Why Caucuses Suck

Some huge turnout in Wyoming today. This is how Fox News reported the situation at the Cheyenne Civic Center:

Overwhelming, out of control and lines around the block. Those are all words that have been used to describe turnout.

At the Cheyenne Civic Center, they were planning for 500, they got 2000.

So, good right? Well, not for everyone. They later had a Wyoming state rep on who reported that in Casper "they had to turn people away. The line was queued up around the building when they shut the doors."

Turning people away? Really?

The AP has more:

In Sweetwater County, more than 500 people crowded into a high school auditorium and another 500 were lined up to get inside.

"I'm worried about where we're going to put them all. But I guess everybody's got the same problem," said Joyce Corcoran, a local party official. "So far we're OK. But man, they keep coming."

Party officials were struggling with how to handle the overflow crowds. The start of the Converse County caucus was delayed due to long lines.

In Cheyenne, scores of late arrivers were turned away when party officials stopped allowing people to get in line at 11 a.m. EST. A party worker stood at the end of the line with a sign reading, "End of the line. Caucus rules require the voter registration process to be closed at this time."

Vera Double, 71, said she arrived late because she had a hard time finding parking.

"I'm so proud to see there are this many Democrats showing up in Cheyenne, but I'm very disappointed in the rules because we had difficulty parking and we had a long walk and they closed it off at 9 (a.m. MST)," she said. "I consider it -- we're disenfranchised, which they've done in other parts of the country."

Look, caucuses make sense for states that are not used to mattering in the process and where turnout is usually paltry; caucuses are far cheaper than a primary after all. But that alone should give us all pause. The fact that finances drive the decision to engage in a process that is, on several counts, an exercise in dis-enfranchisement, is really disturbing. Maximizing participation should be paramount, not saving money.

Update [2008-3-8 16:18:15 by Jerome Armstrong]: I was reading through a thread over on TalkLeft and came across this: 'The total vote to total delegates is listed as 8553 Obama to 9289 Clinton.' In essence, for every delegate earned, it's taken Clinton 736 votes more for each delegate she's gotten compared with Obama. I'd like to get that number checked out. It's quite a bit of a handicap that Obama's being handed through his process-powered campaign. In the end, I believe that the "Math Club" is gonna be trumped by the popular vote total in terms of importance for the nomination.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Democratic nomination, wyoming caucuses (all tags)

Comments

201 Comments

Re: Why Caucuses Suck

The biggest lesson of this election is that good candidates bring out voters.  The lesson shouldn't be that caucuses suck, but that we need to put forward the type of politicians that can get people out to vote.

by enozinho 2008-03-08 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Caucuses are fine. I've caucused three times. Once in '84, again in '88, and again in '92.

There is nothing wrong with caucuses. What's wrong is when supporters of a candidate who failed to plan and organize for caucuses whine about caucuses.

by Walt Starr 2008-03-08 11:24AM | 0 recs
shorter Todd and Jerome

caucuses suck because Barack's people are a heckuva lot more enthusiatic about their candidate, and he keeps beating Hillary's people by 19%+ each and every time, and we are all about supporting Hillary, res ipsa loquitor, caucuses suck.

however, we for some reason want the world to think we are objective, even when we clearly obviously without question or hesitation are 100% backing Hillary, so we will say something about how caucuses suck due to disenfranchisement or something else equally transparent.

by Ajax the Greater 2008-03-08 11:29AM | 0 recs
Kos has written loads on why caucuses suck

- they are undemocratic because they do not fundamentally protect the right to cast a ballot in private.  Making some public pronouncement about your candidate in front of everyone in your neighborhood from your priest to your masseuse is not fair to people.  A vote needs to be a private proclamation, and privacy is maintained with primaries - that is worth protecting and implementing broadly.  

by Molee 2008-03-08 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Kos has written loads on why caucuses suck

And I guess you are against card check union elections, correct? Just wanted to know if you're consistent.

by kjblair2 2008-03-08 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

The article did state that the voters turned away were allowed to cast provisional ballots that would be counted if both candidates agreed to that modification of the rules.

by Tilde 2008-03-08 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

And people who come late to primaries aren't allowed to vote, right?  You have to be in line at the time of the poll closing to vote.

by mainelib 2008-03-08 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

But the elderly, disabled, working, and other absentees (especially those serving in our armed services) can vote by mail.

I congratulate Sen. Obama on his caucus strategy and performance but don't see how anyone can argue that it's a more democratic process than one that encourages more people to participate.

by CalGirl 2008-03-08 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I don't know how it works in Wyoming, but in Maine people could vote absentee in the caucus.

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I'm not saying this in a jerk way but maybe you should learn more about caucuses before you defend them.

I'm not saying you need to know every minor detail but not knowing the basic differences between the the average caucus and a primary kind of destroys your credibility on this issue.

