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The Indeterminate Election

By Peter Baker
So Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton got her groove back by winning Texas last week, right? Yes. No. Who knows?

Now some nine days after Texas voted, it's still not really clear who won. Clinton did win the primary by a clear 51 percent to 47 percent margin and, fortunately for her, that set the tone because those results came out on Election Night. As her camp notes, it showed once again that she wins the big states.

But the second step of the Texas Two-Step remains incomplete. One third of the state's delegates were to be chosen by the caucuses that followed the primary the same night. About 1 million voters participated in those caucuses and Texas Democrats are still counting their votes. Actually, in some places they haven't even started counting. In Harris County, which includes Houston, party volunteers are still collecting packets from precincts, the Houston Chronicle reported yesterday.

As a result, it's quite likely Sen. Barack Obama will actually emerge from the process having won more delegates from Texas than Clinton, which, after all, is the way nominees are chosen. At the very least, it appears that Clinton's win in the popular vote was offset by the caucuses, making Texas effectively a wash for her in the all-important delegate race. The most recent still-incomplete count by the Associated Press had both Clinton and Obama winning 103 delegates from Texas, with 22 still unallocated. The Houston Chronicle yesterday had Obama ahead with 108 delegates to 107 for Clinton. If he holds his lead in the caucuses, he would pick up more of the still-unallocated delegates than she would. The same thing happened in January in Nevada, where Clinton won the most votes but Obama ultimately edged her in delegates.

In some ways, that does not matter that much. Politics is often more about emotion and perception than math. Clinton's victory in the Texas popular vote, along with her triumph in Ohio the same night, gave her a powerful political boost at a time when she had gone a month without any wins. It energized her campaign, reinvigorated her supporters, stopped the erosion of superdelegates and juiced fundraising. It let her keep going with an argument that she still has a plausible case for the nomination, particularly if she can win the Pennsylvania primary on April 22 and somehow either seat disqualified delegates from Florida and Michigan or secure revotes in those two states.

Yet the slow-moving Texas results also highlight the fact that, at bottom, Clinton has not moved the needle when it comes to the delegate race. She picked up a net of nine delegates in Ohio and five in Rhode Island, according to the Associated Press count, while losing a net of three in Vermont, two in Wyoming and five in Mississippi. So if Texas is a wash, that means that after six more states voting in the past 10 days, Clinton has picked up only a net four pledged delegates. By some accounts, she spent something like $18 million in the March 4 primaries. Even if she has not spent a dime since then, it means each additional delegate cost her $4.5 million.

Turning back to our favorite online delegate calculator on our sister site, Slate, Clinton would need to win 63 percent in all of the remaining 10 contests to catch Obama in pledged delegates, or those chosen by caucuses and primaries. There's some cause to doubt her ability to do that, given that she has won that much so far in just a single state, her onetime adopted home of Arkansas. The latest polls show her winning Pennsylvania with 52 percent and losing North Carolina on May 6. So the Clinton camp recognizes it cannot actually beat Obama in pledged delegates without Florida and Michigan, which is why those two states have become so important all over again. Obama cannot win the nomination with only pledged delegates, but his camp is operating on the assumption that if he has a lead among pledged delegates, the elected officials and party leaders who vote as superdelegates will ultimately go his way rather than effectively overrule the verdict of the voters.

So for now, all eyes turn to Florida and Michigan. It may be hard for Clinton's forces to seat their delegates from those January primaries given that voters were told beforehand that they would not count because the elections were being held too early under Democratic National Committee rules -- especially in Michigan's case, where Obama's name was not even on the ballot. But the party is reluctant to disenfranchise voters from two big, important states. And a revote may favor Clinton, particularly in Florida, potentially putting her back in the hunt in the delegate race. "There are two options -- honor the results or hold new primary elections," she told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce yesterday. "I don't see any other solutions."

