What's Next for Florida in Primary Fight?

The issue of what will happen with Florida's Democratic primary voters has not been settled by the decision not to hold a new election.

Attempts are still underway to have Florida delegates seated in accord with the Jan. 29 primary results.

Clinton’s spokesman Singer responds: “Today’s announcement brings us no closer to counting the votes of the nearly 1.7 million people who voted in January. We hope the Obama campaign shares our belief that Florida’s voters must be counted and cannot be disenfranchised.”

On the Fox News Channel, Gov. Crist once again calls for the party to “do the right thing” and seat the delegation as-is in Denver — voted in by a record-breaking turnout.

That's the right solution. Also, on CNN an hour or so ago, before the spin doctors came on, a reporter who had spoken with Florida Democratic Party Chair and Congresswoman Karen Thurman said she told him that all options had not been exhausted -- or even explored yet-- and that efforts were ongoing to find a solution acceptable to both campaigns.

From Ms. Thurman's letter today: [More...]

This doesn’t mean that Democrats are giving up on Florida voters. It means that a solution will have to come from the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee, which is scheduled to meet again in April.

When this committee stripped us of 100% of our delegates last year, some members summed up their reasoning by saying, “The rules are the rules.” Unfortunately, the rules did not apply to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina when they, too, violated the DNC calendar by moving from their assigned dates.

As the late great Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “We must adjust our ideas to the facts of today… Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.”

So the battle over Florida's delegates and voters continues. Hillary Clinton does not appear to be scaling back her campaign. In fact, both she and Obama have just hired "superstar" campaigners for North Carolina, whose primary is May 6.

Though Pennsylvania has the buzz as the next big Democratic primary battleground, there's another major clash looming between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in North Carolina, where both campaigns have hired competing - and formidable - California political operatives to go mano a mano in a contest for 115 crucial delegates.

Obama has the edge in North Carolina with about 1/3 of Democratic primary voters being African American.

[Obama campaigner] Schirmer says Obama has an aggressive plan in North Carolina - where as many as a third of Democratic primary voters are expected to be African American - that will involve "vigorously campaigning across the state for all voters, white, black, Hispanic, Asian and everyting in between."

But, Hillary's campaigner says they will fight for every delegate.

Averell "Ace" Smith, the tough-as-nails former opposition researcher who managed the New York Senator's winning campaigns in California and Texas, has been ordered to bring in a win for Clinton in the May 6 primary, with Tarheel State polls showing Obama ahead by 8-10 points.

"There's no question that North Carolina is an uphill battle for us, but we intend to win here," said Smith in a phone interview Monday from North Carolina. "We're looking to score an upset."

Elton John will be doing a Radio City Music Hall benefit for Hillary on April 9.

Last but not least, even Huffpo sounds nervous about rumors that John Edwards may endorse Hillary before North Carolina.

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    Sorry, but (none / 0) (#1)
    by rdandrea on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:56:07 PM EST
    Governor Crist does not exactly come across as an honest broker on this issue.

    I am convinced (none / 0) (#46)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:27:36 PM EST
    that Crist has been throwing wrenches behind the scenes.  There is no reason why a revote is acceptable (at least in principal) in MI yet not in FL.  The only difference between these two states is a dem governor in one and a repub governor in the other.  And lots of people with funny accents.

    Yah dere, make fun of der Yoopers (none / 0) (#171)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:19:09 PM EST
    like da trolls below da bridge do. . . .:-)

    Are there not (none / 0) (#2)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:58:34 PM EST
    rules inplace that would give the state party ground to stand on since the republicans would not allow them to pass and amendment to the bill that would have moved the primary back to Feb. 5th? Did the party not do all it could? Is there not a provision in the DNC rules that gives the DNC discretion to not punish FLorida at all or to punish it some other way?

    The problem is (none / 0) (#5)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:02:45 PM EST
    that they really made no effort to change things.

    They NEVER publicly opposed the change of the date.  So it is disingenuous for them to claim they were victims when they voted for the date change and made no effort to change it and no public protests of the date change.

    This is a power struggle for the Florida Democratic Party.  If they can get the DNC to seat them BEFORE it becomes moot, they become one of the early states and enjoy the benefits of being one.


    My mother forwarded an email to me (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by kredwyn on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:09:05 PM EST
    that included this bit:
    Our Democratic legislators in Tallahassee tried to set the Florida primary on Feb. 5, instead of Jan. 29, but of course, their proposed amendment to House Bill 537 was greeted with laughter and derision from the Republicans who control the state government.
    with a link dated May 2007.

    Thanks for the link (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:21:15 PM EST
    Arrogant jerks.

    Of course they attached the paper trail amendment to
    it so that Democrats had to vote for it as they were sponsors.

    I hope the DNC is proud. Howard Dean got Roved.


    if you read (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:15:08 PM EST
    this analysis by Mary Beth at Wampum, you will see how the Republicans strongholded the Dems on that vote by using a poison pill in the legislation:

       Party leaders, Chairwoman Thurman and members of Congress then lobbied Democratic members of the Legislature through a variety of means to prevent the primary from moving earlier than February 5th. ....In response to the Party's efforts, Senate Democratic Leaders Geller and Wilson and House Democratic Leaders Gelber and Cusack introduced amendments to CS/HB 537 to hold the Presidential Preference Primary on the first Tuesday in February, instead of January 29th. These were both defeated by the overwhelming Republican majority in each house.

     The primary bill, which at this point had been rolled into a larger legislation train, went to a vote in both houses. It passed almost unanimously. The final bill contained a whole host of elections legislation, much of which Democrats did not support. However, in legislative bodies, the majority party can shove bad omnibus legislation down the minority's throats by attaching a couple of things that made the whole bill very difficult, if not impossible, to vote against. This is what the Republicans did in Florida, including a vital provision to require a paper trail for Florida elections. There was no way that any Florida Democratic Party official or Democratic legislative leader could ask our Democratic members, especially those in the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, to vote against a paper trail for our elections. It would have been embarrassing, futile, and, moreover, against Democratic principles.

    It was about paper trails, people. The Republican legislature attached a "poison pill", the requirement of paper trails for electronic voting machines, and dared the minority Dems to vote against it.

    And how many Republican controlled states.... (none / 0) (#48)
    by ineedalife on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:28:40 PM EST
    will do the same next time? If the DNC is that easily manipulated I could see TX pulling the same crap next cycle.

    Actually (none / 0) (#7)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:03:53 PM EST
    they did try to change it. There was an amendment to the bill for the express purpose of changing the date back to Feb. 5. It was promptly voted down.

    Three months on this blog (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by echinopsia on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:31:19 PM EST
    Have taught me who to believe, who to trust but verify, and who to dismiss out of hand.

    Flyerhawk is in the last category. In fact it's worth it to research everything he states as fact because it's usually so easy to debunk.


    Personal attacks (none / 0) (#64)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:39:22 PM EST
    are no allowed on this site.  I would hope that random drive by personal attacks even more so.

    You guys are so busying agreeing with yourselves you completely lose focus on reality.

    I am right more times than no on this site.  The difference is I'm not saying things the crowd here wants to hear.


    can you get banned (none / 0) (#68)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:42:27 PM EST
    for insulting yourself?

    You need to look up the meaning (none / 0) (#99)
    by echinopsia on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:53:53 PM EST
    of "personal attack."

    Hint: what i posted above is not an example of one.


    You explicitly (none / 0) (#109)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:00:23 PM EST
    referred to me and attempted to disparage my credibility.  That is the epitome of a personal attack using no evidence or data simply vague assertions.  It is an ad hominem attack AND a personal attack.  

    Name calling isn't the only form of personal attack.  


    Timing? (none / 0) (#9)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:04:06 PM EST
    When did the FL and MI state parties begin harping for a revote or delegate count?  

