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Member since: Mon Apr 5, 2004, 03:58 PM
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What does it mean to 'clinch the nomination' when superdelegates are involved?

Great article on how in every primary contest since the creation of super delegates, the winner was declared the presumptive nominee based on the inclusion of super delegates. http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/5/29/1532358/-What-Does-It-Mean-to-Clinch-the-Nomination-When-Superdelegates-Are-Involved


After reading a number of impassioned defenses of why the Democratic presidential nomination should not be called next week on June 7th, I got curious. What’s the history here, since the superdelegates were added to the process? When a Democratic candidate hits the magic number of pledged delegates plus superdelegates, are they the nominee?

The answer: history says the first person to get to the magic number is the presumptive nominee, and says it unambiguously, even if the losers often disagree.

Here’s how it has gone since the superdelegates were added to the process.....


Anyway, I started this research 12 hours ago to answer a question for myself, so that as everyone on TV is spinning things this way and that on June 7th I have some context. What, if anything, have I learned?

First, most non-incumbent candidates have needed superdelegates to win, and the history of superdelegates has been that once a Democrat hits the magic number and becomes the nominee, superdelegates are more likely to flow to the nominee than from them.

Also, in the history of the superdelegates, they have always ended up supporting the decision of the pledged delegates, and their most important contribution has been to amplify leads of the pledged delegate winner so that they can be assured success on a first ballot, and avoid the sort of messy convention that harms a general campaign.

The major thing I’ve learned is that the press declares, and has always declared, the winner after they hit the magic number, and has done so in far more nebulous circumstances than this. Even in 1984, in which Hart won by a number of other metrics, in which the delegate count was the arbiter, and Mondale announced himself as the nominee, even with 38 percent of the popular vote to Hart’s 36 percent—even then, Hart may have claimed he still had a cunning plan, but no one begrudged Mondale the fact he was, for all intents and purposes, the nominee.

When you think about it, that simply has to happen. Things need to get done, and they need the nominee to do them. Except for Reagan in 1976, who chose a running mate after Gerald Ford was made the nominee, there aren’t a whole lot of non-nominee candidates going to the convention with their own vice president picked out. You get to do that because the numbers say you’re the nominee.

Meeting this number also allows the nominee to do the work of campaigning before the convention, establishing a message, building capacity on the ground, etc.

The press, for its part, has always understood this, from 1984 onward, and has named the nominee (or the “presumptive nominee”) the minute the candidate crosses the line with their combination of pledged and supers, and usually said something to the effect that they had “clinched” the nomination. They did that when Mondale had won far fewer states than Hart. They did that when Dukakis did not have 50 percent of the pledged delegates. They did that when Obama had not won the popular vote (yes, I know, Michigan—I hope we’re still not fighting this?).

This is a well researched article and confirms that the nomination process will be over on Tuesday June 7, 2016 when the results of the New Jersey primary are announced.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Conf. Call on Clinton Victory Counsel program

There is a conference call with Marc Elias on Thursday of this week on voter protection issues. You can join the Victory Counsel program by going to this link https://forms.hillaryclinton.com/volunteerattorneys/

The Post's View After tensions explode in Nevada, it’s time for Sanders to be honest with his suppor

This editorial from the Washington Post is on point https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/after-tensions-explode-in-nevada-its-time-for-sanders-to-be-honest-with-his-supporters/2016/05/18/f17c2468-1d2d-11e6-b6e0-c53b7ef63b45_story.html?postshare=5591463664279348&tid=ss_tw

Mr. Sanders’s irresponsibility is sadly unsurprising. He has stirred up populist energy over the past several months with anti-corporate scapegoating and extravagant claims about policy. He has indulged and encouraged hyperbolic feelings that the country is badly adrift, that most of the nation agrees with a left-wing agenda but is trapped in a corrupt system, and that nothing but a political revolution will do. He has attracted some big, passionate crowds. But as he has lagged in votes, he increasingly has questioned the legitimacy of the process and encouraged his supporters to feel disenfranchised. The result is a toxic mix of unreason, revolutionary fervor and perceived grievance.

