Hillary: The Way to Win

Sen. Hillary Clinton has a better than even chance of winning the Democratic nomination, contrary to popular and uninformed opinion. The goal post has always been 2209 delegates needed to win, not the arbitrary 2025 number that doesn't include MI and FL. The primary process has always been about choosing the best candidate for the general election. That process has changed over the years. Over the past 4 decades, the Democratic party has had a 70% failure rate. Why is that?

Let's take a look at the history of presidential elections as they pertain to changes in the nominating rules, starting with 1968. LBJ's VP, Hubert H. Humphrey, was the heir-apparent, but he was challenged from the far left by Eugene McCarthy. Coming late to the race was RFK who was assassinated by a Palestinian on the night he won the CA primary. The Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago that year and to say it was tumultuous would be putting it mildly. Outside the convention center was what amounted to a police riot. IOW, all hell broke loose.

McCarthy tried in vain to gain the 1968 nomination but it ultimately went to Humphrey who didn't even run in the primaries except through surrogates. He lost to Nixon. Humphrey won 13 states plus DC, totaling 191 electoral votes (EVs). Nixon won 301 and George Wallace won 46. While that may have seemed like a crushing defeat at the time, the party hadn't seen anything yet.

The nominating process for the Democrats up through 1968 used the winner-take-all process that the Republicans still mostly use today. There were no automatic or superdelegates (SDs). George McGovern, not content with the system in place at the time, set up the McGovern Commission that changed the rules to proportional assignment of delegates. That way, a candidate on the far left would have a much better chance of gaining the nomination. Sure enough, McGovern won the 1972 nomination, beating out moderate favorite Emund Muskie, Humphrey's 1968 VP running mate.

Nixon won that election in the biggest landslide ever seen. McGovern won MA and DC, totaling 17 EVs. That was quite an embarrassment to the party so they decided to try something different to help prevent that sort of catastrophe. You see, Muskie had come in a close second to McGovern and had Muskie been given a chance to run against Nixon, he might still have lost but he also would have won a lot more states. Presidential elections are about a lot more than just who gets to be president. They're also about how candidates fare down the ticket but more about that later.

The 1980 election saw another Republican landslide. Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan, 49 to 489 EVs, a factor of nearly 10.

As a result of defeats in 1972 and 1980, the Hunt Commission established a system of superdelegates (AKA automatic or unpledged delegates) in time for the 1984 convention. They consist of party leaders and and elected officials. SDs don't have to declare for a candidate until the convention and they can change their mind once declared.

The 1980 election saw a massive migration of blue collar white people away from the party. They are called Reagan Democrats and they left because they felt the party no longer represented them. Indeed, the Democrats lost in 1984 and 1988 as well. Walter Mondale lost to Reagan 13 to 525 EVs. Mike Dukakis fared somewhat better against George H.W. Bush in 1988, winning 10 states plus DC, 111 to 426 EVs. The reason for these spectacular losses? The party had shifted too far to the left, leaving behind moderate, centrist Democrats that the Republican candidates were happy to have on their side. Are we about to make the same mistakes?

One reason given to have the SDs is to make up the difference and provide a margin of victory in a close race. If that's all they're for, you could simply have a rule that says the one with the most votes wins. Nope, it isn't that simple. A bunch of politicians want to have their say. They want a nominee who is best for them and the party. That means that other things need to be considered besides pledged delegates. Given the history, electability has to be tops on the list. Next comes the electability of politicians down the ticket in light of who's at the top of the ticket.

We have an extremely imperfect method of choosing the nominee for the presidential election. There are open and closed primaries, proportional delegates, and caucuses. IMHO, caucuses should be banned. They're extremely undemocratic and unfair. There are no caucuses in the general election so they're a very poor way to determine who might have the best chance in a real election. The purpose of the primary system is to test and choose the best candidate for the general. The purpose of the superdelegates is to make sure the choice of the people is the best for the party and for other candidates running concurrently with the presidential candidate in the general.

