More reality based posts on the primary process

Who knew there were so many statisticians that read MyDD, or that they had problems comprehending an Y axis, clearly numbered, that doesn't begin at 0! OK, lets talk more about pledged delegates and votes. In the post of Jay Cost, he lays out a number of different graphs, showing the basis of Obama's support, and how he's winning the nomination, among those, the ratio of pledged delegates to votes.

A curious fact is that, though Clinton and Obama are about tied in the popular vote, it takes about 960 more votes for Clinton to gain a single pledged delegate, as it has for Obama (overall). That is, after nearly all the contests, for every 11790 votes Clinton gets, she's earned a pledged delegate, and for every 10800 votes that Obama has gotten, he's earned a pledged delegate.

That's pretty significant, when you consider that it represents about a 9% hardship for Clinton, or a 9% handicap for Obama, in comparison.

Now, by any measure of counting the votes, there is no where near a 9% separation between Clinton and Obama, with the margin going from 1.6% for Obama to .5% for Clinton currently.

Why has this happened?  It's pretty clear in one of the other graphs that Cost presents:




As you can see, Clinton leads by a sliver among those that have voted in primaries, while with the chart here, Obama leads in votes total (doesn't count MI or FL). And yet, among the caucus states, Obama leads by far in the votes. Now, Jay doesn't present the delegate votes by caucus states, but its clear that this is where Obama owes his lead too.

There is little doubt, after FL & MI get resolved & PR votes, that Clinton will lead the popular vote, yet, she will trail in pledged delegates. That's entirely due to the caucus system in place in certain states. Clinton has no basis on which to complain, the un-democratic rules were in place, and everyone knew, but it does point to something that needs to be changed.

Tags: 2008 election (all tags)

Comments

275 Comments

Good God, Get Over It.

She lost.

It's over.

Barack is the Democratic nominee.

Acceptance is the first step toward healing.

by Firewall 2008-05-25 03:21PM | 0 recs
I just read your last paragraph.

Clinton has no basis on which to complain, the un-democratic rules were in place, and everyone knew, but it does point to something that needs to be changed.

Okay, this is a step up. Sort of. You acknowledge the rules are the rules. However, it's still inaccurate to imply the rules are un-democratic. The people in each state decided these would be the rules used to represent themselves and award delegates during the nomination season. If you disagree with the rules as they stand, that's one thing, but it's folly to imply the rules were un-democratic simply because your candidate came up short according to those rules. As long as states choose to keep caucuses, by definition, they are not un-democratic. If they were deemed inappropriate, they would be removed. Their presence indicates they are accepted means of delegate appropriation within the states that employ them.

But like I said, it's a step in the right direction.

by Firewall 2008-05-25 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

It's pretty funny that you were so eager to make your standard knee-jerk comment that you didn't even bother to read the whole post.

Your comment makes no sense, by the way.  Are you under the impression that each caucus state had some kind of democratic referendum on whether to hold a caucus?

by Steve M 2008-05-25 03:29PM | 0 recs
I zoned out after he started

with the popular vote spin again. This is a delegate race, etc.

And with regards to my comment making sense, how exactly do you think states decide whether to hold primaries or caucuses? People decide. As long as people decide the system should be this way or that way, it stays this way or that way. You don't get to say this way or that way's the wrong way simply because your candidate couldn't win according to the rules agreed upon at the outset.

by Firewall 2008-05-25 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

Get over your candidate. This isn't about Obama, but fixing it for 2012.

I'm amazed at how low the discourse has gotten -- people don't even read what others are posting before they comment.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-05-25 03:33PM | 0 recs
See my post below yours.

The system isn't wrong; one candidate's approach to the system was wrong. The only thing that needs to be fixed in 2012 is the penalty appropriation toward candidates who attempt to change rules midstream and states that attempt to jump fences to hold their primaries early.

The caucus/primary system is fine.

by Firewall 2008-05-25 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: See my post below yours.

On what planet is it fair that the person who loses the popular vote in a state wins most of the state's delegates?

by wilder 2008-05-25 05:15PM | 0 recs
In a planet where the people in that state

decided the rules of delegate appropriation beforehand.

Could you point to scenarios in this primary season where either candidate won more delegates in a state they received fewer votes in?

If you can, then could you point to where that went against the rules agreed upon at the start of said primary?

by Firewall 2008-05-25 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: In a planet where the people in that state

Could you point to scenarios in this primary season where either candidate won more delegates in a state they received fewer votes in?

Jeez.  Some people aren't paying attention.  

In Nevada Hillary won 6% more county delegates but she won disproportionately in districts with even numbers of assigned federal delegates (where a high margin of victory is required to avoid a 50-50 split).  This gave Obama a 4% advantage in assigned federal delegates.  At the county and state conventions a little bit of chaos and a lot of energized Obama voters resulted in a net advantage of 12%.  

In Texas Hillary won by 4% of the vote but got 3% fewer delegates.  Here the popular vote was purposefully discounted from the beginning.    

If you can, then could you point to where that went against the rules agreed upon at the start of said primary?

No silly.  Nevada could have gone 100% to Kucinich or Bart Simpson at the state convention.  If the nature of the rules was to avoid results like this there wouldn't be much of a call to change them.  I suspect that most states didn't know their caucus rules actually mattered (do to the late date of their contests) and that early voting states are primarily maintaining caucuses to keep power in the hands of traditional ground organizations (unions, local DNC, etc.) and to circumvent their state legislatures.  

by Lystrosaurus 2008-05-26 07:05AM | 0 recs
give jerome a break
It's significant and laudable that he's willing to acknowledge that the existing system determines the rules for the current election - we haven't heard that from a prominent Hillary supporter till now.
No need to pick apart his view that the existing system should be changed. In fact, I quite agree with him.
by jedley 2008-05-25 09:10PM | 0 recs
and

wouldn't the point on primaries be more meaningful if it was done on a primary by primary basis rather than lumping all primaries together?

I don't really get the popular vote argument as we use delegates and I never know what aspects of the popular vote is being excluding whenever an advocate pushes this forward: Are all if any caucus states excluded, is Michigan alloted any Obama votes, is Puerto Rico counted even though they don't have a gen election vote?  I just feel that whenever that argument is put forth, it's only fair to give some sort of explanation of what the proponent is including and excluding.

by ksh 2008-05-26 01:37AM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

Interesting that I didn't hear all this screaming about how undemocratic the caucuses were in 2004. I didn't see graphs going up trying to make the nominee appear illegitimate at all. I didn't hear about popular vote totals either.

Why all the fuss now? Is it because your candidate ran a poor campaign and is losing or is it something else which I won't mention.

by sweet potato pie 2008-05-25 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

In 2004, I actually thought there was only one caucus state, Iowa.  The Iowa caucus sounded weird and undemocratic.  I don't know that I would have realized there were so many bizarre caucuses and hybrids if not for the fact that, unlike previous contests, this one has been competitive nearly all the way through.

by wilder 2008-05-25 05:17PM | 0 recs
Who knew there would be so many

bloggers who would be irritated by a graphic showing the losing candidate winning?

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-05-25 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

Do these sites have histories that long?  OK I answered my own question below . . .

I've been bitching about caucuses for over a decade.  I believe Jerome has been arguing for primary reform for years as have others.  Here's Kos in 2004:  

When less than 10 percent of the Iowa electorate makes a decision based more on peer pressure than personal choice (there's no such thing as a secret ballot in a caucus), you know something wrong.

The caucuses must die, as well as Vilsack's candidacy for DNC chair. They are now part of the same battle.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2004/1 1/14/11449/089

by Lystrosaurus 2008-05-26 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

he was talking about Iowa leading the primary calendar.

by eraske 2008-05-26 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

Yes, it was specifically about Iowa.  He had several arguments against it being first.  Amongst these arguments was the idea that the caucus was undemocratic (low turnout, subject to peer pressure).  He also said it was too white :)

I'm perfectly aware that Kos makes up arguments to support his positions and has been all over the board on a variety of matters (i.e. used to be Republican).  I just tend to agree that greater turnout and less peer pressure = better.  I always have.  In 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012.  I'd hate to live in a caucus state.  

by Lystrosaurus 2008-05-26 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

If you look at what kos was willing to support it was either rotating regional primaries or rotating early primary states.  I don't remember anything about front-loading with different caucus states.  The fact that we did so this year (Iowa, Nevada, Washington, etc.) has more to do with political realities than choice.  It's evidently hard to get states to move their actual primaries.  

by Lystrosaurus 2008-05-26 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

There is no system that will perfectly balance all of the competing needs of the nomination system. The chart you provide here shows mostly that Obama paid attention to the caucus states, while Clinton ignored them. If she had paid attention to the caucuses, she could have greatly decreased his margin there, and would probably be the nominee. It is not a problem with the system that she had a lousy campaign plan.

Do you understand that Wisconsin voters had 15,000 voters per delegate, while New York voters had 8,000 voters per delegate, and if Michigan is seated in full it will have 5,000 voters per delegate? Do you understand why?

Do you think a party that can't force Michigan and Florida to respect the the calendar will be able to force the caucus states to abandon their long standing tradition? What punishment are they supposed to use to enforce this?

by letterc 2008-05-25 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

Does Jerome understand that the districts that vote Democratic more often were given a bigger say(ie. more delegates) ... should the system for 2012 be  reformed? .. sure ... but we all know Jerome is using it as an excuse to whine because his horse lost the Derby

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-05-25 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

This point is particularly important because even using purely closed primaries doesn't solve it. There are significant areas of the country where many people are registered Dems, but vote Republican for president. The only way to downgrade the importance of these voters is to use weighting, which means that the sort of small inequality in average voters per delegate will happen any time that one of the candidates is preferred by Dixiecrats and Reagan Democrats.

by letterc 2008-05-25 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

There are significant areas of the country where many people are registered Dems, but vote Republican for president.

Like Kentucky .. which have no problem voting Dems to local and state offices .. but don't vote for them for them in Presidential races anymore

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-05-25 09:46PM | 0 recs
"This isn't about Obama"?

Yes, it is.  You're claiming he won't lead in the popular vote using extremely spurious standards.

by Shem 2008-05-25 03:48PM | 0 recs
I call bullshit...

Clinton supporters would have NO trouble with this process if their candidate was ahead.  NONE.  This is whining thinly disguised as bitching about the rules after losing fair and square.

The process is fine, your candidate just had a mediocre plan that was poorly executed.

And as for "how low the discourse has gotten", would  that include the diaries with entire paragraphs cut and pasted from HRC.com that dominated this site for months or the tremendously misleading graph you posted earlier today that even an Intro to Statistics student would tell you was spurious?

Keep up that "high" level of discourse though, we can only hope to aspire to your level.

by Seeking Cincinnatus 2008-05-25 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: I call bullshit...

Don't tell me Obama supporters wouldn't have problems with this system if he were behind.  

I don't believe that he would have dropped out, either.  There are too many people who have invested him with messianic qualities who would be insisting that he continue.

by wilder 2008-05-25 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: I call bullshit...

There's the messianic bullshit again. Let's be honest, the claims that the good progressives that support Obama are fanatics or cultists is just an ugly smear. It demonstrates a pathetic cynicism that inspirational leadership is attributed to delusion. Those who would sink so low probably would have called MLK or JFK empty suits and their followers mindless zombies.

The type of diary that Jerome writes on a semi-daily basis is cherry picking aimed at, one, tearing down Obama via the insinuation of illegitimacy, and, two, aimed at riling up Hillary supporters who refuse to admit that this thing is over.

I wonder if Jerome can be called messianic in the same way the crowd here likes to smear Obama. Leading the lemmings off the cliff into irrelevancy.

by mikeplugh 2008-05-25 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I call bullshit...

Well said.  

I don't know many HRC supporters in real life; most of my encounters with them are on this site, so maybe I don't have a particularly clear picture of who they are.  But it's clear to me that there is some resentment over Obama's inspirational qualities; hence the nonsense about Obama folks deifying him.  It's like hating the popular kid in school just because he's popular.  

I do not ascribe messianic qualities to Barack Obama, but I am undeniably impressed with his intelligence and political ability.  I think he will make an excellent president, and I can not wait for him to wrap this up so we can all stop wasting our time with silly arguments about process.  

I'd rate you up if I could.

by tastycakes 2008-05-26 09:53AM | 0 recs
Where did I say

that all Obama supporters invested him with messianic qualities?  I just said that too many people do, and you need only read the diaries and comments on DailyKos to see.  I realize that reasonable people support Obama as well, but the fringe exists, and it's equal to or larger than any Clinton fringe.

by wilder 2008-05-26 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I call bullshit...

Clinton supporters would have NO trouble with this process if their candidate was ahead.  NONE.  This is whining thinly disguised as bitching about the rules after losing fair and square.

Please don't pretend to know anything about me.

Thank you.

by NJ Liberal 2008-05-26 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: I call bullshit...

Yay! My first troll rating! Thanks, Spinoza! It would be nice, however, if you'd let me know which part of my comment pissed you off.

by NJ Liberal 2008-05-28 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

Were they not both running in the same states to the same set of rules? If one candidate is better at the current method of deciding the winner is that unfair?

Grapes seem pretty sour this year!

by telfishbackagain 2008-05-25 03:53PM | 0 recs
But sour grapes

make for fine whine...

by bookish 2008-05-25 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

If your point of continuously posting arguments like this is to address the issue for 2012, then the timing is curious. You could just as easily push for the caucus system to be re-evaluated after the primary race or general election are over.

The way we Obama supporters see it, it looks like it's being posted to bolster Clinton's case to the SDs (she'll end up with more popular votes!) and to undermine Obama as the illegitimate product of undemocratic elections.

If you're going to push Clinton like this, then it's not exactly fair to snap at us to get over our candidate.

Moreover, any popular vote argument that involves counting Michigan as-is undermines that person's credibility. If one wanted to make a strong case that would get us to actually consider it, you'd at least consider Michigan was FUBAR and shouldn't be counted (except as further proof that the system is messed up).

