put to the Democrats on purpose, what with this proposition ...

(I don't know how legitimate or biased this particular source is, and maybe it's just plain wrong, but here's what they posted BEFORE the January Florida primary at:

QUESTION: "....What about the property tax reform constitutional amendment the Republicans are pushing?"

ANSWER: "In addition to the presidential primary vote, the Republican-controlled Legislature scheduled a ballot question on a constitutional amendment that will force drastic cuts in 2008-09 to local budgets that are already being cut in the upcoming budget. The amendment stands to slash local services like libraries and community centers and cut literally thousands of jobs at the municipal level – including firefighters, police, teachers, and others. While the Party does not generally take official positions on ballot initiatives, it encourages all voters to take a careful and serious look at the impact the cuts will have on their localities before they vote on this initiative."

(end of quote from site)

(NOTE: There was also some similar discussion, which also took place BEFORE that primary, that I had found last week on, after wandering around their site for a while, but now I can't figure out how I found it. Aarrggh.

Drat. And NPR was a source I was relying on. If I find it again, I'll post it if anyone's interested. But same train of thought as that link above.

So, in short, I'm sort of wondering what would have happened to the Democratic voters as far as that proposition went, if the date of their primary WAS moved to satisfy the DNC rules?

Were the Democratic voters expected to show up to vote on both?

Or do you think maybe (possibly?) the Republicans were relying on the Democratic party to move its primary late so the tax proposition, on the earlier "primary" date (the Republican Primary) went through?

Isn't it true that the Republican Primary used to be later?

Or am I being really paranoid and cynical?

Do you think most Democrats would have shown up BOTH days, or ???

(I'm cynical enough to think the Republicans were just sort of playing chicken with the Dem.Party of Florida.)

Well, I'll be interested to see what you say. I'd really like to get some input from someone who was there.

Annette :)

Grandma Linda said...

I'm from Canada and even though I don't understand all the "ins and outs" of the US system, it seems rather clear to me that the candidates knew what was going on from the starting gun. When they each signed their contract NOT to campaign or expect the votes to be counted in Michigan and Florida all of them signed willingly.

I think the problem regarding this has escalated since Hilliary declared herself the "winner" in those states and then promised to do everything possible to seat Michigan and Florida.

As an eligible voter in my constituency, I don't think that I would rush to the polls to vote knowing that the candidates had signed not to count the votes - especially if they weren't all on the ballot. There are likely hundreds who had this mindset and didn't vote in those states.

The question that keeps returning to me is: Is Hilliary's focus really on seating the delegates or is she primarily motivated by gaining delegates and popular vote advantage? If she truly wants the delegates seated than splitting 50/50 should do it?

Secondly, why would this be the fault of Obama? Seems he agreed to the rules (like she did) and followed them. He has stated that he wants the delegates seated. It looks to me like he is taking the position that the one(s) who made the rules need to either enforce or change them.

When I watch leaders like Jimmy Carter being sent to other countries to ensure that elections are fair, it makes me wonder why something like that couldn't occur in the US.

Also, if this is how Hilliary is acting during the nomination process, how would she respect or observe legislation if she becomes President?

Just a few thoughts from north of the border. Really more questions than answers.

sgifford said...


50/50 is not a solution that helps Michigan voters, it only helps party leaders. It is based on the assumption that Michigan voters are too dumb to realize that giving the same number of delegates to both sides has the same net effect as not seating our delegates at all, except that our delegates get their hotel rooms paid for. Either way, we have had no meaningful say in choosing the Democratic nominee.

I want a revote. I've been saying that since this happened in January, and I was foolish enough to get my hopes up about it when some prominent Michigan Democrats started talking about it earlier this week. I spent several hours making phone calls to various party leaders making and advocating this position. Unfortunately it looks like it's not going to happen. It's still possible we could schedule caucuses, but I'm dubious. It has turned into a political game, where supporting a re-vote means supporting Clinton, and supporting caucuses means supporting Obama, and as a result nobody's going to do anything.

I haven't decided how I would feel about all or half of our delegates being seated according to the January election. I felt it was a little unfair to Obama, but after he objected so strenuously to our re-vote I'm a little less sympathetic.

Frankly, I don't think it's going to get solved in a way that's acceptable to me. I'm trying to get prepared mentally to vote Republican for the first time in my life. I wonder if it is illegal or immoral to have a few good stiff drinks before heading to the polls?...

sgifford said...

Dr. Linda,

A few details. First, US parties are essentially private clubs. Then can hold their elections however they want, just like a bowling club or a golf club could. That is why this can happen in a primary election, when it would clearly be unconstitutional in the general election.

You are right that many people stayed home in Michigan, and many others voted in the Republican primary, which is allowed under our state rules. My family is all die-hard Democrats, and every one of us voted in the Republican primary (one of us even voted for Ron Paul!).

Obama is getting some flak over this because he removed his name from the ballot, which makes it impossible to seat our delegates in any meaningful way even if a compromise is reached, and because he has spent the last week preventing a re-vote from happening.

Clinton certainly only became interested in this issue when it was clear it would benefit her. She was quite willing to sign the pledge and did not object when the DNC decided not to count our votes. Nonetheless, I'm glad she is now advocating to find a way to count our votes.

The proposed re-vote in Michigan doesn't change the rules or violate any existing agreements at all. The agreements were not to campaign in our states before our primaries, and the rule all along has been that if we held a new primary after the deadline it would be accepted.

See above for some thoughts about a 50/50 split of delegates. It completely ignores Michigan voters, and at least to me is completely worthless.

DocJess said...

Amot --

The deal is that last summer, the punishment was set. I don't know if you have kids, but if you tell your son/daughter (who is a new driver)what the rules are. Often they involve that when he/she drives, he/she cannot be on a cell phone, cannot be texting, cannot have been drinking, cannot have more than one friend in the car, OR ELSE he/she will lose all driving privileges for one year.

Sound harsh? I'm sure it does to a high schooler.


If there is an infraction and you say "W-e-l-l, THIS time I'll only take your license for a week" -- the kid learns nothing, and your word holds no weight.

I had a friend who had those rules. Who back-peddled after his son got caught with three friends and beer in the car, at age 16. But, he reasoned,boys will be boys, a minor punishment is better than nothing. And besides, he was a nice dad.

That first time, it was just a fluke that caught him -- the father happened to run into the son at the local convenience store.

The next time, the son was drunk, the accident was bad, and thankfully no one was killed.

Still sound harsh?

Seemingly extreme rules are often made for a reason.

Florida and Michigan knew the cost in advance.

And in case you don't know -- Florida is the only Democratic delegation which often comes out publicly IN FAVOR of Republican candidates in districts other than their own.

Amot said...

Scott, I agree seating MI 50/50 means nothing. I also agree re-vote is the fairest thing possible. I disagree if you are not able to vote, because you voted in the Republican primary. I disagree it must be closed primary. I disagree it gets funded by 10 private Hillary backers. I think Obama has no real choice here and it is a lose-lose option for him, because if it is closed and those like you are not allowed to vote he will lose by 10%; if it is only closed he will lose by 5-6%; if it is open he will still lose by 5-6% or even more (Republicans will go there and vote for Hillary in big numbers). Only partially fair option is if you make a primary open to Dems and Inds with no consideration of the previous vote. But Hillary will definetely oppose that because she can lose it. She will opose caucus too at the moment when it is the last chance. They both have a point... But real revote is impossible - real means having meaningfull Republicans primary at the same time, so nobody cross the line only to mess up like in Ohio, Texas and Miss. So, I believe re-vote will not happen... If that is the case, what would be the option to get MI Dems fairly seated and not go vote Republican in November?

Doc, you made a case, except that it is not the same like the real situation is. FL Dems didn't know rules are really necessary to follow. Actually they were told rules can be changed, adapted, overrun by their leaders. If you can give me an example those rules were applied somewhen in the past, I will agree they knew rules must be followed. But as far as I know those rules were never applied, so people thought it was more guideline than law... I don't care much about FL, I believe they are McCain country no matter what we do from now on. But if I go by that opinion I will be the arrogant myself...

DocJess said...

Amot --

Karen Thurman knew the rules. She knew because Howard Dean sat her down and TOLD HER that the rules would be applied.

The reason that the rules were never "applied" before is because no one ever broke them before.

When I heard her speak publicly about it, she even said that she knew the rules, but it didn't matter because the DNC wouldn't stick to their guns, because "We are Florida".


For now though -- the numbers issue is such that even if the current votes stand, Hillary cannot overtake Obama's popular vote lead.

Further, will Richardson coming out this morning for Obama, it's likely the start of the paradigm shift of undeclared supers....if he's followed soon by Carter or Gore, it's over. Now, I realize that won't happen -- but I could see Obama closing Hillary's lead to about 20 by the end of next week.

If it turns out that Maura Harty intentionally didn't turn over the State security breach to the Inspector General, it's over that moment for the Clintons -- as she was appointed ambassador to Paraguay BY Clinton in the late '90s. And she was the person in charge when the January and February breaches occurred.

Keryl said...