With the goal of 2209 delegates to win the nomination in mind, Obama has 1937.5 and Hillary has 1890, a difference of 47.5. Failing to consider MI and FL is political suicide. Hillary is also near even in the popular vote count. There are a bunch of contests to go so Hillary will gain some delegates and will likely end up with more popular votes. The question becomes, will Hillary lose the nomination because she has fewer delegates gained by winning caucuses in red states that a Democrat has little to no chance of winning? Is the purpose of the nominating process to choose the least qualified, least electable candidate? Would superdelegates squander their chances of winning in November? I think not.

Hillary has demonstrated her strength in key states and in key demographics necessary to win against Sen. McCain. Please see: Swing State Democrats Say Hillary Best For Top Of Ticket

It's worth noting Bill Clinton's spectacular win in 1992. To really appreciate his win vs. other contests, please take a look at this interactive electoral map. He won 32 states plus DC for 370 EVs to Bush's 168. There's a Select the Year pulldown menu just above Michigan. Choose different years and see the results. Neither Gore in 2000 nor Kerry in 2004 could win OH or FL, thus losing those elections. Hillary can win those states plus a whole lot more. Looking at that map, Hillary could well win 339 EVs if she's given the chance. Polls suggest Obama would do far worse and probably lose the election.

If the superdelegates make the right decision for the party, for themselves, and for the country, Hillary will be our nominee. There's too much at stake. Losing again is not an option.

Tags: clinton, delegates, DNC, electoral votes, Hillary, nomination, popular votes, Rules, win (all tags)



Hillary Clinton: This is a Race to 2025 Delegates

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OsYnegoV 28

Noted without comment.

by bosdcla14 2008-05-10 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton: This is a Race to 2025 Delega

her campaign recently said 2209

by engels 2008-05-11 06:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton: This is a Race to 2025 Delega

so? the point is that no one gets to make up the number that best suits them, that's not her decision, it was never officially decided to lower it to further punish Florida and Michigan voters.

the point i think is that we need the candidate who'll have the best chance of winning the GE and for some this may be a new scenario for for lots of us it's been there done that, which is why we now have super delegates, to keep the popular face that can't get elected from heading the ticket. That's the truth and the super's will be making, have made, their choices based on that one very specific and very important factor.  Some thing it's Barack, some think it's HIllary, but that's how the decision will be made.  

by anna shane 2008-05-11 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win tips

She's our best hope, folks! :)

by Nobama 2008-05-10 07:54PM | 0 recs
It has
and always will be, in this primary, about what the Super Delegates ultimately decide. The fact that every single remaining super didn't jump onto Obama's band wagon after NC and IN is proof positive that they have some certain reservations about the way this thing has been going up until now.

Thank you for the reminder, we need to keep our eye on the ball! rec'd!
by linc 2008-05-10 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: It has

Thanks, linc!

by Nobama 2008-05-10 08:22PM | 0 recs
No reservations...

The SD's just don't want to cause a commotion with some Clinton supporters...They will continue to trickle out, even some will switch.  We have seen quite a tone switch in both candidates speeches, both for the good of the Democratic Party.

by hootie4170 2008-05-10 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: No reservations...

I think they are trying to be respectful to Clinton and affording her a dignified exit. That may turn out to be a mistake on their part.

by Rationalisto 2008-05-10 11:43PM | 0 recs
It is not proof of any one thing.

Each SD has their own reasons for holding back.  Some don't want to face retribution by Clinton.  Some want to wait and see how this shakes out.  Some hold back to have more influence in the decision making.  There are a bunch of reasons (some we can only speculate on) SDs are holding back on this.

And it would be nice if you'd not presume to speak for other people.  Especially people you don't even know.

by DawnG 2008-05-10 09:07PM | 0 recs
Saying that they have reservations
is not speaking for anyone- its stating a fact. What on earth, if Obama's nomination is so certain, would worry SDs in regard to offending Clinton?
by linc 2008-05-10 09:15PM | 0 recs
because Clinton is still Clinton.

and the political...I don't want to say ruthlessness but certainly their voracity is pretty offputting.  Clinton is still a senator even if she doesn't win.  Clinton still has influence and she still has power.  She can still make people's lives miserable if she wants to.

It's just one possibility.  But it's a bit shortsighted to say that "having reservations" is the only possiblity.  

