Why Did Obama Withdraw From the Michigan Primary?

As I wrote below, no candidate was required to withdraw from the Michigan or Florida primaries as part of the Four State Pledge (pdf).

John Edwards and Barack Obama were on the ballot in Florida, but withdrew from the Michigan race. Why?

Bill Schneider at CNN had a very plausible explanation:

CNN's Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider suggested the Democrats who withdrew may have calculated that it was simply in their best political interest to do so.

"If there's no campaign, the candidate most likely to win Michigan is Hillary Clinton," Schneider said. "Her Democratic rivals don't want a Clinton victory in Michigan to count. They want Iowa and New Hampshire, where they have a better chance of stopping Clinton, to count more."


Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel, along with Hillary, elected to remain on the Michigan ballot. Biden, along with Obama and Edwards, chose to withdraw their names. Dennis Kucinich thought he filed the paperwork to withdraw but missed the deadline and was on the ballot.

Clinton's campaign said the New York senator will remain on the ballot. Chris Dodd also plans to stay on the ballot. "We're honoring the pledge and we won't campaign or spend money in states that aren't in compliance with the DNC calendar," Clinton spokesman Jay Carson said.

It was widely disseminated in Michigan, including by some official county websites , that if the voter didn't want to vote for those on the ballot, they should vote "uncommitted."

There is an “uncommitted” selection on the ballot. By voting “uncommitted” you are indicating that you have chosen to vote in a particular party’s primary, however you do not wish to vote for one of the listed candidates.

Rep. John Conyers pushed the "vote uncommitted" meme:

"The way the system is currently set up is inherently unfair," Michigan Rep. John Conyers told BlackAmericaWeb.com. "We are not going to just sit back and take this. I strongly encourage everyone in Michigan to go the polls. If your candidate’s name is not on the ballot, vote 'uncommitted.'"

Conyers and his wife even ran radio ads urging people to vote uncommitted. Here's the script:

Here is the radio script airing on radio stations in Michigan:

MALE: The presidential election is confusing. I want to vote for Barack Obama, but Obama's name is not on the ballot.

FEMALE: There is no one on that ballot I want to be president.

MALE: Well, these folks can help us. Excuse me, Congressman Conyers and Councilwoman Conyers, we need your help.

FEMALE: How can we vote for Obama on Tuesday?

REP. CONYERS: You can't. You cannot even write in Obama's name. If you do, your vote will not count because Obama's campaign chose not to place his name on the Michigan ballot so as not to violate national Democratic Party rules. But you can vote "uncommitted."

COUNCILWOMAN CONYERS: If at least 15 percent of the people vote "uncommitted," the state Democratic Party must send that percentage of delegates to the national convention uncommitted.

REP. CONYERS: My wife and I are voting "uncommitted." We will work with the Democratic Party to make sure that uncommitted delegates go to that convention truly uncommitted so that Obama can compete for their vote.

MALE: Thank you, Congressman Conyers and Councilwoman Conyers. I will join you and vote "uncommitted" on Tuesday.

FEMALE: Me too. At least my vote won't be wasted.

COUNCILWOMAN CONYERS: This truth-in-politics message was paid for my Friends of Monica Conyers.

In 2004, about 150,000 Democrats voted in the Michigan caucuses. This year, Michigan held a primary instead of caucuses and 600,000 Democrats voted. Hillary won all but two counties, Washtenaw and Emmett, where "uncommitted" won. The uncommitted total was 238,168. Hillary's total was 328,309.

It was Obama's choice to remove himself from the Michigan ballot. Did he do it for strategic reasons because Hillary was leading by large margins in the polls (Here's one from October 5 to 7, right before the drop out deadline, showing Hillary 42%, Obama 26%)? If so, why should there be a revote?

I think the DNC should remove the penalty from Michigan and Florida and seat the delegates. In Michigan's case, Hillary should get the delegates according to her vote total. The other delegates should remain "uncommitted" and vote how they want when they get to the convention.

< Revisiting the Four State Pledge on MI/FL Promises | Obama 's Inadvertent Political Successes >
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    Two additional thoughts. . . (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:23:27 PM EST
    on Michigan.

    First off, the pledge calls for the signers to "not participate" in states that violate the DNC's requirements.  You can arguably make the case that allowing your name on the ballot when it's possible to take it off (or never put it on) is "participating" in the election.  That wouldn't apply in Florida where, if I understand correctly, you cannot withdraw from the primary without also withdrawing from the general election.

    Also, I've heard it suggested that removing one's name from the Michigan ballot was a way of increasing your support in Iowa by stressing your dedication to the principal of Iowa: First Today, First Tomorrow, First Forever!

    You could plausibly argue it (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:27:09 PM EST
    but it was billed AT THE TIME as "an addiitonal commitment" by Obama and Edwards, so your argument would not be very convincing.

    As for wooing Iowa, that was a secondary motivation, the primary one was to deny a win, even on paper, to Clinton.

    You spent too much time at other web sites to not know this by now Larry. If you had been reading this site, you would have known this long ago.

    It was a shrewed move by Obama by the way. I do not blame him one bit. The villains of this piece are Howard Dean and Donna Brazile.


    Has anyone ever asked Iowa Dems (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:31:48 PM EST
    if the self-sacrifice by Obama and Edwards in removing their names from the MI ballot makes an iota of difference to Iowa Dem. voters?  I doubt it did or does.  

    I think the original pledge mattered (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:36:27 PM EST
    The dropping the names from the ballots was really about denying Hillary a straw poll victory and having her fly to Lansing the night of the primary etc.

    I can see the part about making her (none / 0) (#103)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:20:00 PM EST
    go to East Lansing.  That's horrific.  But otherwise.  But I've never understood how Obama managed to win Iowa so maybe that's it.  Did anyone actually campaign in IA on the premise HRC and Dodd were bad for staying on the ballot in MI and disrespecting IA?

    Um (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:24:07 PM EST
    I wrote that at the time at THIS VERY SITE J. Bill Schneider has got nothing on me.

    you mean (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Turkana on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:44:41 PM EST
    other than a cnn gig...

    Is that a good thing? (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Marvin42 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:58:20 PM EST
    I'd say no!

    getting more smart voices on tv (none / 0) (#66)
    by Turkana on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:59:59 PM EST
    would be a good thing.

    I learn so much (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by facta non verba on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:50:24 PM EST
    from this site. Thanks for all that you do.

    This is priceless: (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:27:50 PM EST
    FEMALE: How can we vote for Obama on Tuesday?

    REP. CONYERS: You can't. You cannot even write in Obama's name. If you do, your vote will not count because Obama's campaign chose not to place his name on the Michigan ballot so as not to violate national Democratic Party rules. But you can vote "uncommitted."

    Those pesky "rules" again.  But, the rules didn't require Obama or anyone else to take their names off the ballot in MI.  

    oculus (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by litigatormom on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:34:21 PM EST
    Perhaps it would have been more accurate for Conyers to say that Obama removed his name from the ballot so that he could claim to be complying with DNC rules...

    I guess I'm behind the times (none / 0) (#131)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:12:15 PM EST
    but to me, the name John Conyers meant a good guy on the side of civil rights issues, women's issues, etc.

    I had heard about this "uncommitted" campaign of his, but I had not known that he lied -- lied -- in a "truth-in-politics" ad.

    I am revising my opinions of many in this election.  (But I'll always love and admire John Lewis.:-)


    I am fairly certain (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by standingup on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:29:25 PM EST
    the Florida rules did not allow any of the candidates to remove their names from the ballot.  I will see if I can find a reference.  

    You are correct (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:30:14 PM EST
    This was reported at this very site.

    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by standingup on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:35:46 PM EST
    Talkleft is probably where I read the information.  But since I went to all the trouble of googling it, here is a link to the Florida Democratic Party's site with an explanation too.