It's an effective tool in a discussion--concede something to get something back. But insisting that Michigan was a legit and should count just makes us tune out immediately.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-05-25 04:12PM | 0 recs
We'll get over him, Johnny,

in 2016.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-05-25 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

Get over your candidate. This isn't about Obama, but fixing it for 2012.

Everything you post lately has been about Obama, whether it's snide or direct questioning of his legitimacy as the Presidential nominee.

About the level of discourse...what do you know, if you write crap, you'll attract flies.

by obscurant 2008-05-25 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

"I'm amazed at how low the discourse has gotten"

Really?  Look in the mirror.

by SpanishFly 2008-05-25 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

The only way to "fix" this "problem" is to impose uniform rules on all the states - banning caucuses, mandating that all contests have the same openness rules (open, semi-open, or closed). So, good luck getting Iowa to give up their caucuses, imposing open primaries on Maryland, or forcing Virginia and Michigan to close their caucuses in violation if state law.

Or get off the idea that combining vote totals from 60 different contests with different rules, and from 2 contests in which citizens were told their votes wouldn't count, is any kind of decent measure. Combined vote totals ("popular vote" is a misnomer when the numbers arrive under such drastically different circumstances) and pledged delegates are both fundamentally flawed measures - but at least pledged delegates give us to have a common currency and allow each state party to hold elections as they see fit.

by really not a troll 2008-05-25 05:28PM | 0 recs
Your reputation preceeds you Jerome

Jerome, you are absolutely right that the system has to be fixed. Evidence enough is the schism between Clinton and Obama supporters so late in the game. Evidence is that Obama has an insurmountable lead and Clinton is still there scrapping it out because she is not mathematically eliminated.

However Jerome, you have lost all credibility. Every post you write is pro Clinton and anti-Obama. They don't even make sense anymore. The last chart you foisted on us was so blatantly deceptive and meaningless, that can you blame people for not taking you seriously? Votes/delegates? That is meaningless. Joe Biden wins! He has a vote, he has 0 delegates. 1 divided by 0 is infinity. Plot that!

It is like watching Karl Rove on Meet the Press. You don't know whether he is speaking the truth as a talking head or trying to twist the truth for the Republican party.  No one trusts what you say Jerome until you write the post that says Hillary lost and should get out for the sake of the party.  People consider you a sore loser.

This links for you Jerome and all your Hillary supporting friends.

http://images.despair.com/products/demotivators/giveup.jpg

by erlin 2008-05-25 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

Regarding the popular vote totals and whether holding primaries instead of caucuses would have benefited Senator Clinton:

Howard Fineman said that if the Caucus states had held primaries instead, Barack Obama would have added to his popular vote advantage.

by eve 2008-05-26 05:05AM | 0 recs
Re: I zoned out after he started

I already mentioned a while back how I think our Texas Two-Step is preferred.  The primary measures the breadth of a candidate's support and the caucus measures the depth of a candidate's support.  I think both are important measurements with slight safeguards from crossparty shenanigans.

I've read that Super Tuesday (in February) was designed to get the strongest candidate the lead ASAP.  I've also read that several of Senator Clinton's team engaged in the process to set this up for her win.  I've seen video of her saying that she intended to "go all the way" through Super Tuesday (assuming she would be the winner at that time).  I guess my point is that modifying the existing method may for a reason not now obvious come back to bite your preferred candidate.  

by Anita 2008-05-26 05:32AM | 0 recs
A delegate race indeed in which BO

cannot get enough pledged delegates to win without intervention from the SDs.

by Molee 2008-05-25 03:41PM | 0 recs
And he's getting that intervention...

...they've been endorsing him in droves since it became obvious this race was over and one of the two candidates was simply interested in dragging out the process and dividing the base.

by Firewall 2008-05-25 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: A delegate race indeed in which BO

If Obama had received 60% of the pledged delegates, he'd still need help from SD's.  They have 20% of all delegates.

by thezzyzx 2008-05-25 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: A delegate race indeed in which BO

If you disregard the superdelegates, then Obama already has a majority of the pledged delegates from the primaries or caucuses...you will have to find another excuse why Hillary ran such a bad campaign with only 1/4 of a billion dollars at her disposal.

by DemoDan 2008-05-25 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: A delegate race indeed in which BO

Give it a few more days, he is only 52 short at this point.

by telfishbackagain 2008-05-25 03:54PM | 0 recs
this is a contender...

for one of the silliest pieces of political spin to persist throughout the process. "Can't win without the superdelegates" is predicated entirely upon the superdelegates' existence. If this were solely a pledged delegate race, Obama has already attained the majority that is the standard of victory.

by Casuist 2008-05-25 03:56PM | 0 recs
What do you mean "people decide"?

I'll tell you who doesn't decide this: the people of the states in question.

The decision to have a caucus or not is, so far as I know, entirely in the hands of the Democratic Party organization in that state -- i.e., the big shots in the Party, and NOT the people.

And,  in case it's never occurred to you, there are bigger concerns than adhering to a set of rules  arbitrarily settled upon by a bunch of bigshots behind closed doors. Among them is the will of the people, which, for many people, simply trumps in importance these arbitrary rules.

And again, you can't acknowledge the obvious: the set of rules, even as they stand, explicitly allow superdelegates to use their own judgment about who they are going to vote for. There is absolutely no presumption that they must vote for the winner of the pledged delegate count. Indeed, there would be essentially no point in the existence of superdelegates if they had to abide by the pledged delegate count.

by frankly0 2008-05-25 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: What do you mean "people decide"?

Yes. We should hold meta-primaries to determine how to hold the primaries. But how will we decide the rules for those primaries? Meta-meta-primaries! But then what about those rules...

by really not a troll 2008-05-25 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: What do you mean "people decide"?

it's called 'voting', the party of the states in question get the question on any of the state ballots in the next couple years and people can have a chance to pick them or change to a straight primary.

damm, having to explain this stuff just because they no longer have civics classes...

by zerosumgame 2008-05-25 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: What do you mean "people decide"?

I'll have you know I rocked my civics class.

And putting a policy question regarding a political party (a private entity) on an actual electoral ballot makes tons of sense.

Lastly, I'm sure all those voters in (mostly poor) caucus states are eager to spend state tax dollars on primaries rather than letting parties pay for caucuses.

by really not a troll 2008-05-25 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: What do you mean "people decide"?

yeah dammed those unwashed voters, how dare I suggest they have any say in the matter. should be left to kool-ade drinking blog kings like you.

by zerosumgame 2008-05-25 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: What do you mean "people decide"?

implying that I hate democracy, while creative, is not a counterargument.

by really not a troll 2008-05-25 06:57PM | 0 recs
Troll rated for Kool-Aid

Tut tut my good man!

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-05-25 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: What do you mean "people decide"?

Hide rated for, well, just being you.

By which I mean, attacking another user.

by letterc 2008-05-26 02:05AM | 0 recs
Re: What do you mean "people decide"?

In Indiana the primaries are established by law not the parties.  To change, even the date of the primary election, requires an act of the state legislature.

by DemoDan 2008-05-25 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: What do you mean "people decide"?
"In Indiana the primaries are established by law not the parties."
I'm pretty sure that you confused things here. States may sponsor the primaries, by establishing a day on which the voting equippment may be used, and most, if not all, do so, but they can't force the parties to actually hold their primary on that day. Parties are free to chose a different date, but then they ought to pay for this. That was the problem in MI and FL, republicans deliberately put the dates outside of the Dem schedule, and the Dem lawmakers were too cheap to pay for their own primary instead. But nobody actually forced them to go with the official date.
by Gray 2008-05-26 01:34AM | 0 recs
The Clintons are the big shots

The Clintons had much more influence over the structure of the process than Obama ever did.

Remember the Clintons told us it would all be over after super Tuesday?

by Sam Wise Gingy 2008-05-25 06:49PM | 0 recs
Since when do we hold referendums for anything?

The states elected officials - elected by the people - determined how to choose their delegates.  It that purely democratic?  No.  Is anything in our Republic?  Don't make me laugh.  Choosing caucus vs. delegates is no less democratic than the electoral college itself.  I'm not defending the system, but caucuses are no worse than pretty much any other aspect of it.

The fact is, Clinton didn't bother building a ground game for the caucuses, because she assumed she wouldn't have a challenger.  Obama fought for every vote in every state, and didn't dismiss millions of voters for living in states that "don't count."

Look at it like football - if the Bears decide not to throw any long passes next year (which, given their QB situation, is entirely possible), and the Colts beat them with a strong passing game, the system isn't unfair - the Bears just had a lousy gameplan.

by schroeder 2008-05-25 04:12PM | 0 recs
Standard practice now?

To Jerome and other site moderators..

I seem to recall that this site was NOT filled with knee-jerk insults as recently as a few weeks ago, and suddenly it seems flooded with people just throwing out one-line snark replies with nothing of substance.  Disagreement is one thing, but I was just reading a diary on Bill's comments today on the disrespect toward Hillary.. and it's full of the kinds of useless one-liners that ruin the possibility of any dialogue.

What about banning or warning some people to keep this place somewhat sane?  Just thought I would bring it up, I don't typically do this but I've noticed a change that happened very quickly.

by daria g 2008-05-25 05:17PM | 0 recs
You expect leadership

from the guy who has now posted an item mocking one of his user's stances about the manipulation of graph data from earlier today?

by bookish 2008-05-25 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Standard practice now?

I noticed this one jerk who threw off this one-liner diary calling Obama a "preener". We should talk to Jerome about getting him banned.

by really not a troll 2008-05-25 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

My state, for one, didn't have the money to throw a primary separate from our state primary.

I suppose the argument could be made that the caucus could have been folded in to that primary.

I suspect, however, that the rest of the country would be upset with Kansas for making them wait until the first week of August to get everything sorted out.

by Geiiga 2008-05-25 09:33PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

Ha, that's telling, and typical, I'll give you that much.

To award pledged-delegates through whats clearly been a disproportional system is about as un-democratic as it gets.

I'm not talking about caucuses being undemocratic, but the process of awarding the delegates.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-05-25 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

The problem with this, though, is that both candidates knew from the outset the delegate awarding ratio differed in caucuses compared to that in primaries.

The difference was that Obama's campaign put a lot of stock into states with caucuses while Clinton's campaign didn't.

Note the grassroots organization of the Obama campaign, and the outposts in all sorts of red and mountain states the Clinton campaign ignored for months.

In other words, if both camps knew how things went down, but chose to focus on different parts of the puzzle, how is it wrong that one candidate's strategy panned out better than the other's? If Clinton were the one ahead by 200 delegates now from massive wins in multiple caucus states, I wouldn't be going about implying Obama gamed the system, or that the system was flawed to begin with. The flaw would lie in Camp Obama's approach to securing the delegates.

by Firewall 2008-05-25 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

The present caucus-friendly system was created by McGovern (and Donald Fraser) in 1968 to help a McGovern-like candidate win future elections, and lo and behold, McGovern indeed won the nomination in 1972. And we all know how well that worked out.

I'm not about to imply that Obama will run as poorly as McGovern, but one can run a lot better than McGovern and still lose the GE.

That should be a cause of concern to any Democrat who wants to win back the WH.

by Inky 2008-05-25 03:52PM | 0 recs
McGovern's not in it this year

The question isn't whether Obama can run a better campaign than McGovern did; it's whether he can run a better campaign than Clinton.  (actually, the question is, did Obama win according to the rules laid out by the party, and the answer is a resounding yes).

Despite Clinton's huge lead going into the race, and a 100-superdelegate lead, she blew it.  Not because people are sexist (it's not like Obama doesn't have discrimination to worry about), and not because the system is somehow rigged against her.  Everyone knew going in how caucuses work and how to win them - building a ground game.  Obama's campaign did, Clinton didn't think it was important, so she was caught unprepared in the caucus states, and now her supporters are crying foul.  There was no foul, she just didn't get the job done.

She lost not because of the system, but because she ran a lousy campaign.  She exaggerated her record; she insulted people whose support she needed; she couldn't defend her Iraq War vote; and she presented herself as an establishment candidate in a year when people are desperate for new blood.  Some of that is her own fault, some's just bad timing.

You can tell what kind of administration a candidate is going to have based on what kind of campaign they run.  George W. Bush lied, cheated, had no respect for the rule of law, overspent like crazy, and used every nefarious means available against his opponent.  Hence, we have 8 years of the same coming from the White House.

McCain's campaign is based on old, unworkable ideas, loves George Bush's policies, especially the Iraq War, and is run entirely by lobbyists.  If, God help us, he steals the election in November, that's what we can look forward to from his administration.

Obama's run a competent, professional, effective, inspiring campaign that outperformed everyone's expectations.  I'm excited about 8 years of the same coming from Washington.  

Clinton ran a decent campaign that was marred by misspeaking, overspending, attacking fellow Democrats (I'm talking about Bill Richardson and the like, not just her opponent), staffers leaving under a dark cloud, borrowing Republican talking points, allies like Ferraro (and Bill Clinton) going off the reservation and making inappropriate comments... if Clinton had won the nomination, and did beat McCain, we'd have four more years of Clinton scandals to look forward to, distracting us from fixing the country.

At the beginning of this campaign, I thought Clinton would make a fine president, and seeing how she's run her campaign has convinced me otherwise.  Obama won because he's the better candidate, and because he'll make a better President.

by schroeder 2008-05-25 04:07PM | 0 recs
Re: McGovern's not in it this year

He cannot run a better GE campaign than Clinton--the polls show that over and over again. In fact, if Obama had gotten the kind of treatment Hillary has gotten by the MSM up until now, he never would have made it to Super Tuesday. But the GE voters still aren't sold on him. You can try to paint McCain as John McSame, advocate of the 100-year war, but I confidently predict that McCain is going to run better than you think, and he is already running neck-and-neck or actually beating Obama in head-to-head match-ups, whereas Hillary has a significant lead over McCain.

http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/5/25/ 175116/499

That should be a cause of concern to SDs, and if the picture continues to deteriorate, perhaps enough of them will switch their support (as unlikely as that seems right now). In any case, I'm glad Hillary is staying in for as long as she can, just for that reason.

by Inky 2008-05-25 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: McGovern's not in it this year

How on earth could polls show whether Clinton or Obama can run a better general election campaign? This statement makes absolutely no sense.