There are many possibilities.

by DawnG 2008-05-10 09:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Saying that they have reservations

and, whether good or bad, I think it's also about Clinton's supporters, many of whom have made it fundamentally clear that it's not just her losing that has got them so angry. Many are also upset at what they perceive as the 'horrendous' treatment of her by Obama, his surrogates, his supporters, the media, etc.

I disagree that treatment of her has been any rougher than her treatment of him, but I understand the need to tread lightly around them.

If all the SDs declared last Wednesday, it would be one more reason for her and her supporters to claim that the nomination was 'stolen' from her. If they continue to trickle in (more heavily each day) as Obama also passes the majority plateau in PDs, it's going to be hard to argue that it's not a combination of the people's and the party's wills giving him the nomination.

by vadasz 2008-05-11 02:20AM | 0 recs
She is indeed

so we may not have much hope anymore.

by NewHampster 2008-05-10 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

"Sen. Hillary Clinton has a better than even chance of winning the Democratic nomination, contrary to popular and uninformed opinion."

9 out of 10 ostriches agree!

by Kobi 2008-05-10 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

well then I guess we all sit back and see which way the superdelegate go.

by TruthMatters 2008-05-10 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Is this diarist from hillaryis44?

by obamaovermccain 2008-05-10 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

no but this diarist is a Taylormarsh.com poster.

and if you read the comments there well, lets put it this way, Taylor actually got some hate mail from her posters saying they would be upset if she started doing any pro-obama diaries in the fall.

read the comments there, thats what happens when a site becomes an echo chamber.

and seriously to this day I still don't think they know that over sampling in a poll is actually valid and widely done.

by TruthMatters 2008-05-10 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Nor understand what it means.

by ragekage 2008-05-10 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Unacceptable. Get with it, if you're truly an Obama supporter, and not a Republican troll. You get me?

by ragekage 2008-05-10 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

I don't like this comment either.  It's not appropriate to call out a user for possibly posting on another site that you don't like.  I think it's pretty close to outing a user even if personal information isn't directly available from your comment.

Surely you can come up with a wittier response than that.

by The Distillery 2008-05-10 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Saying "Is this posted on HilaryIs44?" is unacceptable, because it paints this post with the lunatic brush.

However, if this pieces was, in fact, cross-posted on HilaryIs44, then I'd like to know that.

So I can ignore it. You know, because of the lunatics.

by Rationalisto 2008-05-10 11:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

The goal has always been 2209, except for all the months where Clinton and her surrogates said it wasn't. No need for me to post literally dozens of videos or quotes proving this is the case; if you ignored them to write this diary, there's no reason to suspect you'd pay them any heed now.

Michigan and Florida will get seated- heck, Clinton just killed a proposal out of Michigan, proposed by Michigan Democrats including several of her own superdelegates. But they'll get seated in some fashion, or at some penalty. Don't worry. Besides, Obama's kicking McCain's butt in MI polling.

You go through a bunch of information about how horrible our nominating process is because it worked against you. I didn't hear you complaining last year, or ever remember you trying to change it prior to when it suited you politically.

Then you use a resource I'm quite familiar with, as it's been my primary resource. I see the Clinton supporters have finally picked up on it. You'll notice that Obama can easily win, based off their projections, without either Florida or Ohio... but Clinton has to win both, and if you think Florida's a gimme, then I got news for ya, bud- get real on that issue.

I don't see how you figure Hillary could get over... let me do the model... loses IA and WI, loses NH, struggles dearly in CT, loses CO and NH. If she loses Florida, she's done. So her strategy would essentially be to campaign in Florida. Forget all those Democrats in different states, eh? Who cares about them?

by ragekage 2008-05-10 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

We'd bring her WI, by god. No state in which I've voted has ever gone red in my lifetime.

Of course we'll never test it because it's not going to happen.

by Mandoliniment 2008-05-10 08:22PM | 0 recs

...some democrat will be running for president in '04 so you'll have a very good way of determine if they'll "go red".

by DawnG 2008-05-10 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

For the record, I never even got to hillaryis44 and I rarely post comments on Taylor Marsh but when I do, it isn't under this name. There are probably many different Nobamas out there.

by Nobama 2008-05-10 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Well then there is another Nobama on Taylor Marsh who posts about 100 times a day (slight exaggeration-sorry) and he/she sure sounds like you.

by mariannie 2008-05-10 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Obama is unelectable.