    I have yet to find that in (none / 0) (#45)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:45:40 PM EST
    the Florida Electoral Law.  What I did find tells me that if Mr. Obama and Mr Edwards had wanted to be excluded they should had informed the Florida Democratic Committee of their wishes so that when the Committee submitted their list of Candidates they would not have been included.  Chapter 103 Section 103.101 of Title IX

    And (none / 0) (#70)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:02:43 PM EST
    the FL DNC had until November 12, 2007 to forward the list of primary candidates for the FL ballots

    Obama removed his MI name on Oct 9, 2007 - he had 4 weeks to get off of the FL ballot.


    Actually the law allows till Dec 31 (none / 0) (#76)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:04:38 PM EST
    and also provides for other changes to be requested if made in writing and forwarded to Tallahassee

    And can someone please find me the part (none / 0) (#82)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:06:37 PM EST
    that says that if your not in the primary you can not appear in the GE ballot.  That would negate the parties the right to Draft a Candidate at convention time.

    I agree with you (none / 0) (#91)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:11:45 PM EST
    The part I read was withdrawing your name after certication of the ballots, requires that you forfeit the GE ballot also

    where is that part? (none / 0) (#94)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:12:44 PM EST
    Here's a (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:38:38 PM EST
    pdf Florida 2008 Federal Handbook

    on page 5

    October 31, 2007
    Each political party, other than a minor political party, shall submit to the Secretary of State a list of its presidential candidates to be placed on the Presidential Preference Primary ballot or candidates entitled to have delegates' names appear.

    November 12, 2007
    A candidate's name shall be printed on the Presidential Preference Primary ballot unless the candidate submits to the Department of State an affidavit stating that he or she is not now, and does not presently intend to become, a candidate for President at the upcoming nominating convention

    certification.  He could had still had notified the FDC to not include him without having to sign that affidavit.  BTW that is not the law but the organizational rules.  Here in Fl when the Law is passed then the Dept affected in this case the State Dept. then proceed to write up the process in which the law will be implemented.  I would argue if push came to shove and we had to go to court that the State Dept. took to much liberty in requiring such affidavit since that provision is not in the law as passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.

    All I'm (none / 0) (#156)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:51:15 PM EST
    saying is that when Obama removed his name from MI on Oct 12, he could have had the FDC not forward his name to the SOS without future penalty.

    I also realize that FL was not a done deal on Oct 12 because of a lawsuit... so Obama gambled on FL winning the lawsuit and kept his name on the ballot


    Or he thought that since Clinton (none / 0) (#157)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:54:57 PM EST
    didn't  go along in MI he was going to do it.  Still if I remember well he had till Oct 31 really and I don't think that anyone thought that the FDC was going to win that Lawsuit it was more show knowing our courts here precedent tells us they don't like intervening in internal party processes.

    Actually I think that as someone else (none / 0) (#161)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:58:29 PM EST
    commented here the MI thing was a gambit to see if they could shame Clinton into withdrawing and she didn't bite.  My impression is that when he saw that he didn't want to have the same think happen in Fl probably thinking a Low turnout would benefit him.  Didn't happen though.

    yes you are right (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:34:37 PM EST
    I deleted my comment suggesting otherwise since it was wrong.

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by lambert on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:30:07 PM EST
    Obama didn't run in MI to make sure MI "didn't count"?

    Maybe finally we'll have heard the last of that "didn't count" riff over at the Atlantic. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:31:18 PM EST
    Actually what we need are revotes.

    Something Obama desperately wants to avoid.


    Florida is a natural (none / 0) (#62)
    by facta non verba on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:56:55 PM EST
    for Clinton. But couldn't the case be made that Obama would do well in Michigan? Large African-American population, large Iraqi Chaldean population and of course the younguns at Ann Arbor and East Lansing.

    Clinton should do well there too given the similarities to Ohio. It was an open primary. Is there any way to prevent those who already voted in the Republican contest from re-voting?

    The suggestion for a vote by mail primary is so froth with danger that it is simply an invitation for fraud.


    Agreed -- Obama would do well (none / 0) (#134)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:16:38 PM EST
    and also that a mail-in ballot, especially in a state so large with no experience in it and especially with so little time to prepare for it . . . invites fraud.

    Maybe people don't know about Detroit alone, for example.  Chicago overshadowed it in popular lore, but Detroit had just as much or more of a crime ring problem in Prohibition -- heck, Canada is just across the river -- and with its legacy since.  Not a model of clean government.


    The point you make about open primaries (none / 0) (#137)
    by hairspray on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:18:27 PM EST
    and the possibility of a Republican voting again in the Democratic primary is a good one.  Is that possible?  Would that be a reason to disallow a revote?  A lot of mischief could be done now that the GOP has a nominee.

    I can imagine Obama's compromise: (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:32:55 PM EST
    Schedule re-votes in MI and FL, on condition that Hillary drop out of the race first.

    Heh (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:33:39 PM EST
    Well, BTD, a re-vote must reflect the (none / 0) (#97)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:13:43 PM EST
    will of the people, you know.

    Heh! (none / 0) (#100)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:15:05 PM EST
    Here's the deal. Obama already (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:50:24 PM EST
    has pre-pd., non-refundable tickets for his overseas trip.  Now you want him to stay here and campaign?

    Why Did Obama Withdraw From the Michigan (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Angel on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:20:31 PM EST
    Primary?  Simple question.

    Because he knew he would lose. Simple answer.

    Would an ad stating this (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:27:01 PM EST
    constitute HRC doing "anything" to win?  

    Prolly.....you know how she's a monster and all. (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Angel on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:30:45 PM EST
    Well, who did it first? (none / 0) (#117)
    by BarnBabe on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:50:24 PM EST
    If Obama thought that all the candidates were going to remove their name, then he might have made a rookie mistake and follow the pack by leading the pack. But all the pack did not follow. There was no need to remove his name otherwise. Michigan stands and so does Florida. They voted already. And since 4 times the amount of Democrats in Michigan voted this time over 2004, I think you have a pretty good group that voted. If you had 100, then do overs. But over 600,000, pretty good sample. They wanted their vote early and so it should stand.

    I read that Obama did it first and convinced the (none / 0) (#121)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:53:30 PM EST
    Edwards' campaign to do the same.

    That's what I heard. (none / 0) (#135)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:16:44 PM EST
    I heard that Obama thought they could shame Hillary into taking her name off the MI ballot too, but she didn't bite.

    Also Was Pandering To The Voters In Iowa And NH (none / 0) (#178)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:24:37 AM EST
    hoping that by doing so he would win both states and then sail right through the nomination like Kerry did in 04.

    Strategy worked in Iowa where voters penalized Clinton for not removing her name but failed in NH.


    has anyone found out yet (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:47:55 PM EST
    exactly what Obama's solution is?

    Because Clinton, by my count, has submitted two now.  Obama is going to have to come up with an answer.  Are we thinking that Brazile gave it-seat FL at 50% and tough about MI?

    I think that CNN pushing for the revote and pointing out that Obama took his name off the MI ballot for political reasons is good for Clinton.

    It's all about message, and Clinton has had folks out all weekend talking about revoting and telling them how it will be paid for.

    Obama's folks have been all over the place.  Looks very amateurish of him.  He is supposed to be a leader, yet he's saying via Kerry, "I'll do whatever the DNC decides."

    I'm reminded of 2000 and of Gore (none / 0) (#140)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:23:47 PM EST
    doing the heavy lifting of coming up with solutions, of trying to find a way through, and of getting into a corner.

    I admire Clinton for being the problem-solver, I like the positioning of that -- but I'm not sure that she should keep being the fixer with more and more offers while Obama, per usual, "stays above the fray."

    I would like to see him get a bit frayed by this and get into it and show us he's a problem-solver, too.  Clinton can stand pat now and wait and see, while repeating that she has tried, tried to make the man see reason. . . .:-)


    Wasn't REP. CONYERS lying when he said (none / 0) (#1)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:22:57 PM EST
    You can't. You cannot even write in Obama's name. If you do, your vote will not count because Obama's campaign chose not to place his name on the Michigan ballot so as not to violate national Democratic Party rules. But you can vote "uncommitted."
    Because having your name on the ballot would not have violated the National Democratic Party Rules.

