Why I'm Not Worried About the Never-Ending Democratic Primary

In the midst of all of the gnashing of teeth and wailing of DOOOOOMMMM!!! because of the never-ending Democratic primary, I still think a contest up to the convention is a good thing (and I've always thought so). There's one thing many pundits as well as Democratic primary partisans seem to have forgotten:

Most Democrats are thrilled that for the first time in nearly thirty years, most of us actually cast a primary vote that matters, even those of us whose favorite candidates dropped out.

As Digby notes:

I realize that a good many people think I'm living in cloud cuckoo-land, but apparently a large majority of the Democratic party is drooling and delusional right along with me:

Pushing back against political punditry, more than six in 10 Democrats say there's no rush for Hillary Clinton to leave the presidential race even as Barack Obama consolidates his support for the nomination and scores solidly in general-election tests.

Despite Obama's advantage in delegates and popular vote, 64 percent of Democrats in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say Clinton should remain in the race. Even among Obama's supporters, 42 percent say so.

That's not a majority endorsement of Clinton's candidacy; Democrats by a 12-point margin would rather see Obama as the nominee, a lead that's held steadily in ABC News/Washington Post polls since early March. Instead it reflects a rejection of the notion that the drawn-out contest will hurt the party's prospects. Seventy-one percent think it'll either make no difference in November (56 percent) or actually help the party (15 percent).

Those views correspond with opinions on Clinton continuing her candidacy. And in a related result, 85 percent of Democrats (including Democratic-leaning independents) are confident the party would come together behind Obama as the nominee though fewer, 45 percent, are "very" confident of it. That underscores the importance of the endgame for the party's prospects.

The second slot is one possibility: Clinton continues as the preferred choice as Obama's running mate, with 39 percent of Democrats saying they'd like him to pick her if he's the nominee. That peaks at 59 percent of African-Americans, 47 percent of Clinton supporters and 42 percent of women (vs. 34 percent of men).

I'm not necessarily endorsing the Unity ticket, but I don't see a lot of hate and division in those numbers. If nearly 60% of African Americans prefer Clinton on the ticket, it's fair to say that the party isn't irrevocably broken.

Sure the convention could go sideways, but I think a lot of that is mistaken, and, when coming from Republican-leaning pundits, a case of self-projection. If any party is going to have an ugly convention, it's going to be the Republicans. The Ron Paul Brigade is seriously considering disrupting the convention, and thems folks is crazy enough to do it. Meanwhile Bob Barr is pulling a Nader and is the favorite to win the Libertarian Party nomination.

One thing to keep in mind regarding much of the hyperbole on political blogs and being spun by pundits is that most Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents think either Obama or Clinton would be vastly superior to McCain. While the mainstream media loves to overemphasize those fucking morons who claim they will vote for McCain if the 'other' Democrat wins, there just aren't that many of them (and if they're saying this I don't think they're that serious, or that reliable a voter). They are, however, the kind of bloviating imbeciles who will gladly call up talk radio or spout off to any available microphone.

This is a rare thing for me to say, but I think the Democrats are in good shape.

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I don't know...from my personal experience (which to be honest isn't really THAT much) there are quite a few devoted Democrats that I know personally who really will not vote for Obama if he wins, even if Clinton is on the ticket as VP. While I disagree with them there seem to be quite a few of them that I've met, and if they are truly representative of hardcore Hillary supporters I see some reason to be worried...

You said:

I think the Democrats are in good shape.

I really hope you're right, but I think not. In fact, I can easily visualize a McCain landslide. I'm convinced that there will be an "October surprise" of some sort that'll shove the American people into the comforting arms of Johnny Mc, safe and sound from all danger.

I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.

A welcome bit of optimism. Just yesterday I ran across a discussion over at Salon's Table Talk that convinced me that there are a whole bunch of devout Hillary and Obama supporters ready to rip each others lungs out over perceived slights. Really ugly!

By Michael Schmidt (not verified) on 15 May 2008 #permalink

Yes,my mind is a little... umm ... sick. But the thought went through it that Hillary as VP might discourage some possible Obama assassins.

By Don Cates (not verified) on 15 May 2008 #permalink