A Look at the Popular Vote

Everyone is talking about the popular vote. Everyone wants to know if Hillary Clinton can catch up. Everyone is hyperventilating. This diary is not an analysis on a scenario that will allow Clinton to catch up. Simply, it is a look at the Democratic Primary race through the popular vote, broken down by Democrats, Independents and Republicans.


It is obvious DEMOCRATS have voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries, while INDEPENDENTS and REPUBLICANS have voted for Barack Obama. Just looking at the Democratic numbers it also becomes obvious that including the several caucus states will not matter and Clinton will still lead in the popular vote among Democratic voters. What is trobling is the large influence voters who are not Democratics have on the Democratic Nomination for President.

On a personal level I belive Democrats should choose the Democratic nominee for President, and it has become obvious that Obama supporters do not like the meddling by Republicans in primaries such as Mississippi. It is very possible Republicans will play a bigger role in the last last several contest in the Democratis race, the question is, if Republicans aid Clinton in defeating Obama in the popular vote, does it matter? Should it count? Is it right? Furthermore, if Clinton still leads among Democratic voters by the convention, should that sway Democratic superdelegates at the Democratic National Convention?

NOTE: The numbers are incomplete as there are still counting left to do. The popular vote is taken by The Green Papers, while exit poll data is taken from CNN. These numbers are estimates and only meant as a reference for argument. I will continue to update the numbers as the primary contest continues.

Update [by RJEvans]:

I'm being accused of being misleading by several posters because I did not include caucus numbers, despite the fact that I said the numbers only included primary states.

Well, I've done the math, per RCP numbers on several caucus states, WY, HA, NE, CO, KS, ND, ID, AK, AS, VI, AND DA. IA, NV, WA and ME still don't have numbers.

Here is what I found:

Obama: 219,422

Clinton: 93,502

Obama Net: 125,920

So, as I said, even if I included these caucus states, Obama still will not be able to overtake Clinton among DEMOCRATIC voters.

So, I just provided the proof that I am not being misleading, by simply stating a fact.

Tags: Barack Obama, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, popular vote, Primary, Republicans (all tags)



Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

You left out a lot of states.

by Cheebs 2008-03-13 06:43PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

READ before you comment, please! The list ONLY includes PRIMARY states.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 06:47PM | 0 recs
Then it really

is in the end silly.

People voted in these other states: your analysis effectively dis-enfranchises them.

by fladem 2008-03-13 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Then it really


The DNC already did its part in disenfranchising those voters. I don't have exits for those states except for NV and IA, nor do I have popular vote totals.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:07PM | 0 recs
why do you want to disenfranchise me?

I am an independent, have been since my first vote in 1976.  As a rule primaries are my only opportunity to vote for the candidate I consider to be best qualified for the job.

You clearly believe my vote should not count.  Why?

by ohioskeptic 2008-03-13 09:23PM | 0 recs
And you included Michigan

if I am reading your table correctly, which was a caucus.

Also, DC and RI are both primaries.  

by fladem 2008-03-13 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: And you included Michigan

Michigan was a primary. DC and RI are included, but I don't have exit polls for them from CNN yet.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Somehow I don't think the people in the DNC will be using your method of tabulating votes. I'll stay with Rasmussen and the news organizations that have Obama up by 700,000 votes.

by victoryfordems 2008-03-13 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

That was not my question now was it?

You support Obama, but what if Republicans turnout in larger numbers, and vote for Clinton in large margins, how would you feel. You have already voiced that opinion, you call them racist, you say they are meddling in a contest that business meddling in. You want me to whip out the quotes?

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

"You" was meant in general terms. I was talking about Obama supporters on this site in general, not specifically you.

I included FL and MI, but also included seperate totals with and without these states.