    Write-in votes weren't allowed (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:23:53 PM EST
    the choice was uncommitted or one of the candidates on the ballot. That's why Obama and Edwards supporters were told to vote uncommitted.

    The more important point (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:28:44 PM EST
    is that Obama backers organized a strong effort to get voters out to VOTE uncommitted.

    It was not a spontaneous occurrence despite all the protestations to the contrary.


    BTW (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:29:37 PM EST
    Clinton backers in MI did the same thing to get folks to vote Clinton.

    The fact is everybody violated the SPIRIT of the pledges n Michigan and Florida.


    So, Kos didn't get that e-mail? (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:51:03 PM EST
    But that wasn't the question. (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:36:46 PM EST
    Exactly. The question is DNC rules -- (none / 0) (#139)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:19:56 PM EST
    did they require that Obama remove himself from the ballot.  

    If Conyer's work isn't campaigning... (none / 0) (#17)
    by ineedalife on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:30:58 PM EST
    what is?

    Obama said he was not a part of (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:32:16 PM EST
    Conyers' efforts.

    That settles it then. (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:01:38 PM EST
    Heh (none / 0) (#80)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:05:59 PM EST
    Breaking the rules (none / 0) (#46)
    by waldenpond on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:46:32 PM EST
    Obama's campaign chose not to place his name on the Michigan ballot so as not to violate national Democratic Party rules.

    They were running an ad that proclaimed Obama did not violate a rule?  So everyone else must have.  sigh.


    Wrong. It was not a DNC rule (none / 0) (#138)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:19:18 PM EST
    from the evidence we see here.

    Yes. He did. (nt) (none / 0) (#136)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:18:13 PM EST
    No (none / 0) (#205)
    by cmugirl on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 02:45:58 PM EST
    Conyers was wrong - it did not violate the rules.  The only thing the candidates promised to do was not campaign in the state.  They could keep their name on the ballot and they could even fundraise.

    *Sigh* (none / 0) (#8)
    by jtaylorr on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:27:19 PM EST
    "John Edwards and Barack Obama were on the ballot in Florida, but withdrew from the Michigan race. Why?"

    Looks like you conveniently forgot to mention, Florida law prohibits anyone from taking their name off the ballot once it has been put on.

    They could have stayed on the MI Ballot (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:34:07 PM EST
    Why didn't they?

    Her point is different (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:34:55 PM EST
    Since you are going to be on the FL ballot why did you need to be taken off the MI ballot? What was the urgency? And the urgency is described by Schneider, but was described by me here in January, to deny Clinton even a straw poll victory.

    You neglect to mention (none / 0) (#42)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:44:28 PM EST
    that when Obama withdrew his name from the MI ballot, there was still 4 weeks before the FL deadline for Party officials to send ballots names for certification.  

    Obama had 4 weeks to tell the FL DNC Party officials not to send his name for ballot certification.


    No (none / 0) (#77)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:04:53 PM EST
    Obama would have had to withdraw from the race for that.

    Not possible.


    Only if he withdrew his name (none / 0) (#87)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:07:54 PM EST
    after certification

    Where in the Florida Electoral Law does it say (none / 0) (#88)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:08:39 PM EST
    that BTD.  Cause I have not found it yet.  and I have been looking

    Excellent analysis (none / 0) (#10)
    by fafnir on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:28:05 PM EST
    I couldn't agree more with your recommendation.

    What is the Obama view now (none / 0) (#16)
    by sara seattle on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:30:33 PM EST
    I seem to read several versions - and not sure if he really is for splitting the delegates for both states - and leave it at that!

    But that Hillary is for re-votes.

    I am on Hillary's side - in a democracy you cannot tell millions of people - you cannot vote because your state political party did something wrong.

    Punish the state parties - let the voters vote.

    I think Obama wants the kind of caucuses (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:03:18 PM EST
    where people can register at the last minute and you have to show up on time and be there for hours.  That way, women with jobs and children and elderly people with either not be able to go or will be intimidated by the "enthusiastic" Obama supporters who will herd them over to his area of the room before they know what is happening.

    Hillary wants revotes in the worst way (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:33:14 PM EST
    Because the pledged delegates are not enough, she needs to feed her big states narrative with big wins in FL, MI and PA.

    But she needs to NOT seem to desperate lest she get forced into Iowa style caucuses. The momentum for mail in primaries is strong and very good for Clinton. And Dean is for them.

    This is all swinging Clinton's way on the revote issue.


    Question. . . (none / 0) (#31)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:35:57 PM EST
    Do mail in primaries benefit one candidate over the other?

    My own specualtive view (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:38:28 PM EST
    is that it favors Clinton because her constituency is more likely to have trouble getting to the polls and may be less energized, he has a movement after all.

    Mailing a letter is less difficult and less likely to be interrupted by life's necessities when you can do it anytime over the course of a few weeks.


    mail in votes (none / 0) (#48)
    by Turkana on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:47:34 PM EST
    work very well, in oregon. higher turnout is better for everyone- better for the concept of democracy. if anyone cares about that concept, anyway...

    the studies I've seen (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by tree on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:59:35 PM EST
    on VBM in Oregon also indicate that mail-in doesn't give an preference to one or another demographic group. If you are no longer at your registered address, there are procedures in place to allow you to pick it up. And you can mail it in, or drop it off anytime before the deadline.

    Mail In (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by waldenpond on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:00:25 PM EST
    I know very few people that go to the polls in my neighborhood in CA.  No lines, no crowds, no traffic.  They mail your ballot or you go pick it up.  Mail it back or drop it off.

    Florida is concerned because of the process.  In CA you make the request online or in person.  The reason is to get a current signature for comparison. You have to have heavy resources to verify and count paper ballots.  I would think there would be an abundance of willing volunteers.  They just need to do it.


    Here in Florida we have early votes,, (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:02:44 PM EST
    and other ways of voting a well planned and executed mail in primary should be no problem.

    1,000,000 absentee ballots in CA Dem. (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:03:06 PM EST
    primary.  No problem.  

    I really doubt HRC's "low information," (none / 0) (#99)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:15:02 PM EST
    high-school educated, old female voters will have that much trouble.  Really.

    Caucus vote primary (none / 0) (#162)
    by NYMARJ on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:59:48 PM EST
    Listening to Gov Rendell argue in favor of new primaries for Fla and Michigan instead of caucuses on Meet the Press today - his argument was older voters, shift workers, etc.  Why doesn't anybody ever bring up military votes in this instance - wouldn't that be a strong claim to make? You would think that the greater number of people who vote in primaries vs caucuses would make the total case for primaries - but obviously not.

    I agree -- I think it's HUGE to claim (none / 0) (#176)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:22:14 AM EST
    the high ground for the military to vote.  I think it's militarytracy here who has posted on this and awakened others of us.  Now tell Clinton!

    As I recall (none / 0) (#183)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:07:02 AM EST
    the Florida Dem Chair issued a statement with three absolutely requirements for any do-over, one of which is that our soldiers overseas must be able to participate.

    One of the Floridians here mentioned that (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:40:24 PM EST
    many presumably registered FL voters leave FL in the warmer months for Ohio et al.  Not sure they will receive their mail-in ballots.

    That is what I want to now, also (none / 0) (#44)
    by kenosharick on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:45:33 PM EST
    do ballots get mailed to everyone who is registered or only those who voted the first time around since it is a "revote?"

    A mail-in is much, much easier... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:50:04 PM EST
    ... than a several-hour-long caucus for the senior citizens who make up a big chunk of Hillary's base in Florida.

    Obama is the one that will have problems (none / 0) (#41)
    by sara seattle on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:44:16 PM EST
    because if he is against the re-votes in Florida -- I see an ad right away -

    remember 2000 when Bush did not want the votes counted - now Obama does not want the voters in Florida to even vote.

    That just not be a smart move in my opinion


    As well it should... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:46:50 PM EST
    ... a mail-in revote is democratic. I'm not really sure Obama deserves even that, since his withdrawl from Michigan was a strategic pander to Iowa, and one from which he has already benefitted massively - had he lost Iowa to Hillary, the whole race would have been over months ago.