Some polls show that Clinton does slightly better than Obama (generally within the margin of error) in a GE match up now. We haven't had a general election campaign. The idea of a general election campaign is to influence voters (both some decided voters, but mainly undecided voters). If either candidate takes a solid majority of the currently undecided voters in the GE, it will be a blowout.

In the primary run, Obama has shown a good deal of ability to pick up undecided voters. Clinton has shown much less capability to do so. In state after state, she gave up huge leads to Obama, allowing him to close or over take her lead.

by letterc 2008-05-25 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: McGovern's not in it this year

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Cl inton/Maps/May25.html

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Ob ama/Maps/May25.html

http://hominidviews.com/?p=1551

http://hominidviews.com/?page_id=1251

Yes, either candidate can win the GE. But there can be little doubt that it is a much riskier gamble with Obama at the top of the ticket.

by Inky 2008-05-25 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: McGovern's not in it this year

Clinton beats McCain.  Obama beats McCain.  Obama beat Clinton.  Obama is next president.  It's that easy.  Exhale and relax.

by Please 2008-05-25 05:06PM | 0 recs
well, we should be able to concede...

that hillary at her best (and with the wind at her back) does slightly better than barack at his worst (and facing a heavy headwind).

if we could depend on republicans to continue to ignore hillary (even help her, ala limbaugh) then her supporters would have a point.  my fear, of course, would be that they would reignite the psychodrama, that we'd fight the general election on their terms.

with barack, of course, it's much more likely that we fight the general election on our terms...

by bored now 2008-05-25 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: well, we should be able to concede...

with barack, of course, it's much more likely that we fight the general election on our terms...

Keep telling yourself that. You may be bored now, but you will be highly excitable when the general election season begins.

by Inky 2008-05-25 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: McGovern's not in it this year

Except that Obama has shown himself to be a much more adept campaigner, much better at GotV, much better at pulling undecideds. I understand the current poll situation, but I also understand that polls 5 months out have poor predictive value.

by letterc 2008-05-25 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: McGovern's not in it this year

Was Bill Clinton a risky gamble when he was running in third place in June 1992?  General election voters don't start paying attention until at least the party conventions.  There's no way of knowing if a candidate is electable until they've already become the nominee.

by CA Pol Junkie 2008-05-26 06:15AM | 0 recs
oh, please

Clinton supporters keep repeating this nonsense over and over, as if saying it enough times makes it true.  Just answer me this: if Clinton runs such a great campaign, how come she blew a huge lead and lost to Obama?

As for the so-called media bias, let's examine a scandal from each candidate:

Reverend Wright: The media was all over this, so Obama responded forcefully and directly, with a landmark speech and an honest discussion about race in America.

Snipergate: Clinton stuck to her story.  Then she changed her story.  Then she said she couldn't remember.  Then she said she was tired.

If you were the media, how would you cover those two responses?  And if you were the Democrats, who would you want responding to Swift Boat '08, in whatever form it takes?  The media's favorable to Obama because he's better at presenting himself to the media.  That's a huge skill for a campaigner, and a huge asset for the nominee.

Finally, a big cause for concern isn't just who's going to beat McCain by how much (because, even if we do slavishly follow the polls, both candidates are beating McBush handily at the moment), but who's going to make a better President.  Do we want a president who's going to lash out at Democrats who disagree with her (Richardson)?  Who can't defend their own decisions (Iraq)?  Who cry foul when they lose fair and square?

Let's face it - Clinton's a smart, talented, ambitious woman who ran an uneven, undisciplined campaign, and would continue to do so in November.  Except she's not going to, because she lost.  Obama ran the better campaign, he was the better candidate, he played by the rules whether he agreed with them or not, and he won.  He won.  He's going to be the nominee, and you live in fantasyland if you think the Democratic Party is going to overturn the will of the voters because of, frankly, a pretty flimsy case that she'd do better in November.

And while I'm thinking about it, one more analysis of that case.  Clinton's argument seems to boil down to "I'll win Florida."  I'm not eager to put all our eggs in that particular basket again.  Obama, meanwhile, is leading in Ohio, Iowa and Colorado, is tied in Virginia, and is within 5% in South Carolina.  South freakin' Carolina!  If Clinton's campaign is all about Florida, McCain has to defend one state.  Obama's going to hit him everywhere.  If McCain has to defend the Carolinas, that's time and money he's not spending trying to flip Pennsylvania or hold onto Ohio.  It's just plain smart strategy.  Plus, campaigning in 50 states is going to help downticket races.  You think having Clinton on the ballot would have helped state and local candidates in the "latte-drinking" states that "don't count"?  Every state counts, damn it.

by schroeder 2008-05-25 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: oh, please

Reverend Wright: The media was all over this, so Obama responded forcefully and directly, with a landmark speech and an honest discussion about race in America.

That's hilarious. First Obama says he never saw anything controversial at the church, then when that doesn't fly he gives "The Speech" in which he states that he could no more disown Rev. Wright than he could his own racist grandmother. Then, after Rev. Wright goes so far as to call Obama a "politician." the blinders are finally removed and Obama promptly disowns him.

BTW, there's nothing particularly honest about a discussion of race in America that claims that the first stain on the conscience of the new republic was slavery and not the systematic looting and slaughter of this country's native peoples, which occurred before, during, and after the time of slavery.

by Inky 2008-05-25 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: oh, please

Okay, Wright says something, and Obama acts a certain way.  Then Wright says something [i]worse[/i], and Obama acts a different way.  You're right!  The guy's [i]crazy[/i]!

And, um, no one's allowed to talk about slavery, ever, without also mentioning the plight of native americans?  Despite that being completely off-topic?  I guess next time Obama wants to talk about one of America's problems, he'd best make sure to include every bad thing that's ever happened in the speech, otherwise he's being "dishonest."

Come on.  You're really grasping at straws to find something wrong with the guy.

by schroeder 2008-05-25 08:26PM | 0 recs
Re: oh, please

Do you honestly think our country's treatment of Native Americans has nothing to do with racism? Why on earth would you call it off-topic, particularly when Obama is talking about our country's original sin? Did it ever occur to you that one of the reasons the Obama does so well in the West is that Native Americans, rather than blacks (who barely are a presence there), are the most dispised and disparaged minority group in that region of the country?

And you also gloss over the fact that Obama tried to tamp down the entire controversy by falsely and repeatedly claiming that he never heard anything controversial in Wright's church.

by Inky 2008-05-26 03:08AM | 0 recs
Re: oh, please

> Do you honestly think our country's treatment of Native Americans has nothing to do with racism?

Right.  That's exactly what I said.

Obama's speech was first and foremost about black-white relations.  We've been racist towards Native Americans, Jews, Asians, Latinos, Irish, Italians, and pretty much every people under the sun.  Are we not allowed to discuss the rift between black and white America without acknowledging every single bit of racism that's ever happened?  Because that would be a loooong speech.

You're also missing my larger point, which is, if you're absolutely desperate to find fault with Obama, you'll find it anywhere.  I still don't see how this makes Clinton's response to scandal less bad, or how it makes her a better candidate.  Obama tackled the issue head on - apparently he's a bad person for not also tackling related side issues, and every other problem in America while he's at it.  

But I have yet, going back to 1992, to see Clinton even attempt an honest answer to criticism when there was the chance to sidestep the question.  This is a woman who voted for the Iraq War, but wouldn't have done it again, but doesn't regret it, but believes it was wrong, but it was the right thing to do at the time, but she didn't have all the information, but she wasn't clueless, but had she known, she would have done things differently, or she would have, and please like me like me like me...  You're telling me that's going to fly in November and Obama isn't?  Come on.

by schroeder 2008-05-26 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: McGovern's not in it this year

Polls prove nothing....

For one thing the turnout for Clinton and Obama will be VERY different.....

IMO Obama will have a huge turnout advantage over Clinton.  Obama increases Dem turnout, clinton increases repub turnout

by CaptainMorgan 2008-05-25 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

And Bush and Gore knew there was an Electoral College at the start of the campaign.

by wilder 2008-05-25 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

You keep saying it is undemocratic, but I honestly can't figure out why you think it is undemocratic.

by letterc 2008-05-25 03:48PM | 0 recs
I find it very hard to believe

he'd be here complaining about this if Clinton were up 200 delegates with a lead that came from blowing the hell out of Obama in caucus states. Instead, we'd be reading about how the Obama camp arrogantly dismissed mountain states and caucuses while focusing on states with primaries.

The fact that the honesty is relative is the biggest clue one is dealing with dishonesty.

by Firewall 2008-05-25 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

Fact is Clinton thought this would be over Feb 5, she spent all her money on early contests, had no strategy post Super Tuesday and lost...There were 100's of ways Clinton could have won no matter what Obama did, there were only a few ways Obama could win and those scenarios had to include gaffes by the Clinton campaign...

Blame it on the strategy...nothing more, nothing less.

by hootie4170 2008-05-25 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

Disproportional? That's disingenuous.  Are you suggesting a requirement that all states submit to a system where only the popular votes count?  That's simply not a republican system.  The Electoral College, the GOP nomination process (which has been cited as exemplary by Camp Clinton), the Democratic nomination process -- none are strictly based on the popular vote, nor should they.

I have absolutely no problem with giving states wide latitude in how they select a nominee. States can choose an open primary, a closed primary, a caucus, or both.  And how do you weight states where there was an open primary vs. closed?  Should the state with the open primary get higher weight because of the larger vote totals?  

Caucuses do have important advantages in some states -- creating party activists, ensuring that the most active party workers get a large voice in selecting the nominee, and a much more transparent system for setting party rules, platforms, and electing local party officials.  

And what about superdelegates?  The DNC, by granting SDs special rights, is making the same kind of choice that caucus states do by overweighting party activists at the expense of less involved voters.

And what would the campaign finance implications be of a purely popular votes strategy?  Wouldn't big media buys be the order of the day?

I don't find any calls for reform credible at this point. I have heard Sen. Clinton's campaign flip-flop between disparaging:

  • Small states
  • Caucus states
  • Red states
  • States with large African American populations
  • DNC rulings
  • The nomination process
  • Proportionate allocation of a state's delegates

God, the unfairness of it all.  Cry me a village, Senator Clinton!

by Twin Planets 2008-05-25 05:00PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.
Jerome:
When was the last time a change was made to the system?  When did they institute the policy that Democratic leaning districts(and states) get more delegates then so called "red" states and districts?  Should they be changed before 2012?  You bet!!  But it isn't an excuse for Hillary.  They both knew the rules going on(Hillary more so, since guys like Harold Ickes were in on any changes taking place lately .. hell .. Harold Ickes voted for the MI/FL mess)
by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-05-25 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

Jerome, you can't complain about the level of discourse and then start a post with "ha, that's telling, and typical". You can debate with while respecting those who disagree with you.

I gave you a 1 for flame-baiting. I don't usually do that, but - jesus, you're the site administrator. Set an example.

by really not a troll 2008-05-25 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

The sig constantly comes in handy here.
Oh and Jerome, if you count Michigan that means Obama gets ZERO votes. How democratic is that? Also, aren't you disenfranchising those in caucus states because they don't keep popular vote totals?

Sigh.

by sweet potato pie 2008-05-25 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

This is the sort of thing that cannot be reconciled. Either you believe democracy should be upheld and you award Obama his fair share of the votes in Michigan or you believe the process should be followed and you go as the votes were recorded.

In what I've read, quite a few people who complain about the process are by no means eager to reward Obama with the very same types of rewards they would give Clinton.

I'm sick of hearing about how Obama has not demonstrated strength against John McCain, either. John McCain's sharp responses sound like an old man railing against young ones. And his response to Obama last week would have been just the same as the one to Clinton, who has no military experience either.

by vcalzone 2008-05-25 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

I believe that the process should be honored and the votes be ignored. Same with Florida, only I also support giving the state to Cuba.

by Geiiga 2008-05-25 09:39PM | 0 recs
Re: I just read your last paragraph.

baloney rules!!

Dont apply rules only when it suits you. If rules are strictly what you are rooting for, then rules allow super delegates (or even the so called pledged delegates) to cast their support to precisely whichever candidate they think is the right nominee for the dem party. I dont hear the obama camp saying any such thing.

If rules (irrespective of the voter participation/voter intent) is the only thing that matters, then you must have been one of the very few democrats who thought that Al Gore shouldnt have asked for any more recounts once the automatic recount was over and it showed Bush won by 512 votes. The rest of the democratic party didnt quite care what the rules were, but wanted to make sure that there should have been a statewide recount making sure all invalidated ballots were reexamined to make sure no legitimate Gore(/Bush) votes were uncounted.

What we witnessed was in caucus/primary states was that the caucuses were much less valid (sample size wise) and the results between the two were dramatically different and in the case of TX the results were complete opposite of the other. Pointing this and the overall pop vote count lead (likely after PR votes) to the super delegates and asking them to support clinton would be very much within the rules of the dem party and was precisely the reason why this stupid super-d system was devised to begin with

by pdxarch 2008-05-26 10:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Good God, Get Over It.

Not so fast on the popular vote.  

Realclearpolitics shows Obama up 273,877 including Florida and estimates of caucus states IA, NV, ME, and WA.  Of course you could argue that the estimates of caucus states shouldn't count, but given HRC's recent statement in Florida that seems a difficult position for her supporters to maintain.  

Recent estimates indicate that PR may not have the massive turnout some had anticipated. Perhaps 30% or 800,000 based on 2.4 mio registered voters.  

With 800,000 votes, a 12% Clinton victory would net 96,000, reducing Obama's overall lead to about 176,000.  He is likely to pad that a little bit in Montana and South Dakota.  Let's say another 10K to 186,000.  

If something like this pans out, Clinton could be left to argue her popular vote 'victory' is based on netting 328,309 in Michigan vs. 0 (zero) for Obama.  If you give Obama the uncommitted Michigan vote of 238,136 - and can't we agree that the uncommitteds were largely cast in his favor - he can still claim his own popular vote victory by about 86,000.

by Kensingtonbill 2008-05-25 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Good God, Get Over It.

