Thursday, January 17, 2008

Primary results and musings

  • Hillary won an underwhelming 55% of the vote, while 40% voted Uncommitted. The Democratic National Convention delegate counts are as follows:
    • Statewide: Hillary 73, Uncommitted 55
    • At-Large: Hillary 16 (8 men, 8 women), Uncommitted 12 (6 men, 6 women)
    • Fourth District: Hillary 3 (two men, one woman), Uncommitted 2 (one man, one woman)

  • I call Hillary's win underwhelming because she was supposed to dominate this election. As John Nichols of The Nation writes:
    As the only leading Democratic contender to keep her name on the ballot after Michigan officials moved their primary ahead of the opening date scheduled by the Democratic National Committee, Clinton was perfectly positioned. She had no serious opposition. She also had the strong support of top Michigan Democrats such as Governor Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow.

    Usually, a prominent presidential contender running a primary campaign without serious opposition and with strong in-state support from party leaders can count on winning 90 percent or more of the vote. That's how it went for George Bush when he was running without serious opposition in Republican primaries in 2004, and for Bill Clinton when he was essentially unopposed in the Democratic primaries in 1996.
  • On Michigan Liberal:
    • Mark Grebner tells us how each district voted.
    • Phil offers an analysis of West Michigan numbers.
    • Nirmal crunches the exit poll data.
    • Laura analyzes the youth vote numbers. Uncommitted actually outperformed Hillary among young voters!

  • You gotta love it: The Michigan Republican Party erroneously sent out a press release congratulating McCain on the victory he didn't have. Oops.

  • One more bit from Michigan Liberal, written by yours truly. Did holding the primary early have the desired effect of giving Michigan more influence in the nominating process? No.
    Had we held a February 5 caucus - an idea which I supported even when the caucus was set for February 9 all the while other states were moving theirs to February 5 - Michigan would have been the fourth-largest state with a primary or caucus that day (and the second-largest not including the home states of the front-runners). Candidates would have come to Michigan, and their campaigns - as well as our Party - would have been better for it.

    Yet some people decided that it was better for Dems to break DNC rules (arcane as they are) and base our delegate count on a primary that would not have gone on if not for four extreme conservatives on the state Supreme Court. MDP leaders knew that some of the candidates would not be campaigning if they decided to go with a primary, yet most of them chose to go ahead with it anyway.

    The result? Instead of having more influence in our nominating process, we have at the moment pretty much no influence (and it is uncertain whether we will have influence in the end). Instead of unity, as the LA Times put it, we have rancor. Instead of Michigan issues being at the forefront of the campaign, we are once again seen as a laughing stock to the rest of the country.

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