Sunday, April 06, 2008

Why Not Winner Take All in the Democratic Primaries?

If the Democrats ran their nominating process the way we run our general elections, Sen. Hillary Clinton would have a commanding lead in the delegate count, one that will only grow more commanding after the next round of primaries, and all questions about which of the two Democratic contenders is more electable would be moot.
--Sean Wilentz

I've often wondered who would be ahead in the Democratic delegate count and by how much if Democratic delegates were awarded on a winner-take-all basis in the primaries. Wilentz poses an answer that I suspect is true, and if I weren't too busy (or lazy) to do it, I could confirm or refute my suspicion for myself. If Wilentz is right, I wouldn't expect Barack Obama's supporters to admit it, but I would expect Hillary Clinton and her supporters to shout it from the figurative rooftops and for the media to make a issue of it themselves. I wonder why they don't.

But even more importantly, why do the Democrats award delegate votes the way they do instead of doing it the way the Republicans do? It seems to me that the Democratic party should award delegates to its candidates the same way that electoral votes are awarded to the candidates in the general election. The winner should take all. To do it any other way seems like a recipe for failure, especially if the following assertion by Wilentz is correct:
The latest state-by-state figures (as of late March) updated from SurveyUSA, indicate that if the election were held today, Clinton would defeat McCain in the Electoral College because of her lead in big, electoral-vote-rich states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- and McCain would beat Obama.

3 comments:

Tom said...

There are other polls that show Barack is more likely to win in the general election. Today, in their national polls, Rasmussen has McCain ahead of Obama by 1; McCain ahead of Clinton by 3. Gallup has McCain and Obama tied; McCain ahead of Clinton by 2.

Unless a national poll has the candidates within 2 points of each other, the leader would win in the Electoral College. It is only really in close popular-vote-count elections where the Electoral College weighs in and can differ from the popular-vote outcome.

But the problem with Wilentz's ideas is that how the nominating process would be done was determined beforehand. And, indeed, Clinton [via Terry McCallaugh] was the "insider," rigging the process to her advantage from the start; making it a quick process advantageous to the frontrunner -- which is what she was, by far in 2007.

Clinton concentrated on having everything wrapped up by Feb 5, while Obama proceeded with a nationwide effort, including concentration on small states and caucus states which Clinton pretty much ignored.

I agree it would have been far better for there to have been winner-take-all primaries, forcing the process to make distinct choices. But we can't change the process midstream. Had the rules been different from the start, certainly Obama would have conducted his campaign differently and very very probably would be winning under those rules.

Randi rhodes said...

Only two losers left mentally masterbaiting on this website? You shold have shut it down a couple years ago.

randi rhodes said...

You do realize that BObama is a black racist and hates typical white people like you two losers?