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. John Smith

    Hillary is the ONLY democratic candidate who can bring out the best in the Republicans.

    Hillary is like "viagra" to the Republicans, they really need her to get excited. I think the Democrats will help the impotent Republicans (from the problems of Bush) by giving them Hillary as the Democratic VP!!! What do yo think? I await your comments- Thank you.

    May 27, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Helene

    STOP moving the goal posts. This is insulting to voters. Michigan and Florida knew what they were getting into when they broke the rules.

    May 27, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Tony, Mount Vernon, NY

    I think the goalpost will be moved and should be moved. Actually the DNC broke their own rules by striping these states of ALL their delegates. The "Republican Way" of awarding half the delegates is in the DNC bylaws as well, but the DNC changed their own rules to allow for no delegate placement, which started this uproar to begin with.

    Yes both state delegations should be seated, but they should be punished too. Giving each delegate half a vote would be a good solution or stripping each state of their super delegates would be another good solution because the politicians broke the rules not the people even though it's the people that are being punished here.

    What does this mean for the nomination? Simple, both candidates will have to get more super elegates to support their cause before they can win. If delegates are awarded proportionally based on the primaris Sen. Clinton will get slightly more of the pledged delegates, but not enough to overtale Obama in terms of pledged delegates. But it will put more super delegates in play and require more delegates overall. Does this change the race? No, but it does mean both will have to do more to be the final nominee.

    May 27, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. HbILARY


    May 27, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Cal

    no it wouldnt jack, she is hopelessly lost and suffering from delusions of grandeur.
    Sadly she doesnt see that its over and some of her supporters cant piece 1+1 together.

    May 27, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Frank

    The Democratic Party is in deep trouble since no matter what they decide, they will alienate half of their constituency! They could have played it fair from the beginning and be wise and not make Obama, with his baggage or his racist background, become the front runner. Now that they have decieved millions of people, now that they cann't turn the pages since the fooled have casted their votes, they will have to sit and suffer the consequences! We will not win the general elections in November with Obama as our candidate; why cann't these party elders and supposedly wise me see this? Or perhaps this is the end of the "Democratic Party" since everything has a shelf life and that of the Democratic Party is about to expire! Pitty!!!

    May 27, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Chuks

    The good side to moving the goal post is that Clinton will have no excuse to go all the way to the convention. I'm worried she may reject whatever the DNC comes up with just to stay in till the convention to ruin Obamas chance in the GE.

    A new USASurvey poll shows Obama wining Ohio and beating McCain in National Electoral Votes. Who says we need bitter Clintonites? We only need the objective ones from that WOMAN called Hillary.

    May 27, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The only thing the DNC needs to do is remove Hillary , she's one person, and let the goalpost stand.

    May 27, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. JA Cook

    Even though most of the people who have voted have voted for Obama, and most of those who have caucused have chosen Obama and most of those who have contributed money have given to Obama, we must find a way for Hillary to win.

    Obviously most of us want her in spite of our votes.

    May 27, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. abby

    The DNC can do whatever, the maths still remains that clinton can never win not with this arrogant attitude of hers and stupidity of bill. There wil be WAR if their decision is not fair enough because clinton knows what is at stake at the beginning, She went ahead for the fact that she never knew a Black Man Called Barak Obama can be where he is today.

    May 27, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. We the people

    Go right ahead – move them anyway you want. Then, during the general election campaign, change the electoral college system also if your candidate falls behind. What the heck – rules are meant to be broken, right?
    Also – in regard to Hillary's campaign making the claim that her use of the A word, not needing to apologize, and rationalizing the statement that it had "nothing to do with Obama" – am I missing something, or is he the only other candidate at this point that she competing against? How can anyone rationally say it has nothing to do with him?

    May 27, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. NickNas

    I am totally convinced that no matter WHAT outlandish, unrealistic , unfair or fair scenario that is used in the end , unless Hillary gets what she wants she will SUE, incite, whine, complain and pout the Democratic Party into Oblivion.

    May 27, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Ann Marie H.

