May 30, 2024

Democratic Popular Vote

The NY Times says that Hillary Clinton may win the reported popular vote when the dust settles on the Democratic party primaries and, like Al Gore before her, be left out in the cold, electorally speaking.  Ironic that such a thing should happen to the Democrats after 8 years of claiming that Gore’s victory in the popular vote against George W. Bush should have counted for something.

If all states with popular vote totals are counted — which would exclude four caucus states that have not released numbers — Mrs. Clinton would lead Mr. Obama by more than 26,000 votes out of more than 33 million cast. By other calculations, Mr. Obama is ahead in the popular vote.

Robert Zimmerman, a New York media consultant who is a major fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton, said the popular-vote argument was a good political framework for her candidacy because it emphasizes her electability in the fall. He also said it would be fair to count Michigan and Florida when Democrats are also counting the votes from state caucuses, which require people to participate at a certain time of the day, and therefore tend to leave shift workers and laborers at a disadvantage.

“The controversies concerning the inequities of the caucus system, the Michigan and Florida primaries and the focus on electability by both campaigns makes the issue of the popular vote critically important to superdelegates,” Mr. Zimmerman said. “It should be expected that any potential nominee wins the popular vote on the way to the nomination”

Not this time, evidently.  The relevancy of the caucus states in this particular debate is important because its extremely likely that the margin of Obama’s victories in these states was increased by the caucus-style vote far beyond his actual popularity in those states.

Hillary’s success, relative as it is, in the popular vote is reason for her to stay in the race until the convention.


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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