The Most Inclusive Popular Vote Total

Via Jerome Armstrong, Jonathan Last argues:

If you believe that the most important precept in democratic politics is to "count every vote," then the sixth category is the most inclusive, and here Clinton leads Obama by 71,301 votes. Of course, this includes the Michigan result, where Sen. Obama had removed his name from the ballot. So while it may be the most inclusive, it may not be the most fair.

I disagree. The most inclusive vote totals properly honor the fact that most uncommitted voters in Michigan were Obama supporters. To properly honor their votes, we must assign those votes to Barack Obama. Indeed, as August J. Pollak (his unnecessary and nasty remarks about Jeralyn seriously mar his post BTW, Jeralyn is as nice and honorable a person as you can find. She does not deserve such vitriol.) points out:

[T]he chair of the Michigan Democratic Party . . . explain[ed] directly to the voters of Michigan, that they should vote for "uncommitted" if they want to vote for Obama, Biden, Richardson, or Edwards.

And that is what they did. At the least, the vast majority of the uncommitted vote in Michigan must be assigned to Barack Obama, at least in accordance with the exit polls of those uncommitted voters.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only as Jeralyn completely disagrees with me on this issue.

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    I still think Obama cherry picked in (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:13:33 PM EST
    taking his name off the MI ballot.  I agree w/J.

    Yup. (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:16:51 PM EST
    No reward for guessing who people supported.

    A re-vote would have ended this speculation, but I guess Obama wanted to be in the position of being able to obscure the true popular vote total when the SD's made their decisions.

    I wonder why?


    Didn't Edwards also tell (none / 0) (#18)
    by zfran on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:21:30 PM EST
    people to vote uncommitted?

    He removed his name from (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:23:37 PM EST
    the ballot as well, and for the same reasons - he was getting walloped by Hillary, and he wanted to pander to Iowans.

    I don't know if he also urged them to vote uncommitted, but it is really strange that we are supposed to assume how many voted for Obama based on exit polling.

    That's not how our system works. We count the votes (ideally, anyway).


    Didn't Edwards also tell (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by befuddledvoter on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:29:08 PM EST
    people to vote uncommitted?

    Yes, absolutely.  And, Edwards enjoyed the support of labor in MI.  No reason to assume all the uncommitted votes went to Obama.  


    Yep, he cherry-picked all right (none / 0) (#12)
    by abfabdem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:18:38 PM EST
    Your assumption (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by koshembos on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:17:18 PM EST
    You assume that all uncommitted vote are for Obama, none for Edwards and the others. There is no basis for this assumption. For all we know, 10% of the uncommitted wanted to vote for Tony Blair.

    It's about time for us to stop and play past and future voters.

    And aren't there (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by abfabdem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:19:33 PM EST
    uncommitted in other states too?

    What's so wrong (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Eleanor A on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:21:24 PM EST
    With letting those folks go to the Convention with uncommitted status?

    Yeah, I realize Howard Dean screwed up in scheduling the Convention so late, but how is that the problem of the voters...?


    Kentucky voted (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:21:34 PM EST
    6% uncommitted IIRC.

    Who should we give those votes to?


    Tony Blair! (none / 0) (#40)
    by Valhalla on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:39:46 PM EST
    That's awesome.

    Reading voters' minds (5.00 / 6) (#10)
    by DCDemocrat on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:17:43 PM EST
    seems to me a very dangerous thing to do.  Barack Obama tactically decided to remove his name from the ballot.  It was his right to put his name on the ballot.  It was his right to take his name off the ballot.

    The voters who voted in the Michigan primary voted either for Hillary or for undecided.  That should be the slate accepted to the Democratic National Convention in precisely the percentages the votes occurred.

    Going back and saying, "What I did is no longer convenient," is . . . well . . . frankly, the politics of crime.

    The thing is (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Steve M on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:18:54 PM EST
    if we were assigning delegates or doing something else that proceeds according to the rules, then Obama took his name off the ballot, he can't get any votes.  If Hillary decided to take her name off the Oregon ballot because the polls looked bad for her, we wouldn't give her delegates based on the exit polls.  Her supporters might be "disenfranchised" but they'd be disenfranchised by her own act and there's nothing we can do about that.

    But the popular vote is not part of the rules, it is an equitable argument about the will of the voters.  And you just can't have an equitable argument while simultaneously getting legalistic about Obama's supporters who voted "uncommitted."  BTD is simply right about this.

    Of course he's right and so are (1.00 / 1) (#26)
    by oculus on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:29:02 PM EST
    you.  We Clinton supporters have trouble moving on though.

    I hardly think (none / 0) (#25)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:26:04 PM EST
    that making a fact-based determination about how many Michigan voters voted for Obama is getting "legalistic."

    I don't care about the delegates - he can have all the uncommitted if he wants.

    It's the popular vote count I don't agree with.


    Well (none / 0) (#37)
    by Steve M on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:36:37 PM EST
    You don't have to give him every uncommitted voter.  But come on, if you're making an argument grounded in equity and fairness, you can't give him zero.

    How about (none / 0) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:40:23 PM EST
    1/2. I'm beginning to think that's probably the best way. We could split those votes between the other viable candidates at that time Edwards and Obama.

    If you can give me (none / 0) (#46)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:43:04 PM EST
    an actual fact-based determination of how the voters voted, then we're okay. I was more than fine with a re-vote in both states; too bad he wasn't.

    Obama now he has to live with his decision. In America, we don't award votes based on exit polling. Obama blocked all possible efforts to determine the true extent of his support in Michigan. He gets no votes at all from that state.

    That's fair.


    WE aren't giving him zero (none / 0) (#50)
    by cawaltz on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:49:46 PM EST
    Obama gave himself zero by taking his name off the ballot and blocking a revote.

    What we are doing is refusing to allow him to collect votes that may not be his. The votes should be earned, he's not entitled to them by default.


    Let's calm down a bit (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by szr on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:22:30 PM EST
    Even if Clinton is assigned all the MI delegates and Obama is assigned zero; and even if Clinton wins 100% of the remaining 86 pledged delegates; and even if the FL delegation is seated with no penality - Clinton would still be behind Obama in the delegate count.

    The point of the popular vote argument is to try to convince that sliver of about 200 uncommitted superdelegates to embrace her candidacy.  It is a long shot.  It is a VERY long shot.  But it is a shot Clinton has earned by keeping the race so close.

    So I will, once again ask:

    My Obama supporting friends:  You're likely to win the nomnation.  But take it easy and be nice, particularly to Clinton supporters.  They've brought just as much energy into this process as you have, and have earned the right for a last Hail Mary pass to try to win the game.

    My Clinton supporting friends:  Remember there is no dishonor in having run such an awesome campaign, even if it comes up short by a very little bit in the end.  I think you have to brace yourself for the possibility that your preferred candidate will not win.  It is okay.  She is still a totally awesome senator.

