Triumph of the Will (of the Voter)

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Katherine Mangu-Ward has a column coming up later today about the trainwrecktastic Florida Democratic primary, but I had my own reaction to Hillary Clinton's appearance in Michigan yesterday, demanding that the decision to strip the state of delegates be overturned. My reaction was about 6 oz. and took on a greenish-grey milky color.

I've been saying for some time that the people of Michigan and Florida must have a voice in selecting our nominee for president.

Technically, this is true. Last year she said she was okay with Michigan and Florida being stripped of delegates if they broke DNC rules. And then New Hampshire and Iowa voted, and Clinton flip-flopped. So she's had this new position for "some time." After she won 55 percent of the vote in Michigan (where Obama and Edwards were not on the ballot), she declared victory. After she won 49 percent of the vote in Florida (where no one campaigned), she declared victory again. And now:

That's why I've been saying we need to either count the votes that have already been cast in Michigan and Florida or have new, full, and fair elections so that we can have your voices and your votes counted.

Democrats, you have a choice: Give Clinton delegates that she earned by cheating, or hold new elections that will be biased in her favor. In Michigan, for example, people who voted in the Republican primary back in January would be disallowed to vote in a new primary. If you were one of those McCain/Obama indecisives who went for McCain so your vote would count, tough luck. If you want to vote for Hillary again, congratulations!

It is the vote that has given voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless. It is through that vote that women, African American, Latinos and so many others have claimed their rights as full and equal citizens. We have made our laws more just and our society more fair. Each vote is a declaration of our dreams for our children and a reflection of our prayers for our nation's future. That is why generations of brave men and women marched and protested, risked and gave their lives for this right.

I don't believe Hillary Clinton, Yale Law '73, is a simpleton, so I have to believe she's simply being venal. Primary elections are not ordinary elections. They occur on different days in different states. Some of them limit their participation to registered members of a party, and some do not. Many of them are caucuses that don't feature a secret ballot. Their results can be toyed with after the fact, in state party conventions, at the the national convention. And the most relevant fact about them at the moment is that, in the Democratic primary, elections only determine about 78 percent of the delegates who will nominate a candidate for president. The rest of the delegates are superdelegates whom the voters did not choose. So, is Hillary going to ask her superdelegates to un-endorse her? She'd have to, if she believes so fully in the will of the voter.

This whole ridiculous fight over primary mulligans is sort of a metaphor for how our parties work, isn't it? The Republicans set rules before the process started, some of the rules were unfair to some of the candidates (Mitt Romney's Massachusetts divided its delegates by the popular vote, while John McCain's Arizona gave them all to the winner), but the contestants sucked it up and abided by the rules. The Democrats set rules that gave them all equal opportunity, and here they are, demanding to change the rules to get a better outcome.

Oh, and I'm not even getting into the Clintonite proposal to have millionaire friends fund a new election so that she can win it. But I'm sure it's what Harriet Tubman was fighting for, or something.

NEXT: Baseball and Sentencing Reform: Not the Same!

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  1. I know this is a crazy idea, but why doesn’t Michigan and Florida just send (and the convention seat) a slate of uncommitted delegates?

    Then at least the states would be represented at the convention and you wouldn’t have to dick around with re-voting.

  2. I know this is a crazy idea, but why doesn’t Michigan and Florida just send (and the convention seat) a slate of uncommitted delegates?

    They probably can’t agree on who would choose them, since Clinton’s antics have shored up endorsements from the most powerful people in either state. And if they were truly uncommitted, I have to think that would be unfair to Clinton. If we end up in a 1920s-style brokered convention and each candidate gives a speech to the masses… uh, well, who do you think is more likely to win people over with rhetoric?

  3. If we end up in a 1920s-style brokered convention and each candidate gives a speech to the masses… uh, well, who do you think is more likely to win people over with rhetoric?

    How can Obama win after the Clintons have Sirhan Sirhan II kill him?

  4. Venal? How could you utter such a thing? Clinton venality is a given, of course. I still think Obama is an ultralight candidate, but he beats any Clinton in my book. At least today he does.

    What happened to every vote being sacred and the popular will being all important? Superdelegates? Taking away two states’ delegates for breaking a technical party rule? I guess hypocrisy knows no one party.

  5. How can Obama win after the Clintons have Sirhan Sirhan II kill him?

    Because members of the press corps will throw their bodies in front of the bullets.

