Saturday, May 31, 2008

Half of Puerto Ricans Won't Vote

why should they vote in the primary when they can't vote in the general election? i don't blame them. keep in mind, when writers rumble about "popular vote," they don't include caucus voters. but even without the caucus voters, obama still leads the popular vote so i don't get why hillary's running around saying she leads in the popular vote.
salon: So even though Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton have spent enough time wandering around Puerto Rico over the last few weeks that you could easily confuse them with tourists who got a good rate on a family vacation package, it's looking like the turnout for Sunday's primary won't hit the mark Clinton needs to take a lead in the popular vote before the Democratic campaign finally lurches to an end on Tuesday. She may not even win with the kind of blowout margin that she's racked up in recent primaries in West Virginia and Kentucky, despite her familiarity among islanders built by Bill's eight years in the White House and her six years representing more than a million nuyoricans in the Senate.


Some Clinton backers had been counting on Puerto Rico as a popular-vote mother lode, with its 2.4 million voters giving Hillary enough of a plurality to change the conversation, however briefly. As Clinton surrogate Rob Reiner told Salon in April, "People don't understand that Puerto Rico has a lot of voters ... We can pick up 400,000-500,000 there with the popular vote."

That kind of number could give Clinton a national popular-vote victory over Obama even without including Florida's votes. But that number depends on both a turnout and a Clinton margin that may not be achievable. Clinton supporters have grasped at the fact that 2 million voters showed up for the commonwealth's 2004 gubernatorial election and at the lopsided margins among Latino voters in earlier primaries. But a poll in Wednesday's El Vocero newspaper put Clinton up just 51 to 38 in Puerto Rico, and 50 percent of the respondents said they didn't plan to vote at all. Even counting Florida's outlaw primary, Obama leads Clinton by 163,000 votes nationwide, so she needs to win by more than 16 points, with turnout topping 1 million, to make up that ground on Sunday.