Why a Democratic Primary Do-Over Won’t Matter Anyway

There has been a heck of a lot of discussion lately about Florida Democrats holding some kind of “do-over” for the Presidential Preference Primary. A new vote. A mail-in primary. A caucus.

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Other people, mostly Hillary Clinton supporters, are calling on the DNC to let the Florida vote stand.

Well, my friends, let me be the first to tell you:

It makes no difference.




Florida would have 185 pledged delegates. If the primary results stood, Hillary would get a little more than 100 and Obama would get around 70, the rest would have gone to Edwards. Clinton would go from 1,243 pledged to 1,348; Obama would go from 1,404 to 1,471. Add in the Michigan votes and you get Clinton 1,421 and Obama at 1,526.

So if Obama plays the bigger man, Clinton gets a net gain of 56 delegates… even if you count the superdelegates (Clinton is leading them 237 to 207) We would be looking at a contest that has Obama ahead 1,733 to 1,658. Remember 2,025 are needed to secure the nomination.

Doing these primaries over might change those numbers a bit, make them closer or spread Edwards’ votes between the two candidates. But we’re not talking any real landslide changes here.

Okay, by now you’re asking how this might impact the remaining primaries.

  • Pennsylvania (4/22) – 158
  • Guam (5/3 ) – 4
  • Indiana (5/6) – 72
  • North Carolina (5/6) – 115
  • West Virginia (5/13) – 28
  • Kentucky (5/20) – 51
  • Oregon (5/20) – 52
  • Montana (6/3) – 16
  • South Dakota (6/13) – 15
  • Puerto Rico (6/7) – 55

There are only 566 pledged delegates at stake in the 10 primaries left in the 2008 cycle. With Michigan and Florida results counted, Hillary can not win on pledged delegates alone and Obama has to win 89% of the votes to get to 2,025. Without Michigan and Florida, Obama can’t get there on pledged delegates either.

Thus, no matter what happens with Florida and Michigan, the 351 remaining unpledged Superdelegates will be the ones to decide this race. Period.

Vote numbers come from CNN’s website.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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