    Weak tea (none / 0) (#3)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:00:01 PM EST
    Karen Thurman bringing up South Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire is ridiculous.  They weren't stripped of their delegates for violating the technical letter of the law.  They were stripped of their delegates for brazenly and willfully violating the spirit of the law.  

    Florida's delegates will be seated after Hillary drops out of the race.

    So you agree that those states (none / 0) (#6)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:03:02 PM EST
    violated the law? Let's skip the subjective adjectives, ok?

    This wasn't a violation of a LAW (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:13:34 PM EST
    It was a violation of a party rule.

    The rules do have a provision for lifting any penalty for having an early primary if the Democratic Party in the state took all possible measures to change the date of the primary.

    The problem in FLA was that the bill moving up the primary also had a provision in it to require a paper trail for electronic voting that Democrats in the legislature (a minority) HAD to vote for.  The Republicans wouldn't split the bill.  So the Democrats voted for the bill that moved the primary date up, and then the Republicans wouldn't agree to move it back.

    The DNC takes the position that the Democrats didn't do everything possible to move the date back because they voted for the bill that moved the date forward -- even though the bill contained another provision they couldn't vote against.

    The DNC could have taken a different view of that series of actions, and it could still do so -- but at this point, changing their minds on that point would cause Obama supporters to cry foul.


    They violated the law (none / 0) (#12)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:05:14 PM EST
    the same as the other states. They should face the same punishment. Rules are rules, isn't that what we are being told?

    Yes I am (none / 0) (#40)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:22:35 PM EST
    Florida and Michigan started a chain reaction with the other 4 states.  The rules were EXPLICITLY created to allow Iowa, NH, Nevada, and South Carolina to have their primaries first.  That was the entire point of the rule.  So the fact that those 4 states moved up their primaries as a reaction to Florida and Michigan is not a willful act by those states to subvert the rules of the party.  They were trying to simply keep the previous status quo.

    To be clear, I think it is utterly ridiculous that those 4 states are given some grant to be precede all other states.  But that is the way things are and unless Michigan and Florida can convince the entire DNC to change the rules, they should abide by them.


    I am not arguing (none / 0) (#70)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:43:13 PM EST
    for strict interpretation of the rules.  I am arguing for reasonable interpretation of the rules.

    The Florida legislature chose to break into the 4 state primary party.  The RNC punished them by taking half their delegates.  The DNC went even further and stripped them of all their delegates.

    You can say that was excessive but the legislature knew full well what they were doing.


    The spirit of Democracy (none / 0) (#134)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:22:11 PM EST
    Wither that?

    I'm always amused when ... (none / 0) (#181)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:44:21 AM EST
    blog posters use the terms "weak tea" or "thin gruel."

    It makes me picture them sitting in wing-backed chairs with antimacassars behind their heavily pomaded heads.



    Who's votes count? (none / 0) (#4)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:00:21 PM EST
    We can not seat the delegates as they are.  Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't many democratic residents decide not to vote since they were informed their vote would not count?  Obama did not campaign in that state because he was told by his party those delegates would not count.  How is that fair?

    What about those people?  The count as is is tainted.  The DNC had already stated the delegates would not count.  Now that the FL potentially could of taken front stage in the American Political Stage they want their voices to count.  

    I'm sorry, but you broke the rules.  You have to play by them.

    There are many people here stating Obama is a lock to lose in the GE.  Based on what?

    You are correct (none / 0) (#18)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:10:46 PM EST
    Florida turnout was depressed.  Seating the delegates from Jan. 29 would be a fraud.  You don't tell people their vote is for one thing and then change the stakes after the vote.

    I used to think the position that adherence to neutral pre-determined rules was "quaint" was solely a Republican one.


    no it wasn't (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:18:59 PM EST
    the analysis you are pointing to compares Florida with other states. If you compare 2008 Florida votes to 2004 Florida Dmocratic primary votes, turnout was huge. 1.7 million vs. 750,000.

    Why would you compare it to 2004 turnout? (none / 0) (#39)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:22:10 PM EST
    There is absolutely no basis for such a comparison.  This has been a record year for Dem turnout in every single state.  There is no principled reason whatsoever to compare it to 2004.

    Perhaps (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by TN Dem on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:18:16 PM EST
    She refers to the 2004 vote totals because it shows that about a million more people voted this time than in that last primary year.

    Incidently, what do you suppose those figures that show increased a record year of voting come from? I was under the impression they came form camparisons of 2004 vote totals for each state.


    Kerry was the nominee as of March 4, 2004. (none / 0) (#132)
    by scoutfinch on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:20:14 PM EST
    The Florida primary was March 9, 2004. No surprise that turnout was low.

    Democratic turnout was not depressed (5.00 / 1) (#178)
    by xspowr on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:01:27 AM EST
    Took a look at your linked source. The author of that post uses "Republican primary voters as a percentage of Democratic primary voters" as the metric by which to measure whether Democratic turnout was depressed in Florida in the 2008 primary. The author uses 2008 Florida primary data and compares it to 2008 primary data for New Hampshire and South Carolina to reach his conclusion that Democratic turnout was depressed (allegedly due to voters being told their votes would not matter in Florida).  Specifically, he reports the following numbers: NH (82%), SC (84%), and FL (114%).

    However, this methodology is flawed. To begin with, the author fails to take into account vastly different population and demographic data in these three states, which may have affected voter turnout patterns.  Second, the author fails to account for other possible influences on turnout, such as statewide or local measures that may have affected turnout (such as the paper ballot question in Florida).  Third, the author ignores the most relevant metric, which is the historical pattern of Democratic turnout in Florida itself.

    Like the author, I also did a bit of "back of the matchbook" arithmetic to look at historical voter turnout patterns in Florida, using the same metric as the author ("Republican primary voters as a percentage of Democratic primary voters") as a determinant of depressed turnout. I looked at data from 1980 to 2008.  Data from 1984 is excluded, as Ronald Reagan was the only Republican nominee on the ballot, and Republican turnout was abnormally suppressed that year as a result.  Comparative data from 1996 and 2004 is unavailable (there was no Democratic primary in 1996, and no Republican primary in 2004).

    Accordingly, meaningful comparative data for Florida is available for 1980, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2008. The results are as follows:

    1980 (56%)
    1988 (71%)
    1992 (82%)
    2000 (127%)
    2008 (112%)

    The pattern, as the data shows, is an increasing Republican turnout compared to Democrats from 1980 to 2000, when it peaked at 127% (i.e., in 2000 more Republicans voted than Democrats for the first time in this dataset).

    Notably, the data suggest that a higher Republican turnout in Florida is part of a longterm historical trend, and not an anomaly supporting the conclusion that Democratic turnout was depressed in 2008. More importantly, from 2000 to 2008, the relevant metric actually declined by 15%, which supports the conclusion that Democratic participation in the 2008 primary increased in comparison to the 2000 primary. Combined with the overall record turnout in the 2008 primary (approximately 1.7 million versus 754,000 in 2004 and 552,000 in 2000), the conclusion would have to be that Democratic turnout was not only not depressed in 2008, but that it actually took a substantial upward turn.


    But that objection doesn't (none / 0) (#29)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:16:04 PM EST
    deal with the issue of a re-vote.  There are apparently logistical issues with a re-vote, even though MI seems to have been able to deal with them.  But even if you believe the original January 29 vote should not be counted, what is the principled (as opposed to logistical) argument against a re-vote.  The rules have always permitted a state to propose alternative means to seat a slate of delegates. The rules don't require permanent, irrevocable disenfranchisement no matter what else is done to select delegates.

    True. (none / 0) (#37)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:21:00 PM EST
    I agree.

