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Friday, March 07, 2008

Desperation and the Puerto Rico primary


It's a sign of the strange times we live that this question is being asked at all:
Will Puerto Rico decide everything?

Strange because of a number of things:
a. Puerto Rico has only 8 superdelegates and 55 delegates.
b. Puerto Ricans living in the island do not vote in the US Presidential elections. Puerto Ricans living in the fifty states do.

So here we have the Democrat party candidate for President possibly being decided by people who aren't voting for him/her. Desperate times indeed.

Puerto Rico changed from 8 caucuses to a primary with voting places in all 1,800+ barrios in Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities for its June 7 1st (see date correction below) Democrat primary. While Hillary believes she has the Hispanic vote, Anibal Acevedo, the Governor of Puerto Rico, has endorsed Obama:
As one of eight superdelegates from the island, Acevedo casts one of Puerto Rico's 63 votes at the Democratic convention. The other 55 are apportioned based on the results of the island's June 7 primary.
Will the other superdelegates from Puerto Rico go with Obama? Not quite

He [chairman of the Puerto Rican Democratic Party Roberto Prats] tells me that he and two other Puerto Rican superdelegates have declared their support for Clinton. But that still leaves 59 other delegates (56 of whom will be elected under proportional representation rules) up for grabs.

Additionally, the "Hispanic vote" in the 50 states does not necessarily match the candidates favored by Puerto Ricans. What the candidates' position is on Puerto Rico's status (Commonwealth, Statehood, Independence), how much and how they campaign, and what issues they stress matter more than any "Hispanic vote" precedent in the 50 states.

Correction
Prats said the contest has long been scheduled for June 1 and he attributed erroneous reports that list June 7 as the date to a typing mistake in a document sent to the national party.


(This pdf file explains the Puerto Rico delegate selection plan.)
Illustration from National Geographic

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14 Comments:

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Webutante said...

Very interesting perspective I wouldn't normally get. Thanks, Fausta.

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger cdh said...

who else thinks bill clinton's pardon of FALN bombers is going to pay off in spades for hillary here?

 
At 9:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It'll be fun to watch them both grovel for the endorsments of JLo and Ricky Martin.

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger newton said...

Time to fry the bacalaitos and the arepas. Chill the Coco Rico and the Old Colony.

It's going to be a great show!

 
At 10:34 AM, Blogger Fausta said...

Mmmm bacalaitos....

 
At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Amphipolis said...

My understanding is that Puerto Rico is winner-take-all, unlike the 50 states. Is this true?

If so, it would have a huge impact, but that impact would not reflect the popular vote. Which of course makes this election even more bizarre.

 
At 6:02 PM, Blogger PUERTO RICO DECIDES PRIMARY ? said...

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/barone/2008/2/6/puerto-rican-poll-power.html

Will Puerto Rico be able to decide everything as suggested by U.S. News and World Report's Michael Barone???

Are the 55 delegates going to be chosen on an all-or-nothing basis thus making Puerto Rians the biggest swing voter population in the United States ?

Michael Barone of U.S. News & World Report aparently suggest these are all strong possibilities, right?

GOOGLE: BARONE PUERTO RICO

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/barone/2008/2/6/puerto-rican-poll-power.html

 
At 9:29 AM, Blogger Nydia Perez said...

I would like that JLO and Ricky Martin endorse Hillary. I'm very appreciated of Clinton's pardon of the FALN Puertoricans in 1999. Hillary has the must important credential of all EXPERIENCE. These are very critical times, we can't gable with a junior, and inexperienced senator like Obama. Puerto Rico please vote for Hillary she's our best bet for President.

 
At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, with nearly 2 million voters in PR, Hillary can likely claim after June 1 that she leads Obama in popular votes after ALL the primaries, right ? That's why her supporters pushed for a primary in PR vs. a caucus...

And, it is not clear that Acevedo's endorsement will do much to counter campaigning by Bill Clinton in April. Acevedo is under fire and Clinton is muy popular.

TOPGATO

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Nydia Perez said...

I'm a Hillary suppoter. Hillary has standed by Puertoricans, and now I'll stand by her. She has been present in the Puertorican Parade in New York City, and we shouldn't forget Clinton's pardon of FALN in 1999. To answer your question Puerto Rico's delegates will be awarded proportionally.

 
At 6:42 PM, OpenID lesteraponte said...

I agree that Clinton is very popular in Puerto Rico. Bill Clinton took the Navy out of Vieques and that was huge. And, Hillary as the Senator from New York has a lot of ties with the Puerto Rican community there. Obama meanwhile made a visit last year for a fundraiser and was back on a plane quicker than you can say "show me the money!" That was not well receibed. The final nail in the coffin is that Obama was the Governor's candidate and the Governor was just indicted by the Feds on ilegal campaign contribution charges. So as a Puerto Rican and a Clinton supporter I am happy that Puerto Rico will play an important role in choosing the Democratic nominee.

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Silvia Delariva said...

New times, new goals, new President!! She is offering Puerto Rico the same things she offered the entire UNITED STATES!! I go to see her out here in El Paso, Texas. SHE IS COOOOOOOOL. Her ideas are one that makes me feel comfortable, and taken care of. She goes on stating, "I have a voice." Guess what? She means we all have a voice that we can channel to Congress through her.

My voice, your voice will be heard sound and clear with Hillary in the Presidency.

Also, her promises are clear, transparent. Health Insurance, jobs, education, better wages, transportation, foreign policies, global warming, globalization, war, technology, free trade, and etc.

Hillary is our best choise.

VOTE HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT

 
At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary has waxed loud on the electoral vote of states that she claims to have "won" -- NY, CAL, etc. (as if these would go GOP without her.)

Note that Puerto Rico has NO electoral vote at all !

If she wins big there, watch her change her tone to counting ALL votes -- even totally irrelevant ones.

 
At 7:02 PM, Blogger Ron said...

My dear Brothers and Sisters in the beautiful isle of Puerto Rico, Please vote for Barack Obama in your upcoming primary. I may live in the midwest now, but I grew up in New York City, and as you no-doubt know New York and Puerto Rico have that special something together. I used to live in "The Bronx" and 3 other boroughs. Bill and Hillary Clinton are like squatters up in Harlem...They need to be evicted! Likewise they need to be evicted from your minds, because they have taken up residence there too as squatters. Hillary only wants your votes for her own selfish reasons. She was once a good person (had to be to put up with Bill's B.S.), but she has changed. You can see from all of her lying and Scheming as of late how voracious her and Bill have become. They only want to have that "White House" power again; and as you can plainly see they will obviously do anything to get this power again. You have to admit, they played the race card, the dumb white people (RedNeck)card, any card they could utilize to gain votes. They certainly want to use you too. Don't let them! Do yourself the best favor you can do for yourself and the world at large....Do Not vote for those pandering/race-baiting Clintons....Do vote for the person who is like us and will probaly be in our corner for the next four years and beyond....Please make your vote count for real change....Vote for Barack Obama. He will truly represent........;)p RonE... From The Mid-West

 

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