Will we allow the Obama-nuts to lead the Democratic party to defeat in November just so they can say the nominated a Black Presidential candidate?

That would be nuts.

The only candidate that can win is Hillary Clinton.

Its time to end this charade.

Its bedtime for Obamao.

by BerkekeyGuy 2008-05-10 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

I'd ask how you know that, but then this isn't actually based on facts or data is it? you just KNOW he can't win. and why can't he? well because you said so.

by TruthMatters 2008-05-10 08:10PM | 0 recs

No matter the variation, it's still unacceptable.

by Shem 2008-05-10 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: 'Obamanuts'/'Obamatons'/'Obamabots'

You missed Obamao.

Definitely unacceptable.

by letterc 2008-05-10 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: 'Obamanuts'/'Obamatons'/'Obamabots'

I like Obamanationites, but I'll just keep that to myself.

by Scotch 2008-05-10 08:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Ooh! Ooh! Say the made-up thing about the "defense simulation test" again. That was awesome.

I hear he got the lowest score. Ever!

by Mandoliniment 2008-05-10 08:24PM | 0 recs
Why does your comment remind me...

...of Lieberman saying that Howard Dean would lead the democratic party into "the wilderness"?

I wonder what happened to him (Lieberman).

your comment also reminds me of early '04 when people argued that only Kerry was electable because of his Vietnam Veteren status and how he would mop the floor with Bush over his vast foreign policy creds.

I wonder what happened to him (Kerry).

It will take a lot more than you calling someone electable or unelectable to actually MAKE them electable (or unelectable).

Anymore, I automatically dismiss anyone who resorts to the "electable" argument because it is always ALWAYS subjective to bias and rarely has any foundation in reality.

by DawnG 2008-05-10 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

If she has a better than even shot at winning the nominatin, then why write this diary?  You should bide your time to rub it in our faces.

by rfahey22 2008-05-10 08:09PM | 0 recs
If she has a better than even chance,

You could be making a killing over at Intrade.  Bettors have decided that HRC's chance of winning the nom is only a few percentage points higher than Al Gore's at this point.  $100 invested now would be worth like $2000 once she got nominated.  Unless you're already maxed out on donations, it's something you might want to consider.

by semiquaver 2008-05-10 08:12PM | 0 recs
Re: If she has a better than even chance,

And if you really believe in her, you should bet heavily on her, and then plow the winnings into her campaign after the nomination.

by PhilFR 2008-05-10 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: If she has a better than even chance,

Exactly.  This is the deal of the century.  HRC supporters who truly believe she will win: unless you've already maxed out, you're passing up free money for Hillary if you don't do this.

by semiquaver 2008-05-10 08:23PM | 0 recs
Truly amazing

It's truly amazing to me that two candidates who are so similar can inspire such vituperativeness.

On my optimistic days, I see is at a sign of how engaged Dem voters are.

On my pessimistic days, I see it as s sign of how much people can fall into tunnel-vision.

I'd rather be an optimist. I support the Dem nominee, and I invite all others to do likewise.

by PhilFR 2008-05-10 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Truly amazing

Honestly? It's because they're so similar. So the fight is about personality and such, rather than policy, where they agree 90%.

by Mandoliniment 2008-05-10 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Truly amazing

Well said.

And I think it's true that personality (or, to use a similar word, "character") matters greatly. But in such subjective calls, it's easy to get locked into the view that "my candidate is the only acceptable one."