What would happen if Florida and Michigan were counted? Right now, without them, a candidate needs 2,025 delegates to win the Democratic nomination. If Florida's 210 delegates and Michigan's 156 were included, then a candidate would need 2,208. At the moment, Obama leads Clinton with 1,602 delegates to her 1,497, including all superdelegates. If Clinton were to get Florida's disqualified delegates or to win a revote by the same margin, she would gain a net 38 delegates. Michigan is more complicated because Obama was not on the ballot, but for the sake of argument, let's assume he would be given all of the vote she did not win or that a revote would produce essentially the same result; then she would come out of Michigan with a net 16 additional delegates.

Still with us? That would mean Clinton would cut Obama's lead among pledged delegates from 142 as it stands now to 88 -- and among all delegates from 105 to 51. If she rolled up a big win in Pennsylvania and some of the other upcoming states, that would leave the race so close that Clinton's camp argues it would be an effective tie and that the hundreds of uncommitted superdelegates should then come to the conclusion that she would be the stronger nominee in the fall.

That's a lot of math -- and a lot of ifs -- but that's where things stand. Stay tuned. There's lots more to come. And maybe someday, Texas will finish counting its votes.

Posted at 12:13 PM ET on Mar 13, 2008  | Category:  Morning Cheat Sheet
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Ummmmm: The DNC, Mr. Dean, the super delegates, somebody needs to do something here or we are going to lose this election, by ourselves. We don't even need the GOP, we are going to ruin it ourselves; and have no one else to blame for the further deaths and destruction; in this country and out. And, look stupid overseas? Not just look stupid, but the shoe fits.

Posted by: linda_521 | March 15, 2008 9:15 AM

I imagine that both campaigns are trying to "poach" (if that's the accurate analogy) from the other side's pledged and/or announced super delegates -- that's how Walter Mondale stole the nomination from Gary Hart -- speaking of prominant Democrats cut down by sex scandals, does anyone else think that the Obama campaign could implode over something similar, maybe an intern or fellow druggie?

Posted by: JakeD | March 14, 2008 4:20 PM

Just to finish up these comments on a positive, humorous note...

Clinton claiming to have won the Texas Two-Step is like the Patriots claiming to have won the Super Bowl because they were ahead at the end of the first half.

Posted by: TomJx | March 14, 2008 4:10 PM

wesfromGA:

Thank you for your post, but the "best case scenario" is that something bad happens to Barack Hussein Obama. Short of that, there's always delegate-poaching.

Posted by: JakeD | March 14, 2008 10:00 AM

jacksmith are you on some really heavy drugs?
Do you care to divulge the sources of your claims? Since nothing in your post makes a bit of sense, maybe read it over and make some corrections,OK?

Posted by: jemille144 | March 13, 2008 4:46 PM

We want actual voters to be heard right ! ?

Soooooooooo People:

Re - Vote Michigan and Florida

just as long as we

Get RID of the SUPERDELEGATE vote too !

This might be too much about DEMOCRACY though !

Posted by: PulSamsara | March 13, 2008 3:43 PM

To Jacksmith:
Regardless as to what great plans Hillary Clinton may or may not have it has all been lost by me in the way she has run such a vicious and devisive campaign. I watch all her speeches and interviews and at her core does not appear to be a good person.
If she is so confident about the "solutions" she can offer this country why does it have to come at the expense of complete dessimation of her opponent?
Also, it has been commented on Morning Joe as to how many times must she apologize for the people of her camp, my sentiments are the people of her camp are of like minds of their candidate that's why they so often make these devisive racial statements.
I want someone in the White House that represents decency and she is certainly not it.
Her campaign is no longer about the American people ( at least not all of us )
but about the Clinton Legacy. Anyone that would be her VP will rank 3rd under Bill and possibly 4th with Chelsea in the White House.
Don't forget if Hillary is nominated and stays for 8 years then Chelsea will run saying she has the most experience than the next nominee as both her parents were presidents and she had stumped for her mother and we will never get out of this cycle of voting for the "personally connected.

Posted by: eelstak | March 13, 2008 3:07 PM

"Politics is often more about emotion and perception than math."

