Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Florida and Michigan

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

With all our superdelegate tracking, we've been remiss in following the Florida and Michigan stories. MyDD has two good posts today, one focusing on a joint statement from Governors Jennifer Granholm and Charlie Crist, and the other keys off a statement by DNC Chairman Howard Dean. But let me make the following point. There are a number of ways this could play out, and they are all "within the rules"

  • Status Quo. No delegates from Florida or Michigan.
  • The Credentials Committee seats one or both delegations as is. Totally within the rules. The Credentials Committee has the total power within the rules to seat or not seat any delegate as they choose, regardless of any previous DNC rules.
  • The Credentials Committee seats the delegates, but makes each delegate worth half a vote, essentially restoring the originally proposed 50% penalty. Totally within the rules.
  • The Credentials Committee seats the delegations, but makes sure they are split 50-50 between Obama and Clinton. Totally within the rules
  • Either state submits a new delegate selection plan to the DNC. It is approved, and new delegates are selected. Totally within the rules. (And Delaware supposedly did this in a previous election year).
Now, will someone with some inside knowledge let us know where the Florida and Michigan delegations will be staying in Denver if they do get seated?

Update (3/6 9:30 PM): Michigan is in discussions to hold a caucus or "shotgun primary", a primary with limited polling places and times. We will keep a close eye on these developments. And remember, if the plan gets approved, Michigan's superdelegates are all back in play.


John Dean said...

Good information - thank you!!

In my opinion it would be very unlikey - and unfair if only Hillary Clinton gets delegates from Michigan. It is very unlikely because both (!) campaigns said already that they are accepting a second primary (maybe in may or june) in both states.

So - if my argument weights enough - it would be a more precise idea for your delegate count (including Florida an Michigan) to split the Michigan delegates between Clinton / Obama.

daksya said...

Where can one look up the DemCon rules that you reference?

Travis said...

dr. dean

In michigan uncommitted was a voting choice. Clinton won 73 delegates and uncommitted won 55 delegates.... Those 55 could be awarded to Obama.

Florida's could be counted as is since both candidates were on the ballot.

Matt said...

Links to the rules can be found at:

The Delegate Section Rules, The Call to the Convention, and to a lesser extent, the Regulations Of The Rules And Bylaws Committee, has all the details. Note: the links seem to be down right now.

Yamaka said...

dr. dean

I will suggest that the "Uncommitted" votes in MI split between Obama and Edwards by an equitable ratio like 7:3, because Edwards was in the race at that point. Giving all the "Uncommitted" to Obama is not right.

I agree with travis that FL should be taken as is since both names were in the ballot.

It is illegal and undemocratic to disenfranchise several million voters because the DNC and State Officials made a horrendous mistake in not solving the issues before the voters went to the polls.

What will you do if the States (Fl and MI) decide not to allow the final candidate's name in the ballot in the General Election? It seems they have the right, and they can punish the entire Party, as a revenge for the Party punishing them!!

This issue MUST be solved very soon. Otherwise, the Party is taking a suicidal course for the General Election.

Cycloptichorn said...

Ian Carleton, SD from VT, declared for Obama today, per Obama's blog -

Dunno if that meets your standards, but it isn't on his list!


PseudoPeach said...

I live in Florida and I think there should be a do-over. It is totally unfair to tell everyone that the election isn't going to count and then later decide that it does count. Florida is the only state thus far to have low turn-out on the democratic side and it's likely due to the fact that people were calling it a 'beauty contest'.

It's even more unfair to let in the delegates from Michigan where HC was the only person on the ballot. That reminds me of Russian elections! Again, the fact that the election wasn't supposed count effected turn-out. Not to mention that it is ridiculous to project who people might have wanted to vote for if they voted for uncommitted.

A vote or 40% for 'None of the Above' is the voters of Michigan expressing their outrage over the totally lopsided process held there and the only thing to do is to start over. If they do that in MI it obviously needs to be done in FL too, where us democrats didn't even have a say in having the early primary.

Cycloptichorn said...

I noticed that you added a line - 'we added Ian Carelton back on the 12th of Feb or so.' ...

He isn't on the list of delegates which are pledged for Obama, though! Mistakenly left off?

Oreo said...

Carleton is in the last column as DNC Ian Carleton (VT)

Best thing to do is press CTRL-F and enter the person's name you want to search on.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for all the great work you are doing.Just wanted to say that you wrote that the delegates that are needed are 2024.It should be corrected to 2025.Just a minor correction.

Thanks in advance

Oreo said...

