Michigan, Florida and Accurate Representation

The question of whether or not the Florida and Michigan compromises are fair will resonate between now and the end of the campaign.

It's a difficult question to answer, since the nature of the primaries themselves muddle the question. How many people would have voted if they knew it was going to count? Does the vote accurately reflect the will of the people in those states? Is the compromise fair to the voters, the candidates and the other 48 states?

A simple, but imperfect, answer is to look at the number of votes cast in the primaries versus the number of delegates that have been alloted. Blue represents Obama, magenta represents Clinton, light blue circles show the compromises. I left the Obama and Clinton dots at 0 in MI/FL (where they were before) so people could track which compromise point was for each candidate.

The black line represents the best fit for all primaries (both candidates), with a fairly decent fit (R-squared is .85 out of 1). For the sake of display, I cut off the far primaries (California, for instance), but the fit was generally pretty close out there as well.

As you can see, the light blue dots fall close within the noise around the linear fit. In a perfect statistical world, you'd expect Clinton 29.5, Obama 23 in Michigan; Clinton 68, Obama 47 in Florida. Instead, we have Clinton 34.5 (+5), Obama 29.5 (+6.5) in Michigan; Clinton 52.5 (-15.5), Obama 34.5 (-12.5) in Florida (numbers taken from Alegre's old diary).

The deals do have a slight Obama edge (under-represented by 6 rather than Clinton's 10.5), but considering the limitations of the situation, it is fairly impressive how close these compromises come to weighing the Michigan and Florida votes equally to those in every other contest.

I realize I'm looking at this numerically rather than emotionally or personally, so some are going to disagree. But dealing with an imperfect primary is a difficult thing, and the compromises does decently in a bad situation.

[editor's note, by TCQuad] Forgot to mention in the methodology, uncommitted votes in Michigan were taken as votes against Hillary (since it was basically her versus uncommitted) and awarded to Obama.

Tags: compromise, Denver, disenfranchisement, Florida, Michigan (all tags)



One day...

I'll do a diary without a spreadsheet. Promise.

by TCQuad 2008-05-31 05:48PM | 0 recs
Good diary

The key to understand the decision is to have the honesty to accept there was no perfect solution, and that both sides had valid points.  This is why we ended up with a compromise, and I'm glad the compromise came out as fair to both sides as it did.

by libertyleft 2008-05-31 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Good diary

I agree...  the best compromises tend to be those where no one is entirely happy....

I have a niggling issue with the title...  Neither FL nor MI had anything to do with disenfranchisement or voting rights.  People went and voted... and their votes were counted.  There were just no delegates initially slated as a result... until today.

This year, the state GOP's will be trying everything in their limited power to actually disenfranchise voters especially in Democratic districts.

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-31 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Good diary

I had thrown in a working title (it was from somewhere earlier when I was reading about how people were talking about the compromise like it was a kind of great disenfranchisement) and forgot to update it before posting. The second title was seat-of-my-pants, I'll try to think up something more reflective that doesn't immediately scream "statistical analysis".

by TCQuad 2008-05-31 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Good diary

nah... you're fine...  it's just a really touchy point with me this year....

by JenKinFLA 2008-05-31 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Preserving Voter's Rights

Good look at things. Kudos.

by ragekage 2008-05-31 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan, Florida and Accurate Representation

you need to make a correction in your diary

you stated that uncommitted in FL - when I think you mean uncommitted in MI

by colebiancardi 2008-05-31 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Michigan, Florida and Accurate Representation

Good catch, thanks. After typing in all the delegate totals and votes before making the graphs, my "just hit the stupid submit button already" instinct kicked in a little too much.

by TCQuad 2008-05-31 06:15PM | 0 recs


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