That's my best argument for why super-delegates are a good thing. if you're worked in the system long enough to become a SD, you're unlikely to fall into the "true believer" camp, and will be more pragmatic... or so I hope.

by PhilFR 2008-05-10 08:33PM | 0 recs
The Real Deal?
i agree. Character is the #1 issue for me because when it comes to what they SAY they will do theres no ideological difference at all. zip.  However, you can bet YOUR LIFE that Clinton will choose her own political future when the going gets tough (she's only being tough now because HER name is on the ballot and on the line) and abdendon progressive values and goals when they become a polling liability to her re-election. We don't know how Obama would handle such a situation but since his political life is based on not playing the "Washington game" and "standing up for you" he may be more inclined to fight.  Also, his rise is  on the backs (literally b/c of all the money and effort we gave) of the ideoligical progressives movement and as they say you have to ride the horse that brung you.  
I'm just saying we know what the Clinton's did under pressure (they saved themselves) OUR only hope for OUR agenda is Obama and i honestly don't know if he's the real deal but we know who isn't.
by affratboy22 2008-05-10 09:02PM | 0 recs
I haven't been "optimistic" all year.

I've been disgusted and disillusioned at what I see in the left.  That I could see so many traits I find disgusting in the right, in the left.

I still believe the democratic policies are superior in every way to republican policies, but right now I am ashamed of how democratic bloggers are behaving (on both sides).  It's shameful and sad.

Call me a pessimist.  I prefer to think I have been regretably illuminated.

by DawnG 2008-05-10 09:17PM | 0 recs
Thanks for the history refresher

and I think it may actually be deeper than this...a struggle within the democratic party itself between coalitions of democrats?

Interestingly, while Obama claims the Clintons are about "the past", they actually were not--they broke with the past and got the disaffected reagan dems and activated others back into the party...the blue collar workers of every color and were elected twice.

This is in comparison with the McGovern-Kennedy-Carter-Mondale-Dukakis- Kerry politics of past losing campaigns...which disaffected large parts of the party.  Some of the same labels are being used, e.g. "elite".  And this might explain the irrational and thinly veiled hatred of "all things Clinton" by these same people, and perhaps their endorsement of Obama.  But does that doom him in the GE? Simply because the repugs have more to attack Obama with(ie kennedy, kerry, carter, mondale, mcgovern versus Clinton)?

The supers are going to have to think.  What is alarming to me is what I believe is intimidation: "vote for me or you are a racist". Threatening everyone with the line that youth and african americans will leave the party if Obama is not the one. The swarming of people saying its already over when it is not. The planned "victory" speech May 20th. Robo calls in WV asking people for money and telling them its over. The continued media drone. Maybe the fix is already in. The media is owned by the republicans, isn't it?

I wonder if the supers feel intimidated by this?

In my view, if the supers don't understand what's going on here, the dems will nominate once again a candidate that could very well lose the general election. That will in fact split the democratic party for years to come.

Maybe that is what has to finally happen to the democratic party?  Shaken to the core in a year that should have been ours so we can regroup?

And on the brighter side, maybe this paves the way for a truly viable progressive party that does break from the past

by 4justice 2008-05-10 08:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for the history refresher

Dude, I bet Obama was on the grassy knoll, too!

by IowaMike 2008-05-10 09:12PM | 0 recs
that was a very productive comment

that adequately addressed my post on changes in the democratic party.  Even the post after you from an Obama supporter at least got the point and responded in his candidate's favor.  

And you, you respond with some one liner?  Maybe you ought to go help your candidate, because you certainly aren't adding to any discussion here.

by 4justice 2008-05-10 09:48PM | 0 recs
Re: that was a very productive comment

because you aren't either.

You are so full of non-existent conspiracies, slights, and injustices that you can't see straight or the real injustices that exist. Just because your candidate, after having all of the early advantages, ran a lousy campaign, doesn't mean the world was against her from the start (it wasn't). My guy, Edwards, would have loved your advantages early on. When he was clearly losing, I could have gotten into  this unhealthy bought of denial as well. But instead, I realized that he just wasn't connecting,and/or someone else was running a better campaign.

And, in defense of one-liners. If one campaign can only create a 10,000 word dissertation to legitimize how and why they should be the nominee, and the other can do it in a sentence, you have lost.

Move on dude.

by IowaMike 2008-05-10 10:05PM | 0 recs
elite faction vs bubba faction?

Yes, that's the pattern I see. But did the rules changes, proportional and then superdelegtes, really make much difference? Maybe those were needed to let the winners, Clinton and Carter, get through -- and also let some big losers, McGovern and Obama, get through.

