Thanks. I think maybe I will write up a short diary illustrating all the ways that each side can get the nomination. I think a lot of Obama supporters assume it's just "run out the clock," but that's a bit oversimplified. He can't get to 2025 without superdelegates, though he can obviously get closer. But he will still need to convince superdelegates that being closer to 2025 (or being more electable, or being more for change) justifies choosing him over Hillary. I think that will be a very compelling argument to many of them, but I still acknowledge that he will need to do it. There are other ways to the nomination for him also, some of them much less neat and tidy.
Ha, I have come a long way from DKos. Even as an ardent Obama supporter, I don't feel at home there. Must be the objectivity. Although I do really like the way their unexpanded comments show which ones are new and old. Hint Hint site designers.
I think that your argument is an intriguing one. I think that when both candidates don't get to 2024 pledged delegates (which they won't), the supers are entitled to make their decision based on whatever metric they want. If they want to flip a coin, so be it. In fact, that would presumably produce a 50/50 split and the winning pledged delegate candidate would win the nomination.
If Obama has a miniscule lead in pledged delegates (say less than 40) and Hillary had a small lead in popular vote (say less than 100,000), this is how the argument could go for Hillary: "My opponent's small pledged delegate lead is small enough to be essentially meaningless. It may be partly the result of scheduling quirks and weather conditions and does not reflect a mandate. My popular vote lead is just as meaningful. Therefore, I implore the superdelegates to vote for whom they believe would be the best president and/or has the best chance of beating McCain."
If Obama has a miniscule pledged delegate lead and Hillary is even just very close in popular vote, I would not fault her for this tactic (even though the popular vote is not totally accurate because caucus states don't keep track of total caucus-goers). However, if Obama still has a substantial lead in pledged delegates (150+), even a popular vote lead would not mean much in terms of the legitimacy of an argument as to why supers should choose Hillary. That's not to say they can't do it, but I don't think they would in large numbers.
To be honest, I think Hillary's best chance at this point is to get the delegate count as close as possible (under 100 is almost a necessity), and hope Puerto Ricans come out in huge numbers for her, enough to make the popular vote really really close. At that point, she at least has an argument to make. If she's losing by 150 in pledged delegates and 300,000 in popular vote, her argument is likely to be wholly ineffective.
I sort of do think caucuses are a bad thing, and I'm an Obama supporter. They reward the most passionate supporters who can spend hours congregating to argue for their candidate. I believe voting should be as easy as possible for everyone, and caucuses do not do that. I can't wait until the day we can all vote online (after having our iris scanned??), though the Republicans definitely don't want that. That being said, if Obama wins the nomination, it will be in part due to his resounding wins in caucuses. At the very least, we need to have every state doing things the same way. All 50 do caucuses, or all 50 do primaries. I'd prefer the latter and I'd like the delegates to be allocated proportionally by vote percentage, not by congressional district. While I'm wishing for things, I wish Gore had won in 2000. Just thinking about 2000 makes my stomach hurt.
Check out my comment about 15 posts up if you get a chance. Which of those 4 events (or a different scenario) do you see likely to play out? If you think it will be something different that gets Hillary to the nomination, what?
No snark or sarcasm meant here at all, I'm honestly curious which one Hillary supporters expect.
I think there are some, admittedly limited, ways that Hillary becomes the nominee.
1) Obama's campaign just absolutely implodes.
2) Michigan and Florida somehow get seated as is and Puerto Rico swings the popular vote all the way into her corner. She'd be within 100 pledged delegates and winning in popular vote.
3) A ton of superdelegates and some pledged delegates for Obama get spooked by polls and anti-Obama attacks by McCain and 527s and move to Hillary en masse.
4) A massive fight on the floor of the convention ends up in chaos and Hillary takes it on the umpeenth ballot.
I guess #1 could happen, but it seems unlikely at the moment.
#2 is pretty unlikely. I don't think it's impossible for Florida to get counted as is (unlikely though), but there is no chance Michigan gets seated as is. And if a revote miraculously happens in Michigan, Hillary may still win, but it will be closer than it was in January, leaving her more than 100 behind in pledged delegates.
#3 could definitely happen on a small scale, but probably not large enough to swing the nomination to her.
#3 could somehow result in #4 though, and at that point, all bets are off. I think a #3-#4 combination is the most likely, and probably the one Hillary supporters have to hang their hat on.
I would still put the odds of #3/#4 at less than 10%, #2 at less than 5%, and #1 is totally unpredictable.