    The DNC should stand by their original rulings regarding FL and MI - it's disgusting to change the rules IN ANY WAY now, after votes have been cast......

    This is DUMB – and speaks badly of our party...

    Do what you SAY you're going to do or in the future just keep your mouths SHUT!

    May 27, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Chris

    No the goal posts shouldn't be moved – all candidates played by the same rules and each have been recorded agreeing to the rules/exclusion of FL/MI.

    B4 Hillary wanted SD's to vote for whoever they wanted, now she says SD's should vote for the popular vote – based on her math, excluding caucus only states and giving Obama 0 votes in MI – but also including Puerto Rico, a territory that can't vote in November and has no bearing on the Electoral Vote which she has been pushing.

    She also said whining is weak and that she would support "whoever the DNC candidate is" – yet her camp is spouting sexism, conspiracy theories and rumors that MI/FL is "Obama's fault" to get people mad.

    May 27, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Carmen C

    DNC should abide by its rules. Changing the rules for Clinton because she whines and yells louder is totally unfair. Just because she is married to an ex-president does not entitle her to have preferential treatment.
    This woman counts her marriage as her experience. She is a sexist.
    She complains about media being sexist. She is a devious manipulator!

    May 27, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Tony

    As it stands now at this very moment while I'm writing the comment, Obama is ahead of Hillary. If you gave Hillary ALL of the FL & MI delegates she will still have less delegates the Obama. She can't possibly win, no matter what the DNC dose.

    May 27, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. JJ

    I think the DNC will come up with a fair and intelligent resolution that both parties will agree on. The key here is coming up with a solution that is fair for both parties.

    The way Clinton wants the two states to be seated is not fair to Obama and I think the DNC knows that and will defintely take this into consideration. Will it move the post? Probably not because the majority of the supers will flock to Obama by June 3rd anyway.

    May 27, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Cherrystrawberry. If you had bothered to look at their positions, you'd see that Clinton and Obama's positions are basically clones. But maybe Generation Next is too busy with their IPODs to actually read.

    May 27, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Mark VA

    It only makes a difference if the delegates are seated based on an outcome of a primary. Seating delegates on a 50/50 split accomplishes nothing. It only produces a false result. Unfortunately there are no primary results that have legitimacy and since the Obama campaign ensured no re-vote we will not have a legitimate nominee. The Democratic Party has blown it again. No wonder the Republicans are so successful at winning the White House. Talk about Party rules all you want, but Party rules don’t win elections in November. Just ask McGovern…

    May 27, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. pam Eugene OR

    Why do we even bother to make rules if no one is going to use them. The DNC needs to grow a backbone and end this nonsense now!
    Obama won fair and square. You do not move the goal posts in the middle of the game!
    What a foolish thought and a dream for the Clinton's and a nightmare for everyone else.

    May 27, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Helene

    To Michelle from Colorado : With your logic why have an election altogether. Let's "name" Hillary Clinton for President because she is "entitled" to it. Shame on you !

    May 27, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Cal

    haha cherry strawberry, thats some funny stuff.

    It is true however its time for the young to start to shape this country because obviously our parents and grandparents showed some poor judgement.

    They call us young and inexperienced, but in reality we are energized and optimistic with a array of new ideas to improve this country.

    May 27, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. kingsley

    Wolf we all know you have been working hard for a spot in hillary's imagination cabinet.

    Give it up already.

    May 27, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Larry

    Give me a break
    If one is allowed to break the rules, what good are the rules ...

    If Michigan and Florida don't want to face the same challenges as all the other states, ... Leave Them Out ...

    Lets keep this Democratic, ...

    If Hillary was ahead, ... she would care less if they were seated

    She, Michigan, and Florida appear to be poor whiny losers

    May 27, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Michael Straight Talk

    The question is how come a person that is a lawyer, who know that US is a nation of law not a banana republic, and that person is campaigning to be Commander-in-chief USA, but not willing to abide by election rules?

    How would it look at an executive job interview a candidate that agreed to present certain transcripts at the interview session, decides to present another rejecting what was initially agreed upon, do you think he/she will be offered the job? I guess you know the answer!

    May 27, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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