    If you can promise the Democratic Party a fiscally responsible, clean, fair and untainted re-vote in the State of Florida, that also account for those IND's and REP's that have already voted in the Rep. Primary then I think Obama should agree.  

    However the waters are already dirty and Florida does not have a good track record with their voting system.  Nor would I trust them to do this well with only a few month to prepare.


    Obama was the only one who DID campaign in Fla (none / 0) (#101)
    by andrys on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:57:42 PM EST
    ... after the decision was made for no one to campaign.

      Obama had national TV ads that ran during the last 10 days or so before the Florida primary.  Wonderful timing, wouldn't you say?  Because he bought the bundle or package of nat'l tv ads, they showed in Florida.

      He was the only one with any kind of campaigning there!
    And yet you believe he didn't campaign there?
      They were all allowed to do fundraisers though.  After one, he walked across the street and answered questions from reporters.  When told he was, then, campaigning, he said he didn't realize that and wouldn't do that again.

      Obama tends to be unaware of all these things which can be problematical for him.

      The point is that 1.7 million voters decided they wanted to vote despite the problems party hacks were having over the date situation.  They did vote.  And now their votes should be recognized, since the Republican legislature tacked on the paper-trail rider to the first vote (which the Dems had wanted for voting confirmation for so long) and when the Dems tried to get the date moved back to Feb. 5, the Republican-dominated legislature voted them down.

      If you care about the voters who went to the trouble to vote, you will care about something FAIR being done re the votes about which so many felt so strongly.  People care more about their candidate not having to lose even a BIT of the lead.  There's little principle involved in this.

      Dean has to be incredibly rigid and DUMB to not do anything about this.  I always remember the Florida ballot situation from Yr 2000 that lost us the entire election.  This way it certainly will happen again, thanks to Dean and Pelosi and those who feel they will do ANYthing so that Obama doesn't lose officially in Florida even though he lost the vote at the time it ran, by 17 percentage points.

      The party will see many leaving it if they don't fix this.


    An odd situation. (none / 0) (#8)
    by lilburro on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:03:59 PM EST
    As the rubric for evaluating the stronger Dem candidate shifts, will Edwards be of especial value to Clinton?  If he endorses her he could help people consider more seriously her claim to the nomination.  Then again, he could just revert to being 'that guy with the $400 haircut.'

    BTD, before you post Hillary should drop out (none / 0) (#10)
    by ChiTownDenny on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:04:12 PM EST
    Aren't there 4 million primary voters in PA.  Isn't Hillary polling +20%?  Isn't that +800,000 votes, which ties Barack?  

    Opinions. (none / 0) (#14)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:07:27 PM EST
    He can post his opinion any time he wants I would think.  The PA primaries will really not have any impact on anything unless it's a complete blowout favoring Clinton.  Which is extremely unlikely to happen.

    He can make a case for his argument.


    Wouldn't a (none / 0) (#16)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:08:36 PM EST
    20% win be considered a blow-out?

    If 100% of Democratic voters turnout and she (none / 0) (#191)
    by JoeA on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:01:58 AM EST
    wins by 20% thenyour figures work.

    My predictions of the day.

    1.  Turnout will be high,  but not 100% high.

    2.  Hillary will not win by 20%.

    Find me an Obama supporter who says (none / 0) (#11)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:04:27 PM EST
    It would be a travesty to seat the FL delegation, and who doesn't mention that Hillary gets delegates out of said actions, and I'll show you an honest Obama supporter.
    The only principle involved is to strip Hillary of delegates by any technical means possible, regardless of how the spirit of the rules was intended.

    No, the principle is not lying to people (none / 0) (#20)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:11:45 PM EST
    and following the rules you agreed to before you knew who would benefit them.

    And by the way (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:15:00 PM EST
    I favor revotes, which would also give Hillary delegates, because I believe in democracy and the rule of law AND enfranchising voters.  Many Obama supporters feel the same way.

    Inaccurate (none / 0) (#34)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:20:29 PM EST
    No one lied, and as has been said ad naeusum the rules ALLOW the seating of delegates. So please either show us where it says that is breaking the rules, or please stop repeating the same false assertion.



    The rules allow (none / 0) (#43)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:25:43 PM EST
    for Florida to send delegates to the convention based on hair color if they so choose.

    So what?


    I think its pretty clear so what (none / 0) (#47)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:27:52 PM EST
    That it is inaccurate to keep claiming rules have been broken IF the FL delegates are seated, because the rules ALLOW for the FL delegates to be seated.

    that is true (none / 0) (#54)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:33:57 PM EST
    the convention delegates can vote to overrule the Rules committee, and I believe the rules committee can overrule itself.  No rules would be broken, just as the Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore didn't break any rules.

    See what you did there? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:36:22 PM EST
    You were being all nice and factual, then you threw in an incendiary comment. I think its specially amusing as you point to a ruling saying "votes don't matter" as a parallel to a scenario in which votes should matter.

    So its bad to seat delegates and have peoples votes count? Specially if its done by the rules? Why, because it doesn't favor your candidate?


    no, I'm simply pointing out that (none / 0) (#73)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:43:55 PM EST
    the fact that the controlling legal authority can overrule a previous decision is not the sole criterion of democratic legitimacy.  I assumed the Bush v. Gore example might have some resonance with you because I assumed you thought that decision was problematic.

    Of course it's not "bad to seat delegates and have people's votes count".  That is a straw man.  But those votes should mean the same thing when they are cast as when they have their ultimate effect.

    It certainly wouldn't violate the rules to seat the delegates under your scenario.  It would violate principles of democracy and the rule of law, however.


    I respect (none / 0) (#80)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:46:02 PM EST
    That is your opinion. I don't agree. I was just objecting to the statements that say rules are broken if they are seated by the rules as a factual statement. I think you position is very clear.

    For me it is quite simple: (none / 0) (#172)
    by felizarte on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:28:24 PM EST
    Although a registered democrat, I refuse to vote for the party's nominee if it is Obama because of the way the party has been so blatantly biased in its decisions against Hillary.

    That's like saying (none / 0) (#66)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:41:17 PM EST
    that if you get convicted of a crime but the judge doesn't punish you that means you didn't actually commit a crime.

    The rules were broken.  They were punished.  The DNC may choose to revoke the punishment but that doesn't change the fact that the rules were broken.


    By that argument (none / 0) (#76)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:44:44 PM EST
    All the other states where the dates were moved but they were not punished should have all their delegates revoked. By your own statement rules were broken, but they were not punished. So those states are criminals that are not yet caught.

    I am sorry, but that is a very weak argument.


    and for your argument to work (none / 0) (#81)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:46:51 PM EST
    your whole family would have to be thrown into jail for your crime.

    No (none / 0) (#89)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:49:13 PM EST
    This is not a public election.  It is a Party nomination that is set up by the Democratic Parties, both state and national.  

    It sucks for the voters of Florida that their state politicians screwed them and I hope they punish them severely.  But we live in a Republic.  You don't get to pick and choose when your elected officials represent you and when they don't.


    Well you can try (none / 0) (#83)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:47:27 PM EST
    and go to the DNC and get them to nullify NH and Iowa if you like but I somehow doubt it's going to happen.

    The rules are in place specifically to protect NH and Iowa.  Punishing them because they reacted to Florida and Michigan would be fairly silly and Ms. Thurman, I'm quite sure, knows that.


    telling people they are not voting for delegates (none / 0) (#51)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:32:23 PM EST
    and then, after they have voted, making the votes count for delegates, makes the first statement a lie.

    I don't see (none / 0) (#13)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:07:09 PM EST
    how any democrat could disenfranchise their fellow democrats just because it's better for their guy.

    Isn't it better to count all the votes and have a chance at these states in November than to tell the voters to p*ss off?

    And I ask that as a Florida absentee voter who had no say in what the republican legislature did.

