Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's votes in popular vote count?

Good evening, everybody!

I have been thinking, as always, about how this primary will end and I thought I'd throw something out there (in good faith) to start a discussion.  I've been thinking a great deal about an interesting thing Jerome said within the last few days, when he suggested that as many as two million people may vote in the last contest, Puerto Rico.

I want to say, again, this post is in absolute good faith and honestly meant to provoke a meaningful discussion.  I know that many Obama supporters will be inclined to immediately dismiss any chance of Clinton winning the popular vote or in the number of pledged delegates.  That belief is very well founded in fact, scientific measurements, and in a basic gut feeling (when considering the narrative playing out in the media), I admit; although, I basically disagree with just how absolute and final the outcome is.   If you are one of those Obama supporters who is without any shred of doubt that your man will be our man or a Clinton supporter who has given up hope, I simply ask that you suspend your disbelief, hear me out, and (please) respond.  

In light of recent polling showing Hillary Clinton running far ahead of Obama in PA, KY, and WV, the likelihood of Puerto Rico playing a fascinating, if not decisive, role in this year's Democratic primary is becoming...well, more likely.   If Hillary performs as well as the polls suggest in those contests, she could easily cut Obama's lead in the popular vote (at least) in half.  I would go so far as to say she could eliminate his lead in the popular vote in the upcoming contests, but Indiana could be a wash (or Obama win) and Obama is looking at a blow out in Oregon and North Carolina (however, many find it hard to believe he will come away with a double-digit lead from North Cakalacky).  
However, big wins in PA, WV, and KY (and many expect Montana), would ensure Clinton seriously cuts into Obama's popular vote (and, of course, delegate) count.  I say, (at least) it will be cut in half.

So, then it comes down to Puerto Rico.  If Jerome is right and two million Puerto Ricans actually come out and vote, the race could be completely thrown into uncertainty (as never before).  Hillary Clinton has proven that she is a true rock star among Hispanics in general.  If that trend holds in our colony/state, she's on the road to around a sixty-percent victory.  That margin would mean Hillary walks away with 400,000 more votes that Obama, from that contest alone.  With a 58% victory in PA (with a modestly-projected turnout of 60%), she could walk away with about the same number, 400,000 more votes than Obama.  Those two states together (again, following the chain of events I am throwing out there), could very well eliminate Obama's lead in the popular vote (the tally of which varies depending on the source, but is usually between 700 and 800,000).   It is entirely possible, as well, that she walks away with a lead in the pledged delegates.  I find that hard to even write in hypotheticals; however, it is indeed a possibility.  

Of course, as many of you will have noticed already, this entirely excludes MI and FL.  

Again, I just want to remind you all that I'm not asking you to dispute this scenario of events.  Clinton could lose every remaining state or she could destroy Obama in every remaining state.  It doesn't matter what the turnout is in PA or by how much someone wins Indiana or Oregon.  

My question to anyone reading his diary is:  will a resounding win in Puerto Rico for Hillary Clinton, a victory that results in her surpassing Obama's popular vote and (perhaps) delegate count, be seen as legitimate?

If that happens, of course, if she wins both in delegates and popular vote, she will be our nominee.  However, what if she comes within a hair of his delegate count, yet has surpassed his lead in the popular vote?   Again, this is without FL and MI.   What a fascinating dilemma that scenario would present for our party.  

Will we hear hard-core Obama supporters making arguments that Puerto Rico shouldn't determine the outcome of our primary process, largely because they can't vote in the general election?  I certainly could see Clinton supporters making that argument, if it were the other way around.  It is not a far cry from, "we won in states we have to win." You know, the Big State strategy.  Will Obama supporters continue to make the basic argument that this is a race for delegates, not in popular vote (a self-serving argument that both campaigns have made at different times)?

I'll answer my own question, speaking for myself only.   I personally think it would absolutely be legitimate and, actually, quite wonderful that a "state" that cannot vote in the general election achieves such a strong voice.  Also, I personally have said all along that the primary should be determined by the popular vote and should dictate what the super-delegates ultimately do.  