    Seems to me HRC is looking good (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:34:01 PM EST
    either way:  (1) seat the delegates from MI and FL, (2) or re-vote in MI and FL and "we'll" kick in $13 mil.  

    Splitting the votes is more wrong IMO (none / 0) (#29)
    by ineedalife on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:35:23 PM EST
    Telling a half million people you are taking their votes and giving them to the other candidate is horrible.

    Splitting the delegates (none / 0) (#34)
    by litigatormom on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:37:21 PM EST
    makes no sense, if what you mean is giving 50% of the delegates to Clinton, and 50% to Obama.  That's completely arbitrary, doesn't "count the votes," and most importantly, doesn't cut Obama's pledged delegate lead.

    The DNC could have done what the GOP did -- seat 50% of the states' total alloted delegates, allocated according to the popular vote totals. It has never been clear to me why that didn't happen.


    It happened because Dean and Brazile (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:39:08 PM EST
    are stupid.

    That's not quite accurate. (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:43:50 PM EST
    It is more that the entire rules committee are stupid - they came up with the idea of losing 100% of the delegates - there is no leeway in the rules for the committee to make a determination about a lesser percentage.

    The penalty that should have been included, in my opinion, would have been to have the state super delegates who chose to move their primary or caucus lose their voting rights at the convention.  That probably would have been the kind of threat that might have worked and not been so dammaging to the voters had it been tested and meted out.

    I think Dean's sticking to principle here offers long-term protection to the party's right to determine our nomination process.

    The last thing I want is for some GOP state's legislature to decide to hold the Dem primary election for 2012 in 2009 if you see what I mean.

    Plus all the other states adhered to the rules and so just being into honoring agreements amongst numerous parties - I do think that people who deviate at the last minute should be held accountable.  That's why I would target the states' super delegates rather than the voters' delegates.

    But I agree that the idea that the Democratic Party would not recognize the voters' delegates from any state is incredibly stupid.  I think the re-vote is the only way to reconcile the situation.


    here is the problem I have with Dean (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:52:39 PM EST
    He should have meted out the penalty at the outset.  Instead of telling Florida, "I-I-say, y'all better not hold this primary early or I'm'a gonna make y'all sorry!" (I'm assuming he talks like Foghorn Leghorn here) he should have said, "If you hold the primary early, this is what the punishment will be," and either halved the delegates, stripped them completely, or done whatever else the rules allowed.  By leaving it open, he has created a huge mess.  And his sly smile and shrug, saying, "They can revote or let the credentials committee decide" is not leadership.

    Actually, I think Dean represents the greater problem with the party.  Stop being so wishy washy and make a freakin' decision.  How can we follow if you're not going to lead?


    I am not sure what you are (none / 0) (#129)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:08:34 PM EST
    referring to because it was the rules committee that voted to strip the states of their delegates last summer.  Dean isn't on the rules committee - Brazile is though.  Both states had fair warning about what was going to happen.  Basically what we have here are two states that decided to play chicken with the DNC - which is comprised of representatives from every state and territory in the country.  Everyone agreed way back in the summer of 2005 to the schedule and the rules - including FL and MI - it wasn't until this past summer that they decided they were going to go off the ranch.

    Blaming Dean for this situation is over simplifying a fairly complex problem which involves all of the states and territories and agreements that they made about the nomination process.  There are hundereds of people involved in this deal making decisions on behalf of millions of others who are all over this country.  My Dad worked on a lot of presidential campaigns and the stories he tells about all of the personalities and the negotiating over the stupidest stuff...  well basically I guess what I am saying is that the DNC has always had this problem of being too democratic for its own good.


    but since the rules said 50% (none / 0) (#132)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:13:31 PM EST
    why was the 100% strip allowed doesn't the head of the DNC have anything to say about those kinds of abuses.

    Our rules said 100% (none / 0) (#155)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:49:44 PM EST
    The RNC's rules said something less - I think it was 90%.  The RNC defaulted to something lower as a move to undercut the Dem position - natch - but the problem is with the rule - there aren't any exceptions that I could find when I read them.  And before you lament that there are no exceptions - the minefield that could result from giving the rules committee that much power is something to consider.

    Pretty much every worst case scenario has come into play in this situation.  Most people thought that the nomination would be settled on Super Tuesday so that while FL and MI were embarassing and frustrating they would have been seated without much objection or fanfare to give the nod to the nominee.  But it didn't work out like that.  We had a real race and as we get farther and farther into this we have more and more of a race making FL and MI more and more important...

    This I know - FL and MI will be seated.  People who believed they wouldn't be when this whole thing started were fooling themselves or didn't understand the process well enough to understand that they would never be left out in the end.  What no one knew was that this would be a neck and neck race to the finish.  Now every state counts.  Now they have to deal with FL and MI for real rather than just symbolicly putting them at the kids table until it is time for dessert.


    Not so (none / 0) (#158)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:55:56 PM EST
    The Dem rules do say 50%, and there is an exception if the DNC finds you did your best to follow the rules in good faith.

    I never found that clause. (none / 0) (#165)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:03:37 PM EST
    But who was acting in good faith?  Nelson and Wasserman-Schultz as well as Levin and Granholm were quite self righteous about their states' primary changes when this all first started.  No one was claiming that the GOP did it at the time - Michigan can't but FL is now.  They were all arguing that they were super important states who should determine the nominee regardless of any previous agreements or how they affected any of the other states.

    Well (none / 0) (#175)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:18:26 AM EST
    I never said they were acting in good faith.

    What the clause basically says is that you can avoid the penalty if the DNC finds you did your best to avoid the problem.  So that would apply to the situation where the Republican legislature forces it down your throats, or whatever.  But either way the penalty certainly should not have been more than half the delegates.

    The root of the problem is that NH should have been penalized one-half of its delegates, but was not, when it decided to jump ahead of NV in the order and go before the earliest allowable date under the DNC rules.


    Or Obama supporters with (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:41:30 PM EST
    terrific power to see into the future?

    Nah, just garden variety political savvy (none / 0) (#59)
    by ineedalife on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:51:30 PM EST
    would let you predict which candidates these sanctions favored.

    Well, as BTD has repeatedly (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:10:03 PM EST
    reminded us, he could see exactly how this would all play out.  But who else did?  

    NO ONE (5.00 / 4) (#93)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:12:26 PM EST
    is my equal.

    Ooops (5.00 / 4) (#96)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:13:08 PM EST
    My narcissistic and grandiose syndrome kicked in there for a second. Sorry.

    Dean and Brazille did (none / 0) (#107)
    by ineedalife on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:26:22 PM EST
    They just hoped Obama would wrap it up before it became an issue. Then he could generously agree to sit the delegates like he promised when he was non-campaigning in FL.

    In the non-press conference (none / 0) (#143)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:33:25 PM EST
    with the press in violation of the pledge he had signed the day before.

    Btw, I don't see how BTD sees Clinton as breaking the rules about campaigning.  She followed them.  Obama did not.


    I couldn't agree more... (none / 0) (#56)
    by txchicanoforhillary on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:50:42 PM EST
    what the heck was Dean and the DNC thinking..."oh let's just tick off the 4th largest state in the nation and tell them that their delegates won't be seated!"

    Man was 2000 so far back that the darn Dems have forgotten about Florida and how important it is?  Geez!


    Florida's impact (none / 0) (#152)
    by Arabiflora on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:48:24 PM EST
    vis the ability to conduct an open and honest election remains... suspect. That fact is important, but the value of Florida voters as they might be useful in putting a Democrat in the WH... not so much.

    splitting the delegates (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:50:57 PM EST
    is what Tom Daschle - which really equals Obama, since that is who Daschle is supporting - has suggested.  Splitting them 50-50 is as meaningless as not counting them at all - it's a total wash for both candidates from a pledged delegate standpoint and leaves the popular vote just sort of hanging out there - would they suggest that the popular vote also be re-allocated and split 50-50?  Or does Clinton get to add the popular vote totals to her side of the tally, and Obama has to walk away with only the Florida votes?

    the 50 - 50 split (none / 0) (#78)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:05:04 PM EST
    pushes Obama closer to the magic number

    BO stalling for a caucus? (none / 0) (#210)
    by 1950democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:11:53 PM EST
    I've seen speculation that Obama wants to stall until it will be too late to print ballots for a primary or a mail-in, so the only possibility will be a caucus. I'm glad Hillary is making a big push right now to show that she did want a revote, so that she can't be made to look so bad by rejecting Obama's eventual caucus proposition.