Actually we're the ones that are right and everybody else is wrong.

Nobody else has caught on to the fact that Maine Superdelegate Ken Curtis was moved to FL making his vote not count. There are 794 Superdelegates and 2024 delegates are needed to win the nomination.

Cycloptichorn said...

Thanks Oreo! I missed him, as he was next to the VA delegates instead of the VT delegates; seems a few are out of order a little there.

Question: the UAD, or unassiagned delegate - are those included in your Superdelegates not yet pledged list?


johncz said...

This all seems like more backdoor deal making. I just think its dead wrong for the DNC to change the rules after the start of a nomination race. Some candidates agreed to not campaign/FL or be on the ballot/MI *with* the understanding those delegates would not count towards the nomination. Had they know the rules could possibly change..of course they would never have agreed to that. Frankly, I think this is an attempt to bring down Obama because he has been doing unexpectingly well.

Travis said...

hey Johncz

its no different then Obama and his goons practically demanding SDs vote for him cause hes winning....

Obama is trying to change the rules midgame as well.

bobpearson said...

One of the major stumbling blocks to revoting in each state is the cost. I suggest that each campaign pledge about $5 mill each out of their war chests to pay for these new primaries. Each has been raising $30 to $50 mill per month, so tis is only 10%- 15% of one months haul.

Jay Hodges said...

Allowing Florida and Michigan to re-vote seems the wrong message to Democrats and the world-at-large. We (Democrats) believe in fairness, but we also believe in following regulations. We cannot just brush aside the punishment handed-down because it is convenient today, a strong candidate race not withstanding. We criticize President Bush for changing the rules to suit his needs. Now here we are allowing the country to believe that we are no better. I call myself a Democrat because I too believed we hold ourselves accountable to the rules of the game, known by all in advance. Mr. Dean underscored that you "cannot change the rules of the game" once the players are in motion. Allowing a re-vote does just that and sends the wrong message to our supporters while treating certain candidates to unfair advantage. I thought we as Democrats believed that all people are equal and all people were accountable to the rules and laws of our beloved America, or in this case, the rules of the DNC. It's time to walk our talk. Now is not the time to appear flaky and soft by backing down on what we have already determined to be correct and just penalties for violating our own rule book. The good people of Florida and Michigan have their own Florida and Michigan officials to hold accountable for gambling with their votes and delegates and losing the wager.

johncz said...

Travis, goons? please, suggesting SD's vote for Barack Obama because of his lead does not compare to the measures Hillary is taking by hiring lawyers to force the DNC to change the rules in FL & MI. Look, I know both sides of this race are in to win it. There is a right way and wrong way to go about it. And I'm not going settle for something that disadvantages my candidate.

johncz said...

Thanks Jayhodges..for being the voice of reason.

PseudoPeach said...

Let me clarify that I also think it would be fine to leave things as they are, even though my vote didn't count. My main point is that it's not fair to let the delegates in as they are now, especially the MI delegation.

That said, the problem is that FL and MI are very important in the general election, and since it technically isn't "Changing the rules" to have a do-over, I think it would be a good idea.

PseudoPeach said...

The rules say that the credentials committee can do whatever it wants. That's why we're having this discussion... there are no hard rules here.

Unknown said...

Instead of arguing about whether just seat the "rogue" delegates, or go through a costly, time-consuming re-vote/primary... why not just approach the DNC to take the delegates and apportion them 50/50 between Hillary and Barack?

In that way, NEITHER candidate can claim an unfair advantage, and the delgates get seated!! $$ is spent, and no additional controversy is created!

What say you all?

Unknown said...

There is a story hitting the wires that Michigan intends to hold a caucus, and that they will announce the details in a matter of days.

John B said...

The parties in FL and MI violated the rules and so they should be punished, not the voters. In FL, it clearer. Both candidates were on the ballot and did not campaign there. Those delegates chosen by the voters in FL get seated. But, the FL Superdelegates don't as a punishment on the party. In MI, do over is needed because Obama obeyed all the rules (not Hillary). But, the do over should also take away the MI Superdelegates as a punishment on the party for violating the rules.

math 101 said...

OK punish the supers during the first ballot as a statement and we will see what happens in the next few days. -random thought more than likely a waste of space-

Matt said...

To Cycloptichorn from your 1:47 PM post:

We got all the Obama VT delegates together. Thanks for catching it.

Question: the UAD, or unassiagned delegate - are those included in your Superdelegates not yet pledged list?

As they are named we will add them. And at some point we will add vacancies for the ones not named yet. But the 73 not named are not listed at this time.