  6. Actually, somewhere around half of the superdelegates are elected officials.

  7. Because members of the press corps will throw their bodies in front of the bullets.

    And miss six months of footrubs on the Straight Talk Express? Not a chance.

  8. Actually, somewhere around half of the superdelegates are elected officials.

    And aren’t the rest former elected officials?

  9. Hillary Clinton is awesome.
    I only wish that some day I could throw away all of my self worth in an effort to achieve my goals!

  10. Actually, somewhere around half of the superdelegates are elected officials.

    Yes, but voters – those holy voters, whose voices must be heard! – do not get a say in how these people vote in the nominating contest.

  11. Actually, somewhere around half of the superdelegates are elected officials.

    Yes, but they were not elected based on their support for Hillary or Obama, they were elected for other reasons. So their decision on who to support is only accountable to voters if the voters decide to reward or punish them in a later election based on their support. Which I doubt.

  12. I think the Superdelegates should be replaced by a huge slate of “At large” delegates that would be required to go along with the national popular vote.

  13. And aren’t the rest former elected officials?

    Many of them. There are also DNC members.

    It is, as one would expect, absurdly complicated and painfully inclusive.

  14. Yes, but voters – those holy voters, whose voices must be heard! – do not get a say in how these people vote in the nominating contest.

    Nor do they get a say in whether HR 234 gets sent out of committee with a positive report. It’s called “representative democracy.”

  15. Doesn’t this point more to the insanity of the Iowa New Hampshire system than anything else? This whole thing started because these two states had the nerve to schedule their primaries before the sanctified “frozen fields of Iowa”. What a bunch of crap that is. If the Democratic Party hadn’t bowed to the parochial interests of Iowa and New Hampshire and let the states have their primaries whenever they wanted to, they wouldn’t be in this fix. Basically the Democratic Party gave the middle finger to Michigan and Florida and bet that the nomination race wouldn’t be tight enough to matter. Well, they lost that bet and frankly I don’t see how they get out of the fix they are in. Maybe that whole Al Gore as a unity candidate thing isn’t such a joke after all.

  16. Cesar,

    I think it makes some sense to have a set of “party elders” to break ties, but a fifth of the total delegates is absurd.

  17. If the Democratic Party hadn’t bowed to the parochial interests of Iowa and New Hampshire and let the states have their primaries whenever they wanted to, they wouldn’t be in this fix. Basically the Democratic Party gave the middle finger to Michigan and Florida and bet that the nomination race wouldn’t be tight enough to matter.

    So did the Republicans, remember.

  18. And aren’t the rest former elected officials?

    Some are party hacks officials. One is a college student.

  19. Maybe the did Joe. I don’t remember to be honest. Regarldless it was a stupid decision on both parties’ part if that is true. Perhaps this debacle will end the Iowa and New Hampshire system for good.

  20. Perhaps this debacle will end the Iowa and New Hampshire system for good.

    I hope so, and the Delaware Plan should replace it.

  21. In any event, superdelegates are less “democratic” than pledged delegates. Both parties do this, and I don’t care that much about the issue, myself. But it does smack of hypocrisy after all the nonsense we’ve heard in the last eight years about “popular votes” and the like.

    I asked this before, but can anyone explain to me the top-two primary ruling? It sounds like a bad result potentially for third parties.

    joe,

    Interestingly, the GOP only partially extended the middle finger to Florida. I was surprised that the Democrats took the position they did in the first place, given Florida’s absolutely critical position as a swing state. Maybe they figure we’re so old and grumpy as to be completely committed to the old and grumpy candidate ?

  22. What’s interesting is that the superdelegate percentage has crept up over the years. It used to be much less than 20%. Maybe the smoky rooms are making a comeback?

  23. New Zogby poll has McCain-Obama going from 47-40 Obama to 46-40 McCain.

    And the GOP hasn’t even started putting Wright’s sermons in attack ads yet.

    I’m starting to wonder if the Dem superdelegates will decide Obama is unelectable and nominate Hillary.

  24. Oh, and is anyone else enjoying the delicious irony that the states who did NOT move up their primaries now find themselves in position to decide the race?

  25. What’s interesting is that the superdelegate percentage has crept up over the years.

    The way I heard it was that they wanted the superdelegates to be able to choose a candidate who could win, in case the voters favored a McGovern/Mondale type in a close primary. Repeated failure tends to breed pragmatism.