The Clintons only hope is that that statement is true, because the math just doesn't work for her. Senator Clinton now has just two roads to the nomination:

1 - Obama withdraws or implodes,

2 - The superdelegates overturn the vote of the pledged delegates at the Convention

Do the tally yourself. Look at the numbers. Even if you grant Clinton a big victory in Pennsylvania and a very good performance in the remaining contests, the proportional distribution of delegates in those states means than Clinton will end up gaining only 40-50 delegates. Obama's margin is now 163 in pledged delegates and 127 in total delegates.

Even if you add Michigan and Florida, as discussed above, a favorable vote for Clinton in those states will earn her (net) only about 55 more delegates.

Best-case scenario: Clinton gains 95 to 105 pledged delegates on Obama from Pennsylvania and everything remaining, and she goes to the Convention trailing him by 22 to 32 total delegates (using the current distribution of superdelegates).

Her only hope is that the superdelegates will move her way and push her past Obama.

Has she considered the possible consequences of denying the nomination to the candidate who won the popular vote? In the twisted Clinton logic, a margin of 22 delegates is close enough to call the race a tie, close enough to justify calling in the supers to rescue the party from sure defeat with Obama as the standardbearer. What are all those Obama supporters supposed to do--just fall in behind her like automotons? Are they expected simply to accept this palace coup by the second-place finisher, with no hard feelings?

There comes a time in every nomination campaign when a candidate who is trailing has to ask whether it is feasible and worthwhile to continue. Is there a legitimate path to victory? Remember, for instance, when John Edwards pulled out of the race in 2004, with many states still on the table.

Hillary Clinton reached that point after Wisconsin. Today, even after her victory in Ohio and draw in Texas, there is no way remaining for her to win the nomination without the superdelegates overturning the will of the pledged delegates. (And how many superdelegates are going to be eager to do that, since they face election too?) The consequences of doing that do more to imperil Democratic victory in November than, as the specious Clinton arguments suggest, having Obama as the nominee.

The rest is vanity. The longer this continues, the louder the voices in the party should grow for Clinton to step aside. She came close, but she lost. The margin was small, the contest was grueling, but it's over. Concede, or tear the party apart. It's Hillary's choice.

Posted by: wesfromGA | March 13, 2008 3:04 PM

You gotta to love Hillary-supporters! They constantly try to argue how bad Obama is by linking him to Rezko's trial or some future-not-foreseen scandal. These Hillary-supporters have been drinking too much Clinton "Kool-aid" over the past 20 years. Obama is not even named in the case against Rezko.

Once this Rezko trial is over, say in one to two months, people will forget about its lack-of-relevance by the time the Democratic Convention rolls around in August. Meanwhile, the nasty Peter Paul Case will be heating up where both Bill and Hillary Clinton have been included in this lawsuit. This Peter Paul Case could start in October, right in the middle of the general election campaign season. Now that's a Clinton scandal in the making!

Posted by: ajtiger92 | March 13, 2008 2:57 PM

SeedofChange,

it's spelled SOUL you idiot!! hahahaha

Posted by: jkallen001 | March 13, 2008 2:55 PM

Ahhhh! Music to my ears!

Animosity! The CRY of the Wounded LOSER! ;~)

The thought of Barack Hussein with a Gun-Funny!

The thought of Barack Hussein with our Nation's Military-Aaaiiiiighhhhh! :-o

Posted by: rat-the | March 13, 2008 2:55 PM

Obama corrupt heart and selfish sole:

>>
The day after New Year's 1996, operatives for Barack Obama filed into a barren hearing room of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.
There they began the tedious process of challenging hundreds of signatures on the nominating petitions of state Sen. Alice Palmer, the longtime progressive activist from the city's South Side. And they kept challenging petitions until every one of Obama's four Democratic primary rivals was forced off the ballot.
Fresh from his work as a civil rights lawyer and head of a voter registration project that expanded access to the ballot box, Obama launched his first campaign for the Illinois Senate saying he wanted to empower disenfranchised citizens.
But in that initial bid for political office, Obama quickly mastered the bare-knuckle arts of Chicago electoral politics. His overwhelming legal onslaught signaled his impatience to gain office, even if that meant elbowing aside an elder stateswoman like Palmer.
A close examination of Obama's first campaign clouds the image he has cultivated throughout his political career: The man now running for president on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it.