    And to all my Democratic friends, whoever you supported, think very hard before playing the silly "I'll NEVER vote for him/her" card.  We're Democrats because things like healthcare and the war in Iraq and because we like judges who aren't Scalia.  A Clinton or an Obama administration are vastly better than the McCain alternative.  If you don't believe me, spend a bit of time on the conservative blogs - I think you'll quickly remember why we're Democrats.

    I wish (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:24:36 PM EST
    I could agree with you but I've lived long enough to say that any Democrat is not always better. It seems that there are a lot of voters who think the same way also.

    Totally agree (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Valhalla on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:55:44 PM EST
    A bad Democratic president in 2008 may very well turn out to be worse for the country (and the DNC, although they do not seem to have a long term strategy regardless) than a bad Republican.

    Whoever the next president is, they face an amazing clusterfrak of the war and the economy, issues which will be challenging for even the most spectacular President.  If we elect someone who can't meet the challenge, the Republicans may well get the WH back in 2012.  Remember 1980?  12 years of Reagan-Bush.  (Oh, and remember who broke the streak?  yes, that's right, Bill Clinton).

    I'm hard-pressed to believe that a candidate who is not now, when he needs it the most, fighting for every vote from every group in the DNC will magically fight for us after he wins.  Why would he?


    That's an argument that cuts both ways (1.00 / 0) (#78)
    by szr on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:10:59 PM EST
    Someone could just as easily point out that, unlike Clinton, Obama has substantially gained strength among Democrats and progressives, while Clinton has largely been stagnant.

    I think the right conclusion to draw from this nomination process is that both candidates are fantastically strong, and that's the reason they're both still standing.  Any lesser candidate would have lost long ago.


    Actually, you cannot argue (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:13:53 PM EST
    that Obama has picked up Democratic and progressive support.

    Clinton has been cutting into his core constituencies in key swing states, where Obama is only winning where there is a large amount of AA's or wealthy liberals.

    Sigh. Sorry to argue with you - you seem like a nice person and it's nothing personal. :-)


    No personal attack is taken (none / 0) (#118)
    by szr on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:06:42 PM EST
    You seem like a very nice person too.  And I certainly don't take it personally in the least.

    And don't worry, I'm made of pretty tough stuff so my feelings won't be hurt if someone doesn't agree with me. =)


    Alright, I'll bite... (none / 0) (#44)
    by szr on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:42:03 PM EST
    What makes Clinton or Obama worse than McCain?  To me, they both have a substantial leg up on:

    (1) The war in Iraq.  McCain's foreign policy is profoundly crazy.  As someone who was stuck in the Middle East for 18 months, his position is much worse than Clinton's or Obama's.  A vote for McCain is a vote to send back more of my fellow Marines into harms way.  I've lost friends over there.

    (2) The economy.  McCain favors more of the same tax cuts for everything ideology.  Both Clinton and Obama have better plans.

    (3) Health Care.  McCain's plan is essentially give insurance companies even more freedom to select out the non-young people, and does nothing for affordability.  Both Clinton's and Obama's plans, while not perfect, are much better.

    (4) Judges.  McCain says he will appoint judges like Scalia and Alito.  I don't know any specific discussions about this among Clinton or Obama persons, but I highly doubt they'd appoint judges in that mold.

    So if I look at the top things I want from my President in matters of war and peace, they're both way better than the alternative.


    I wish I could agree completely (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Manuel on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:14:14 PM EST
    I do agree with Clinton Vs McCain but with Obama, there are questions about experience and wisdom.  It isn't as clear cut as you put it.  I need to see more from Obama before I give him the nod.

    With McCain as president I would count on a Democratic congress to do their job and provide the checks and balances.  With Obama as president I see a risk that a lack of experience and a friendly congress could cost the country dearly.

    Congress needs to be more assertive in the issues you list.  With the exception of judges, I can see a national consensus forming.


    We will have to agree to disagree (none / 0) (#117)
    by szr on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:04:04 PM EST
    I would much rather take my chances with someone who says he won't continue the war in Iraq than with someone who says he will, no matter how much experience he has.

    McCain particularly frightens me because his primary foreign policy position is war: he's for it.  

    I hope you understand.


    Gotta agree there (none / 0) (#120)
    by flashman on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:19:13 PM EST
    McCain is another war monger, albeit a much nicer one.  I would accept letting the democrats lose and take the next 4 years to think about their mistakes.  Except I cannot, in good conscience, allow the useless war to expand.  I'll hold my nose and vote Democratic.

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:15:06 PM EST
    but I see Obama making Iraq worse simply because of his lack of experience and his dereliction of duty while being chairman of the committee that oversees Afghanistan. It seems to me that the least he could have done is try to show some leadership on that issue and he failed when given the chance.

    Obama supports the same Milton Friedman/Univ of Chicago economic theory that McCain does. They are both equally bad here.

    Obama's plan is expensive and designed for failure. If implemented it make having universal insurance in this country unlikely anytime in the next couple of decades. Obama's plan actually is worse when it comes to affordability. You will never get affordability with out dispersing the risk. Obama's plan allows for massive freeloading and gaming of the system which will do nothing but increase costs.

    As far as judges go, Obama has sounded wishy washy and wafflish on this issue. He's trying to make everybody happy. I now what kind of judges Clinton would appoint but I have no idea with Obama.

    You see, I could vote for Clinton very easily. I think she's competent and qualified. I don't see that with Obama. He's not a leader.


    not just wishy washy (5.00 / 0) (#124)
    by desert dawg on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:30:10 PM EST
    he was going to vote for Roberts because he admired his intellect, until an aide told him it would look bad come election time.  You can plan on nothing progressive/liberal from him re: Scotus.

    You're right about his health care plan--the end result will be to strengthen insurance companies.  He will squander the most advantageous time to get universal health care.  

    And that's not to mention his stance on energy and tort reform.

    Obama is trouble with a capital T.


    The Outrage Is About Something Much Bigger (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by flashman on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:31:19 PM EST
    than just this election.  One reason we get all hyped up about votes is because we are tired of watching elections being stolen.  We are also weary of the media lecturing us about how the winner is to be determined, while trying everything in their power to 'fix' the election for their favorite candidate.  The tell us how the SD's MUST adhere to the 'will of the voters', until the 'will' is contradictory to thier own will, then they change their song, and the narritive becomes about 'math', 'roolz' and delegates.  They act as some hideous oligarcy, drunk on their own need to sway the masses to their own will.  

    We would like to get back to sane goverence, but if we let this go on, it will self-perpetuate.


    Okay, so what's the plan then? (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by szr on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:03:39 PM EST
    No, seriously, what is the plan?  I don't mean this as a slam.

    Here is how it looks to me (and please, I may be wrong, but if so, it is not out of evil):

    (a) Without Michigan and Florida, both the delegates and the popular vote go to Obama.

    (b) With Michigan and Florida, the delegates go to Obama and the popular may go to Clinton.


    Obama, naturally, wants option A to stand.  His arguement is that since all the candidates agreed that MI and FL, by breaking the nomination rules, had forfeited their right to have input into the nomination process (it is true, all candidates did agree to this).  Ergo, any changes now are changing the rules in mid-process to the benefit of Clinton.

