Hillary’s Florida-Michigan Gambit
Domenico Montanaro notes that, while everyone is focusing on the Democratic National Committee’s likely “compromise” solution of awarding Florida and Michigan half their original allocation of delegates, it’s actually much more complicated than that.
[A] 50% cut and a halving of the delegates is not the same thing. For instance, if Florida delegates are seated in their entirety, but only have their vote counted as a .5, then Clinton will net approximately 19 delegates out of the state. But if the delegation is cut in half, that’s done in every congressional district as well as statewide, then suddenly Clinton’s advantage is only a net of six. That’s right, the complicated nature of the DNC delegate selection process will be a good reminder to math majors everywhere that a 50% cut is not the same as a halving of an individual number. Go figure…
Nate Silver breaks out the math in much more detail. Complicating matters further, Matthew Shugart quips that, “Of course, if the Democratic Party used D’Hondt like most proportional-representation systems, 70-30 would still give 3-1 in a 4-seat district, but 2-0 in a 2-seat district.”
Regardless of the outcome on this score, M.S. Bellows, Jr. argues that Hillary Clinton will use it as an excuse to keep the fight going.
The rules meeting is a trap. Clinton wants the RBC to give Florida and Michigan not the full votes she is fruitlessly advocating for and which would in any case not translate to a win for her but the half-vote compromise she is publicly advocating against. When the committee does award half-votes, she will have cause to extend her campaign through the summer, guaranteeing a divided Convention and possibly killing Democrats’ chances of capturing the Oval Office in November (and of preventing pro-life , pro-Imperial Presidency Republicans from replacing the two remaining Democrats on the nine-member Supreme Court).
It’s a trap, and the Obama campaign and the Democratic Party are about to walk blindly into it. No one seems to be noticing that — let alone implementing the equally counterintuitive, Aikido strategy that would stop Clinton’s game: letting her have her way tomorrow, 100 percent, so that she lacks grounds to appeal, and Obama, instead, becomes the one holding the “I could appeal!” trump card.
Jim Tankersley thinks Clinton may want to use this as an excuse to keep going but that a lack of money and a fear of long-term damage to her political future will stop her.