If states want to be counted in the popular vote count, they should hold primaries.  Extrapolating popular vote totals from caucus results is a joke. You can't really complain about this, as the restrictive nature of caucuses have given your candidate a major boost in the first place.

Also, giving Obama the entire uncommitted vote is rather silly.  Edwards and other candidates not on the ballot probably made up a third of those votes.

by therealdeal 2008-05-25 11:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Good God, Get Over It.

I guess caucus votes don't count and we'll just adopt all the 'rules' that favor Senator Clinton.  Nice discussing this with you - we'll see how super delegates feel about that.    

Exit polls show that 79% of uncommitted voters supported Obama.  Even with that total (about 180,000) he would still be 30,000 or so in front of Clinton.  

by Kensingtonbill 2008-05-26 04:31AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Stop Stop stop. Why didn't you tell that to clinton last Jan? Stop crying about spilled caucus votes!

by eddieb 2008-05-25 03:23PM | 0 recs
Seriously, Jerome...

"The un-democratic rules were in place..."

I find it hard to say that a caucus is un-democratic, and an election where one candidate was not even on the ballot is democratic.

Caucuses in part rely on, and in part reinforce, the Putnam-style social capital that keeps democratic institutions viable. I say more of them, not less.

by hotran 2008-05-25 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously, Jerome...

I find it hard to say that a caucus is un-democratic, and an election where one candidate was not even on the ballot is democratic.

If you are upset about Michigan, blame Obama. No one compelled him to take his name of the ballot--he did so to curry favor with Iowa caucus voters and because he knew he wouldn't win there, and Edwards and Biden followed suit for the same reasons. As it turned out, there were still four names left on the ballot on election day. Why didn't Obama have his name taken off the SC ballot? That state broke the DNC rules as well.

by Inky 2008-05-25 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously, Jerome...

Let's hear it for Soviet style elections with only one major candidate on the ballot!  That surely would be oh so democratic.  After all, didn't they call themselves a people's republic?

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously, Jerome...

And let's hear it for cherry-picking elections and taking your name off the ballots only in states you know you are going to lose!

by Inky 2008-05-25 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously, Jerome...

You really know better than to say something as silly as that. Obama has been on the ballot everywhere else; it had nothing to do with whether he was favored.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 04:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously, Jerome...

Then why didn't he remove his name from SC's ballot? That state also broke the DNC pledge. I don't get it. And why did Obama's lawyers thwart any attempt to have a revote in Michigan?

by Inky 2008-05-25 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously, Jerome...

Link pleas.

I would love to see your evidence that South Carolina broke the DNC pledge.

Got any?

by Sam Wise Gingy 2008-05-25 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously, Jerome...

South Carolina applied for, and was granted, an exception to the rule by the Democratic Party.

October 16, 2007

Columbia, SC-
South Carolina Democratic Chair Carol Fowler released the following after Tuesday night's state Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting.
"The South Carolina Democratic Party will request a waiver from the DNC in order that our presidential primary election can be held on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008, without violating DNC rules.

by Ddeele 2008-05-25 05:15PM | 0 recs
You should study up on this

IA, NH and SC were all allowed to move up their primaries by the DNC because of rogue violations by MI and FL. Don't be daft.

by bookish 2008-05-25 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously, Jerome...

Yeah, what a loser, Obama, keeping his word about not "participating."

<Obviously snark>

by brimur 2008-05-25 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously, Jerome...

like advertising in FL and holding press conferences there, yeah a real straight-shooter there...

by zerosumgame 2008-05-25 05:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Seriously, Jerome...

Wrong. He ran a national cable ad- this was the week before super tuesday. He was not campaigning there. Nice try though. And what press conferences are you talking about?

by brimur 2008-05-25 07:18PM | 0 recs
I thought this was about &quot;democracy&quot;

Now you're telling us it isn't about democratic principles, but rather it's about punishing a specific candidate and his supporters who were deprived of an opportunity to vote for him.

...but then, when the same people are suggesting we punish voters in 14 states for having the poor taste to use a caucus system, I suppose a little more hypocrisy regarding "democracy" makes little difference.

by Casuist 2008-05-25 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

This is about pointing out the flaws in the system. Get over the infatuation of the nominee.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-05-25 03:26PM | 0 recs
discussing &quot;getting over&quot; biases...

the implication that the system has chosen against the popular will of the selected Democratic electorate is false and damaging to the party...

by Casuist 2008-05-25 03:35PM | 0 recs
Disappointing.

That you're so unapologetic and cavalier about your use of skewed graphics is disappointing.

by Shem 2008-05-25 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Disappointing.

they were clearly labeled and not skewed in any fashion to anyone who does not have an agenda to push

by zerosumgame 2008-05-25 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

This is about pointing out the flaws in the system.

No it's not, and you aren't fooling anyone.

by tysonpublic 2008-05-25 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Of course he isn't.  Jerome was all for delegates, and supers serving as the king maker, before he realized that Clinton didn't have a chance with that metric.

by obscurant 2008-05-25 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Jerome, as damaging as it would be going into the general having a large segment of the electorate infatuated with someone who is not the nom, you cannot deny the heartstring-style power of having a large section of the electorate infatuated with the actual nominee.  I understand the risk of depending on a candidate's cult of personality should that candidate fail, betray us, or die, but it is a risk counterweighted by great rewards in this cycle.  It's been much on my mind this weekend what we should do if disaster strikes, but we were not destroyed by Kerry's concession in 2004 and I think we will not give up on progressive Democratic activism in the way our forbears did no matter what happens.

by Endymion 2008-05-25 04:16PM | 0 recs
Come on, Jerome...

Who knew there were so many statisticians that read MyDD, or that they had problems comprehending an Y axis, clearly numbered, that doesn't begin at 0!

Come on, you know better than this.  You are smart enough to realize that the graph that you cited ought to have started from zero and had an axis break in it.  You know that the graph is misleading.  Its just as misleading as this one:

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2008/5/25/6 5822/1936/29#29

That graph is also properly labeled, but no one would argue that it isn't misleading.  Let's stop with this tired canard.

by you like it 2008-05-25 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Come on, Jerome...

The most intellectually dishonest thing is the crack about statisticians. It's not the statisticians that would be confused, but rather people casually browsing. Statisticians know this fact and know that presenting something in this manner is, at best, intellectually dishonest.

Actually... Didn't the Daily Show have a joke about this a long time ago?

"Does this graph scare you? No? Well, how about when we look about it out of scale!"

by TCQuad 2008-05-25 05:07PM | 0 recs
these sentences don't join for me...

while i don't really care if people think there are systemic flaws -- after all, as a professional, the only thing i care about is that the rules are transparent and set (nobody changes the goal posts after they are set in the ground).  but:

what is wrong with democrats actually being excited about their candidate(s)?  to me, that's a good thing.  having supporters who will walk through fire -- as virtually every republican nominee has had in the last few decades -- should even up the odds of success.  what's wrong with partisan enthusiasm?  why is that to be condemned?

by bored now 2008-05-25 05:19PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Get serious. You deliberately used a graph which visually represented a 9% difference in vote totals (using the Clinton campaign's highly questionable Calvinball math) as a 260% difference and a couple hundred people called you on it.

You couldn't have made a less convincing argument for pointing out flaws in the system if you wrote it in crayon.

by nathanp 2008-05-25 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

I need not point out the irony of Jerome, advising, anyone, to get over anything.Rich.

by tommy 2008-05-25 06:33PM | 0 recs
Jerome

A. You can't claim to be righteously critiquing the system and then endorsing the seating of the MI and FL delegates as is in early posts.

B. The caucuses are democratic, just not in a way that you define it.  In part, they are designed to make sure that the activists have a large role in selecting the nominee.  In a sense, your critique of the caucuses must be based on a belief that the most important element to selecting a nominee is the popular vote.  Is that what you mean?

C. I have to agree that your telling people "get over" something is troubling especially seeing as you continue to utilize an insulting tone.

If your goal is to be a communicator, educator, and journalist, I suggest you adopt a less condescending tone.  It just sounds so . . . elitist.

by chrispy 2008-05-26 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

This site is hilarious.  Every single comment section, it's the exact same people screaming ineffectually at Jerome.  Over and over again.

Let's take out the attendance book and make sure we hear from all the usual suspects in this thread as well.  Don't be shy!

by Steve M 2008-05-25 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

Sign me up.  I'm yet another Obama supporter who thinks it wrong to use misleading graphics.  I'm in the research business; if I used a graph like his, my clients would uniformly call me out.

Jerome's non-apology ought to be surprising.  

by deminva 2008-05-25 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

Because, of course, it's all about that one graph.  Prior to that graph, you didn't see the exact same people making the exact same complaints in every single one of Jerome's posts, that's for sure.  Nope, it's really just about a graph.

by Steve M 2008-05-25 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

One could of course assume there's just some group of people who hate Jerome personally and exist purely to be critical of him. Or one could acknowledge the possibility that Jerome posts in a certain way, with a certain skew, that leaves his discussion open to valid criticism, which is provided by the people who do not share his bias.

Basically, I'm not saying anyone is wrong or right, but just because people continually disagree with what someone is saying doesn't make the person saying it right.

by werehippy 2008-05-25 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

He is also essentially the only poster on the site who does this. I would cringe to be forced to read Alegre's posts at the top of the page every day, and I now cringe when I see he has written one as well.

It's so upsetting, because I respect the guy, but whenever he posts, I know it's going to be about how Obama cannot win. There's no attempt at objectivity whatsoever.

by vcalzone 2008-05-25 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

The lack of objectivity does not bother me in the least. His lack of honesty is another matter.

by tommy 2008-05-25 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

Please point me to a post where he says Obama cannot win.  Seriously, if it's out there I'd love to read it.  He's made the case that Obama will have a more difficult path in the general, and he has promoted arguments for Hillary to make to the supers, but I've never read a post saying Obama is unelectable.

by therealdeal 2008-05-25 11:07PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

I didn't say that he stated Obama cannot win, I said that the idea that Obama cannot win is an underlying theme of numerous posts. As in, he begins from the point of view of suspecting that Obama is unelectable and cherry-picks evidence to support that claim. For God's sake, the guy posted a video of Obama wearing jeans in front of a camera for the sole purpose of jeering at it.

by vcalzone 2008-05-26 04:53AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

That's your interpretation.  I think he views Obama as less likely to win than Hillary, which is something I agree with at this point in time.  That may change, and hopefully the SUSA poll in Ohio is the start of a positive tread in the big battleground states for Obama.

However, I just don't see any proof that he thinks Obama is unelectable.

by therealdeal 2008-05-26 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

Well, there's no proof, of course. Look, Jerome isn't a lunatic and he isn't irrational. And as for Clinton looking more electable than Obama right now, he is 100% correct. Obama is at a vulnerable spot in his campaign. But to harp on that and repeat that point over and over and over again IS irrational.

by vcalzone 2008-05-26 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

Meh.  Politics is not really beholden to reality, it's a battleground of hyperbole.  Both you(and the parent commenter, and most of the rest) and Jerome are acting exactly as you should be, except for the whining.

by Endymion 2008-05-25 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality

Jerome's non-apology is not surprising. He's consistantly been lazy about his posts. There just isn't a whole lot of love in a process he's been attached to emotionally.

it's a sad thing to see this guy continually flounder.

by alex100 2008-05-25 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Indeed, everytime Jerome tries to discuss something of substance about the primay using.....gasp!....numbers.

The Obamacans swarm from their Cheeto lined dens screaming and ranting...gnashing their teeth...rending their clothes and covering themselves with ashes.

Why?

Because they are afraid. Yes, folks....so very, very afraid of the truth.

Obama ran a scummy campaign differing from the sort of thing his hero Reagan might have run or Nixon not at all and they deeply fear that the voters, and more importantly at this point the SDs, will see through this. Indeed, if  you look closely you can see Barky's support melting like a popcicle on a hot sidewalk.

So....

Anything is good. Calling for Clinton to quite before the process is complete.....check, just like SCOTUS in 2000.

Denying the facts as more and more analysis shows that Barry the Glass Jawed can't beat McSame....by attacking any site which links to such.....hey...go after my facebook posts...see how far you get there.

And here on a site dedicated to election analysis telling the site dude, a man with a solid history of progressive blogging far in excess of these nattering nabobs, to shut up....check.

Me?

I'd go through the threads yet again and ban anyone who's trying to repress or disrupt the discussion.

It's not the folks who make good arguments who are the problem.

It's the ones who just want the rest of us to shut up and.....

....FUCKING BELIEVE!

There's a word for such as you.

Fascists, is it.
.

by Pericles 2008-05-25 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

You wouldn't know truth if she was coming at you waving a ten foot sword and screaming "Am gonna whoop your ass!".

For example have you noticed how Jerome takes it for granted that Hillary will win in Puerto Rico?

Certainly it's very possible she will do so -- I give her 50/50 to do so. But given how Clinton herself still seems to believe she has a chance to convince 95% of the remaining superdelegates to go her way and so give her the nomination, "anything can happen" -- don't you think it's a bit contradictory to assume anything about the Puerto Rico primary, let alone build argument about the whole process depending on those assumptions?

by Aris Katsaris 2008-05-25 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Temper Temper.. If you can't stand the heat etc

by telfishbackagain 2008-05-25 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

It's not the numbers, it's the biased presentation and the assertion that the numbers matter.  Even in that case, I think it's important that Jerome make these claims, as this is a forum where we can disagree with them, and we benefit greatly from the act of doing so intelligently(some do so unintelligently, which sucks, but we can disagree with them too, win all around).  As for fascism, firstly, a lesson:  Mussolini's triumph was not that he made the trains run on time, but rather that he convinced people the trains were running on time even though they were not.  Secondly, you calling me a fascist?  Are YOU calling ME a goddamn fascist?  Get broke and go Cheney yourself.

by Endymion 2008-05-25 04:07PM | 0 recs
Godwin's law...

is alive and well.

by you like it 2008-05-25 04:25PM | 0 recs
Unreal

If an Obama supporter posted anything even close to this level, they'd be banned.  I was for significantly less a while ago.  Back when just being an Obama supporter was reason enough around here.

by SpanishFly 2008-05-25 05:12PM | 0 recs
You are so

full of yourself. Get over it. The truth is Obama AND HILLARY supporters have been nasty. Need I remind you of things like Carville's (sp?) "judas" comment. It goes both ways. To sit there and claim a holier than thou attitude about Hillary's campaign is just plain dishonest.  But that's okay, in your small world where every Obama supporter is naive, or brainwashed, or [enter similiar generalized ad hominem attack] I guess it's easy to ignore objectivity and logic.

by SocialDem 2008-05-26 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Jerome, I voted for Clinton too but you need to
LET
IT
GO.

