May 27th, 2008
01:13 PM ET
7 years ago

Blitzer: Could the DNC move the goalposts this weekend?

Blitzer: Could the magic number shift this weekend?
Blitzer: Could the magic number shift this weekend?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic National Committee’s Rules Committee meets in Washington on Saturday and may decide to move the goalposts.

At issue: what to do about those Michigan and Florida pledged and super delegates. Right now, they don’t count in the presidential selection process because those two states moved up their primaries against DNC rules.

The current goalposts, as a result, stands at 2,026 – the number of delegates needed to clinch the presidential nomination. Without Michigan and Florida, there would be a total of 4,050 delegates at the Denver convention representing the other 48 states, the U.S. territories, and Americans living abroad.

The DNC Rules Committee could decide to reverse itself and seat the Michigan and Florida delegations despite their primary violations. That would move the goalposts to 2,210 – the new number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination. If the committee did that, there would be a total of 4,418 delegates at the convention.

There is a third option that is being discussed right now: the so-called Republican option. It would seat the Florida and Michigan delegates at the convention, but only at half-strength. This proposal would punish both states but still seat half of their delegates – as the Republicans did. That, in turn, would move the goalposts to 2,118 – the number needed under this scenario to clinch the nomination. Under this third option, there would be 4,234 delegates at the convention.

In other words, we could see the goalposts move this weekend. But here’s the question – would moving these goalposts really make much of a difference in the nominating process given Barack Obama’s current lead over Hillary Clinton and the party’s proportionate distribution of delegates under all the scenarios?


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. theodore

    1. Why were rules created
    2. Are the only for some people
    3. No rules free for all

    May 27, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Dondada

    Well here it is folks now they are trying to take it away from us, the young, these old foggies are always talking about how we are the future and that we are going to lead this country into the future and now they dont want to play by the rules and want to move goal posts and you wonder why the young don't vote.

    May 27, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Sue

    Lets move the goal posts to Hilary -LAND and still she cannot ctach up with OBAMA on delegates. This is the fact the Clinton camp is angry the American people are seeing.

    May 27, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Blue Dog Dem

    The issue with FL and MI is more about the general election than about the nomination. If the DNC does not allow these states to participate in the convention, there is no way the Dems can win either state.

    Obamacans should stop whinning about Clinton trying to steal the election. There is plenty of finger pointing in both directions. Besides, you are sounding like the Bush Campaigh in 2000 during the Florida debacale (delegates matter, not popular vote).

    May 27, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. G from CT

    One thing we can all be thankful for is that it was Gore, not Hillary, who was in the "Presidential tie" in 2000. If it were her, she would have destroyed the country in her quest to win, much like she is doing today with the Democratic Party...

    May 27, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. EC

    Wolf – I don't think so. The Rules are Rules...let's not get it twisted. Nice try.

    May 27, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Romulus, Michigan

    If you read the history of these United States of American and put yourselves in the place of American Indians, African Americans, and Asian Americans first and second generation, Japanese American first and second generations, and Hispanic first, second and three generation. White Americans would keep their head down in shame.

    May 27, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Hayles

    Wolf... I pray the DNc abide by the rules.. When change the rule of the party what kind of message are we sending is that we can break the rule and win. I beieve that is wrong message.

    God's will be done.

    May 27, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Peter in PA

    Most Hillary supporters in the blog are actually neo-cons pretending to be a Hillary supporters. I know Hillary supporters aren't as delusional as Hillary.

    May 27, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. MD

    They can, but MUST NOT.

    Rules are rules. Either the DNC should not have set these rules, or now that it has, it should honor them. If nothing else, as a sign of respect for the other 48 states who abided by the rules, FL and MI must be punished. If they then want to cut off their collective nose, and vote for McBush in November, then let them.

    If the goalpost is moved, all future Democratic primaries will be chaotic. Each state will do whatever they want, and then in the end will get their delegates seated any way. The DNC will be wise not to set such precedent.