Posted by: SeedofChange | March 13, 2008 2:52 PM

Hilary claimed, this morning on NPR, that her winning the Michigan votes was fair even though she was the only one on the ballot. When challenged, her defense was classic Clinton. Unbelievable!

Posted by: thebobbob | March 13, 2008 2:51 PM

"I think Obama is being hypocritical by claiming that Clinton is trying to win at all cost, and he is denying the Michigan and Florida votes to be counted. In doing so, Obama is undermining the ability of the party to carry these states in November. He should get over himself. He is not the party. He should see that there are greater goals than getting the nomination. Slogans won't solve real problems like the economy and healthcare."

Hey dmscontractor,

Are you kidding me? Who is more full of themselves than HRC? Obama is only trying to make sure that what ALL the candidates agreed to do, way back in 2007 is adhered to. The idea was that no one would campaign in FL or MI because they broke the rules. What part of that is difficult? I'm not saying Obama is the next coming or anything, but Clinton should she win will piss off so many Democrats and energize so many Republicans, that all McCain will have to do is not screw up between now and November, and he's a shoe in. Clinton is all about herself. period. I used to think the GOP was just picking on the Clintons. I now have a much better understanding of why the Clintons are so hated by the GOP.

--JW

Posted by: jwhite1202 | March 13, 2008 2:48 PM

How's this for a peek into the crystal ball? (I'm assuming that no major gaffes or scandals engulf either Clinton or Obama--a big IF.)

* Clinton wins Pennsylvania by a narrow margin, maybe 52%-48%, and pulls out similarly close decisions in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana.

* Obama wins North Carolina pretty decisively (55%-45% or more) and sweeps Oregon, Montana, and South Dakota.

* Clinton wins Puerto Rico, probably handily--but what does that prove, since Puerto Rico doesn't vote in the general election?

* In Florida, a mail-in revote is held, pleasing Bill Nelson and the FL Dem Party but over the objections of the entire FL House delegation. When the votes are counted in early June, there are myriad complaints of people (especially African Americans) never getting a ballot and charges of fraudulent counting. Clinton however claims a win, and therefore approximately the share of delegates that Peter mentions here. Obama's camp cries foul, and there are rumbles about a convention credentials challenge.

* Some kind of "firehouse primary" is held in Michigan, and let's say the result is Clinton 52%-Obama 48%, with the two candidates being allocated delegates proportionally.

So then neither Obama nor Clinton has reached the new magic number of 2,208. Let's assume that several hundred superdelegates are still publicly uncommitted (and of course there are 20-odd delegates still pledged to Edwards, assuming he hasn't made an endorsement and released them). Let's also assume that Gore and Biden have remained officially uncommitted.

My crystal-ball gaze says that under those circumstances the supers, the ex-candidates, and Gore are going to focus on saving the party from a fatal split that will snatch a November defeat from the jaws of victory. My prediction is that they will endorse Obama and put him over the top, and that in an effort to pull the party together and assuage the outrage of Clinton's army of women supporters, Nancy Pelosi is picked for vice president.

Or, in an alternative universe, the first ballot proves inconclusive, with absetentions or "present" votes (do party rules now allow for that?) And then emerges the dramatic compromise: Gore for president, Obama for vice president.

And Hillary gets to run for dog-catcher.

Posted by: jm917 | March 13, 2008 2:48 PM

J-thinks,

No one wants to see a pathetic teenager with terrible acne on CNN or any network for that matter. Maybe we could see him on one of those shows where socially awkward losers (svreader, rat-the) are coached by less awkward losers to get girls? they both just need to lose their virginity (or at least kiss a girl) and maybe they'll be able to use their brains for the first time. they're repressed!

Posted by: jkallen001 | March 13, 2008 2:39 PM

svreader - I like you, you make my day, everyday...its like dejavu. This way I do not feel like I am getting older, I just read your post and feel like it is yesterday all over again.

I can get you booked on TV if you want, the everyone can hear your story, is Friday at 8PM on CNN good for you?