If this was a contest for the popular vote, the candidates would have ALL had different strategies.

No one was complaining about this system before this primary started, and many people on Clinton's team could have done something about it years ago.

All this popular vote talk is just silly sour grapes.

by deepee 2008-05-25 03:27PM | 0 recs
popular vote

If this was a contest for the popular vote, the candidates would have ALL had different strategies.
 

I agree completely.  I just don't understand how posters I admire can convince themselves that its so very o.k. to change the rules of the game after the fact.  

I'm getting a lesson in how leaders can convince their followers that black is white.  That's scary cause these are intelligent educated people we're talking about.

by Destiny 2008-05-25 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Stage three: Bargaining?

by Shaun Appleby 2008-05-25 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

The lines are about three months old, try being original.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-05-25 03:31PM | 0 recs
Far older than three months.

The Kübler-Ross model (a.k.a. the "Five Stages of Grief") is around forty years old, actually.  Its persistence is a testament to its applicability.

by Shem 2008-05-25 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

I take your point and agree that the nomination process is flawed, I'm not happy with the notion of 'superdelegates,' frankly, especially given the historical antecedent which inspired them in principle.  And I certainly have no objection to a discussion of reform, it is probably inevitable and overdue, and note your disclaimer in the diary, it's just that with a certain candidate's path to the nomination hanging by the very slender thread of an argument remarkably similar to the one you seem to be making I'm wondering if the benefits to the party at large would be greater if we had this discussion after the calm and timely resolution of the nomination on which our collective progressive aspirations so strongly depend.  

As you clearly noted, 'Clinton has no basis on which to complain, the un-democratic rules were in place, and everyone knew.'  Yet this discussion inevitably fuels the immediate debate of the 'fairness' of the nomination process, which seems to be provoking divisions within the party, at a time when exacerbating them seems counter-productive.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-05-25 03:53PM | 0 recs
Well said - Thank you

by Destiny 2008-05-25 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

yet they never get old when describing someone who has been recycling the same tired lines since February.

by alex100 2008-05-25 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Saying that the process is broken in and of itself is not that controversial. But the fact that every post you have made recently attacks Obama or Obama's supporters to one degree or another has lost you the perception of objectivity that you might be seeking from this.

by vcalzone 2008-05-25 04:51PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

If that's the standard by which you discredit posters, you'll be ignoring most of MyDD.  In particular, the recent influx of Obama posters can't seem to make a point without insulting the intelligence of Hillary supporters, or calling Hillary a criminal, bitch, phony, etc etc.  Jerome's comments are quite tame in comparison, though he has gotten overly caught up in this at times.

I'd really like to see some more moderation around here, at least in the short term.  Seems like things are getting out of hand, on both sides.

by therealdeal 2008-05-25 11:05PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Agreed about the dearth of civility in many cases, but Jerome feeds the trolls. Every time things start to calm down, he posts something like this that fuels more arguments between the two sides.

Look, I got no problem with the very subjective diaries. That's what they're for. But from the front page bloggers, I expect a lot more restraint and a balanced viewpoint. Particularly from the head of the site.

by vcalzone 2008-05-26 04:59AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Of course we should all remember that Jerome's job is to drive traffic.  He is compelled to post a radical comment whenever things get calm.  THAT is how you draw in more site visitors.  It is a good business tactic if not such a great tactic for civility.

by tominstl 2008-05-26 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Im actually embarrased for you , Jerome. Toxic.

by tommy 2008-05-25 07:03PM | 0 recs
stages

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Let's seriously try to help avoid the depression.  After all, on 1-20-09 Bush leaves the White House!  Keep your Chin up!

by tominstl 2008-05-25 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces
It's kind of like saying "The Braves had to get 12 hits to score 4 runs, while the Diamondbacks got 7 runs on 9 hits.  That's a hardship for the Braves."
 
by haremoor 2008-05-25 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Why not compare the number of pledged delegates to how many times the candidates brushed their teeth, how many minutes passed between showers or something else equally relevant?

Seriously, popular vote isn't a valid metric, and if it were, you should be bitching about how screwed California is in the general.

by mattw 2008-05-25 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

"Who knew there were so many statisticians that read MyDD..."

...keep belittling your readership, man. This site feels like one of those rock bands that has one weak musician, but they can't kick him out because he started the band.

by JoeFelice 2008-05-25 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

That was a kickass comment!

by obscurant 2008-05-25 04:02PM | 0 recs
Oh snap!

Ya know, there's a certain kind of brilliance required to come up with a good metaphor or simile.    I don't have it, but you've got the skills.  Holy crap, a good simile can sting.

by chinapaulo 2008-05-25 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Jerome,

I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt but, as a mathematician, it's clear you're just BSing on this.  Do you even understand why the previous graph was misleading?

by vann 2008-05-25 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces
Of course he does.
What's silly is ignoring the fact that the graph was showing- Hillary had to win almost 1000 more votes to gain a delegate than Obama did.
"The graph was misleading" is simply a red herring.
by skohayes 2008-05-25 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Hillary did not need to win more votes to gain a delegate.

The whole difference is an artifact of the fact that she did terribly in caucus state for a very simple reason -- her team did not compete in them.

Are people supposed to go back and give her extra credit for contests where they didn't bother to put in the effort needed to win?  How is that fair?

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

"Hillary had to win almost 1000 more votes to gain a delegate than Obama did."

Hardly. In each contest she was competing under the same rules. She merely chose to focus her attention only on those contests where she needed to win lots of people (aka Big State Primaries), while Obama spread his attention also to the small states and to the caucuses.

She didn't "have to" do this. She chose it.

by Aris Katsaris 2008-05-25 04:02PM | 0 recs
Reality

Indeed, we can have a debate next year about the justices/injustices inherent in the system.  But doesn't it say something about ability to analyze, plan, and administer an organization when one candidate wins according to the existing rules.  The task at hand is to win a contest for gathering not only the most delegates, but enough to preclude the other candidates from gaining more.  Any other measure is hyperbole.

by tominstl 2008-05-25 03:30PM | 0 recs
indeed...

If Washington and Minnesota had held primaries instead of caucuses- clearly Clinton would have drawn the margin closer and even pulled ahead- just as she did in Oregon and Wisconsin.

/snark

Simply throwing out consideration of the caucus vote, or dismissing it as "undemocratic" is grossly self-serving. It's time to stop blaming the system when you knew how it was played going in, and when no amount of gaming the caucuses would have made those states like Clinton more than they do.

by Casuist 2008-05-25 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: indeed...

Pretty funny you would choose Washington as an example.  Extremely funny, actually.

by Steve M 2008-05-25 03:51PM | 0 recs
as i've pointed out numerous times-

Oregon was a measure of the regional trends of popular support in the event of both candidates contesting a primary. I can't help but feel that your response implies you're behaving as if a certain Washington straw poll has any meaning whatsoever. If you think Clinton was anywhere near the support measured by the "primary" you have no understanding of the state.

by Casuist 2008-05-25 04:00PM | 0 recs
There is no reason why the leader in

delegates is somehow entitled to the nomination.  There is a nomination threshold.  BO cannot win enough pledged delegates to get the nomination - the nomination will be decided by the SDs.

The SDs have to decide whether to give their votes to:
1) the winner of the popular vote - HRC, or
2)the winner of the pledged delegate majority - BO.

There is no reason, other than RWCM bias and clamoring from some parts of the blogosphere (kos, huff po, tpm), that this cannot be discussed openly and calmly.

Frankly, I think the SDs should give the nomination to the popular vote leader, HRC.  This is bolstered by the strong performance predictions she has in the electoral college.

by Molee 2008-05-25 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no reason why the leader in

probably....


There is no reason, other than RWCM bias and clamoring from some parts of the blogosphere (kos, huff po, tpm), that this cannot be discussed openly and calmly.

Frankly, I think the SDs should give the nomination to the popular vote leader, HRC.

...probably the reason is that you insist upon having said conversation dishonestly- by introducing a raw sum of caucuses, open primaries and closed primaries that has no significant meaning or accurate measure of the popular will. Then, having chosen that metric you thereafter include the results of straw polls to make a false allegation (that Clinton has won/will win the "popular vote").

You don't get to decide arbitrarily which measures are a valid means of deciding the nomination in a way that favors your candidate... particularly not after the process has run its course.

Fortunately, the superdelegates have generally not appeared to buy the "popular vote" nonsense to the extent the media has been willing to adopt it.

by Casuist 2008-05-25 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no reason why the leader in

You are so sure she will be the winner of the popular vote.

by sweet potato pie 2008-05-25 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no reason why the leader in

Let's all take a deep breath now and meditate on why the SDs exist.....

Okay, open your eyes and:

Dukakis

McGovern

John W. Davis

Now what do all these fine upstanding Democratic candidates for POTUS have in common?

Yep, they all be losers.

And if Barry can't pull up to McSame between now and the convention I'd say the SDs will have to act.

Or would you really, really rather have McSame?
.

by Pericles 2008-05-25 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no reason why the leader in

Yes

by telfishbackagain 2008-05-25 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no reason why the leader in

By your logic, we shouldn't even have a primary at all. The DNC members and Democratic elected officials should just get together in a room and pick our nominee for us.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-05-25 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no reason why the leader in

If I recall correctly, John W. Davis was nominated on the 103rd ballot as a compromise candidate, after none of the other competing candidates could win a majority.  According to Wikipedia, he actually won virtually no popular votes in the Democratic primaries that year.  So your argument about the supers needing to override the will of the pledged delegates in order to nominate someone "electable" just falls flat there--that's exactly what happened with Davis, and he lost big time.  

Dukakis was far in a way the winner of the pledged delegates, and he was also considered the most electable at the time of the convention.  He was exactly the sort of candidate that SDs are supposed to love.

As for McGovern, the only serious alternative at the 1972 convention was Hubert Humphrey, and he had already lost to Nixon once before.  It is unlikely the Hube would've won that year either.

by Captain Bathrobe 2008-05-25 06:46PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no reason why the leader in

The popular vote does not determine the nominee. It was never intended to determine the nominee. To say that it should do so now is grossly unfair.

There are valid points about the problematic nature of caucuses, but the fact is that the caucus states held their contests in good faith, with assurances from the DNC that they would not lose any influence over the process for doing so. To turn around now and say that the popular vote should determine the nominee would greatly reduce the influence of the caucus states, and would amount to screwing them over after the fact, since if popular vote was the metric, they would have held primaries instead.

For all that Hillary supporters have been complaining about the "disenfranchisement" of Florida and Michigan, it seems many of them have no problem at all with retroactively disenfranchising over a dozen states.

And also, even among states that held primaries, there are gross discrepancies in popular vote, because of the closed vs. semi-open vs. open primaries. New York and Texas are very close in population, but Texas had about 1.5 times as many votes cast in the Democratic primary this year as New York did. Why? Because Texas had an open primary and New York's was closed. To change the metric to popular vote now would be unfair to closed primary states as well.

The metric is delegates, period. Stop trying to change it.

by Angry White Democrat 2008-05-25 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no reason why the leader in

She's not winning the popular vote.  

Don't worry.  This time next year we'll have our country back and all will be grand.

by Please 2008-05-25 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no reason why the leader in

If  the popular vote was the measure used then Obama would have campaigned more in Cal, NY, ILL etc

Hillary was already campaigning heavily in the large states because they were delegate rich.

You can't seriously believe that it's o.k. to change the metric of winning after the game has already been played.

by Destiny 2008-05-25 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: There is no reason why the leader in

Hillary Clinton is not the popular vote leader.

Barack Obama is.

The people in Michigan and Florida DID NOT VOTE.

Their votes DO NOT EXIST.

It sucks for the people of Florida, but the blame for these election shenanigans should go to the Republican controlled legislature of the state of Florida.  

Stop counting them.

by Reluctantpopstar 2008-05-26 12:52AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Another silly piece is that there's virtually nothing in the American system that's truly one person-one vote-equal representation.

Yet the diarist and others seem to that a purely equal system = democracy. No system of that type exists in the world and certainly not in the U.S.

The Senate represents states of very different population sizes, with 2 Senators each.  And originally the people didn't vote for the Senate. It was the state legislatures, and that system got changed less than 100 years ago.

The House is roughly proportional population-wise, but because of gerrymandering the % of votes cast for each party doesn't match up well to the % House seats held by each party.

The president is picked by the electoral college, which as we know, can deliver a result at variance with the popular vote. And even if they are in congruence, the % of electoral votes received and the % of popular votes is always out of alignment.

And then have a court system in which members are placed due to the decisions of two bodies that are not proportionally representative -- the president and Senate.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Okay, so we fixed the Senate part. Sort of. Two Senators per state regardless of number of votes needed to be elected in any given state is not exactly proportionally representative. But it sounds like you really like the current status of representation not based on popular vote. Is that so?

by Jeter 2008-05-25 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

It's not a question of like or dislike.

There is NO system of democracy in the world where representation is precisely proportional to votes.