In any case, what's happening this time is that the Superdelegates are the best hope for the non-elite candidate -- vs the elite candidate who was powered by the caucuses.

by 1950democrat 2008-05-10 09:35PM | 0 recs
Re: elite faction vs bubba faction?

So the super delegates, act like a super caucus?

Whoa, catch 22, dude!

by IowaMike 2008-05-10 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

The intention of using superdelegates might have looked good on paper, but then they were expected to moderate the peoples choice so that the people didn't get carried away with an unrealistic, and unelectable candidate like McGovern, ironically.  But things never turn out like they look on paper, and when you get down to it, most of them actually vote on their own needs depending if they are up for election or not, have been promised a part in the cabinet or are under pressure by the people they were supposed to second guess. Some of them do it out of a chance to get back at old foes who might be running.  What might be good for the party and for actually winning the election is thrown by the wayside for a bit of personal gain.

by Scotch 2008-05-10 09:00PM | 0 recs

contrary to popular and uninformed opinion. The goal post has always been 2209 delegates needed to win,

you do realize that Clinton herself said that the 2025 was the magic number of delegates early on in the primary.  Are you implying that she was uninformed?

by DawnG 2008-05-10 09:04PM | 0 recs
2025 is not an arbitrary number.

It's the official number required by the DNC to win the nomination.  If that number changes on May 31st, then so be it.  But right now, the number is 2025 (technically 2024.5 I believe).

So let's take a look at your numerical argument if MI and FL are counted at full value without Obama receiving any MI delegates.

From Demcomwatch, under that scenario, there are 501.5 delegates remaining.  HRC needs 319.5 of those delegates, approximately 60% of the remaining delegates, a tall order considering she's only gotten more than 60% of the delegates in the Arkansas primary.  Under those delegate rules, once Obama has 180 more delegates, he has checkmated her because she will never get to your arbitrary number.  So he only has to get less than 40% to keep her from getting the nomination, not a tall order considering the only states where he didn't poll above 40% were Arkansas and Oklahoma.  (I'm not including Iowa, New Hampshire, and Florida because it was still a 3 person race at that time.)

Under the current rules of the DNC, Obama will checkmate HRC when he gets 140 more of the remaining 467.5 delegates.  At that point it will be impossible for her to reach 2024.  In all likelihood, the actual number needed will be a compromise with FL and MI being seated either at 50% or both under the current Michigan proposal.  So the number for Obama to checkmate her at will be probably 160 delegates, the same number he now needs to claim the nomination.  So it will not be premature for him to declare victory then because he will be the only one who will be reaching that number, regardless of what it is.

by The Distillery 2008-05-10 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Um, you do realize, this is over.

If you have to create a 10,000 word dissertation to explain how and why you can win, win the other person can do it in 1 to 3 sentences, you have lost.

by IowaMike 2008-05-10 09:10PM | 0 recs
A worthwhile topic, recommended.

But what pattern do you see in the relation of the selection process to victory in November?

In 92 Bill Clinton didn't secure the nomination till June; hasn't he been called an 'insurgent', and Jimmy Carter also? Both of them were 'Bubbas' -- practical country Southerners. Maybe the type that's popular with GE voters has to fight their way  past some elitists (and/or some special interests like Brazile) to get the nomination.

McGovern fought for the nomination (Obama's tactic, pack caucuses with activists) then was creamed by the GE voters.

by 1950democrat 2008-05-10 09:15PM | 0 recs
Re: A worthwhile topic, recommended.

In 1992 Bill Clinton essentially had the nomination wrapped up when he won New York in early April. It's a technicality that he didn't secure the nomination until June - Jerry Brown had conceded the race long before that.
That's not to say that Clinton should drop out - just saying that the two races ('92, '08) are not comparable.

As for Obama's tactic of "packing caucuses with activists," what are "activists" anyway? Also, why couldn't the Clinton Campaign roust up some "activists" to make the caucuses compeditive?

by GrahamCracker 2008-05-10 09:30PM | 0 recs
Re: A worthwhile topic, recommended.

Better comaprisons can be made to the Republican race in '76, the Dem race in '80, and the Dem race in '84.  In each a strong insurgent took on the party stalwart (Reagan, Kennedy, and Hart, respectively).  In all three the party stalwart beat back the challenge (Ford, Carter, and Mondale).  