The challenge here is for the DNC to find a way to count the MI/FL delegates without them being the DECIDING factor in the race. That doesn't mean it has to be 50/50. The Clinton camp will claim them as victories and move forward with their "we won all the big states" approach to getting superdelegates to side with them. I think as soon as it's mathematically pretty certain that delegate count won't influence the race even if the uncommitted are counted, you'll see the DNC seat the delegates, moving the 55 uncommitted MI delegates to Obama. I also think the SuperDs in those states could band together and give their votes for Obama to address any "unfairness in the process", letting the popular vote stand. Of course this won't happen because the people aren't really concerned with getting the delegates seated as much as they are concerned with getting their candidate big enough margins to WIN.

Amot said...

DNC will decide how to seat FL and MI after PA votes or even later if HRC wins big there. If she is close to draw it is all over. So we do not have to argue for the next 30 days and only wait. My math models show Obama needs 110more supers to win it. He has 10-15 supers of his own that were waiting to come out just before PA. And there is the group of 50 that was ready to come out if he has won March 4th. I wonder is Bill Richardson one of the 50 and if that is the beginning of the end for Hillary. We have to closely watch Gore and Pelosi in the next few days. After the weekend the result will be visible. Now her super's lead is 35. If he has the lead at the end of the next week - that's it. I think both campaigns kept their supers to make a major strike with dozens coming out together. Obama can possibly strike this weekend. And we can also see 2 or 3 out of the NM supers moving from Clinton's camp toward his... Why now? Easy answer - Clinton is going to pay for MI and FL revote out of her own money (or her best friends). If Obama strikes now when revotes seem 99% unlikely to happen what is left for her... to convince 250 out of 300 supers left? Impossible!

sgifford said...

Amot - I agree, there aren't any perfect options left. There really isn't a good way to let just Democrats and Independents vote; we have always had open primaries here, so people generally don't have a declared party affiliation. Of the bad options left, the least bad are now a mail-in primary and caucuses. I frankly don't care about the details, as long as they're basically fair. Even if I don't get to vote because I crossed over to vote in the Republican primary it's still fair enough; as you mention, I did vote once, although not in the way I would have liked. I agree that Obama had some legitimate objections to the re-vote plan, but then he should have counter-proposed his own plan.

keryl - Michigan voters will not be so easily fooled. Seating our delegates in a completely meaningless way will not be any more satisfying than not seating them at all, to me at least.

DocJess, your parental metaphor is weak (and insulting, but I'll let that pass). The voters of Michigan are not children and the DNC is not our loving-but-firm parent. A better metaphor would be a boss and employees. If the boss made rules that punished all employees in the Michigan branch office for the actions of a small group of leaders in that office, and the punishment was that they would not be allowed to vote (eg would have to work a 12-hour shift on primary election day), many people would start looking to jump ship. Especially if the company down the street was actively recruiting. Now you can say that that boss was just being a loving-but-firm parent if you want, but don't be surprised if his company has a hard time thriving in Michigan during the big sales event in November...

The bottom line is that a fair democratic process requires "one person, one vote". If the Democratic primary ignores Florida and Michigan, it will not be a democratic process, and I will not support the nominee.

DocJess said...

Scott --

Your criticism of my analogy is valid. Apologies.

But I question your commitment to not voting in November to "punish back".

Question 1: **IF** on June 4th Obama has the popular vote count and the pledged vote count, and that lead holds EVEN IF the existing MI/FL were to be counted -does it matter enough to you?

Question 2: If by staying home (or voting for Ralph Nader) you and your ilk cause John McBush to be the next president -- will you feel that standing on principle won you anything?

When the economy further sours, there is no more employer-sponsored health insurance and no one with a pre-existing condition can get coverage, when we attack Iran and then are fighting in 3 countries, and when we fall still further behind compared to the rest of the world, THEN Scott, will you feel that it was worth it to abandon the Democratic party?

Amot said...

Scott, it's politics after all. Obama will propose caucus when no other options are left and we will see if Hillary will dare to stand against it. I think he is postponing the revote decision just to prevent Hillary saying she still has a chance. I dont like it, but that's how he should act to end the suicidal fight in the party. I think that the big supers have to decide the battle for him now, actually I think they had to do it 2 weeks ago. If it is over no one will object any re-do in FL and MI. It is unfair to you and your state, but I guess decision about re-vote will be taken end of April and the only option left will be June 10th caucus...

Doc, if I was Michiganian or Floridian I would not vote McCain for sure, but I think I wouldn't vote Obama either if I was Clintonian... Maybe Nader... But if I like Obama and he is the nominee I wouldn't care if my vote was taken on the primary stage. If we lose 1 ot of 4 or more Clintonians, we lose MI. That is why revote is a must. And caucus will do only half the job because many Clintonians will object it was not fair to her... Good thing is that McCain goes in the role of John McBush without any help from the Dems so far and that role means he will be the loser...

Finally, I still think the game will be over in the week to come!

DocJess said...

And while we fiddle...Time has an interesting article on the fallout if they don't find some way to seat the delegates since no re-vote.,8599,1724374,00.html

DocJess said...

It seems the link didn't carry properly...

that's the whole link....

Amot said...

Doc, that is what I read in Time's article: 'New Hampshire, also broke newly established party rules last year by defensively moving its own primary to an earlier date — and the DNC allowed it.'
Now, do you still insist that Floridians knew they will be punished for doing the same?
Sorry to start that again but it seems DNC has part af the fault after all...

sgifford said...

Those are fair questions, DocJess, and I have to admit I haven't entirely figured out the answers to them. It certainly seems painful to vote for a Republican when we need decent leadership so badly. On the other hand, I genuinely feel that letting the DNC get away with this with no consequences weakens our democracy, takes us a step backwards towards the days when nominees were selected in smoky back rooms by the party elite.

Back before this primary actually happened, when I was doing what I could to lobby against it, I told the DNC, the MDP, and my state legislators I would not vote for any Democrats if they didn't fix this; lobbying for the revote I made the same pledge to Sen. Levin, Rep. Kilpatrick, and our Governor's office. I don't really feel like I can go back on my pledge, any more than Clinton or Obama felt they could go back on their pledge not to campaign in Michigan.

I think that if the Democrats lose Michigan, they will think twice before trying these shenanigans again. I think the democratic process is more important than any one set of policies. So I think that I am willing to take 4 years of bad policies to avoid weakening our democracy.

But I have to admit that I hope the Democratic nominee does well in all the other states...

sgifford said...

I should correct that, I meant I don't feel I can simply let the Democratic Party as a whole get away with this, not just the DNC. I realize it was not just the DNC, or even primarily the DNC, that caused this problem.

Amot said...

I wonder does Hillary really wants a revote in MI and FL?
Three main reasons:
- she is broke; successfull campaigns in MI and FL need at least $10M, and those are $10M more than she has now
- she lost Bill Richardson as ally,and he didn't stay neutral either
- recent polls say her voters are less motivated to vote second time than his voters are.

We know that in MI contest will be very close and she can actually lose it; now when he got Bill Richardson's endorsement it will be very close in FL too. So her best case it to say the results from January primaries are valid, that she wants revote, but Obama spoils it. Otherwise what? Let say she will spend $10M she doesn't have and will win both states with 20 delegates net gain and 200 000 popolar votes more. Well, it means she will most probably lose the popular vote overall. Bad situation. Her only case will be she won the primaries or the big states and those are the only states that matter. But she needs some small and medium-size states too. So that case will make her unelectable. Not to mention that out of the big states the only state McCain can win against Obama and lose against her is Ohio. Meanwhile there are half dozen states he will win and she can not!
Finally, I believe she does not want a revote anymore. She can't afford it, she can't profit out of it, she is not sure she will win it... That is why she will secretly oppose to a revote and continue blaming Obama that he is the one to stop it. Actually I believe she did that in MI this week!

DocJess said...

Amot --

I believe, but I have to source it, that there is a NH law which says they have the first primary. My memory says they have held the first primary since 1920, but I can't be positive. I'm not saying that's right, I'm just saying it is codified, and I believe they updated the law in the past 15 - 20 years.

The US Constitution, again, gives them that obligation -- to set their dates. The party rules fall under Article 1 and the state chooses to honor the DNC requirements or not.

Scott --

AH SCOTT!!!! One of the great Democrat dilemmas -- stick with principle and screw the party, or screw the principles and win.....

The Republicans rarely punish us as well as we punish ourselves. (The exception being Karl Rove and the 14-state program in 2004 -- if only he'd use his powers for good instead of evil....)

What you basically are saying is that you would rather see McBush in office than ANY Democrat. More war, a continued bad economy, more jobs overseas, failing education programs, etc. JUST TO PUNISH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

I just plain don't know what to say.

S.K. said...

It will go to the floor and they will be seated as is.

There should be no redo's now that one campaign has vetoed them and honestly there is no reason for the other campaign to compromise.

It should go to the floor and if Obama thinks they shouldnt be seated after rejecting redo's, then he should have to explain himself to all democrats and the American people.

He can't win without MI and Fl. They will be seated as is.

Amot said...