Posted by: J_thinks | March 13, 2008 2:33 PM

what are we in denial about again? the fact that we are winning handily? i'll take that denial any day of the week. get a life.

and rat-the, put a d1ck in your mouth and keep it shut.

Posted by: jkallen001 | March 13, 2008 2:33 PM

Why, and How, do "Minority" Districts ALWAYS manage to have Election discrepancies?

Then, consider this same group rallies around Obasama 91% strong! :-(

Posted by: rat-the | March 13, 2008 2:30 PM

j_thinks --

I wish I got paid for this.

I do it as a public service to my fellow human beings.

Some people appreciate it, some, like you, are in denial.

Posted by: svreader | March 13, 2008 2:30 PM

jennifer --

We, to begin with some of the voters who elected him were dead after freezing to death in his slums, so they couldn't vote against him.

Second, lots of people voted against Obama and people are lining up to tell their stories.

Its mostly a waste for me to post here, because Obama's supporters are in total denial.

I'm looking forward to the books, newspaper and TV stories about it.

Its going to be the hottest story in years.

Posted by: svreader | March 13, 2008 2:28 PM

self.sycophant - you just noticed that ey, I play a little game with svreader called wack-a-mole. He has cut and pasted that same exact post on numerous WaPo boards for about the last three months.

Everytime I see one, I just reply with wack-a-mole. He gets paid everytime he posts that same line.

Posted by: J_thinks | March 13, 2008 2:25 PM

svreader & jacksmith1 - you repaste the same thing on every blog every day. That in and of itself says A LOT about how much we really have against Obama.

jacksmith1 - your argument is basically to not believe what every single credible news channel and website is reporting on voting #s... I mean, what??? seriously? like, wow...

svreader - if what he did in Chicago was sooo bad, why did he win Illinois by a such a large margin? I think i'll trust the judgement of those in Chicago on what he did or did not do in Chicago.

Posted by: jencm | March 13, 2008 2:25 PM

svreader - wack-a-mole #3.

Anyway, I know this is politics, but as a sports fanatic, I always look at the scoreboard at the end of the game. I know who won, rather it be by 1 point or 150 points, I know whomever had the higher total wins. But the best part is, most of the time, the teams shake hands and go their separate ways. No-one screams into the camera saying, lets play it over again, they should not have had the ball in the second half.

If you want instant replay, throw the red flag when the fould or error occurs.

Posted by: J_thinks | March 13, 2008 2:23 PM

Funny... I've been reading a lot of these comment posts and I have seen a couple show up over and over and they read verbatim, to the last period. Specifically the post by svreader and the post by JackSmith1. So what Clinton campaign group are you guys a part of?

Posted by: selfsycophant | March 13, 2008 2:22 PM

svreader,

what about HRC's promise to produce all those jobs in NY that really amounted to a net loss of jobs. did she do her job? no. she used GW Bush as her slimey excuse.

Posted by: jkallen001 | March 13, 2008 2:21 PM

This whole thing is moot because Obama will drop out of the race, in disgrace, as the press exposes how badly he shafted the poorest of the poor who trusted him in Chicago.

Obama Supporters --

Watch the Video.

The real Obama is a real jerk.

Obama let the people who elected him in Chicago rot in slums when he was supposed to get them decent housing after he funneled $100M to his friend Rezko.

It was Obama's responsibility to make sure his voters got what they paid for.

He didn't do his job.

He didn't care what happened to them.

He only cared about himself.

Does winning the primaries mean so much to Obama supporters that they abandon all principle?

How can they even THINK of supporting a man who did what Obama did in Chicago to the poorest of the poor who elected him???

Please Watch this report on Obama, Obama's slums, Rezko, and $100M of wasted taxpayer money, from Channel 5, Chicago's most respected TV news.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDHsHM0laT8&feature=related

I'm sorry to burst his disciples bubble, but the real Barry Obama is a really bad guy

Posted by: svreader | March 13, 2008 2:14 PM

jacksmith1,

anyone who reads your post is significantly dumber after doing so... please keep your idiotic, untruthful comments to yourself. get a life.