  26. I don’t know how valid this is, but I’ve heard an argument that Crist and the GOP-dominated Florida legislature might have had a political motive in moving up the election. If that’s true (and I don’t know what, precisely, the motive was supposed to have been, except to somehow screw the Democrats), then the DNC is disenfranchising X million Democratic voters to punish them for the actions of a bunch of Republicans. Actually, they’re doing that regardless of the motives of the Florida government.

    I personally think the move was motivated solely by the desire to put Florida at the forefront of the primary season. It certainly affected the GOP primaries.

  27. If the Democratic Party hadn’t bowed to the parochial interests of Iowa and New Hampshire and let the states have their primaries whenever they wanted to, they wouldn’t be in this fix. Basically the Democratic Party gave the middle finger to Michigan and Florida and bet that the nomination race wouldn’t be tight enough to matter.

    So did the Republicans, remember.

    The GOP only gave half of the finger to Michigan and Florida. That is delegates cut by 50%.

    Just striving for accuracy in discussing what is a fucked up system that I have too many problems with to list here.

  28. I’m starting to wonder if the Dem superdelegates will decide Obama is unelectable and nominate Hillary.

    They will if the next primaries show a white voter implosion. Right now they want to see if his speech–probably the best attempt to deal with an issue like this since 1960–can turn the tide. They know he’s more talented than Gore or Kerry or Hillary at this stuff, but they want to see if it convinced Joe Reagandemocrat.

    Oh, and is anyone else enjoying the delicious irony that the states who did NOT move up their primaries now find themselves in position to decide the race?

    Very much so. If Florida and Michigan had stayed put they would have happened in February and become multi-million dollar decisive contests. Their leaders deserve all the slaps in the face that Howard Dean can muster.

  29. I hope so, and the Delaware Plan should replace it.

    TLTG. Is that the rotating regional primary thingee? I could get on that bus.

  30. TLTG. Is that the rotating regional primary thingee? I could get on that bus.

    Basically, theres a series of primaries every week starting in January, beginning with the ten smallest states+DC. The next week, its the ten next biggest states, and so on ending with the ten biggest.

  31. If you were one of those McCain/Obama indecisives who went for McCain so your vote would count, tough luck.

    Actually, this is me (somewhat). If Michigan hadn’t been stripped of its delegates, I was probably going to vote for Obama. Like almost everyone else, I figured the primaries would sort it self out and Michigan’s stripped delegates wouldn’t make any difference. So, I voted for the guy most likely to knock out Romney and Giuliani, which was McCain. Romney ended up taking Michigan btw.

    I’ve already voted for a primary candidate. I won’t really feel left out if I’m barred from a Democrat re-vote. On the other hand, one proposal was allowing only registered Democrats to vote in a hypothetical re-vote. Which I am. Which would mean I’d get to vote twice in the primaries. Which others may not see as fair.

  32. Don’t forget the same poll said Clinton is nine points behind McCain. Is she unelectable as well?

  33. Danke, Cesar.

    It’d be an improvement, that’s for sure.

  34. That poll seems like an outlier. Check Real Clear Politics and you’ll see. It over-estimates McCain compared to other polls taken around the same time.

    I.E., CBS news poll has Obama +5 against McCain even after the Wright Affair but before the speech.

  35. “Can the superdelegates choose someone that the people didn’t?”

    “YES WE CAN!”

  36. David Weigel: If Florida holds a new primary (it appears it won’t), how would that break DNC rules? Don’t their rules just say that Florida can’t have a primary before a certain date, and that date has passed? Maybe I’m confused on the rules.

    Also, why would “holding new elections that are biased in her favor” be a bad thing? If Florida and Michigan didn’t “break the rules”, then they would have been biased in her favor, so why does that matter now?

  37. Real Clear Politics polls, Clinton vs. McCain:

    CBS News 3/15-3/18 Clinton +2

    CNN 3/14-3/16 Clinton +2

    USA Today 3/14-3/15 Clinton +5

    Zogby McCain +8

    Obama vs. McCain, same polls

    Obama +5

    Obama +1

    Obama +2

    And the weird Zogby poll: Obama+8

    I think its safe to say McCain isn’t ahead 5 or 8 points against either.

  38. Whoops, the last Zogby poll in Obama vs. McCain is McCain +8, not Obama +8.

  39. I.E., CBS news poll has Obama +5 against McCain even after the Wright Affair but before the speech.

    That’s probably because they’re massively re-weighting in Dems’ favor.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/MAR08A_DEMS.pdf

    And even they show movement toward McCain — they had him up 11 in the last poll.