Doc, Iowa and NH have laws that require them to vote early. It is a little bit unfair but I don't object that. I mean DNC decided this year to have one more caucus and one more primary January. Maybe if they decide to have 2 primaries and 1 caucus January on rotation basis (plus Iowa and NH) and they make a draw between all states willing to vote early, and they make a schedule for the next let's say 5 elections, it will be O.K.
Big states are usually not allowed to vote early so if DNC add a primary for a big state January they can solve the problem for good.

s.b. first he can win without MI and FL, second they will not be seated as is, or full anarchy will follow, third, if they are seated as is how will the people in the other states feel about that? I mean in Colorado for example they wanted early vote, but they followed the rules, is it fair they get the same treatment as someone who cheated (FL and MI)?

sgifford said...

DocJess - Believe me, I know it's not ideal. Deciding which principles you're willing to compromise on is always a difficult decision. I don't think I'm willing to compromise on supporting a party that doesn't select its nominee democratically, or that thinks that a democratic process doesn't require one person, one vote.

In this case it's a little easier, since the DNC also took a stand on principle. If I agree with the DNC that it's important to put your foot down before the primary situation gets out of hand, then I should also put my foot down before disenfranchisement of states becomes rampant. If I disagree with taking a stand on principle, then the DNC is ignoring votes arbitrarily, which is even more dangerous. If I agree with the candidates that they are right to keep their pledge not to campaign in our state, then I should also keep my pledge not to support the Democratic Party unless they fix our primary. If I don't agree that keeping one's word is important, then the candidates are just ignoring my state out of political convenience, which is even worse.

So philosophically I'm in pretty good shape, but of course real life is more complicated. :-)

That's why I was hoping so badly for a primary revote, or at least some kind of compromise that would make me feel comfortable supporting the Democrats.

Unfortunately people from outside our state don't seem to understand how angry some of us are, and that we are not willing to look past being disenfranchised for the good of a party that doesn't want our votes.

Amot said...

Scott, it has never been 'one person, one vote' in the Democratic party. You know that in some states they receive as much as 30% bonus in delegates for voting late. Halving the votes in MI and FL is not so odd. Imagine each state was having one vote only (like they have in some procedures). This run would be over a month ago!
I guess you know FL and MI will be seated. You are angry that they will be seated after it is over. I mean at the end of April or at May 6th it will be over and after that a decision will be taken. For the good of the nation both delegations will be seating as is. Probably! With some % deduction for breaking the rules. I think that decision is already taken and they just wait before announcing it! You better pray she gives up at some point. If the fight prolongs to the end of the primary season, and it is somehow close (though I can't imagine how it can be close), the MI and FL problem will be even bloodier. She has a small advantage among supers from both states, so if it goes that far they will be fighting how to seat both pledged and unpledged delegates.

Scott, if it was up to me I would seat both delegations as is with half vote each (to be honest I would not seat the supers at all). I know revote was the fairest thing, but state parties dont have the money, and DNC can't spend $25M of their money (actually they are short of cash). I know you are angry, I understand you feel bad about your vote is not wanted...
MI and Fl delegations will be seated. Now tell me are you angry 'cause your vote won't chose the nominee? Do you know how many people in how many states had the same feeling in the previous elections? Should they not vote for Democrats because of that? You will probably argue that if someone decided to vote late it is his fault. But who was the one, taking that decision? THE STATE PARTIES! They constantly make the primaries in many states obsolete! In this case your state party took a decision to hold beauty contest. Blame them! I believe Obama and DNC will reach fair agreement about seating delegations. I know media wants a long battle, GOP wants it, Clintonites want it. Let's be honest - fight was over March 4th. HRC has less than 5% to steal the nomination and 0% chance to win the presidency. I am sorry this fight is not over. Huckabee did the same...
Scott, I apologize your vote is used as hostage. I apologize you didn't vote in the beauty contest. I apologize on behalf of your party leaders, DNC and both campaigns for playing games with your vote and right to vote. And I only ask you - please, be patient!

DocJess said...

Scott --

I agree with Amot that I'm sorry your voting process is held hostage, and that you didn't get to vote. I really am.

That said -- I live in Pennsylvania, a state which has never had a primary which mattered. There was a movement afoot to move up our primary date, which failed, mostly due to inaction, and an obscure regulation which relates to school funding, and a feeling that it was unfair to make the school districts have to have their budgets done by January for the following school year beginning in September.

This year, we have ads, and candidates, and surrogates.

We only "matter" for the same reason that you in Michigan do "matter" -- because the race is so close.

But I'm looking ahead to AFTER the convention. Theoretically, we will have a candidate. The numbers say that will be Obama. (Although I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary ran as an independent.) If you want to see my full explanations of how I think things are going -- click on my name at the top of the post and go over to the blog link.

Then we make the decision of whether we want the Democratic candidate or John McBush to be the next president.

If the nomination is stolen from Obama by the SuperDelegates, in my personal opinion, ALL the popular votes have been stolen and co-opted. I say this with the surety that Obama will walk into Denver with a lead of a minimum of 500,000.

And if so, then I am in your position. My vote will not have counted. For me, the decision is whether to distastefully write that $2300 check to the Clintons, and go work for the campaign. No matter how distasteful, I'm going to find a way to vote for the Clintons because I will not condone a third Bush administration, one even worse if you look at McCain's lobbyist ties, desire to invade Iran, and the fact that while Bush is intellectually limited, McCain is smart but doddering with old age.

I will pull the lever knowing full well that Clinton will lose -- people like you will stay home on the "my vote didn't count" principle. All the young/new voters will stay home because they figure that the system is completely corrupt. A lot of blacks will stay home because they feel that their only chance was stolen by insider whites, again.

I knew Kerry would lose the general the Sunday before the Michigan primary in 2004 when I read a quote from a Michigan voter which said that although he was an unemployed auto worker who would probably never work again, saddened that his children and grandchildren had left the state because there was nothing left for them in Michigan, he was STILL voting for Bush because he didn't want anyone to be president who'd allow two gays (and he used a derogative term) to legally be allowed to have sex. (He used another bad word.)

He's the kind of voter I'm going to have to work against no matter who wins the nomination -- stupid, backward, racist, anti-gay, misogynistic, "entitled" and angry. And he votes.

I shouldn't have to work against people like you who are smart, articulate, thoughtful and (I assume) a reader. I shouldn't have to waste my time convincing people like you TO vote, and to vote to get the current administration OUT. I shouldn't have to spend time explaining how wrong the war is, how much the banking system needs regulation not bail-out, how much we need health care reform.

So Scott, I understand your position. I truly feel for, sympathize and empathize with your position.

But at least consider your anger -- and when you do, think of my nephews and my g-dchildren -- one more war front, and there will be a draft. They range in age from 15 - 19, and I don't want them to die young. And think of my 12 year old daughter, who is as bright as any 4 year old, but will never get any smarter than that. She's lucky, I have health insurance. McCain gets in and gets his health care package passed, and she won't.

THINK Scott -- in November your "Non Vote" will count as much AS a vote. And then we all lose.

sgifford said...

Amot - If the DNC decides to seat our delegation in some kind of meaningful way (like seating half of our delegates as-voted with uncommitted votes going to Obama) I will take a look at what they do and consider supporting the Democrats again. I agree that many states votes don't count very much because of timing, but voting too late is different from being systematically disenfranchised as punishment. It's the difference between showing up 5 minutes before the polls close and being told the vote is decided so you might as well not bother, and being told that you will not be allowed to vote because you've been naughty while the poll worker tears your ballot up in front of you.

DocJess - My vote isn't that significant in this, it's the mass of other voters who feel the same way I do but aren't in this forum right now debating it. Even if you managed to convince me in this forum, the opinions of the great majority of angry voters will not be affected, or even see your positions.

There is still time for a solution. Use your voice and your blog to advocate for solving this problem in a way that won't anger the many thousands of Michigan voters just like me who will not vote for a party in the general that does not want our votes in the primary. Call the DNC and tell them this is not acceptable. Tell them about your grandkids and the draft, and about the future of our country. Tell them how their boneheadedness is going to cost them the election.

And stop saying that we deserve it, and that nobody is standing up. This is what standing up looks like, and the results of it will not be pretty.

DocJess said...

Scott --

This netroots thing is interesting. ALL I know about you is that you live in Michigan. I feel your anger, and I see you standing up. I assume you are also rallying people around you, speaking to the local press,and writing around the internet.

I personally RESPECT "standing up" in a HUGE way you could not understand, exclusively since you do not know me any better than I know you.

You would like me to join your fight, and I cannot.

I have considered, through your writings, what your point is. You believe that your anger at the State of Michigan for scheduling a "date-wrong" primary, lacking the names of all the candidates is justified. You are angry at the DNC for not doing exactly what they said they would do, with the understanding of the Michigan delegation that this would be the price. You are angry at Democrats like me for supporting our party and the decision of the organization.

When I started college, there was a war on, abortion was illegal, the drinking age was 18, the voting age was 21, and Nixon was opening mail and listening to our phone calls. (You could always hear the clicks).

Never insinuate that I do not know what it is to stand up.

I do not stand up with you, because I believe that while you may be correct that the lack of Michigan votes may cost the Democrats the election, you folks are biting off your nose to spite your face. (I exclude Florida because we cannot win it even if we seat their delegates.)