Posted by: jkallen001 | March 13, 2008 2:03 PM

ruppansy - If you think that Clinton's lacking in the popular vote - which is a true democratic contest in and of itself - and logically impossible chances of winning without a revote or regress, does not merit Clinton rolling over and giving up, perhaps you should think about moving to a lessor democracy than the USA.

Posted by: jencm | March 13, 2008 2:03 PM

ruppansy, since when was a 150 pledged delegate lead "slim" ?? What, exactly, is your definition of slim? You do realize that there are a lot less states ahead of us than there are behind right? Get your head out of your a$$.

Posted by: jkallen001 | March 13, 2008 2:01 PM

A few points:
1. Obama hasn't denied anyone the right to vote or have their vote count- don't spin that.

2. It is, in fact, questionable that the net result of FL and MI thumbing their noses at the DNC's rules is that they might actually serve as the final "tiebreaker". Particularly when we have folks like CPCook telling everyone Obama is trying to deny folks their vote.

3. If the person who wins the race to represent me has to finagle and scheme a way to simply not lose, well I don't want them.

4. Clinton is, and I don't expect much argument here, simply playing her role (Presidential Candidate)in a well-planned effort by her and Bill's partners to regain control of the Executive branch- no different than George W. Bush was for the Neocons. Don't buy it? Ask yourself: If it were legal for Bill to run again, who would Obama be up against? If she gets elected, the end result id the same.

Posted by: selfsycophant | March 13, 2008 1:57 PM

DON'T BE DUPED!!!

Large numbers of Republicans have been voting for Barack Obama in the DEMOCRATIC primaries, and caucuses. Because they feel he would be a weaker opponent against John McCain. And because they feel that a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ticket would be unbeatable. And also because with a Clinton and Obama ticket you are almost 100% certain to get quality, affordable universal health care very soon.

But first, all of you have to make certain that Hillary Clinton takes the democratic nomination and then the Whitehouse. NOW! is the time. THIS! is the moment you have all been working, and waiting for. You can do this America. "Carpe diem" (harvest the day).

I think Hillary Clinton see's a beautiful world of plenty, and comfort for all. She is a woman, and a mother. And it's time America. Do this for your-self, and your children's future. You will have to work together on this and be aggressive, relentless, and creative. Americans face an even worse catastrophe ahead than the one you are living through now.

You see, the medical and insurance industry mostly support the republicans with the money they ripped off from you. And they don't want you to have quality, affordable universal health care. They want to be able to continue to rip you off, and kill you and your children by continuing to deny you life saving medical care that you have already paid for. So they can continue to make more immoral profits for them-self.

Hillary Clinton has actually won by much larger margins than the vote totals showed. And lost by much smaller vote margins than the vote totals showed. Her delegate count is actually much higher than it shows. And higher than Obama's. HILLARY CLINTON IS ALREADY THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!

As much as 30% of Obama's primary, and caucus votes are Republicans trying to choose the weakest democratic candidate for McCain to run against. These Republicans have been gaming the caucuses where it is easier to vote cheat. This is why Obama has not been able to win the BIG! states primaries. Even with Republican vote cheating help.

Hillary Clinton has been out manned, out gunned, and out spent 2 and 3 to 1. Yet Obama has only been able to manage a very tenuous, and questionable tie with Hillary Clinton.

If Obama is the democratic nominee for the national election in November he will be slaughtered. Because the Republican vote cheating help will suddenly evaporate. All of this vote fraud and republican manipulation has made Obama falsely look like a much stronger candidate than he really is. YOUNG PEOPLE. DON'T BE DUPED! Think about it. You have the most to lose.

The democratic party needs to fix this outrage. I suggest a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ticket now! Everyone needs to throw all your support to Hillary Clinton NOW! So you can end this outrage against YOU the voter, and against democracy.

I think Barack Obama has a once in a life time chance to make the ultimate historic gesture for unity, and change in America by accepting Hillary Clinton's offer as running mate. Such an act now would for ever seal Barack Obama's place at the top of the list of Americas all time great leaders, and unifiers for all of history. But the time to act is soon.