But kudos to you for supporting measures to allow more access to voters, an issue apparently controversial with many Obama supporters. However the fact is is that caucuses as they exist now are disenfranchising voters and why caucuses as they exist now are generally shitty systems for voting.

by world dictator 2008-03-08 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

It seems as if you are the one that needs to get to know more about the Maine caucuses.

by marcotom 2008-03-08 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: maine caucus

What was Maine's final voter turnout rate?

NH has a primary, and had turnout of over 50%.

by moevaughn 2008-03-08 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

but the primaries are open for 10 hours, frequently far more. You can see that is different than a caucus right?

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Well, I'd support all caucuses use the Maine system of allowing absentee ballots.  This year there were as many Dem absentee ballots for the caucus as the Republicans had ballots altogether.

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:05AM | 0 recs
This is a pretty shallow argument

Primaries are open for much longer periods, often allow early voting, have more voting locations and can faciliate many more people. Not to mention they allow absentee ballots for people out of states like military officials. Let's not forget about that little thing called the secret ballot.

And please, I'm tired of all of these new caucus defenders saying "well some caucuses..." Yes some caucuses are less disenfranchising than others but ALL primaries are more democratic and less disenfranchising than any caucus.

Its pretty sad that the candidate who claims to have the grassroots and the "will of the people" behind him is relying so much on disenfranchising voters.

by world dictator 2008-03-08 11:06AM | 0 recs
You obviously don't like caucuses because

Hillary does poorly in them.  You're not listening the logic you just have a point of view.  If one can vote absentee in a caucus what's the problem

by Moonwood 2008-03-08 11:21AM | 0 recs
Because absentee balloting in caucuses...

...Are not uniform across the nation. One state may allow it while another state may not. That's the problem, and we won't get into the fact that in modern history no primary has been shut down because too many people showed up. In primaries, at least here in Georgia, enough ballots are printed for every registered voter on the books as of the registration deadline which is 30 days before the election.

by Andre Walker 2008-03-08 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

OK, two things:

1)  Just because they suck (and they aren't as good as primary), doesn't mean we should rhetorically discount their results.  In Wyoming and a number of states, that's the only way the D voters could choose a candidate.  When I hear a Clinton supporter saying "well, caucuses are unfair and they mean nothing"... well, sorry, to those voters, they did mean something.  To deny that is to disenfranchise voters via rhetoric.

2)  I agree with the "caucuses are worse than primaries".  But let me ask you a question:  should it be the state's responsibility to fund what is, after all, a party's selection process?  Forgive me, but in order to have a primary in a lot of states, it costs money that the state has to allocate.  I think a primary is terrific -- but in some states and some areas asking voters to fund the D party and R parties mechanisms for a candidate isn't something we should expect.

OK, flame away.

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck
You certainly can't discount the results of caucuses.. what a slap in the face of democracy that is!

On the balance, I think primaries are better than caucuses, though caucuses give a better sense of a campaign's ability to organize and mobilize. I cannot imagine that mail-only primaries would be very expensive to run, and I'm surprised that we don't see more of them.

by PhilFR 2008-03-08 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

There is an argument that they are more suspectible to fraud.  I'm not a fan of the argument as it is the same argument that Rs use for restrictive requirements on voting.

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

This country promotes democracy around the world but can't or won't find the resources to promote democracy at home.  We have no moral authority to oversee other countries' elections when we cannot guarantee the individual's one person-one vote here at home.  The world is laughing at us!

by tiffany 2008-03-08 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

We're not talking about that.  We're talking about allocating state resources for a political party's choice for a President.  

General election?  You bet.  Actually, I think that should be at the front of the queue re:  our resources.  Primary funds, in order to promote one or both political parties?

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:10AM | 0 recs
Democracy matters more than dollars.
"Maximizing participation should be paramount, not saving money."

This is the best argument around for a re-vote in FL and MI.

by PhilFR 2008-03-08 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I agree that there are good arguments against caucuses and obviously, with these kind of crowds, they don't really make a lot of sense on the surface.

But there are also arguments in favor of caucuses and I'm not so sure that all the biased Clinton supporters will see things the same way once this primary is over and well behind us. The arguments in favor are very simple:

It is one thing to get a lot of people out in a primary, that's fine but it's not everything. What you actually want is to have as many people as possible seriously committed to a candidate and to the Party. That means people who will GOTV, who will donate money, who will advocate their candidate to their friends, and so on. The motivated bunch, not just the passive voters. These people are worth much more to the party than ordinary voters and can make a huge difference in the general election. And that's why they have a special role to play in caucuses, where they make up the large majority of participants.