So to claim that a delegate selection system isn't democratic if there isn't proportionality misunderstands how democracies actually operate.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

I would like to see an argument that the primary process should actually be more democratic.  Apart from the narrative aspect, where we go into a GE open to accusations of being 'undemocratic Democrats,' I fail to see where a nominating process must allow itself to be beholden to LIVs and anti-partisans.  The goal of the primary process is to arrive at a candidate who can best execute the Party's agenda, to arrive at a candidate who is as much of a risk electorally as we can still win with.  If winning was all that mattered, we'd just give the Dem nomination to McCain and have him run as a Union ticket--automatic victory.  We know we don't want that, so why should the nomination process be so open that a less extreme version of that scenario might actually manifest?  To be clear, I am not likening any current Democratic candidate to McCain or the neo-cons, but: if the funding materializes, Lieberman will run for President in 2012(I predict, I predict).  

by Endymion 2008-05-25 03:44PM | 0 recs
:More reality based posts on the primary process

How can you count Michigan when Obama followed the rules he and Clinton agreed to and was not even on the ballot there.  This method of Clinton math also disregards the votes of every voter in the caucus states.  Many of those do not even report individual votes........someone has swallowed the warped Clinton math ..hook, line and sinker.

by DemoDan 2008-05-25 03:46PM | 0 recs
reality

by DemoDan 2008-05-25 03:46PM | 0 recs
caucus issues

1. You don't know how many votes were cast in the caucus states since some states don't release them, so how the heck can the graph capture them?

2. If caucus states thought that popular vote would be the metric (which is is not, according to the DNC rules), the might have decided to hold primaries instead.

3. Caucuses have some advantages for democracy because they are a vehicle by which people are recruited to be more involved in the political party and in campaigning.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

As others have said, HRC damn well knew the rules when this started (why would she have spent so much time and $ in IA if this were not so among other things) and you can't change them.  If you want to try to change them for the future, fine, but not for this election.

by skywaker9 2008-05-25 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Jerome, there are some good points in your comments, but as usual, the fact that your analysis is so pro-Clinton and anti-Obama means a lot of people on the other side won't listen to some of the (valid) points you have. For instance, I haven't heard you address in your critique one of the most undemocratic aspects of the way the campaign unfolded this year, which was the huge built in advantage Clinton started out with superdelegates. People forget about it now that Obama has taken the lead but through the early contests she had a 100-some lead which at the time made me think Obama would need a miracle to catch up through the actual voting. Isn't that kind of front-loading of the process in favor of the establishment candidate a much worse impediment to "democracy" than any kind of adherence to the electoral system?

by animated 2008-05-25 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

I agree 100 supers supported Clinton before a vote was cast, now that's democratic. Not a peep from Jerome.

Crickets

by telfishbackagain 2008-05-25 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts

If you are worried about democracy, lets whine about giving states with late primaries more delegates

As far as the caucus system goes, call it undemocratic if you wish. But primaries largely measure popularity at a designated point in time. Unlike a GE, primaries are spread out over a substantial period of time.  [See Obama and Clinton results from NH through WV and OR]

Caucuses measure support among party loyalists and show organizational strength.  

by kmwray 2008-05-25 03:58PM | 0 recs
Whining about it now won't

change anything.

What's so funny about this is that one of Hillary's advisers, Harold Ickes, was one of the writers of this whole process so I just don't get the Hillary campaign and her supporters getting upset about this process.

by puma 2008-05-25 03:59PM | 0 recs
I just want this to be over

I just want this to be over. I am probably an oddity in the fact that I am a passionate Obama supporter, but don't care if it's a Obama-Clinton ticket.

In fact, I wouldn't care if it were a Clinton-Obama ticket. My full support, money, phones canvassing, would be behind either ticket 100%.

I just wish more supporters from both sides felt the same way. Both candidates have earned our respect in more than a couple ways.

by DaveDial 2008-05-25 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

The Democratic primaries were never designed to be completely democratic.

They were designed to choose the strongest nominee, therefore, there are other factors that go into it more than just each persons vote.

A caucus tests a campaign and its supporters' determination and organizing power. Clearly, Clinton failed that part of the test and Obama won easily. That's a factor in the nomination battle. While Obama barely won the will of the people, he clearly outshined her in his ability to run a campaign. And finally, the superdelegates will ratify that decision.

At the end of the day, Obama has won everywhere, and while Clinton was a close 2nd, she was just that, a second place finisher.

by BlueGAinDC 2008-05-25 04:01PM | 0 recs
More reality based posts on the primary process

It is time for even the most kerflunked among us to leave Hillaryland and return to Realityland. He won a brilliantly executed campaign.  She blew an almost sure thing, most liklely because of arrogance. Get over it J. This is becoming embarassing.

by NYWoman 2008-05-25 04:04PM | 0 recs
Jerome got pwned by his readers

That graph was bogus.  If you can't understand why then it is because you don't want to.

by Blue Neponset 2008-05-25 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Sure, it was just an innocent thing to put that non-standard graph on the front page, one that just happened to show an apparently huge disparity between voters/delegate in HRC's favor

Completely without any agenda other than future election reform

How could I have thought otherwise?

by fightbull 2008-05-25 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

I'd treat this crusade against caucuses more seriously if all these "caucuses are evil" converts had made these arguments BEFORE Hillary Clinton lost all the caucus states.  

Caucuses, last time I checked, have been around for about 200 years.  

The Iowa caucus, the traditional kick-off to the presidential primary season, has long been a revered part of the presidential electoral process.  But, now, just because Clinton's campaign made a huge mistake by ignoring the caucus states, you want to get rid it?  

by ProfessorReo 2008-05-25 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Caucuses are based on town meetings, which took place before the American revolution throughout New England. Tocqueville, who wrote the long acclaimed Democracy in America thought they were examples of Americans' commitments to equality, participation and democracy.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 04:25PM | 0 recs
Oh please

If all of the caucuses had been primaries, Obama's margin of victory in these states would have been lower, but his share of the PV, in raw numbers, would have been considerably higher (unless one thinks Clinton would have won these states instead, which no one really believes).

If Clinton had pulled ahead during the past two months, do you want to know the big debate we'd be having now?  Did Operation Chaos give her the nomination (ie. this 5% of voters who showed up during the Ohio/Texas primaries and later who said they were Republican, voting for Clinton, but were going to vote for McCain in the general).

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-05-25 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

There were people who told you this is where you're leading the site and they were belittled or banned.  Okay, now you're reaping what you've sowed so stop complaining about the lack of a substantial debate on these pages.  This is what you wanted, this is what you got.

by Piuma 2008-05-25 04:11PM | 0 recs
an artifact in the data

A curious fact is that, though Clinton and Obama are about tied in the popular vote, it takes about 960 more votes for Clinton to gain a single pledged delegate, as it has for Obama (overall).

This is just an artifact of the fact that Clinton and her campaign did an awful job in both the caucus states and in figuring out how to get delegates from the congressional districts.  

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 04:18PM | 0 recs
Want to know why this place is like this?

Who knew there were so many statisticians that read MyDD, or that they had problems comprehending an Y axis, clearly numbered, that doesn't begin at 0!

Want to know why people on this site have so much contempt for anyone who disagrees with them? Read that sentence.

by Travis Stark 2008-05-25 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Want to know why this place is like this?

That was pretty obnoxious - To think that we "don't comprehend" the graph, instead of having real problems with the graph itself.

Those who run mydd should be grateful that so many quality people take time to comment, people with very high level statistical and graphical training. Instead, there's that patronizing tone.

BTW, a truly great book in this area is Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. But all his work is fabulous: http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 04:23PM | 0 recs
Or to put it another way

Who knew you had an educated readership that would notice when you were blatantly manipulating the presentation of the data?

To which you respond by insulting your readers. Classy.

by Purplepeople 2008-05-26 07:10AM | 0 recs
they knew how to strategize

So the Obama folks actually knew how to crate strategies under the existing rules?  Do you think that therefore Clinton deserves some extra points to make up for their strategic incompetence.

They should have had and used someone like this:

Obama had a brilliant guy working for him on delegate allocation, someone who knew how to help them create a strategy to deal with the actually existing rules.

The bearded, no-profile 50-year-old lawyer's central role in Obama's likely nomination is emblematic of the depth of Obama's preparation for the 2008 campaign.

/It's an art Obama employed to his benefit in states from Minnesota to Virginia, where a combination of strategic choices and powerful on-the-ground organizing allowed him to run up the big lead in delegates that has taken him to the brink of the nomination.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/050 8/10249.html

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 04:20PM | 0 recs
If Hillary

Had not been so arrogant as to assume she already won the nomination before the first votes had been cast, we would NEVER EVER have heard about how undemocratic the process is. This is so sad.

by highgrade 2008-05-25 04:22PM | 0 recs
Insulting a bunch of your readers

is a great way to keep up the reputation and quality of this site.

You know as well as everyone that nobody was having a problem comprehending your graph. Our problem was that the y axis was moved up (way up in fact) in an attempt to make the difference between the two look greater than it really was.

Considering that many of us have always felt that this was a place where we could avoid the MSM's practice of twisting information it was sad to see that on this site.

by JDF 2008-05-25 04:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Insulting a bunch of your readers

Unfortunatly, Its a little late for that.

by tommy 2008-05-25 07:15PM | 0 recs
I was waiting for Jerome to apologize...

All day I waited for Jerome to show that he understands that he fell for the oldest trick in the book on deceptive data visualization.  Tufte wrote the Bible on this.  It's in any good text on Critical Thinking.  

But instead Jerome proposed that we have trouble teasing the truth out of data that is deliberately or negligently represented in a deceptive manner.  Jerome: we shouldn't have to.

by albaum 2008-05-25 07:50PM | 0 recs
Your first sentence is very condescending...

...and you act as if pointing out the clear flaws in a graph is somehow the fault of the reader. That said, I'd like to take a shot at clarifying the issue.

In a bar or pie graph, our eyes tend to focus on the total area. The original graph, by not starting the vertical axis at zero, gives the impression of an overwhelming difference in favor of Obama because the Clinton bar is almost three times the area of the Obama bar. If you make the base 10600 instead of 10200, the difference in area becomes five-fold. To avoid distortion, the baseline should be chosen at some non-arbitrary point, like zero when the data consists of counts.

As for the primary vs caucus debate, I agree there's plenty of room for improvement. That discussion isn't meaningful for this cycle because the rules, for better or worse, were set in advance and everybody knew about them... or should have.

by laviolet 2008-05-25 04:23PM | 0 recs
Yes.

Even if he wants to focus on the numeric difference by emphasizing the  y-axis between 10,200 and 12,000, the graph ought to at least feature an axis break showing clearly that most of the data between 0 and 10,000 is being excluded.  If that were how the graph were designed, I'd have no beef with it.

Unfortunately, Mr. Jay Cost created a very sloppy and unprofessional graph and Jerome made a poor decision to use it to try and prove his point.

There is no excuse for the graph not starting at zero...none.  The graph is sloppy at best and intentionally misleading at worst.

by you like it 2008-05-25 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Your first sentence is very condescending...

http://www.urbandictionary.com

1.trolling     

Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it's the internet and, hey, you can.

2.trolling    

Trolling is the act of purposefully antagonizing other people on the internet, generally on message boards.

3.Trolling    

To use the internet to start problems, insult, or hurt others. An action that only usually affects the person trolling.
Usually a very bored, lonely person with no friends. Or a punk ass kid.

by Nomo Clintons 2008-05-25 05:02PM | 0 recs
No, it is because she lost the West

and the West happens to have caucuses.  

by John DE 2008-05-25 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: No, it is because she lost the West

She also lost Maine big, a very white, poor state, that has caucuses.

by politicsmatters 2008-05-25 05:02PM | 0 recs
Has this happened before?

I can't remember a primary season where the winner of the elected delegates was not also the popular vote winner. Most primaries end up with an early winner who then runs unopposed. Does anyone know when this previously occurred?

One other measure: Hillary won the clear majority of self identified Democrats. Obama got a lot of Dem for a day votes. Have we ever nominated someone who did not get a majority of party members? Or not nominated the candidate with the most Dem votes?

by DaleA 2008-05-25 04:26PM | 0 recs
Kerry voters vs. nominal &quot;Democrats&quot;

Yes, but Hillary also clearly won more "nominal" Democrats that voted for Bush and Obama won more "real" Democrats. By that I mean voters who actually vote Democratic and aren't just registered Democratic because of local reasons. In WV and KY 30% of Democrats voted for Bush. Those aren't real Democrats. Those Republicans who haven't yet changed their registration because local politics is dominated by local Democratic parties stretching to the 19th century.

A better indicator is: how many Kerry voters did each candidate win? I bet Obama won more.

It's worth noting that most Bush Democrats live in the South.  A strategy reliant upon Bush Democrats alone is VERY risky. These are cultural conservatives to the extreme. They don't like Obama because of his exoticness. But they'll go with McCain over Hillary Clinton easily.

by elrod 2008-05-25 06:43PM | 0 recs
also, when the Clintons earlier advocated

winner-take-all, which gives 0 delegates to someone even if they get 49%, we rightly think this is all just spin.  

by John DE 2008-05-25 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts

Can someone direct me to the reality based post?

Or does this site suck at headlines, as well as graphs?

by DeskHack 2008-05-25 04:28PM | 0 recs
More &quot;facts&quot; from Jerome. LOL!

It isn't a hardship/handicap at all.  This implies that those kinds of elections would naturally favor Obama.  But the FACT is the only reason they did favor him was because he put the time and infrastructure in place to make it his strength.  There isn't anything wrong with caucuses, just with a candidate who blew them off.  Hillary had unlimited cash and the huge benefit of her NAME.  That's something real and tangible, not this silliness about how each got their delegates.

PS.  Glad to see your graphs are more honest.  Guess I'd love to see the raw data because I'm sure there's a lot most folks would disagree with.  Then again, I really don't care that much.  Obama won by the rules of the game as posted.  End of story.

by SpanishFly 2008-05-25 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Jerome, Hillary recommends the Republican method, by which she says she would have won long ago.  Could you graph the vote/delegate take in that case so we can see how beneficial this rule would be?

by merican 2008-05-25 04:40PM | 0 recs
on the other hand

About 80% of Obama's pledged delegate lead comes from caucus contests.

It's not easy defending caucuses because on balance they are inferior to primaries.  But they exist for a reason and they do have some positives.  They help build party infrastructure and a core of activists within States.

