Will we get a Democrat Presidential Candidate Before the Convention?

Title kind of says it all and I find myself unable to settle on a decision on how the Democratic nomination will play out so figured you lot could help.

We have two possibilities in early June. Clinton or Obama will be ahead in the popular vote. By almost any reasonable election math Obama will likely finish in the lead with the most states, most votes and most delegates. Of course it is possible Clinton will pull out an upset. Either way it will be close and no matter what neither will have locked the delegates needed necessary guarantee their nomination leaving us with the superdelegates.

If Clinton does pull out an upset and finishes with a win in the popular vote I expect Obama will concede. I can’t see as he really has any other choice and he is young enough and did well enough I think he would have a shot at another run in the future and would aim for that. Clinton on the other hand I just do not know.

Howard Dean has insisted that the supers declare themselves one way or another once the primaries end in early June.

After that I just do not know where it goes.

  1. Supers pick Obama

  2. Supers pick Clinton

  3. Supers waffle and leave it an open question

If they pick Obama do you think Clinton will bow out gracefully or continue to fight till the convention? Same for the reverse (Obama goes away or fights to the convention)?

I agree with Dean that for the sake of the party and the overall election to see a Democrat win this needs deciding as fast as possible once the primaries are over. I just do not know if the candidates will play along.


She finishes with the popular vote (she’s already got the lead), Obama continues to implode, some of the supers ask Obama to concede so they don’t have to be the ones to swing it her way.

They’re not going to want to give it to the candidate with fewer popular votes (FL and MI not counting is a delegate issue, not a popular vote issue).

Have you just totally lost touch with reality? On what planet does Clinton already have the lead?

Looks to me like Obama is currently only behind on Superdelegates by 22 and ahead on Pledged delegates (popular vote) and overall.

Yet managed to almost lose to “none of the above”.

I believe he’s talking about the votes from people in Florida and Michigan, which garnered no delegates.

In other words, “popular vote” = "number of people who voted for a candidate. “Pledged delegates” = “Delegates awarded to a candidate based on the popular vote.”

It’s an emotional argument, not a rational one.
Fear and desperation can make otherwise intelligent people embrace absurd positions.
There’s a widespread agreement among objective observers that Obama has the nomination locked up, barring the extraordinary.

I stopped trying to correct 9th floor. I feel bad because for a while he tried to stay above the fray, now he’s wrapped tighter than a snare drum in it. The very people he rejects following Obama he has become for Clinton.
Anyway - I do not see the supers tide changing for Clinton. Not on any rational level that is. So I see the Supers moving toward Obama the more likely candidate to beat McCain in the fall, and Clinton stirring for a week or two after June 4th, then conceeding before the convention.

Possible paths:

Obama wins NC handily and at least ties in NC. Hillary concedes.

Other extreme. Hillary near-ties NC and wins Indiana handily. She can go on to win most of the remaining by enough that she really does have a popular vote lead and Obama, knee-capped by his own pastor and with Hillary having stayed out of destroying him. Supers bleed her way and he either concedes with a VP spot promised or it goes to a messy convention in which the Rules Committee seats MI and FL and she probably ends up winning after a lot of back room dealing.

Between those more likely Obama gets back his rhetorical rhythm and supers continue to slowly go his way. Hillary concedes in June after it is clear that there will be no supers ride to her rescue.

There are many supers who really want to avoid being king or queen maker so will hold off as long as they can hoping that one or another will blink before then. It will be more by telegraphing intents and hoping that the candidates can “do the right thing” on their own.

I don’t see why not. That principle is even less well-established in the party nominating process than in the general election.

Correct me if I’m wrong here, but doesn’t Obama have a slight edge in the popular vote as well (not counting FL and MI of course)? What I’m looking at shows Obama at 14,418,784 and Hillary at 13,917,318 giving Obama a slight lead. Not that the popular vote matters of course.

As to the OP, I’d say no…the Dems won’t have a candidate before the convention.