TMac said...

As a life long republican raised by republicans this is a weird election for me. I'd really like the republicans to lose because the last 7 years have been awful. I'd really like to be able to vote for Obama. Talking to my conservative family and friends a good bit of them would also like to see Obama get the nod. If Obama doesn't expect to see John McCain sworn in January.

Okay enough about my rambling. The FL/MI and super delegates are being way over analyzed. The MI/FL delegates will be seated one way or another but they won't decide the election. They will be seated in a way not to offset the will of the voters. The DNC has to seat them, they just have to.

As for the super delegates, they again will not overturn the will of the people. Sure they will be the deciding vote since neither can get the required number but they won't overturn anything. Most SD are politicians and they won't vote against people that can vote for them. That and overturning the will of the people will just mean at least 4 more years of not being in the White House.

LaParker said...

JayHodges makes a great point..we should hold the officials accountable who made the decision to move the primaries up and disenfranchise the voters of Florida and Michigan.

I think the delegates should be seated and split 50/50 between Obama and Clinton.

Temple said...

Do the candidates have any say in this? I know Clinton has been saying that a caucus would be unacceptable to her--but does she have any power in the matter?

Carrie said...

Michigan voter, here...

I have some serious inner conflict on what's fair.

- I think it's fair that our delegates won't count as is because we broke the rules. The 600k of us who voted in the democratic primary (3.6x as many as in 2004) knew this.
- I think splitting the delegates 50/50 between candidates amounts to not counting them (same outcome), and I really don't think it represents the will of the voters here. That'd actually cheese me off - it's no more fair than not counting us, it just tries to fake fairness.
- Clinton didn't break any rules in MI or Florida. There was no agreement to remove names from the ballot - that was an independent decision made by Obama and Edwards. Clinton didn't campaign here. Obama didn't either, but he did have "Get Out the Uncommitted Vote" rallies posted on his website and, when I sent a letter of woe to his campaign, the response said it couldn't tell how to vote (since that would be breaking the rules), but I could always vote uncommitted.
- A redo could be done fairly, but:
--A caucus/short window primary would not be fair or democratic in MI: we have a 24-hour struggling workforce and no public transportation. We had >2k polling sites in our primary - which is necessary because our state is pretty spread out. From what I've read/heard, we'd likely have <200 caucus sites. Accessibility would be a major issue, and one that would introduce bias.
--Some mystery stranger would have to pay for it. I say this because I think it should be the state dem party's responsibility to pay for it. The state itself already paid for 1, and we're way, WAY too broke to pay for another - and non dem tax payers shouldn't foot the bill. So, the state dem party - which drove the peaceful protest that was our delegateless primary - should pay out of fairness. That said, our state party has 12 legislators under recall petition for tax increases introduced to cover a huge budget shortfall and maintain vital services (legacy of a most vile republican governor). Our embattled, albeit wonderful governor is also under recall. Any state party resources should be directed at protecting those seats.

- I don't blame the state party or the DNC any more than I blame myself. Where was I when this game of chicken was being played? I was following along on NPR. I didn't act. My own darned fault. I think the DNC could/should have dealt the consequences with empathy and compassion (any other teachers out here?). I think MI's points were COMPLETELY valid - the early 4 did not represent the large industrial states. After Iowa, the media was saying that if Obama took NH, he could clinch the nomination...BECAUSE OF IA & NH! Those two tiny states look NOTHING like MI. MI acted out of desperation because, as as a state with double the unemployment of IA or NH, we need a president who shares our priorities - which would be different from the priorities of the early 4 states.

That said, I choose to view my delegateless vote as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of misgivings we now all share about the democratic nomination process (MI/FL & super delegates). Let's all follow up next spring, after our nominee is elected, and get this stuff fixed far ahead of 2012!

Carrie said...

One other quick thought -

The consequence said that a primary held prior to 2/5 wouldn't count. For their part, the candidates all agreed not to campaign for the early primaries.

The consequence never precluded our holding a second contest in compliance with the rules originally laid out. There is nothing unfair or out of line with the rules about MI & FL do a redo.

Whatever the outcome, the truly intended consequence was already fulfilled - MI and FL did not have the impact on early fundraising and momentum that early states enjoy.

johncz said...

Carrie, thats going to be very expensive..we are talking about 10's of millions of dollars in florida alone. I truly believe that the State Democratic Party leadership should take responsibility and fund it themselves. Of course, they like to place blame on the DNC. The DNC told these folks what the consequences would be.

Carrie said...