Ignore that at your own peril.

by marcotom 2008-03-08 10:58AM | 0 recs
I talked about various advantages of caucuses

in the last diary of my Iowa caucus series:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/1 /3/151238/8145/520/428664

Ultimately, the drawbacks of caucuses outweigh these advantages, in my opinion. And I say that even though some elements of the caucus system favored my candidate, John Edwards.

by desmoinesdem 2008-03-08 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

So activist participation and strength is more important than broad voter support? Do we want our party to be the party of the wealthy and the young? I don't think so.

There are lots of people who do not GOTV, give money, whatever because they lack the resources. Your version of politics leaves their voices unheard.

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

That's not what I'm saying, I'm saying both is important, period.

by marcotom 2008-03-08 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

The purpose of the nomination process is to field a candidate who have the best chance of winning in the general election.

Caucuses drive engagement and debate and motivate the activists, who are crucial for organization and GOTV come November.

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

If there's no evidence that Clinton supporters tend to be more tardy than Obama supporters, then excluding late comers has no impact on the outcome.

People have to get to a primary before the polls close, too, so this is not an issue regarding caucuses versus primaries.

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:02AM | 0 recs
Caucuses suck?

Not today's caucus!

by swarty 2008-03-08 11:03AM | 0 recs
Caucuses Suck

It's really amazing to watch our mainstream media bend over backwards pimping for Hillary.  She managed just a handful of delegates in the big, delegate-rich state of Ohio on Tuesday, but Obama offset most of that with his win in Texas.  Then the next day California certified its primary, and Obama ended up with a net of 8 more.  Later that same day, 3 more superdelegates declared for Obama.  And now it looks like Obama will net 3 more in Wyoming (2 + the add-on in May).  But to read the papers and watch the bobbleheads on TV, you'd think Hillary was on a rampage and bound for victory.

What has happened is that Obama's 12 straight primary victories created a dynamic where the bar has been set so low for Hillary that anything that resembles a win for her, no matter how slender, is heralded as major news.  It's also interesting to note that when this race began she had all the advantages and was the presumed nominee;  but that has been turned around 180 degrees, and now she is perceived to be the scrappy challenger battling from behind.

The worm turns...

by global yokel 2008-03-08 11:03AM | 0 recs
That's political coverage for you.

It would be the same if the situation were reversed. The media has an interest in making this a heated horserace, ergo, a better news story.

Obama's winning 12 straight almost closed the door on that. And to be fair, he had a terrific run of coverage in which the media was calling Clinton's candidacy "faltering," "in danger," etc.

But her very good Tuesday allows them to re-open the story and keep the narrative going for at least another 7 weeks of wacky, wonderful pundit hijinx!

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-03-08 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: That's political coverage for you.

Yeah but it even seems to have worked with you!

She did not have a very good Tuesday! She barely survived. She won < 10 delegates in what was supposedly her firewall!

by marcotom 2008-03-08 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: That's political coverage for you.

Yeah, yeah...trust me, I know that Tuesday did little or nothing for her in literal nomination terms. But she obviously won the day in terms of fawning media coverage, and most importantly, it kept her in the race.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-03-08 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

A move should be made to get rid of the awarding of delegates through caucuses in the convention going forward.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-03-08 11:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

For the 2008 convention? You want to change the rules in the middle of the contest?

How very fair minded of you!

Both candidates knew what the rules were in advance, right?

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Ah, "going forward" in your vocabulary strident?

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-03-08 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Jerome, you haven't answered my question.

If a state controlled by a R state legislature and a R governor decides (for mischief reasons or b/c of budgetary constraints) not to fund a primary, under your rules would you disenfranchise the entire state?

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

As I said above, it shouldn't be all. Some sort of system needs to be worked out that's more fairly tied to the popular vote. The disparity between a delegate in WY vs a delegate in CA is just an obscene mockery of democratic voting.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-03-08 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Yeah, I agree with that.  I'm not a fan of a national primary, but the vote vs. delegate disparity is a bit absurd.

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

uh.. yeah, this is absurd. Vote to seat formulas are a cornerstone of electoral engineering. See Matthew Soberg Shugart over at Fruits and Votes if you want some clarification.  http://fruitsandvotes.com/

He likes Obama so he is not talking about it for the uS race but he is more objective in other non-US contests.

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

As it is in the Congress too.  

As a person who lives in CA 08 my vote in the  House of Representatives, though a single vote, carries the weight of 650,000 people with it. Compared to WY, weight of 525,000

My two votes in the Senate, though only two votes, it takes almost 18,000,000 people with each. Compared to WY's two votes in the Senate have only 265,000 behind each.

Before we start changing the way we Democrats elect each other how about some REAL Democracy?  Make my vote carry equal weight to the voters of WY, in the real world.

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-03-08 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

The house seat counts are realloacted in the decennial census. The senate is a problem though--the same small state problem that is plaguing our candidate selection process.

by hctb 2008-03-08 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

The house has already declared that there will never be more than 325 Representatives.  Apparently the really good reason <snark> is the chamber won't hold any more than 325.  So when the census comes my vote will be worth even less, as WY is losing population at a faster rate than SF is gaining population.

