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View Diary: A Brief History of Superdelegates (57 comments)

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  •  let's wait and see... (4+ / 0-)

    the final popular vote numbers, which may or may not reflect the pledged delegate numbers. but if we're really going to come down to popular vote numbers, we need to consider getting rid of the entire primaries system, and tie the nomination directly to popular vote totals- which i favor.

    if obama wins oh, tx, and/or pa, it's all moot- he wins. if clinton wins them, and closes the gap to a margin that makes fl and mi relevant- well, we have a problem. because if obama pulls far away, the superdelegates can move to him, en masse, and fl and mi can be seated, without it influencing the outcome. on the other hand, if those two states might make the difference in the final popular and/or delegate counts, there needs to be an answer that is fair to all, and that doesn't so anger democrats in fl and mi that they stay home in november.

    meanwhile, let's see how big obama wins next week, and then see what happens march 4.

    great post, as always.

    •  If Obama trails in all versions... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Land of Enchantment, zackamac

      ...of the popular vote count, then I would think that there's a reasonable rationale for nominating Clinton.  I'd still argue against it, but it wouldn't cause me to leave the party or anything.  

      Barack Obama. Because we can do better.

      by poblano on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 02:11:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  if the popular vote is for clinton (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Land of Enchantment, BachFan

        and the delegates are for obama, it's hard to make the case that clinton is wrong to use superdelegates to secure the nomination.

        •  You might even want to look at polls (4+ / 0-)

          If it's really that close that there's a split between the pledged delegates and the popular vote, it might also be worth looking at polling averages to break the tie.  If, for example, Gallup had Obama up by 10 percentage points at that time (reflecting the most contemporary view of the voters) and he led in the delegate count, I'd argue he has the stronger case to be the nominee, even if he trailed narrowly in the popular vote count.  The DNC could even commission some sort of Superpoll with 50K respondents or something.

          But yeah ... at that point we'd be in the range where one candidate using superdelegates to win the nomination wouldn't be anti-democratic, whatever the outcome turned out to be.

          Barack Obama. Because we can do better.

          by poblano on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 02:22:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  given their inaccuracy, this year (0+ / 0-)

            i don't want polls having anything to do with any official decision making.

            if obama's going to win, i have this fantasy that clinton makes the big upsets next week, then holds oh and tx, with the conventional wisdom being turned upside down, and she then being considered to have a clear track to the nomination, then obama upsets her right back, in pa. i'm actually enjoying that the conventional wisdom keeps being proved wrong.

        •  She wouldn't be wrong to try (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Land of Enchantment, shunpike

          But how is she going to convince more SDs to vote for her when the other candidate raises twice as much money, organizes better, does significantly better versus McCain, wins by wide margins in nearly all the senate-race states we need to win in Nov, and has "won" the pledged delegate race?

          I think pretty much all the SDs that are gung ho for Clinton have already declared for her, she's not going to win many more friends at this point.

          •  simple (0+ / 0-)

            the will of the people. which is supposed to be what the obama supporters are now so concerned about.

            and given the new head-to-head polls, from fl, oh, and pa, don't be so sure that obama matches up better against mccain.

            •  Many caucus states only count delegates (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Land of Enchantment

              So we'll never have an accurate number for popular vote in those states.  The best we could do is guess at how many votes the caucus delegates represent.  Doing this gives us Obama: 9,560,675 Clinton: 8,761,747 according to Bowers' Best Possible Obama Count.

              That's a 8% difference.  The chances of Clinton making that up in remaining states is just about nil.  So even if she overtakes him in some version of the popular vote that includes/excludes different states, she'll probably still lag in at least one reasonable calculation of popular vote.  There is extremely little chance she can get anything resembling a popular mandate here.

              •  i'm not sure about bowers's numbers (0+ / 0-)

                but there must be some fair way to figure it out.

                •  There's about a 2% gap (0+ / 0-)

                  Between Obama's lead in the Bowers popular vote count (50.2% to 46.1%, +4.1%) and his lead in the pledged delegate count (52.5% to 46.3%, +6.2%).

                  To the extent this gap exists, it has to do with the lower participation in caucus states.  

                  However, one thing that's not clear is how well Obama's margins would have held up if caucus states held primaries instead. For example, Colorado would likely have been a good state for him no matter what -- so if you had primary turnout instead of caucus turnout, he might have won by a larger margin of votes (even if a smaller percentage share of votes).

                  Barack Obama. Because we can do better.

                  by poblano on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 02:55:41 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  and that's one of many reasons (0+ / 0-)

                    why i hate caucuses. if we really want maximum voter participation, and as much clarity as is possible, as to the will of the people, caucuses are not the way to do it. but we have to make do with the mess of a system we currently have, try to figure out what's most fair, and then try to fix the system for next time.

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