    Rasmussen, who does not re-weight, has McCain by 7.

  40. If Florida and Michigan didn’t “break the rules”, then they would have been biased in her favor, so why does that matter now?

    Did you read the post? Unless they change the rules, independent voters who cast ballots in the GOP primary wouldn’t be able to vote in this one. Based on exit polls, we can assume that some of them would have voted for Obama if they’d had the choice.

  41. Well, CBS is more in line with the other polls than Zogby.

  42. Personally I’d like to see a SurveyUSA poll. They’ve gotten more contests right than anyone else.

  43. “Well, CBS is more in line with the other polls than Zogby.”

    Zogby and Rasmussen polls tend to lean in favor of the Republicans. Is it any wonder why Hannity has them on his radio program so often?

  44. And even they show movement toward McCain — they had him up 11 in the last poll.

    Link?

  45. “Unless they change the rules, independent voters who cast ballots in the GOP primary wouldn’t be able to vote in this one.”

    Florida has closed primaries. I admit I know nothing about Michigan and only threw Michigan in there because, well, it’s there.

  46. And even they show movement toward McCain — they had him up 11 in the last poll.
    Link?

    Scroll down.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

    Well, CBS is more in line with the other polls than Zogby.

    The rolling average has McCain slightly ahead. It’s about even.

  47. Michigan’s primary is open. You simply declare which ballot you want at the polling station.

  48. “Zogby and Rasmussen polls tend to lean in favor of the Republicans. Is it any wonder why Hannity has them on his radio program so often?”

    Zogby tends to favor whatever gets Zogby press. It is not so much that they are biased for or against anyone. Rather it is that Zogby tries to come up with the most provocotive poll possible to get himself more attention.

  49. Oh, it was actually 12 before, not 11 as I misremembered.

  50. Again, why are Florida Democrats being punished for the actions of a Republican governor and legislature? I don’t get that rationale. Of course, I also don’t want another primary, especially one that my state foots the bill for. But the logic here escapes me. Even if the Florida party leaders went along with the state government, that still leaves millions of voters out in the cold.

  51. Dave, hes only ahead +1.1 if you cant Zogby.

    First rule of statistics: Throw out the outliers.

  52. Can it be assumed that Hillary has already benefitted from Florida and Michigan holding their elections? She got screen time on CNN and the like even though the events didn’t count, and it gave the impression that she was doing well in a race that otherwise it would look like Obama was dominating?

  53. Hes up one point one. Not eleven.

  54. Gotta love the spectacle of a despised, desperate woman grasping at straws as her life’s ambition inexorably slips away.

  55. Pro Libertate: I’m with ya there. Doesn’t make sense. And it also appears that a do-over in Florida wouldn’t violate the DNC rules or unfairly exclude certain voters. But it would cost a lot of dough, and frankly, I’m OK with either candidate.

    I find it funny that Florida wanted to be “relevant” to the presidential election and moved its primary up. It turns out that Florida would have been more relevant keeping it where it was.

  56. Dave, hes only ahead +1.1 if you cant Zogby.
    First rule of statistics: Throw out the outliers.

    Zogby Mc + 6 – RCP avg .8 = + 5.2
    CBS Mc – 5 – RCP avg .8 = – 5.8

    CBS is more of an outlier.

    Of course, it really depends on whether you think polls should be reweighted. They’re much closer without reweighting.

    I’m fairly certain Rasmussen does not reweight, and as best I can tell Zobgy only weights for nonresponders.

  57. I don’t know why anyone’s surprised that McCain is rising in the polls as the Democrats knock the shit out of each other. When the Republicans were knocking the shit out of each other, even Hillary was winning these trial heat polls. The thing superdelegates are watching is Obama’s ability to recover from Wright. If he can’t, they’ll suck it up and try to re-coronate Hillary. If he can, they’ve got a teflon kid on their hands and they’ll give the nomination to him. Then they’re dumping hundreds of millions of dollars against the GOP, instead of squandering it in their civil war.

  58. Hes up one point one. Not eleven.

    In the earlier CBS poll? No, it’s actually 12.

    CBS News/NY Times 02/20 – 02/24 1115 RV 50 38 7 Obama +12.0

  59. TallDave-

    I thought you were suggested McCain was up +12.

