Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When Will Hillary Drop Out?

Not before the convention. Barack Obama (D-IL) can't make the magic number he needs, so why should Hillary Clinton (D-NY) drop out?

I first floated the idea of this almost a week ago, and as I have had time to think about it more, I've decided that it bears more consideration.

The media has been telling us for months that the magic number to reach the Democratic nomination is 2025 (2026 due to recent elections), and completely ignoring the 2209 (2210) number that would be necessary if Florida and Michigan were seated in full.

As Harold Ickes has said:

2210 is the high mark,” he said — referring to the number of delegates needed if the Michigan and Florida delegations are seated fully — “and it appears 2026 is the low mark. But that low mark is no longer in my view a reasonable number to even talk about.

He's absolutely correct.

However, I think most people would say the same about 2210, and tell you that the real number is somewhere in the middle.

The options are:

  1. Do not seat Florida or Michigan.
  2. Split the Florida and Michigan pledged delegations 50/50. Superdelegates are free to vote as they wish. (The list of Florida and Michigan superdelegates)
  3. Florida and Michigan hold new elections. (3/17 - Florida has announced they will not hold a new election as did Michigan on 3/19)
  4. Split Michigan 50/50 including supers. Give Florida pledged delegates 1/2 vote, but based on January election. 1/2 vote for superdelegates also. This is supposedly under significant discussion.
  5. Seat them based on the elections that have taken place. Give Obama the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.
  6. Seat them based on the elections that have taken place. Don't assume Obama gets the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.

We are not endorsing any of these options. We're just providing information so our readers can judge how each option will affect the race.
Note: Many readers have asked why we continue to include options 5 and 6 in this post, and why we include option 6 in our sidebar. It's because politics is a strange business, and you never know what might happen in the future.

Allow me to be the first to officially move into the 2210 camp. I now believe that is the only number worth discussing.

Why? Lawsuits.

Florida has already started the process to sue the DNC to have their delegates seated in full at the convention. You'd be naive to assume that Michigan will not follow suit.

So, we can discount options 1, 2, 3, and 4 immediately. That leaves:

  • Seat them based on the elections that have taken place. Give Obama the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.
  • Seat them based on the elections that have taken place. Don't assume Obama gets the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates.

Ah, but giving Obama the 55 Michigan uncommitted delegates would be overturning the results of their "election". Under the same law that Florida Dems are using in the basis for their lawsuit, the DNC can't do that either.

That leaves option 6 as the only viable possibility. So, the number is 2210 and Obama needs 133 to get there, a number that seems virtually impossible to reach by June 3, the date of the last Democratic primary.

What will happen between June and August? Well, Howard Dean will push any uncommitted supers to commit. However, it seems unlikely that that will work better than it has so far. Obama will pick up a few, but probably not many. If you're a super and you haven't committed by June 4, what incentive is there for you to commit before you absolutely have to?

This battle is going to the convention folks...

2 comments:

Gulf Coast Bandit said...

Chris: I left a comment directed at you over at Decision '08. It's long, so I won't reproduce it here.

Chris J. Breisch said...

Thanks, GCB. I responded to your comment there. I may add a new blog post here that directly addresses some of your points and expounds a bit more upon why I believe that 2210 is the real magic number.

New And Noteworthy

What’s Going On?

Well, I really have missed doing my September 11 timeline. My daughters have asked about that, and I want them to understand it a little bet...

All The Best