Sorry, spoke to soone and edit window closed before I found a cite:

Popular Vote Count 
State Date  Obama Clinton    Spread 
Popular Vote Total   14,418,784 49.2% 13,917,318 47.5%    Obama +501,466 +1.7% 
Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA*    14,752,868 49.3% 14,141,180 47.2%    Obama +611,688 +2.1% 
Popular Vote (w/FL)   14,994,998 48.3% 14,788,304 47.6%    Obama +206,694 +0.7% 
Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA*    15,329,082 48.4% 15,012,166 47.4%    Obama +316,916 +1.0% 
Popular Vote (w/FL & MI)**   14,994,998 47.4% 15,116,613 47.8%    Clinton +121,615 +0.4% 
Estimate w/IA, NV, ME, WA*    15,329,082 47.5% 15,340,475 47.5%    Clinton +11,393 +0.03% 

So…depending on which figure you look at they are pretty much neck and neck wrt the popular vote. However, as I said, the popular vote actually is pretty meaningless anyway so…



Well, that is dubious at best considering Obama was not even on the ballot in Michigan and 40% of the vote went to “Uncommitted”. If you assume those would be Obama voters then Obama still has the popular vote lead. Indeed he only needs about half of those uncommitted to beat Clinton in the popular vote overall and I think it is a safe bet he would get that 20% at the least.

Obama has 1,731 delegates, and there are 408 to be elected in the remaining primaries and caucuses. Of those, he can hardly fail to win 200. That gives him 1,931 as of June 3. He then needs to convince 94 out of the remaining 292 superdelegates to support him. That should be laughably easy, considering that he’s won the lion’s share of new super commitments since March.

Most likely he will secure the necessary commitments by early June. Then it’s up to Clinton–she can either withdraw gracefully, or plow on to the convention in the insane hope that Obama-pledged delegates will either change their mind (yeah, right) or vote against their candidate’s interest to seat delegates from Michigan and Florida (yeah, right).

Common sense would call for withdrawal, but I’m no longer confident that common sense will prevail. If she does plow on, it isn’t the end of the world. Reagan in 1976, Kennedy in 1980, Hart in 1984, Jackson in 1988, and Brown in 1992 all took hopeless challenges to the floor of the convention. A few people will watch the convention that wouldn’t have otherwise.

Unless . . . she somehow wins North Carolina. It’s a long shot, but she did win Tennessee, and she has crept up in the polls. If she does, Obama looks like damaged goods, and all of the above goes out the window. Even persuading 94 out of 292 supers will become a challenge. I truly believe, if she wins NC, even though she will still trail by 120 delegates, that it’s a wide-open race.

On the Glorious People’s Worker Planet, where one-candidate ballots count just like ones cast in a legitimate election with actual choices.

Well, maybe those people actually intended to vote for Dennis Kucinich… :rolleyes:

I’m thinking at this point the ongoing nomination struggle is actually helping the Democrats. If Clinton (or Obama) were to drop out, the story would shift to McCain vs the Democratic nominee. Instead all of the media attention has gone the Democrats. Everyone’s talking about Obama and Clinton and McCain is being forgotten. McCain has suffered the fate of not being newsworthy.

And look at what kind of attention the conventions will get. Everyone will be watching the Democratic convention. The Republican convention will seem like naptime in comparison. The Democrats will leave their convention with a brand new nominee (who will ride away from the convention on a major victory) and a fresh story about reunifying the party; the Republicans will have a nominee who’s already several months old and the same old same old. The Democrats will look exciting and vital; the Republicans will look boring and old. And face facts: in a race between Obama and McCain it’ll be easy to transfer those images from the parties to the candidates.

Dennis Kucinich was on the MI ballot.

Many intended their vote to be for John Edwards.

I agree.

I made a similar point in one of these threads a few weeks ago when the Obama crowd were rubbing their hands together in worry over the fact Clinton wouldn’t bow out. I agree…I think in the long run this will actually help the Dems as it will add a bit of drama and capture a lot of attention when on the 'Pub side it will be a yawn fest. McCain isn’t the most exciting candidate to come down the pike anyway…but right now the country (and even the world I suppose) is riveted on the race between Obama and Hillary…so it’s THEIR messages that are getting the widest possible distribution. Of course, because of the focus that means they are much more under the microscope than McCain (who has nearly dropped off the radar lately)…but I think the good balances the bad in that respect as well.


What messages are they getting across now? I am hard pressed to think of a report on any actual issues lately.

I do not know that getting a floor fight for the nomination at the convention would help the Democrats. One of the yardsticks I use to inform my intuition on these issues is which way the Republicans are pushing. Currently they seem to be working to undermine Obama and trying to keep Clinton in the race.

I doubt they would be doing that if they thought the overall benefit would accrue to the Dems. So, either the Pubs are pushing to get a knock-down, drag out fight and let the Dems bloody each other or they actually want to face HRC in the general election rather than Obama (which to my mind is another point in Obama’s favor).