And in all three, the party stalwart then went on to get his ass kicked resoundingly in the general (and, for the Dems, with fateful consequences, since out of the losses of '80 and '84 came the "Reagan Revolution", the end of the New Deal coalition, and, arguably, thirty years in the political wilderness--even with the Clinton presidency, there hasn't been a period during the past three decades when the Democrats were in full control of the national agenda).

It's possible the Dems are screwed already.  The party which nominates its candidate first, historically, almost always wins.  If Ted Kennedy hadn't challenged Carter in 1980 who knows--perhaps the history of the past thirty years would have been different (obviously anyone who wants to explain the rise of conservatism has to consider more than one acrimonious Dem convention, but c'mon, Kennedy kneecapped Carter and it mattered, and the footsoldiers who cheered him on had no idea what was coming).

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-05-10 09:47PM | 0 recs
Re: A worthwhile topic, recommended.

What you say is very true. Looks like Hillary will have to take this fight to the convention, as she and her campaign have been saying for a while now. This party has been through enough humiliating defeats to know better than to let someone like Obama have the nomination. Fortunately, people are getting a better idea of who Obama is all the time and more and more, they aren't liking what they see.

Every single time the liberal elite get ahold of things in the party, they lose. That's because the country hasn't suddenly been overrun by elitists. People are struggling and they want good, honest representation, not ephemeral hope bubbles floating on the breeze. Hillary has solid solutions and that's why she's winning states like PA and IN. Hillary even has a fighting chance in OR.

by Nobama 2008-05-10 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

If Clinton won a majority of pledged delegates but superdelegates gave the nomination to Obama, those who are supporting her would never get over it.  Even with the heated primary, it's difficult for me to believe there are those who think this is a serious option.  The party would break apart and the Democrats would lose in November. Wouldn't matter which candidate did it.  

Just put yourself in the situation of imagining Obama at the convention podium, he's just won the nomination despite being the also ran in the pledged delegate count, and he has to explain to those who supported Clinton why he's the legitimate nominee.  Do you think there is anything he could say which would win you over?  I'm telling you, the same thing would happen if this occurred in reverse (many Obama supporters would simply stop listening and walk out).

There's a part of me, actually, which sort of wants this to happen.  It's the same part which is fascinated by car crashes and very large fires.  Think most Dems who are supporting Obama, btw, would still vote for the ticket, but perhaps 20% would bolt, we'd lose most of the indies, and the Dems, in the end, would probably top out at around 40-45%.  Clinton would become the new McGovern (and, given the circumstances, I suspect her reputation would take a harder hit).

Now that I think of it, the other reason I sort of want this to happen is because Clinton said very early in the process that she'd work to get this sort of victory, and, well, this was hubris of the purest sort.  Be careful what you wish for.

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-05-10 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

First of all, all delegates can change their mind, even pledged delegates. No one will be able to get to the required 2209 delegates to win the nomination. The only way to make up the difference is with superdelegates. Nothing in the rules says those delegates need to go to the one with the most pledged delegates. They need to go to the candidate who is judged most likely to win the GE.

Hillary will most likely end up with the most popular votes but come up a few delegates shy of Obama. One factor to consider is who has the momentum at the end of the primary season. If Obama's star is falling while Hillary's star is rising in early June, Hillary should gain the majority of the SDs.

There are a lot of things to consider. Please take a look at Hillary's slideshow for SDs, linked in my diary. It explains a lot.

by Nobama 2008-05-10 09:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

So if Clinton arrives at the convention with a majority of pledged delegates, and supers give the nom to Obama, you'd be totally fine with that?  Legitimate victory, no rules broken, and so on.  Obama would be your guy?

I'm just looking for some sense that there is some conviction and reciprocity behind your argument.  Because if your answer is, "Well, I support it if it makes Clinton the nominee, but if Obama benefitted of course not"...

...you see the problem?  