And I'm not changin the subject, you did.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Did you not read what I just said? I said I meant "you" in general terms, not specifically you. Obviously it is incorrect gramma. But, obviously, you're not reading.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Please don't be so angry, and I couldn't understand what you meant by "you" either. This attitude on both sides of "well YOU did THIS"! "YOU did THIS FIRST!" has got to stop. If you carry around hate for the comments of so many anonymous people and judge others pre-emptively on it, then we're doomed as a party to unite no matter who the nominee is.

by upstate girl 2008-03-13 07:26PM | 0 recs
Your statement

was needlessly inflammatory.

by fladem 2008-03-13 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Your statement

Infalmmatory? Ha, ha! Boy, get a backbone.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Your statement

Your attitude is what is going to screw up this election. You, and I mean You, are polarizing the very Democrats that you are trying to promote in the nomination process. Now that will be very helpful in the general election when the Democrats will need all of their supporters and a large majority of independents to win the Presidency and a larger majority in Congress. All of your charts are very pretty, but they don't have much importance. Let's talk about issues and things that are important. Less and less people want to identify themselves as Republicans or Democrats. If you try to keep the Democratic Party pure, you eliminate 30% of the electorate.

by victoryfordems 2008-03-13 09:54PM | 0 recs
True, but

why have a Democratic party if registered Democrats have no weight?

by Coldblue 2008-03-13 06:53PM | 0 recs
You do know that like almost a 1/3

of the country ar independents right?

by kindthoughts 2008-03-13 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Clearly that's true. Should it be true, though?

I think it's telling that the "frontrunner" for the Democratic nomination is over a million votes behind among Democrats. He has a lot of ground to make up in the final contests.

by arkansasdemocrat 2008-03-13 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Do you agree with that rule, that the PEOPLE should have NO vioce in choosing their nominee?

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 06:58PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

You're dodging the question, answer it.

Plus, independents who vote in a Democratic primary is not the same as Independents who vote in the general. Trust me.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

You are right, the Independents that vote in the Democratic primary are more likely to vote for the Democratic Nominee than normal ones.

by Tantris 2008-03-13 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Why don't you do the research yourself. Why should I do your homework?

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 07:11PM | 0 recs
I agree. And if Obama supporters don't like

the rule allowing SDs to vote their conscience they should change it.

by JimR 2008-03-13 07:22PM | 0 recs
The people

effect the choice of the nominee through the election of delegates.

by fladem 2008-03-13 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The people

So you support the election of President Bush in 2000?

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:10PM | 0 recs
Re: The people
I wasn't happy about the 2000 election, either. But the electoral college insures that the smaller or less populous states are important,too.
If Al Gore had won his home state of Tennessee, he would have won the election and it's 11 electoral votes, 277 - 260 and Florida would not have mattered. A presidential candidate should never lose their home state.
by victoryfordems 2008-03-13 09:05PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

The last poll I saw had Democrats at about 40% of the electorate, Republicans were about 30%. I don't think either party can win without the majority of the 30% of independents. I also think it is impossible to identify what the independent vote was in each of the states with the various open and closed primaries and independents and Republicans declaring as Democrats to vote in the primaries. There is no uniformity in all of the states as far as declaring party affiliation. Can't possibly be accurate.

by victoryfordems 2008-03-13 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

The question is who is most electable in the general election. Who is going to attract the most independents? If the Democrats make up 40% of the electorate, and you get all 40% to turn out and vote Democratic (highly unlikely), you still fall far short of winning the election. It's the battle for the 30% block of independent votes that turns the election. And Barack Obama has consistently been winning the majority of independents. Don't think the DNC isn't paying attention to that.

by victoryfordems 2008-03-13 09:13PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Great... make your case for "closed" primaries in the next election...

This one has lots of open ones.  I think valid arguments can be made for both closed and open primaries... but that's the way it works in this election.

by leshrac55 2008-03-13 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

CNN is pretty accurate and I believe these numbers are a rough "estimate" of how the people voted (do you guys read at all). Istead of trying to question the integrity of my post, answer the questions I posed. You have not as of yet.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

It will take me some time to create it, but I will get it to you sometime tomorrow or this weekend. I don't have free time like that.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

You're still not answering the question.