    Clinton wants option B to stand.  Her arguement is that the voters themselves shouldn't be punished because the local party leaders decided to break the party rules.  And since presumably it gives her a lead in the popular vote, it provides her with an argument that the Superdelegates should select her over Obama.

    I can see why both candidates hold the positons they do for self-interested reasons (obviously) and because they really are both principled positions in their own way.  This isn't a right/wrong argument, it is a right/right argument.  It is about justice versus fairness.

    Personally, I sympathize more with Obama's argument at this point.  The reason is that he certainly would have campaigned differently has FL and MI not broken party rules.  And his resource advantage almost certainly would have narrowed the gap.  Obama seems to gain strength the longer he campaigns as evidenced by his continued rising poll numbers in places like California.

    However, if Clinton's people impress the superdelegates enough to deliver her the nomination, I'd be okay with that too.  And you can bet I'd vote for her in November.

    The real problem, I think, is that we're in a position of even having to change the rules.  The rules are going to have to change.  Florida and Michigan will be seated at the convention for one very practical reason - they will be important in November.  And once the rule process is opened to being changed mid-nomination, all bets are off, I think, and we have this weird kind of disaster where one part of the progressive blogosphere smears another as "racist" and the other smears back "sexist".


    John McCain must be loving it.

    And I'll send back photos from Iraq after serving my third combat tour.


    Oh dear. (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:11:31 PM EST
    Is this really why you sympathize with Obama's position?

    Personally, I sympathize more with Obama's argument at this point.  The reason is that he certainly would have campaigned differently has FL and MI not broken party rules.  And his resource advantage almost certainly would have narrowed the gap.  Obama seems to gain strength the longer he campaigns as evidenced by his continued rising poll numbers in places like California.

    If this is true, then why is Hillary beating him by 35 and 41 points in key swing states at this late date?


    Obama took his name off in Michigan (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by abfabdem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:21:42 PM EST
    because he didn't think he would win there!  So how would he have campaigned differently?  This is a specious argument.  He's a pro at taking names off ballots--it's just the way he's learned to play the game.

    You're wrong about Obama (1.00 / 0) (#116)
    by szr on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:00:46 PM EST
    Obama didn't take his name off the ballot because he thought he would lose.  Why would he?  The delegates get assigned on a proportional basis, so even if he lost by 10 points, he'd still get a bunch of delegates - certainly more than zero.

    The reason he took his name off is because about half of the candidates interpreted the sanction (which said candidates could not participate in the primary or campaign in the state) as requiring them to remove their names.  All of the candidates except Clinton, Chris Dodd, Gravel and Kucinich removed their names.

    Clinton, at the time, argued she'd leave her name on the ballot as to not disadvantage the party in November.  But she was very clear she didn't see it as a legitamite primary.



    You're Hurting My Head (5.00 / 0) (#122)
    by flashman on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:23:31 PM EST
    The reason he took his name off is because about half of the candidates interpreted the sanction (which said candidates could not participate in the primary or campaign in the state) as requiring them to remove their names

    That's terribly condescending.  We're much too smart to fall for that kind of jive.


    I don't understand (1.00 / 0) (#125)
    by szr on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:32:26 PM EST
    I can see no advantage to Obama removing his name from the Michigan ballot.  Seriously.  What did he have to gain?  Even if he got creamed in MI, since the delegates are given in a proportional system, he would be better off than with zero votes.

    It seems to me that Obama, along with about half the field, intepreted the sanction has requiring the candidates to remove their names.  Clinton didn't, but as the above-linked newspaper article makes clear, it wasn't because she thought Michigan was going to get any delegates, it was so the ballot would include the name of a leading Democrat, to help in November.


    It's Hard To Follow Your Logic (none / 0) (#129)
    by flashman on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:59:13 PM EST
    So, you're saying that because Michigan wasn't going to get any delegates, they believed that meant they were required to remove their names.  But Clinton was the only person to correctly interpret the rules.

    Then why were all the names on the Florida ballot?

    In fact, nothing in the famous "pleadge" said the names must be removed.  The only agreement was not to campaign there.  It's unfathonable that any candidate for POTUS would so badly misinterpret the rules or a signed pleadge.  

    O/T I hope for your sake, and for the sake of all the soldiers in Iraq, that the war ends soon.  Though you and I disagree on many things, I will follow my conscience and vote for the candidate who pleadges to bring an end to this outrageous travesty.  


    You serious brother? (none / 0) (#135)
    by TheViking on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:42:03 PM EST
    "I can see no advantage to Obama removing his name from the Michigan ballot.  Seriously."

    How about just one advantage:



    Check it out (none / 0) (#130)
    by abfabdem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 04:19:27 PM EST
    Clarification (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by szr on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:53:03 PM EST
    My statement is sympathy for Obama's argument about changing the rules mid-process.  I do think the State Parties for MI and FL willfully and knowingly broke the rules in a way that harmed voters there.  It also irritates me that they've become more, not less, important as a consequence of that decision.

    But I'm a realist enough to know they will get away with it, if for no other reason, because of the general election.

    What most irritates me is that one single decision has caused a rift in our party.  Imagine a process where MI and FL hadn't broken the rules.  We'd be toward the end of a very long nomination but one in which no side could claim they got screwed (and hence hold a potentially destructive grudge into the general).  Wouldn't that be nice?

    I don't see why poll numbers should impact the question of process in this case.  That's an argument better geared toward superdelegates.


    Don't Get Me Wrong (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by flashman on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:34:22 PM EST
    I'm fine with whatever decision is made at the convention.  I'm not even pissed-off about the rules.  But the fact remains that the 'automatic' process that would have determined the winner by the primary ( ie, the 'majic' number ) was not satisfied by either candidate.  Had that requirement been the case, I would have accepted it, despite the allocation of delegates having been a flawed process.  I am happy to abide by the roolz, even if they are imperfect.  

    Now, the campaign goes to the convention floor.  EVERYTHING is on the table now, including delegates awarded, popular vote, momentum and potential electoral math.  What I have a problem with, at this point, is the media lecturing us about how only the delegate math matters.  But the media is not the party; WE are.  They have no business obscurring the truth of how the winner is determined.  In fact, they have an obligation to be honest, fair and accurate.  They have chosen instead, to pick a side and distort the facts and events to favor that side.

    I have no dog in the fight over which criteria is the best to use for choosing a candidate.  I am content to let the SD's decide what is most important. ( I do however have a favorite candidate, but will accept a loss if it comes to that )  What I want is for all the lying, distortions, deception, etc. to stop, and let's be honest about how democrats have voted.  Each and every time any of the metrics appear to favor Hillary, there is a "yeah, but" from the media.  

    *) She is winning the popular vote; "yeah, but that includes Florida and Michigan, who broke the rules.  

    *) She can win the popular vote without Michigan, but including Florida; "yeah, but" Obama didn't campaign in Florida; "yeah, but" that includes Pureto Rico, who doesn't get to vote in November.

