After Saturday's decision by the DNC to allow the Florida delegates to be seated at this summer's DNC convention but with only one-half a vote, the reaction of Democrats from the Sunshine State has been one of voters angry enough to contemplate staying away from the polls or possibly voting for John McCain, the Republican candidate.
Florida Senate Minority Leader Steve Geller, D- Cooper City, a super-delegate who hasn't endorsed either Clinton or Obama, felt that the decision by the DNC was "offensive". Geller sarcastically wondered whether Dem Floridians should "only raise 1/2 as much money as we normally raise" and whether Florida should "turn out half as many Democrats as usual".
Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D- Boca Raton, said that Democrats were "extraordinarily upset, beyond what words can describe".
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, a national co-chairwoman of the Clinton campaign said that emails from constituents contained "pretty deep dissatisfaction" and that the decision made it harder to "motivate voters".
Clinton delegate and Broward County leader Jack Shifrel, was more succinct:
"You'd be an ostrich with your head in the sand if you didn't accept the reality that there are going to be Democrats that we're going to have to work very hard to convince," he said. "There are good decent Democrats that are very upset and it's going to take a lot of work to get them to vote at all."
A Floridian demonstrating in D.C. at the DNC meeting on Saturday gave this reaction when learning of the decision to allow only 1/2 a vote at the Democrat's convention:
A majority of the anger stems from the 1/2 vote decision. One unhappy Florida voter felt their their "civil rights and constitutional obligations" had been infringed upon:
``It’s a slap in the face,’’ said Margaret Grostefon, 44, of Fort Lauderdale, who joined the demonstration. ``Fifty percent? It’s like saying we are half of a citizen.’’
``In the general election, I am debating whether to vote at all,’’ she said.
``I’m not going to make a decision on my vote today,’’ said Vanessa Alikhan, 31, of Fort Lauderdale. ``I’m going to fight for my civil rights and the constitutional obligations that the government has to the people of the United States and ask them to count 100 percent of our votes.’’A May 21st a Rasmussen poll showed Republican candidate John McCain with a double digit lead over Obama, 50 to 40%. Rasmussen also reported that phone surveys concluded that an estimated 57% would vote for Obama while 27% of Democrats said they planned to vote for John McCain.
According to Rasmussen, even before Saturday's decision, McCain has a 75% chance of winning Florida, a key state in the Presidential election.
While the DNC's decision centered on Florida scheduling its Democratic primary earlier than was allowed the DNC made a crucial error in its decision to penalize the delegates and their votes. The DNC could have looked at other measures, such as "probation". Instead they decided to penalize the very heart and soul of the party, the very people who should count, the voters who showed up for the Democratic primaries. Those voters were dissed by the DNC by declaring the delegates would be "allowed" to be seated at the convention, but would be considered 1/2 vote "outcasts", a ludicrous solution at best.
The attitude of the DNC further underscores the fact that, in the end, the voters were merely a means to more money in donations, that their votes were a sham and a mockery, that, all along, the superdelegates held the key to who will be declared the candidate on the top spot of the Dem's ticket in the 2008 Presidential election.
No one likes to be used and it looks like quite a few Floridians were merely pawns in the Democrat game of Stratego. Close to 1.4 million Democrats voted in the Florida primary. The DNC decision on Saturday has been called a "compromise". The only persons truly compromised were the electorate who cast their ballots believing they would have a voice in choosing the candidate for the Dem's top ticket.
Source - Real Clear Politics
Source - Rasmussen Reports
Source - Sun-Sentinel - Many South Florida Democrats still unhappy about delegates
Source - Sun-Sentinel - Florida Democrats protest their own party
Image - Florida Democrats