But that's my opinion.  What I'm really interested in is what others think.  I am just absolutely fascinated with the prospect of a colony (of the world's lone empire) deciding who our next president will be.  I say `next president' because McCain, as far as I can tell, died eight years ago.  Our nominee will be president, I finally am convinced.  But, again, that's just my humble opinion.

Tags: clinton, obama, puerto rico (all tags)



Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

Yes, it is a resounding WIN and we HRC supporters are counting on PR's every vote...

by nikkid 2008-03-31 07:24PM | 0 recs

Very interesting question, actually.  Of course, the popular vote means nothing except insofar as it convinces superdelegates to vote for the candidate who received the most votes.

If Hillary wins the popular vote only by winning overwhelmingly among non-citizens, will that influence the superdelegates?  I would think so.  I don't see too many superdelegates deciding the nomination based on how Puerto Rico goes.  But who knows?

by XoFalconXo 2008-03-31 07:29PM | 0 recs

Correction. That should read "I WOULDN'T think so."

by XoFalconXo 2008-03-31 07:30PM | 0 recs

Puerto Ricans are full US citizens. Someone from Puerto Rico who moves to a US state is completely eligible to vote, and anyone in Puerto Rico can move freely to anywhere else in the US.

by alephnul 2008-03-31 07:51PM | 0 recs

Really?  I wasn't aware of that.  You learn something new everyday.

It still doesn't change my point, though.  They can't vote in the general.

by XoFalconXo 2008-04-01 04:28AM | 0 recs

Neither can the 57,000 voters in American Samoa.

by cmugirl90 2008-04-01 06:24AM | 0 recs

Sorry - 57,000 RESIDENTS.

by cmugirl90 2008-04-01 06:24AM | 0 recs

Thats right.  Arguing that superdelegates should look at the popular vote is essentially an electibility argument.  If that is the case, I think you have to exclude PR, American Samoa, and USVI.

by XoFalconXo 2008-04-01 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re:non citizens

They ARE citizens!

by del 2008-03-31 09:49PM | 0 recs
South Dakota

What about South Dakota?  Hillary won't win Montana.  

I'd be interested in a poll from PR.  I would like to know how this particular Latino culture feels about Clinton.  It's not the same as TX and CA.  Unfortunately the NY Latinos's didn't show up well in the exits.  They would be more representative of PR.  

We'll find out soon enough!

by Hope08 2008-03-31 07:30PM | 0 recs
P.R. Latinos
I'm thinking they go toward Clinton. She has the support of most of that political establishment. (Access to their gotv etc)
Also as a senator of NY she has a large contingent of the mainland PR Latinos.
Also she has gotten the large majority of Latinos in all states with a large population of Latinos. And they have been fairly different. Az. & NM are probably most similar. Fl's is Cuban very different from Tx and Ca etc.
by del 2008-03-31 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's

Meh, if Obama wins Indiana, she will concede

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/us/pol itics/29dems.html?_r=1&ref=politics& amp;oref=slogin

by denounceandreject 2008-03-31 07:32PM | 0 recs
To be honest

I am undecided on my position.  Thank you for a good diary on this issue though.  I'll get back to you once I ponder it (as long as you aren't being disingenuous as either way an Obama supporter could be criticized on this either disenfranchisement or counting a non-state but not 2 big states.  (I support seating Florida as it voted, MI is more complicated due to the fact that Obama's name wasn't on the ballot (maybe hold a firehouse caucus there which is akin to a primary only with few polling places and shorter hours, due to the expenses because I feel sick when a candidate or their partisan donors sponsor an election or debate (like Reagan sponsoring a debate in NH when he was running)  because it feels like it the election results can't be trusted.

It is tough as they aren't citizens and don't vote in the GE so why should they get such an influential vote, but it is a sanctioned event.  I just don't know.

by Student Guy 2008-03-31 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: To be honest

I commented this above as well, but Puerto Ricans are full US citizens. They can't vote for president in Puerto Rico because Puerto Rico is not a state and therefore has no electors in the Electoral College.

by alephnul 2008-03-31 07:59PM | 0 recs
Peurto Rican's are citizens

I didn't know that.  Thank you for correcting me.

by Student Guy 2008-03-31 09:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Peurto Rican's are citizens

You're welcome!

by alephnul 2008-03-31 10:02PM | 0 recs
I don't see why we wouldn't count PR, but we also need to decide if/how we quantify the "votes" in caucus states. One things is for sure . . . 2012 will have a CLEARLY laid out calendar.
by Veteran75 2008-03-31 07:34PM | 0 recs
There are only a million Democrats in PR

so that would be some seriously massive fraud if 2 million people turned out.

by bobdoleisevil 2008-03-31 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: There are only a million Democrats in PR

That surprises me, out of 4,000,000 people only 1,000,000,000 dems?