The democratic party, and the super-delegates have a decision to make. Are the democrats, and the democratic party going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee to fight for the American people. Or are the republicans going to choose the DEMOCRATIC party nominee through vote fraud, and gaming the DEMOCRATIC party primaries, and caucuses.

Fortunately the Clinton's have been able to hold on against this fraudulent outrage with those repeated dramatic comebacks of Hillary Clinton's. Only the Clinton's are that resourceful, and strong. Hillary Clinton is your NOMINEE. They are the best I have ever seen.

"This is not a game" (Hillary Clinton)

Sincerely

jacksmith...

Posted by: JackSmith1 | March 13, 2008 1:56 PM

Come on readers, give Hillary Clinton a break, and go easy on Peter Baker. If you dont have anything constructive to write, rather dont write anything.

And Jennifer Martinez, if you think that Obama's narrow lead in the delegate count, which is hardly a true democratic contest in of itself, merits Clinton rolling over and giving up, perhaps you should think about moving to a lessor democracy than the USA. As unfortunate as it may seem, neither the populace nor the super delegates can agree on who the best candidate for the job is, so this thing will keep rolling on until the DNC.

Posted by: ruppansy | March 13, 2008 1:48 PM

Honestly I just think revisiting Michigan and Florida will do more harm than good to the entire process. No one can discount the significance of anyone's vote and particularly of those in Florida, since that's where the dumbest man of all time was put in the White House in the first place, but this is just not a mess that can be cleaned up.

The contest as they are are invalid; but a revote is just nuts. It's a tip of the iceberg situation and a dangerous one at that.

I am an Obama supporter and think a revote would actually help Obama (I know this is not the popular consensus) but still don't think it should happen. Obama was not on the ballot in Mich, did not campaign heavily in Fl. Also, Edwards was still in the running then and most of his voters go to Obama.

I agree with most everyone here that the blame falls on the super-delegates of the state. They just need to apologize profusely to their constituents for completely disenfranchising them and revisit primary rules after the contest, not during. Who the hell ever played a game where the rules changed mid-way that didn't end in someone flipping the whole board over in frustration and disgust?

Posted by: jencm | March 13, 2008 1:47 PM

To mbshults... why are the Michigan or Florida primaries not fair contests? Everybody were in equal footing there, and it is not as if Michigan or Florida are half-way around the globe and have no access to the news.

I think Obama is being hypocritical by claiming that Clinton is trying to win at all cost, and he is denying the Michigan and Florida votes to be counted. In doing so, Obama is undermining the ability of the party to carry these states in November. He should get over himself. He is not the party. He should see that there are greater goals than getting the nomination. Slogans won't solve real problems like the economy and healthcare.

Posted by: CPCook | March 13, 2008 1:45 PM

Florida has a history of problems with presidential elections. This has not occurred form mere incompetence but form ignorance AND arrogance together. Serious questions have arisen if the state politicians are capable of conducting presidential election for the citizen voters. For instance they are talking about a do-over. There are no voting machines, mail in ballots are illegal, there is no time and there is no qualified credible leadership to fashion a remedy for this disenfranchisement of voters. Jeopardizing the loss of state delegates at the National Convention is malfeasance.

Posted by: dmscontractor | March 13, 2008 1:40 PM

Obama is on cruise control now;

Hillary vs. Barack-
The Google Factor:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=57

Posted by: davidmwe | March 13, 2008 1:37 PM

Neither FL or MI were fair contests. The votes should just be split 50 50, or a revote. If the delegates are seated in whatever manner, I think it is clear that only be the pledged delegates should be seated.

The superdelegates who are responsible for this whole mess should not be seated. They need to be held responsible!

Posted by: mbshults | March 13, 2008 1:20 PM

The Texas Democratic Party required the precinct chairs to mail in the results by March 5, so the results should be computed. CNN reports that the caucus estimates are: 38 Obama, 29 Clinton. So, given the primary results of 65 Clinton, 61 Obama, the final results for Texas should be 99 Obama, 94 Clinton, for a net delegate count of +5 Obama. The results will not be really official until June 3-4, when the State convention is conducted. Also, on March 29, the Senate District/County Conventions will be held, to verify the Precinct Convention results and elect delegates to the State convention.