  60. Dave,

    Hillary is not going to go away. I think she probably wins Pennsylvania regardless of how Obama comes out of the Wright affair. She can then claim that she has won every big and important state. It also gives her the momentum to continue the fight right up through the convention. The only way I see this working out well for the Democrats is if Obama wins Pennsylvania and effectively kills Clinton’s candidacy. Otherwise, how does it not end up in a knock down drag out at the convention?

  61. I don’t know why anyone’s surprised that McCain is rising in the polls as the Democrats knock the shit out of each other

    Yeah, no kidding.

    I know some GOPers are absolutely giddy to see the Clintons’ lust for power and ruthless tactics, long deployed against them, now destroying Obama before the general even starts.

    Romney’s decision to drop out right after FL looks awfully good now. At the time, a lot of supporters were disappointed he gave in so early.

  62. “I don’t believe Hillary Clinton, Yale Law ’73, is a simpleton,”
    Why? If she acts like a simpleton, talks like a simpleton, and dresses like a simpleton or a dyke, why is she not a simpleton? Because she went to an ivy league law school thirty five years ago? People don’t change?
    One of my apartment neighbors went to Yale and I could take all day describing how naive the guy is.
    Ever hear of an over educated idiot? Someone who has spent their entire lives in academia, knows all the classics, but can’t read a map or has trouble ordering a beer in a bar?
    Remember back in 1973 they were lowering the standards to let more women into law school.

  63. Look, George W. Bush went to the Ivy Leagues and no one would say hes some kind of genius.

  64. Perhaps this debacle will end the Iowa and New Hampshire system for good.

    Let’s hope so, John. The DNC stuck Nevada in between Iowa and New Hampshire for that very purpose.

    It’s fingernails on a chalkboard to me when I read Iowa and New Hampshire voters talk about how much better they are than the rest of the country as picking good candidates.

  65. I agree Joe. It drives me nuts that I have no influence on who my choices are in the Presidential election because I don’t happen to live in a couple of obscure states.

  66. Why would anybody trust an un-re-weighted poll?

    If you know that 40% of the electorate is Democrats, and your sample contains 28% Democrats, why would you consider an un-re-weighted result meaningful?

    Rasmussen’s underlying numbers are always sketchy, but they do seem to capture trends very well.

  67. I think the states that really deserved to have their delegates stripped in both parties were Iowa and New Hampshire for being such whiners.

    “But WE ARE SPECIAL! WAAAH WAAAH!”

  68. John, you Texas voters get hosed on both ends. Same with New York and California.

    Because those states are such foregone conclusions in the general election, and yet so large, moving 6 million potential swing voters in Texas don’t matter as much as 50,000 in Ohio or Iowa.

  69. Maybe Hillary will lose another superdelegate.

    So who’s next after Paterson? I think it’s Joe Bruno [Republican gadfly to approximately the last forty governors]? No corruption there….

  70. This whole thing just proves once again the Clintons only care about the Clintones and no one else, not even their own party.

  71. Since Super Tuesday, Obama has picked up something like 42 Superdelegates, and Clinton has picked up about 2.

  72. FL and MI knew they were breaking the rules and they were warned of the consequences. They gave a big finger to the DNC, and the DNC is upholding the rules.

    If FL and MI want to hold new primaries and the DNC rules allow it, they should. If not, they should lose their delegates. If they don’t like punishment they shouldn’t have violated the rules.

    John you have it wrong, the DNC didn’t give FL and MI the finger, it’s the other way around.

  73. Revotes would be better, if they can get their act together.

    But if those states cannot, then the voters have no one to blame but their own representatives.

  74. I’m all for federalism 95% of the time, but it seems to me Congress should just take over the whole system so states can’t out-do each other in scheduling primaries earlier and earlier.

  75. So who’s next after Paterson? I think it’s Joe Bruno [Republican gadfly to approximately the last forty governors]? No corruption there….

    I believe Bruno is next in line. Which would change the party of the governorship as well.

    Spitzer was after Bruno with the State Police…maybe Bruno decided turnabout is fair play? Not with Spitzer (I don’t see any way Bruno could have initiated that) but with Paterson…

  76. Paterson and Bruno apparently are on good terms with each other. I don’t know if that means I should be more suspicious of Paterson or not…

  77. Bruno is the next in line. NYS is not filling the LT. Governor spot. I’m expecting Bruno to try every trick he can think of to get rid of Paterson.