Obviously the two million turnout os way too high but I would have thought more than one million dems.

by del 2008-03-31 09:58PM | 0 recs
Re: There are only a million Democrats in PR

That surprises me, out of 4,000,000 people only 1,000,000,000 dems?

Obviously the two million turnout is way too high but I would have thought more than one million dems.

by del 2008-03-31 09:59PM | 0 recs
Re: There are only a million Democrats in PR

No, you are right to be surprised. Turn out in the GE on PR in 2004 was nearly 2 million, and PR doesn't have party registration, so the Dem primary is an open primary. 2 million seems likely, even more seems possible. Presidential candidates actually having to take a position on PR statehood or independence will be an extraordinary event for Puerto Ricans.

by alephnul 2008-03-31 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: There are only a million Democrats in PR

Actually, there are 2.4 million registered voters (or there were in 2004)[link is in spanish, but the last paragraph is clear even if you are a monoglot like me] and no party registration system. Anyone who hasn't voted in another primary (and there is no Republican primary) is eligible to vote. Given that there is still time to register people, 2 million voters in the PR Dem primary sounds like a low estimate. People in PR vote. In 2004, turn out was around 78%.

The total eligible population looks to be around 2.8 million or so, if I am translating the Spanish correctly.

by alephnul 2008-03-31 10:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

of course! PR counts like every other state, (and EVERY other state should count too)

by ginaswo 2008-03-31 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

PR is not a state. Not disagreeing that it should count (obviously it should).

by alephnul 2008-03-31 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot
oops sorry I am an HRC supporter
but I cant believe Obama supporters would try to discount PR! Come on!
by ginaswo 2008-03-31 07:41PM | 0 recs
Clinton: The First Hispanic President?

"Hillary Clinton has proven that she is a true rock star among Hispanics in general."

Has she?  That seems to be a recent invention created after she did well in the Nevada caucus.

My guess is the Hispanic voting population will look at how quickly the so-called First Black President stabbed that demographic group in the back. Better not count your pollo befoe it hatches.

by Quicklund 2008-03-31 07:42PM | 0 recs
Stick to things you know.

Hillary has ties with the Latino community that go back decades. That is why before a single vote was casts in this election she was polling at 60%. And in case you haven't noticed she's won the Hispanic vote handily in this primary.

by LatinoVoter 2008-03-31 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Stick to things you know.

As your name is LatinoVoter, you probably already know this, but Latinos aren't a block vote, and Puerto Ricans have completely different political concerns from any other Latino group. Does Clinton have good inroads with the Puerto Rican community?

by alephnul 2008-03-31 10:24PM | 0 recs
Check the exit poll of NY and NJ

or type in Hillary Clinton+Puerto Rico/Ricans into Google for your answers.

For not being a voting block it sure has behaved like one this primary and voted solidly for Hillary Clinton.

by LatinoVoter 2008-03-31 10:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Check the exit poll of NY and NJ

Except Virginia and several others. I will google Clinton+PR and see what her positions are.

by alephnul 2008-03-31 11:10PM | 0 recs
Care to source your claim of

virginia and "others"?


Latino Democrats(3%)  N/A
Latino Independents (1%) N/A

There is no data for Virginia. And in the Virginia exit poll they are 3% of 1245 Respondents. So even if the data on CNN said he won the vote how many Latino voters would be 3% of 1245?

And below you claimed she lost the latino vote in Maryland and CNN does not support your claim.
Latino Democrats (4%) 56%

by LatinoVoter 2008-03-31 11:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Care to source your claim of

For Virginia, look a little down the page to
                        C   O
White            (61%) 47% 52%
African-American (30%) 10% 90%                   
Latino            (5%) 46% 54%

For Maryland, it looks like you are right. My source was to google virgina latino voters, but admittedly, all of those are secondary sources citing "exit polls", rather than the original exit poll.

