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Fear and Courage in the Democratic Party

New Study Shows Obama Would Have Won Primaries in Caucus States

UPDATE: Featured on Time Magazine's Swampland blog, Keith Olbermann on Countdown, and on Huffington Post, Open Left, and MyDD.

A new study by Wharton professor Gregory P. Nini and Fear and Courage in the Democratic Party author Glenn Hurowitz casts serious doubt on the use of the popular vote to provide legitimacy in the current Democratic nominating contest.

The study projects that 4.1 million additional people would likely have voted in caucus states had primaries been held in those states instead - because of the vastly higher participation rates in primaries.

"Using popular vote numbers to claim victory in this process means dismissing the popular will of the voters in 13 states that had caucuses," Hurowitz said. "Given the bizarro hodgepodge of systems in use, the popular vote doesn't represent the popular will."

The study also estimates that, in a true popular vote system where all states held primaries, Obama's popular vote lead would have increased from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent, because voters in caucus states would have slightly favored Obama based on demographic projections.
A pdf of the study is available for download here.

Nini and Hurowitz previously published a study discussing problems with the Michigan and Florida votes and collaborated on Hurowitz's new book, Fear and Courage in the Democratic Party. Hurowitz is also the president of the Democratic Courage political action committee.

CONTACT: Glenn Hurowitz, 202-552-1828, / Gregory P. Nini, 215-898-7770,

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