    *) She won the big states which will be important in Noverber; "yeah, but" you can't take it away from Obama, because he is leading in delegates ( but of course, you CAN take it away from a candidate who is leading in votes )

    BTW, not all states showed a jump in Obama's numbers after the campaign went to them.  His numbers rose in Fl and MI on his national campaign, just as they did in many other states.  And he was given the opportunity to imrove his vote totals, and declined.

    What's the plan?  I don't have one.  The media is going to do what it does, no matter what I do.  I don't watch cable news anymore, and I can't see ever trusting them enough to watch again.  I speak out whenever I can, but my voice is small and seldom makes any difference.  I can only do what I can do, but I'll be dammed if I'm going to just shut up and accept what I'm told to think.  


    This thread (none / 0) (#136)
    by TheViking on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:47:29 PM EST
    is full of amazing and thoughtful insight.

    Thank you! You (and I) might think our voices are not heard, but I'm listening :)


    Strongly Disagree (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by flashman on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:23:10 PM EST
    If we can just make up votes, then why have an election at all?  From now on, just take a poll, and declare the winner from the poll numbers.  Sorry, nope.  That's not has an election works.  You can't win in an election you chose not to compete in.  Obama was not scrubbed from the ballot, he voluntarily removed his name.  Actions have consequences, and pandering to early states undoubtable won him votes in some early elections.  It was a gambit he knowingly made.  He snubbed Michigan and then snubbed them again in the revote plan.  Now, I'm supposed to think he gets the uncommitted votes?  Balony!

    Well said (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by SpinDoctor on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:23:19 PM EST
    I agree with you and acknowledging that the uncommitted has to be allocated in whole or in part to Obama is the only way this matter gets resolved.  For those contending that Obama voluntarily removed his name from the ballot, you are correct.  However, do not forget that Hillary and her senior campaign officials were actively involved in having Michigan penalized.  

    There is an old legal maxim that says in order to receive equity, you must do equity.   I think it is particulary pertinent in resolving the current dispute.

    Horrible Nomination Process (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by santarita on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:47:47 PM EST
    I am not sure we know enough about how this horrible nomination process was devised in order to have valid arguments as to who has equity on their side.  

    I do believe that the fact that both sides have legitimate arguments over who should get the nomination is proof that the DNC has botched up this nomination and perhaps the election.  Whoever "wins" the nomination will have to convince a lot of voters that they won it and were not given it through the back room machinations of Dem party hacks.  And it will take a lot to convince voters.  

    In the final analysis, the nominating process is clearly not designed to give absolute effect to the will of the Democratic voters.  In fact, the rules are set up so that delegates can override the will of the electorate.  If anything, the winner of the popular vote will have only a 'make-weight" argument to help persuade the superdelegates and pledged delegate to vote for them at the convention.  


    I'm on Jeralyn's side on this BTD (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by cawaltz on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:29:16 PM EST
    Obama's a big boy.It was his decision to take his name off the ballot. It was also his call to block a revote. The uncommitted should go as uncommitted.

    Strongly agree (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by democrat1 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:59:45 PM EST
    It is a political decision by Obama et al.  It was done purely to gain political advantage and as such he has to live with his decision.  Today he can not say because his name is not on the ballot and so those votes do not count.  Not including a portion of the uncommitted votes is not fair to him.  It is true.  He could have easily avoided this predicament by agreeing for a revote. He did not agree for revote as it is politically expedient for him. Now he can not argue both ways to his advantage.  I think it is fair that uncommitted delegates go to the convention as such.
    Regarding the portion of the uncommitted votes to be allotted to him must be agreeable to Hillary Clinton. Only what ever is acceptable to her to be counted in his totals. As is necessary for a revote,acceptance by both parties is necessary for the apportionment of the uncommitted votes

    Fair (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by DCDemocrat on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:33:28 PM EST
    is votes being counted as they were cast.  I have seen enough Magic Vote Counts to last my lifetime.

    Electability, the only thing that matters (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by BrianMcBoston on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:33:52 PM EST
    Any of these mathematician pundits want to talk about the Electoral College and how exactly Obama wins in Nov?  We're about to nominate a sure loser.  This is a business decision - do we want to win or lose?  Do we want McCain or a Dem in the White House?  Let's not get too wrapped up in purism to be pragmatic and wise enough to do what we need to do to win.  It's like Ralph Nader costing Dems the election in 2000.  It's foolish.  They party should get control of this and put up a winner, Hillary.  The race is a tie to be decided by superdels.  I now regret voting for Obama.  He can't win Ohio, PA, FL!!!!!!  Red alert!!!!!  That's 70 electorals, folks.  Add in MI and NJ and that's 30+ more.  Obama's made his case to these voters repeatedly and with 3, 4 and even 8 times the media Hillary had.  They know what he's selling and they didn't buy it.  And, his "swing states of IA, WI and CO total about 27 electorals!!!!  Not enough!!!!!  And VA?? No, sorry not counting on that one.  That's one of the most reliably Republican States.  The only reason Webb won is because Allen shot himself in the foot every time he opened his mouth!!!!!

    Shhh (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:39:00 PM EST
    You're not supposed to talk about this. Everybody knows he's unelectable but somehow we're all supposed to commit assisted suicide because the left wing of the party wants to have their candidate.

    "This is a business decision" (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by dwmorris on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:53:29 PM EST
    Exactly! I think the DNC and a majority of the SDs have made the business decision that it is in their best interests to go with the Obama fund raising and voter registration jugernaut. They want the votes and the money -- and are willing to lose the White House, if necessary, to gain access.

    You are so right, it is a business decision (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by abfabdem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:23:38 PM EST
    Also a great reminder (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by abfabdem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:28:52 PM EST
    that Obama outspent Hillary by substantial amounts in several of these recent states and she still won and won handily.  So I am not sure the argument that he has momentum is accurate, especially since March 1.  So will that diminished momentum continue over the summer or can he regain his original glow that he had back in January.  Do we feel lucky kids?

    Obama not electable? (none / 0) (#141)
    by minordomo on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:25:25 PM EST
    He can't win Ohio, PA, FL!!!!!!  Red alert!!!!!  That's 70 electorals, folks.

    According to latest SUSA polls, Obama leads Clinton by 8-9% in both Ohio and PA, AFAIK no SUSA poll available for FL yet.


    This is not quite accurate. (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:35:11 PM EST
    Here is the official campaign response regarding Michigan and Florida:

    ...In a memo just circulated in response, the Clinton campaign denies the charge that it's planning to campaign in Florida; says the Obama campaign is pushing the Michigan-doesn't-matter line only because its efforts to get Democrats to vote "uncommitted" isn't working; and seems to be hinting that it may fight to have delegates from Michigan and Florida seated at the convention after all.

    "While Sen. Clinton will honor her commitment not to campaign in Florida in violation of the pledge, she also intends to honor her pledge to hear the voices of all Americans," the campaign says. "The people of Michigan and Florida have just as much of a right to have their voices heard as anyone else. It is disappointing to hear a major Democratic presidential candidate tell the voters of any state that their voices aren't important ... Sen. Clinton intends to be president for all fifty states. And while she will honor the pledge she signed and not campaign in either state, she intends to continue to give every American a voice during this election and when she gets to the White House."