My best source is from CNN:

In Virginia and Maryland, Latinos went for Obama over Clinton by 6 points, though their support was not decisive in either contest -- only 5 percent of Democratic primary voters in Virginia and 4 percent in Maryland were Latino.

However, it looks like the Maryland exit polls have been recalibrated since then (perfectly valid practice), since you are right that the CNN exit polls themselves list Clinton as winning among Latinos in Maryland (and in Virginia, you are right that the MOE is huge, given the small sample of Latino voters, and Obama still didn't win Latinos by as wide a margin as he won the state as a whole, although he did a tiny bit better with Latinos than with whites).

Illinois is another one of the "and others." Obama took 58% of the Latino vote, doing 7% worse than his overall rate in Illinois, but still a pretty solid victory.

It looks like Obama does about 7-15% worse among Latinos than he does among Whites, which is significant but not huge (not like evangelicals for Republicans or Black people for Democrats or Obama). Obama seems to fair a little worse with Latinos than he does with white women voters, which really isn't that bad.

Certainly, if those same percentages carry over to Puerto Rico, it will give Clinton a pretty good boost in the popular vote count.

by alephnul 2008-04-01 12:16AM | 0 recs
I live in IL and I think the exit polls probably

got it wrong. Here in Chicago after the numbers were counted Hillary won the Latino wards (neighborhoods) over Barack. I don't think the suburban Latino vote was probably all that different than how we voted in the city.

How did Hillary win key city wards?
 "BOSSES | Pledges for Obama fall short: Clinton, Alvarez 'were just very popular with Latinos and women'

by LatinoVoter 2008-04-01 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Check the exit poll of NY and NJ

Your suggested google turns up a single UTube video summarized as "Hilalry Clinton discusses shipping jobs overseas."

My own googling turns up some boilerplate from Clinton from mid-March, when she announced her Puerto Rico policy positions. Googling Obama + "Puerto Rico" turns up similar boilerplate, plus Obama getting the governor's endorsement and then the governor getting indicted, plus someone suggesting that the governor is so hated that his endorsement is a kiss of death.

So googling hasn't really helped much here.

by alephnul 2008-04-01 12:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton: The First Hispanic President?

I'm sorry, honestly, but I didn't understand a word you just said.  I think in one or two states (with little to no Hispanic votes - ex. VA) the Hispanic votes were a wash, but, otherwise, Hillary has repeatedly destroyed Obama with this demographic.  For whatever reason, she's their candidate.

And, as far as I can remember, Nevada was the first state with a large Hispanic population.  I don't think the "trend" was "created" there.  It is simply an observation, measured in exit polls and in Clinton's huge wins in heavily Hispanic counties.  It has been scientifically measured.  It is as factual as a fact can be: Hillary Clinton easily (if not out-right destroys) Obama in this demographic.

I don't know what you are talking about "fist black pres" stabbing people in the back.  Care to explain?

by MKyleM 2008-03-31 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton: The First Hispanic President?

Actually, she lost among Latinos in several states. I believe both Virginia and Maryland, and several others. Puerto Ricans also have very different political concerns from any other Latino group (statehood or independence is not an issue for Latinos in Texas or Virginia, but it is a huge issue for Puerto Ricans).

by alephnul 2008-03-31 10:26PM | 0 recs
You should read about HRC position

on statehood and what she's done for Puerto Rico.

by LatinoVoter 2008-03-31 10:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

Thanks for the post. This is the type of conversations that belong on a DEMOCRATic blog.  Seriously.  I am totally in the tank for Obama, but will support Hillary if she wins.  I just wish she would be more civil and focus on the delegate count.  That is the one and only issue here.  DELEGATES.  I am frustrated and saddened when I hear disenfranchised dems from previous years holding out for that elusive "popular vote" award, or the even more maddening "Big State" determining factor.

