May 21, 2008

National Popular Vote: Is the Time Now?

Carroll Andrew Morse

Question for the National Popular Vote for President folks out there: If Hillary Clinton nets about 123,000 popular votes over Barack Obama in the remaining Democratic primaries -- enough to make her the popular vote leader, according to Byron York of National Review, working from RealClearPolitics vote totals -- should she become the Democratic nominee?

Just think what a great way this would be for Obama supporters to show that their commitment to National Popular vote is meaningful. If it is.

(And, of course, in the nomination process, there's no issue of Section 2 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to deal with).

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Rules are rules and the rules say the delegates decide. If they don't like that, they can make the change for the next election but Shillary's continued attempts to move the goalposts just plays like a young child.

In football, it ain't the yardage or the sacks. It's the final POINTS that matter. The Hildabeest is late in the 4th quarter, down 18 points, but she has the most yards and now she's arguing that should be how the winner is decided.

It's embarrassing. But really really fun to watch.

Posted by: Greg at May 21, 2008 10:29 AM

Hillary might as well demand the VP slot from McCain now. She's done much more for his chances than any Republican he could pick ever could.
BTW, an TV exit poll this morning that shoots another hole in her extortion argument (if you don't nominate me, I'll tell my peeps to vote for McCain): In Kentucky yesterday, 30 percent of white Democrats voting in the primary said they would vote for McCain if Obama got the nomination. Well-hell, the 2004 exit polls showed that 32 percent of Kentucky's white Democrats voted for Bush instead of Kerry.
Funny how Hillary (and Terry McAuliffe and his band of thugs) decided that's now an issue.

Posted by: rhody at May 21, 2008 11:09 AM

Response from Daily Kos:

Insulting people's intelligence
by kos
Wed May 21, 2008 at 08:40:21 AM PDT

One of the wonders of this primary season has been the ability of the Clinton campaign -- including Hillary herself -- and their supporters to engage in some of the most patently ridiculous and bald faced lies, knowing that everyone else knows they are engaging in patently ridiculous and bald faced lies.

Chief among those lies is the fiction that Clinton leads in the popular vote.

Aside from the idiocy of the argument itself -- 1) this is a delegate race, and 2) unlike the 2000 presidential election, you can't compare the popular vote from contest to contest since each state has different rules (caucus or primaries, open, closed, or hybrid -- the way the Clinton campaign and its supporters shamelessly stretch this argument is almost embarrassing.

Clinton is "leading" the meaningless popular vote, but only if:

1. You count the unsanctioned contests in Florida and Michigan, where candidates were not allowed to campaign;

2. You give Obama zero votes in Michigan's Soviet-style election, where Clinton was essentially the only name on the ballot; and

3. You don't count the caucuses in Iowa, Nevada, Maine, and Washington.

In reality, Obama leads by over half a million votes, for whatever that's worth (not much). But don't worry, the Clinton argument is so asinine, it has gotten little traction among super delegates.

In fact, it's so insulting to people's intelligence, that it's hurting the credibility of anyone stupid enough to use it.

Posted by: Matt at May 21, 2008 12:08 PM

"Funny how Hillary (and Terry McAuliffe and his band of thugs) decided that's now an issue."

Funny how they were liberal heroes a year ago and how liberals will again fawn over them in a matter of months when they're out raising money for left-wing congressional candidates.

Posted by: George at May 21, 2008 12:30 PM

McAuliffe won't be working for liberals - he's basically Bobby Oliveira on the national level. He is the living embodiment of the consultant-big money complex that liberals are working against (and thankfully, in the process of being made obsolete by Internet fundraising). Obama's rise is the byproduct of Democratic primary voters (along with independents and some Republicans) rising up and just saying no to his brand of power politics.
Besides, he's not even that good at what he does - the cockiness you see from him on TV is way, waaaaaay misplaced. If he was even competent running the show, Hillary would've had the nomination wrapped up before McCain nailed down his. McAuliffe might as well partner up with Karl Rove at this point.

Posted by: rhody at May 21, 2008 2:23 PM


Byron York isn’t saying that Clinton is leading the popular vote, he’s just saying she has a chance to, when the voting is all over. (York counts Florida, but not Michigan, since Obama’s name was not on the ballot in Michigan).

Based on that, I’m just asking if the NPV people in the Democratic party think that Clinton should be the nominee, if she does end up with a popular vote lead when it’s all over (the Superdelegates, after all, could make it happen), or does NPV lose its base of support when it works in favor of the candidate chosen by states like Kentucky and West Virginia, instead of by more traditional “blue” states?

Posted by: Andrew at May 21, 2008 2:59 PM

David Archuleta is ahead of John McCain
in the primary season voting so far

Who said a Morman can't WIN ?

Go David !

Posted by: Jay Archuleta at May 21, 2008 6:31 PM

The short answer is "no". The "right time" will be when another Democrat wins the popular vote but loses the Electoral College.

Posted by: Mike at May 21, 2008 7:43 PM

Well, Andrew, I support National Popular Vote.

And, I would, in theory, support picking the Democratic primary winner by popular vote. But I would need to see the plan first and how primaries are scheduled, etc... I wouldn't want CA, NY, FL and TX to go first and the race called before the other 46 states could vote.

That being said, however, you can't change the rules at the end of the game. The presidential campaigns of Obama, Clinton, Edwards, etc... were based on winning the requisite number of delegates - not the popular vote. So, even if in the unlikely event that Clinton surpasses Obama in the popular vote (and no you can't count Florida since Obama did not even campaign there and he ALWAYS closed the gap with Clinton when voters were able to meet him), I still would not give that any credibility.

As for future races? I'm interested.

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at May 22, 2008 10:06 AM
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