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. Rayshaun


    Why are we asking questions like this that everybody already knows the answer too? I think anybody who has any decent grasp of basic mathematics will understand that any senario put forward would still leave clinton well out of reach of winning this nomination. The margins she would have to make up make her chances of doing so vertually improbable. she has lost this nomination any way you choose to look at it, period.

    May 27, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Isaac, Wisconsin

    Let count all votes as Fla and MI voted in January Primaries. Count all votes DNC...

    May 27, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. SLO Bear

    Only with your help, Wolf, which I hope will take some just heat from the light of history.

    May 27, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Tim

    The goal posts will not be changed. Senator Obama only needs 48 Delegates to clench the nomination!!!

    Obama 08/12

    May 27, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Pam

    This is so stinks! How dare someone change rules to meet the demands of the so called powerful Clintons. What does this say about our government, if we continue to not follow the rules? This is shameful. I am done with this whole stinking mess!
    What about violation of rules? Let the Delegates vote in November as was stated at the beginning.

    May 27, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Predictions


    May 27, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Anita - AZ

    The TRUE Democrats and people who don't want McBush will do the right thing by the country. It's as simple as that.

    May 27, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Amber (FL)

    Well, THEY SHOULD!! And it wouldn't be "moving the goal posts"...that sounds negative. What it would be is INCLUDING MILLIONS OF PATRIOTIC VOTERS.

    I adore you Wolf, but this headline is "baiting". Why are you asking a loaded question to get the nasty commenting Obamabots to go off on a hateful rampage of blogging. Come on that crabby old geezer CAfferty rubbing off on you?

    May 27, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Nobama

    How about Obama's Fake Uncle???????????????????????? Liar that he is; he is no better politician....true colors come out...keep listening for further updates!

    May 27, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. voter

    To clinton supporters: many are saying the goalposts should be moverd because obama cannot beat mccain. I understand now. Her supporters do not care if every vote should count as long as the states she wins does. Well, that will explain why her supporters and clinton believe she has the popular vote while excluding the 5 caucus states. the reason she and her supporers believe the uncommitted votes in MIshould not count. Her supporters are not for a democracy, but a monarchy. better yet, maybe we should not vote at all. hope her supporters alone will be enough for her to win this election.

    May 27, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Cynthia

    The DNC should follow their rules. What happens in four years if other states do the same thing. Everyone needs to learn that for every action there is a reaction.

    May 27, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Tony Z- MD

    At what point does this end. HRC is not the Democratic Nominee. Her political career now rest on getting Obama elected. If he loses than her lose is magnified. The Clinton legacy is at stake. If they are the reason for the Dems losing the White House than no longer will they get the Red Carpet treatment.

    May 27, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. karrie canada

    wolf blitzer or whatever you call yourself every one know you want queen hillary to win,you and hillary will be very happy if this socall goalposts wore to move,you can see this all over your face each and everyday hillary your queen cannot win so get this in your thick head.

    May 27, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Patricia

    What's your point?

    May 27, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Perry




    The people know who the best candidate is...even if they won't admit it. Hillary.

    May 27, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. debbie

    There is a reason why the goalposts on a football field are cemented into the ground:so neither team can move them.

    May 27, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. NoMcSame

    If the so called Super Delegates would do their job they would not have to move anything. It could be over tonight if they would do what they are put there to do. Obama is strong, my God he is fighting on two front right now and is doing fine.
    NAVY Veteran for Obama

    May 27, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Amber (FL)

    and "creative woody" is an idiot. "2025 is what is needed in January".

    First, 2025 is not any number relevant to January. Delegates don't count in the General Election. Electoral vote count in the General Elec., and Hillary has MORE (many more) of those than Barack!

    Second, its NOvember, not January when we vote. lol

    Get it right before you start to open your mouth

    May 27, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. MMN - Milwaukee WI

    It’s sad some are blaming the DNC and others are blaming Obama campaign for the issues with FL & MI. We all know the facts, Hillary is using this for her own personal gains, Obama has his reservations to protect his own gains, DNC is squeezed by FL & MI state level decisions that make them look bad. GOP is no where better on this but not able to figure out how they got away with their ½ delegate rules for FL & MI

    May 27, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. Natalie

    Oh my goodness!!! Enough already! They broke the rules, the delegates cannot be seated based on January's primary...period! That primary was supposed to be invalid, so several people did not go out to would've been a waste of time. I know I wouldn't have wasted my time if my leaders in WI were so petty, juvenile, and insubordinate as to break the well-known rules like the leaders in FL and MI. Either do a re-vote or end the discussion. That is the only fair solution.

    Obama/Clinton '08

    May 27, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. martin

    no they won't.

    May 27, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Tom in CA

    The only way that a goal post move will stop Senator Obama from becoming the nominee is if the DNC Rules Committee does a move to the Republican Winner Take All position.

    May 27, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. ber6964

    Your Bias is showing again Wolfe!! Can we have a little objective journalism from you once in a while. You would just love Clinton to steal the nomination from Sen Obama won't you Wolfie.

    May 27, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Chi4Obama

    We already know that Barack is the likely nominee for the Democratic Party (and has been for weeks). He has already secured a majority of the "Pledged" delegates, and is steadily gaining Superdelegates by the day. Why would we "pander" to 2 states that clearly broke the rules.

    On another note, if you want to argue the "electability" of a candidate. Need I remind you of the PETER PAUL VS. CLINTON Trial that the mainstream media wants to ignore. I bet the RNC will just salivate at the chance to break this story should Hillary become our nominee (since CNN won't). Google PETER PAUL VS CLINTON for details.

    May 27, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Matt from MI

    Leave the goalposts as they are. Michigan (my home state) and florida both knew the DNC rules and possible repercussions before they decided to move the primary dates. Neither Hillary nor Obama were complaining when the punishments were set, and Obama shouldn't be punished for leaving his name off of Michigan's ballots. He was following the rules.

    Seating the delegates is just another Clinton ploy to weasle her way into the white house. Can we really trust someone who tried to sell a gas holiday to people she obviously believes are too ignorant to get that the oil companies would have just hike their prices?

    May 27, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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