Come on, does anyone really think we can't hold CA, NY, MA, NJ, etc.???

by lqbruin 2008-03-31 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

Well, while I have very little doubt we wouldn't carry the state, Massachusetts polls show an eerily tight race in hypotheticals between Obama and McCain.  I think the last SUSA poll of the state showed it tied at something like 46%, while Clinton was leading McCain by the expected double-digit margin.  And other polls throughout the year have shown a strangely tight race between Obama and McCain in Mass.  And if I'm not mistaken, I think one poll sometime back actually showed Obama actually losing the state to McCain, even though by a one or two point margin.

I can say this.  I have spent 99% of my life in two states and have worked in politics in both places: South Carolina and Massachusetts.  I can say without a shred of doubt in my mind or soul that Massachusetts is every bit as racist as South Carolina.  I actually have to say I heard the n-word used more openly in Mass than I ever did in SC (and, let me tell you, that speaks VOLUMES).  

I know many will say they have a black governor.  Yet, you have to take into account the sheer hostility toward Romney and it was his Lt. Gov. who was the Republican.  Not only that, but she was a truly pathetic candidate.  So, Deval Patrick won in a landslide in a Democratic landslide year.

I can also say this with uncertainty: it took all of two weeks before a majority in the state turned against him in a very visceral way.  

Before I left SC, I thought the south was the cradle of idiocy and i didn't think a people could be more racist.  My 6 years in Mass. proved me wrong.

Truth be told, I still  think the south is the cradle of idiocy.  Massachusetts just gave me some perspective.  

by MKyleM 2008-03-31 08:23PM | 0 recs
My position is consistent

Popular vote is irrelevant for a variety of reasons, most important of which is that the entire process is set up to ignore it. Some states don't even record it. Candidates don't plan their strategies based upon it. It has no meaning outside of the individual state picking the delegates from that state. The primary is about delegates.

by Travis Stark 2008-03-31 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

I believe in Hillary!

by HillaryKnight08 2008-03-31 07:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

well the obama supporters twist every thing their way according to the rules the super delegates can vote for whom they want the obama line is racist if obama had been white nobody would have listened to this point

by awayer 2008-03-31 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

Punctuation is your friend.

by GFORD 2008-03-31 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico

Certainly. PR pledged delegates count fully, and PR voters count towards the popular vote. However, the popular vote counts only towards whatever influence it has on the decisions of SDs, so my opinion on whether to count PR popular vote towards some popular vote total really matters not one whit.

It will be great that Obama and Clinton will both be forced to compete for the PR vote. Maybe one of them will actually commit to a statehood or independence vote in PR (I doubt it though).

by alephnul 2008-03-31 08:04PM | 0 recs
I hope she does as well with Puerto Ricans

as she did with Latino voters in NY and NJ. After ST I was surprised to see how well she did with east coast Latinos and was not at all surprised when the same numbers showed up for her on the west coast and in the south.

by LatinoVoter 2008-03-31 08:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

So GOP votes should count but Democratic votes in PR, FL, OH, TX shouldn't count??

Obama and crew are the worst campaign I have ever witnessed

by DTaylor 2008-03-31 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

Meant Michigan not Ohio =)

by DTaylor 2008-03-31 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

What the hell?  Of course the PR votes count, just like the states count...toward the delegate count.  Is there some suggestion they should count differently?

by GFORD 2008-03-31 09:12PM | 0 recs
It would be impossible to ignore PR...

if you are counting overseas Americans.  Neither of them have any electoral votes associated with them.

And Sen. Obama's campaign celebrated the "overseas American" primary with gusto, as I recall.

So, this one is not even up for debate.

by SevenStrings 2008-03-31 08:39PM | 0 recs
Given the Obama campaign's

history of trying to change the rules and moving the goalposts...oh wait, that's Hillary's campaign.

Answer to your question is:  Yes.

by GFORD 2008-03-31 09:18PM | 0 recs
we will accept Puerto Rico's vote +FL +MI votes!

yes we will!

by engels 2008-04-01 03:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's vot

Actually, it's going to come down to South Dakota and Montana.  PR moved the date to June 1 so they will have a primary, not a caucus.  They said the June 7 original date was a typo.  Their election will now be June 1, while SD and MT will be June 3.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/200 8/03/24/puerto-rico-officially-moves-up- its-democratic-vote/

by cmugirl90 2008-04-01 06:33AM | 0 recs


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