I am not naive enough to believe that what you are saying is untrue -- I think there WILL be backlash.

There are consequences for every action.

I will remember you in two years, when I am at the anti-Iran war protests, and the "legalize abortion" rallies, and writing checks to the ACLU, the Sierra Club, and everyone else fighting to restore civil rights, and environmental causes, and everything else I've been fight for these many decades.

I will remember you when my gay friends are back in the closet for fear of losing their jobs.

We used to argue amoungst ourselves about whether to change the system from within, or from the outside. Back under Nixon. Strategic decisions.

NEVER did we consider using our anger against our cause.

I guess, though, Scott, your cause is to punish the country and elect McBush. Just remember, your actions also have consequences.

Amot said...

Doc, maybe it is a generation thing. I feel the same way Scott does and I believe many voters from both camps are like us. You are saying that we must act for the good of the nation. Did DNC act for the good of the nation? I mean 5 days after March 4th DNC should state: A) you don't vote and you get 1/2 as is; B) you revote and new results count. That would be the adequate decision, maybe not the fairest but tell me, about seating as is, what difference does it make when exactly decision is taken? Circumstances won't change so they should know by now how the delegations will be seated if no revote occurs! And you both say it must be done in a manner no voters are lost for the Dems and the rules are applied! Math is clear - Obama will be the nominee, so decision must be taken in order to please HRC's voters! The 1/2 vote is the best decision to do that and it had to be taken and announced by now, before the contest is over!

Scott, I am glad I am not in your shoes. Only once in my lifetime I voted for candidate I don't like because I didn't like the other candidate at all and I knew he is a bad choice.

The only reason I think 1/2 vote decision is not pronounced yet is because HRC will use it to make her case it is not over yet and fight until June or until August :(

DocJess said...

Amot --

There is a huge difference between what an individual does, and what an organized group does.

There is no such thing as "group conscience" -- but hopefully each individual has a conscience.

The difference is legion.

sgifford said...

DocJess - That is right, we don't know each other except through this forum, which is too bad because I think this would be an interesting discussion to have in person. If you're ever near Flint, drop me a note and we can meet for coffee. :-)

I didn't intend to imply that you were unwilling to stand up at all. I'm sure you are for issues that are important to you, and I don't expect people outside of Michigan and Florida to spend a lot of time lobbying for these issues. On the other hand, in an earlier post you mentioned that you were going to be spending your fall trying to convince voters like me to support the Democrats despite our treatment in the primary. It might be more effective to spend that time now trying to convince the DNC to back down on this, so that the Democratic Party has allies instead of adversaries in our states for the big battle that will start in a few months.

This backlash is entirely predictable, and should have been foreseen by the DNC when they threatened such harsh sanctions against our states. If you are thinking of me two years from now while protesting McCain's presidency, I hope you will also think of Howard Dean, the DNC that supported him, the candidates that took their names off of our ballot, and the many other party members who sat by and let this happen.

Obviously my goal is not to punish the country, any more than the DNC's or MDP's goal was to punish the country when they started this mess. My primary goal is to convince the DNC to back down on this, but if that proves impossible, at least I hope to do what I can to make sure this doesn't happen again. I think that if the Democrats lose Michigan and Florida, Dean will step down, and playing games with who gets to vote will be off the table, at least for awhile. Either way, I think that forcing the Democratic party to re-commit to the democratic process will strengthen the party in the long run.

Amot - I certainly wish I weren't in my shoes. Hopefully you're right, the DNC will come to a compromise quickly, and we can be done with this mess.

DocJess said...

Scott --

I'll take you up on that cup of coffee (black, 2 sugars, 1 ice cube) the next time I'm in Flint. Come to Valley Forge, and the coffee's on me.

And I WILL be going after voters like you when this mess is over - for now, my politicking is local. (I'm a true fan of Tip O'Neill). The last 3 weeks have been non-stop voter registration drives. The next 28 days are all GOTV all the time -- I live in PA, I'm a partisan with an opinion, and my personal goal is to hold the Clintons to a 12 point win.

But I'll consider your position between politicking in the evenings and weekends, and working a full time job.

If you want to discuss coffee -- docjess at msn dot com.

Keryl said...

Michigan rep proposes new plan to count Michigan votes: Interesting...

From CNN Political Ticker:
"In a proposal sent to Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Stupak proposed allotting 83 of Michigan's pledged delegates based on the January vote, while the state's remaining pledged delegates and superdelegates — 73 total — are to be awarded based on the nationwide vote."

Amot said...

This will not work! The proposal is that PLEO's, at-large and supers are seated "based on the percentage of the popular vote each gets nationwide after the last primary in June"... Clinton will oppose that supers are included in that number, because she has much better positions with them than Obama has. And both will never come to an agreement of what counts toward nationwide popular vote. We have several caucuses not reported popular vote, we have a states with beauty contest primary and a causus, we have Florida and finally, is Michigan itself counted toward nationwide? They can't use pledged numbers too because that will not be clear until all state conventions are over. If it was up to me I would propose they use popular vote quota assigned to each state and the respective percentage for both candidates.
Let me explain with numbers:
In 2004 California cast 6,745,485 votes for John Kerry out of 59,028,111 nationwide. That means California weights 11,43% of Dems vote. Now we have to apply this number to the primary results for HRC and BHO. She got 2,524,799 votes, he got 2,093,318. We ignore the other candidates and the uncommited vote and apply simple proportion. She gets 6,25% of Dems vote nationwide, he gets 5,18% of it. We repeat the procedure for all other states. If there was a caucus and no popular vote was announced we apply the result to the number of delegates on tier I.
This method works fine to determine the weight of two (or more) candidates. Of course it can be balanced as DNC has done it adding more modifiers (for example 3 last USA president elections) and also assigning portion of the whole to DC, PR, Guam, American Samoa, US Virgin islands and DA.
That is not popular vote it is weighted vote. It doesnt care of turnout, of pledged delegates of bonus delegates, of supers, of early and late contests! Actually if I have time during next few days I can make the numbers for all states that have voted so far. It will be fun to see what the result will be!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TravelerDiogenes said...

Wow -

I live in IL. I have been reading these comments after finally getting interested though to find out what is going to happen to the FL and MI delegates. I don't pretend to know about the rules, except what I've read in the last few days. Josiah Lee Auspitz at has a lot to say on all this. He is touted as a total geekoid on the rules.

He says that the FL PLs were caught between the DNC's rules and the GOP-led state legislature's setting of the primary date. There is enough info in the comments here to back that up as a reasonable reading of what has happened and gotten us to this impasse.

DocJess's black-and-white reading of the whole thing seems completely un-constructive. He blames the people of the states of MI and FL for it all, and that they should get what's coming to them - which in his mind is 0% representation, which is only ONE of the options that was available to the DNC, and the most severe. The DNC COULD have opted for 50% and the unseating of the FL and MI SDs.

I can tell you all one thing: If this happened in IL, the people of the state would tell the Democratic Party to go fly a freaking kite, in November and on into the next few decades. This is one of those issues that could have repercussions for a VERY long time.

It seems the people of FL and MI were basically not really made aware of this conflict, and that 99% of them had no clue they were in danger of losing their representation at the Democratic Convention. And, even if they hada known, the chances of the DNC listening to the people in the streets was - and DocJess knows this as well as any of us - ZERO. If they had listened to the people in the streets, Bush would not have been handed the power he currently claims to have. The people have wanted the Dems in Congress to stand up to Bush, and at nearly every turn the Dems in Congress have caved in. So, the DNC has a total history of NOT listening to the people. had the people stood up, written letters to the editors, etc., as DocJess advocates, it would have only resulted in the will of the people being ignored - AGAIN.

The absolute STUPIDEST thing the DNC could do at the convention is to not seat ANY of he MI and FL pledged delegates. Alienating a state that is NEEDED in November (FL) is cutting off your nose to spite your face. And alienating another which has not always been in your corner, but has been recently been (MI), is utterly insane and short-sighted. There are other elections besides this one...

DocJess is locked into "THESE ARE THE RULES AND SCREW YOU FOR BEING CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE", and he may represent some insane group of loud people, but he doesn't represent the people across the nation. If the DNC decides to completely disenfranchise the voters of MI and FL, as DocJess advocates and which at this time seems the way it will go, then the DNC is BRAIN DEAD.

All of the people in the other states have long wondered why NH and Iowa, lily-white states with very low populations should get to weed out the candidates before the REAL states, THE STATES WITH THE MOST DEMOCRATIC, LEFT-LEANING VOTERS, get to vote on our candidates.

MI and FL should be applauded for challenging the stupid DNC rules about early primaries. The high and mighty DNC has shown over the last 7 years that they are a bunch of wimps who cave to the GOP on nearly every issue - and AGAINST the will of the people in the streets. And DocJess wants us all to cave to the will of the wimps. How much sense does that make? These are the same people that let Bush blow off the whole U.S. constitution, and he wants them to strictly follow the rules as they apply to THIS? Where have they been for the last 7 years!!!???

