Will Obama supporters accept Puerto Rico's votes in popular vote count?
by MKyleM, Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 07:21:20 PM EDT
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.