The Senate will also never change because it was written into the Constitution, so we have to ask ourselves why?  Was there a good reason?  I suspect that there was a very good reason, despite being from San Francisco, where you might think I want my vote to carry the same weight as someone from WY.  The founders realized one very important issue.

http://www.revision-notes.co.uk/revision /980.html

The Tyranny of the majority!  

That is the reason our electoral system was designed to give small state and small populations a greater voice.  In reality, I do not oppose it in the real world or in the world of party politics.

For the very same reason a national primary makes absolutely no sense, so does the system of giving smaller states a larger voice conversely, make sense.

The tyranny of the majority
 

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-03-08 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Are you talking about the US House of Representatives? The Clerk's website says that there are presently 231 Democrats, 198 Republicans, no Independents and 6 vacant seats. That's a total of 435...not to say that everyone is represented equally, but there does not appear to be a set number of seats.

by Alice in Florida 2008-03-08 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Yes, pardon my transposing the numbers.

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-03-08 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Jerome, you do realize that CA got more delegates on a per capita or per electorial college basis than did WY, don't you? The number of delegates allotted to the various states are based on a number of factors, the most important of those is Democratic turnout in previous elections. (Later states get some bonuses and there are other minor modifications to the numbers. So in this instance, WY is being shortchanged, not CA!

by kjblair2 2008-03-08 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

So if a state or state party decides not to fund a primary, they shouldn't get delegates at the 2012 convention?

Let's say a R Gov and R state legislature in Wyoming decides not to allocate funds for a primary.  The state party doesn't have the $.

Then under your rules Wyoming shouldn't have delegates?

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Most people don't get that caucuses are really born from necessity, not preference.  

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-08 11:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I would peobably say its better to have them be less than at none, so maybe its half the amount if done by caucus.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-03-08 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

So you would be in favor of disenfranchising a state by 1/2 because a R governor and a R state legislature decide to make mischief?

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

What I would favor is systems that are more democratic being worth more than those that are not.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-03-08 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Fine.  But you haven't answered the hypo above.

Are primaries better?  Yes.  Can they happen in every state?  No.  Is setting up a rule where one would punish a state because they decide not to fund a primary subject to eventual mischief and disenfranchisement?  Yes.

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

why can't they happen in every state? This is ridiculous. we should demand more "going forward."

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Because they cost money and the money has to be allocated either by the state or the state party.

Some states aren't willing to do b/c of budgetary constraints (to say nothing of the issue of the government subsidizing the selection of a political party's candidate).

The state parties don't have the $.

Fine, we should demand more going forward.  But if a R governor and a R state legislature decides to not fund it, it doesn't mean we should discount the results of an entire states, either.

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck
NO. They can be funded federally. We simply do not want them to be. When did we get so passive about something so important?
Oh, when we figured out how to manipulate the systems to get our preferred candidates into the general.
by hctb 2008-03-08 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

"NO. They can be funded federally. We simply do not want them to be."

I'm not sure they can or should.  The power to fund is the power to control.  Do we really want the federal government to control political parties?  Do we REALLY want to go down that road?

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Every election this stuff (along with the order of primaries and caucuses) comes up, mostly from supporters of a losing candidate.  Every year they stop talking about it afterwards.  

Hopefully this remains an issue to be pushed next year, though I won't hold my breath.

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-08 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

OK, then the parties can pay for a poor state like Maine to hold a primary.

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Maybe that's part of the answer. Ultimately, I'd be in favor of a federal solution. A national primary day. And if states wanted to hold caucuses before that, to measure momentum and what not, they could.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-03-08 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Why would you want a national primary day?

It would reduce interest and information about the candidates. Far fewer people could see a candidate. It would lock in the front runner.  Candidates couldn't hone their messages or build their organizations.

Why would you want that?

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

It's not even about 'momentum'.  

The campaigns we're talking about here are massive organizations, the first chance either of our candidates this year have had in their life to run something this huge.  They are in a sense a preview of their ability to run things after elected.  Watching them build them up over time, deal with losses, deal with bad news cycles, deal with scandals, deal with wins... these things are all important.  

Moreover, these campaign organizations aren't just about getting these candidates elected.  They have real uses after the primaries and into the general.  If all they are is a one off sort of thing, disposable little state headquarters for that one day, there's very little incentive for building long lasting organizations.  

I want the Iowa volunteers and staff working in Ohio.  And the New York volunteers and staff working in Connecticut.  California volunteers and staff heading over to Nevada.  Not just later in the primaries, but later on in the general.  

And that's not even mentioning their use in all the other races going on each year other than the presidency.

A national primary day is a horrible idea.