People! There is a consensus among the people FOR THIS MOMENT IN TIME that will not always be there! That consensus is THROW OUT THE GOP BEFORE THEY COMPLETELY RUIN THE UNITED STATES. The BEST thing FOR THE GOP is for the DNC to disenfranchise voters and pit Democrat against Democrat. How smart is THAT?

Following rules blindly is the stupidest thing the DNC could do at this time.

I can't believe that the DNC and the party faithful could be so dumb as to fall all over themselves giving this on a golden platter to the GOP. What a bunch of dumb decisions and WEENYING non-decisions the DNC is making right now. They are all on their knees praying, hoping against hope, that Obama will get enough votes to make all this moot. Instead of DOING something about it, they are taking a wait-and-see attitude.

And they are bad-mouthing - SAVAGING, really - HC because she is following her best judgment and staying the course. That is right, tear down one of your own, to the benefit of the enemy.


(P.S. to DocJess: Would you be hollering "Rules, rules, rules!", if it was HC on top right now?)

TravelerDiogenes said...

On the subject of giving Obama 55 delegates from MI:

It is a far more complicated issue than just "give Barack every vote Hillary didn't get"

There is NO reason to believe that all of the "Uncommitted" votes would have gone for Obama, and he should not be awarded them all.

At that time, John Edwards was in the race, and he would have pulled at LEAST 15% of the vote, if not 25%. Edwards got 30% in Iowa and 17% in NH. He was still many people's FIRST choice.

(In some European countries, they vote for their top THREE picks, and those 2nd and 3rd picks do factor into deciding winners, frequently - and without runoff elections.)

Obama got 54% of the non-HC vote in IA, and he got 59% of the non-HC vote in NH. By simple averaging of percents, that averages 56.5%. By raw votes (IA was a caucus state), BO got 61% of the non-HC votes.

HC got 46% of the non-BO vote in IA, and got 61% of the non-BO vote in NH. By simple averaging of percents, that averages 53.5%. By raw votes (IA was a caucus state), HC got 63% of the non-BO votes.

Obama being handed 100% of the non-HC vote in MI would never be accepted by the HC people, if they have any say in the matter - and they just might. She still has over 50% of the SDs according to current numbers. If the SDs are the inner core of the DNC, she does have some say.

It appears that Obama would have gotten something like 61% of the non-HC vote in MI. That only comes to 33 delegates out of the 55. If the MI pledged delegates are apportioned 1/2 votes each, then that factors into its effect, too.

That leaves 22 MI delegates un-assigned. Does one just drop them? Or does one apportion them based on BO:HC ratios in the two earlier states, when all the candidates were running - before they started dropping out? If so, BO would get 11 votes each, since HC got 51.03% of their combined votes in IA and NH.

So, rather than giving BO 55 votes, he would get 44, and HC would get 11.

Remember, SOME of the John Edwards votes would have gone to HC, had he not been in the race. Not all would have gone to BO.

Would MORE have gone to Obama, had his name been on the ballot? Though possible, maybe even probable, it should not be taken for granted. John Edwards was a considerable presence in the primaries at the time. I think this way of thinking is probably about as fair as anyone is likely to come up with.

...This is only one perspective on how to apportion the delegates 'fairly', according to what actually was happening in primaries at that time. It is clear that Obama would not have gotten 100% of the non-HC votes. Therefore, he should not have those delegates just HANDED to him.

It is also likely that, if Obama and Edwards were in the race, that a whole lot more voters would have turned out and the results could have been substantially different. It could have gone more to Obama, but given HC's record in large industrial states, it is entirely possible that HC would have prevailed by a more definitive margin.

The DNC and the state parties did the Democratic voters no favors by handling things in the manner that they did.

DocJess said...

Treveler --

YES -- I would -- Democrats were completely complicit in setting the dates when they did.

I will get you source citations, but am just getting out of the hospital from a bout of salmonella, and don't have my "sea legs".

Had the Democrats in either state fought the dates, I'd have true sympathy and they'd have my support. But they didn't.

My concern is the ability of the DNC to enforce future rules.

It looks like it won't matter though -- as the committee seating are set.

And by the way -- is that sexism on your part that assumes that "Doc" would be a guy? Sorry, doll, "Jess" is for "Jessica"......

Will have my sources up by evening, I hope.

Amot said...

Traveller, why don't you attack me? I am pro-Obama, I share Doc's belief rules are to be followed and I think you are much more black-white person than she is! Doc is really big fan of the rules, but so far she had only said that you can't seat FL and MI as is, even if the race is over. If you want to protest the rules you don't first break them!
About your numbers - I totally agree that in MI at least 1/3 of the uncommited were Edwards. That is what numbers are! Would be great if you handled logic with the same proficiency!
As I like to say - I believe in the Trinity - rules, numbers and logic!
In the case of FL rules say punishment is needed, numbers say the vote results are pretty close to what they would be in case of revote and that Floridians think they had fair election. Logic says FL Dems are guilty, but the initiative to vote early came from GOP, so 50% punishment is the best decision (BTW rules say 50% is the minimum possible). I think FL supers must have half vote too, since they didn't oppose the early date (numbers say 2 Republicans voted against and no Democrat did).
About MI - I can claim that MI uncommitted were not those voting for Edwards and Obama, but those that said "we don't want Hillary"! And you can't prove I am wrong! More numbers - recent polls say that if there is a revote she will win with less than 5% if wins at all! MI Dems moved the date alone in full conscience it is wrong. If it is up to me I would punish MI the worst - no supers at all and 50/50 split delegation, each of them half vote. But I am reasonable and I think that in a guesture of good will Obama can agree to half vote each and uncommitted going his way. But this is not a fair seating. One more thing numbers say - MI Dems are divided in their opinion about having fair election - guess whose supporters think it was fair!
Look, I like the numbers, but you have to count all the numbers! And if you add some logic and reason, you may find a fair decision!!!

Doc, get well soon!

Keryl said...

I predict FL and MI will be welcomed with open arms. As it is quickly becoming clear, that even though a real election their might have been more fair, even the flawed elections will not change the outcome of the race.

TravelerDiogenes said...

Amot said: "Traveller, why don't you attack me? I am pro-Obama, I share Doc's belief rules are to be followed and I think you are much more black-white person than she is!"

???? DocJes posted this on Mar 20, at 11:07am: "I actually DO blame the population." And this, "Next time, play by the rules. And if you don't -- quit whining when you lose."

Now THAT is black and white: Follow the rules EXACTLY, or tough luck. How is that not black and white?

And in almost every comment DocJess posted in March of the several I got to before I felt I had to comment, she (yes, DJ, I assumed you were a man, but not because of "Doc" or because of "Jess" - but because of your reactionary and intransigent positions; women, in my experience don't tend to be so rigid in their thinking [no insult intended, just my experience being related here) - I continue, SHE said, basically, "since the DNC and the states' committees couldn't get on the same wavelength, the Democratic people in those states should be disenfranchised from their opportunity to have their votes counted." It is very Republican of a position, BTW (with no insult intended) but just something they are more likely to do to the little people than Democrats are.

Now, I myself am throwing out ideas on what might be done to be fair and equitable. How in the world is THAT black and white????? Color me confused.

Is black now white?

Is Democrat now Republican?

Is rich now poor?

Equitable dispersal of the vote is not black and white, but trying to find middle ground that can fit all the needs and TRYING to do it within the rules as I perceive them (and I again admit that I am coming into this all quite late and am trying to understand it all the best I can).

Black and white? Not I.

DocJess: I am sorry to hear you got salmonella. I was one of the peanut butter victims last year, and I don't wish it upon anyone - even someone I don't agree with. Good luck with getting over it.

Amot said...

Traveler, of course you are black and white and the contrast is much stronger in you than in Doc. What Doc is saying from the beginning is that rules have to come in play! Sure they have - I have stated that dozen times in my post! Black and white is closing eyes to the rules because someone else was guilty for breaking them!
I repeat - NO DEMOCRAT LEADER VOTED AGAINST THE PRIMARY DATE! Maybe some of them wanted to move it Feb, but it looks like most were selfish enough to believe they will not be punished 'because they are important'. Funny thing - if they had their date moved June instead they would be the most important state to vote!
I can't take sides about Floridians complains since I didn't follow what happens in FL last year. But it looks like there were only a handful of persons that spoke loud! It looks like Floridians believed and still do believe they had a regular and fair vote! Media and leaders in Fl said it was a regular contest! People disfranchised by DNC? NO! They were misled, deceived, cheated by their leaders. They had a good reason - the vote was not only about presidential nominee; other important issues were voted! But that reason was not good enough to break the law! I say 'law' because it turns out that the rules of DNC are as powerful as law!
Yes, DNC punished FL by 100%, but I still can't see a proof that FL PLs did their best to obey the rules. They should at least vote against! I don't see any reason why they should be punished less than 50% (that is really the minimal deduction). Bonus point - FL Dems were so cocky that they didn't include in the selection plan scenario what happens if they are proportionally punished! Now DNC and its Committees must decide what to do with them! If they want to seat FL supers they must accept that those PLEOs really made efforts to change the primary date! BTW if they are not punished next time each state with GOP governor can move its date and complain 'not guilty and must not be punished' - that is a dangerous precedent! To be honest I am totally against seating FL supers and I have always said that! If Floridians have to blame someone - those supers are the most appropriate aim!

