It looks like May 31st is going to be anything but an ordinary Saturday in the park for Washington residents, as Hillary supporters from across the nation convene in the nations capital to speak out in support of counting every vote.
A group of High Profile Clinton Supporters are planning a day long rally in front of the hotel where the Rules and Bylaws committee will be considering the fate of the Michigan and Florida primaries.
It will draw together some of Clinton's most loyal backers and be emceed by Jehmu Greene, the former president of Rock the Vote who sat on the DNC committee that spent 2005 trying to reform the party's primary process.
Announced speakers so far include National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy and Florida Democratic congresswoman Corinne Brown. Organizers say that they expect individuals to come in from 26 different states for the rally, as well as some major celebrity speakers, and that they are receiving logistical assistance or other support from the pro-Clinton United Federation of Teachers and EMILY's List. The group Florida Demands Representation, organized by James Hannagan, will also be there.
HILLARY'S SWING STATE ADVANTAGE
In contrast, in the 28 states and the District of Columbia where Obama has won a higher share of the popular vote against Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries and caucuses, there is essentially no difference in how Obama and Clinton each fare against McCain. Both Democrats are statistically tied with him for the fall election.
PRINCETON, NJ -- In the 20 states where Hillary Clinton has claimed victory in the 2008 Democratic primary and caucus elections (winning the popular vote), she has led John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily trial heats for the general election over the past two weeks of Gallup Poll Daily tracking by 50% to 43%. In those same states, Barack Obama is about tied with McCain among national registered voters, 45% to 46%.
All of this speaks to Sen. Clinton's claim that her primary-state victories over Obama indicate her potential superiority in the general election.
PUERTO RICANS HEAD TO THE POLLS SUNDAY
POLLS SHOW CLINTON WITH A SOLID LEAD
There are about 2.5 million registered voters in Puerto Rico. Normally, 80 percent of them vote. While it may be less than that this weekend, still, close to one million people could show up to choose between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. That's about the same number that turned out in states like Missouri and New Jersey.
Over 1 Million To Cast Votes
FL/MICHIGAN: CLINTON CAMP NOT BACKING DOWN.
In most inclusive count, Clinton has the numbers
Lost in the excitement of Barack Obama's coronation this week was an inconvenient fact of Tuesday's results: Hillary Clinton netted approximately 150,000 votes and is now poised to finish the primary season as the popular-vote leader. In some quaint circles, presumably, these things still matter.
Real Clear Politics keeps track of six versions of the popular-vote total. They are, in ascending order of inclusivity: (1) the popular vote of sanctioned contests; (2) the total of sanctioned contests, plus estimated votes from the Iowa, Nevada, Maine and Washington caucuses; (3) the popular vote plus Florida; (4) popular vote plus Florida and the caucuses; (5) the popular vote plus Florida and Michigan; (6) popular vote plus Florida, Michigan, and the caucus estimates. After Tuesday, Clinton now leads in two of these six counts.
If you believe that the most important precept in democratic politics is to "count every vote," then the sixth category is the most inclusive, and here Clinton leads Obama by 71,301 votes. Of course, this includes the Michigan result, where Sen. Obama had removed his name from the ballot. So while it may be the most inclusive, it may not be the most fair.
The third and fourth counts - the ones which include Florida - seem more fair. Here, Obama is clinging to a slight lead of 146,786 votes (257,008, with the caucus estimates). However, with Puerto Rico, Montana, and South Dakota remaining, he will almost certainly finish behind her in these counts, likely by a few hundred thousand votes.
But could Clinton take over the lead in all of the popular-vote tabulations? Quite possibly. In Puerto Rico's last major election, two million people voted. Let's assume that turnout for this historic vote - Puerto Rico has never had a presidential primary before - will be equal to or greater than that turnout.
If Clinton were to win Puerto Rico by 20 points she would pick up at least a 400,000-vote margin. This would allow her to swamp Obama in the popular-vote counts, which include Florida, making her the leader in four of the six permutations of the popular vote. At that point, Obama would be left clinging to the least-inclusive count, which he now leads by 441,558 votes (551,780, including caucuses).
To understand how razor-thin this majority is, consider that if the Puerto Rico turnout is slightly larger than we have imagined - or Clinton's margin is slightly greater - then Clinton would finish the primary process leading in every conceivable vote count. With two million voters, a 28 percent victory would put Clinton over the top even in the count, which excludes Florida and Michigan and includes estimates for Obama's caucus victories.
It is this looming prospect which explains the tremendous pressure Obama partisans and the media are putting on Clinton to drop out of the race. They want her gone now because they understand that she has an excellent chance of finishing as the undisputed people's choice.
Would it matter if Clinton were the undisputed (or even disputed) popular-vote winner? That's hard to say. The question is, matter to whom? The superdelegates will determine the nominee and there's no telling what will sway them. They have no objective criteria from which to make their decisions. But if they were to deny the popular-vote champ the nomination, there is a real question of whether Democratic voters would reconcile themselves to the decision. As it is, much of the talk about Democratic defections in November has been overstated.<>
Partisan voters almost always come home after their candidate loses. The problem arises when a candidate's supporters believe that their guy (or gal) didn't lose. Expect the chorus calling for Clinton's withdrawal to grow louder over the next week, with people insisting that she has no "path to victory."
Clinton's path is both obvious and simple: Win the popular vote and force Barack Obama and his cheerleaders to explain why that doesn't matter.