    From January 15, 2008.

    She always intended to fight for the popular vote and the delegates in Florida and Michigan.

    Who cares how it is counted? (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:39:30 PM EST
    If you are absolute that Obama has the nomination, and there is no way the superdeez would take it from him no matter what the popular vote is, it doesn't matter.  The only issue is to kill this discussion and move on to the GE.  If Obama says count as it/seat as is, it's done it's over and he shows leadership.  Obama's argument: I have the delegates and I am most electable.

    Clinton's argument: neither can reach the 2210 without superdeez, it is a tie and I am most electable.

    It seems very, very wrong to give votes to a person who wasn't voted for.  I very firmly believe Obama would demonstrate leadership by ending this.  Count the votes as is, seat the delegates as is.  This is not a matter of 'fairness' as fairness is completely objective.  It is a matter of moving on to the GE.  It will not affect the outcome, if you believe Obama has the nom locked up.  Any 'fairness' application looks like politics as usual.

    I'm for uncommitted counted by exit polls (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by DandyTIger on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:47:05 PM EST
    I think that's quite fair and a reasonable compromise. I prefer leaving the uncommitted as they are, which means they are free to go for Obama which most would, but since the re-vote was blocked by Obama, a compromise is our only hope.

    count the votes, count the votes, count the votes...

    Well they both played politics (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Evie on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:56:27 PM EST
    but only one particular "play" honored the voters of Michigan, the play that left the candidate's name on the ballot.

    On a practical level, you may guess that a large chunk of the 'uncommitted' votes would have gone to Obama. But that's all it is, a guess. And I feel really uncomfortable playing guessing games with votes.

    I have a question: are there any (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by MarkL on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:56:43 PM EST
    caucus states which Obama won, but in which Hillary was ahead in the polls of voters?
    If  so, then you really have no business advocating the inclusion of the MI voters for Obama, based on polls.
    By the way, I expect the answer to my question must be yes, in at least TX and WA.

    Texas (none / 0) (#65)
    by s5 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:02:06 PM EST
    is a special case, and I don't think there's a single popular vote total that adds both the primary results and the caucus participation. It would be wrong to do so, since the number of caucus participants was a subset of the primary participants.

    I agree, (none / 0) (#73)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:06:20 PM EST
    but that was not the point.

    The point was that we don't allocate votes depending on polling. I don't see how you can argue that we should, especially given the ridiculous nomination process we Democrats are now being shown to have.

    Arguing that position is a very slippery slope.


    Because it's argument to superdelegates (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by s5 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:15:03 PM EST
    If the rules of the nomination rested on the popular vote, then the most accurate total would be necessary, and we would be forced into a revote situation.

    However, the popular vote technically doesn't count. It only counts in the sense that it's an argument for legitimacy that can be taken to the superdelegates. And the superdelegates aren't going to believe for a second that Obama had zero support in Michigan.

    So if we're talking about the will of the people as an argument that the superdelegates are likely to weigh, then making the best possible estimate makes more sense then pretending that superdelegates will believe that Obama has zero support in Michigan.

    If the rules of the nomination required the popular vote as the only metric that matters, then I would agree, and I believe with near certainty that we would see a revote by now.


    So now you are arguing (none / 0) (#94)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:23:20 PM EST
    that the popular vote doesn't count?

    No wonder people are saying this reminds them of 2000.

    I hear what you're saying regarding the superdelegate votes, but in order to present a fair argument, you need to have the most accurate numbers. And Obama doesn't get votes he didn't earn.

    If Obama wanted popular votes in Michigan, then he should have left his name on the ballot. Barring that, he should have agreed to a re-vote.


    I'm arguing that (none / 0) (#106)
    by s5 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:39:41 PM EST
    the popular vote doesn't technically count because the race is for delegates, but it counts in the sense that superdelegates may use it to measure which candidacy has legitimacy. And I don't believe for a second that superdelegates are going to think that Obama had zero voter support in Michigan. I'm arguing that as long as that number is non-zero, why not come up with a reasonable estimate.

    Clinton supporters (and Clinton herself) may be convinced that Obama had zero voter support in Michigan, but do you really think superdelegates will be convinced of that? I don't think so. And in the sense that the popular vote "counts", what the superdelegates think is realistically all that matters.

    Personally I think that all these proxies like the electoral college and convention delegates are a travesty, but this is the system we have until we change it.


    S5, you make a good case (none / 0) (#132)
    by TheViking on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:15:35 PM EST
    and I can see, or even agree, with your point on some level.

    However it seems that your point is also saying "we must apportion some of the Uncommitted Votes to Obama because the Supers aren't going to take the whole Pop. Vote argument seriously".

    This maybe true, but is it fair to assume that the Supers are that narrow minded? That they can't weigh in the fact that Obama took his name of the Ballot and hence received zero votes when they make their decision at the Convention?

    I think most here are trying to say that this is not necessary. So the argument of trying to "Fudge The Numbers" with estimates for how many Obama votes he COULD have received if he Campaigned in those States is more trouble than its worth.

    After-all any Simulation that Guesses real Votes for an Election is a serious no no IMO. Not to mention that it would create an absurd PRESIDENT for all our future Elections.

    The idea of ESTIMATION really has no place in this.

    However, I understand the counter-argument "How can you count HER'S and think HE would have gotten NONE!" -- I know, I understand this point, but like many have stated, HE made the decision to take his name of the Ballot etc. This is not a case of wrongful action by some third-party.

    IMO, the real animosity in this whole debate -- that everything is slanted with an Anti-Hillary spin --  "She's changing the rules, She cheats, She'll do anything and everything to win!" etc. etc. -- is why we are having this (adsurd) debate.

    The Party Leaders are too afraid to go "against" the PRESUMPTIVE/MEDIA-CROWNED Nominee.


    But this doesn't make sense (none / 0) (#102)
    by Valhalla on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:35:06 PM EST
    If the superdelegates are not going to believe he got 0 votes by Uncommitted, then sending them to the convention as officially Uncommitted doesn't change a thing.  SDs can make their own estimations of how much of the Uncomm vote he got, and make their own votes accordingly.

    You vote how you voted.  You can't parse out how people may have voted using exit polls or guesses about what people intended.  Exit polls are not reliable and any psychic attempt to discern what people really meant is not a legitimate method when there's actual votes in evidence.  How people voted is a fact.  What they meant to do when they voted is just speculation.


    It changes one very important thing (none / 0) (#108)
    by s5 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:41:28 PM EST
    It changes when the party can unite to campaign against McCain. And I personally refuse to surrender three months of the general election campaign to the Republicans.

    So then use polls in caucus states to (none / 0) (#119)
    by MarkL on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:06:59 PM EST
    help estimate the popular support of Obama.

    POPULAR vote is non-nomological issue (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by RonK Seattle on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:00:11 PM EST
    It has nothing to do with the construction and application of rules.

