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Why would it be OK for non-Democrats to pick the Democratic candidate?


Over at the Perfect World, Cal Lanier crunches the numbers and finds that Obama, despite being ahead among pledged delegates, has fewer total votes among people who identify themselves as Democrats. (He has 7,392,809 votes; Clinton has 8,229,063.) That gives Clinton as lead with 52 percent of Democrats. Lanier also breaks the numbers down by race and points out that Obama has won white Democrats in only two states: New Mexico and Illinois.

The numbers are hardly perfect. They rely on CNN and MSNBC exit polls, which are inherently rough. (Extrapolating those percentages to estimate exact numbers of voters is going to compound margins of error.) And because caucuses report delegates, not individual turnout, those stats are going to be a little murky, too. I'd also dispute their inclusion of Florida and Michigan in the count. But Clinton’s lead is still large enough to be significant.

Just asking.

And to add insult to injury, we've got those pesky "Democrat for a Day" YouTubes and brochures that keep turning up. It seems to me that it's one thing for individual Republicans to make their own choice to turn away from the dark side, all on their own. But isn't it another thing for a campaign to encourage Republican crossovers in the hope that the tactic will give them their margin of victory? Doesn't that disenfranchise regular, loyal Democrats?

NOTE Thanks to Paul in comments for the Slate link.

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intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

Ohio is being run as an openish primary this year. It is technically a closed primary state, but when you vote you can request any ballot you want D,R,I and the only place you might get challenged is in Cuyahoga county (Cleveland) which is one of the only counties where poll workers were given instructions to challenge party affiliation.

But most (R) voters feel too dirty to be labeled as a (D) for a year until the next primary to get rid of the icky label, but you never know...

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

With the Republicans riding so high after two terms of the historically popular George Bush -- and the GOP's landslide victories in the 2006 midterms -- it's plain as day that America is a fundamentally conservative country. Besides, who got the most votes in 2000? It certainly wasn't loony lefty Al Gore, was it?

Whether they're voting for the Democrat they like better, or against the one they want to deep-six, GOP voters are really the only voters who matter.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

As I just posted in the comments to the Count Whose Votes thread, Lanier's numbers are, well, not reliable.

1) In the space for Black Dems in New Hampshire, he has the numbers for Black Dems in Alabama.

2) His Michigan numbers make no sense at all.

3) He extrapolates in ways that are not justified by other data (i.e. because there was no breakdown by race and party, he extrapolates the percentage of white democrats by multiplying the percentage of white voters by the percentage of democratic voters. But where the race/party demographic is broken out in exit polls, its clear that kind of simple data manipulation gives false results -- a much higher percentage of black voters are democrats than white voters are.)

4) (Quibble) I'm assuming he used vote totals from CNN, which in most cases do not include voters for "other" candidates. I went to the NYTimes site, which listed all the "other" candidates, and added them in to my "total vote" calculations where appropriate (which took me hours of additional work, after I'd first done all my calculations based on CNN numbers).

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Via Chris Bowers:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday he would be more willing than Hillary Rodham Clinton to work with Republicans.

"Her natural inclination is to draw a picture of Republicans as people who need to be crushed and defeated," Obama said during a telephone interview from Texas with the Cincinnati Enquirer editorial board. "It's not entirely her fault. She's been the target of some unfair attacks in the past."

"I'm not a person who believes any one party has a monopoly on wisdom," Obama said.

Now why would Democrats want to nominate a candidate who would want to crush and defeat Republicans? It's not like Republicans have started wars, promoted bigotry, ran up massive debts, ruined the economy, robbed the poor to give to the rich, sold us out to Chinese banks, or violated the Constitution every which way they can. Oh, wait...

You know, I'd expect language like this to enrage Super Delegates, but then I remember that the Democratic party has no pride and for the last 20 years has been only too happy to take whatever abuse is needed so long as they think it will lead to some sort of "victory." Oh, not victory in the sense of any program or policy, just the ability to have more people in office with (D) after their names than (R) even as they continue to do nothing the Rs would object to.

A truly pathetic party to have to rely on for any kind of progressive programs.

koshembos's picture
Submitted by koshembos on

They always say that before answering you have to understand the problem you have to solve. Obama, who is more Republican than Democrat, is elected by Republicans. I don't understand, what is so wrong about that?

Submitted by lambert on

Running as fast as he can away from the word "liberal".

Although I imagine that comes under the heading of being post-partisan, or some other newly buffed oratorical turd.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Of course Obama wants to run a post-partisan campaign and run from the term liberal. What kind of political movement would take advantage of its opposition's fall? I mean, other than a successful one.

Submitted by lambert on

The quote:

[OBAMA] “It’s not entirely her fault. She’s been the target of some unfair attacks in the past.”

"Entirely" is good.

But "in the past" is great.

Not in the present, good Lord, no no no no no. Not racist smears or sexist dog whistles, no no no no no.

Because we are already in the shiny bright new post-partisan future! We've created our own reality! There are ponies! I like it here! It's clean! I am happy!

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.