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. BooHillary

    You can't change the game in the 9th inning. This is getting more and more ridiculous by the day. Stop trying to appease the Clintons and let's move on with the next step to the process. She, her family, and her supporters are just being selfish. And how can you be winning the popular vote when you HAVE LESS VOTES? If she had the popular vote she would have won more states. Let's stick to the script DNC. Rules is rules. We all know she could care less about Florida and Michigan if she was winning. They would be S.O.L regardings of rules or complaints.

    May 27, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Shane


    May 27, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. peter dc transplant

    The only thing that will come of this, is a continued Clinton campaign. Clinton is going to cry about whatever happens in this meeting, while Bill is out spreading conspiracy theories about his wife being snubbed the nomination. This is no longer about who will represent the democratic party, its about what has to be done to shut the Clintons up. America HAS chosen its nominee through the rules and process that was voted into action by the very people who are now playing victim to its "tyranny". Instead of trying to cripple the democratic party and force her name into the history books, maybe she (and the united states) would be better served by a women who honorably lets the nominating process conclude and takes a leading role in the president's cabinet or becomes a keystone figure in the senate. Aaaghh, who am I kidding... this is Hillary Clinton we're talking about.

    May 27, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. obamacrat

    I know this is going to sound crazy, but what if we abide by the rules that both campaigns agreed to back in January? Nevermind, that would be nuts.

    May 27, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. George

    Whatever the DNC does is fine as long as it is fair to both parties. Hillary hasn't won this contest and it shouldn't be gifted to her. Primary results do not translate into general elections victory. Bush lost New Hampshire by almost twenty points in the primary and came back and won it in the general. The Clintons are acting like the presidency is a family legacy.

    May 27, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Xavier, St. Louis, MO


    The DNC should leave the goalpost/rules as is. You don't wait unit the fourth quarter with a minutes left on the clock to change the rules. You play the game with the rules agreed to, before the game starts.

    Hillary and her faithful Clintonites created this fiasco, because she has lost. If she was so concerned about people having "the right to vote", she should have stated this before this race started and not agreed to the rules. Howard Dean needs to man-up and tell the Hillary "NO, we are going to follow the rules we agree to before the race stated!"

    What the use of having rules if you are not going to follow them

    May 27, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. sazzylady

    The DNC would do better trying to figure out how to get HIllarys voters to vote obama
    This is one that will not ,no matter how much they pander
    I will vote McCain if obama is nominee

    May 27, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. We love you Good bye

    But sireously, why would people what to put a loser in the white house? She lost that is the truth, is it that people do not think anymore or they do not think at all. I am so puzzled some even threaten to vote otherwise who cares it is a free world vote for Bush , Mc Cain or even my dog if you wish too. If my choice lose it doesn't mean that the world is over go do what you know best. It is unfortunate that Clinton lost and I feel for you all and it is time to get over it she can still run again when she becomes 72 years old like Mc Cain. The retirement for a president is not 65years it can be 90 you can be the president in ruling from a nursing home there is nothing wrong with that it is also making history.
    Love you so much it hurt so bad that she lost but someone had to win that is a fare game only in Zimbabwe and Kenya that those who loose rules the country.

    May 27, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. mike

    Hey "Don't Vote"

    what are you, an idiot? it's a democracy. votes count. right? why would you ever advise someone to not vote?


    May 27, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    I say split the delegates of Florida and Michigan so they don't affect the outcome of the primaries.

    That way, they still get punished for bad behavior, and the voters get their votes counted.

    May 27, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Jim

    CNN obviously hopes so

    May 27, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Hilda

    So you start the game with a certain set of rules and after you start playing you can change that ? Call the Patriots back on the field, they still have a chance to win, forget the New York Giants who played the game according to the rules and played their hearts out. I got you DNC, shame on you if you change the rules that everyone agreed to at the start of the primary, just cause one of the players is a sore head and won't get off the field of play!!!!!!!!!

    May 27, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. Andate

    Please don't set the precedent of bending the DNC rules.

    May 27, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. NoHitwomanHillaryOnVpTicket

    They really should follow the rules.... but they won't so they should
    1. Give Hillary more of the votes to shut her up
    2. Move the goal post half way between 2026 and 2210
    3. Superdelegates should all vote obama in immediately on the 31st

    May 27, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. Gary Chandler in Canada

    What a big ADO about NOTHING!
    Sit MI and FLA 'as is' (MI 55% HC 0%BO; FLA 49.8% HC 33% BO), and she actually does get a slight PV lead, but does not go ahead in pledged delegates.
    Even Wolfson would concede Obama should get something over 0% in MI and all he needs is 10% there to take back the PV lead. With a 55 35 Clinton Obama split in MI, FLA 'as is' and the polling in SD and MO, Obama will have 200,000 to 1/2 million PV victory.
    So, what is all the FUSS about MI and FLA?

    May 27, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. FrankSmith

    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 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. DAN

    The birth of a new political party is on the way. Hillary will run as an independent. Never has a candidate been treated so poorly with such disrespect. Kennedy in 1980 went all the way to the convention with only 600 delegates and no one told him to drop out. It's really shameful to see democrats treat a women like a dog just because she's smarter than Obama . It's called jealousy. All these comentators and anchors are really girly men. Real men aren't scare of women. Strong men are for Hillary.

    May 27, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. Henna


    May 27, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Dan (TX)

    Hopefully the committee can find the "guts" to stick to the agreed-upon punishment for the good of the party. If they don't, then they'll have lost all control when it comes time for the states to hold their 2012 primaries.

    It's a sad day in America if we teach our children that "it's not your fault you lost", "if you whine loud enough, you'll get want you want" and "rules are made to be broken – it's all about winning at any cost."

    I hear FL and MI are having their 2012 primaries later this year since it'll take 4 years for the results to make it through the legal system. 🙂

    May 27, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. Pat

    I understand about the FL and MI defying the rules. My problem is that the voters didn't have any say so in that decision. Are they to be counted out because of the top DFL doggies peeing on the wrong hydrants? I think to not seat the FL and MI delegates is a slap in the face to the citizens who took the thought and time to go vote at the poles despite the two states' DFL heads deciding to defy the party. There should be some other options rather than penalize the voters. I think the process stinks and voters should have a say-so. Even though this is a republic.

    May 27, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. edna

    Why would the DNC changed their own rules? This would show weakness, at most. I think for the sake of the country they have no choice but to stick to the rules that were enacted by the DNC..otherwise I see all out fallout..

    May 27, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. P. Duncanson

    Only if there is a 50 / 50 split in the delegates, which is probably the only
    thing that the DNC will do, there should be no problem. At least then,
    Hillary can have no excuse as to why Senator Obama will still win.

    May 27, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. NO OBAMA5

    Wolf, we all know by now that this race has been fixed,bought, paid for ,bribed,threatened for obama, so who really cares. And like the paid obama bloggers say, the super delegates HAVE to give it to obama or there will be war to pay the world over!!!!

    BE PROUD!!!!!!

    May 27, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. UNFAIR

    How can you make rules then turn around and break the rules? Everyone knew the seats would not be counted long before the election took place, but since you have a crybaby throwing tantrums the rules have changed. Everyone, lets brake the rules and lets see if they change the rules for our benifit.

    May 27, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. Ralph Ng

    Obama understands that he can now allow the people of Michigan and Florida to speak and have their voices heard. He stopped HRC's momentum when it would have mattered. Now he needs to keep these states in the fold, and crediting their votes is the only way.

    May 27, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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