Saturday, May 17, 2008
WE’VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com
With the looming 5/31 meeting of the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee, it seems that there is increasing pressure to find a workable solution that allows all sides to get most of what they want while saving face.
It may be that no one wants to find out how the RBC would try to cut the baby of Florida and Michigan in half, so it’s in everyone’s interests to find a solution that works.
In Michigan, a proposal has gathered the support of Michigan’s Democratic party (including the governor and the state’s Congressional delegation) to apportion the delegates 69/59, giving Clinton a 10 delegate “win” as the best possible solution given that Obama didn’t even appear on the ballot in Michigan. Clinton has recently rejected the proposal, saying she wants the delegates seated “as is”. This stance seems a bit odd, given that a.) the current results would give Clinton a 73-55 advantage, which is only 8 additional delegates than the compromise proposed (assuming that the 55 assigned to “Uncommitted” actually became Obama delegates), and b.) that the RBC is most likely to decide to cut Michigan’s delegation in half unless a compromise is reached.
In Florida, the Obama campaign is starting to quietly suggest it can live with a compromise that gives Clinton another 10 delegate lead (the results were 113-74 for Clinton, a stronger 29 delegate win). Murkying the waters is Edwards – now that he has endorsed Obama his delegates are starting to switch to supporting Obama as well. Giving Edwards’ 13 FL delegates to Obama cuts Clinton’s advantage to just 16.
It appears that in Florida consensus is building that the RBC may just leave the election results in place and cut the delegation in half. The result of this would be Clinton 56.5, Obama 37 and Edwards 6.5; cutting Clinton’s lead to either 19.5 or 13 depending on Edwards’ delegates. Given the really small numbers involved here, I’m surprised Clinton is taking such a strong line against a compromise, given the likely reality. Obama is under political pressure to have a compromise in Florida worked out by May 20th, when he has a rally planned in Tampa.
So where does that leave things?
Michigan: A compromise plan endorsed by the state Democratic party that is being sent to the Rules and Bylaws committee is the most likely solution given Obama didn’t appear on the ballot. Hillary ends up with a +10 delegate count and the Michigan superdelegates come into play.
Florida: No clear compromise plan in place, so I’d say the convention wisdom is the RBC cuts Florida’s delegate count in half and leaves the election results in place, giving Hillary a +19.5 delegate bump, and the Edwards delegates become new quasi-supers, courted by both camps.
The situation is still very fluid but will likely come to a conclusion on or before the 5/31 committee meeting.