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-05-10 10:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

"If Obama's star is falling while Hillary's star is rising in early June, Hillary should gain the majority of the SDs"

But this is the Supreme Court in Gore vs. Florida all over again.  What are the chances that SDs who favor Clinton will conclude that her star is rising and Obama's is falling?  100%.  What are the chances that SDs who favor Obama will disagree?  0%.  This wouldn't be something SDs decided according to any sort of objective or even rational process.  

And here is my prediction, btw, about what is going to happen.  The SDs who are truly uncommitted both don't want this responsibility and are also smart enough to know that the point can be argued both ways.  And because no one has yet invented the crystal ball, they'll back the pledged delegate winner.

But spare me this argument that if it went the other way this would be the result of some careful and objective process.  It would be bossism.  What boss doesn't think he or she makes all of the right calls 100% of the time?  Do you really think anyone who wasn't already totally sold on Clinton would buy this?  

Honestly, part of me sort of wishes this happens, because I'd love to see the Dems try to unify the party after it happened.  This would be Bush v. Gore two months before the general.

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-05-10 10:51PM | 0 recs
Best 2 out of 3? 3 out of 5? Double or nothing?

2,209 is not the "required number" to win.

The required number is 2,025.

If you object to the rules, say something before the ball is in play.

by jdusek 2008-05-10 11:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

For all of the talk about the importance of the popular vote, btw, is there unanimous agreement among Clinton supporters that if Obama does emerge the winner by this metric that he's won the nomination fair and square?

You can't have a political party without reciprocity and the golden rule.  If this would be enough to make a case for Clinton's candidacy (ie. supers should overturn the delegate count), then if Obama wins the delegate count and the PV game over, no?

But I know how some would answer this: "Well, no".  And rather than engage such people, I'll just call attention to the outrageousness of it all.

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-05-10 09:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

I can't address the question as I am an Obama supporter, but I would add that the popular vote is not a very good metric in determining popular support. First, the popular vote is not counted in the caucus states. Second, we will get embroiled in debating such issues as if Puerto Rico's popular vote should count in that measure....they do not have a voice in the general election, so their delegates are important in the primary process but it would seem pointless to add in popular votes that won't be included in November.
by GrahamCracker 2008-05-10 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Understand what you're saying.  Something which just occurred to me: if Clinton does win the PV, but the superdelegates back Obama anyway, will Clinton supporters than acknowledge that this outcome as just fine and dandy?

Because, after all, they've been claiming that superdelegates aren't really constrained by any rules or guidelines when making their decisions.  The PV is one metric.  It's not any sort of ultimate indicator.

So to be consistent, a Clinton supporter who believed the above should be prepared to say the following: "Clinton won the popular vote, but the superdelegates went with Obama anyway, not a problem, they're the ultimate authorities".

Not, "But Clinton won the popular vote--we got screwed!"

Realize politics is the last place to look for consistency, but it's in stuff like this where the "she'll do anything to win" meme originated.

I think it would be a travesty if Clinton arrived at the convention with the most pledged delegates and Obama somehow got the nomination.

From what I can tell, the only common ground I have with many Clinton supporters is in the above scenario--and only with those names--they'd consider it a travesty as well.

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-05-10 11:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

They won't accept it no matter what.

They keep creating new hoops for Obama to jump through before they will accept him (supposedly).

The rules going in were: whomever gets the most delegates, wins. Even Clinton said it.

Now they say anything and everything else. They create 10,000 word dissertations. All Obama has to say is, "I won more delegates." People get simple because usually the simple explanation is the correct one.

by IowaMike 2008-05-10 11:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Great diary, Nobama. Really, down to earth poilitical analysis which seems hard to cme by in this primary process. the goal posts keep changing for everybody in this primary fight bedcause the DNC is trying to stack the deck for Obama. The whole thing is an embarrassment.

by linfar 2008-05-11 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

Superb analysis. I presume the reason Obama and his cohorts want to end the election process right now, is because they are worried she may win, if we go all the way to the convention. The Obama followers are descendants of the roster of losers in the Democratic party. We can't leave them in charge of November.

by LA 2008-05-11 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary: The Way to Win

excellent - i rec'd

by nikkid 2008-05-11 07:26AM | 0 recs
Excellent post

Thanks for this!

by The Smoldering Crone 2008-05-11 07:29AM | 0 recs


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