About MI - "99% of them had no clue they were in danger of losing their representation at the Democratic Convention"! Shame on you - that must be the joke of the year! No one campaigning there, no ads on TV, no names on the ballot, candidates saying 'MI doesn't matter!' … and they didn't know? 3-years-old won't buy that!!! More the point MI PLs in full conscience moved their primary THREE WEEKS ahead of everyone else to show their boldness! Now they beg for mercy!!! And you - the not-black-and-white person, say 'equitable dispersal of the vote'! Oh, yes that was a fair vote by all HRC fresh measures! The same HRC which said in January - 'MI doesn't matter'! As a bonus point - the results are so unfair that DNC can't use them if they decide to seat some MI after all! And if DNC seats MI supers that will be the most stupid thing in the world. I think a petition 'MI supers not seated under any circumstances' must be started. They broke the rules, you say, but let them go, they are so sorry! Next time you get a parking ticket try saying you are sorry!

alaric said...

48 States Is Just Not Good Enough

It was an egregious error to disenfranchise Michigan and Florida voters. Any issues with the Democratic leadership of those states should have been sorted out AFTER the Democrats had won the White House. Arrogance was foolishly placed ahead of unity.

The primary voters in Michigan and Florida went to the polls in good faith to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice. They really had no choice; either you voted in the primary as it was scheduled, or you didn't vote.

Our fellow Democratic voters in those states did not "break the rules". The state party leaders chose to defy the national committee, an act of arrogance that was out of the hands of the individual Democratic voters. And any rule by made by the DNC that ends with "...or else we will disenfranchise your entire state" is a rule that should not, and morally cannot, be enforced by a legitimate party in a democracy. It was foolhardy for the DNC to ever make such a rule because the actual enforcement of it is morally inconceivable. Disenfranchisement of voters is always wrong. The state and national leaders have a duty to re-enfranchise the voters of these states immediately, or they should all be looking for a new job.

Disenfranchisement goes far beyond politics; it tears at the very fabric of our decency and of our democratic ideals upon which our great Nation was founded. It is impossible to justify not counting even one person's vote, let alone all the votes from 2 states! Americans throughout our history fought and died for ALL the stars on our Flag.

Whether in the primary or general election, whether Democrat or Republican, disenfranchisement is ugly and unacceptable. The disenfranchisement of even a single voter should gnaw at the conscience of each and every Democrat. All Democrats, no matter which candidate they support, must demand that their fellow Democrats' votes be counted immediately.

This is not a political question; it is a moral question. In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King marched in Selma, Alabama determined to secure voting rights for those who were wrongly denied them. Don't we owe the same to those who are wrongly being denied in Michigan and in Florida?

DocJess said...

First -- Amot -- thanks for the defense. You made me grin!

Second -- Traveler -- thanks for the salmonella sympathy -- I believe you "know"....

NOW -- as for the framework of my position on Florida and Michigan.

First off, understand that while I am not a surgeon, I did a trauma residency, and understand that sometimes you need to do what seems like harm to save a patient. Therefore, if someone comes into the ER having just been in a head-on collision, I'm removing his/her spleen first, and asking questions later because I understand statistically that if the spleen is damaged, the patient will be dead in an hour if there is no operation, but removing that spleen (if damaged) gives the patient a better than 90% chance of survival barring other, more serious injuries (which would land the patient in surgery anyway, where the spleen would like be removed).

That said, the patient here is both the Democratic Party, and the primary process.

If the Party cannot set rules and enforce them, there ceases to be a party. I am NOT saying that the Democratic party should be the lock-step of the Republican party, just that if it sets rules, they need to be enforced. If not, then each local party can do as they please and there is no cohesion.

The second thing has to do with the process itself. I certainly understand the concept of disenfranchisement. And it sucks. But it's not JUST the people who voted who would be disenfranchised by their votes not counting -- the people who DIDN'T vote are disenfranchised if the votes DO count.

There is credible evidence (percentage turnouts, for example) which indicate that many people did NOT vote because they knew the primaries wouldn't count. Why do those who played by the rules have fewer rights than those who "cheated"?

What of the people in Michigan who did not vote because their candidate was not even on the ballot? Aren't they disenfranchised by not having had the opportunity to vote?

We lost the 2000 election because the process was corrupt. It was corrupt because the news media reported too early, corrupt because of the ballots, corrupt because the recount was improper. We lost because the rules weren't followed. Because of that we've had 7 1/2 years of Bush and the neocons -- and hundreds of thousands dead (if you include Iraqi civilians). THAT is the cost of ignoring rules.

I'm not black and white -- I just believe that once the process is corrupted, it doesn't matter who wins, because the outcome is always fixed. I don't necessarily agree with the decision of the DNC to set the Feb 5th date -- I have mixed feelings about it -- but that IS what they set. And Florida and Michigan state parties, and elected officials went along with it willingly.

I said it before, but it bears repeating -- I heard Karen Thurmon speak at the Florida State Democratic Convention last October -- I personally talked to party people as I mingled at the convention -- and she, and EVERYONE I spoke to were EXCITED that they were going early. They didn't CARE that they were breaking the rules. EVERYONE I spoke to felt that this was a way of getting "on the map" and didn't believe the candidates WOULDN'T campaign, believed their votes WOULD count, and were PROUD that they were breaking the rules.

If I'd heard a different attitude from the participants, I'd feel differently -- but they were complicit.

Amot said...

I must say I had not paid enough attention to the turnout until now! But I can use the number once again to prove our (Doc+me) point! I chose CA and OH as two big states, a swing and blue state, 'Super Tuesday' state and 'Super Tuesday 2' state. I got the vote cast at primaries there and calculated the percentage of the votes cast for Kerry 2004 GE. Did the same with FL and MI.

Results are:
MI: 25,69%
FL: 48,83%
CA: 72,38%
OH: 81,50%

Other blue or swing states:
NM: 40,22%
CT: 41,34%
NY: 43,17%
NJ: 57,98%
MD: 65,80%
(average of all states is about 60%)

As you can see above 48% turnout is not uncommon, and on Super Tuesday many states voted less than 50%. CA is above the average and WI is the absolute exception! However no state voted less than 40% of the GE 2004 results, even NM (the absolute lowest). Conclusion is - FL voted like they would vote at real primary, MI did not! In FL the results can be used to allocate delegates to both candidates, and I think the minimal reduction of 50% shall be used! In MI the results are unfair, recent polls show the same, and no one believed the results will be counted as is - don't use 'good faith' when you have only one big name on the ballot. Since recent polss show tie is the most probable outcome of a revote, 50/50 split looks fine to me. With my knowledge of the supers' reactions in MI and FL and with Doc's testimony I INSIST that both states' supers are not seated. Doc, help me start a petition!

P.S. I am ex-army officer. In the army you must follow orders, but if your commander gives you an order that you consider going over the limits of human laws and military code (kill innocent civilian for instance) you have the right to not follow the order and you will not be punished! Actually that commander can be in trouble! I think it looks like FL and MI - some pretend that people were unaware they will be punished and therefore they should not be punished! I don't think Floridians and Michiganians are that stupid! Maybe some didn't know they break the rules, but I will never believe that in MI more than 10% thought the primary was O.K. And they should not follow the orders of their PLs. NO, Sir! They should protest (some did, I agree, but handful) and they must punish those PLs. I believe DNC will do its best to seat both delegations, but in the case of MI the results of the fake primary will not be used to determine the delegation. They are not representative!!! BTW would you think Clinton won the state of Michigan if you knew that only 1 out of 31 Michiganians gave his/her vote to Clinton?

TravelerDiogenes said...

Amot said: "BTW would you think Clinton won the state of Michigan if you knew that only 1 out of 31 Michiganians gave his/her vote to Clinton?"

[Note: I was told long ago that they are correctly called "Michiganders," but can't swear it is correct. Ha ha! The spell checker didn't highlight "Michiganders, but DID catch "Michiganians" - so maybe I am right!)

TD: Iowa's 2002 population (all ages) = 2,936,760. Iowa's TOTAL Caucus vote = 2,445. Not one person in 1,000 voted, yet BO got an 11 delegate advantage out of it. In Texas Primary + Caucus, HC total vote margin was +95,731, yet BO got 77 delegates vs 71 (maybe not latest delegate numbers), due to his +5,298 in the caucuses. Avg number of voters per caucus delegate = 635. Avg number of voters per primary delegate = 19,045. One person, one vote?

FAR fewer Iowans voted for either BO OR HC than what you mention in MI. Caucuses are HORRIBLE exclusionary mechanisms. VERY few people participate, yet they wield enormous power in our system. Horrible. Terrible. UN-democratic. It is like having representative that no one voted for.

We could point at inequities till the cows come home, couldn't we?

We could also speculate on why voters did come to vote or didn't come to vote in MI and FL, how many of each, and who they would have voted for.

In MI, two things are certain: 1.) The people who voted for HC WANTED to vote for HC, and 2.) something substantially less than 100% of the non-HC vote would have voted for BO (what that number would have been no one can say).