The increased infrastructure and activism can pay off in a general election.  Look at the caucus States that are swing States:  Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota and Nebraska (in 2 of the five CD's).  Let's put Maine and Washington aside as reliable Blue States and Idaho, Alaska and Wyoming as reliable Red States.  Hawaii and New Mexico were really primaries.

The structure that was built in the caucus swing States will help us turn these States blue in November- especially in Iowa and Nevada.

In total, the caucus States only comprised about  13% of the total pledged delegates.  What's the big deal about having a few caucus States mixed in with mostly primaries?  We want a strong nominee but we also want a strong Party.  

by mboehm 2008-05-25 04:40PM | 0 recs
right

the 9% 'hardship' being that the Clinton campaign didn;t bother (or wasn't capable) of putting together the grass roots organizing neccessary to win caucus states.

All this proves is that Clinton was a bad candidate.

Period.

by brooklyngreenie 2008-05-25 04:47PM | 0 recs
It's Called Field Position

Some football teams score more points per offensive yards gained.  These teams tend to have attributes that allow them to do this: good defenses, strong special teams, accurate and strong-legged kickers.

Basically, they know the rules of the game and plan accordingly.

Then there are other teams who watch the celebrations in the end zone and grumble, "Yeah, but ... we gained more yards!".

In football it's called field position.  In politics it's called efficiency.  In both cases, players should know the rules.  If they don';t, they have no one to blame but themselves.  And if they get outmanuevered or outplayed, they have no one to blame but themselves (which, of course, won't necessarily stop them from blaming anyone but themselves).

by Collideascope 2008-05-25 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality?

must...dig...deeper...hole.

by haystax calhoun 2008-05-25 05:00PM | 0 recs
i'm sorta amazed...

i would've think that people would be impressed by the fact that the obama campaign (which some people assumed would be the amateurs in this race) figured out the rules, looked at the map, and gained the only indicators of success more efficiently than their competitors.

yet, hillary's failures were predictable.  she's always been an underperformer electorally.  al gore, who didn't spend a cent in new york, got more votes in 2000 and spitzer, who had more competition than hillary's incredibly weak challenger, got more votes than hillary in 2006.  it really should be no surprise that hillary has to work harder than her competitors to win.  i'd assume it's the natural result of her historical negatives (for a non-incumbent).

given my interest in actually winning the presidency, i'm glad that democrats have chosen a nominee who workers smarter, not harder, who understands the process and does what it takes to win.  but that's just me.  like i said, i want to win.  i understand if other people have different priorities...

by bored now 2008-05-25 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: i'm sorta amazed...

I couldn't agree with this comment MORE. So instead of writing one of my own I will just reply to this. Kudos.

Hillary lost not because she was a woman or she was treated unfairly or that the rules were stacked against her.

No she lost because she was simply out gamed period. It is like watching UNC and Duke play basketball. Someone is going to win and someone is going to lose. Game was close all through the second half. Both teams are good and great. But again someone has to win and someone has to lose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WsPmZ1zD eA&feature=related

Simply watch the video. Obama played everywhere.

Hillary's by Feb 5th only big states matter campaign lost.

by southerndemnut 2008-05-25 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: i'm sorta amazed...

That's the first time I've seen that video.  Mojo'd.

by RussTC3 2008-05-25 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

The rules are undemocratic, but she has no basis to complain...  Say what?  Don't give me the "that's the way the game this year is gonna be played" drivel.  It needs to be fair.  I don't care what MSNBC, Drudge, and Michelle Obama think, if Hillary wins the vote, she ought to be the nominee.

That's what we call a democracy.... remember?

by krj47 2008-05-25 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Liar...she did not, will not, win popular vote.

by tommy 2008-05-25 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

No, popular vote is not a valid metric in this situation. It will be irrelevant when Obama wins it.

Ask yourself if you would have been up in arms demanding that the House of Representatives override the Electoral College if Kerry had gotten 100,000 more votes in Ohio, winning the electoral college while losing the popular vote. If you wouldn't have, ask yourself why you now think that the popular vote should override the legitimate system.

by letterc 2008-05-26 02:13AM | 0 recs
A great chart-filled tap-dance, but

not accurate.

The issue is NOT how many votes necessary to obtain delegates, but the states in which each candidate chose to campaign.

State by state the delegates were equally divided by Congressional District.  Delegates were awarded depending upon how a candidate performed in each district, and the weighting was accurate.

So, yes, Senator Obama received a larger percentage of delegates state-by-state because he won in 33 of the 51 contests so far.  Lumping them all together and simply dividing by 51 is mathematically correct, but incorrect for the process and somewhat disengenuous.

by Eman 2008-05-25 05:31PM | 0 recs
You can't compare votes from caucuses to votes

from primaries. They are two different things.

Caucuses are designed to be cheap and to have a relatively smaller turnout. Everyone has to be there at the same time and spend a few hours.

Caucuses presume that those who participate are representative of those who don't.

It costs less to do because it requires fewer locations and ballot counting.

Primaries on the other hand are designed to accommodate large turnouts and cost more.

Many states, particularly smaller states chose to use a caucus to save money. In most nomination battles most primaries haven't matter much especially in small states. That is why many state chose caucuses.

For example, Obama wins Hawaii (20 delegates) by over 50 points in a caucus and he only gains 19,000 votes. Hillary wins the Rhode Island  (21 Delegates)primary by 20 points and she gains 33,000 votes. The popular vote margins are skewed because caucuses get less of a turn out, even though the contest represents roughly the same number of voters.

Obama won 10 of the 11 caucuses in this nomination process. That would hurt him in the popular vote count.

You can't use the popular vote measure for anything meaningful unless all of the contests were primaries. That is why the delegate count is the only fair measure.

by Sam Wise Gingy 2008-05-25 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: More biased posts on the primary process

"There is little doubt, after FL & MI get resolved & PR votes, that Clinton will lead the popular vote, yet, she will trail in pledged delegates."

The last part of that sentence is correct, but not the first.  It's entirely possible that Obama could lead in pledged, super and popular votes.  What isn't in doubt is that Clinton lost.

What also isn't in doubt is that Obama ran a campaign to WIN the election and Clinton did not.

And lastly, regardless of the rules, the Obama campaign was going to fight to win.  What I mean by this is that had the rules been different, for instance you have to win the big states, the Obama campaign would have put forth another strategy.

Moral of the story?  You can't change the rules to help your candidate because it works in reverse as well.  Who's to say Obama couldn't have done better had he taken a different strategy?

by RussTC3 2008-05-25 05:40PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

That's pretty significant, when you consider that it represents about a 9% hardship for Clinton, or a 9% handicap for Obama, in comparison.

It's not a "hardship".  They both had equal access to those voters.  The reality of the situation is that Obama was more efficient in his campaign and in his appeal that Clinton was.  She doesn't have to work any harder for voters than he does.

Trying to frame this is Clinton having some inherent disadvantage is pretty ridiculous.  If anything, she had the inherent advantage.

Now, Jay doesn't present the delegate votes by caucus states, but its clear that this is where Obama owes his lead too.

Dude, hire a copy editor or something.  "it's" and "to".  And that's ignoring the ending of a sentence with a preposition.  It's just embarrassing.

by ChrisKaty 2008-05-25 05:44PM | 0 recs
Process Needs Repair

But your diary seems to me to be more of a thinly veiled argument to de-legitimize the presumptive nominee than to conduct a comprehensive review of the strengths and weaknesses of the system.

Strangely, you seem to only focus on the areas which Clinton has left for making an argument to the supers (PV, which is a stretch, and EV, which is a good one) or where Clinton failed, caucuses.

Yet you do not speak to the calendar (which is my biggest issue - shorten it so factions dont have time to grow and harden like now), supers declaring before the contest has begun (I hate this), which states go first (I dont like the Iowa/NH stranglehold), etc.

So its no wonder people see right through your attempt 'to dispassionately and without bias discuss primary process reform' and call you out on your attempt to de-ligitimize the presumptive nominee and play sour grapes for the loser.  Its sadly obvious.

Any discussion like this at this time is not helpful, especially when its so brazenly selective.  However, if you had the broader discussion on all primary process areas people would love it and welcome it and the discussion would be lively (maybe a four/five part series each on a different aspect of the process).  But thats not what your piece is meant for no matter how hard you try and defend it a such.

Your diary is a 'Clinton lost because of this so we need to change this so Clinton would have won and therefore Clinton should be the nominee because we should have done it this way from the beginning' piece.

by pattonbt 2008-05-25 05:48PM | 0 recs
If the Causcus states had primaries instead...

...Hillary would be down another couple hundred thousand votes.

It's just as reasonable to make that argument as the dumbass ones Hillary and her supporters are making.

by Hesiod Theogeny 2008-05-25 05:51PM | 0 recs
Haiku Sonnet For Dead-Ender Jerome

Jerome belittles
his readers in a childish
non-apology;

But the fact remains
that Hillary's assumptions
no longer apply.

The rules of the race
were in place ages ago.
ninety-two as now.

Clinton won before -
caucuses and primaries -
no complaints heard then.

But Hillary now
loses where Bill won, so it's
undemocratic.

Sad, mad, sore losers
like Jerome create McCain's
opportunities.

by Southjaw 2008-05-25 05:55PM | 0 recs
The popular vote is a joke

Obama leads in it and will lead in it.

sorry, but soviet-style elections where canidates can not campaign do not meet international standards and DO NOT COUNT.

Period

It's disgusting that anyone would argue that an election where people WERE TOLD AHEAD OF TIME THAT IT WOULD NOT COUNT should count.

Apparently it's totally ok to dismiss everyone who didn't vote because the election didn't count.

I call bullshit

by CaptainMorgan 2008-05-25 05:59PM | 0 recs
The process needs

to be overhauled. I doubt that the current scenario was considered valid when it was put in place.

by Coldblue 2008-05-25 06:00PM | 0 recs
Reality based post?

This is a race for delegates, but the popular vote can be useful to determine the correlation between the party's choice and an ideal democratic choice.

However, the popular vote is only useful if it accurately measures the popular will.  

Zero support in MI for Obama is not an accurate measurement of the popular will.

An honest presentation of the popular vote would need to try to account for this.  One could estimate his support, for example, giving a large share of the "uncommitted" to his total.  

However, I suspect that an honest presentation is not the intention here, since this would alter your results and undermine your explicit argument about reform and your implicit argument about Clinton's legitimacy.  

Or do you not really see the flaws in arguing for a popular vote total that would indicate zero support for Obama in MI?

by Wes 2008-05-25 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Who knew there were so many statisticians that read MyDD,

Who knew anyone cared about honesty?
or that they had problems comprehending an Y axis, clearly numbered, that doesn't begin at 0!

I feel the need to randomly insult them.

Just give it up, dude.  You lose.

by neeborMolgula 2008-05-25 06:35PM | 0 recs
Popular vote is meaningless

With so many different voting laws from state to state - some allow open and some closed primaries; some are caucuses; some counted their caucuses and others didn't; some had both a caucus and a primar; some were not sanctioned by the DNC - there is no meaningful way to account for the popular vote. Period.

If there had been on uniform process determined by popular votes, the candidates would have taken VERY different strategies. Obama would have campaigned in Illinois to run up the score, for example.

by elrod 2008-05-25 06:47PM | 0 recs
There is NOTHING WRONG with the Caucus system

The problem lies within the rules some state parties operate their caucuses under.

The difference between a caucus and a primary is that a state runs the primary and the party runs a caucus. A caucus can be identical to a primary in all aspects except the party runs it instead of the state.

And there is nothing wrong with that. As an example, I point to New Mexico. IT may take longer to determine results, but it costs less.

by Walt Starr 2008-05-25 06:48PM | 0 recs
Reality in Florida

If you really think that Sen. Clinton is the be all end all down there, check this out.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/stor y/38290.html

This is what re-alignment is about.   When was the last time you heard electrify and Democrat in the same sentence when talking about the Cuban vote?  Do you really think that Obama will keep Florida out of play if he gets the Cuban-American community behind him?   Do you really think that Sen. Clinton can win them over when they still all remember Elian Gonzalez?

The real truth is you can never accurately ever gauge the popular votes in Florida or Michigan because there was no legitimate election.  The candidates all agreed not to campaign and the voters were told it would not count.

This is not to say that they should not have some sort of voice in Denver, (Especially Florida, where it was the GOP that screwed over the Dems)  but lets not get carried away with their popular vote totals.

by monkeyga 2008-05-25 07:06PM | 0 recs
20/20 Hindsight is Pathetic

If Clinton's arrogance hadn't led her to neglect campaigning and party building, she'd have won. If you claim caucuses are undemocratic, I didn't see it until she lost. The fact is, she had no ground game and no plan for one. What does that say about her ability to proactively manage a national agenda?

It says that her people ran perhaps the most incompetent and ridiculously flawed campaign in the history of presidential politics. Unless of course you consider Giuliani.

The progressive wing of the party worked for Obama, won the caucuses for him via grassroots organization and voter turnout/registration campaigns, and will soon win him the presidency.

by mikeplugh 2008-05-25 07:12PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

I think there's a compelling argument that each state has the right to determine how to apportion its delegation, so long as the method used is in compliance with Federal and State voting rights and civil rights laws.

We've created two very different structures - first, a primary election that is designed to shift attention from state to state, forcing candidates to address the problems of the entire country.  Secondly, we have a general election that is basically winner-take-all.  The general election needs to be changed to a national popular vote system, but so long as we continue to emphasize the state-by-state "retail politics" of the primaries, there's an argument that each state party has a legitimate interest in crafting its own systems, insofar as the systems comply with the above laws, as well as principals of equal protection.

by auronrenouille 2008-05-25 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Er, principles.  I'm tired.

by auronrenouille 2008-05-25 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Wow, if one just looks through the list of so-called relevant replies, they need only see the long list of logical fallacies with assorted comments repeated ad nauseum.

