New Contests in Florida and Michigan Would Bring Higher Threshold for Victory

An article  on CNN.com about the possibility of new contests in Florida and Michigan made a the following erroneous statement:

“Now, neither Illinois Sen. Barack Obama nor Clinton will be able to attain the 2,024 delegates needed to clinch the nomination without delegates from Florida and Michigan.”

The current number of delegates (2,025) needed to win the Democratic nomination is predicated on the fact that both Florida and Michigan were stripped of their delegates for holding their primaries early leaving only 4,049 delegates.  If they held new contests and their pledged delegates and superdelegates were reinstated, then the total number of delegates would increase by 366 (210 from Florida and 156 from Michigan) giving a total number of delegates of 4,415 which means the winning candidate would need 2,208 delegates to win the nomination.

While it is true that neither Clinton nor Obama can win the nomination with pledged delegates alone, the target number of 2,025 can and will be achieved by one of them after all officially recognized delegates are counted.  (Even if the difference between them was so small that John Edwards’ 26 pledged delegates were needed, he or the delegates would ultimately end up going over to Clinton or Obama and a winner would still be declared.)  The candidates do not need delegates from Florida or Michigan in order to win the nomination.

It is possible that the writer of the article meant to say that neither candidate would win the nomination with pledged delegates alone without Florida and Michigan.  That would have made a little more sense, but only a little.  There are 611 remaining pledged delegates as I discussed in a recent post.  According to CNN’s Election Center, Obama currently has 1,326 pledged delegates and Clinton has 1,198 pledged delegates.  So, it is true that neither one of them can currently win the nomination with pledged delegates alone.  However, if Florida’s 185 and Michigan’s 128 pledged delegates were reinstated, there would then be a total of 924 pledged delegates remaining.  So, Obama could theoretically win the nomination in that case with pledged delegates alone if he won 881 of the remaining 924 delegates.  But given the fact that delegates in the Democratic party are split proportionally, that is virtually impossible.  So, even if the writer did mean to say that reinstating the pledged delegates from Florida and Michigan would enable one of the candidates to win with pledged delegates alone, he or she was still wrong in practical terms.

That being said, I do believe that new primaries should be held in both states so that the voices of the voters in these states can be heard.  See my previous post  on this topic regarding how new primaries could be financed by voluntary donations from voters in Florida and Michigan and the rest of the country.

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3 Responses to “New Contests in Florida and Michigan Would Bring Higher Threshold for Victory”

  1. jardinasainteadresse Says:

    hey there,
    i want to urge everyone to read the following articles:

    share them with whoever you can!
    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/06/738264.aspx

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/03/06/clinton-campaign-denies-canadian-report-on-nafta-comments/

  2. swot analyst Says:

    I di9sagree- the rules of the DNC were set- the local officials knew they were breaking the RULES and still proceeded. Go afte rthe local legislature people.. do not create a CHINESE FIRE DRILL out of this…

    Gov Crist of Florida (the prime stirrer of the pot) should be fired by the people for his mockery of their rights! Now he has the gall to stand on public TV to state voters rights are important- when he knew the rights were being stripped in 2007! The association of McCain and Crist makes me want to vomit! Not to mention McCain is considering Crist as a running mate! Can you imagine this??? Crist has robbed the Florida voters of their rights in Florida— and then may be considered as VP-LOL… hahaha

    Republicans can say forget it if that happens! At any rate… I am against any tampering of the rules. The taxpayers have to pay for this? – NO WAY… I have never seen a game in the 4th qtr – start over b/c of something that happened before thegame started- rules being broken – and on top of that the spectators have to buy a new ticket to see the remainder of the game under new rules! HAHAHAHAAH please!

    Break the rules! U loose our rights- it just sucks that an idiot like Crist was to blame and not the voters themselves- but hey.. u put idots in office this what happens!

  3. rberlind Says:

    In response to swot analyst:

    I agree that the rules of the DNC need to be respected and even said this in my prior posts about Michigan and Florida. However, new contests could be held under the rules of the DNC as originally long before the primaries started in January. Howard Dean and others from the DNC have even said this.

    Note that under my proposal, the taxpayers of Florida would only pay for the new primary on a voluntary basis, so I don’t think anyone can object to my proposal on the grounds that it is not fair to impose a tax burden on the Florida taxpayers. Either enough people would voluntarily make donations to cover the costs, or they would not. But it would be voluntary in any case.

    I do agree that the rule-breaking primaries held by these states in January should not count. With regard to Governor Christ, it wasn’t just him. It was the Republican-dominated Florida legislature that voted to hold the primary earlier even though they knew it violated the rules of both the DNC and the RNC.

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