Hillary Democrats to the Floor!

It's projected that Hillary Clinton will have more popular votes than Barack Obama on June 3rd.  Some news organizations have already declared her the popular vote leader.  

Yet many party officials seem anxious to coronate Barack Obama prior to the Democratic convention.  They must have short memories, and have forgotten the sense of outrage and injustice we (the Democrats) experienced when Al Gore was robbed of his election mandate 8 years ago.

"Hillary Democrats" will feel aggrieved if the Superdelegates over-turn their votes.  It's naive to assume that they'll jump on the Unity Express to join forces against Republican enemies in November.  Millions of Democrats (and some others too) -- the majority of whom belong to that key demographic called women -- are already steaming mad at how Clinton is being treated by her colleagues, aided by a misogynist mass media.

As a reminder, Hillary Clinton has dedicated decades of her life to fighting for progressive causes and Democratic candidates.  She is a 2-term Senator from the 3rd largest state in the union, and a major voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee.  At the end of this primary process, she will have inspired nearly 20 million people to get out and vote for her.  Millions of them are just like me -- actively campaigning and donating for the first time in our lives.

Now, this takes nothing away from Senator Obama, as he has also inspired millions of people.  But he's getting the respect due from Democratic peers while Hillary Clinton -- champion of children and sick people and veterans and women -- is being treated like a nuisance. Some have even attacked her character and dignity, such as Obama surrogate Ted Kennedy who recently said that Clinton is not "in tune with...the nobler aspirations of the American people."

In the absence of a rational explanation for this abuse, millions of women (and men too) are fuming because, frankly, it reeks of good ole fashioned back-slapping sexism.  I'm not alone in wondering out loud whether a man in Clinton's position -- that is, a serious contender for the presidential nomination who has won swing states (most recently by 41%) and built a formidable coalition needed to win the White House -- would be taunted, ridiculed, and treated like an outcast.

As a woman who has been on the receiving end of double standards, and one who happens to believe that Hillary Clinton will be the best President of my lifetime, I want to urge Senator Clinton to take her campaign all the way to the convention floor.  By earning more than half the votes cast, she has every right to make her case directly to party representatives in the proper venue, and even a responsibility to the voters.

See, this is the way it is for Clinton supporters.  If you throw Hillary under the bus, we go with her.  And although our leader would be gracious in asking us to disregard the injustice, millions of "Hillary Democrats" will be unable to do so.  "Backlash" is a real social and psychological phenomenon.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Note:  please don't shoot the messenger.

Cross posted at texasdarlin and Taylor Marsh

TexasDarlin, all rights reserved
Not affiliated with the Hillary Clinton campaign

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2 More Supers for Obama, 4 Total Today

Rep. Henry Waxman (CA) for Obama

It is now clear, however, that the Democratic Party is nearing a broad consensus on our nominee. And it is with great pride that I endorse Senator Barack Obama for President.

http://www.barackobama.com/2008/05/15/co ngressman_henry_waxman_endor.php

DNC Larry Cohen (DC) for Obama

"I'm convinced that Senator Obama's message of hope and `change we can believe in' has resonated across our country. He is building a broad base of support, inspiring new voters to join in the political process and demonstrating great appeal to all those who are looking for positive leadership to move us beyond politics-as-usual in Washington."

http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/05/ superdelegate-endorsements-for-thursday. html

Earlier today Senator Obama got endorsements from

Rep. Jim McDermott (WA)
Rep. Howard Berman (CA)

Barack now needs 132.5 delegates to reach 2,025.....

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According to Obama, Hillary is Winning

The Obama campaign has argued that Super Delegates ought to vote in accordance with the "will" of the people. Really? Then let's run the numbers. Under that metric, who would have a lead in Super Delegates? The Super Delegate total from the states that Hillary has won thus far (including FL and MI) is 418, to Obama's 372. If the MI delegates are split 50/50, Clinton still wins 403.5 to Obama's 386.5. If Super Delegates are counted according to Barack's formula, Hillary wins the nomination. Period.

The numbers are even more impressive after Hillary crushed Obama in West Virginia. WV has 11 Superdelegates. Hillary is now ahead, even if you exclude FL and MI: she leads 374 to Obama's 372.


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Will of the People

Let's examine the "will of the people" in selecting our 2008 Democratic nominee.  Many party leaders and superdelegates have emphasized its importance.