    May 27, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Cathy

    Of course it should be moved. If Obama was in the same position as Clinton he would be fighting for it too. Come on guys lets be honest with ourselves. Everyone's vote should count. It should not matter who you support.

    May 27, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Bukky

    I'd like to see them try and still think they have ANY SHOT of winning in November.

    Yes FL and MI should count (even tho the clearly broke te rules and are now crying like children about it) BUT it should in no way be a game changer. Simple fact is that we need FL and MI to win in the general.. even though FL will clearly go repub

    May 27, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Bill L

    If we should count every vote, and everyone's vote counts, then how do we count the voters who stayed home in MI and FL because they were told by their Party the votes wouldn't count?
    It is impossible to have a solution that everyone will like at this point. We have no Solomon as the judge.

    May 27, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Adam

    It is irrelevant. Senator Clinton signed off on the rules as they currently stand. She agreed to them. She also, though not expressly stated, agreed to any consequences of those rules. The consequences happen to be MI and FL delegates not being seated. A debate over whether or not it will hurt or help is moot as the simple fact remains that she agreed to the rules as currently constituted and all the consequences thereof. She doesn't like the consequences and is now trying to change the rules ex post facto.

    May 27, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. KJ, Dallas, TX

    Wolf,

    Could you and CNN please stop being lackeys and sympathizers for Clinton???

    Thanks.

    OBAMA, 2008!

    May 27, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Loletha

    FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN SHOULD THINK LONG AND HARD BEFORE RE-ELECTING THE GOVERNORS OF THERE STATE. DO NOT BLAME THE DNC. THEY PUT RULES INTO PLACE SO OBIDE.

    PUT THE BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS, (GOVERNORS OF THERE STATE) POINT BLANK.

    May 27, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Chuck R

    The Democratic Party never intended to not seat any delegates from Florida and Michigan. The party wanted to ignore the early contest and force them to revote – which would have been their followint the rules. But for the Obama campaigns resistance there would have been a new primary in both states scheduled by now. But, they have seen that if they let Florida and Michigan vote it would be two more huge losses for Obama so they did not let them revote.

    Now, the Democrats may have to simply write off Michigan and Florida because Obama can not afford for them to count.

    We are seeing Obama's inability to lead, right now. This is his party the rules committee will do what he wants and all he want is someone to blame other than him when the voters in Michigan and Florida are told they don't count.

    May 27, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Elisabeth

    By Jesse Jackson Jr. January 19, 2006
    "Fighting for human and constitutional rights is a theme, and a strategy, that could keep Democrats together for the next fifty years, election after election. It's time to begin a lofty fight to add the right to vote to the Constitution–and paint a truer picture of most Republicans as undemocratic. It's time to stand up and insure every American's right to vote to have that vote fully protected and to have it fairly counted."

    The voices from FLORIDA and MICHIGAN have to be heard!

    May 27, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. greenhx

    The math still does not work for HRC, it's all about the supers now.

    May 27, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. RB

    WILL NOT HAPPEN. Even if Hillary intends to stir up a riot outside the building this weekend. I'm glad her lack of leadership abilities is coming clear for the entire WORLD to see.

    May 27, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. Stephina

    In a nomination this close, Florida and Michigan should be allowed to have their votes counted and delegates fully seated.

    If Obama can only win by not allowing 2 states to be counted, then he is not much of a winner!!!

    May 27, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  22. Shirley-Ohio

    NO AND THEY BETTER NOT. THEY SHOULD SEAT THE DELEGATES IN A WAY THAT NO BODY BENEFITS FROM IT DURING THE PRIMARY BECAUSE THEY ALL SIGNED TO NOT COUNT THESE TWO STATES AND TO COUNT THEM WILL MAKE NO SINCE UNLESS THEY ARE TRYING TO TAKE THE NOMINATION AWAY FROM OBAMA AND GIVE IT TO CLINTON.

    May 27, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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