Hillary’s Prospects: Dim, But Not Dead
One day after her big victory, Hillary’s prospects are looking dim, as her only chance at seating delegations from Michigan and Florida appears to rest on an unlikely do-over in one or both states.
Howard Dean will not bend the party rules to grandfather in the disputed delegates from Michigan and Florida, the Democratic party chairman said in a statement today.
Instead, he put the state parties on notice: either they can wait and allow the credentials committee to decide whether to seat their delegates, or submit to a re-vote sanctioned under DNC rules. “We look forward to receiving their proposals should they decide to submit new delegate selection plans and will review those plans at that time,” he said in the statement.
“Everyone seems to be asking what the DNC will do,” a Democrat close to Dean said. “But the question is: what will the state parties do.”
Dean’s statement implies that he has no intention of changing the rules to accommodate any solution proposed by the candidates or the state parties. There has been some suggestion that the two remaining presidential candidates might try to broker a deal among themselves. His line in the sand narrows the options for Hillary Clinton’s campaign because it is unlikely that a credentials committee would endorse a delegation congenial to her mathematical interests.
So Hillary’s only realistic chance to seat Michigan and/or Florida delegations is a do-over in those states. And the prospect of a do-over in Florida looks rather dim:
Karen Thurman, the chair of the Florida Democratic Party, issued a statement late Wednesday that seemed to discount the possibility of a second primary.
Without the Florida or Michigan delegations, Hillary’s best bet is convincing superdelegates that she is the most electable candidate. It’s a tough argument to make; after all, a lot of us out here are slavering for a Hillary victory precisely because we think she’d be easier to beat. And the possibility of superdelegates erasing an Obama lead is ripe for long-lasting resentment — a prospect that makes us conservatives drool with anticipation.
For my money, the best argument she has is expressed here by Demosophist at Winds of Change:
Just for the sake of argument, if we . . . looked at only those states that award their delegates on the basis of a popular vote primary (ignoring caucus states for the moment) and employ a winner-take-all rule, such as the number of electoral college delegates that represent those states in a general election, Clinton has won over three times as many electors as Obama! This is the case even though Obama actually has more votes. . . . By my count, and excluding MI and FL, that’s 71 electors for Obama and 224 for Clinton!
If Hillary can convince superdelegates that she has an edge, given the winner-take-all rules that will apply in a general election, she could just pull this off.
But the uphill battle she faces on the Florida and Michigan delegations is a hard blow.