    It's a question of support, of political legitimacy, and of buzz.

    In this context, it's subject to a wider array of perspective and arguments.

    Pretending the MI U's didn't vote for Obama is like pretending the FL Primary didn't happen. It preaches to one side of the choir only, and wins no converts.

    Per the exit polls, 46% of respondents said they would have voted for Clinton if all names were on the ballot. 35% said "Obama" (including 18% of Clinton voters). Edwards got 12% and others got the leavings.

    On this basis, Clinton's 11% popular margin comes out to 65,000 votes.

    You confuse votes with delegates (none / 0) (#112)
    by RonK Seattle on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:49:50 PM EST
    Two separate sets of issues.

    POPULAR VOTE plays no formal role in the convention. The topic of this thread is the POPULAR VOTE. Your arguments about DELEGATES are off-topic, and your insistence on applying DELEGATE rules to POPULAR VOTE tabulations is just off the deep end.


    I agree, Jeralyn is so niiice and FAIR ! (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by thereyougo on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:01:57 PM EST
    quote btd*(his unnecessary and nasty remarks about Jeralyn seriously mar his post BTW, Jeralyn is as nice and honorable a person as you can find.)

    Aside from that, this could have been put to rest if Obama had agreed to a REVOTE. Period.

    He has to take responsibility for this DECISION.And we shouldn't overlook this as it speaks to the issue that runs counter with his message of UNITY.

    He is doing himself a disservice and losing support, not HIllary. People should not blame her, she was willing to do the REVOTE, there was money to do it, but Obama still didn't want to give everyone a chance to vote.

    I think SDs should look at this when deciding who really could unite the party. At this juncture it isn't Obama.

    Let me remind everyone that the SDs even the pledged dels. are FLUID and can change and do up and until the convention vote.

    I remain committed to Hillary more than ever as the mess made by Obama continues to divide the party.

    *REVOTE is the only solution that would UNITE the party. The gauntlet is set, the cacophony loud and clear for all to hear REVOTE is a fair and would make both sides finally put this issue to rest.

    Exact-ta-mundo! (none / 0) (#133)
    by TheViking on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:19:49 PM EST
    I third this point!

    I truly do not understand why it is so hard (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by Anne on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:04:20 PM EST
    for people to accept that a vote for "uncommitted" is not a vote that can be unilaterally assigned to someone who was not on the ballot.

    Real leadership would have the man who presumes he will be the nominee standing before the people of Michigan and the rest of America and saying that he accepts that his decision means that he is not entitled to count any of those uncommitted votes as his own, or be awarded any delegates for the same reason.  He should be saying that when we start fiddling with votes and delegates because of hindsight, or as a way of making up for the bad decisions of others, we are opening up the election process to manipulation for far more sinister purposes.  He should be saying that people have a right to know that the votes they cast will be counted as cast, and not subject to the decisions of others in power to change the results.

    He should be saying it because it is the right thing to say: when I cast my vote for Candidate X or Candidate Y, I want to do so believing that no one is going to change my vote for any reason.

    These are basic small-d democratic principles that someone who aspires to the highest office in the land should be absolutely rock-solid on; no one should walk away having the impression that a President Barack Obama can and will game the system when it suits his agenda because he did it as part of the election process.

    The blankety-blanking DNC should also be saying this, but all I hear are crickets.  And what is going to happen is that millions of people are going to end up telling the DNC that if that's the way they intend to "makeover" the Democratic party, they will go elsewhere - many have already done so.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone thinks that all of this manipulation and parsing and contortion will, in the end, be worth it.  Some people will just have to pardon me if I am not willing to let go of these principles for any individual - much less for someone who shows all the signs of being oblivious to, and dismissive of, what is at stake for the country and the process.

    No thanks.

    Anne, I would give this 10 Fives if I could (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Valhalla on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:18:26 PM EST
    You can't award votes based on 'intent of the voters' or exit polling.  Doesn't matter if the exit polling is the most accurate in the universe.  You can only count the actual votes.

    We also have no (none / 0) (#110)
    by Iphie on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:45:40 PM EST
    way of knowing how many of the uncommitted votes were from voters who wished to express their discontent with the entire situation. The uncommitteds could very well be protest votes from people who wanted to make it clear that they were active voters, willing to cast a ballot but the power of their vote was being denied. There is no way that we can decide what their votes meant and it is even more undemocratic to decide for someone else how their vote will be counted than not to count them at all.

    Why, oh why (none / 0) (#89)
    by madamab on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:18:26 PM EST
    can't I give you an 80!!!!

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone thinks that all of this manipulation and parsing and contortion will, in the end, be worth it.  Some people will just have to pardon me if I am not willing to let go of these principles for any individual - much less for someone who shows all the signs of being oblivious to, and dismissive of, what is at stake for the country and the process.

    No thanks.

    Absolutely magnificent!


    I whole-heartly agree (none / 0) (#134)
    by TheViking on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:22:14 PM EST
    ...and I was trying to make the same point in my reply earlier in this thread:

    "After-all any Simulation that Guesses real Votes for an Election is a serious no no IMO. Not to mention that it would create an absurd PRESIDENT for all our future Elections.

    The idea of ESTIMATION really has no place in this."

    Thanks for expanding on this REAL ISSUE!


    Well NPR just announced, (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by suisser on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    "Presidential Candidate Barack Obama " blah blah blah.
    I think my head is going to explode.

    Seems To Me (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by squeaky on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:04:49 PM EST
    That the real question is, would Obama have won Iowa if he did not take his name off the MI ballot, because clearly that was an advantage over Clinton in Iowa. Obama was pandering to the special position Iowans hold.

    Other than that if the MI delegates are going to be seated, at the convention or before, it seems that the "uncommited" Obama supporters are going to be represented, so why should their intention not be counted. If the point is to energize voters rather than punish them, tough luck is a bad answer for those who would have voted Obama.

    Obama played the system and Clinton did too, even though she comes out looking better on this. In any case it is the voters that need to be respected, and in this case it is those who voted uncommitted in lieu of Obama. Obviously those who voted uncommitted in lieu of Edwards, et al were cast by those who have accepted the fact that their candidate is not in the race, so they have no gripes, but those who would have voted Obama should not be disregarded. That is bad for the party.

    That's a great point (none / 0) (#109)
    by abfabdem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:43:24 PM EST
    If Michigan had gone for Clinton even more than they did, would that have affected Obama's results in Iowa which started it all and got us to where we are now?  He took his name off for political advantage pure and simple.  He's an old hand at manipulating names on ballots.

    More grist for the mill. (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by ineedalife on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:10:15 PM EST
    Until the last few contests the exit polls consistently overstated Obama's actual vote total. And that is in real elections trying to determine the real vote. It must worse in a hypothetical situation.

    In the real world he got zero votes. You can argue the hypothetical all you want, but it is important to  keep the distinction. If we start to see vote tallys on CNN with Obama's hypothetical yield depicted as an official number then that is going too far. I know that is his goal, since this is a public relations battle, but at some point we have to have enough integrity to distinguish between what actually happened and what some may wish had happened.