    Glad it seems Dean and others are supporting the mail-in idea though. Mail-ins are even more inclusive than a traditional primary, and less easy to sabotage (poll hours and locations, long lines, not enough ballots, "you're not on the list", etc).

    It will be decided by the Supers anyway, and I feel like a good fight in a revote will be good info for them. This will show Hillary doing honest campaigning -- going to voters for votes -- vs Obama's gaming the system.


    "Splitting the delegates" (none / 0) (#39)
    by OrangeFur on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:42:03 PM EST
    Whoever in the Obama campaign came up with that proposal ought to be fired. That's the most ludicrous sounding answer to this gigantic mess that I've heard. It fails to take into account the wishes of the Florida and Michigan voters, and insults them on top of it by pretending that they ought to be satisfied by it.

    I'm having a hard time figuring out where the campaigns are on this. My sense is that Clinton would either like to seat the delegates as is, or else have revotes that are very similar to primaries. What's Obama's position?

    plays well (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Turkana on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:49:01 PM EST
    in certain camps. but certainly shows how much some people care about the will of the people...

    It is disenfranchising some voters (none / 0) (#145)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:36:06 PM EST
    by giving their votes away, even if it is not disenfranchising all voters in those states.

    So is the question to Obama -- as after 2000 and 2004, it may be wise for us to know this ahead of time -- "Senator, just how many disenfranchised voters is okay with you?  Can you specify just how many votes it is okay to give away?"


    It's very strange... (none / 0) (#171)
    by OrangeFur on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:26:49 PM EST
    "Your votes will count. Here is how you voted." It's simply bizarre.

    I feel that (none / 0) (#40)
    by txchicanoforhillary on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:43:13 PM EST
    the if there is a "re-vote" of any kind it should be the same as the original way the first vote was cast.  No caucus (as I have read that MI is looking @) and no-mail (as the AP is reporting on Yahoo! that FL may actually do.)

    Howard Dean got a good grilling this morning on Face The Nation. As a former Deaniac, I was less than impressed with the Governor's stance on the whole FL situation.  The FL legislature, republican controlled, were the ones who moved up the date.  So why does the DNC punish FL democrats for that action?  I listened to Howard Dean pass the ball so much that Bill Scheiffer from FTN told Nelson and Kerry, "Dean is acting like the coach that tells the players to give the ball to Leroy!" when Leroy doesn't want the ball.

    I expect more from the leader of the DNC.  If that's the line in the sand he draws about something that the Dems in FL had NO control over maybe we should re-think who leads our party.

    Mail-in is fine with me... (none / 0) (#51)
    by OrangeFur on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:48:57 PM EST
    Oregon runs all of its elections by mail and nothing seems to go wrong. Turnout is generally a bit higher than in precinct voting.

    No way on earth should there be anything resembling a caucus. Even a New Mexico-style caucus, which is essentially a primary with fewer polling places and shorter polling hours is barely acceptable.

    Why is having another primary so hard? Since when did $15 million become too much money to make sure people's votes are counted?


    You are not seriously (none / 0) (#61)
    by txchicanoforhillary on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:55:41 PM EST
    comparing Oregon to Florida with respect to voting habits are you?  One of my best friends lives in McMinville, OR.  She enjoys the mail option but that is going to be a hard slog for those in FL who aren't used to something like that.  That's why I think that they should do the voting the same way they did before.  Less confusion.  People are easy to throw off.  Heck, people get frustrated when you move their polling places.  You think that someone is not going to toss that ballot in the garbage thinking, "oh heck I already voted" or they may mistake it for junk mail.  I love Oregon and just returned from South Beach.  Apples and oranges baby.

    Butterfly ballots are my suggestion. (none / 0) (#65)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:59:48 PM EST
    But hasn't Ms. Harris moved on? (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:04:30 PM EST
    Hanging chads (none / 0) (#84)
    by txchicanoforhillary on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:07:09 PM EST

    If I remember correctly (none / 0) (#85)
    by tree on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:07:22 PM EST
    Oregon even has a procedure for those who misplace their ballot or throw it out by accident. All the outer envelopes are bar coded and signed by the voter. You can pick up a ballot at the election offices with proof of identity and the old mailed ballot can be invalidated by bar code so that no one gets to commit fraud and vote twice. Its not a hard system. Whether Florida has the wherwithall to institute it, I don't know.

    Okay... (none / 0) (#170)
    by OrangeFur on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:25:36 PM EST
    I'll agree that the best system is what makes it easiest for everyone to participate. And a strong argument can be made that the best way is what the primary has always been--precinct voting. I think I agree with that.

    I guess what I'm saying is that given the mess we have, it sounds like mail-in voting is a good alternative. It doesn't restrict turnout the way caucuses do, and has worked on a large scale before, in Oregon. For people who have voted absentee, it will be especially familiar. Of course voter education will be a problem, but if they schedule it for June, there will be about two months for the campaigns to educate voters.


    mail-in and suspenders in CA,nagging everywhere (none / 0) (#212)
    by 1950democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:58:22 PM EST
    Good point about not confusing people by sudden change. In CA for a while both systems were used: iirc you got a ballot in the mail along with the voter info packet, but it was your choice whether to mail in the ballot or go to the polling place (where you could get a fresh ballot if you'd lost the mailed one, I think). The government encouraged mailing in as being easier and cheaper for them (no time pressure on counting etc), and it's been working so well that last I heard the polling locations were about to wither away.

    To me a big advantage of mail-in is that it would be much harder for Obama to disrupt or discredit. Long lines, polling places moved or closed early or late, running out of ballots -- stuff like that, even if unintentional, gives handles for lawsuits. He is trying to disrupt the process and delay things and have technicalities to argue with at Denver, so he can threaten riots at Denver....

    With mail-ins, for one thing, phone banking can begin when they're mailed out to make sure everyone got one, and follow-up calls to the same voter for days to nag them to fill it out and mail it. If a voter fouls up on precinct day they've lost their chance; with a mail-in, if they forget to mail it one day, they get phoned again and again, and finally someone knocks on their door with a stamp and offers to carry it to the post office. :-)


    Totally agree (none / 0) (#79)
    by sara seattle on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:05:06 PM EST
    mail in voting is terrific -- and I am sure that Florida voters will aprreciate how easy it is.

    Especially in this case where there will be just one little box to fill in

    Yes - for Hillary  :)


    How much prep time did Oregon have (none / 0) (#149)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:42:14 PM EST
    to switch over to a new system?  A couple of weeks?  To come up with the funding, distribute it down to all the counties or municipalities (far more in Florida and Michigan, I presume, as more populous states) that actually do elections, design the ballot, get all the munis to adopt it, let out the print jobs for bids, run the bids through all the committee approvals in all the jurisdictions, get several million ballots printed, get all the addresses, get them on the ballots, distribute them in the mails, get the hiring and training done to count them. . . .

    And I don't do this work at all, but I've read about snafus in my state -- one of the best states at elections, so I've read -- to wonder about this.

    So how long did Oregon have to prepare to switch over, and if only a couple of weeks, how did it go that first time?  So smoothly, after so little prep time, that this is a good way to pick a president?


    Oregon elections have (none / 0) (#164)
    by caseyOR on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:01:42 PM EST
    been very smooth since the beginning of vote-by-mail. But it did not happen in two weeks. Quite a bit of planning was done just to write the enabling legislation. People thought this out carefully. It has been wildly successful,and it is cheaper than polling place election, but it did take time.