Yes johncz - that's what I said. That's why I don't think we should redo it. If some "mystery stranger" wanted to foot the bill (and I can't imagine who that might be), then I would be fine redoing it. I think the MI party - which includes me as a dues-payin', card-totin' member - would be the people who should pay. I just think our state party should save its pennies for protecting state legislators.

THAT's what's in the best interests of all democrats - state and DNC.

Now - as to this being an attempt to bring Obama down - that's just GARBAGE! I'm pretty reasonable about this - willing to share in the responsibility, etc. However, I'm seriously tired of comments like these that completely disregard and trivialize the serious issues that my state is facing - the issues that drove us to act out of desperation and make a weak grasp at relevance.

If people would stop being such Bush-style, "disobey-and-feel-my-wrath" jerks about the whole thing, we might able to actually strike some peace around this.

Consequences with empathy are the most effective. Every undergrad teacher prep program covers that... Consequences with spite and venom yield results like this - angry people all arguing that nothing's fair. For THAT I do blame the DNC, and because of behavior like that I DO think Obama's shown poor leadership.

Carrie said...

Johncz -

I just reread your post and mine - I think you were responding to my second post. If you take a look at the first, it will give you a better sense of why I don't want my state party to foot the bill (not that they aren't responsible).

johncz said...

Carrie -

"If people would stop being such Bush-style, "disobey-and-feel-my-wrath" jerks about the whole thing, we might able to actually strike some peace around this"

Agreed. As a proud & steadfast supporter for Senator Obama..I will voice my opinion & vote accordingly if I think he is getting raw deal. I'll reserve final judgement until I see what action the DNC takes if any. Both campaigns know there are plenty of races left in this nomination process. The Clinton campaign is inching closer and we in the Senator Obama movement are looking for ways to stretch our lead. I hope we can all agree..this is a historic and one heck of a race.

johncz said...

Since it looks more & more likely that we are going to a brokered convention. Maybe the thing to do is use the following formula.

President = 1st place pledged delegates (excluding supers)

Vice President = 2nd place pledged delegates (excluding supers)

Basically taking away the power of the Democratic Presidential Nominee of naming their running mate since they didn't clinch the required pledged delegates. Then again, I'm not a believer in forced marriages. lol

Carrie said...

Thanks John -

I HATE! having to admit that MI probably shouldn't do a redo because the financial drain is too much - even though I think Hillary could have a net gain of delegates. But, I'm all about the personal responsibility...even though it STINKS! :)

Well, hopefully I'll meet you next year after our nominee (because, by then it'll be ours rather than yours or mine) is elected. I'm really hoping all this outrage can translate into increased party involvement and some good fixes to these problems that get this all out of the way for 2016. (Let's just assume our kick-tusch president in 2011 is one of these two, so the nomination will be moot in 2012. Sound good?)

DaxDiamond said...

The result of the rule breaking primaries are irrelevent, should not count, and will not count.

Seating a 50-50 delegation is meaningless and is nothing more than a fake fix.

There is nothing wrong with FL and/or MI electing delegates now, using a procedure that is within the rules.

The DNC should not pat for a redo. The taxpayer should not pay. If the state parties want to send delegates to the convention, they should pay. If they can get somebody (like the candidates) to help them, fine.

It is in Obama's interest to have a redo. No matter the outcome, he will still have a comfortable lead in elected delegates. There is no way the supers would overturn that. It is to his advantage to just get this issue off the table so that nobody has an excuse/reason to say that his elected delegate victory is not legitimate. And since he will be the nominee, he does not want MI and FL voters peaved at the Dem party in Nov.

The smartest move he could make right now is to ask his 1 million internet contributors to contribute money to a separate fund that would pay for a redo. That would force Clinton to do the same. Problem solved.

Yamaka said...

When Republicans agreed to admit 50% of the delegates from both MI and FL, where is the problem for this bone heads in the DNC?

Republican legislature and Governor moved the date in FL, which is their right. Likewise the Democratic legislature and Governor moved their date in MI, which is their right.

What right DNC has on this matter, except to get to commit suicide?

Republicans acted like adults, and accepted the voters of two important States FL and MI. The bone heads in DNC still talking about the moribund "Rules".

I will suggest that FL had both BHO and HRC's name in the ballot. So accept as is, period.

In MI, redo the Primary with the poor DNC paying the bill, because they want to follow some bogus Rule.

Howard Dean and DNC are on a suicidal mode to disenfranchise millions of voters in the name of useless bogus "Rules". The most important part is to be reasonable and listen to the voters, their concerns and to see how Republicans have put us in this hole!