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-08 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

A National primary in my opinion, is a terrible idea.  You would automatically have candidates running their campaigns in only a few states, CA, NY, TX, FL,  etc.  You could win the nomination by literally ignoring more than 2/3's of the nation, and running a campaign based solely on 30 second TV and radio commercials.  This would really be horrible,  We'd end up with a Bloomberg or Romney type nominee every election.

I think there is a very good case to be made for regional primaries. I think 6 regional primaries about 2-3 weeks apart could be a good thing, but one national primary? NEVER!

Money and propaganda would always prevail, just a really bad idea.

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-03-08 11:48AM | 0 recs
Ok, how on Earth do you do that?

1)  Have the DNC that each state party holds their primary on the same day.  Great idea -- this worked so well this year that Florida and Michigan flouted those rules and still aren't seated.  

2)  The "there ought to be a law" option.  Three things:  1)  I don't know if there are the votes and no one on this forum does, 2)  I'm a little uncomfortable with the precedent of the Federal Congress deciding rules on either political party's nomination process and it may or may not be even constitutional for the Feds to do so, 3)  isn't this an unfunded mandate?  A national primary -- who funds this?  The states?

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Because in essence, what we are doing is rewarding states for not maximizing participation in the process.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-03-08 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

No, we're not Jerome.

We're basically saying that in some circumstances, it is impossible to hold a primary and it is also unfair to disenfranchise voters just because that state doesn't run a primary.  Ignoring that is dangerous and impractical.

Hey, I think the process should be overhauled (for some reasons you cited above re:  votes vs. delegates, b/c this election shows the PR system turns into a math contest, superdelegates are an absurd and undemocratic way to select a candidate).

But just because a state can't fund a primary doesn't mean we should punish its voters.

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Maybe he can get a job as a lobbyist working for Daschle.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-03-08 11:06AM | 0 recs
So much for crashing the gate.

It's really quite interesting how you've ditched all that inconvenient "people-powered 50-state strategy" business once it started disfavoring your chosen candidate.

Instead, you now vehemently back someone whose electoral strategy is to effectively crap on every state that doesn't go for her (caucuses suck...too many African-American voters suck...small states suck...red states suck, etc.).

I'm not saying Clinton herself is a bad person or a bad candidate, but her chosen campaign tactics seem utterly inapposite to the lessons you and Kos have taught your readers over the years.

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-03-08 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: So much for crashing the gate.

I don't quite get it either...

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-08 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: So much for crashing the gate.

It's interesting there is so much crashing the "Crashing the Gate" gate here. It's like a reversion in some ways.

by Lettuce 2008-03-08 12:44PM | 0 recs
Caucuses do suck

and as an Obama supporter, you will realize that when Clinton secures the popular vote after a MI and FL redo.  In fact, she doesn't really even have to win big in MI to do so as long as she does as expected in PA and FL along with her remaining expected wins.  The supers and the party will have to go with the popular vote for the nomination, because we are DEMOCRATS and it is the most DEMOCRATIC option.  The states that hold caucuses do not suck, but they will probably realize the limitations of their process when the popular vote decides this race- most likely in Clinton's favor.

by linc 2008-03-08 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

If only Daschle had been this forceful with the Republicans, maybe he would not look like a loser!

by tiffany 2008-03-08 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Daschle has always shown greater strength fighting Democrats than Republicans.  I think it is like family-- he brings the hate out of love.

Terribly dysfunctional and one of a thousand reasons he is a tool.

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

what a guy; creates more division in his party; was alway a wimp standing up to Repubs.

by moevaughn 2008-03-08 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I think after Tuesday, a lot of the pundits will be making the case that Obama has a bigger delegate lead than he did a week earlier and - hopefully - the news coverage will recognize that.

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:07AM | 0 recs
They Have Always Sucked!


It is interesting to see folks on here defending caucuses since caucuses are the paramount form of the organized party elite. It was exclusive caucuses that precipitated changes in the Democratic rules in the 1960s, you know the smoke filled rooms?

Why are they more democratic now? Because your preferred candidate wins them? This just goes to show that the commitment to democratic 'values' or better representation is empty words.

People just want their preferred candidate to win, no matter the costs.

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!

They are more democratic than Superdelegates.  At least people show up for this stuff.

I hate caucuses.  But they aren't meaningless, either.

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!

Uh... so here was what the DNCC does:

1. Caucuses clearly look to exclude in the 1960s leading to weird disparties in support for candidates in opposition to the majority of Democratic voters.

  1. DNCC passes McGovern Comm rules for representativeness that makes caucuses difficult (gender, racial equity) so most states adapt to primaries.
  2. Dems blow nominations dues to insurgency candidacies in the 1970s.
  3. They add superdelegates as a check against the selection of candidates who are not representative of "traditional" democrats.
  4. PR system adopted for delegate allocation that leads to an overrepresentation of small states and Democratic blow out CDs.

