Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Michigan Delegate Decision

I have lost a lot of respect for Harold Ickes and the Clinton campaign after they started down the Karl Rove path of using coded racial language (I have a colleague who does a first rate job of translating for me when I don't pick up the more subtle ones) and half truths to raise the ire of their supporters.

The latest would be when Ickes said of the DNC Rules committee "This body of 30 individuals has decided that they're going to substitute their judgment for 600,000 voters." This is utter nonsense. In Michigan, 261,833 people explicitly voted against Hillary Clinton and 328,151 people explicitly voted for her.

It would be ignoring the will of the people to use political maneuvers in the Michigan party to transfer some of those votes to Clinton.

Yes, the decision they made disenfranchised 21,000 Kucinich voters and any Edwards supporters who joined Obama supporters in voting "uncommitted", but making the assertion Ickes makes is ignoring three salient facts.

1) Obama supporters made many public appeals for their supporters to turn out and vote "uncommitted", and no other state had anything like the uncommitted vote that was seen in Michigan after Obama respected party rules and pulled his name off of the ballot.

2) Hilary carried Wayne County (Detroit) by 50-46% with only 160,000 people voting in the biggest city in the state, and lost Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor) by 47-44%.

3) More Republicans voted than Democrats, in a state with a Democratic governor and Senators.

These suggest that many Democrats stayed home, that many of those were black, and that the uncommitted votes were all votes against Clinton. How Ickes can conclude that the wishes of 238,000 people would be respected by giving those uncommitted votes to someone who might vote for Clinton has never been explained.

Without a reasoned explanation, and none has been supplied, his assertion has to be seen as pure Rovian hyperbole meant to incite the kind of anti-democratic riot that Rove and friends used to stop the Florida recount before Bush could be shown to be the loser.


CarlBrannen said...

Well, I admit I don't have a dog in this fight and don't care one way or the other, but couldn't it be that at least one of the uncomitted votes was by someone who preferred someone other than Obama or Clinton, but who, forced to choose between Obama and Clinton, would choose Clinton? Maybe a better proxie would be to look at polling in Michigan.

Doctor Pion said...

That's why I mentioned Edwards, since he was the only other candidate not on the ballot who drew any significant votes in other primaries (such as Florida) at about that time.

You can see the exit polls at CNN Politics, where "uncommitted" wins those under 30 and with postgrad education, while Clinton takes HS grads (70 to 26). Just the pattern one saw for Obama elsewhere.

The thing is, the non-linear formula used by the Democrats discounts small numbers like Edwards had been getting elsewhere, so he might have had at most 1 or 2 of the "uncommitted" delegates that went to Obama.

The thing is, the Clinton people were not arguing that a few votes should go to an Edwards supporter (who could then choose what to do), they were pretending that it would disenfranchise ALL 600,000 voters if all of the delegates did not go to Clinton. That was disingenuous at best.