    Explain this: (none / 0) (#15)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:08:34 PM EST
    What about all the voters that did not vote since they were informed their vote would not count?

    The turn out (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:10:59 PM EST
    was the highest in Florida history. That is a fact.

    In addition, voting in a primary is not a right and it is a priviledge that many people routinely sit out for various reasons, one of which is that many voters feel their votes never count.

    So in my opinion, those voters chose to sit home for whatever rason. it does not negate that I chose to vote along with millions of other Floridians.


    the turnout was depressed (none / 0) (#21)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:12:49 PM EST
    that is also a fact.  

    And now you want to depress it to ZERO (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by andrys on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:05:29 PM EST
    That makes so much sense.

    The point is 1.7 million people voted despite obstacles being put in their place.  MORE important to what their ludicrous party officials were planning to do to show who had control, when and where (depended on a state's political clout), the PEOPLE did go and vote.  Those who weren't as motivated stayed home.  That happens with primaries and elections.

    Your proposed action and your mindset is very similar to that of the Republicans who did not want to see the Florida ballot situation corrected in 2004.  It doesn't favor your candidate.


    I want a fair election (none / 0) (#128)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:14:01 PM EST
    where everyone knows the rules going in and doesn't change them afterward because doing so favors their candidate.  I'll see your Republican comparison and argue that your willingness to discard the rules when it suits you is redolent of John Yoo.

    You imagine my 'willingness' to discard rules (none / 0) (#194)
    by andrys on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 09:08:47 AM EST
    What we've asked for is, sure, to abide by the rules by not recognizing the votes but, if the chairman makes such idiotic rules for voters to punish THEM for Republican legislature actions in Florida or for Mich Dem party rebelliousness, then adjust for these by holding REVOTES if they're paid for, since the FIRST rule of elections and primaries is to VOTE.

      Even if my candidate might lose by a revote, I'd be for the revote, since the Dem party will be buried in the GE if they ignore this basic principle of voting.

      Also I'd be ashamed to thwart the entire basic idea of voting JUST to avoid my candidate narrowing his/her margin.
      Others will search for all kinds of reasons not to hold a re-vote though or to allow others' votes to come into play if it might affect negatively their candidates' lead.  But, just look at all the polling results for electoral votes.  We can't afford to encourage two states not to go to the polls in Nov.  It doesn't help the party or our common goal to do that.



    I say it's a fact. (none / 0) (#65)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:40:28 PM EST
    Many experts agree.  Give me a link to someone in the know that agrees that it wasn't depressed.

    I cited evidence (none / 0) (#77)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:45:30 PM EST
    to support my conclusion.  If you can argue against it, feel free.

    Dude you cited another blogger's (none / 0) (#148)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:34:58 PM EST
    opinion.  That's squat for evidence.

    Garbage. (none / 0) (#27)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:15:24 PM EST
    They weren't ideally thinking at home, "Gee my vote will not count.  So I won't bother!"  They were sitting at home watching the news or reading and email stating, from the DNC itself, that the delegates would not be counted.  They were reading that the Florida Primary is now bunk.  This was staight from the mouth of the Democratic Party.  

    It wasn't a lazy or idealistic "non-vote". It was a non-vote based on a fact and firm facts from the party running the primary that their vote is void.

    Now again tell me, how is that fair to those people?


    Because it is (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:48:39 PM EST

    The FLorida party told people to vote anyway. they told people they would probably be sat. And if you are a voter who wants their voice heard...you vote...

    In a primary, tobe fair, all that is required is that you have the fair opportunity to vote. They did and chose not to.

    Are we now going to do over every state because some people stayed home fearing their vote would not count?

    Slippery slope.


    Actual turnout numbers (none / 0) (#103)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:58:11 PM EST
    Suggest otherwise.  I will take a simple and compelling statistical analysis over speculation about what people might have done based because of what "The Florida party told" them to do.

    Not to mention the lack of campaigning. (none / 0) (#143)
    by scoutfinch on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:30:41 PM EST
    The candidates weren't here.

    I'm sure many voters researched their choices -- I know I spent considerable time doing so. I'm not discounting the power of 1.7 million votes.

    But I don't know how people can disregard the fact that the outcome of the "primary" is an outcome that resulted only from independent research. The candidates didn't have rallies, didn't appear on local media outlets, and didn't have personal events here.

    Voters expressed preferences. But neither candidate had much of an opportunity to influence those preferences here on the ground.

    If we're trying to find the candidate who's best able to win Florida in November, it makes more sense to gauge the preferences of voters after the candidates have made an effort to woo those voters directly.


    Please stop posting that link (none / 0) (#149)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:36:22 PM EST
    the the opinion of some blogger.  It's not evidence.

    I was aware (none / 0) (#142)
    by TN Dem on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:29:59 PM EST
    Of the fact that by DNC rules there was an opportunity to petition the DNC to seat the delegates based on the votes prior to the primary date...do you think the residents of FL were not as aware as this Tennessean about that possibility?

    BTW, this knowledge came before I became a regular blog reader. In fact I heard it while watching cable news(Likely the same channels that many FL residents were watching when they saw some national adds for Senator Obama's campaign).


    There were other ballot initiatives, not just (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Angel on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:14:18 PM EST
    the presidential nomination contest.  Get real.

    who are they? (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:20:33 PM EST
    1.7 million voted and the party told everyone to vote regardless of the DNC's intended penalty. It was everywhere. In 2004, only 750,000 Dems turned out to vote in Florida.

    Yeah and I guess (none / 0) (#56)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:34:30 PM EST
    we should just ignore that Florida had their primary after the race was already settled?

    And I guess we'll ignore the fact that in 2004 Texas and Florida had almost the exact same number of voters in the D primary but that Texas had over a million more voters this year than Florida DESPITE Florida being the 5th primary to be held?  

    You're rationalizing, Jeralyn.


    More people in TX ace (none / 0) (#146)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:33:29 PM EST
    They were also assured (none / 0) (#67)
    by echinopsia on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:42:08 PM EST
    that the Florida votes WOULD count and that the delegation WOULD be seated. I remember reading this at the time.

    So they had conflicting messages. It's not accurate to say the only thing they were told was that their votes would not count.


    exactly (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:43:39 PM EST
    even Obama gave them a wink to let them know that they would be seated.

    Man, can you imagine what would have happened if MI and FL had counted in the order they were won?  Clinton would be gearing up against McCain right now.


    Yes, it is a travesty. (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Angel on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:47:06 PM EST
    she would also be gearing up for McCain (none / 0) (#133)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:21:37 PM EST
    if she had won 11 primaries in a row as Obama did.  Can you imagine if any other candidate had put together such a terrible performance in February?  This would be long over.

    Can you imagine? (none / 0) (#136)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:23:53 PM EST
    What if MI and FL actually didn't break the rules and didn't try to butt into the early campaign news?  

    Then we wouldn't be where we are dealing with two illegitimate primaries.


    Source? (none / 0) (#71)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:43:32 PM EST
    Source?  They were told by the DNC that their delegates would not be seated because the state violated primary rules.

    Source? (none / 0) (#90)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:49:33 PM EST
    Any local Florida paper at the time. And local FLorida broadcast.

    If every paper and TV station was saying that (none / 0) (#131)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:19:33 PM EST
    It shouldn't be too difficult to find one.

    You want one, look it up (none / 0) (#150)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:37:23 PM EST
    Respectful of Free Speech (none / 0) (#23)
    by ChiTownDenny on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:13:48 PM EST
    But Jeremiah Wright is a game changer.

    Totally agree about Jeremiah Wright!!!! (none / 0) (#31)
    by athyrio on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:17:59 PM EST
    Right Now. (none / 0) (#32)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:18:05 PM EST
    Barring Obama's speech tomorrow, I think this issue dies in a week.  America is fickle with a short attention span.  This story will blow over after a month.  It will be added to a short list of Obama's mistakes.  Clinton also has a list.