  78. Gotta love the spectacle of a despised, desperate woman grasping at straws as her life’s ambition inexorably slips away.

    Why?

  79. I’ve yet to see anybody address the problem inherent in punishing FL Democrats for the actions of the GOP-controlled state assembly.

  80. LMNOP

    Because she’s despised. That works for a lot of small minded, vindictive people. I guess that includes me.

  81. Repeated failure tends to breed pragmatism.

    This statement just begs for a snarky drug-war reference. But I promised myself I wouldn’t be the one to do it.

  82. “Gotta love the spectacle of a despised, desperate woman grasping at straws as her life’s ambition inexorably slips away.”

    “Why?”

    Because she’s finally getting her just desserts. She’s escaped legal penalties for all her past corruption, so it’s good to see her have to pay in some way.

  83. Why would anybody trust an un-re-weighted poll?

    Two reasons: one, no one really knows for sure what the actual weights are; and two, the weights in the raw poll might actually be more correct.

    If you know that 40% of the electorate is Democrats, and your sample contains 28% Democrats, why would you consider an un-re-weighted result meaningful?

    Ah, but how do you know 40% or whatever are Dems? Answer: another poll! Which poll is actually right is questionable, especially when the re-weights consistently favor Dems.

  84. “Repeated failure tends to breed pragmatism.” This statement just begs for a snarky drug-war reference. But I promised myself I wouldn’t be the one to do it.

    Heh, no kidding.

    I think the problem is as long as LEO can “put drugs on the table” they’ll claim they aren’t failing. Elections, otoh, are a simple binary.

  85. “I’m all for federalism 95% of the time, but it seems to me Congress should just take over the whole system so states can’t out-do each other in scheduling primaries earlier and earlier.”

    I think a drawing every 4 years would be a good idea. You could have primaries in every state during a 6 month period with the number of primaries and caucases evenly divided within each Tuesday or Saturday of each week. The primaries and caucases would be held in the order that they were drawn. That way, Iowa and New Hampshire wouldn’t always have the advantage of being first unless they were drawn first.

  86. No, TallDave, not “another poll.”

    Polling outfits use hard data, like voter registrations and voter turnout in recent elections, to establish that baseline.

    Admittedly, it’s not an exact science, but enough of one to allow polling outfits to know that they are getting closer than the raw numbers.

    Remember the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline? That was based on unweighted polls that undercounted Democrats, because Democrats were less likely to own phones.

  87. especially when the re-weights consistently favor Dems

    Of course they do. Democrats are consistently less likely to be called for polls, as they are more likely to have moved recently and otherwise not make it onto the call list, as they tend to be younger and poorer.

  88. “Because those states are such foregone conclusions in the general election, and yet so large, moving 6 million potential swing voters in Texas don’t matter as much as 50,000 in Ohio or Iowa.”

    I don’t know about that. The last poll of Texas I saw, McCain was beating Obama by only 1 point.

  89. Odd that Obama would be so close in places like Texas and Colorado, but behind McCain in Pennsylvania.

  90. “Remember back in 1973 they were lowering the standards to let more women into law school.”

    Also, Hillary failed the Yale law exam. She had to take the Arkansas law exam to get her licence.

  91. Of course they do. Democrats are consistently less likely to be called for polls, as they are more likely to have moved recently and otherwise not make it onto the call list, as they tend to be younger and poorer.

    One could just as easily argue Repubs, who work more and make more money, are more likely to have unlisted numbers and to not want to waste their time answering polls.

    But it’s a pretty open question, which is why some outfits re-weight and some don’t.

  92. Lamar,

    Yeah, it’s like Hit & Run wasn’t recognizing our comments, because we posted too early.

    Hey!

  93. Polling outfits use hard data, like voter registrations and voter turnout in recent elections, to establish that baseline.

    Those are both forms of polling (election stations are called “polling places” for a reason).

    Voter registrations are often wrong; many Southerners who are still registered Democrats have been voting Republican for some time. Voter turnout can be affected by many factors will do not hold true over time and between elections.

    Remember the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline? That was based on unweighted polls that undercounted Democrats

    Actually, that was based on election returns:

    There were many factors involved in producing this error edition. Returns were coming in slow and they were running out of time before the printing deadline. The staff, based on early returns, “felt” Dewey would win

    http://www.historybuff.com/library/reftruman.html

    The early returns showed the Republican ticket leading Truman and Barkley pretty consistently in the western and southern states,” and added that “indications were that the complete returns would disclose that Dewey won the presidency by an overwhelming majority of the electoral vote.”[2]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_Defeats_Truman

  94. “The thing superdelegates are watching is Obama’s ability to recover from Wright. If he can’t, they’ll suck it up and try to re-coronate Hillary.”