What is particularly galling about the Sanders camp’s complaints of disenfranchisement is that Mr. Sanders has benefited or tried to benefit from a variety of sketchy quirks of the nominating process. He has claimed support for his cause in caucuses, which are quite exclusive, but he complains about closed primary elections, which are more inclusive. In Nevada, his supporters were trying to game the rules to get more delegates and got upset when they did not succeed. As veteran Nevada politics reporter Jon Ralston put it, “Despite their social media frothing and self-righteous screeds, the facts reveal that the Sanders folks disregarded rules, then when shown the truth, attacked organizers and party officials as tools of a conspiracy to defraud the senator of what was never rightfully his in the first place.”

Mr. Sanders denies reality when he tells supporters he still has a plausible pathway to the Democratic presidential nomination. But passion cannot trump reality. It also cannot excuse violence, threats and attempts at mob rule. It is past time for Mr. Sanders to be honest with his supporters, before they take the campaign’s irresponsible ethos to greater extremes and thereby help ensure the election of Donald Trump.

Yes, Clinton is winning the popular vote — by a wide margin

Shaun King's claim that Clinton is not leading in the popular vote is simply wrong https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/05/19/yes-hillary-clinton-is-winning-the-popular-vote-by-a-wide-margin/

The idea that the popular vote totals are flawed because caucuses aren't included has been floating around for a while. The point of questioning the sum is obvious: To question the extent to which Democratic voters (and independents voting in Democratic contests, who usually favor Sanders) have preferred Clinton as the party's nominee.

This has been floating around so long, in fact, The Post's fact-checkers looked at this issue at the beginning of April. Did Clinton at that point actually lead by 2.5 million votes, as she claimed? No, she didn't.

She led by 2.4 million votes.

The Post's Glenn Kessler arrived at that figure by taking estimates of how many people came out to vote in caucus contests and applying the final vote margin to that population. This is admittedly imprecise, as King notes, since in some caucuses (like Iowa's) voter preferences can and do change. Kessler's total included Washington, despite King's insistence -- and in Washington, he figured that Sanders had the support of 167,201 voters to Clinton's 62,330. Despite that, still a 2.4 million advantage for Clinton.

It's worth noting that caucuses, for which it's harder to calculate vote totals, are usually in smaller states and/or have smaller turnout. King's concern about ensuring Alaska's huge Democratic voting base is included in the tally is answered by Kessler's math.

What's more, Kessler continued updating his tally as results came in. The most recent update was after the contests on April 27, at which point her wins in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and other Northeastern states had extended her lead to "just over 3 million votes" -- including his estimates for the caucuses. (By my tabulation of Kessler's numbers, it's 3.03 million.)

Since then, there have been five contests.

Indiana. Sanders won with 32,152 more votes.
Guam. Clinton won with 249 more votes.
West Virginia. Sanders won with 30,509 more votes.
Kentucky. Clinton won with 1,924 more votes (per the latest AP count).
Oregon. Sanders won with 69,007 more votes (per AP).

In total, then, Clinton's lead over Sanders in the popular vote is 2.9 million. The difference isn't because the total excludes Washington. It's because it includes more recent contests from the past 14 days.

That number will continue to change. There are only two big states left -- New Jersey and California -- both of which vote June 7. Clinton leads by a wide margin in New Jersey, where more than a million people turned out in 2008. She has a smaller lead in California, where about 5 million voted in the Democratic primary eight years ago. For Sanders to pass Clinton in the popular vote, he would need turnout like 2008 in California -- and to win by 57 points.

Clinton is only up on Sanders by 2.9 million votes and that is a real number

Upcoming state conventions

I will be going to the Texas convention in June. I saw that the Sanders supporters wanted to see if they could steal delegates at the state conventions. Under each state delegate selection plan, the number of delegates were allocated based on the primary and you cannot vary that. In addition, each Democratic candidate has absolute right to approve all of their pledged delegates and I know that the Clinton campaign is vetting all of her pledged delegates in Texas (I am helping vet the delegates from my senate district).

