It doesn't make sense to talk about what possible measure we can use to measure "the will of the people." Our entire nominating process is f*cking stupid, but it is democratic (both big D and small d) because that is how we've decided to do it.
There are many different ways to decide the will of the people, just as there are many different ways to decide which baseball team played better in a given game. A team might rack up more hits, more strikeouts, and fewer errors but in the end the winner is decided by the number of runs -- because those are the rules and that's the goal both teams used when devising their strategy.
The objective of a primary campaign is amassing the most delegates. Not winning the total popular vote, not winning the most states, not carrying the most congressional districts or state legislative districts, not winning the "significant" states or the big states or the red states or anything else. The goal is getting the most delegates. There is no other legitimate way to determine the winner than by measuring who wont the most delegates. Period.
Of course, getting the most delegates means getting the superdelegates, as well. Both campaigns are free to cajole as best they can, but any SD who claims to be following the will of the people can only follow the total number of pledged delegates. Any other basis for deciding is fine -- they can do what they want -- but they're picking their own criteria and shouldn't pretend they are following what the primary voters wanted, even if they ultimately go for the right candidate.
I totally disagree. Elections are about nothing more than the will of campaign managers. Whatever the people of Florida and To A Lesser Degree Michigan may think is of no consequence. Sure, the results of those two primaries are a pure and perfect reflection of how the people feel, but who cares? In the campaign manager demographic, the only one that counts, Clinton and Obama split evenly.
Seating the FL delegation has always been the stronger argument than MI, but reinstating the delegation with a 1/2 reduction has two problems.
First, it is still a disenfranchisement, but doubled. The people who voted have their votes cut in half, and the people who stayed home because they were told it didn't count get nothing. Moreover, elections are campaigns -- it's not about determining the will of Florida voters, but about seeing which candidate could turn out more supporters. Neither candidate really had a chance to do that.
Second, this solution is politically untenable. It would cut Clinton's delegate margin in FL from 32 to 16. While every delegate counts, that is significantly less useful to her. Those 16 delegates won't do much to close the gap, so Clinton probably would rather have the issue than the delegates.
By keeping FL disenfranchised, Clinton has an unfairness argument to match up against Obama's unfairness argument on superdelegates voting against the pledged delegate winner. She can muddy the narrative by making it seem like both campaigns are somehow trying to cheat. Stacking an argument that will sway 16 net delegates against an argument that could sway 300 superdelegates, I'm sure Clinton would rather keep fighting than to resolve that one.
Now see, this is just rude. Nobody thinks you are stupid enough to consider this a legitimate question. Why even post something like this? You are insulting people by sarcastically pretending to be a moron.
If actions speak louder than words, then John Lewis switching from Clinton to Obama is like a cherry bomb.
Lewis switching comes at the same time that Obama picks up endorsements from two of the biggest unions in the nation. On top of the ground game, Lewis sets the precedent that will tell the other Clinton SD's that they can switch.
I expect some people here to be very bitter about this.
If the SDs were to vote state by state, then the next election would look radically different. The game would be to play for a basically even split in pledged delegates, and all resources would be poured into the states with the most SDs. That would really marginalize red state Democrats, even more than they already are.
I think there is plenty of self-righteousness on both sides of this argument. Clinton supporters are very big on not disenfranchising the people who voted in MI and FL, both of which were understood to be meaningless at the time except as beauty contests.
This thing is getting uglier and uglier. By the time we get to March 4 the party may be on the brink of a civil war. That's why I think the superdelegates will step in to quash the fight.
In that sense, this "don't go against the will of the people" argument is horribly counterproductive. In essence, they are saying they want the superdelegates not to intervene until the bitter end. By then it will be too late.
You know, I have the same problem with this kind of question that I have when people complained that Gore lost the electoral college despite winning the popular vote (leaving aside that he won Florida).
You can't use the popular vote as a measure when people are competing for electoral votes or delegates, because the strategies are completely different. Hillary's campaign especially should understand that, given how she conceded entire states knowing that a 15 point loss isn't much worse than a 5 point loss.
It's like the difference in golf between stroke play (lowest number of strokes in a round) and match play (highest number of holes where you score fewer strokes). You don't get to the end of match play losing 10 holes to 8 holes and say, "Well, I had the fewest number of strokes." Because maybe if you hadn't sliced out of bounds on the second tee I would have been more aggressive near the bunkers, or if you hadn't landed near the hole on the 17th I wouldn't have taken a risk and landed in the water."
Same thing here. Both teams are playing for delegates. The popular vote is interesting but doesn't say much (especially if you add MI).
You are goddamn right about that! In many ways, this may be the best possible outcome. Ultimately the crisis will be defused before ripping the party apart, because one of the candidates will bow out (or shoved by the superdelegates).
At the same time, this is indeed a crisis, and it guarantees some kind of action will be taken before the 2012 primary. Our incumbent president will mean token opposition, the perfect time for the DNC to take a bolt gun to the heads of the Iowa and NH parties.
It was stupid for Hillary not to put her name on the ballot in Newfoundland. What's that you say? She was told that Newfoundland wouldn't be given any delegates to the convention? What a stupid, stupid person she is! That's going to cost her.
This primary is likely to be over on March 5, once the superdelegates start breaking heavily for Obama. Clinton will withdraw from the race, and then both delegations can be seated because they don't matter anymore.
Don't expect any movement on this until after the March 4 contests. Nobody wants to start a big fight over an issue that won't matter once Obama finishes this race.
If it's not over by March 5, then we can expect an all out civil war within the party, and it won't matter if FL and MI are seated or not, because the nomination will be worthless at that point anyway.