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. therealist

    The DNC will do whatever it wants to..., there's nothing democratic about this progressive party!!

    May 27, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. Alex in TX

    All these comments about writing in Hillary are scary. Are Hillary supporters so dense that they think she will get more votes than both Obama and McCain? Hillary as a write is the same as a vote for McCain.

    Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    You share 90% or more of his ideals. Open your mind.

    May 27, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. Ron, LV

    All I can say is tha the people who project a candidates positions and words, should be sure of their source and credibility. Also look at what the candidates positions are before saying they have none. Also look at your own motives before putting down those of others, Aeat hal the delegates and give each candidate holf of those delegates. No matter what is done, I am sure Bill will say there is a conspiracy.

    May 27, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Ben

    I actually agree with Hillary's latest argument that primaries in the past have gone until June. I just wonder if she knows that June is 5 days away.

    May 27, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Warren Richart

    Give each candidate half and move on. Senator should not get any advantage.

    Warren Richart Iowa

    May 27, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. FloridaVoter

    The rules are the rules. People don't care about a few hundred people having fun at the convention. The race is over on the 3rd.

    May 27, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Can I Get An Aswer

    To another question. Why do Senator Clinton's supporters want to blame Senator Obama for this mess? This type of divisiveness is not going to help anyone. Remember, Michigan and Florida decided to change their primary dates. They were told of the consequences and went forward. There are several groups at play here. All Senator Obama and other Democratic presidential candidates at the time, including Senator Clinton, did was sign off on the rules. I can't help but wonder what she would be saying if the shoe were on the other foot.

    And for those of you saying that Hillary can beat John McCain. That's possible. But first she would have had to beat Senator Obama, Senator Edwards, Governor Richards, etc. She has not beaten any of them. In fact, she is losing!

    Let's please just unite and move forward to November and celebrate a historic victory in January.

    May 27, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. demwit

    You mean move the goal posts back to the where they were last year??

    May 27, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Fidelio

    Anyone claiming they will switch from Clinton to McCain if Obama wins isn't even voting based on issues. Seems pretty suspect to me. Four years of McCain is just four more years of Bush, and look where he's gotten us.

    May 27, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Gary Chandler in Canada

    The ball is already through the uprights!

    May 27, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Ed

    Seat MI and FL as-is. 100%. Obama had the chance to do a re-vote and he refused to cooperate. He also intentionally had his name removed from the MI ballot. If Obama refused to allow MI and FL to remediate their non-compliance, then he has essentially forfeited his right to argue that they should not be seated.

    May 27, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. oldie

    Did Hillary agree not to count FL and Michigan in the beginning ? Why does she want to change the rule in the middle of the game ? is this is what you expecting from a very experienced person ? Neither Hillary nor her supporters have an answer to this question. how many time this question is been asked - they never answer to the point. Why did she change the mind and going back from what she agreed in the middle of the game.

    May 27, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. bill in pa

    Leave it to the dummcrats to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat one more time.

    May 27, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Ilona Proud Canadian

    I cannot believe just how much flipping and flopping Hillary Clinton does. She is acting just like a "fish out of water" By the way Wolf you and Lou Dobbs would really love to see the DNC move the goal posts in Hillary's favour won't you? I cannot believe that The Clintons are allowed to hold America hostage!

    May 27, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. William from Sanford, N.C.

    Changing the rules after the people have voted is the most undemocratic move that the DNC could do to their own party affiliates. If Barack Obama has the most delegates but Hillary Clinton ends up as the nominee because of rule changes just think of all the constitutional laws they won't mind trashing if they get the power of the presidency.

    May 27, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Concerned Citizen, IN

    I believe Terry McAuliffe, in his own book, stated the delegates from MI and FL would never be seated. He is now the co-chair of the Clinton campaign and is saying they should be seated. Interesting isn't it?