The rules for Democratic conventions and GOP conventions are very different.

The Texas GOP convention is this weekend and there is open carry inside that convention. Anyone want to bet on the number of people shot by "accident" at that convention?

More Sanders layoffs may be coming

A good friend had been working for Sanders since last fall. She was in several states and she just went to California a week or so ago and now is back looking for work. I wonder if there is another mass Sanders layoff coming

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Gass has tossed a lawsuit from a Tucson, Arizona voter ch

Source: ThinkProgress

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Gass has tossed a lawsuit from a Tucson, Arizona voter challenging the March 22 presidential primary, which was marred by confusion, 5-hour lines, and rampant errors.

Judge Gass noted that while “glitches are always something that we need to wary of and we need to work hard, and we need to fix them…they don’t rise to the level of fraud.” He declined the litigant’s request to have the results of the election — big wins for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton — thrown out.

“I can’t find that one, there were illegal votes and two…I can’t find it would have made a difference in the outcome of the election,” he said. “The election would have been the same.” The judge added that re-doing the election wouldn’t be fair to the more than 1 million Arizonans who did manage to cast a ballot in March.

Another lawsuit filed by the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton continues, demanding the U.S. District Court of Phoenix review why the county cut the number of available polling places from 200 to 60, leaving only one voting center for every 21,000 voters. That lawsuit, which is joined by the Democratic National Committee, the Arizona Democratic Party, the president of the Navajo Nation, and the campaign of Ann Kirkpatrick, also slams the “state’s arbitrary rejection of provisional ballots at alarming rates, especially those cast by Hispanic voters.”

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2016/04/27/3773073/arizona-lawsuit-tossed/

This lawsuit was poorly drafted and had no chance.

Bernie Sanders Unlikely to Flip Many Texas Superdelegates

I know several of the Texas super delegates and I agree with this analysis https://www.texastribune.org/2016/04/21/bernie-sanders-campaign-unlikely-flip-many-texas-s/

If Sanders has a shot at the nomination, some of those hundreds of superdelegates would have to be from Texas. But according to a handful of interviews among the state’s power brokers on Wednesday, turning on the former U.S. secretary of state will be a hard sell in the Lone Star State.

Most superdelegates are current or former officeholders or members of the Democratic National Committee. The party created the designation in the early 1980s to exert some control over the nomination process.

While Sanders has a few dozen superdelegates backing his campaign, Clinton dominates in support of those Democrats nationally — and particularly in Texas.

“I’m trying to figure out what metric I should look at in making a decision to suddenly flip my support for Bernie Sanders," said state Rep. Rafael Anchia, a superdelegate from Dallas. “Hillary Clinton won the district that I represent 70 to 30 percent; she won the state of Texas 65 to 35 percent, roughly; she has won far more states than he has; she has won more pledged delegates than he has."

It's an argument many other superdelegates from Texas and elsewhere echoed.

I have met Rafael at several fundraisers and is a smart person

A reason for Closed Primaries-Does anyone remember Limbaugh's Operation Chaos?

Does anyone remember 2008 and Limbaugh's Operation Chaos? McCain wrapped up the GOP nomination very early and so GOP voters could vote in Democratic primaries that were open. Limbaugh pushed a project to try to hurt President Obama that he called "Operation Chaos" where GOP voters voted in the Democratic primary to try to keep the contest open for as long as possible. There is some evidence that this program may have worked in Indiana http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/07/AR2008050703932.html

Even as Barack Obama's campaign celebrated Tuesday's primary results, aides charged yesterday that they would have had an even stronger showing were it not for meddling by an unlikely booster of Hillary Rodham Clinton: the popular conservative radio host and longtime Clinton family nemesis Rush Limbaugh.