    This also means nothing in the GE if Obama were to get the nomination.  For every Wright there is a Falwell.


    Hmmm. Five weeks til another primary so (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Angel on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:30:54 PM EST
    maybe this issue will not die anytime soon.  And with the speech tomorrow that will give the MSM another reason to keep talking about it.  This is a serious issue for BO.  I just read something that he said in a PBS interview (with Gwen Ifill, I believe), and he said that he hadn't distanced himself from Wright and Rezko because "he hadn't been in Washington long enough."  Some answer, huh?  

    Check this out (none / 0) (#92)
    by echinopsia on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:49:59 PM EST
    It will hurt more in the GE than the primary, (none / 0) (#36)
    by Teresa on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:20:59 PM EST

    Really sound like (none / 0) (#41)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:23:24 PM EST
    Whistling past the grave yard. Do you think Republicans and certain media outlets will EVER let this story go? And what happens IF proof is found of Sen Obama being at one of these sermons (not saying there will be, just if).

    I don't think this is blowing over anytime soon, but its too soon to tell what the real damage is. What I hope (and believe) is that either it will be so damaging that he won't get the nomination, or if he does get it then it should be manageable in the GE. But don't fool yourself, it will hurt in the GE, it will come up again and again.


    Comparison with Falwell and Robertson (none / 0) (#42)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:23:39 PM EST
    shows that you are dead wrong.
    You find the offensive, and so do I, but are they ballot booth poison? Definitely not---they are (were in Falwell's case) assets to any Republican seeking office.
    How about Wright? I think his approval rating must be right up there with David Duke.
    He's poison to Obama, who is sinking like a rock on both Gallup and Rasmussen.
    If Obama hasn't dropped another 5-10 pts in a week, I'll believe that Wright MIGHT not make Obama unelectable.

    They polled Wright and he (none / 0) (#151)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:39:41 PM EST
    got a whopping 8% approval.  Really popular guy.

    This seems like wishful thinking (none / 0) (#107)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:59:47 PM EST
    Nobody knows how this will play out.  Confident assertions that it's the death of the Obama campaign are just speculative, as are confident assertions that it will blow over.

    Nice post!! (none / 0) (#30)
    by Andy08 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:17:47 PM EST
    Thank you for the update and clarifications.

    I don't understand why some are so afraid of letting the process play out itself (including the decision of SD).

    I find it pretty infantile to think that anything that can be discussed or asked in the Dem primaries
    will be a revelation to the Rep. As is they were sitting on their hands not doing any research...

    have Clinton split the difference (none / 0) (#44)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:25:57 PM EST
    my suggestion:

    1. figure out what Clinton's delegate advantage would be if they were seated

    2. Have Clinton contact half that number of her superdelegates, and ask them to pledge to vote for Obama on the first ballot if the Florida delegation is seated.

    This solutionwould show that Clinton isn't just trying to get florida seated for her own benefit, but for the party's.  And, if she gets her african-american supporters who are under pressure to switch to Obama to be the ones to take the pledge, she helps them out --- and can have them make it clear that if the DNC and the Obama doesn't take the offer, they will raise holy hell about Obama and his white supporters on the DNC deliberately disenfranchising the 340,000 african americans who voted in the Florida democratic primary!

    Riddle me this, Obamacans: (none / 0) (#45)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:26:36 PM EST
    How do you know that Obama would have done BETTER if he had campaigned in Florida?
    The entire absurd basis for excluding the votes from Florida is that it hurt Obama, because he could not campaign. Where is the proof that Obama was hurt?
    In fact he DID campaign in FL, and he ran ads.
    Likewise, his campaign worked to get the votes out against Hillary in MI.
    Both contests were more than fair to Obama, and he lost. Because of a technicality, you want to exclude them---basing the argument in part on the unfairnesss to Obama.
    How does Obama poll in FL now? Not so well, right?
    Hmmm... something smells here.

    If Obama's internals (none / 0) (#53)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:33:44 PM EST
    showed him doing well in FL, he would be all over the news demanding the votes be counted.  Actually, I think he could get away with it more than Clinton could.

    Sure, it's a political ploy, and they are both politicians, but if people are worried about the "will of the people" then that should include the people of FL.


    indeed (none / 0) (#60)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:37:40 PM EST
    the "proof" is a reasonable inference based on the fact that he's closed the initial polling gap everywhere he's been able to campaign.

    If you're asserting that some spillover from a national ad buy and a "press conference" constitute campaigning, you may not be persuadable on this.  But if campaigns have no effect on the outcome, you should be calling for Obama and Hillary to stop wasting all this money and effort.


    Hillary would be a big favorite in FL, no (none / 0) (#86)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:48:16 PM EST
    matter how much he campaigned. It was her state to lose, and she did not.

    Then she should have (none / 0) (#93)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:51:24 PM EST
    fought for Florida BEFORE the primaries began.  Of course she wasn't going to do that because she didn't want to piss off New Hampshire and Iowa.  

    But you asked for proof (none / 0) (#111)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:01:39 PM EST
    that he would do better, not that he would win.  She probably would win today.  But let's not assume that the outcome would have been the same if significant variables had been changed.

    Obama has consistently closed well (none / 0) (#163)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:56:59 PM EST
    Additionally, Edwards is not in the race now. So it's not only Clinton's percentage, it's Obama's. Any revote would be closer than the January unauthorized primary.

    But it's irrelevant. Throughout the campaign season the Democratic Party in Florida has been playing chicken. After the Florida vote the Clinton campaign has been encouraging them to hold out. Now the foot-dragging has eliminated the possibility of a revote. The voters of Florida have been badly served. Don't blame Obama. He followed the rules. Don't blame the DNC. They just enforced the rules.


    Did they just fall off a turnip truck? (none / 0) (#113)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:02:50 PM EST
    Campaign managers know what they are doing. I didn't get any national ads up here in Penna at all. Do you really think they had no clue how to get their ads accidentally in Florida?

    I don't know how ad buys work (none / 0) (#125)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:11:36 PM EST
    and I suspect you don't either.  But if one ad buy is the standard we may as well say they both campaigned there because Floridians could access their websites.

    I will give you website ads but (none / 0) (#157)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:50:22 PM EST
    I do have knowledge of newspaper national ad buys. It has been a while and I am not sure how the TV ads work. My point was that if it is a national ad buy and they did not want it shown in Penna where the primary was not for a few months, how was that controlled? Why would it not be the same way for Florida? Maybe no one has really looked into this little tidbit either and just took it as fact.

    It's irrelevant. (none / 0) (#164)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:58:15 PM EST
    Clinton showed up for a fundraiser on the cusp of the voting. Doesn't matter. The primary doesn't count.

    B.S., you know it, we've been through this (none / 0) (#173)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:31:22 PM EST
    before.  Obama did fundraisers, too, because they were exempt from the pledge and allowed.

    Really, your repeated untruths are tiresome.


    I'm an Obama Supporter (none / 0) (#63)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:38:23 PM EST
    My only objection to the delegates being seating as they are now is this:

    What do you do about the people who did not vote because they were informed by the Democratic Party their votes will not count?  You are so worried about not counting the votes of the people who did vote, you are forgetting about the people who were, if the votes are seated, falsely told their votes wouldn't count anyway.

    Tell me, what about those people?  If you are concerned about the democractic process, and not the injustices done to your candidate, how can you say the primary previously held is anything but the true representation of the people in FL?


    Its a good point (none / 0) (#69)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:42:47 PM EST
    But can you point to anything that says a lot of people didn't vote because they were told their vote wouldn't count? It's been pointed out there were other issues to vote on, so why would democrats (who are energized by the way) show up and then NOT vote for the candidate of their choice just because someone said the vote wouldn't count?

