Until recently, I figured that it only made since for Obama and his subordinates to interfere with any plan to hold a re-vote for Florida and Michigan. I mean, the massive shrinkage in Obama’s delegate lead would excuse the risk he’s running in turning these two key states against the Democratic Party in November. Even considering his myopia, Obama’s silencing of Florida and Michigan was just got campaign strategy. Right?
Not right. Obama would lose less than one-quarter of his lead even if everything went Hillary’s way in those two states. I realize that every campaign is a balance of helping the party and helping the candidate. But seriously hurting the Democrats’ chances come November for a measly 61 delegates, with over 300 in hand? What side is this man on?
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 the rules he professes to value, he got killed by Hillary 49% to 37%.
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%. In primary states where both sides compete, Hillary has yet to crack that number. But just 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, particularly in the wake of Bill Richardson’s endorsement.
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. That doesn’t even get into the damage of the Democratic Party brand in those states, and the down-ticket impact.
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. Make the delegates blow up all the convention balloons. Better still, demand an apology at the convention from Governor Granholm and Senator Nelson. I don’t care.
Obama: ditch the Kerry/Gore “play-it-always-safe” strategy — it’s a loser. And join us in trying to get Florida and Michigan in our column.