(...6) 2009 System is further reformed  so that popular vote is better reflected and strong democratic states are not penalized for being winnable in the general.

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!

3 and 4 are undemocratic, won't you agree.

"The elites know better than the voters, the silly little naifs."

Hell the people who agree with #3 and #4 probably push for Sam Nunn.

Ugh.  

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!
And #1.
I think that is the point. Caucuses and superdelegates are tools used by the party elite to thwart Democratic voters getting their preferred candidate.
by hctb 2008-03-08 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!

Nah, caucuses have been around forever.  I don't like them, either.  But either we have a primary and every state is mandated by the feds to fund it or we have a significant possibility that caucuses will occur and we have to count their results.

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!

Uh.. read above for your "been around forever"--the problem today is the same problem as before and why progressive reforms were pursued to end them...

Fed can mandate AND fund. Or party can fund. paying for this is rather minimal when we consider most federal programs. Elections are important, wouldn't you agree.

by hctb 2008-03-08 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!

They can mandate and fund FEDERAL elections.  It is unclear whether they can or should regarding party nomination elections.

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!

You're not the slightest bit uncomfortable with setting up the precedent that the federal legislature funds two political parties and therefore favors them in perpetuity?

Or, for that matter, the idea that by funding or mandating a political party's selection parties, they may do so for very, very dubious reasons in the not so distant future?

Under your idea, what's to stop a R-led Congress and a R-led President from basically creating mischief for the Ds, or vice versa?

I know we're focused on today and all that, but think about what precedent this sets.

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!

they can fund third party nomination procedures. They should. Nope. I got no problem with that.  We could use the money no candidates are using in the Presidential financing system.

Check the box to pay for elections on your tax return.

by hctb 2008-03-08 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!

ETA: Funding party selection procedures is not non-democratic. It acknowledges their role as a social choice mechanism.

Monster Raving Mooney parties and all.

by hctb 2008-03-08 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: They Have Always Sucked!

Weak.


It is interesting to see folks on here defending caucuses since caucuses are the paramount form of the organized party elite. It was exclusive caucuses that precipitated changes in the Democratic rules in the 1960s, you know the smoke filled rooms?

Why are they more democratic now?

They're more democratic now because they're no longer exclusive.

Your argument is the equivalent of saying that we should no longer have elections, because at one time you had to own property to vote.

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I am quite sure that if Clinton was winning caucuses that the Clintonista opinion of caucuses would be totally positive.  I feel that if Obama was in second place that he wouldn't suck either.  A primary in Wyoming would have yielded the same result.  With the Clintonistas the rules suck, the states that don't matter suck, the math sucks, the eroding superdelegate lead sucks, it just all sucks sucks, sucks.  Reality sucks when you are losing.  Get used to it.  A deep apology and contrition from Clinton might allow her the Demo VP slot, unless she would rather run on McCain's ticket.

by Carlo 2008-03-08 11:08AM | 0 recs
Implying They Closed The Doors Early?

The doors are closed according to the schedule in the rules. Is someone saying they rules were broken or is this just idle complaining?

by bernardpliers 2008-03-08 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Very soon Clinton will be telling us that the voters suck, democracy sucks, the progressive wing of the party sucks, everything in this growing nightmare of a poorly run campaign sucks.  It seems that everything sucks except for McCain.  Even the honesty of promising in the debates to support the Democratic nominee seems to suck, totally.

by Carlo 2008-03-08 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Doubt it....

Obama already did that with his trial balloons on disenfranchising MI and FLA voters.

Apparently you are only welcome to the 'Party' if you are for Obama!

Hah...hah...did I just write that?

Pretty obvious it's been for some good long time.

Welcome to ReichWing America; Obama style.

by Pericles 2008-03-08 11:22AM | 0 recs
Yes they do

Also, I was just talking to someone about the possible redo in MI and how it may be a "caucus" acting like a primary.

Even tho I do not like mail in or early voting, I have ALWAYS believed that people should have the ability to do a true absentee ballot.

If they are going to be away or are elderly and have trouble getting out, then they should be able to vote by absentee ballots.

by kevin22262 2008-03-08 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes they do

I think you are talking about the firehouse voting, and Obama has rejected that idea.  In fact, he's against any re-vote in Michigan, that's what I read today.

by CalGirl 2008-03-08 11:15AM | 0 recs
So I ask

everyone that thinks voters should not be disenfranchised and that all voters should have a chance to vote.

Why should we support caucuses anymore in future presidential races?

Why should MI and FL not be redone? Their early primary numbers won't count, so they would actually  be voting later then they would have had they not moved themselves up. Is Obama afraid that Hillary Clinton will win by wide margins and put her ahead in pledged delegates?

by kevin22262 2008-03-08 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: So I ask

The big reason is that Senator Obama has determined that it would not be in his interest to do so....

So much for democracy. We stand ready to elect a man who essentially differs from the fascist currently squatting in the WH....