    And I know polls are not voting, but does the fact that polls today aren't that different than the results mean anything?


    I don't think so. (none / 0) (#84)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:47:42 PM EST
    You can't go by Polls to justify your claims that it wouldn't matter anyway.  Polls might be more accurate if there was a revote for sure.

    You might have apoint about people who didn't vote that would they vote anyway?  But can you discount that entirely?  You have to admit that there was a case where people were informed their democratic primary vote would not count.  So therefore the final outcome was tainted.  

    There is no official barometer to gauge who sat out or not because of this.


    I did agree (none / 0) (#118)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:05:59 PM EST
    That it is a good point, and no, I don't think polls are a good basis. I was/am all for a revote, if for no other reason to make sure the nominee didn't have a shadow over him/her.

    And there is no official barometer, but the turnout numbers would imply that it may not have been a huge turn off.

    But we will never know for sure.


    I've pointed out the evidence (none / 0) (#88)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:48:47 PM EST
    several times in this thread.  Here it is again.  Jeralyn has replied that the 2004 turnout is a better basis for comparison, but that argument is implausible given the record in primaries in many states.

    numbers (none / 0) (#154)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:45:13 PM EST
    Florida primary turnout


    (Note: There was no Democratic primary in 1996; for 1992, I had to use the 1994 registration number because that's as far back as they go.)

    Turnout in this year's primary was not low.


    Correction (none / 0) (#179)
    by Step Beyond on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:06:51 AM EST
    Your 2008 turnout figure is wrong.

    1,749,920 votes were cast for Dem candidates


    Tell that to the FL Sec of State (none / 0) (#180)
    by RalphB on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:24:56 AM EST
    the number was from their website.

    Sec of State (none / 0) (#190)
    by Step Beyond on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:59:33 AM EST
    That is where I got my number also.

    Under Democratic Primary - Select Office US President (statewide)


    I think the burden is MUCH heavier the (none / 0) (#91)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:49:38 PM EST
    other way. The intent of the 1.7 million who voted is clear: they wanted a say in the selection of the Democratic nominee.

    Question: (none / 0) (#100)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:55:04 PM EST
    What do you say to the fact that there were more republicans voting than democrats in this primary?  You think Clinton wooed them?  I think not.

    It was a record turnout though (none / 0) (#97)
    by Saul on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:52:53 PM EST
    How could you have a record turnout if so many did not vote for the reason you stated.  
    Those that did not turn out for the reason you stated were probably an insignificant amount.  You can say that there was probably an even split on those that did not vote Obama or Hilary for those reason.  So that makes it even.  The election in Florida was on an even playing field.  All the candidates were on the ballot, none of them campaigned there, the people were not ignorant of any of the candidates, they all knew who they were.  No one had an advantage over the other candidate.  If they had campaigned there the totals might be a little higher but would probably  still be proportional to the original vote. To me this is the fairest and cheapest way to seat the delegates.  

    Sorry. (1.00 / 0) (#105)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:58:44 PM EST
    Clinton did campaign in Florida:

    You are operating on guess work.  If you can prove that it was an insignificant amount, and or that they would split, please do so.  I can easily say that there were 1 million voters that did not vote and they were 100% for Obama.  See how silly that sounds?  Proof.


    Clinton went to a fundraiser and post-primary show (none / 0) (#127)
    by andrys on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:12:21 PM EST
    Obama and Clinton EACH had about 16 fundraising events in Florida, which was acceptable.

    In fact, he had tv ads there in the last 10 days before the primary because he had bought bundled national ads.  

    She didn't do that.  He also walked across the street after a fundraiser to answer questions from reporters there and was told that was campaigning and said he wouldn't do it again.

    She didn't do that either.

    She did show up at the end for a fundraiser (which is different from campaigning) and then AFTER the primary restuls came in, made an appearance to thank her staff and the voters.


    Yes it's completely dishonest (none / 0) (#155)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:46:42 PM EST
    After the polls closed (none / 0) (#159)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:53:11 PM EST
    And she was declared the winner?

    This again. Obama did fundraisers, too (none / 0) (#175)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:34:47 PM EST
    because they were allowed by the pledge.  Read it, do research without bias, before bringing up crap already discounted here again and again and again. . . .

    Every state (none / 0) (#102)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:57:59 PM EST
    has had record Dem turnout.  In many, if not most, states both Hillary and Obama have received more votes than the combined vote total of 2004.

    Nope, I saw reports that showed (none / 0) (#174)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:33:29 PM EST
    most states' turnout was about average for a primary.  Caucuses' attendance was up -- but Florida wasn't a caucus state.

    Feel free (none / 0) (#186)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:47:35 AM EST
    to compare 2004 with 2008

    I have yet to find a state in which 2008 wasn't dramatically higher than 2004.


    2004 is not a useful year (none / 0) (#193)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:59:13 AM EST
    to use, with an incumbent, nor is your evidence broken down usefully per state.  Pfft.

    Because every Democrat that I know in Florida (none / 0) (#104)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:58:34 PM EST
    VOTED. I grew up there. I know a lot of people there and family members. They figured the DNC would not let their votes fall by the wayside. Heh. And they are true Democrats who always vote. Why would a person not vote for many issues and judges and school board members, etc.? Those votes were very important too. Voting is a freedom we all have and if people did not vote, that was their choice.

    Oh yeah? (none / 0) (#108)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:59:52 PM EST
    So you know everyone in FL or a large population across creeds and races that could easily account for the Democratic population at large?

    I didn't say I know everyone in Florida (none / 0) (#170)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:11:06 PM EST
    I said Everyone I know in Florida and it is a pretty good sampling of good solid Democrats. No one is a newbie of course, but these people have been voting a long time. They are spread around 5 counties. Ages 35 to 78. As for creed and races, why would that make a difference in who voted? Hmmmm?

    Anecdotes aren't evidence (none / 0) (#114)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:04:53 PM EST
    Evidence is here.  Refute it if you can, but nobody is going to be persuaded by stories about how everyone you know thought their votes would count.

    Pauline Kael's alleged quote about Nixon's victory in 1972 comes to mind.


    Please please please (none / 0) (#122)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:07:37 PM EST
    Stop reposting the exact same opinion piece as fact over and over and over. If you post it a hundred times its still opinion, not fact.

    And please read the description of chattering.


    When people stop insisting (none / 0) (#141)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:28:46 PM EST
    that the turnout wasn't depressed, I'll stop pointing to the evidence that it was.  The "opinion piece" cites actual statistics, and nobody has even tried to refute them.  I guess repeating the same nonsense about 1.7 million voters ad nauseaum, with no relevant context,  doesn't offend you nearly as much.

    One more time (none / 0) (#156)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:48:53 PM EST
    it's not evidence and it's not a statistical analysis.  It's almost as sophisticated as 2+2 but


    Turnout numbers.  2008 looks high to me.


    Chattering (none / 0) (#160)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:53:57 PM EST
    Offends me, I don't care what it says. People who don't read a post and just repeat the same thing offend me, doesn't matter what they say.

    Please be a contributing member of discussions, rather than try to bully by repetition and arguing by insulting.


    You are wrong. (none / 0) (#116)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:05:33 PM EST
    They did not chose to have their votes not count.  They were told by their own party that they would not count.  They didn't chose anything at all.

    It's only now they are saying, "Oops yeah guess what, they count now... maybe!"


    I'm sorry as well. (none / 0) (#129)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:14:58 PM EST
    If you can't see the blatant difference in these two scenarios:

    1. Today is the Democratic Primary however I think I'll stay home and choose to not vote.

    2. Today is the Democratic Primary however I was told by the party leader it won't count, so I won't go since it's futile.

