May 27th, 2008
01:13 PM ET
12 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. cherrystrawberry

    No! Play by the rules! Go Obama! The Young Love you. All you over 50 Clintonbots!!! IT's OVER!!! Forget about it!!!!!!I a WRAP!!!!!!!!!! Your old antiquated ideas (aka McCain) dont appeal to us! What absolute ignorance not to vote for a man because of his color……If African Americans hadnt voted for Bill Clinton he would never had been the president……Your time is up. One foot is on the banana peel so just slip already and let Generation Next move this Country forward.

    May 27, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Proud1of 26% in WV

    You can bet that they will move the goalposts.Then it will take more superdelegates to make either one win.Clinton will move the whole playing field in necessary.

    May 27, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Mike G

    The goal posts have been moved so many times already- what's one more time going to do? The result will be the same-Obama is the nominee and the tactics used by HRC will be judged for the rest of her political life.- Pathetic.

    May 27, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Don't Vote


    It should. Obama cannot beat McCain. He cannot win swing states which are an absolute to win in Nov. If Obama is the Nominee we will vote McCain or rather not vote. Obama is an intern. He is inexperienced. Besides all these we are seeing very good list of VP for McCain particularly Jindal and Huckbee

    May 27, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Who calls this "the Republican option?"

    A 50% delegation is exactly what the DNC bylaws allow for, not zero and not 100%.

    Calling Democrats Republicans only confuses the matter.

    May 27, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. MR-TN







    May 27, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. KK

    The supers MUST take a stand!

    May 27, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    Disgusting, change the goal posts in the middle of the game because Hillary is shreiking to loud.

    May 27, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. marylee wagerman atlanta,ga

    The DNC will stick with their rules

    No way will they pander to the Clintons

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

    Everytime an Obama supporter or biased for Obama political pundit has stated that Hillary should get out of the race for the sake of the democratic party, it sways me all the more to vote for McCain should Obama receive the nomination. Thanks, Howard Dean for devising this screwed up democratic primary! You should be tarred and feathered!!
    To paraphrase a line from Bush, "Good work Deanie!"

    May 27, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. tidho

    They can't seat them all and pretend they didn't break the rules. While recognizing the Republican way as the best practice probably doesn't sit well, Hillary has painted them into it by making this a 'rights' issue.

    I hope the DNC is extremely clear in their communication that all the candidates endorsed their original verdict and that both remaining candidates support their revised judgement.

    May 27, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Michelle from Colorado

    Please move the goal posts.
    And if that doesn't help Hillary, please write her into the General Election ballot if she does not win the Dem nomination. I know I don't want John McCain to be the next president, and I am positive Obama does not have the chops to do the job right.
    Go Hillary! Make a touchdown!

    May 27, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. Uncle Sam

    The DNC should seat half the delegates from Florida and Michigan, giving Obama all the delegates Clinton wouldn't get from Michigan. Everybody gets something and nobody gets everything. Obama will still get the superdelegates he needs to clinch the nomination.

    May 27, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Ratgurl

    Moving the goalposts won't make a shred of difference. It will just delay the inevitable.

    The DNC all need to grow a pair & move this thing forward.

    May 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Anita - AZ

    Those states need to be counted somehow some way, Wolf. Maybe give Clinton the votes she got in Florida and split Michigan 50/50. That's fair. The supers will have to decide the nominee anyway you slice it.

    Obama '08

    May 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. Talk about out of touch

    Yes, but it won't change the position of the players.

    May 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. FLORIDA Voter for Barack Obama

    Wolf- They will not move the goal post. Why would you ask such a destructable question. 2025 is and will be the number. FL & MI will be seated in a different way.

    May 27, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |

    One thing is certain, Hillary misspeaks habitually and her “apologies” come across as cold and calculating damage control!

    Do we really want someone representing the USA to the world who is quick to misspeak and slow to own her mistakes? I think not!

    Hillary, the Queen of Spin and a Legend in Her Own Mind!

    May 27, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. Griff

    It do's not matter whether they move the 'Goal Post's'.. You have to Score.... This National Cup Race, come's around once every 4 yr's....
    If you don't score.... It's a long time between Games......

    May 27, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. frankie

    Plain and simple...We teach our kids to play by the rules, so I think they shouldn't seat those delegates because they violated the rules.

    May 27, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Debby

    Wolf, of course it could make a difference these delegates can change their mind and go Clintons way if they move up the delegate count if this goes to the convention. Clinton can campaign in more states and make her case for the nomination.

    May 27, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    Moving the goalposts isn't going to make a difference. Regardless of the scenario.

    A majority of the Michigan unpledged delegates are for Obama, and Edwards delegates that come over in Florida pretty much make this entire arguement non-existant. Hillary would gain a handful of delegates from this, that's it. It will be about 20 at most, she's down nearly 200 right now. Obama will still have the majority of the pledged delegates (which has been the goalpost by quite a few super delegates out there, so it is notable also).

    The only thing this does is for Hillary to validify her claim on the popular vote, which excludeds Maine, Iowa, Nevada and Washington caucuses of course.

    Regardless of the scenario, Hillary will still need about 75% of the remaining pledged delegates. A near mathematical impossibility.

    May 27, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Larry from NY

    Please don't move the goal posts on Obama, he'll break down in tears. If he can only bowl a 37 (and that with bumpers), how will he ever kick a field goal, his skirt will get in the way.

    May 27, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Dan (Kirkland, WA)

    I think the seating of half the delegates is the fairest option available.

    They cannot allow all of the delegates to be seated based upon the results of primaries that were against clearly stated party rules.

    The DNC can't disenfranchise the voters of these two pivotal states but those states also need to know that they need to play by the rules like everyone else did.

    May 27, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Deb

    Moving the Goalposts won't really change that much.

    Obama is still not a viable candidate, who can't win in Novemeber.

    Hillary is still our only hope of winning the general Election.

    The SD's have their work cut out for them.

    The Democratic Party Base of Moderates and Conservatives are praying we go with a candidate that can win!

    Hillary 08

    May 27, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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