Not a whit.

by Pericles 2008-03-08 11:38AM | 0 recs
Hm

I agree with your first part but not the last part.

by kevin22262 2008-03-08 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: So I ask

I think Obama is not a facist but benefit from a system that is clearly unfair and unrepresentative of Democrats.

Still, while your comment was a little provocative, you didnt deserve a troll rating

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: So I ask

Thank you for going on record that Obama isn't a fascist.

by enozinho 2008-03-08 11:54AM | 0 recs
Re: So I ask
You are welcome.
You want to do the same about all the vile things said about Clinton on this site? Yeah, I dont see your posts admonishing co-partisans for calling Hillary a monster, vile, etc.
by hctb 2008-03-08 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Well, enjoy this today because according to the NY Times, this is the LAST CAUCUS for the Dems this year.

by CalGirl 2008-03-08 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Yes, I'm already looking forward to the Mississippi primary.

But that won't count -- too many black folks.

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Is anyone here arguing that excluding late-comers advantages Obama?

If so, why?  Do Clinton people have a problem getting places on time?

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I wouldn't argue that at all. I have no doubt that the majority of the people showing up late intended to vote for Obama. The polling before today would have told us that. That doesn't change the fact that people ought to have a reasonable opportunity to express their choice. Caucuses really push the boundary of the reasonable.

by blueflorida 2008-03-08 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck


"they had to turn people away..."

This is really incendiary. Why the hell are people OK with this? An election isn't a concert. It's not a 1/2 price sale at Costco. It's not "one free cone day" at Baskin-Robbin. There should be no such thing as turning people away when it comes to an election of any kind.

Now there are all sorts of smart people who will argue that in fact as a matter of law no explicit right to vote exists, and much less so in the circumstance of a preference poll undertaken as a  service/function of a mere local political party. However, I'm sure that if asked, 99.99% of all Americans or even unregistered adults, who affirm the idea of a "right to vote" and even most constitutional and historical scholars would  concur that THE CONSTITUTION (and much moreso, the whole developmental arc of American political history) implies such a right.

A single vote has ample moral value. Lots of votes have, together, profound moral value. Lots of votes turned away is a profound moral outrage. Caucuses are a profound moral outrage insofar as they pretend to be anything like a vehicle for regular people to give voice to their poltiical views. They are exclusive and have little worth beyond being a really expensive focus group. They are the tool of the aristocracy, not the tool of the common person.

by blueflorida 2008-03-08 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

If you show up late to a polling place for a primary or general election contest, you can't vote.

Just like if you show up late to the DMV to renew your license, you can't do it.

And why would you think this advantages Obama?  Is there a higher tendency for Clinton supporters to be late to things?

I would think that tardiness is a quality randomly, i.e., evenly, or perhaps those latte-sipping Obama slacker supporters are the ones who tend to be late.

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

In a primary nominating system or a general election, a voter has an opportunity to vote early  (absentee by-mail or in-person) often weeks in advance, a voter has on election day itself, at minimum, a block of 12 hours during which to vote, and further the time required to actually cast their vote doesn't require an excessive amount of time.

There's a word to describe such an electoral process: reasonable. The garden variety primary actually is geared toward accomodating the voter rather than accomodating -- choose one: the candidates, senior party officials, the news media, state government budget officers. In other words, it goes to great pains to give voters a reasonable opportunity to register their opinion. Caucuses are border-line unreasonable, with reasonableness inversely proportional to voter turnout.

by blueflorida 2008-03-08 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I'd like to see closed primaries in Blue states and open primaries in Red states, but I absolutely want to kill early voting.  It just doesn't make sense when candidates drop out and leave their names on the ballot.  It also is geared towards incumbents and establishment candidates.  If we wanted a coronation we would have winner-take-all rules like the republicans, be we're not like them and like to give the little a decent shot.  That's why we are democrats for christ's sake.

by enozinho 2008-03-08 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Early voting in TX advantaged Obama 4:1. So, I think you mean you want to "kill" early voting everywhere except Texas.

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

No, I want to kill it period.

by enozinho 2008-03-08 12:01PM | 0 recs
Aristrocracy?

List the states that have caucuses.  Go on.  Notice anything about them?  They chose caucuses for a reason other than 'aristocracy'.  

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-08 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Aristrocracy?

Uhh, democracy on the cheap seems like the a party elite driven system to me.

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Aristrocracy?

If it was party elite driven, why isn't the party elite candidate winning?

by marcotom 2008-03-08 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Aristrocracy?

Uh.. he is.

by hctb 2008-03-08 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

You as an Obama supporter -- remembering that Obama's whole defining theory of government and political change depends on high-volume voter engagement and participation -- should be the most outraged by a system that inhibits expression of popular will.

Great, caucuses work out well for your candidate. Now what about how well they work for the American democracy and the American people?