I looked at the charts - it's true that if one did not read the Y-axis that they could easily be deceived into believing that Clinton had a relative significant disadvantage (and yes, it is still significant, just not as significant as you might be lead to believe). Jerome's fault?  No, he simply relayed information from another author that he found interesting.  Is it an inherently biased action that he chose this information?  Yes, but it would be damn foolish for any Obama supporter here to pretend that they do not favor the rules because they currently favor their candidate.  If the shoe was on the other foot, how many of you would be calling for a change in the rules to help Obama?

Just like black is the new pink, subjective is the new objective when it comes to politics.  So placate yourself with the knowledge that the math and the rules favor Obama, but don't play holier than thou - if Clinton was emerging the victor, how many of your same names would be attached to posts claiming that something was wrong in the system?

Now to the actual point: Yes, Jerome, I agree that 2012 or 2016 needs some exceptionally careful consideration before we proceed.

by ejintx 2008-05-25 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Nope, sorry, I favor Obama because he is winning under the existing system. If Clinton were winning under the existing system, I'd favor her. The difference between them on policy is small, but the difference between them on campaigning skill has been demonstrated to be pretty big. I want a candidate whose campaign staff understand how the election system works, who understand the importance of massive GotV operations, who have demonstrated the ability to turn out the difficult youth vote, who have demonstrated the ability to shorten a 10 point gap to a 2 point gap (Texas). If Clinton had shown herself capable of running that campaign, Obama would be out of the race by now, and I'd be a happy Clinton supporter.

I ignore the flaws in his health plan, and I'd ignore the war-hawks in her foreign policy team. I want a Democratic president. How about you?

by letterc 2008-05-26 02:19AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

There is little doubt, after FL & MI get resolved & PR votes, that Clinton will lead the popular vote, yet, she will trail in pledged delegates. That's entirely due to the caucus system in place in certain states. Clinton has no basis on which to complain, the un-democratic rules were in place, and everyone knew, but it does point to something that needs to be changed.

I do sense a different tone here, Jerome, and I'm hopeful that you are becoming more reasonable.  The problem is that simply referring to the 'popular vote' in the context of the Democratic Party's nomination process is dishonest.  Using the words 'popular vote' in this context is misleading because there is no such thing.  You can't just pretend that you can add up caucus attendance and primary votes as if they were the same thing because they're not!  The popular vote in the national presidential election (which is what 99% of Americans think of when they hear the term 'popular vote') isn't even close to the same thing as this fantasy metric.

As for votes-per-delegate, someone above on this thread nailed it when he or she pointed out that the delegates that could be gotten for fewer warm bodies (ie. the ones in the caucus states) could have just as easily been won by Clinton.  She just didn't want them because they were in states that "didn't matter."  It's not Obama's fault that he decided to go after these delegates.  Considering Clinton's overwhelming advantage with the party machine that could have sewn up these 'un-democratic' caucuses in a heartbeat, one can only point to incompetence within the Clinton campaign on a truly grand scale.

by chinapaulo 2008-05-25 07:56PM | 0 recs
Ah

I was starting to miss the front-pager sarcasm towards readers.  

Shall we repost the MyDD guidelines, or is the truce over already?

by mffarrow 2008-05-25 07:59PM | 0 recs
Yes

Let's just have one, national, mail-in-your-ballot primary, with very serious restrictions on how much money candidates can accept to run in, and spend on, the primary.  Let's make it very, very, very democratic.

by kaleidescope 2008-05-25 08:00PM | 0 recs
The Real Reality

What if a GOP controlled state (Gov/State House/State Senate) sets a primary date that the state Democratic party despises?  Should that state Democratic party not be free and clear to hold a caucus on the day of their choosing to ensure they are not sanctioned any delegates by the DNC?  (MI and FL can feel free to jump in on this one!)

As for caucuses versus primaries--let the states decide.  We're Democrats!  I don't care how FL does what they do so long as they comply with DNC rules.  I don't think the DNC rules are inherently unfair or favor a particular campaign style or candidate; rather, they give broad discretionary power to the states to determine their own delegate allocation.  This is as it should be!  If I don't like how my particular state does what they do, then I should get involved at the state level and change it.  That's what the conventions are for, both state and national.

I have a sneaking suspicion that virtually nothing will change going forward--

--and I'm not entirely convinced that's a bad thing.

by AK Democrat 2008-05-25 08:06PM | 0 recs
A challenge for Jerome (or others)

If it were in your power to redesign the entire democratic primary system how would you do it?

  • this would be for 2012 and beyond
  • it must take into account proportionality versus winner take all, caucus versus primary, supers vs no supers, the order in which the primaries occur, etc.

We can then debate the merits of this proposed system without being prejudiced by our 2008 preferences.

by obsessed 2008-05-25 08:08PM | 0 recs
Right now

He would probably suggest something simple, like outfitting every citizen with a handy, reusable ballot:

President

_Clinton

_Evil

(Please check one)

by mffarrow 2008-05-25 08:14PM | 0 recs
Well, that does it.

You've convinced me.

If we'd run a campaign that was based on popular vote, including Florida and Michigan, but Obama had run the exact same campaign that he ran as if delegates decided it, then Hillary would totally be the winner.  Maybe.  In a couple weeks.

Boy, that alternate-reality Obama who used such an awful strategy for the way things were REALLY counted was dumb, huh?

by Rorgg 2008-05-25 10:44PM | 0 recs
Viva Caucus!

Why in the hell are caucuses "more undemocratic" than elections?

I say they ARE NOT.  I say caucuses are more democratic than elections.

There is a line that theoretically could be crossed during a caucus, where one side could intimidate the other side with threats of violence.  This type of thing has happened in many third world nations.

But it is far, far, far, far, far, far away from happening in the United States.

Caucuses involve citizens showing up in a room and fighting (metaphorically speaking, not punching people out) for their preferred candidate.  Convincing others to take their side.  Making deals and compromises.

God bless democracy.  Let's have more of it.

by Reluctantpopstar 2008-05-26 12:57AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

What a mathematician would say is the the race is so close it is indeterminate.  Just the situation for superdelegates to exercise their discretion and call it for the stronger general election candidate.  Obama's weak traction among working class, Hispanics, Roman Catholics, etc. should disqualify him.

by Bob H 2008-05-26 02:46AM | 0 recs
yes

Great Job Jerome.  You are right as usual.

by HillsMyGirl 2008-05-26 03:32AM | 0 recs
Lets be realistic

First: at this stage we don't know the results in the last three contests. So let's not insult the voters in PR, Montana and S Dakota. I personally think it is likely that Obama will get more votes.

Second: the democratic party's nomination system is what it is. It was chosen by the party. It is up to the party to improve it in due time.

Third: the American Presidential Election system is based on delegates, not direct vote. Is this undemocratic? Whatever the case, the nomination system is meant to select a candidate for the democratic party in view of this delegate-based presidential election.

Perhaps it would be better to pick the nominee on the number of individual votes. Perhaps that would be a good way to lose the GE, too.

Lastly: in any case, considering the way the process is organized this year, with caucus states, primary states, open, semi-open, closed primaries, states primaries which were canceled before they took place and then may be reinstated as an afterthought, not to mention PR's 55 delegates when PR doesn't vote in the GE, the total number of votes simply doesn't make sense. You'd be adding potatoes and railway shares.

by french imp 2008-05-26 03:39AM | 0 recs
More reality based posts on the primary process

"Who knew there were so many statisticians that read MyDD, or that they had problems comprehending an Y axis, clearly numbered, that doesn't begin at 0!"

"Why has this happened?  It's pretty clear in one of the other graphs that Cost presents:"

OK, I note your sarcasm directed at statisticians but...

Statisticians are interested in something that you have failed to address - the difference between casual relationship and correlation.

And some statisticians remember that even in some primaries, for example Texas, it was predicted that Senator Obama would get more delegates per vote than Senator Clinton because of the way districts were mapped and delegates allocated.

Sometimes statisticians are as good (or even better) at reality as modern partisan bloggers who headline a diary "More reality based posts on the primary process".

by My Ob 2008-05-26 04:58AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

There is little doubt, after FL & MI get resolved & PR votes, that Clinton will lead the popular vote, yet, she will trail in pledged delegates.
I do not believe I am misinterpreting your citation of this fact that you believe it to indicate an inherent unfairness of the system.  I strongly disagree, for reasons I have enunciated elsewhere.  

In fact, I'll again emphasize that the popular vote totals are a completely irrelevant metric exactly because of the caucus systems.  What you are pushing is using a meaningless statistic to prove the the unfairness of the system that renders it meaningless.  The entire argument is baloney.  The popular vote does not matter.  It is a statistically skewed measure and is meaningless.  

by rb608 2008-05-26 05:25AM | 0 recs
Any graph

or any data that lumps caucus data in with primary data is crap.  They are different systems, they yield different results by different methods.  Mathematically conflating caucus "popular votes" with primary votes is a statistically inaccurate and arguably dishonest method.

by rb608 2008-05-26 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

The way the offending graph was laid out made it look like a 10 to 1 advantage rather than a 9% advantage.

by wasder 2008-05-26 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Only if you can't read graphs.

by therealdeal 2008-05-26 11:57AM | 0 recs
McCain anyone?

Seriously, arguments over how un-democratic caucuses are...?  What's the point?

They're probably going to have as much effect reforming the process as the push to reform the Electoral College after Gore lost in 2000.

Ultimately, the process of selecting a party candidate for a general election is nothing more than an elaborate game.  It has rules that allow individual states to choose how to conduct their elections in the way they feel best determines a candidate.  It is hard to see how strict, complete popular vote measurements would result in a better candidate given the rules of that other, slightly more important game .. the general election.

It's clear at this point that both candidates have their strengths and weaknesses, but you're being completely dishonest if you're trying to argue that Hillary has a CLEAR advantage over Barack in a general election based on the results thus far.  The Obama team played the game by the rules, they played it better, and Obama is going to win the general election.

That is, if we stop bickering over charts and graphs and turn our attention to the old man on the Right..

by tastycakes 2008-05-26 10:03AM | 0 recs
Perhaps next time

Hillary will match her strategy to the rules, rather than trying to change the rules to match her strategy.

by Bush Bites 2008-05-26 11:31AM | 0 recs
Michigan popular vote figures shouldn't count

Since Obama's name was not on the ballot in Michigan (Because it was "A beauty contest" according to Hillary and everyone else) comparing Hillary's Michigin's votes with the zero that Obama got is not at all valid.

by benjaminsp 2008-05-26 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

I agree:

1.  She has no room to complain as that's the system;

2.  The system sucks.  Should be by popular vote over a 2-3 month period of primaries.

by scytherius 2008-05-26 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality...
Sigh.
  1. The idea of a 'popular vote' in a nominating process that consists of primaries and caucuses is a myth. There is no popular vote here.
  2. The Democratic party is a political party. It exists to elect Democrats to office. The primary and caucus systems are two tools used toward that end. There is a perfectly plausible argument that the caucus system, favoring people who are actually involved and committed and knowledgeable, better serves that end. There is another plausible argument that says Democratic ends are best served by democratic processes, and so primaries are better. Reasonable people can hold either of these views. Reasonable people with sincere but differing ideas about how to achieve commendable goals: that's my idea of the Democratic party. It ain't broke: don't fix (that particular part of) it.
by mswaine 2008-05-26 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

The Democratic party is a political party. It exists to elect Democrats to office. The primary and caucus systems are two tools used toward that end. There is a perfectly plausible argument that the caucus system, favoring people who are actually involved and committed and knowledgeable, better serves that end. There is another plausible argument that says Democratic ends are best served by democratic processes, and so primaries are better. Reasonable people can hold either of these views. Reasonable people with sincere but differing ideas about how to achieve commendable goals: that's my idea of the Democratic party

by mswaine 2008-05-26 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts
Sigh.
The idea of a 'popular vote' in a nominating process that consists of primaries and caucuses is a myth. There is no popular vote here.
The Democratic party is a political party. It exists to elect Democrats to office. The primary and caucus systems are two tools used toward that end. There is a perfectly plausible argument that the caucus system, favoring people who are actually involved and committed and knowledgeable, better serves that end. There is another plausible argument that says Democratic ends are best served by democratic processes, and so primaries are better. Reasonable people can hold either of these views. Reasonable people with sincere but differing ideas about how to achieve commendable goals: that's my idea of the Democratic party. It ain't broke: don't fix (that particular part of) it.
by mswaine 2008-05-26 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts
Sigh.
The idea of a 'popular vote' in a nominating process that consists of primaries and caucuses is a myth. There is no popular vote here.
The Democratic party is a political party. It exists to elect Democrats to office. The primary and caucus systems are two tools used toward that end. There is a perfectly plausible argument that the caucus system, favoring people who are actually involved and committed and knowledgeable, better serves that end. There is another plausible argument that says Democratic ends are best served by democratic processes, and so primaries are better. Reasonable people can hold either of these views. Reasonable people with sincere but differing ideas about how to achieve commendable goals: that's my idea of the Democratic party. It ain't broke: don't fix (that particular part of) it.
by mswaine 2008-05-26 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces
Sigh.
The idea of a 'popular vote' in a nominating process that consists of primaries and caucuses is a myth. There is no popular vote here.
The Democratic party is a political party. It exists to elect Democrats to office. The primary and caucus systems are two tools used toward that end. There is a perfectly plausible argument that the caucus system, favoring people who are actually involved and committed and knowledgeable, better serves that end. There is another plausible argument that says Democratic ends are best served by democratic processes, and so primaries are better. Reasonable people can hold either of these views. Reasonable people with sincere but differing ideas about how to achieve commendable goals: that's my idea of the Democratic party. It ain't broke: don't fix (that particular part of) it.
by mswaine 2008-05-26 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: More reality based posts on the primary proces

Sigh...

The idea that people want to read the same post over and over is a myth. Even when phrased slightly differently each time it's posted. ;)

Agree with your point. We're picking a nominee for a political party. Still I think the process is less than idea.

by carrieboberry 2008-05-27 01:27AM | 0 recs
I can't wait

for all the caucus horror stories to get covered in the GE.

by bird52 2008-05-27 02:43AM | 0 recs

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