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An Open Letter to Newsweek

By Patricia Johnson  Posted by Patricia Johnson (about the submitter)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
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Re:  Hillary's Math Problem  - Jonathan Alter - March 4, 2008


By Richard E Walrath and Patricia L Johnson

WE hope Jonathan won't mind if we Alter some of his math assumptions regarding the remaining primaries.

The Slate Delegate Calculator is indicating a fixed percentage of votes for Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont.   They're giving Obama 44% to Clinton's, 54% for Ohio,  Obama 40% to Clinton's 58% for Rhode Island, Obama 47% to Clinton's 51% for Texas and Obama 60% to Clinton's 38% for Vermont.

The following states will have upcoming elections, Wyoming, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Guam, Indiana, North Caroline, West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon.

The article is basically stating  if Clinton won 60% in each of the above states she still would not be able to hit the magical number necessary for the nomination.

Well, let's go one step further with that calculation - let us be very generous to our up-and-coming political rock star and provide him with 80% of the vote in all remaining primaries.

We can be well assured that no matter how popular, charming or charismatic Senator Obama is he will not win 80% of the remaining votes, but even if he did, he still would not have enough pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination.

Unpledged delegates (superdelegates) are going to a play a predominate role in this election.  Unpledged delegates will hold the key to the nomination, as will the final determination on Florida and Michigan.  If you recall correctly Senator Clinton did win both states.

What is the role of the unpledged delegates'?  According to Democratic National Committee Chairman, Howard Dean,

"Their role is to exercise their best judgement in the interests of the nation and of the Democratic Party"

Based on the following statement in the article "Hillary would then have to convince the uncommitted superdelegates to reverse the will of the people" Mr. Alter doesn't seem to understand the role of the unpledged delegate. 

The Obama camp has consistently stated the unpledged delegate vote should follow the popular vote.  Looks like that would mean superdelegate votes for Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator John Kerry, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Governor Deval Patrick, and Governor Janet Napolitano would then go to Senator Clinton wouldn't they?

Why are unpledged delegates even given a vote?   First you have to look at who the unpledged delegates are; they are Democratic Members of Congress, Democratic Governors, former party leaders, former presidents, etc.  In other words they are people that are well versed in politics and completely understand the issues that this country will face in the future.

What they are not is the young followers of  Senator Obama.  The fact that Barack Obama has been able to get our youngsters to the polls in droves is incredible and our hats are off to him.  According to federal election law, if a youngster is going to be 18 years old on the date of the general election, they are eligible to vote in their state's primary. 

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Yes, let the primary/caucus system play out. ... by Kenneth Barr on Saturday, Mar 8, 2008 at 12:20:49 PM
Obama just won Wyoming by almost the 80% posited i... by Douglas Smyth on Sunday, Mar 9, 2008 at 10:18:44 AM