My question is is it fair to let Republicans and Independents choose our Democratic nominee. This is not an argument about rules. This is a yes or no answer. Answer it.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

thats a argument for 2012, its too late to change the rules in 2008.

by Cheebs 2008-03-13 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Why don't you answer the question since your friend is reluctant to.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote


by Cheebs 2008-03-13 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

I'll answer it and say in states that allow it, its fair. Why? Because the rules allow it. And in the general election, anyone can vote for either candidate. Saying that Republicans and Independents will or won't do something in the general is assuming a lot of "what ifs" that no one has any idea will make a difference or not.

Republicans and Independents are Americans too. They have families, jobs, homes, dreams and hopes for the future. The letter after your name indicating party affiliation isn't a scarlet letter upon which to pre-emptively judge people and categorize them.

by upstate girl 2008-03-13 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Yes... helps test the strength of cross-appeal (important in a general election).

Even so, popular vote doesn't mean anything. It doesn't really "exist" in an official capacity.  The delegate count does.

by leshrac55 2008-03-13 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

So you as an Obama supporter do not support the "will of the people?" By your position, you also support the election of Bush in 2000. Is that so?

Now, remember we are not discussing the rules.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

I support who wins the most votes. Doesn't matter their party affiliation I also include raw vote totals from caucus's, you can't disenfranchise them.

by Cheebs 2008-03-13 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Provide me the raw vote totals and exit/entrace poll datat for those states and I will HAPPILY include them in my chart.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

You don't want to discuss the rules, because you want to change them to better suit your candidate. It doesn't mean the rules aren't important.

Open primaries are a choice made by democrats, and only by democrats. If democrats don't like the fact that their state has an open primary, they can easily appeal to their state party.

Open primaries do not disenfranchise anyone. They are smart for a variety of reasons.

I wonder if, given you're desire that the will of democrats be heard, if you are prepared to denounce and reject the idea that the votes of democrats in red states are less important than the votes of democrats in swing states. Or the idea -- implied by the misleading table -- that the votes of caucus-going democrats count less than democrats voting in primaries.

We can have a conversation about the best system for chosing a nominee after we have chosen our nominee. The idea that we should change the rules mid-stream to advantage your failure of a candidate is both impractical and immoral, as it compromises the rights, and devalues the choices, of every vote and candidate who played by the rules they were given.

by EMTP democrat 2008-03-13 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

I don't want to discuss the rules because my question was not pertaining to the rules, it was directed to the personal preference of a particular person regarding an issue. It is not about rules.

On your accusations: It is me belief that every voter is equal and every vote is equal. Moreover, I never misled anyone as I stated that the numbers only included primary states. Provide me the raw data for caucus states I would happily include them. I have never implied that caucus voters count less. It certainly is a less Democratic system, and when the final National Convention Delegates are chosen, the results of so removed from the actual popular vote that it effectively disenfranchises the people, more so than our current primary delegate allocation process.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:19PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Bush is different because he didn't "win" Florida legitimately.

Had he won legitimately, but still lost the popular vote, then yes, his election would've been legitimate.  That's the way our system works now.

by leshrac55 2008-03-13 07:35PM | 0 recs
Your folly is to assume

that what defines a person with democratic values is a registration card.

There are HUGE amount of people who are not registered democrats but have all or most of the same values.

And you guys want them.

Look at Nader. Democrats can not stop yelling at liberal independents and greens for not voting for gore. Inviting Independents to vote Democrats helps add number to the party.

by kindthoughts 2008-03-13 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

So, let me get this straight. If the Democratic Party locks out 30% of the electorate(Independents) from nominating their candidate, the Independents have to go vote in the Republican primaries, if allowed, or go vote for a third party. And since it is the Independents that decide the outcome of elections because there is simply no way that individually the Democratic or Republican voters could elect a President, the Independents should be shut out of the Democratic primaries. And since the vast majority of Independents vote Democratic, we should push them away to another party. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So my answer is YES, LET THE INDEPENDENTS IN. Keep the Republicans out.

by victoryfordems 2008-03-13 09:27PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

I think the preference of Democrats is an important factor for superdelegates to consider.  Not the only factor, but an important one.  I don't like the logic that says we should take all the Democrats for granted and just worry about who can bring in more non-Democrats.  Expanding the party is important, but if you're not going to care about people's opinions once they're in the party, then your party will have no soul.