AMOT: "Since recent polss show tie is the most probable outcome of a revote, 50/50 split looks fine to me."

A re-vote today would NOT replicate the voters of MI on the day of their primary, since only the two people are left. Hence, nothing can be done to change the vote the way it happened. Heck, if all names had been on the ballot, they might have voted John Edwards on top! Seriously. And, if so, he might even now still be running.

Anyone who advocates that BO gets half the MI vote is ignoring the fact that Edwards was STRONGLY in the race at that time. Assuming that BO would have gotten an equivalent vote total as HC is simply guessing.

DocJess, I hear what you are saying about rules, but if rules were the only thing to consider in human activity, then the U.S. would simply not exist, because the colonists would have all been tories, loyalists, whatever you want to call them. We - and ALL evolving human societies - are rule BREAKERS, rule BENDERS.

One way of looking at humanity and its interests is that there are two innate urges that govern us - growth and stability. Growth dictates that we go out on unfamiliar ground and RISK something - because there is something MORE we want from our existence. Stability dictates that we try to find security, a foundation, a safe base, where all around us is KNOWN. These two imperatives conflict ALL THE TIME. Each imperative has tens of millions of adherents, who think that doing things the other way scares the bejeezus out of them.

Pure Progressives/liberals/Democrats fear that if we knuckle under to the reactionaries, the conservatives, the soccer moms, that society will become a repressive, fascist or totalitarian state in which individual expression may be harmful to one's health.

Pure Conservatives/Republicans fear that things are moving too fast, wonder why life can't just be like it was 'in the good old days', why people have to change what they see as a good thing, and simply fear things that are DIFFERENT.

Rules followers come from both sides - but different sets of rules arise from the different camps. Fears come from both sides. Change pretty much only comes from one side - those who NEED growth to feel alive.

Rules MUST themselves evolve, must change. But they don't always change via committees or legislation. Sometimes they change because of crises of various types.

I posit that the current scenario is one of the latter cases, where the rules will not be followed 'to the letter', because the DNC put themselves stupidly in a position - with their 'Thou Shalt Not' about Feb 5th - because they certainly did not think they would ever find themselves in a position that it would matter. Multi-faction conventions of the 19th century are not possible in the 21st century, are they? Well, they did everything they could to eliminate the possibility, but they still MAY get a hung jury on the first ballot. Everyone sees that as a nightmare, but I simply don't see why. Hey! That was REAL democracy back in the 1800s, not like the pale version of today.

It would be EXCITING to have a second ballot. Just like it is exciting in multi-party systems around the world, where democracy is flourishing.

You like rules? Hey, I want to take the Dem/GOP rules about ballot access and STUFF 'em! Why do the Libertarians and Greens have to spend 95% of their efforst JUST GETTING ON THE BALLOT? Rules - dictated by the DNC and RNC, and implemented by OUR state legislatures.

I will leave on one final note:

Institutions inherently are destructive of the individual.

It is the individual's DUTY as a human to come up against the rules-making institutions in life and discover this for themselves and find a way to extricate themselves, somehow - and become free men and women.

T. Jefferson: "We will have governments until we learn to govern ourselves."

TravelerDiogenes said...

I used to identify with 95% of what the Democratic Party stood for.

The Bush years have made me become an independent, much more than ever before.

And that is not because of anything Bush or the neocons have done, nor because I think we need to fight terror, yadda yadda yadda.

On the contrary, I see them as the very face of Hitlerian/Nixonian sociopathy. I won't use the term 'evil', but they are all but that.

The single reason I am an independent (small 'I') is the total lack of spine in the Democratic Party.

I literally could go on for a month without stopping about how weak they have shown themselves to be.

Though I WANT them to defeat the GOP at every step, in every election, at every level, it is not because I want the Democrats IN. I just see the GOP as something so heinous and dangerous, and there IS no one else that can - in the current setup of RULES and LAWS - slow down the rapid deterioration of our democratic form of self-government.

The GOP MUST be stopped. Who else IS there?

Ergo, I HAVE to support the Democrats, though I have so little faith in them and their judgment - and especially their courage...

Amot said...

Traveler, don't play with numbers, I am better there! Dont play stupid changing PRECINCT DELEGATES NUMBER with CAUCUS PARTISIPANTS. To use your own argument at the terrible caucus in TX caucus attenders were about 1M - 35% turnout of 2004 GE and higher than the fake MI primary. Next time try a different trick at a different blog - here people have some brains!
About MI - I can argue that if Edwards and Obama were on the ballot the turnout would be close to that in FL and Super Tuesday states - 50-60%, lets agree on 50% just to make you happy! That gives 27% for Clinton and 70% for Obama and Edwards. Split that in half - you have 35% Obama, 27% Clinton! Or you are saying more Clinton supporters would go and vote? Oh, my God! How could they - they had faith in the fair vote and probably all attended the primary!!!
You can pretend about what would happen if...
But in my place we have a saying that we never complete:
If my Grandma was a man...
That is what all your case is about - some fiction that you want to believe and make others believe too! No chance here! Sorry!

P.S. Michiganian or Michigander?

The web site of the Michigan Historical Center uses Michiganian. Michiganian has a long history. It is the term used for the state's citizens in The Collections of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society since the 1870s and in Michigan History magazine since just after the turn of the 20th century. But people who call Michigan their home use the word they like best. There is no "official" term.

P.P.S. If I don't read apology for trying to deceive us with numbers, I will accept you misspoke, and I better talk to the wall!

Kujo said...


Whats the point of doing all the math of figuring out what percent of the population voted for a candidate and trying to rationalize some outcome for FL and MI. It just a big waste of time.

If you don't like caucuses, fine. Go to the states that have them and try to convince them to get rid of them. This has nothing to do with the current primary.

Rules are setup in advance and are to be followed. They are the rules, if you don't like them then change them, but the change can not be retroactive to try to meet your means. They will be in place for the next election.

When a campain starts, each candidate should understand the rules of the game and create strategies for these rules. Maybe you think popular vote reflects more of the will of the people. Fine make that the rule and then each candidate will create a strategy for those rules. You think big states should matter more. Fine, make them worth so much more or even eliminate the small states. Now each candidate will create a stratagy based on those rules.

Obama knew the rules, he created a strategy for SuperTuesday where two weeks before he was losing in every state but maybe 2 or 3 of the 22(?) primaries that voted then. After SuperTuesday was over we saw that Obama had won more primaries then Hillary and gained on delegates. That was his strategy and he did good at it.

Now to say California should count more just does not make sense. If that was the rules before, Obama would of campained differently in the time he had, maybe he would of won California...

The big problem now is to many people are trying to say what if the rules were this, what if the rules were that and try to generate an outcome based off current data. You can not do that, it is not relevent. Each candidate would of had a different strategy if the rules would of been different.

Tom Abrahams said...

here's how i think they should solve the Florida delegate issue:

billyjay66 said...

One event could make the MI-FLA delegate problem evaporate. If John Edwards would finaly endorse Obama and release his delegates, then the Obama-Edwards votes in FLA makes a 50-50 tie. In MI 55-45 is the Clinton non-Clinton vote split gaining Clinton only 18 delegates. BUT ... Edwards can also release his 18 pledged delegates-a total wash!!! MOST IMPORTANT THE VOTES ARE THEN COUNTED.

Amot said...

It is not that easy unfortunately!
First, Edwards has no control on his candidates, most of them are his supporters and will vote for him if his name is on the ballot at the convention, but if he is not there, they can't be forced to vote either way!
Second, Edwards delegates are not selected yet (I think only in FL they are named as now), but short lists have been approved. In the next two weeks all delegates will be named. And imagine a candidate back Edwards and his second choice is Clinton. If Edwards endorses Obama, that delegate has 4 options - to vote as Edwards wants (Obama); to vote his will (Clinton); to abstain from voting; to withdraw and be replaced by alternate (hopefully Obama leaner or we go to the first three options again). Generally Edwards backers are Obama leaners, so I believe in case of late endorsement Obama can expect 70% or more of all seated Edwards delegates to join his side.
In case of Clinton endorsement I think split will be 50/50 - non-affecting the total situation. Fact is that all Edwards delegates will be sort of superdelegates.

Matt said...

Amot - Edwards' NH delegates were selected back in February.

billyjay66 said...

RE: AMOT.... Its not that easy unfortunately!

You are right its not that easy!

But remember FLA-MI have nothing and will have nothing until there is a proposal that can be implemented. Even if Edwards endorses they still have nothing. But then there is not longer a huge "Clinton gains 100 delegates plus" scenario that makes sense.

Yes Edwards does not firmly control the 18 delegates he has earned. Endorsement would certainly not mean he controls FL-MI votes at all but it can neutralize any lop-sided claim Clinton may have.

Since the whole party wringing their hands...what to do?? The Republicans are licking their chops and the MSM loving the impasse..... I'm just looking for something that can seem fair in the end. I cringe at a solution: "Give 'em a 50/50 split and cut their delegated by 1/2" Howard Dean just wants to prove he's Mr. Macho.


Amot said...

