[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/16/art.blitzeriowa.cnn.jpg caption="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?