    It's still not too late to revote by mail (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by Newt on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:29:44 PM EST
    This FL & MI mess is our chance to pull the rug out from under the Republican-led primary date manipulations, and to establish a new direction to defeat election fraud in America.  Revoting FL & MI is a great way for the DNC to step forward into a new paradigm of Democratic control over our nomination process.  We can't trust the Republican-backed electronic voting apparatus, and we will continue to get sidetracked in future elections by Republican-led state legislatures who are hell bent on disrupting the Democratic primaries by changing the dates in spite of the DNC rules.  Most importantly, a revote takes the DNC's decision makers off the hot seat, given that whatever they decide will be criticized by one or both camps.  

    Now that Obama has made an overture to Jewish voters in FL, he may be willing to accept a re-vote, and Hillary would be in a much better position to claim she's got the popular vote if those two states' results actually show that.  

    We can utilize equipment and infrastructure already in place, and follow policies based Oregon's successful 100% mail-in process that undermines electronic fraud by establishing an audit trail.  It would be cheaper to do the mail-in than try to repeat the vote through each state.  Since the point would be to get a true sense of which candidate the party should nominate, it shouldn't be hard to utilize this alternative method.  Plus, a re-vote now puts both states back in good standing with respect to the DNC timing of elections rules. Bingo.

    This solution is expensive, but it puts to rest the issues of disenfranchisement, establishes a new standard for reducing election fraud, and creates a route for Hillary to establish that she really is more electable.

    What say you, fellow Democrats, are the benefits worth pushing for?

    Nah. When the votes are recorded in history (5.00 / 0) (#113)
    by masslib on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:50:24 PM EST
    She'll have more.  He shouldn't of taken his name off the ballot.

    They know Puerto Rico could give Hillary the popular vote win- even without Florida  and Michigan!

    http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20080523_In_most_inclusive_count__Clinton_has_the_numbers.htm l

    I agree with you BTD (3.00 / 0) (#6)
    by frankly0 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:14:19 PM EST
    in the end, the argument regarding the popular vote is an argument that fundamentally respects the will of the people over anything else, and whether or not Obama "gamed" the system by removing his name from the ballot is really irrelevant to that (just as whether Hillary played equal and opposite games in MI or elsewhere is irrelevant).

    My hope and expectation is that ultimate resolution to the question of who won the popular vote will be pretty decisively settled by the vote in PR. Assuming Hillary does very well there, most of the most obviously fair metrics should favor her.

    And I think (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:17:53 PM EST
    this is why the Obama surrogates are screaming about the popular vote not counting. It's simply because they see the handwriting on the wall and don't want her to get any traction with this argument. However, if she does win the popular vote, it is a very powerful argument for her to be the nominee and SD's would be very unwise to ignore it. It will be seen as Obama being shoved down our throat even more so.

    What is the point of continuing to beat (1.00 / 0) (#36)
    by digdugboy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:35:40 PM EST
    the popular vote horse?

    That horse isn't even in the race.

    The popular vote is not directly relevant to the nomination process in any way explicitly mentioned by DNC rules.

    The popular vote is relevant only in an indirect way and only to the extent that a superdelegate finds it so.

    Rep Dennis Cardoza (CA-18) switched from Clinton to Obama today, citing distaste with Clinton's tactics in trying to change the FL and MI rules in the fourth quarter.

    I am confident that more superdelegates are going to view Clinton's tactics in like manner. As such, whatever indirect relevance the popular vote may hold is not likely to be meaningful in any way to the ultimate outcome of the nomination process.

    If your confident (5.00 / 0) (#51)
    by cawaltz on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:51:36 PM EST
    then allow her to make her argument ithout maligning her charcter and seat the votes as they were earned.

    You are making my argument (none / 0) (#45)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:42:40 PM EST
    Count them as is/seat them as is, it will not affect the outcome and Obama will gain the upperhand on this issue.

    And his surrogates really should let this play out and STFU, they are only pissing more people off.  Everyone should be supporting the final primaries and garnering all the good will they can with all states including FL and MI.

    Why won't the Obama camp and it's supporters pivot to the GE?  I just don't get it.


    They do not want to talk about the GE now (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Valhalla on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:08:25 PM EST
    because it only highlights his great weaknesses in the electoral college.

    Obama runs his campaign on 'hope'.  His/their hope is that if they can just silence any and all Clinton supporters now, he can declare he's won the primary.  The next hope is that that will be enough for Clinton's supporters (and some magical number of indies and republicans) will equally magically throw their support to him and the electoral college map will change in his favor.

    Then he need not ever answer, hopefully, the electibility question.

    Dkos et al should be on their knees thanking Clinton for staying in the race, because it is deflecting attention from the Roolz of the Electoral College, where all their legalistic 'it's the delegates! the voters don't count for pigeon feed!' arguments runs against them.

    Because really, who needs Strategy when you have Hope?


    Pissing people off? (1.00 / 0) (#67)
    by digdugboy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:03:27 PM EST
    I think credit for that goes mainly to the Clinton campaign. The Jonathan Alter column that Armando referenced today, twice already, details the campaign's efforts to create and exacerbate party division quite nicely.

    I know (5.00 / 0) (#96)
    by CanadianDem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:26:39 PM EST
    I know...he isn't an Althouse, Instapundit or Karl Rove!  Who else has been glowingly referenced here as well...Kristol maybe, nah...I know there are others though, Malkin, she with you guys now?  A force for good and all that?

    As if Florida did not realize that it was (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by FLVoter on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:28:24 PM EST
    disenfranchised without the Clinton Campaign bringing it up?  

    Clinton campaign (5.00 / 0) (#104)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:38:06 PM EST
    is doing nothing to divide the party.  Really... get over it and move on to the GE.  Who gives a sh!t if Alter is still obsessing over Clinton?  Obama supporters really, really need to stop whining about Clinton and her supporters.  Stop blaming Clinton and move on to the GE.  If you've 'won' the primary is over and the focus needs to be the GE.  You need never mention Clinton and her supporters again.

    Yes it is (none / 0) (#115)
    by digdugboy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:59:00 PM EST
    and if you can't see the evidence of it, on this very blog, I'd be shocked. If, as Bill Clinton intimates, she's perpetuating the conflict to force a VP invitation, she's gone about it completely the wrong way. And Obama would be a fool to invite her on, at this point, with Bill being such a loose cannon. If Obama wants to be president, he can't have Hillary and Bill anywhere near the VP ticket.

    Get over it (5.00 / 0) (#121)
    by waldenpond on Fri May 23, 2008 at 02:23:24 PM EST
    Move on.  You have the nom.  Everything you say is through a heavy cloud of CDS.  CDS is not going to get you to November.  Try not mentioning Clinton, try not thinking about Clinton.  Stop obsessing over Clinton. sigh.

    Run for cover! (none / 0) (#138)
    by TheViking on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:57:01 PM EST
    It's Digiboy again!

