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. Bill

    It's a good thing that the media is not in charge of the primaries since they go around throwing out all kinds of undemocratic ideas.

    Why don't we just move the goal posts to wherever it is convenient for Hillary supporters? Could you be more obvious?

    Why doesn't somebody just hold up their hands over their head and declare themselves the goal posts? Wolf, would you mind volunteering?

    May 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Tara in Sarasota

    2,210 is the number as far as I'm concerned. Any number less than that, then Hillary should fight all the way to the convention.

    May 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. CW4Barak

    I hope not....we loyal democrats are losing patience and focus....get this thing over with, stick by the rules everyone agreed to and stop entertaining Billary!

    Obama '08!

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


    May 27, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. Matt--Nebraska

    Operation Chaos!!

    Stand back and watch the dems steal another election!!

    May 27, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. barackobama4prez

    Yes it would make a difference Wolf! If we change the magic # to 2,110 HRC gets to stay in and damage him either further. But if they do this, they should expect states to continue to break the primary rules every election year.

    May 27, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Ainsley from Charlotte

    Blitzer-they have to move the goalposts, otherwise the Dems lose the Florida vote in November and Obama goes the way of Gore.

    So let's "move em" this weekend and it's on to the convention in August. where the Credentials Committee can deal with it.

    Oh, wait a minute, that means Hillary is still in it. Read it and weep Obamanians.

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

    Joh McCain, should say to both Women. Hillary, and Condolisa??
    I'll take you both as VP's. Then take the rest from what he has now...
    He couldn't lose, and they are all Democrat's....

    May 27, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. Chris In California

    Yes. They will have to move the goalposts this weekend. The finish line for just 48 of our 50 contiguous states is 2026. But with all 50 states, depending on how they are counted, the finish line will be upwards of 2209 – AS IT SHOULD BE!

    May 27, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. HavingFun

    The goalposts can be moved anyway anyone wants, Hillay can take them and hide them away, nothing changes the fact that ,

    Obama is the nominee !!!

    May 27, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Keith R.

    I'd say at this point declare all their delegates supers and allow them to decide. It's not a pretty option, but would resolve things.

    May 27, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Glenn, Cary, NC

    The rules committee should vote to punish the DNC – not Florida and Michigan. The Florida and Michigan delegations should be seated at full strength, the DNC should apologize to the voters of Florida and Michigan and to the rest of the Democratic Party for creating and big, stupid mess and Howard Dean should be forced to resign for the good of the party.

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

    IMO, if Florida & Michigan are seated, that only demonstrates that DNC rules mean absolutely nothing. Rules are rules and should be followed, which is unfair to those voters, but seating Florida and Michigan isn't the answer. This year they just screwed up. Once again it puts the entire election process in question.

    May 27, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Tim

    FL & MI violated the rules and cannot be should not be seated at all. The number is 2026 and Obama only needs 48 delegates to secure the nomination. The remaining Super Delegates will weigh in after June 3rd and will back Senato obama. This is over by June 10 and will not go to the convention.

    Obama 08/12

    May 27, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. DeeJam

    It's too bad that the DNC did this in the first place. I don't think it's fair to Obama regardless of his lead. I just hope that they take into serious consideration how the voters decided if they would vote, knowing that their votes wouldn't be counted. Some voters stayed home and most didn't have enough information given that Clinton has been very popular while people are just starting to get to know Obama. Had the voters been exposed to a true election with campaigning and advertising on both sides, the results would probably be very different.
    I hate how the Clinton campaign is making it seem like she is the people's champ and she never agreed to the punishment. She agreed along with the rest of the candidates and she should accept the rules as agreed to.

    May 27, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. john williams san diego, ca.

    the democratic voters under that august leader howling howie seem to have problems with votes that don't go the way of flawed candidates. I think it's because liberalism is a flawed religion.

    May 27, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Cammi317

    If they do, the party is officially over. People will be leaving in droves. If the shoe were on the other foot, there is NO WAY Hillary Clinton would stand for this happening. This is beyond crazy. I truly believe that she has lost her mind.

    May 27, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Jane

    Why not change the rules, and just not count any of the caucus states? After all, this is how Senator Clinton arrived at her popular vote "majority. "

    May 27, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Fredi

    what difference does it make:
    Florida: Clinton 50% to Obama+Edwards 47% for a Clinton gain of 6 delegates max.
    Michigan Clinton 55% to Uncommitted/Obama 40% for a max Clinton gain of maybe 20 delegates.
    Much ado about nothing no matter what happens to the goal post.

    May 27, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. MI voter

    Absolutely NOT!

    Didn't we all learn in first grade that RULES are RULES and you don't get to change them in the middle of the game? In Michigan (and Florida, I suppose) we were told that voting in the primary wouldn't count. My candidate wasn't even on the ballot.

    Much is being made of "disenfranchising" voters who voted in these states, but how about those who didn't get to vote or didn't vote because it wasn't counting? Aren't we disenfranchised, too?

    So, no.... unless you just plan to split the delegates 50/50, don't change the rules mid-game.

    May 27, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. SDB

    If it weren't for the 50 something Clintonbots the young would be nothing....

    When is CNN going to report about Obama's "fake" uncle? You know the one that helped liberate Auschwitz? (Even though the Soviets liberated that camp...)?

    May 27, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Mark from Miami

    Count all of Florida's votes now or get none in November. Your choice Obamaniacs.

    May 27, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. 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 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.


    May 27, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. john

    All I know is that if hillary supporting democrats vote for mccain just because they are annoyed hillary didnt get the nomination, then they better not complain about another 4 years of bush have a chance to elect a democrat....if you vote for mccain ...then you deserve a longer war and a pro life supreme court

    May 27, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. Kevin from MN

    I know that Clinton's campaign doesn't believe in things like math and numbers, but let me try to make this point anyway. Here are the Results from the Michigan "Primary":

    Open primary: No delegates (of 157 original)*

    Clinton 328,151 55%
    Uncommitted 237,762 40%
    Kucinich 21,708 4%
    Gravel 2,363 0%
    TOTAL VOTES 589,984

    Here are the results from the 2004 Presidential election:

    John Kerry 2,479,183 51.2%
    George W Bush 2,313,746 47.8%

    In 2004 there were almost 2.5 million Democrats who turned out and voted for John Kerry. In this year's primary, one in which the voters knew their delegates were stripped and that they had a choice of Clinton, Kucinich, Gravel, and Nobody, there were only 589,984 voters. Are you trying to tell me that there was a decrease in Michigan democrats of 1.9 million between 2004 and 2008?!?!?! Something tells me that there were A LOT of voters in Michigan who did not feel like it wasn’t worth their time to show up help Clinton win a meaningless contest over Kucinich and "UNCOMMITED". Do the people really believe that this contest is an accurate account of how the people in Michigan feel? Do they actually believe that if Barack Obama campaigned in that state and had his name on the ballot, that he would have come away with 0 votes (getting beat out by Kucinich, Gravel, and this mysterious Uncommitted character)??? Because that seems to be the point they are trying to make when they try to claim Hillary is leading in the popular vote!

    May 27, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11