That said, while Hillary has a clear lead among registered Democrats, it's not a blowout.  Clearly there are many, many Democrats who think Obama should be the nominee.  So I don't think nominating Obama would be some kind of mass repudiation of the party faithful or anything like that.

Most people have a strong preference at this stage of the game.  While I certainly have my own, I think both candidates have made a very strong case, and on some level it's a shame we can only nominate one.  Hopefully the remainder of the primary season will have a clarifying effect.

by Steve M 2008-03-13 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

You've been misled. The diarist is completely ignoring caucus voters, probably because when you count every voter, Obama is the choice of most democrats as well.

by EMTP democrat 2008-03-13 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

I don't think I've been misled, friend.

by Steve M 2008-03-13 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

It's hard to misled people when I SAY in the diary that only primary numbers are included. GIVE me the caucus numbers and I will HAPPILY include them. They are hard to find and I only had 30 min to make this chart. Help me out instead of attacking everyone.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Why should the popular vote trump the rules agreed to by the party at the beginning of the nominating campaign?  

How do you account for caucuses?  I participated in Washington's caucus.  I would not be happy if my participation didn't count for anything.  A lot of other Democrats also participated in caucuses, in Washington and elsewhere.    

Unless you have a proposal for accounting for caucuses, this entire discussion about popular vote counts is meaningless.  In fact, further discussion about popular vote counts can only serve to feed the confusion and create misleading perceptions about the status of the nominating process.  


by ruskin 2008-03-13 07:46PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Here's the real totals from realclearpolitics.com:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/ 2008/president/democratic_vote_count.htm l

Popular vote total:
Obama: 13,280,770    49.5%   
Clinton: 12,577,044    46.9%   

Popular cote totals including current FL:
Obama: 13,856,984    48.5%   
Clinton: 13,448,030    47.1%

Popular vote total including FL and MI:
Obama:    13,856,984    47.5%   
Clinton: 13,776,339    47.3%   

Please don't use numbers which you've manipulated heavily to try and prove a partisan point, its disingenuous. Saying "but Republicans and Independents don't count!" isn't the way the system works. Their votes count. You can't cherry pick people to "count". That's probably the most undemocratic thing I've heard.

by upstate girl 2008-03-13 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

I'm glad someone finally pointed that out.

by victoryfordems 2008-03-13 09:32PM | 0 recs
The exit polls mean NOTHING

How many times do I need to repeat this? Many registered Democrats considered themselves to be Independents. Which is why you find large numbers of independents in even closed primaries.

This only indicates that Democrats that consider themselves to be more 'independent' than 'regular' Democrats support Obama. Which makes sense, as Clinton is the 'establishment' candidate.

by MILiberal 2008-03-13 08:17PM | 0 recs
Re: The exit polls mean NOTHING

Well, I'm a Democrat who consider myself "more 'independent'" than "regular" Democrats, and I support Clinton. So, I don't know what you are talking about. If some of you knew my positions on issues, you would want me out of the Party.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The exit polls mean NOTHING

Let's all agree that whoever the Democratic nominee is, that we should be supporting the NOMINEE in November. Four more years of Republican mismanagement and McCain-Bush will further ruin this country. If anyone is for McCain, they aren't serious about progressive values and don't belong on this blog.

by victoryfordems 2008-03-13 09:37PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

I'm being accused of being misleading by not including caucus numbers.

Well, I've done the math, per RCP numbers on several caucus states, WY, HA, NE, CO, KS, ND, ID, AK, AS, VI, AND DA. IA, NV, WA and ME still don't have numbers.

Here is what I found:

Obama: 219,422
Clinton: 125,920

Obama Net: 125,920

So, as I said in the post, even if I included these caucus states, Obama still will not be able to overtake Clinton among DEMOCRATIC voters.