    Thanks for insulting one of my heros, and the ONLY Dem to hold office in the last 30 years -- BILL CLINTON! "Loose Cannon" sheesh...move along and good luck in the GE


    Count the votes, don't be hypocrites. (1.00 / 0) (#56)
    by Faust on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:55:49 PM EST
    There are exit polls (as BTD mentioned) that allow for discerning the intent of the voters. It is not necessary to give Obama all the uncommitted votes as they were clearly not ALL for Obama, but it IS necessary (assuming you give hoot about the intent of the voters which not all commenters here do) to try and give Obama the votes of people who were trying to do that. The exit polls give a good mechanism for approximation.

    Second Obama ALREADY HAS DELEGATES from Michigan. I don't know how many he actually won, but an article on that aspect of the contest here suggests he won a decent portion though not all 36 uncommitted. I've seen some accounts that he may have as many as 27. If nothing else he could be awarded the popular vote proportion that corresponds with the number of pledged delegates that he already has since he clearly has enough support in state to get them.

    I find those of you arguing to disenfranchise Obama voters in MI incredibly ironic. There are clear methods to discern some intent here. The spirit, not the letter of the law is what counts here. So much mocking of the RULZ and yet when it comes to trying to find reasonable standards for discerning intent some of you run to the letter of the law.

    You mean... (none / 0) (#139)
    by TheViking on Fri May 23, 2008 at 06:59:10 PM EST
    That's the pot calling the keetle Obama? :)

    So what did (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:07:19 PM EST
    the exit polls say? Wasn't it about 2/3 for Obama?

    I think (none / 0) (#7)
    by frankly0 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:15:48 PM EST
    what is meant is that 2/3 of the uncommitted vote was intended for Obama (as opposed to Edwards and others).

    Exactly. (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:19:01 PM EST
    Under Michigan rules (none / 0) (#42)
    by digdugboy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:41:51 PM EST
    the districts are allowed to assign delegates, and already 31 have been assigned to Obama in accord with those rules. Yesterday Harold Ickes made the stunning comment during the conference call that all Michigan pledged delegates seated at the convention must either be pledged to Hillary or must come to the convention uncommitted, contrary to the state rules process in MI.

    As Pocketnines details in a diary on DKos, in which several luminaries such as emptywheel seem to concur, Obama should allow the full seating of FL and MI because even in that case he still has the nomination wrapped up. Ickes must be aware of that, too, or else he wouldn't have made his stunning demand that appeared to those unaware of the 31 MI Obama delegates to come completely out of left field.


    Who should we believe? (none / 0) (#63)
    by digdugboy on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:01:06 PM EST
    You or emptywheel?

    As per MI- (none / 0) (#3)
    by magisterludi on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:09:10 PM EST
    I have read and heard that Conyers and his wife made TV spots to promote Obama.

    Is this correct?

    THANK YOU BTD (none / 0) (#43)
    by s5 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:42:02 PM EST
    Either you side with rules and technicalities, or you side with counting all the voters. Both approaches are valid, but you can't pick some from column A and some from column B. If you side with rules and technicalities, then you can't count FL and MI. If you side with counting voters, then you can't argue that Obama's Michigan voters "technically" don't count as voters. They count. They're voters who showed up to the only contest available to them.

    Why in the world won't they (5.00 / 0) (#90)
    by Molly Pitcher on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:18:54 PM EST
    send them to the convention where they can then vote for themselves?  Why make it a guessing game?

    As for how many to count (none / 0) (#47)
    by s5 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:44:21 PM EST
    I'll refer anyone interested to this post from Chris Bowers. He estimates that 173,664 Michigan voters supported Obama, based on applying the exit polls for the candidates not on the ballot to the total for "uncommitted".

    Let's not pretend (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by cawaltz on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:53:42 PM EST
    Chris Bowers is anymore impartial then Donna Brazile please. Contrary to popular opinion, man of Clinton's supporters AREN'T low information and frankly we know better. It's an insult to our intelligence to pretend otherwise.

    So do you disagree with his numbers? (none / 0) (#60)
    by s5 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 12:58:32 PM EST
    I know he's a biased source, but that's besides the point. Do you disagree with his numbers and methodology, and if so, why? Or is your disagreement solely with the source? Because he's making the same exact argument that BTD is making here. The only difference is that Chris Bowers did the math and showed the final result. If BTD did the math that follows from the argument he's making in this post, he would come up with the same or nearly the same result.

    I disagree with (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by cawaltz on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:03:26 PM EST
    giving Obama votes that he did not earn. I believe there are consequences for actions. Obama has had two shots to get votesin MI,HE i responsible in both cases for not allowing people to vote for him.

    I'm sure at convention he'll get the uncommitted but he should have to wait until convention.


    As BTD points out (none / 0) (#76)
    by s5 on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:09:29 PM EST
    he did earn those votes. Both the chair of the MI Democratic party and the exit polls show that those votes were for candidates, not for some vague idea of sending uncommitted delegates to the convention.

    And like I pointed out, you're making a rules and technicalities argument. If no one "technically" voted for Obama, then you're prioritizing technicalities over voters. In that case, in order to be consistent, you have to follow the rules and technicalities to their logical end, and exclude MI and FL's vote. On the other hand, if you want to count voters who showed up to the polls to express their will, then you have to make a best effort estimation for both candidates. You're free to pick which argument you prefer (voters or rules), but you have to consistent. BTD is doing that in his post, and I agree with him wholeheartedly.


    BTD and I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by cawaltz on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:15:36 PM EST
    I feel that Obama should have to pay for te consequences ofhis decision to block a revote and for taking his name off the ballot to begin with. He shouldn't get to reap the advantage of taking his name off the ballot and IA and not have to deal with the repercussions of that same political tactic in MI. I understand BTD's position and feel he is consistent. I respect that he feels this is about the will of the voters(and to some extent agree with the foundtion  of that argument). Where we disagree is in assigning the will of the voters by virtue of exit polls instead of official votes. Then again, I'm in favor of this going to convention.  

    So who should get the uncommitted in other (none / 0) (#105)
    by abfabdem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:38:23 PM EST
    states?  Should the remaining two candidates divide up the votes for those candidate who dropped out?  Really this apportioning of uncommitted to Obama for just the state of Michigan makes no sense if you apply it in these other instances.

    No I don't agree (none / 0) (#140)
    by TheViking on Fri May 23, 2008 at 07:09:43 PM EST
    with Bowers numbers...

    "This means to include Florida. It also means to include the estimates from caucus states that did not release popular totals, which stand at Obama 334,084--223,862 Clinton."

    What is it about the word VOTE you guys don't understand?


    nasty remarks?? (none / 0) (#80)
    by CanadianDem on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:12:28 PM EST
    like "yes, I believe has slightly more authority than Jeralyn Merritt" or redundant?

    Thats nasty?

    Yes it was the post was quite nasty to her (none / 0) (#103)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri May 23, 2008 at 01:37:17 PM EST
    Look, I NEVER complain when someone is nasty about me. Heck, how could I possibly complain about that? I am a very nasty person.

    but Jeralyn never is. EVER. she should not be treated that way.