We need Smart People in DNC and not Smart Asses!

Shame on DNC to even think about disenfranchising the voters who just obeyed what their States asked them to do!

Democrats we all look very stupid in the eyes of the American electorate, period.

Are we really qualified to earn the White House? DNC is not, in my view.

Bill UK said...

Legally, because of dissenfranchisement of voters, the answer has to be a re-run of both Florida and Michigan. Otherwise I can see law suits coming out left, right, and centre here.

Of course the other option is to let the rule stand and not count Florida and Michigan which would be farsical to say the least.

Re-run or hold the only two arguments that would stand up in court. Just my opinion.

Carrie said...

on dax's idea -

I heard something in passing on CNN about Clinton proposing that the two campaigns split the cost...

Now - honest disclaimer - I have an 18-mo-old who was tugging at me, and I'm on a really slow connection so can't search to confirm online.

Anyone else hear about this? Dax - what do you think about that?

DaxDiamond said...

I think it is the state dem party's responsibility to select delegates according to the rules. If they need help paying for it, or someone wants to offer help, discussions about that should take place without using the media as a go between.

PseudoPeach said...

The state parties are allowed to raise soft money to pay, so theoretically, anyone could pay in any ammount. It could be the campaigns, or some billionaire, or a bunch of internet donors.

Apparently, people in the Clinton campaign, such as James Carville, think they can raise the money. But I'll bet the Obama campaign would push for a least one of the states to be a caucus, both to save money and to avoid paying to erode their own delegate lead.

Florida is going be expensive! I'm really curious to see where this money ends up coming from.

Bill UK said...

PseudoPeach, how would a redo in both States reduce Obama's lead in delegates?

The fact is that at present Clinton has way to many delegates allocated to her from the Florida and Michigan primaries. Indeed it would clearly be in Obama's interest to have these States redo, he would then have the lead totally and get rid of this Clinton fallicy about her winning!

As it is it is the Clinton camp who do not want a redo, they will lose delegate count heavily. Also then the popular vote would also go Obamas way (remember that in the popular count Obama presently gets zero as his name was not on the ballot). Aredo would allow all to cast or recast their votes and would result in the non-dissenfranchisement of any voter.

PseudoPeach said...

Well Bill, right now the delegates from those states aren't being counted, but if there were a redo, they would count. Since Clinton won both of those 'practice primaries,' it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to expect her to win them again. Even if she wins by less this time--which she will--her delegate gap will narrow.

Now, considering that Obama wasn't even on the ballot in MI, it's a lot less certain how a redo there would come out. Here in Florida, however, they were both on the ballot. I think there are just too many old people in FL for the state to go for Obama, unless of course we hold a caucus that would keep the old folks past their bedtimes ;) Though I support him, I have to admit that holding new primaries in both states would probably result in her narrowing his lead.

No matter what, she can't make up the delegates. I'm just saying why I think he might not want to pay for the redo.

As far as the popular vote, I agree with you, it's totally ridiculous for her to count those states in her calculation.

Keryl said...

The numbers are pretty close, even counting Michigan and Florida, and if Obama could work out a deal where he lets the initial vote stand but claims the uncommitted delegates in Michigan he would still be ahead. Has anyone done the math to figure out where the race has to go for Obama to say, "it doesn't matter, go ahead and seat the delegates as they voted before even though it's unfair".

PseudoPeach said...

The pledged delegate math is pretty close. However, if the seat the superdelegations of those states, I hear she nets like 30 superdelegates, whose makeup is not affected by any re-vote. Does anyone know if they would still allow the superdelegations in the event of a redo? Seems to me that that part of the punishment should still stand.

Matt said...

Where did you get your +30 net for Clinton for MI and FL? I just posted this on Saturday (see link in left sidebar), and it was +10 for Clinton, with the majority undeclared.

Also, I'm sure the supers will be allowed back in under any revote scenario.

PseudoPeach said...

Saw it on MSNBC this morning--Chuck Todd. It seems pretty high to me too, that's why I was asking.

Bill UK said...

Just today found the Rasmussen poll for Michigan published on the 7th. Rasmussen says at present a tie on 41% each in Michigan should it be a redo.

Terry/Cape Coral said...


Matt said...

Terry - ALLCAPS are the equivalent of yelling in this neigborhood. Please don't use them in the future. Future posts in ALLCAPS will be deleted.

Shirley said...

Why should Michigan voters be penalized because of what the bone-head Michigan Democratic Party mafia did? The only fair thing is a do over. Let the Michigan Party pay for it.