    One of those scenarios happened and one didn't.

    But state party leaders and Obama himself (none / 0) (#176)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:36:12 PM EST
    said to count on their votes counting.

    Next untruth?


    But they chose not to have it count (none / 0) (#119)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:06:31 PM EST
    Because they had every reason to think it wouldn't count.  To turn around now and say, "Heh, sorry about that.  We're going to count these after all.  Sorry we lied to you and you missed your chance but them's the breaks" is grossly unfair and undemocratic.

    having every reason to think (none / 0) (#135)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:23:44 PM EST
    it won't count is not an excuse. By staying home they KNEW it would not count. They did so at their own peril and of their own choice.

    Thats rediculous. (none / 0) (#139)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:26:00 PM EST
    If I was your boss and told you that your work tomorrow wouldn't count for anything and you wouldn't get paid, would you go to work tomorrow anyway?

    Too many people chose to vote (none / 0) (#153)
    by Saul on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:44:38 PM EST
    If they all the voters of Florida were told that their vote did not count then why did the majority of voters vote knowing it would not count.  Again since it was a record turnout you can only assume more people voted than those that did not vote for whatever reason.  You do not get record turnouts by having the majority staying home because they were told their vote would not count.

    I completely reject this argument (none / 0) (#121)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:07:04 PM EST
    Voters should be expected to operate given the rules they are presented with.  

    I have no idea how many voters would have shown up in a contested state.  Maybe a lot more.  Maybe not.

    But I do know that politics is about campaigning and if politicians can't campaign any resulting election is nothing more than a beauty contest based on name recognition.


    That's bull (none / 0) (#137)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:24:46 PM EST
    as well.

    There are many states in a presidential election who get no attention or simply get a few commercials. Does that mean their primaries don't count either?


    Huh? (none / 0) (#147)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:34:13 PM EST
    Just because politicians sometimes choose not to throw money at certain states because they could not possibly beat their opponent doesn't mean that campaigning is unimportant.  

    If enough donors (none / 0) (#52)
    by Foxx on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:33:02 PM EST
    would pressure the DNC, that might influence them.

    IF they could be given a face saving story.

    I wrote below (none / 0) (#85)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:48:11 PM EST
    They have a face saving story. The Florida GOP did it. They changed the date and had control. Thus, the DNC has no choice but to accept the votes because it was not the Florida Dems who were responsible it was those GOP guys.

    Edwards would have to be pretty brave to (none / 0) (#55)
    by Teresa on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:34:23 PM EST
    endorse Clinton now with all of the big name Democrats coming out for Obama. I do believe he is more like Clinton than Obama on his views other than the lobbyist issue, but I just don't see him being that brave. Unless he is just going to work for Democratic causes like helping the poor and getting universal health care and forgetting about any future political office. I really don't expect him to run for office again. I think he will be to the poor what Al Gore is to the environment.

    He needs to endorse soon if he's going to and I just don't feel very good about the odds.

    Just wondering, if Obama did indeed run ads in FL (none / 0) (#58)
    by ivs814 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:37:16 PM EST
    violating the agreement not too, what was suppose to be the punishment?  And why was there no consequence?  

    Can the courts settle this? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Saul on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:38:18 PM EST
    Can Floridian voters sue the DNC to seat the delegates as originally voted?  Will the courts hear the lawsuit or throw it out.

    Courts? (none / 0) (#152)
    by Step Beyond on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:41:11 PM EST
    I would say chances are mighty slim that the court could seat the delegates. But I'm not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.

    That said, Nelson's lawsuit was dismissed but there is another one that is in the appeals court now. It orginally was dismessed or ruled against or something but the appeals court is allowing it to proceed for now. In fact I think oral arguments were to be presented today but I don't know if that happened.


    Re: Elton John will give a (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:44:05 PM EST
    benefit concert for Hillary Clinton.

    That's it.  I have seen the light and am switching to Obama.

    fairweather friend (none / 0) (#78)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:45:34 PM EST
    candle in the wind.

    Guy wasn't even on my radar (none / 0) (#145)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:32:02 PM EST
    screen until Princess Di's funeral service at Westminster Abbey.  

    1976 (none / 0) (#162)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:56:35 PM EST
    Philadelphia Freedom

    200 years old celebration.


    [I'm a classical music snob.] (none / 0) (#166)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:02:55 PM EST
    Is Elton John a US citizen (none / 0) (#94)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:51:27 PM EST
    I don't really care, but were the situations reversed, I imagine we'd see an outcry about this.  Foreigners can't even contribute to campaigns in the US to my knowledge.

    True, foreign nationals (none / 0) (#183)
    by Rainsong on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 02:01:33 AM EST
    can't contribute personally - but they can be hired to sing at concerts etc, portion of the ticket sales revenue, can then be contributed if the concert is hosted by an American citizen.

    My Aunt told me yesterday (none / 0) (#75)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:44:09 PM EST
    And she represents a lost of cousins in Florida also, that it upsets them that someone would make them vote again. They did it once. There was a huge turnout. They voted for Hillary and want their vote counted without having to go through it all again. They want the DNC to just get over it and do the right thing. Seat the delegates. People voted because they figured the DNC would not be so hardnosed and would give in. Given the circumstances that the GOP controlled the primary date, I think that is enough to save face for the DNC and give them an out in accepting Florida's primary results.

    Here's another consideration: (none / 0) (#79)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:45:57 PM EST
    I believe the rationale for punishing FL and MI is that by scheduling their votes out of turn, they were positioning themselves to have undue influence on the race. States needed to wait their turn.
    I have no problem with this principle, but look how it turned out, in practice. Did MI have ANY influence on the primaries? Not for Hillary.
    FLorida? I don't think so.
    By making the motion to rob them of their delegates, the DNC took away the influence of those races, ironically dissolving the very rationale for the punishment. What's left?
    The "principle" of disenfranchisement, which no Democrat can support; and the notion that Obama was handicapped in those two states because he could not campaign. In the abstract sense, yes, he "suffered", but in reality, but did he lose votes?
    I defy someone to prove that Obama could have done better in FL. You cannot.

    I defy you to prove that he wouldn't have (none / 0) (#95)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:52:34 PM EST
    See how easy it is when we demand proof of hypotheticals?

    Given that no re-vote will occur, (none / 0) (#138)
    by MarkL on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:25:05 PM EST
    you need a very strong reason to exclude the votes---and I don't mean, "It's bad for Obama".
    There is no good reason.
    Florida's vote went without a hitch. Other states had MUCH worse problems; for instance, Texas.

    One reason: (none / 0) (#140)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:27:55 PM EST
    They broke the rules and were told 2 months ago their delegates wouldn't be seated.

    "They broke the rules">The rules were (none / 0) (#189)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:45:36 AM EST
    wrong. The voters made the intent known, and their votes should be counted.

    I've cited the reason many times (none / 0) (#144)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:31:09 PM EST
    You haven't even attempted to refute it.  Since you are incapable of being persuaded by evidence and rational argument this will be the last time I'll chatter with you on this topic.

    Thank God! (none / 0) (#158)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:52:58 PM EST
    Um, "breaking the rules" is no (none / 0) (#187)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:43:55 AM EST
    reason to disenfranchise 1.7 million voters!
    You have no reason at all big enough for that kind of  anti-democratic action.

    by the way, you're just making stuff up (none / 0) (#188)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:44:42 AM EST
    when you say that Obama gains in every state he campaigns. On average? Yes. In every instance? No.

    Fine. (none / 0) (#96)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:52:36 PM EST
    Prove that it will be the same?

    As an Obama supporter I would support a revote as long as it was done responsibly and fairly in the state of FL.  I find it highly unlikely, a state with FL's track record, could create a primary in 2 months time and have the results be done properly.

