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We, the people, of the Democratic Party, have turned out in record numbers in many states that are often written off. We have remained committed to the idea that no Democrat should be left behind simply because they have the misfortune of living in a state that voted for George W. Bush. After all, we all live in a country that voted for Bush.

The worst thing to happen to democracy in America - aside from the 2000 election - is the red state/blue state divide. The foolishness of writing off entire sections of the country because of such an arbitrary distinction - especially in a Democratic primary - will be the reason Hillary Clinton loses this nomination.

As yesterday's Survey USA polling showed, Barack Obama has a broad base of support across the country. He is competitive in states that went 2-1 for Bush in 2000 and 2004, like North Dakota (where he leads), and Nebraska (where he earns an electoral-vote split). He polls ahead of McCain in Virginia, and Colorado. Even in the states that Clinton claims as proof of her general election viability, Ohio and Texas, Obama in fact fares as well or better against McCain.

Yet at every stage of the campaign for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton has trailed in pledged delegates. At every stage - after every loss, her campaign has denigrated the voters of the states that, for the first time, had a real reason to be excited about the Democratic Party.

We have been called insignificant and irrelevant. We've been told our votes don't matter because our states won't vote for a Democrat for President, ignoring the thousands of other offices that our states can and do elect Democrats in every single year. We've been told that people who are active and engaged in the Democratic Party don't matter, that caucuses are undemocratic, and in the next breath we see a defense of an attempt to win the nomination by using superdelegates. We've been told that black voters should be taken for granted, that their voice doesn't count in the democratic process because they were always going to vote for the black guy, anyway - and that they're always going to vote for the Democrat in the general election. We've been told that independent voters shouldn't have a choice in determining our president, ignoring the fact that no President can be elected without the support of independent voters. We've been told that people from red states are second-class.

Because we want to commit to the relevance of all fifty states and the District of Columbia, we are fully supportive of hearing everyone's voice in this process - including fair contests in Florida and Michigan. But after this is all over, Hillary Clinton, not these states, will be the one who is irrelevant in the Democratic Party.

Iowa, South Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, The caucus-goers of Texas, the delegates of Nevada, and the "significant" state of Illinois.

Originally posted to ptmflbcs on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 04:32 PM PST.

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