Matt, I forgot to check NH :)
I think FL delegates are named and actually delegation is chosen. As one of my studies say, FL seems to had fair vote - they had a good turnout and the results are close to what polls show, so most probably they will not be split, but seated as is with 50% penalty. As I wrote FL broke one additonal rule - there is no section in their selection plan what will happen if they receive percentage penalty though such section is obligatory according to DNC rules. So they will most probably get the 50% but it is unclear how this penalty will be applied - half number delegates or half vote each. If it is half number delegates it means each district can get a new number of delegates and the split will be a little bit different than initial. So there are 3 scenarios with 50% penalty. And you have to think about Edwards delegates too which makes the mess complete!
MI is even bigger mess. I guess both states will get decision after 6th May.

Wolle said...


What would happen in districts with odd numbers if it was "half number delegates"?

Amot said...

Wolle, I have not seen the exact split, but I understood they will use the original input formula with different input for number of delegates (half). That means bigger similar size districts will be rounded up, smaller - down. However no dictrict will get less than 2 delegates (DNC major rule)and no district will get a greater number delegates than another district with better voting history. As a result even districts will get equally split, while odd ones will be Clinton +1. It was calculated (I think there is thread here about that solution) that such decision will result in about dozen delegates net gain for Clinton and is more convinient for Obama. And it is all result of missed section in the plan (FL should be punished for that miss too!). If you want I will try to provide you a link to this solution, but it is very unlikely to happen since Clinton say it is a trick against her and also less delegates will attend the convention (probably hat draw). The mess will be total. And I think Edwrads will get a much smaller portion of delegates. I will try to find it :)

DocJess said...

Any word on Jon Ausman's appeal? That would tend to change things, yes?

Amot said...

That is the thread about the plans:
I must correct my info: According to the new formula split will be Clinton 48, Obama 42, Edwards 2. It is obvious why Clinton prefers the other one that gives here 19 delegates gain :)

Amot said...

Doc, there is no time limit about the answer; rumors say it will be announced after PA and before NC! Probably they hope after PA it will not be a relevant problem :)

Matt said...

Amot - I don't have specific information, but politics and logistics says they will award each delegate 1/2 vote, not have half the delegates with 1 vote each.

If they award each delegate 1/2 vote, the vote proportions stay exactly the same, nothing has to be recalulated, and all the delegates get to go to Denver.

If they actually cut the number od delegates in half, the allocations will change, as you say, they have to figure out what to do with small districts, and they keep 1/2 the delegation from going to Denver, which will anger a bunch of local Democratic leaders that you will bee to help run the campaign in the fall.

I just don't see any good reason for them to only have 50% of the delegates.

We'll see what actually happens if this is the compromise they agree on.

Amot said...

Matt, Clinton will never agree to full vote/half delegates. All her good results in FL will be washed away to a gain of only 6 delegates. And you are absolutely right it will be a mess of who can go to the convention. But hopefully PA will come tie and that will not matter at all! According to the last polls probably it will be Nevada case - Obama losing popular vote and winning delegate count! I think it was really very stupid of FL PLs not to include the worst case scenario in their plan!

omegaman said...

Check your numbers for FL, if a candidate gets less than 15% of the popular vote they don't get any delegates. Those delegates get split between the candidates with more than 15% of the vote. It looks like you awarded delegates to Edwards, but he only received 14% of the popular vote. It really doesn't change things much...

Matt said...

Omegaman- Edwards broke 15% in some CDs, so he is eligible to get CD level delegates. He did not break 15% statewide, so he gets no statewide delegates. But the Edwards numbers are correct.

Mahlers5th said...

Huffington Post has story that DNC rules committee will consider compromise plan to seat FLA & MI superdelegates with full vote each, and seat pledged delegates with 1/2 vote each, based on Jan primaries. IF this happens, and I realize it's a big if, Hillary gets 89 pledged delegates from the two states, Obama 33.5 (from FLA)with 27.5 "uncommitted" from MI, likely to go to Obama, for total 61 for Obama. Thus, Hllary would net 28 pledged delegates. My question - if things play out this way, does Hillary have better chance of catching Obama in delegates?

PastorGene said...

The irony--or rather, contradiction--is that Hillary and her supporters complain about disenfranchising FL and MI voters because of a decision by Party officials not to seat their delegates, while at the same time asking Party officials (superdelegates) to disenfranchise voters all over the country by overturning the vote of the pledged delegates.

That's aside from the fact that Hillary herself agreed to the rules up front and only decided they should be changed when it would tilt things to her advantage, after denying Obama the opportunity to compete in MI and FL.

Whatever it takes to win, right? That's the kind of leadership we've become accustomed to over the last 8 years in a President who makes the rules up as he goes and thinks he doesn't have to answer to anyone. But we certainly don't need more of the same.

billyjay66 said...

PastorGene said "Irony - Or contradiction"

Amen Pastor! Your comparison is right on. "Yes count the (non)primaries. No - Supers pay no attention (to the primaries)". And make the rules as they best suit you ala the last seven years. Ouch!

However for the voters sake - compromise to some extent on the primaries in Michigan and Florida. The process will not be complete otherwise.

PastorGene said...

I agree that there is a need to compromise on MI and FL, though it must be in a way that does not unfairly advantage one candidate.

My solutions is as follows:

1. They still lose their superdelegates, who were the ones that created this mess in the first place, and excluding them would not disenfranchise the voters, since these were not selected by the primaries anyway.

2. Do the Republicans' solution which would re-enfranchise the voters but still provide some penalty for shirking the rules--reduce their pledged delegates by half.

3. Since Obama's name was not on the ballot in Michigan, and since the "uncommitted" votes were definitely not votes for Hillary, then assign the allotment for uncommitted delegates to Obama.

That would be the solution with the most fairness and integrity, honoring the votes given while still imposing some penalty to enforce the rules and while recognizing the unfairness of changing the rules in the middle of the contest in a way that unjustly gives a huge advantage to one candidate. It's not a perfect solution, because there is no perfect solution.

Meanwhile, at the convention, the rules need to be revisited and firmly established for 2012. And if the decision is made to continue the current policy, then in order to establish eligibility, candidates should have to sign a statement of agreement with the rules and an agreement to forfeit any delegates allotted through unsanctioned primaries or caucuses--or something to hold their feet to the fire, so that a candidate cannot agree to the rules and then later, in the middle of the process, try to change them if it would work to their advantage.

Concerns about disenfranchising voters in any state are legitimate, but those must be addressed BEFORE the process starts and not in the middle of it. It's OK to change the rules, but only BEFORE the voting begins and not in the middle of it.

Mike in Maryland said...

No matter what plan is agreed to on seating or partially seating or not seating the delegates (pledged and/or super), the ONE thing I want to see before any agreement:

The leaders of the Michigan and Florida Democratic Party acknowledge that their (bending, breaking, flaunting, however you want to state it) of the rules caused a lot of grief, anguish, confusion, and wasted time and effort.

If they don't want to acknowledge that at least half the blame for this mess is on their hands, then there should not even be entertained a motion of appeal.

Further, the DNC rules should state that in any future primaries that any state that tries to jump the schedule will NOT be seated, unless the party leaders can prove beyond any doubt that they did EVERYTHING in their power to prevent the reschedule of the primary.

What do I mean by that last statement? That would mean Democratic legislatures do NOT sponsor or cosponsor the date move in the state legislature (as happened in Florida AND Michigan), do NOT vote for the date change in committee (as happened in Florida AND Michigan), do NOT vote for the date change on the floor of the House and Senate (as happened in Florida AND Michigan). If these simple steps are not taken, then it proves that the Demcoratic representatives did NOT take all steps to stop the process.

But wait a minute. The rules ALREADY state that the delegation must prove they did everything in their power to prevent the election prior to the date allowed in the rules. How can Florida and Michigan say that the date change was forced on them? THEY WENT ALONG WITH THE DATE CHANGE IN FLORIDA, IN MICHIGAN THEY DID IT THEMSELVES (majority party in the legislature, Dem governor signed the bill).

My preferred solution (but it would take the agreement of both the DNC and RNC, and then any affected state legislature, so it won't be enacted) would be for any state violating the date schedule would be for those states to vote on the LAST day of the primaries for the next 2 cycles, and no extra delegates for scheduling the primary later than last cycle. Their greed in one year would be payed back for more than a decade.

billyjay66 said...


re: compromise.

Well said. I've thought of a compromise in my mind but hadn't thought of counting pledged and excluding supers. I head Michigan is talking of a split of Obama 59 Clinton 69 and that OK. Unfortunately the Obama campaign commented they wanted an even split and I don't think that gives the voters any satisfaction.

Amot said...

PastorGene is right on this matter, I don't think we need to say more!

Mike, billyjay66,
I have proposed many times in that thread and other threads that supers get strip of their vote - they don't deserve it! And it is shame they are appealing now to get their fat asses seated at 100% while the non-guilty voter representatives get seated 50%. I really don't like the behaviour of that guy Ausman and the rest - being so cheeky they only prove they deserve to watch Denver on TV!!!

Amot said...

Matt, Oreo,
this is still linked to the top left menu; change the link to point the new thread!

Yousri said...

Link is fixed. Thanks/