Posted by: CorinneA | March 13, 2008 1:17 PM

The Clinton strategy looks like the Gore strategy. i.e. 'The only options I see are the ones that would help me win Florida.' It is telling that she insists on either keeping the votes as they were taken - which is obviously to her benefit - or, barring that, hold another primary - which is her favored event over caucuses, because she doesn't do well in caucuses. She also ignores the option of doing nothing: which is to say, she is not in favor of following the rules as they were defined prior to the processes beginning.

To put it another way, if FL & MI get to revote, why not let all the states revote? If the process has been 'unfair', isn't it also 'unfair' to let some voters revote, but not everyone? Might some earlier supporters of Edwards, Biden, Richardson and Dodd like to be reenfranchised, now that the race is down to two people? Are any of those suggestions any more ridiculous than the idea of rewarding MI & FL for breaking the rules by giving them the final (or near final) say in a race that wasn't expected to last this long?

How truly ironic that would be, for the party to reward the states it initially sought to penalize for moving their events to the front of the line, by giving them the tie-breaking votes at the end.

Posted by: bsimon | March 13, 2008 1:09 PM

I take that back. Peter Baker is not a moron. I presume he's a very smart guy. Which really makes one wonder, why does he type such idiocy into a news article? Why is he willing to clown around like this and expose himself to well earned ridicule all in the service of sneering at Sen Clinton?

Posted by: zukermand | March 13, 2008 12:57 PM

It's really a damn shame that someone has to take calculus to understand this year's primaries. The same year there has been utterly unprecedented #s of voters and people watching the elections, it has been an utter nightmare. My biggest fear is that this will turn off all those first time primary voters from participating in the future.

All I have to say is that if HRC gets her manipulative way and wins the primary it'll be a damn shame. A lot of her support comes from short-lived spikes following her shallow campaign tactics: childish schoolyard remarks, unsubstantiated claims, and baseless fear tactics right in line with GW Bush campaigning (ie telling you to be afraid of Obama's so-called inexperience, but not defending her own). And outside of her core supporters, a healthy %age of her voters turn.

I live in NY State and know these people that have watched the 6 weeks since the first Super Tuesday and regret their voting for her. To watch these campaign tactics from outside Ohio and Texas sheds so much more light on it's 2-dimentional nature since I am not as caught up in the emotion of it. And let's not forget to mention her slow-leaking super-delegates support; it is the only basis for her staying in this miserable race and it's diminishing - but don't tell her that, she'll just come up with another distraction.

Posted by: jencm | March 13, 2008 12:51 PM

I mean, really. Does that mean Obama's spending $32 million to LOSE 4 delegates means he paid $8 million each to lose them? Moron.

Posted by: zukermand | March 13, 2008 12:50 PM

"By some accounts, she spent something like $18 million in the March 4 primaries. Even if she has not spent a dime since then, it means each additional delegate cost her $4.5 million."
=====================
It never ceases to amaze me this idiocy represents the very upper end of our political press.

Posted by: zukermand | March 13, 2008 12:44 PM

Hillary Clinton has no principles:

NHPR's Laura Knoy: "So, if you value the DNC calendar, why not just pull out of Michigan? Why not just say, Hey Michigan, I'm off the ballot?"

Hillary Clinton: "Well, you know, It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything"

Here's a link to the short (edited) sound byte with the interviewer's question and the response:

http://www.jabberwonk.com/flinker.cfm?cliid=zydzt

Here's a link to the unedited longer byte with her full answer:

http://www.jabberwonk.com/flinker.cfm?cliid=u01y4

Here's the link to the full original NHPR interview on 10/10/07 :

http://www.nhpr.org/node/13858

I think that is it pretty clear that she has "changed" her position on this now that she is not winning.

Posted by: rust1d | March 13, 2008 12:38 PM

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