02 June 2008

Democrat Delegate Debacle

Q and I watched the DNC rules and bylaws committee meeting on Saturday (yes we are that geeky and we fucking love it!)...Jesus Christ (i said that in spanish by the by) what a freakin mess the Dems are this year.

If you missed it and have completely shut off the interwebs, television, and radio you might not know what is going on. Well, let birdy help you, yes?

Florida and Michigan, who both held their primaries before the date allowed by the DNC were told that their delegates wouldnt be sat at the convention in August. They held the primaries anyway. All of the hopeful candidates agreed that they would not campaign in either states and they didnt. In Michigan, all the major candidates pulled their names off the ballots except for Hillary Clinton. So, the FL and MI primaries come and go and we move on with nomination process.

At the time, all the candidates were quoted several times saying that they know that Michigan and Florida dont count. All is fine and well.

As you may be aware...Obama has been gaining ground on Clinton and after primaries in Indiana came back much closer then expected, Obama effectively put the nomination out of Hillary's reach. Obama began to get support from undeclared super delegates and the math just wasnt there for Clinton.

About this time, the problem with Florida and Michigan became fervent. No one, either Obama, Hillary, or the DNC, wanted to stiff both states out of their votes (the dems try to pride themselves on not disenfranchising folks--even if they were warned and possibly deserve it), the problem was how to divide the delegates in one state where Obama's name didnt appear on the ballot.

Both Hillary and Bill Clinton as well as her outspoken supporters, then began talking a blue streak about how the press was pushing her out of the race. How they are trying to cover up the fact that she is "winning" the popular vote. Hillary of course is counting her big win in Michigan and Florida as well as her other, legitimate, primary wins (including Puerto Rico where the citizens have a say in who is a nominee but cant vote in the general election). By these numbers she says that she is winning this nomination and for the press and others to ask her to leave the race is insulting, sexist, etc. The Clinton line is that she has won more votes...that she has won bigger states...and that Obama is relying on Caucus states too much.

This all culminated in Saturday's Rules and Bylaws Committee where DNC members had to decide what to do with Michigan and Florida. After hours of "discussions" constantly interrupted by Obama and Clinton supporters screaming from the peanut gallery, it was decided that Florida would seat all its delegates with each getting 1/2 a vote. The Obama/Clinton breakdown would follow the % won during the primary. In Michigan, where Obama was not on the ballot, it was decided that all the delegates would be sat at the convention in August, each with 1/2 a vote. In the initial primary Hillary received 328,151 votes and Obama received 0. However, there were ~237,000 "uncommitted" votes placed in the Michigan primary. If Michigan voters wanted to vote for Obama or Edwards they would have to vote uncommitted.

The R&B Committee voted to give Hillary 35 delegates and Obama 29. The Michigan Democratic Party said that the numbers were based on work they did with Michigan dems who voted uncommitted, including exit polls etc. in an attempt to ferret out who they had voted for. Obviously the Hillary supporters were pissed saying that the committee had stolen votes and hijacked the nomination. I agree that it isnt an ideal situation however short of holding a new primary (something suggested early on and rejected by everyone involved) what is the committee to do?

However, the problem I have with Hillary and her supporters is that their argument that she is "winning" the popular vote is wrong and also completely moot.

First off, it doesnt even matter if she was truly winning the popular vote. The popular vote isnt what decides the Dem nomination...delegates are what candidates need and as i type the numbers say Obama 2,076 and Clinton 1,917. This means that even if Clinton was given all the delegates from michigan, she still wouldnt have the numbers needed to pull ahead.

What is more troubling to me here in Colorado, are the states Hillary is NOT counting in her winning formula...namely, the caucuses states. There are 14 states that hold caucuses and 11 of those states actually report turnouts for each candidate...leaving only Texas, Hawaii and Washington unaccounted for.

Why doesnt Hillary count the caucus numbers in her winning formula? Does she think that a vote in a primary is more important that a vote in a caucus? I know Colorado isnt a big win for any candidate, but the 120,001 people who took the time to go to their caucus on Super Tuesday would be a little insulted to find out that our vote doesnt matter...

After adding in the remaining caucus states the popular vote total looks something like this...

Obama: 17,780,516
Clinton: 17,589,514

Doing the math....carrying the one....

Clinton is behind Obama by 191,002 votes.

Hmm...fuzzy math.

As mentioned above, none of it matters because the popular vote doesnt get you squat. It all comes down to delegates and Obama is far ahead in that department.

I am hoping that after the final primaries tomorrow that the long nightmare will be over. That Clinton will concede and give a nice speech where she says that Obama is our nominee and lets all be good little dems and rally behind our candidate. If she chooses to push this issue to the Credentials Committee as Harold Ickes suggested she might, I swear to god I will have an aneurysm.

Here's to hoping Clinton does the smart thing.


All numbers were culled from here or here.


Dr. Suspicio said...

An awesome recap. You are to be commended.

Michigan and Florida, however, are to be condemned. They should not have gotten any delegates, let alone a starring role at the end of the primary process. They broke the rules, but suffered no punishment. What a pity that our society gave up the rule of law quite some time ago.

Bird said...

I agree Doc. This shows that the DNC has no teeth. For the 2012 election I think Colorado should move their caucus to February 2009...i mean, what's the DNC gonna do about it??!!

Also, I am tired of fucking hearing about election issues in Florida. Christ.

Hercules Rockefeller said...

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