So, I just provided the proof that I am not being misleading, but simply stated a fact.

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

That really means nothing. You're essentially saying "the totals don't count, because some of those people aren't real Democrats". That's exclusionary, unfair (these primaries were held according to the rules of each state, and if they were open, then any political party can vote), and unrealistic. There's simply no way to come up with an indisputable number of "real Democrats" (whatever that means), and it wouldn't make a difference anyway.

I thought the goal of this election season for the Democratic Party was to regain the White House through expanding our voting base and winning new voters to our party. Floating the "real Democrats" meme is counterintuitive to the goal of the party in  November and the future health and well being of the party as a whole. In short, its undemocratic, and un-Democratic.

by upstate girl 2008-03-13 08:46PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

That is not what I am saying and you damn well know that. If you read the diary you would know I am posing a question: Should Democrats nominate a Democrat? Is it right that Republicans have influence in choosing OUR nominee? Would Obama supporters be angry if Clinton overtakes Obama's popular vote total with the help of Republican voters. Stop trying to spin and twist my words.

Plus, I'm not the one saying "real Democrats."

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

I read your diary and I understand exactly what you're saying. My point still stands.

You say "is it right that Republicans have a say in choosing our nominee"? What's in a party affiliation? Pundits can pontificate endlessly on if these Republican voters or these Independent voters will vote Democrat in the general - the fact is, we don't know. No one does. However, those that do - are they still Republicans? Or are they now Democrats? What's your litmus test for party affiliation?

The same goes the other direction. What about the Democratic party member who is so against the opposing Democratic nominee that they vote Republican in the general? Are they still Democrats? What's the definition?

The problem is that you're asking a question without defining the terms of the variables. I don't believe that ultimately the variables are by and large knowable (to the point that we'd be able to make broad generalizations as a whole about their motives or future voting habits), and its ultimately a moot question.

by upstate girl 2008-03-13 08:56PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Make that Clinton: 93,502

by RJEvans 2008-03-13 08:46PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

The problem, is as has been noted, many registered Dem answer exit polls as independents, additionally a significant portion of non-declared voters, vote democratic 90% or more of the time.

by Socraticsilence 2008-03-13 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

I just want to thank you for taking the time to put this very enlightening table together! I appreciate your effort and the information contained therein.  

I'm also a fan of closed Primaries, as we have in PA--no system is ideal, but at least it makes it slightly harder for those who are becoming "Dem for a Day" to sway "our" results with no intention of voting for any Democratic candidate come November.  So personally, I feel the vote of Democrats does carry more weight than those of non-Democrats since a Democrat vote can be more trusted to be a vote toward your true choice among the Democrat candidates.

by ChargedFan 2008-03-13 09:24PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote
So if you have a closed Democratic primary and a closed Republican primary in the same state, you disenfranchise 30% of the total electorate or force the independents to vote for a third party.
by victoryfordems 2008-03-13 10:27PM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

It's not disenfranchisement. If someone wants to help select the nominee for a political party, he or she can join that party.

If someone doesn't want to be a member of a political party, then why would he or she expect to have a say in who represents that party in an election.

I'm a Democrat. I don't expect to have a say in who represents the Republican party in the general, nor the Libertarians, nor the Greens, nor any other party to which I am not a member.

by carrieboberry 2008-03-14 01:45AM | 0 recs
Re: A Look at the Popular Vote

Exactly my thoughts--thank you for stating so clearly what seems like common sense to me!  

If I didn't want to have a say in the Democratic Primaries, I would probably have switched my party affiliation to Independent long ago...but since my concerns most closely resemble the Democratic issues, I choose to be a Democrat because that is where I see the greatest field of possibilities among candidates and wish to have that say--therefore I choose to be Democrat by affiliation (although I've often voted for Independents, Libertarians, Greens, and yes even a few Republicans once we get outside of Primaries--because I truly vote for the candidate and the issues, not the party).  

by ChargedFan 2008-03-14 07:28AM | 0 recs


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