I think this is an important discussion, because I think Hillary and Obama supporters should be thinking about what the realistic options for her are at this point. If there are any I missed, list em.
I agree that the SUSA polls have been pretty accurate in general. I think their 18 point lead is a bit generous, but perhaps not too far off. As an Obama supporter, I'm not expecting him to be much closer than 10 points at best. Anything closer than 10 and I'll be extremely happy. Some people have been saying he is going to win, which is just crazy-talk in my opinion. I guess it's not impossible, but I'd be shocked.
I'm not exactly sure what you are referring to. The Democratic Parties in each state are the ones that chose to violate the rules. I don't know how you can fault Obama for not supporting seating delegates from seriously flawed elections. Yes, he should support a revote in both states, but neither state agreed to it, so that's a moot point. But even if the state agreed to it, there was a serious problem:
"Ten wealthy Democrats have offered to pay for a new presidential primary in Michigan -- all with ties to Hillary Rodham Clinton."
I agree that there seems to be more fairness and reconciliation here, though that was not true until recently. At best, things here were only slightly less bitter than things there for a long time. I do agree that DKos has been far too bitter, but I don't agree that things have gotten much better there. Even without many Clinton supporters there, they viciously attack any Obama supporter (like myself) who dares to present a nuanced view of Hillary, her campaign, or her supporters.
I think you can make at least a mediocre argument that Florida at least represents the likely outcome of a revote done today (or when it was supposed to be originally done). Obama would not do much better than he did back when they voted (January?), and Hillary didn't really "cheat" by appearing there a few times. It's a bad precedent not to punish them for breaking the rules because then every state will be tempted to do the same and we will have states voting a year before the convention. However, I don't think the vote results from the original Florida vote are fundamentally wrong or skewed (at least not by much). Obama would not suddenly win that state if it revoted.
However, there is no way to make any argument that Michigan represents a fair count. Obama and Edwards were not on the ballot. You can not argue that zero Obama supporters voted for Hillary because there was no other choice (you were not even allowed to write in Obama). And you also can't argue that none of the uncommitteds were Edwards supporters. There is no way to argue that Michigan was in any way a fair vote. Now, I don't think Obama would necessarily win that state if it was done at the fair and correct time, but he would not lose by 20 points either.
That being said, I think Obama is missing an opportunity. He could/should allow Florida to count as is (but only as half the original number of delegates as punishment) in exchange for splitting Michigan 50/50 (and with only half the total number of delegates counting as punishment). Maybe Hillary/the DNC would not agree, but at least Obama could say he tried.
By the way, even if you gave Hillary the delegates from Michigan that voted for her and Obama the uncommitteds, she only picks up an 18 point gain in delegates and 100,000 in popular votes. Then count Florida and she gets a net gain of another 38 delegates and 300,000 votes. Even with this, the most unfair way to count the two states, she is still losing to Obama by 106 pledged delegates and 427,000 popular votes. Closer, yes. Tied, no. And that's with counting it in the most unfair way possible (unless you want to say Obama doesn't get the uncommitteds from Michigan, which I think is ludicrous).
Just because I found your comment offensive doesn't mean I agree with the side you are rejecting. I just don't agree with the way you did it. And maybe I am being too sensitive. I should have thought more about your intentions before I troll rated. I'm sorry for that.
First, I've been reading hear a while, though I only signed up last week. I rated your comment the same way as if you said the N-word. Sorry, you don't get to say "well, I'm using it sarcastically, so it's ok." I found it offensive in the context. If that's not what rating is for, then what is it for?
I like DKos less and less because almost no one there is objective at all. They don't understand how anyone could possibly support Hillary without being racist or irrational or somehow sexist (as in supporting any woman over any man). They don't understand that the experience question is an important one to many Hillary supporters. They don't understand that health care is the number one issue to many Hillary supporters and Hillary's plan goes farther than his in terms of socialized health care. In my anecdotal evidence, health care is not the #1 priority for many Obama supporters at all, so they can't imagine how it could be for someone else. It's not the lack of understanding that bothers me so much about DKos, it's the lack of any interest in trying to understand.
I hope no one bashes you for quoting Jefferson. That would be utterly ridiculous. Jefferson made choices that went against his personal principles but would be positive for the nation (spending a ton of money on the Louisiana Purchase, ramping up the army and navy to take on Tripoli, ransoming American prisoners). And while this may sound ridiculous to say about him considering he is consistently ranked as one of the top 5 U.S. presidents by academics and historians, I think he is underrated by many non-scholars. An ABC poll of regular people put him consistently 10th or worst, behind George W. Bush!