    The fact remains that if Clinton were ahead right now, MI and FL would be irrelevant and Puerto Rico's status would not be "critical" to her as she was pandering to them this weekend.

    She is a disgrace to politics, and actually thinks her staying in the race is uniting the democratic party. The Clinton's think she deserves it and should get it no matter what. I believe it was before super Tuesday that Hillary herself said what mattered is the delegate count. Now that she is behind in delegates, the popular vote is suddenly the more important factor.

    FYI, Clinton will need the African American vote to be elected president. If she is the nominee, she may get 90% of them, but it will be a smaller number because you can bet a large majority of them will stay home.

    May 27, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Betsy

    Hillary Clinton for president! NOBAMA! He does NOT have what it takes to beat McCain .... it'll be NO race and we'll then have 8 more years of Republicans! I will NOT vote for Obama, and neither will a lot of other people. Young voters are GREAT – but they have about as much experience as Obama!

    May 27, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. Nia

    Shame on them if they do! They need to play by the rules they set and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama signed off on. Don;t try and change the rules mid-stream to give advantage to another candidate.

    May 27, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. Chuck in Alabama

    Considering all the vote tampering done during the caucuses why should allowing FL and MI make a difference? Obama has been crowned heir to the throne by Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi, and Dean ("Gang of Four"), anyway.

    Clinton will win the popular vote. Clinton has won more "electoral" states. Clinton has fought a good fight in the face of race-baiting, misogyny, and a media that gets "chills down it's leg" when Obama speaks.

    Let this go to the Convention. Let the delegates see the monster they have created by trying to appease "all of the people, all of the time."

    May 27, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Ms. GA

    No it would not make a difference. The DNC is set on giving Hillary Clinton her way. She voted on these rules and had no problem abiding by these rules until Obama started winning. She is very divisive and only cares about herself. The American people will see how much damage the Clintons have done to the party once the Republicans start rerunning her ads against Obama.

    May 27, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. robert

    Yes, they need to seat Fl. and Mich. and move the goal post, neither Obama or Hillary has gotten the nomination yet. Although you; Cnn have stated it all along that he has, along with with his followers. The reality: again; noone has won yet. Keep working hard Hillary. By the way; Obama again yesterday; stretched the truth.

    May 27, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Shawn

    The DNC should really think before they act. Should they give the ultimate decision to the two states who BROKE the rules? Remembering correctly, Florida was given the final say and we ended up with the George W(retched) Bush. DONT GIVE FLORIDA THE POWER AGAIN!

    May 27, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. Adrenalyn

    well, I think the whole Democrat party process is a shame
    to let superdelegates decide the fate of the party smacks of Soviet communism, a la the "Politburo"

    I am going to sit out this election or maybe just vote for Nader – even though the vote is wasted, at least it says something to the Clinton appointees at the top of the party

    May 27, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. David of Southern California

    Moving the goalpost would NOT really make much of a difference in the nominating process given Senator Obama’s current lead over Senator Clinton. What it would really say it that we have RULES and RULES are made to be broken because our hands were forced or because we were too weak to enforce them. Next time let us learn from this… there need to be a better arrangement or Spacing of Primary Day of Elections – perhaps we should vote by region (every other month starting in the Northeast and ending in the West then in the next Presidential Primary the Regional Elections goes from Western States towards the East, etc.

    May 27, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. supporter

    The way I see it and anyone that has been in the Democrat party longer then this past 16 months knows that you have the Kennedy Demo,s and the Clinton Demo's in which don't really get along.
    Look how all this played out people and you will understand why Hillary is getting slammed by the Democratic party and I am not sure but this is what Bill Clinton is trying to point out.
    With that said Howard dean is a Kennedy Demo and over half of the DNC chair people are to, so this will go with what ever Obama needs and wants to win but lose Against McCain when people smarten up in the fall. I am a Democrat and have been for 30 plus years and I will never vote for Obama or any one that the Kennedy's back

    May 27, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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