    I live in Oregon (none / 0) (#174)
    by zyx on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:11:30 AM EST
    and one of the fraud-prevention measures with mail-voting is that ballots CANNOT BE FORWARDED IN THE MAIL.  That makes a June vote in Florida problematic--unless, of course, they forward the ballots.

    Of course, we actually get our ballots a couple of weeks before "election day", but still, a summer vote in Florida by mail would be non-optimal.

    (I'm no expert, just a happy Oregon voter who is usually home.)


    Ah, that is significant and (none / 0) (#180)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:30:49 AM EST
    sort of what I thought might be a problem in Florida -- with no lists for this, probably a lot of out-of-date addresses, lots of forwarding to do for snowbirds flow north for the summer, etc.  And think of all the students, if staying there and not heading home out of state -- as June is just after many of them move out as a roomie graduates or goes home, move in to summer leases to move in with others, move off for summer jobs, etc.

    precinct voting is worse for travellers (none / 0) (#211)
    by 1950democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:43:01 PM EST
    Good point, but wouldn't a regular precinct vote be even worse for those Floridans who aren't in town in the summer? For a regular precinct vote they'd have to apply for an absentee ballot, and this may all be pretty short notice.

    It is possible to get your ballot even if the PO won't forward it: if it goes to your parents' home anyway, or you can rent a 'Mailbox Plus' sort of service. Most snowbirds have some such arrangement already.


    Thanks, that is helpful (none / 0) (#179)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:28:28 AM EST
    and I'm glad it's going well there -- the country from where my mom comes, I have relatives there in the mountains but haven't seen them in eons.

    How is it that the FL Democratic party (none / 0) (#166)
    by Arabiflora on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:07:54 PM EST
    allowed itself to be held hostage to FL Republican edicts? I've seen this meme repeated over and over ("Those Republicans made us do it!) and, while plausible at first glance, does not hold up under serious thought.

    I fully expect the onslaught of charges that I am ignorant of all the nuance, machinations, and politics that justify the decison to move FL forward against Dem party rules, but I reject them on principle: The FL Democratic party, as an independent political entity, CANNOT be directed by a state legislature as to when, where, or how to conduct its polling process. You can cite chapter and verse of reasons why those mean old Republicans were able to sabotage the best intentions of FL Dems, but THAT was the time and venue to fight it if the state party (and Dem voters) cared to.


    Look the space alloted is too small (none / 0) (#169)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:20:41 PM EST
    to explain the details of the different things included in the bill moving the primaries that prevented the Fl democratic legislators from voting against the measure.  As to your point about  
    an independent political entity, CANNOT be directed by a state legislature as to when, where, or how to conduct its polling process
    that is not true.  Primaries are run paid and set by the state's Government not the parties.  Unless the FDC was going to pay for setting up the amount polling places necessary to run a proper primary what were they going to do.  The Idea put forth at the time of 108 polling places by someone in the DNC was not only ridiculous but bordered on the insulting.  Caucuses in Florida won't sell to the electorate and would cause just as big a headache as we have now.  And since the DNC rule say that the violation merited a 50% cut the excessive punishment doled by the rules committee is a what has caused this self-inflicted wound.

    Seems to me the best solution (none / 0) (#49)
    by ineedalife on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:48:00 PM EST
    is to just revert to the default sanctions. Half the delegate totals for each state that broke the rules. The nuclear option of removing all their delegates was Donna Brazile acting out. I think Jerome Armstrong has pointed out that SC, NH, and IA all broke the rules too without suffering even the automatic penalty.  Piling on MI and FL does seem to have been with intent to tilt the playing field in one direction.

    This solution would close the delegate gap without putting Hillary in the lead.
    It would add FL and MI popular vote totals to the reported numbers so the voters in those states would see their contribution.

    Obama would have his precious pledged delegate lead to comfort him and Hillary would have the popular vote lead. Then, going forward, may the best candidate win.

    Well, as long as the rule applies to the (none / 0) (#60)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:52:45 PM EST
    OTHER rule breakers, like IA, NH, SC and NV.
    Not gonna happen.
    I would say a very likely scenario---one Obama is planning for---is that he will prevent re-votes in MI and FL, while pretending to look for a compromise.
    This leaves him in a win-win situation: if the delegates are not seated, he wins, and if they are seated, his camp cries loudly about  cheating, and at least Obama wins the PR game.
    So, my question is this: Can the re-votes occur in spite of Obama's opposition? I am  guessing yes. That is the outcome I would prefer to see, with Obama standing four-square against counting votes, and losing the fight.

    If the delgates are not seated (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:06:39 PM EST
    and that is perceived to have turned on Obama's holding out to prevent that in any form, it may get him the short-term win, but I think it spells disaster in the general election from voters who will be royally pissed off at being left out of the process.  Especially voters in Florida.

    Obama seems to be a master of the short-term - but it is the long-term consequence that is going to bite him.  And maybe us, if he is the nominee.

    This is not the kind of vision I am looking for in a candidate.


    Obama first is trying to win the Democratic (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:11:09 PM EST
    nomination at any cost. Later he'll worry about winning the GE at any cost.

    No cannot agree (none / 0) (#72)
    by sara seattle on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:02:46 PM EST
    Anyone that says no to voters in Florida will bring instant memory of the Bush voter re-count mess in Florida

    For Democrats to have a Democratic nominee say that voters in Florida do not count -- that will not bring back good memories.

    So Obama declines the re-vote in Florida at his own peril


    There has been talk in Florida (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:07:33 PM EST
    of decertifying the Democratic Party nominee if the delegates aren't seated at the convention.  That would be serious and would make Dean and Brazile look really bad.

    Does that mean the nominee would not (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:11:49 PM EST
    be on the ballot?

    Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:00:14 PM EST
    I can't seem to figure out how to post a link, but here is a quote from the March 8 Bradenton, Fl Herald:

    Republican House rules chairman David Rivera said he likes the idea of a mail election if the Democrats pay for it. Meantime, he has asked the House elections committee to research a bill that would ban the Democratic nominee from the Florida ballot in November if the national party refuses to seat the state's delegates.

    Sorry I can't figure out the link thing.  


    Whoa ... that sounds like a pretty awesome game (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by plf1953 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:37:08 PM EST
    of chicken.

    And 27 EVs down the drain ...


    I think that's an excellent idea! (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by tandem5 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:55:10 PM EST
    If they're not going to hear Florida why should Florida hear them?

    Notice that (none / 0) (#133)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:14:12 PM EST
    it's a Republican who is talking about it.  And the Republicans are the ones who changed Florida's primary date too.  Yet Dean and Brazile are determined to "punish" them even at the risk of losing the general election?

    I saw a Dem legislator on CNN (5.00 / 3) (#150)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:45:50 PM EST
    talking about it and all for it.  This apparently is bipartisan, with legislators on both sides hearing holy h*ll from constituents about being disenfranchised.

    I don't think those of us outside these states can quite comprehend the anger level.  But if it was my state, I can tell you that I would be raising h*ll with my legislators, no matter their side of the aisle.  The Dems would be mad about it, too -- and the Repubs would be chortling about this Dem mess and more than delighted to step up and say so.


    Really. (none / 0) (#153)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:48:42 PM EST
    That's very interesting.  I know I'd be furious if it happened in my state.  The fact that Howard Dean isn't being much more proactive on this is really disturbing to me.  He needs to get busy or he will be responsible for the Party losing another election.

    Dean might be (none / 0) (#163)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:00:29 PM EST
    happy with the influx of all the young people Obama is bringing with him but it seems many of these new voters are aligned to Obama and not the Democratic Party (Obama said as much).

    Dean should be more concerned about (none / 0) (#189)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:50:08 AM EST
    the outflux (tm) of older women voters who are threatening to leave the party.  You know, the ones who have reliably voted democrat for 20 years, as opposed to the young kids who just registered to vote for Obama?

    This Stupidity Is Jeopardizing Dem Downticket (none / 0) (#181)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:39:00 AM EST
    House races also. Evidently Obama is willing to put those candidates at further risk also.