    I’m not so sure the superdelegates will throw their support under any circumstances if Obama ends up with the most elected delegates. They would take the risk of alienating too many Democratic voters. A recent poll showed that if Hillary wins via the superdelegates without having the most pledged delegates, lots of Democrats will not vote for her. They’ll vote for McCain or Nader or not vote at all. Hillary would surely lose the general election. I doubt the superdelegates want that kind of outcome. There will be rioting in Denver.

  95. Because she’s despised.

    And evil. Don’t forget evil.
    Oh, and she has fat thighs.
    Hate that in a woman.

  96. I don’t know about that. The last poll of Texas I saw, McCain was beating Obama by only 1 point.

    RCP doesn’t appear to have it. This one has Mac up 7, but that’s still pretty close.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/tx/texas_mccain_vs_obama-316.html

    I like how “Undecided” was leading in the last one.

    Undecided 2008! Because Let’s Face It, All The Real Candidates Suck

  97. “I know this is a crazy idea, but why doesn’t Michigan and Florida just send (and the convention seat) a slate of uncommitted delegates?”

    “Then at least the states would be represented at the convention and you wouldn’t have to dick around with re-voting.”

    Some people have suggested seating the delegates from both states, but at a 50/50 ratio.

  98. Florida moved its primary up by a bipartisan vote – 116-1 in the house na d37-2 in the Senate. The original bill was sponsored by a Democrat. This is a self-inflicted wound; it’s revisionist history to say this was the actions of a Republican legislature and Govenor. For bonus points – Guess which camp – Clinton or Obama – always works in “Republican controlled legislature,” without mention of the near unanimous vote total or the sponsor’s affiliation?

  99. It was a boneheaded move by Michigan & Florida pols to give their states more influence, rules (that they agreed to) be damned. The DNC wasn’t bluffing, as it turned out. The voters were disenfranchised by their own officials. They should remember that when they’re up for re-election.

  100. Mr. Bi-Partisan,

    For the record, I’m no Democrat and don’t care much about this issue. But the party of enfranchisement has plenty of nerve disenfranchising voters based on the actions of the state government. Let’s not forget, too, that this isn’t more than a violation of a technical rule.

    It’s all well and good to talk about the DNC calling the states’ bluffs, but the result remains what it is. And now there’s really nothing to be done about it. Wonder how Florida and Michigan Democrats feel about this? Could it affect their votes in the general election? I bet it does, even if only to a limited degree.

  101. People need to realize that there are consequences to actions. The DNC decision was made and agreed to by the candidates before the primaries. Why is the main stream media not talking about this? As a voter in NC I don’t think that my vote has ever counted in a primary. It’s par for the course that the Clinton camp wants to change the agreement when things aren’t goint their way. It quite frankly turns my stomach!!!

  102. Emily,

    Indeed. What’s done is done, and trying to change it now to boost your flagging campaign is venality at its very best. As is agreeing not to campaign while putting your name on the ballot. At least Obama can keep a gentleman’s agreement.

  103. TallDave,

    One could just as easily argue Repubs, who work more and make more money, are more likely to have unlisted numbers and to not want to waste their time answering polls.

    And one would be wrong, because one would be grasping at straws, rather than basing one’s positions on the research that has been done into the question over several decades.

    Those are both forms of polling (election stations are called “polling places” for a reason). That’s some industrial-strength semantics you’ve got going there.

    Voter registrations are often wrong; many Southerners who are still registered Democrats have been voting Republican for some time. A fact which would also show up in the results of polling of Registered Democrats. They don’t actually just assign regisitered voters to their respective party’s candidates; they actually ask Democrats and Republicans who they’re voting for.

    Voter turnout can be affected by many factors will do not hold true over time and between elections. True, and re-centering raw numbers to account for different levels of turnout among different populations is a standard practice in the field, too.

    Actually, that was based on election returns Not entirely. The polling done for that race had shown Dewey ahead slightly for some time. Had this polling not existed, it is doubtful that those newspaper staffers would have felt it safe to run a result based on early returns.

  104. The thing superdelegates are watching is Obama’s ability to recover from Wright. If he can’t, they’ll suck it up and try to re-coronate Hillary.