First, it should be noted that the DNC's decision to strip Florida and Michigan of its delegates made no mention of disregarding the popular votes from these two battleground states.  After all, how can you ignore 2.3 million citizens, including a record turnout in Florida, who insisted on casting ballots even though officials told them it was pointless? That would be un-American. (See more thoughts about Florida and Michigan below).

So...setting aside the matter of Florida and Michigan delegates --a matter to be reviewed by the RBC on May 31 -- let's take a look at the popular vote.

Following Hillary Clinton's historic 41-point win in West Virginia, in which she netted nearly 150,000 votes, the popular vote totals from Real Clear Politics (RCP) for the primaries are:

Total votes cast:  33,391,125
Clinton:  47.7% (HC leads by 29,471 votes)
Obama:  47.6%

Total votes cast, including estimates from the caucus states of IA, ME, WA, and NV: 33,949,071
Obama:  47.7% (BO leads by 80,751)
Clinton:  47.5%

Notes on the Popular Vote:
1. As stated above, there is no authority for disregarding raw votes from Florida and Michigan. Any claim that they should be excluded from popular vote totals is especially problematic given Obama's opposition to re-votes in both states, and the fact that he ran TV ads in Florida in violation of the pledge.  Also keep in mind that Obama voluntarily removed his name from the Michigan ballot, against the advice of some of his allies, for political gain in Iowa.  As Obama now heads to Florida and Michigan, presumably to campaign for general-election votes for the Democrats, it's increasingly ludicrous to cling to the position that these 2.3 million votes shouldn't count towards selecting his party's nominee.

2. The RCP estimate of popular votes that includes caucus states is skewed towards Obama given the undemocratic nature of caucuses.  There are now at least three examples -- Texas, Washington, and Nebraska -- where the candidates were virtually tied in primary elections but caucus results in the same states heavily favored Obama.  Two new myDD stories provide excellent analyses about this dynamic, here and here.

3. A blogger also points out that Clinton has now won the popular vote in 195 US Congressional Districts, compared to 187 for Obama.  Including Florida and Michigan, it would be 227 for Clinton and 195 for Obama.

A virtual tie:
By June 3rd, no matter how you slice it, this race will be a dead heat.

Clinton is likely to lead Obama (and McCain) among all votes cast in presidential primaries, even when including the skewed caucus results.  Obama will maintain his pledged delegate lead, but it will be narrower than it is now, possibly within 100.

Of nearly 20 million votes cast and among 4,000 or so delegates, they will be separated by a fraction on both metrics.

How Superdelegates will decide:
Now, Obama and his supporters rightly point out time and again that delegates, not popular votes, determine who wins the nomination.  True, but only if you get 2210 pledged delegates.  Since neither Clinton nor Obama will reach that number -- it's the responsibility of the automatic (or "super") delegates to vote at the convention.

You may disagree with the power and authority given to the superdelegates -- and the party could change its rules after this election -- but that's for the future. Currently there are no rules requiring the superdelegates to award the nomination to the leader of pledged delegates.

The purpose of the superdelegates is to ensure that the best general-election candidate, and best potential president, is nominated.  Any factor may be considered, including the "will of the people" as reflected in the popular vote. In fact, to overturn the peoples' choice based on the results of a complex delegate apportionment system (itself in need of reform) could backfire in November.

Cross posted at texasdarlin

TexasDarlin, all rights reserved
Not affiliated with the Hillary Clinton campaign

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Democrats in Denial

Despite the disdain shown for Hillary Clinton's victory tonight in West Virginia by old media, it remains difficult for any dispassionate observer to pretend that Barack Obama, despite his obvious political talent and rhetorical gifts, does not have a problem with certain segments of the voting public he will need to win in November. I am not suggesting that he cannot win; the Republican brand is so tarnished that any popular Democrat would be favored. Despite David Axelrod's proclamation that Obama does almost as well with white voters as John Kerry did in 2004, there are serious problems that Obama will have to overcome in order to win the presidency.      

A large portion of Obama's white support comes from younger, unreliable and first-time voters; Obama continues to underperform with elderly white voters and downscale white voters; A disproportionate segment of the most activist base of the Democratic party - primary voters - have indicated that that they would either vote for John McCain or abstain in November; Obama's has had great difficulty winning Hispanic and Asian voters; John Kerry lost to George W. Bush by 3,500,000 votes in 2004.

So why are superdelegates flocking to Obama. Let's discuss it on the flip...

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