    Oh, but Foster won, so not to worry. (none / 0) (#182)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:54:44 AM EST
    Would that be (none / 0) (#188)
    by kenoshaMarge on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:43:40 AM EST
    Bill Foster who won in Obama's home state of Illinois and thus proves that Obama will magically help all Democrats win
    Congressional seats in Republican leaning races from sea to shining sea? Would that be the one? :)

    OK Foster Won (none / 0) (#191)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:17:58 AM EST
    and we lose the House seats in FL and MI. That would be a net loss for the Dems of four IIRC.

    Believe it nor not (none / 0) (#193)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:23:49 AM EST
    But both Michigan and Florida have a lot of Obama supporters.  You think they might get ticked off if their voice isn't heard?  Or is it only Hillary supporters that might get outraged?

    Think The Dem And Indie Voters In MI and FL (none / 0) (#197)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:14:37 AM EST
    will be ticked off if their count doesn't count. If Obama prevents a revote, IMO he will lose some support in those states. Obama core supporters alone won't be able to get down ticket candidates elected.

    Obama won't prevent a revote (none / 0) (#200)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:41:18 AM EST
    He may drag his heels but he won't prevent it from happening, if some plan comes together.

    yeah! (none / 0) (#192)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:22:24 AM EST
    If only Obama would just concede already things would be so much better.

    That's a silly comment (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:01:44 AM EST
    considering that it's Obama's supporters who are insisting Hillary has to drop out in the middle of the race.

    Well, he doesn't want to be seen (none / 0) (#81)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:05:59 PM EST
    as refusing a vote, but he doesn't want the vote to occur, either. Can he pull it off? If Obama rules are in place, yes.

    But I don't think the goal should (none / 0) (#69)
    by Anne on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:01:56 PM EST
    have anything to do with protecting either candidate's current position - that's not the point of legitimizing the votes; there is just no way this should be worked out with an eye toward maintaining Obama's delegate lead when he chose to remove himself from the ballot in Michigan.

    Even if you restored half the delegate totals, Obama didn't earn any delegates in Michigan - he wasn't on the ballot.  If Hillary gets X number of delegates based on the vote she received in Michigan, less a 50% penalty, why shouldn't 50% of the remaining delegates go into the convention as uncommitted delegates who can choose whichever one of the candidates they want?  That does sort of make them a sub-set of superdelegates, but so what?


    You're right (none / 0) (#102)
    by ineedalife on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:18:52 PM EST
    But the political fix for this time will not be totally blind to consequence on the race. One campaign or the other will not play ball.

    The uncommitteds from MI should be psuedo-supers. How they are chosen is tough though. Former congress-people? Each campaign submits names and have a drawing for each slot?


    There is no 50% default in the rules (none / 0) (#120)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:53:23 PM EST
    as I recall and that solution would have only been fair if it had been imposed prior to the elections being held - and had the rules that the candidates weren't supposed to campaign anywhere until after the first four states were through - and I'm not refering to the show pledge they all signed and sent to the media - the DNC rules for candidates also limit the candidates' activities with respect to the schedule.  Signing that pledge was kind of like a joke because it was like sending out a press release vowing not to run red lights.  In other words, they were all trying to take credit for following the rules - rolling eyes because to me that's like a baseline not a bonus point.

    DNC Rules (none / 0) (#50)
    by gabbyone on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 08:48:45 PM EST
    During the New Hampshire Primary there was a DNC
    representative who was on the rules committee for
    setting up how Florida and Michigan would be treated for their violations.  She was responding in the Union Leader Newspaper to the charge that Clinton had violated the rules by staying on the ballot in Michigan. She said that what happens on a ballot is governed by state law and the DNC could not prohibit candidates from being on any ballot. Michigan had no rules on what the candidates could do, but Florida told the candidates the only way they could get off the Florida ballot was if they left the race.  The DNC said that candidates who stayed on the ballot in Michigan didn't violate the rules of the agreement. She said the charges that Clinton had
    violated the rules were not true.

    now we know one of the reasons why (none / 0) (#101)
    by hellothere on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:16:50 PM EST
    the obama supporters were desperate for hillary to drop out. they didn't want the truth on something like this coming up or the revotes. donna brazile helped destroy gore's campaign and dean helped do himself in. so why do we have them running this one into ground pray tell.

    600,000 may seem like a lot (none / 0) (#105)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:21:33 PM EST
    ...but is only about a quarter of the people who voted for Kerry in 2004.  Most Dem primaries are attracting up to 2/3 of the 2004 Kerry vote.

    I agree that the Michigan delegation should be seated, but I just don't think that 600k is an impressive number for Michigan.

    I find it hard to believe that either (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:58:16 PM EST
    Michigan or Florida's numbers are as robust as they might have been if we had had real primaries in each state.  There were far too many people running around saying that they didn't count for that not to have had an effect and the participation numbers in just about every other state have been staggeringly high - I'd like to see re-votes for that reason alone - regardless of any candidates interest or perceived liabilities.

    How would the snow bird (none / 0) (#148)
    by hairspray on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:41:41 PM EST
    vote be counted?

    Well, three times if they (none / 0) (#160)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:57:54 PM EST
    winter in Texas I suppose. lol

    Florida set a record turnout (none / 0) (#151)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:48:07 PM EST
    and I find it hard to believe you can't find that -- just google, plus it has been discussed here.

    I know it was a record turnout. (none / 0) (#159)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:56:53 PM EST
    I just suspect it could have been even more of a record turnout had the candidates campaigned in the state and there hadn't been so much talk about how the election didn't matter.

    2.8 million Dems participated in the Texas primary.  I think Florida could have come closer to that number.


    Record turnout means nothing (none / 0) (#202)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:43:48 AM EST
    The point is that the turnout was lower than it would have been if an actual election had taken place.

    No, you don't know that (none / 0) (#206)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:37:59 PM EST
    as there really is a finite level of turnout.

    What you do know is that it was a record turnout, and what you then think about is whether that supports the argument that a revote is needed.

    Or not.


    they certainly weren't (none / 0) (#198)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:38:04 AM EST
    Those were the only two states where GOP turnout exceeded Dem turnout.  Somehow this fact never gets mentioned by Hillary supporters who want to pretend these shams were real elections.

    So you think (none / 0) (#124)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:56:40 PM EST
    that Hillary should get a bigger vote swing from Michigan than she received in New York or Obama received in Illinois because Obama made a political decision to withdraw from Michigan?

    That seems fair.  

    Not a chance that is going to happen no matter how much Hillary supporters are hoping for a 4th quarter hail mary.

    I think people should be allowed (none / 0) (#128)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:00:55 PM EST
    to have their votes counted.

    Do you believe otherwise?


    I believe in fair elections (none / 0) (#130)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:09:02 PM EST
    and I believe that your argument is one that is often made by people like Hugo Chavez.

    If everyone's voted is not counted equally then you aren't having an election.  You are having a coronation.

    It doesn't matter WHY Obama withdrew his name.  The fact is that the state's delegates were stripped.  End of story.  


    Nothing unfair about it (5.00 / 0) (#141)
    by xspowr on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:32:22 PM EST
    I agree that Obama's motive for removing his name from the ballot is irrelevant. What is relevant is that he removed his name voluntarily, and that HRC violated no rule or pledge by remaining on the ballot along with several other candidates.  There was nothing unfair about the MI primary itself (e.g., voting irregularities), nor would it be unfair to allocate delegates based on the outcome of that election.  Obama's wound was self-inflicted, negating any claim of unfairness based solely on whether his name appeared on the ballot.

    I advocate a revote (none / 0) (#144)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:35:37 PM EST
    What are you advocating as a solution?

    I'm fine with a revote (none / 0) (#172)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:47:41 PM EST
    I have no problem with a revote.

    You are not using the term (none / 0) (#154)
    by Cream City on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:49:35 PM EST
    "fair election" correctly.  No fraud here.

    Fraud and fair (none / 0) (#173)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:48:50 PM EST
    are not the same thing.

    Fraud implies willful wrongdoing.  Fair implies an equal contest.  Clearly neither state was fair.


