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. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Dear DNC

    You must stick by the rules stated by the DNC before this election. I am a high school football coach we do not change the rules so the other team can catch up. You guys need to tell Hillary the rules are the rules. SHE SIGNED AND AGRRED TO THAT PLRDGE, WHAT DOES THIS TEACH OUR CHILDREN! Do not be weak on this issue. Obama can get those voters back I campaigned here in Utah for him he won this state by a large margin we actually voted in this state.

    Hillary needs to do what’s right; someone needs to explain to her that she needs to do the greater good for America and our children. She is taking the steam out of this campaign. So I ask all of you to stick to the rules and do what’s right. The whole world is watching America right now.

    INTEGRITY OR HOUNESTY THE CLINTON’S HAVE PROVEN THEY HAVE NONE!

    May 27, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. from CT

    They might as well just do a revote.

    I'll tell you what though if they don't and somehow clinton steals the election there is gonna be a hell of a backlash.

    Some of you hateful clinton supporters think your cry for mccain is something, imagine the obama supporters all over the world that will see his nomination stolen because he had the decency to follow the rule's god forbid, that clinton signed off on no less, what a great lesson for the kids!

    And how about counting the caucus state's for the popular vote, i thought every vote should count?? Oh right those tend to go for Obama, I guess it's every HILLARY vote should count huh? Oh and what about those that put other in Michigan, those don't matter because those arn't a Hillary vote either right??

    May 27, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. aNN

    IT IS JUVENILE to make decisions based on "feelings".
    Obama has made absolutely no staements as to EXACTLY WHAT CHANGES he plans and EXACTLY HOW THEY WILL BE IMPLEMENTED.
    Obama's campaign is an overgrown teenage idol image and his followers are a bunch of Cheerleaders fainting and swooning over him.
    Those Cheerleaders are going to be very sorry individuals when they find out that Obama represents ONLY BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY MARXISTS...and those cats are not nice people who invision everyone standing around singing "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing"...as Obama would have you believe.
    OBAMA:
    "As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides," Obama said. "There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing.' If that were our anthem, then I might salute it."
    Those are Obama's exact words...now try and create a fake, dislusional context to fit those words into...because you do not have a clue as to how to "get real".
    When faced with reality...your posting above shows that the best you can do is go into denial and whimper. At least others have the balls to go into a rage...which often happens when they are challenged with the reality of direct quotes that their stooge made. Obama was probably stoned when he made those profoundly ridiculous statements...now that's probably the rest of the context.
    Lay off the substances, Marxists Dogma, and quit clinging to your psychology book...find some actual worth which you have to Society.

    May 27, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Dominique

    The DNC Rules Committee should not reverse itself and seat the FL and MI delegates. It would not be fair to the other 48 states and half a dozen territories that abided by the rules. If the DNC changes the rules at this late date, it will be open season during the 2012 election. Everyone will want to be first. Let's not forget the people in FL who did not come out to vote (or voted in the Republican primary) because their primary was not going to count. What about the people in MI who did not vote, or voted uncommitted? How is the DNC going to make this right for them. We have rules for a reason. The DNC should not cave in to the pressure applied by the candidate who just happens to be losing under the rules that all the candidates agreed to at the start of the contest.

    May 27, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Mary

    I just came back from a parallel universe where Hillary was in the lead and laughing at the notion of allowing FL & MI.

    She kept on saying, my opponent is desperate. He wants to change the rules AGAIN. How can we now change the rules at this late stage in the game? My opponent agreed to these rules in 2007. We need a president that abides by the rules.

    The point is, would Hillary fight this hard if FL & MI would benefit Obama? Can we call this more SNIPER FIRE and call it a day?

    May 27, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Linda in Va

    CNN is all for Obama, there is no doubt about it. I don't care much what they do with the goalposts but I sure would like to see Hillary surprise CNN and become the nominee.

    May 27, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Amy in Woodstock, NY

    The goalpost move would only prolong it. Hillary can't win regardless.

    But for the sake of all of us voters, let's not prolong this any longer than it has been. I am Hillary Clinton fatiqued out. I really can't wait to see much less of her and her husband on television. That is why I have been keeping the television turned off. CNN ratings may improve if we can get this thing over with soon.

    May 27, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. indy dem

    It wouldn't make a bit of difference, Wolf... which was the obama campaign's plan all along: stall on MI and FL until he wins the nomination and then make some sort of compromise.

    How else could it have gone? The party might decide to change the rules... but to do so before the race was over would be crazy

    May 27, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Pat Riot

    Duh. derrr. Me want me socialism now! Free stuff from govurnment. Govurnment make me better life and stop global werming. Der.

    Idiots for Clinton/Obama 200Godhelpus.

    May 27, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Chuks

    You can push the goal post all the way to Libya for all we care DNC. The truth is that Obama has a majority of the delegates and will continue to have it even when you MI and FL whatever happens; and the super delegates will never destroy the party by nominating Clinton over Obama. Pick your poison.

    May 27, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Il voter

    DNC has nothing to worry. Reality is this is a democratic year. Even if they contest DOG that will also win against Big Mac.

    No offience meant to both candidates. Both candidates are extremely talented and capable of leading country.

    May 27, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    CNN POST PLEASE

    Dear DNC

    You must stick by the rules stated by the DNC before this election. I am a high school football coach we do not change the rules so the other team can catch up. You guys need to tell Hillary the rules are the rules. SHE SIGNED AND AGREED TO THAT PLEDGE, WHAT DOES THIS TEACH OUR CHILDREN! Do not be weak on this issue. Obama can get those voters back I campaigned here in Utah for him he won this state by a large margin we actually voted in this state.

