How The Clintons Would Disenfranchise Florida And Michigan Voters

A reader makes an excellent point:

The Clintons repeatedly say, when making their "count Florida and Michigan" argument that 2.3 million voters cast ballots in these States, and Hillary often adds that the 1.7 million turnout in Florida was the highest ever for a Democratic primary. Sounds impressive.  But guess what?  I compared the number of persons who cast ballots this year in each of the other top ten States to the number of persons who voted for John Kerry in the 2004 general election. In every single State where both candidates campaigned -- meaning every State but New York, which Obama ceded to Hillary and Illinois, which Hillary ceded to Obama -- the turnout was at least 75% of the Kerry vote.  (CA: 75%; TX: 103%; PA: 79%; OH: 85%; NC: 107%; GA: 79%; as for IL and NY, IL: 70%; NY: 44%).

In contrast, in Michigan, the percentage was a paltry 24% and in Florida the percentage was 44%.

That tells me that counting Michigan and Florida would disenfranchise a large number of voters who did not vote, because there was no campaigning and/or the voters there thought the contest would not count and so did not bother to vote.

The fundamental point is that a contest should be governed by the rules agreed to in advance. Period. If the primary campaign were about the popular vote, as the Clintons now want to argue, then the strategies of both campaigns would have been different, and Obama's radically different. To change the rules of the contest retroactively because one candidate lost is an outrageous attack on fairness, civility and sanity. It would turn all future primary races into complete mayhem, as candidates would vie to make any number of different factors count at any point in the race.