    Neither fraudulent nor unfair (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by xspowr on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:20:04 AM EST
    Jeralyn and others have repeatedly and forcefully argued the reasons why the Florida primary was fair and equal for all the candidates, and I won't repeat those arguments here (other than to join in their conclusion that Florida was indeed a fair contest that should be recognized as is).

    With respect to Michigan, you continue to argue from a flawed premise.  Put simply, a team that voluntarily forfeits a game cannot be heard later to complain about an "unfair" result or an "unequal" contest. It is undisputed that Obama voluntarily abandoned the field in Michigan.  Unless you can demonstrate some mechanism of coercion that kept Obama's name off the Michigan ballot, no argument about fairness or equality based on that omission will hold water.  Only a mechanism that put a thumb on the scale for HRC could reasonably be said to result in unfairness or inequality with respect to Obama, and you come forward with no evidence of such a mechanism.  While Obama supporters in Michigan may subjectively feel deprived of an opportunity to vote for him, it was Obama himself who deprived them of that choice, and in fact encouraged them (at least through surrogates) to vote uncommitted.  This subjective disappointment does not equate with unfairness or inequality in the electoral process itself.  The contest among those candidates remaining on the ballot was no less "fair" or "equal" than any other election.

    While do-overs in one or both states may be necessary to rescue the DNC from its own incompetence, and to confer so-called "legitimacy" on the final nominee, the essential fairness and equality of the existing MI and FL primaries, as processes, is beyond dispute.  In both cases, all candidates operated under the same rules and the same handicaps, with no demonstrable advantage accruing to one candidate over the other (Obama's advertising and press conference infractions in Florida do not appear to have given him much of an advantage, given the final results). His self-inflicted wound in Michigan does not constitute a structural flaw in the electoral process itself that would constitute unfairness or an unequal contest.


    terrible analogy (1.00 / 0) (#201)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:42:10 AM EST
    if the Florida Marlins forfeit a preseason exhibition game, and then are told that the game will actually count in the regular-season standings, that actually is unfair.  HRC supporters have no persuasive argument that a post facto rule change would be fair or democratic.  It's naked power politics.

    Nice try (5.00 / 0) (#204)
    by xspowr on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:18:19 PM EST
    Like any analogy, the sports forfeiture example is, of course, imperfect; however, it is perfectly applicable with respect to Obama's decision to voluntarily withdraw from the ballot in MI.

    An analogy is only as good as its approximation to the actual facts, and your counter-analogy is, unfortunately, too clever by half.  Analogizing to a preseason game does not work here.  In that situation, the teams themselves understand and acknowledge that the results will not count in the regular season standings.  Further, the rule that preseason results do not count is equally applied to all preseason games and to all teams.  With respect to the MI and FL primaries, by contrast, neither candidate agreed that the results  from those elections would not count or that the delegates would not be seated.  The campaigns agreed only to refrain from campaigning in those states.  Further, the penalties imposed by the DNC were arbitrarily applied to FL and MI, and not to all offending states. Don't conflate the expectations of the campaigns or the voters with the actions and preferences of the DNC.  Big difference.

    I agree that "naked power politics" is at work here, on both sides.  And I'm sure you'll agree that BHO supporters have no persuasive argument that disenfranchising approximately 2 million primary voters in FL and MI due to a DNC penalty not equally applied to all offending states is not "fair or democratic" either, no?


    So you believe (none / 0) (#187)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:21:51 AM EST
    that the fact that they stripped the delegates doesn't anymore?  And the rights of the Obama supporters really don't matter because Obama sacrificed them by withdrawing his name from a race that the DNC deemed invalid?

    Stripping the delegates (5.00 / 0) (#203)
    by xspowr on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:56:53 PM EST
    does not affect the determination that the primary election itself was a fair and equal contest among the candidates that chose to remain on the ballot in MI. The DNC action goes to the question of whether the results of that election and the one in Florida should be recognized, which is another issue altogther.  My point goes to your earlier parsing about "fair" and "equal" with regard to the MI election itself, and to those who continue to inaccurately characterize the FL and MI elections as "faux primaries" or "beauty contests." They were not.

    Further, not a single Obama supporter had their voting rights compromised in either state.  Claiming that this was the case in MI because Obama was not on the ballot is the same as saying that Al Gore supporters were disenfranchised because Gore chose not to run. If you have evidence that the voting rights of Obama supporters were compromised in either state, please come forward with it. Arguing that their voter preferences were not subjectively satisfied in MI is a nonstarter. Supporters often suffer for their candidates' tactical errors (witness HRC supporters' dismay at her failure to have a viable post-Super Tuesday and/or caucus strategy).


    Lordy, but you are a patient person (none / 0) (#208)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:42:55 PM EST
    <applause>  <<applause>   <applause>

    Obama's (none / 0) (#194)
    by ding7777 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:30:19 AM EST
    supporters did vote - millions of them.

    Fraud (none / 0) (#199)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:39:29 AM EST
    Telling the voters that their votes won't count for delegates when it is untrue sounds like fraud to me.

    Yes, we can see that is what it (none / 0) (#207)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:41:57 PM EST
    sounds like to you.

    according to (none / 0) (#126)
    by white n az on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:58:30 PM EST
    this, it would be against the law to have a revote in Michigan.

    Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Levin said doing the election again would be against state law. "That can't be changed, and that can't be paid for," he said. Levin also said caucuses would be difficult, with 500 potential sites.

    I am not a lawyer, am not from Michigan and have no reason to dispute this.

    Obama Could Not Withdraw from Florida (none / 0) (#142)
    by AdrianLesher on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:33:14 PM EST
    but he could have asked the (none / 0) (#146)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:40:05 PM EST
    Florida Democratic Comitee not to submit his name.  And then that affidavit would not have to come into play.  He could have withdrawn the affidavit is not required until the Democratic Party submits the List of candidates not before. since he had till Oct 31 to ask the Florida Democratic party not to include him it was his choice.  So don't tell me he couldn't.

    Because if he was not on the list (none / 0) (#147)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:41:14 PM EST
    he would had not been withdrawing from the race.

    AdrianLesher (none / 0) (#167)
    by ding7777 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:09:04 PM EST
    What you wrote applies only to those who have been submitted for ballot certification (Oct 31, 2007).

    Obama could have told the FL DNC not to submit his name on the same day he withdrew from the MI ballot (Oct 9, 2007) without doing the affidavit thing


    No, you really misread this (none / 0) (#177)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:24:33 AM EST
    but it is a mess, and you know more than the network media do. If only they would even look at the local papers in MI and FL.

    results of my unconscious mentations (none / 0) (#168)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:10:10 PM EST
    I think that seating the current delegates would be a bad joke against the voters: "Oh, your vote won't count!" so you stay home and those who didn't stay home then get their votes counted. It's a bit like trying to get re-counts just in Broward, Dade, etc., instead of statewide.

    I'm like Captain Kirk on this: I won't accept anything but success in holding a re-vote. Anything else is a stunt and is vulnerable to candidate bias, and there has been plenty of that bias to go around.

    Rendell and Corzine offer to raise (none / 0) (#185)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:36:42 AM EST
    $15 mil. for re-do primaries in MI and FL.


    Soall Hillary had to do (none / 0) (#186)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 02:06:33 AM EST
    was take her name off the ballot in states where she was likely to do poorly, then claim they weren't fair elections, under Obama rules.

    Yeah that's right (none / 0) (#190)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:16:30 AM EST
    It wasn't like there were any other factors involved in this.  

    Of course there were other factors (none / 0) (#196)
    by ChrisO on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:07:05 AM EST
    but they don't seem to matter to Obama supporters, who keep repeating the one-note argument "he wasn't even on the ballot." I'd say the fact that he withdrew his name when he didn't have to is one of those "other factors."

    Aha! There is the other solution (none / 0) (#209)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:45:04 PM EST
    which is to take two other states' delegates away.

    Each candidate gets to take one state away.

    I wouldn't mind disenfranchising my state if this is the deal.:-)