    Hillary needs to do what’s right; someone needs to explain to her that she needs to do the greater good for America and our children. She is taking the steam out of this campaign. So I ask all of you to stick to the rules and do what’s right. The whole world is watching America right now.

    INTEGRITY OR HOUNESTY THE CLINTON’S HAVE PROVEN THEY HAVE NONE!

    May 27, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Enlightened Voter

    The only fair way for both parties is a recount. Unless that is done no votes for either candidate should count. Remember hundreds of thousands stayed home thinking their vote wouldn't count.

    May 27, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. cmoore

    They will really be wanting to move them in November if Obama is the candidate!!!

    May 27, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. No more Rigged Elections in America

    All Hillary supporters get out and protest!

    Saturday, the rules committee is meeting. If you can't go to D.C., get out in your home town. Let's send a message to these jerks at the DNC.

    NO MORE RIGGED ELECTIONS IN AMERICA.

    1 Vote=1 Vote.

    They keep trying to push Hillary out of the race b/c they know after Puerto Rico votes, Hillary will have the popular vote with or without MI and FL.

    Take it to the convention Hillary.

    Obama is unelectable. Check out the Head to Heads on Realclearpolitics.com

    May 27, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. shirley

    If the DNC cannot abide by their own ruling than there is little hope for the Democrat Party. Florida and Michigan should have taken care of this issue long before their primary. The bar cannot be moved to accommodate the Clinton's, Hillary is disgraceful for starting this circus. The media needs to remind voter's that Hillary signed on for the ruling until she fell behind and now needs those numbers.

    May 27, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Don for Obama

    I hear Clinton talking about popular vote, well its all about delegates in case she forgot just as it is all about electoral votes in the fall election.

    She can find out from Al Gore who won the popular vote and who proceeded to the white house.

    I want the goal posts to be shifted so all her supporters can she that she lost fair and square.

    May 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Pistoff

    The DNC is PATHETIC. Howard Dean is a failure and must step down ... a "leader" with no voice and no backbone The voters in Florida and Michigan should not be punished for the failures of their "leadership" and Republican Governor's meddling, but the DNC cannot changes their decision at the end of the primary. It was a stupid decision to strip these states of their delegates and a failure in leadership to try and sort it out at the end of May. I predict Hillary the kook will bring the party down through a lawsuit after the DNC revisits their stupid decision to disinfrancise Florida and Michigan.

    The whole party system of delegates and super delegates is not "democracy" it is a sham. This party is a disgrace .... nothing at all has been accomplished since 2006 when the Dems seized power in the House and Senate ... all they do is continue to fund Bush's war. PATHETIC. Only a step above the Republicans which isn't saying much.

    I'm fed up with the Democratic Party ... thankfully Obama gives hope for positive and real change.

    May 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Andrew, IL

    The rules shouldn't be changed just because Hillary Clinton wants them to. The goal for almost six months now has been 2,025 and it shouldn't be moved up at the last minute. By doing that the magic number would be unlikely to be reached by either side and Hillary will then try and take her near dead campaign to the convention. The number shouldn't be changed even if those delegates are seated or the Dem's fears about a convention fight could become very likely to happen.

    May 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Chuks

    You can push the goal post all the way to Libya for all we care DNC. The truth is that Obama has a majority of the delegates and will continue to have it even when you add MI and FL; whatever happens the super delegates will never destroy the party by nominating Clinton over Obama. Pick your poison.

    May 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. MelissaMinneapolis

    CNN,

    Everyone makes mistakes, but having a typo in your headline is a bad move for a news organizations.

    As for the debate, the "Republican" solution is the way to go. Several of my friends and family did NOT vote in Florida or Michigan regardless of who they were supporting because they were told the vote would NOT count.

    To not follow through in some way on previous consequences means that those voters, who acted based upon the information given, were truly the disenfranchised.

    May 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. Doyle - MI

    If the DNC decides to use the votes already casted in any way, shape, or form would mean they lied to the voters of Michigan and Florida; when they said the votes wouldn't count. Using the counts could do more harm then good.

    May 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. Jason Carmichael

    Why are the party rules and regulations in place if no punishment is to be faced by the party who breaks them?

    Seems like Obama, now has to work harder because he did not campaign or keep his name on the ballot in the states that should not have been counted according to the rules..

    May 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. Cindy

    I think they have no choice but to move the goal posts again this weekend. There needs to be a compromise, somewhere between Obama's 50/50 and Clinton's 100/0 split. And if they can't come up with something, it'll be 0/0, and McCain wins instead.

    It's unfortunate that some Clinton supporters feel that McCain winning is the better compromise option. Dems shoot themselves in the foot all over again again... and Bush, Limbaugh and Rove will be dancing in the streets...

    May 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. NoMcSame

    No way. Rules are rules. Hillary didn't care about them until she needed them. If they, do I and many others will leave the party and will vote McSame just to give them four more years of Bush. Clinton wants to roughshod her way in and she has no way of beating John McSame because the people on the right hates the name Clinton, so just having her in the race will help McSame win.
    She is setting back all of the progress that has been made by getting the young people involved in the process. Change the rules to help Clinton? I don't think so. Thanks Hillary for all that you have done to help John McSame As Bush win.

    May 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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