Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why does Obama loathe the idea of re-votes?

Well, the recently killed attempts at re-votes in Michigan and Florida worry me. They worry me because Barack Obama did his best to kill the idea that the voices of Floridians and Michiganders should be heard. Every plan, regardless of expense or method, received a "no, No, NOO!" response from Camp Obama. But why?

I can see that Obama doesn't like the idea of primaries in places with a large Hispanic presence, and many blue collar, loyal Democratic voters. The demographics don't suit him, and he got fairly well creamed the first time around. In Florida, where Obama snuck some ads on tv in contravention to his promises, he got killed by Hillary 49% to 37%. So Obama loses them both primaries...that's the end of his path to the nomination, right? Not even close.

CNN has Obama leading Clinton in delegates by a margin of 142 1,621-1,479. Florida would have 185 delegates up for grabs, and Michigan 128. A total of 303.

This is a close, tightly fought battle. In large, expensive states such as Michigan and Florida, neither Clinton nor Obama are likely to get more than 60%. But for shits and giggles, let's say everything falls Clinton's way and she gets 60% of the vote in each state. That means that she would gain 61 delegates on Obama's lead.

That's right...Hillary would cut off 1/5 of Obama's lead. One fifth. A whopping 20% in the final stages of the race.

Now, while I can understand that Obama fears Hillary gaining any momentum should a perfect Hillary storm arrive, it's not as if letting the two states vote would be his death knell. It would be a minor -- minor -- change to his path.

For safeguarding those 60 delegates, what is Obama willing to forsake? Michigan is now a general election toss-up because of this foolishness. Democrats need to win Michigan's 17 electoral votes in November. It would also be nice to win Florida's 27 electoral votes as well, but 24% of Floridians polled say that if the Obama boycott succeeds, they would be less likely to vote Democratic in the general election.

Most Democrats would be happy to lose 1/5 of their delegate lead in order to get a leg up on gathering those 44 electoral votes. Most Democrats would be happy to shave their primary lead a wee bit to widen a lead in November.

Yes, these states broke the rules. And yes, there are times when the forest is more important than the trees. This is such a time.

Let me be clear: any Democrat who opposes Michigan and Florida re-votes is uninterested in doing everything it takes to win in November. After all the speeches and slogans, there are many Democrats who still believe not in the aspirations of any one person, but in winning the White House.

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