    The word in Left Blogostan is that Obama’s speech charmed the pants off of Democratic Superdelegates, and might have won them over regardless.

  105. “The word in Left Blogostan is that Obama’s speech charmed the pants off of Democratic Superdelegates, ”
    Joe, how do you know that lesibans and gays make up most of the superdelgates? What kind of polling was done and when?(No pun intended, get it, “polling”)

  106. On this “its the Republicans fault!” that Lamar and Pro-Lib brought up.

    This has been a meme on some the liberal pol-blogs but I call bull.

    First, the actions to move the primary were discouraged by both the RNC and DNC; yes the RNC penalty was different (1/2 vice zero) but nonetheless there.

    Second, if it was a RNC plot, I don’t think Crist would be as public and above board with his current involvement. If he was trying for political advantage, he would either shut up enitirely, or go about it in a complete partisan hackish way.

    And third, if am reading this* right, the vote to move it up was in the Florida House 118-0, which seems awfully bi-partisan to me.

    *that same article says that Crist was in favor of moving up the primary back then, which totally blows out of the water my point number 2 – so please convert it to ???? like the underpants gnomes would

  107. And one would be wrong, because one would be grasping at straws, rather than basing one’s positions on the research that has been done into the question over several decades.

    Really? Let’s see some of that alleged research.

    That’s some industrial-strength semantics you’ve got going there.

    Shrug. The point is, polling is always an inexact representation of public opinion, however it’s done.

    A fact which would also show up in the results of polling of Registered Democrats. They don’t actually just assign regisitered voters to their respective party’s candidates; they actually ask Democrats and Republicans who they’re voting for.

    Doesn’t fix it. Someone could have registered as a Democrat 40 years ago, but tell a pollster he’s a Republican. Then the pollsters say “Hmm, not enough Dems in this poll based on the registered count.”

    True, and re-centering raw numbers to account for different levels of turnout among different populations is a standard practice in the field, too

    Being wrong is standard practice too. Remember those exit polls that had Kerry thinking he won in 2004?

    No one really knows how to adjust the numbers to get them right.

  108. And third, if am reading this* right, the vote to move it up was in the Florida House 118-0, which seems awfully bi-partisan to me.

    But these were Floridians voting. They thought they were voting for Gore.

  109. The news keeps making Obama culprit of this deal not working out.

    However, its Hillary… The fact that she won last time was a fallacy because he wasn’t on the ballot, and barack lost to her getting a decent percent with a higher percent undecided. Now in this new election, Hillary’s camp does not want to let those people vote again in the revote.

    She is blasting Obama saying he doesn’t want voices heard, when in fact he just wants ALL voices heard.

  110. She is blasting Obama saying he doesn’t want voices heard, when in fact he just wants ALL voices heard.

    So, Hillary is taking the Bush role (sorry!) and Obama is taking the Gore role in this production of the 2000 passion play?

  111. But these were Floridians voting. They thought they were voting for Gore.

    In a related story, the Florida Senate also voted to commend Pat Buchanan for his work on global warming.

  112. The delegates should be split down the middle for both candidates. If you give uncommitted delegates the power to choose who they want, it’s still unfair. If the pledged delegates are evenly split down the middle, then the DNC abides by the rules and Florida and Michigan are still represented. Hillary Clinton is still posturing to Michigan and Florida the same way she did when the original bogus vote was taken. She doesn’t care about their vote, she only cares about her win. If anyone thinks otherwise, you are naive. She agreed to the rules when she thought it didn’t matter. She’s only championing the cause now because she needs those votes to win.

  113. Joe, as an Obama supporter, that’s nice to know. 🙂 But seriously, we have a lot of healing to do in our country. While we at the same time try to heal Iraq and Afgnanistan. It’s a tough job, but I believe that Obama, more than Hillary or John, is up for the task. The comments that Rev. Wright made were not easy to hear. But I’m sure many people have heard racist comments made and sat silently by with no comment. If you didn’t denounce and reject your family or friends for making racist comments about blacks, whites, or hispanics, then don’t hold Obama to a higher standard than the one you hold yourself to. He denounced the comments, but didn’t disown the man. It may not have been popular, but it was the right thing to do. Unless you’re prepared to denounce your mom, dad, sister, or whoever for being racist, please try to understand his position. He loves Rev. Wright even though he knows he was wrong.

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