    What do you do with the people who already voted, as IND/REP that have already voted in other primaries?  Are they excluded or included?  They get to vote twice?


    Then definitely toss out Illinois delegates (none / 0) (#177)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:38:43 PM EST
    if your basis is past election problems.  Yikes.

    Follow The Rules (none / 0) (#106)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:59:15 PM EST
    They are the be all and end all. If they cost the Dems any chance in November or mean defeat of down ticket candidates, it is a small price to pay if it means after the GE you can say "The Dems followed the Rules regardless of the cost." We should just eliminate voters all together and just replace them with "The Rules."

    You mean the Obama Rules (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Jim J on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:06:42 PM EST
    I think he means (none / 0) (#126)
    by DodgeIND on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:11:41 PM EST
    the DNC rules laid out by Dean.

    Fits the narrative for this year (none / 0) (#161)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:54:56 PM EST
    what this place needs... (none / 0) (#165)
    by white n az on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 11:01:33 PM EST
    is another discussion of seating Florida's delegates...wow, here it is!

    quoting from above (and the letter from Ms. Thurman and of course, FDR)...

    As the late great Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "We must adjust our ideas to the facts of today... Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are."

    I guess that means Deval Patrick, I mean Barack Obama must have missed this quote from FDR...because being the transcendent politician that he is, he is going to step out in front of this issue and suggest that these delegates be seated because he so firmly believes in the sacredness of counting each vote and having each vote count.

    The plan... (none / 0) (#185)
    by Rainsong on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:00:34 AM EST
    The original overly harsh punishment applied to FL & MI has always puzzled me. It's plausible that the 'rules' and their 'punishment' were intended to apply only temporarily.

    Once the nominee was announced, their delegates would have been seated. End of story.

    There would have been no re-votes. Those "invalid" delegates, would have been magically 'validated'.  

    Officially, and by DNC rules they would be still "invalid", but nobody would have been so mean, or legalistic, or picky about details, to bother arguing about rules, delegates, punishments, or haggling the cost of re-votes to "legitimate" them in that case.

    In this scenario, they still would not have officially counted, and still would have not been 'legitimate' by 'the rules'.

    The voters would still have been disenfranchised.

    There would have still been voters who didn't vote because they were told it wouldn't count, but nobody would care, because it was all over and done with.  

    They were not meant to count, they were not meant to be included in the primaries this year - at least not early in the primary season. They were "taken out of play" - at least temporarily.

    If they had gone in the Super-Tuesday rounds, they might have bumped one candidate's momentum up too much.  

    Can't have that, might too "unfair", so have to take them out of play to level the playing-field.  

    If Obama's early momentum had carried him through OH and TX, there would have been no argument about who was to blame, no discussion about 'validity' or 'legitimacy' or 'rules' or 'punishments', or going to committees etc.  

    Those two 'invalid' state primaries would have been accepted without a murmur, and lumped in with all the other late season states.

    But now, things haven't gone according to plan.

    so, only NOW, are they not 'legitimate', and everybody is arguing.

    No matter how high the record turnouts this year, the primaries are still well under expected turnouts in the GE, and are not representative of the 'will of the people' - or even will of Democrat people, with so much cross-over voting, caucusing, inadequate checks on eligibility etc.  

    Also, the Democrat primaries do not allocate  delegates proportionate to the "will of the people", Democrat voters or even population. They are heavily biased, or mathematically weighted, towards little states, but also red states, but not similarly to the ECVs, and quite open to gaming (especially if you weight it even more heavily, by removing a couple of big states to begin with):

    Dem delegate math

    Most Americans dont usually vote in primaries, let alone understand how it works for either Party. A single survey of Dem voters saying they prefer popular vote or delegate counts is meaningless.

    IMHO, the main upside to all this drama, is that average Americans will have become far better informed of the system, for future primary elections.

    Maybe its time they learned the rules that say candidates must reach the "magic number".

    Until that point is reached, the count of delegates or popular vote is not representative of anything.

    The rules state that if it goes through without a candidate reaching the "magic number", then it goes to Super-Dels to vote by conscience, not as rubber-stampers, when it is essentially tied by whatever criteria you apply to it.  

    As one super-del has already said, the system is so skewed and non-representative that a difference of 100 pledged delegates or around 5% of popular primary vote is nothing.


    You know... (none / 0) (#182)
    by ROK on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:06:48 AM EST
    The race is still very tight. Obama should seat MI and FL as is. He will still be up by about 300k votes and will be able to save the Dems for the GE.

    He should be able to hold that lead long enough and the del count won't close in. He needs to start appeasing the justifiably angry Dems and seating MI and FL will do that.

    Primary Totals:

    Clinton   13244023

    Obama   13334829

    Caucus Totals:

    Clinton   188054

    Obama   390238

    From CNN by the way

    I was sympathetic. . . (none / 0) (#184)
    by RickTaylor on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 03:14:17 AM EST
    I was sympathetic to the Florida Democratic senators when they said they'd made a good faith effort to comply to the DNC rules, and it was the Republicans that prevented them. Turns out they were lying. This video completely changed my perception of what happened and what is happening. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpHuQi17EaE

    Confirmation (none / 0) (#192)
    by thefncrow on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:11:59 AM EST
    That video confirms what I've long thought, that the Democrats in Florida were complicit in this scheme from the beginning.  They wanted the early primary, and they were willing to accept the 50% loss of delegates in order to gain the importance of going earlier in the process.

    Florida Democrats weighed their options, and felt that the reward they thought they'd receive for breaking the rules was bigger than the punishment that would be handed down.  It was only once they saw that the punishment forthcoming was more than they expected when they started complaining, but even then, they didn't begin drawing up contingency plans for holding a primary contest in compliance with DNC rules, or looking for another way to solve the problem.

    Michigan had the same problem, but they've drawn up a measure to hold a primary contest within the DNC rules, and so have been able to fix their own deficiency.

    Small states being host to the early primaries is the way the primary system must be kept in order to allow for Presidential runs without massive national name recognition and a gigantic war chest.  Florida and Michigan are trying to destroy that primary system for their own selfish ends, and they cannot be allowed to do so.

    At this point, I can see only two honorable options, although with enough prodding, there's a third I could find acceptable.  The honorable options are to leave Florida out, or to give them an honorary delegation, either by seating their delegation as-is without voting rights, or by splitting their delegation 50/50 so they cannot impact the states that held primary contests under the rules of the DNC.  

    I could be persuaded into seating the delegates from the illegitimate Jan 29th contest only if the punishment applied to those pledged delegates is increased to a level that actually discourages further line jumping in 2012.  50% isn't close to enough, since Florida and Michigan expected to get hit with that and went through with their early primaries anyway.  Consider this: using the delegate allocations from 2008, if California decides to jump the line in 2012, and the 50% of pledged delegates penalty has been legitimized as the correct penalty, an early 50% of California will be tied with Florida for the third largest primary in the nation, behind only Texas and New York.  They could move up, be more important, and not really lose any of their stature in doing so.

    Something around a loss of 90% of their delegates is much more appropriate, and will keep other large states in line.  Even still, I wonder if a loss of 90% of their delegates would be enough.  For Florida, losing 90% of their pledged delegates puts them at 19(actually 18.5, rounding up) delegates, which is still more delegates than South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Vermont, District of Columbia, Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, and Idaho.

    If a state like California were to try to move up, even taking 90% of their pledged delegates would leave them with 37, which is more than the above listed states, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Maine, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Mississippi, and West Virginia.  California could take a 90% penalty and still have more delegates than 19 other states(and DC).

    Big states moving early will completely wreck our primary process, and the punishment for such behavior needs to be enough to keep that from happening.  50% isn't even close to being that punishment.