The impact of Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" emerged as an intriguing point of debate, particularly in Indiana, where registered voters could participate in either party's primary, and where Clinton won by a mere 14,000 votes. As he had before several recent primaries, Limbaugh encouraged listeners to vote for Clinton to "bloody up Obama politically" and prolong the Democratic fight.

Limbaugh crowed about the success of his ploy all day Tuesday, featuring on-air testimonials from voters in Indiana and North Carolina who recounted their illicit pleasure in casting a vote for Clinton. "Some of the people show up and they ask for a Democrat ballot, and the poll worker says, 'Why, what are you going to do?' He says, 'Operation Chaos,' and they just laugh," Limbaugh said Tuesday.

But Limbaugh called off the operation yesterday, saying he wants Obama to be the party's pick, because "I now believe he would be the weakest of the Democrat nominees."

He added: "He can get effete snobs, he can get wealthy academics, he can get the young, and he can get the black vote, but Democrats do not win with that."

Democrats should get to pick the Democratic nominee. Limbaugh threatened a new version this year but that effort fizzled

The Revolution Will Be Fantasized- The Sanders revolution has not materialized in real world yet

Sanders proposals are not realistic and would have no chance in the real world where the GOP would block such pie in the sky proposals. Sanders justify his platform by promising a revolution where millions and millions of voters would show up and force the GOP to be reasonable. That revolution exists only in a fantasy world and has not been evident in the real world http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/robert-schlesinger/articles/2016-04-15/bernie-sanders-bad-delegate-math-and-fantasy-revolution

He went on to argue that he's going to win because he'll pile up votes now that the contest has moved out of the Deep South. This is a shorthand version of an argument that Sanders and his allies have been deploying recently in an attempt to downplay Clinton's lead in pledged delegates – "having so many Southern states go first kind of distorts reality" he told Larry Wilmore, host of "The Nightly Show," earlier this week.

There's a lot wrong with this formulation, as Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times this morning. It suggests a world view redolent of former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's toxic pandering to "real America." In Sanders' case, he's saying that red-state Democrats should be discounted because they're too conservative. But that's simply wrong, Krugman notes: Clinton isn't "riding a wave of support from old-fashioned Confederate-flag-waving Dixiecrats," she ran up the score by scoring lopsided victories among black voters ("let's be blunt, the descendants of slaves," he writes).

And the fact that the Deep South is conservative should be irrelevant, given that Sanders argues the principle obstacle to his super progressive agenda is campaign finance corruption rather than, say, ideology. Either he's leading a national movement, as he claims, or he's not.

Thus more broadly, his attempt to delegitimize a swath of voters lays bare a fundamental inconsistency of the Sanders campaign: One of his basic answers about how he's going to accomplish his aims – whether winning the Democratic nod, winning the general election or enacting his agenda – is the forthcoming revolution. His super-ambitious agenda will prove to be achievable substance rather than unicorns-and-rainbows fantasy, he said Thursday night, "when millions of people stand up, fight back and create a government that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent. That is what the political revolution is about. That is what this campaign is about."

And that's fine: If he can summon the revolution, then more power to him, literally and figuratively. But the Sanders revolution is breaking on the hard realities of math. The revolution will not be televised, the old song goes; but it can be fantasized – and it can be measured, in votes and delegates. And in every calculable respect, it's coming up short. That leaves Sanders to bank on an anti-democratic sleight of hand to secure the nomination. That's not a broad-based revolution; that's a palace coup.

Here's why: Despite Sanders' recent string of victories, there is no sense in which he is winning this race. As The Washington Post's Philip Bump wrote earlier this week:

In fact, by every possible democratic measure, Clinton is winning. She's winning in states (and territories) won, which isn't a meaningful margin of victory anyway. She's winning in the popular vote by 2.4 million votes – more than a third more than Sanders has in total. In part that's because Sanders is winning lower-turnout caucuses, but it's mostly because he's winning smaller states. And she's winning with both types of delegates.

Sanders' revolution is not real which is why he is losing the race in the real world.
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