Again, you should be leading the charge against caucuses.

by blueflorida 2008-03-08 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Maine has a proud history of town meetings and caucuses.  People can register to vote the day of the election. We also have one of the highest voter turnouts in the country, each and every election year.  Shame on you for telling us what to do.  We're doing just fine.

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck
Yeah, cause the conversation was all about how Maine is doing poorly.
Boo.
Shame on you for such hyperbole.
by hctb 2008-03-08 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

What's the problem, the caucuses themselves or the way the organizers organized the caucuses?

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck


... most constitutional and historical scholars would  concur that THE CONSTITUTION (and much moreso, the whole developmental arc of American political history) implies such a right.

That is incorrect. Most constitutional scholars (and federal judges) agree that the Constitution does not imply a blanket right to vote.

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I would dispute your disputation -- basically conservative strict constructionist types tend to think as you indicate, liberal scholars tend to think its implied (9th amendment, and even the 3/5th s clause) and certainly brought into clearer focus by later amendments. Ok, we can have all kinds of linguistic fun analyzing the meaning of the adjective 'blanket' in this context, but basically, unless states explicitly abridge voting rights for certain classes of people (classes not protected by the constitution) people have an a priori claim to exercise the vote.

by blueflorida 2008-03-08 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Not so. Generally speaking, it is settled law that the Constitution only implies the right to vote in cases where elections are already granted by statute or by the Constitution itself. For example, you have no constitutional right to vote for the Secretary of State or for any other administrative official aside from the President. Similarly, you have no constitutional right to vote for your party's nominee. The process by which a political party chooses its candidate is generally protected by the freedom of association afforded by the first amendment. See, e.g., Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut, 479 U.S. 208, 107 S.Ct. 544 (1986), where Thurgood Marshall said that a political party has a right to identify the people who get to vote in nominating elections. That opinion was joined by Brennan, White, Blackmun, and Powell joining -- hardly a "conservative strict constructionist" group. See also Eu v. San Francisco County Democratic Cent. Committee, 489 U.S. 214, 109 S.Ct. 1013 (1989), written again by Marshall in an 8-0 decision.

The Ninth Amendment??? The Ninth Amendment is considered pretty much dead by almost everyone.

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 11:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

We should hold national primaries.

by truthteller2007 2008-03-08 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Now, that is a truly terrible idea.  Voters in one state could not learn about the other candidates and the front-runner would always win, never having been tested or being forced to hone the message and organize folks.

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

No we shouldn't.

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-08 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Yes, we should.

by truthteller2007 2008-03-08 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Why?

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-08 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Perhaps you could make an argument about why this is a good idea instead of sounding like a Monty Python skit (yes it is! not it isn't! etc.)

by mainelib 2008-03-08 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

WORST IDEA EVER!

I would oppose a naitonal primary with every fiber of my being.

What we are watching now is not perfect, but it is certainly better than a national primary.

by Walt Starr 2008-03-08 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

He has done well by overcoming weak support from women?

Is this something one needs to 'overcome'?

by hctb 2008-03-08 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Have you checked the percentage of female voters who have participated in the caucuses? No? Oh look... It's well over 50% too. I guess women aren't being disproportionately disenfranchised by the caucus system after all.

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Yes, we should hold national primaries.  The Federal Government should allocate grants to the states to pay for presidential primaries every four years.

For about $1 per citizen we could pretty much whip every state into shape and get them to hold primaries that comply with the rules of the major parties while maximizing turnout.  The grant should actually be based on turnout -- you only get the $1 for a citizen if that citizen actually turns out on election day (or an appropriate absentee process) to vote.  That should end the foolishness of presidential caucuses.

The national primaries should not all be held on the same day, of course.  Part of the rules should be a requirement to stagger the process.

by Brian Watkins 2008-03-08 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

As I posted on the earlier thread where you posted the same message, MAHER is being a pig in this episode. If you want to win against Hillary, beat her on the issues. Hating her because she's too emotional or cuckholding or "an old hag" (maher's words later in the episode) is BS.
We should not tolerate it.

Oh right, sexism is fine as long as it advantages your candidate.

by hctb 2008-03-08 11:27AM | 0 recs
Process-Powered Campaign?

Wow.  What an insult to all the people working their asses off to get Obama elected.  

by enozinho 2008-03-08 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Process-Powered Campaign?

Lo, how the mighty bloggers have fallen.

by thereisnospoon 2008-03-08 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

or jerome, you could leave Todd Beeton's posts as they are, without begging for your candidate to steal this thing.

by thereisnospoon 2008-03-08 11:31AM | 0 recs
if your candidate were winning the popular vote

but trailing in pledged delegates, somehow I don't think you would be calling on him to drop out and respect the pledged-delegate count.

by desmoinesdem 2008-03-08 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: if your candidate were winning the popular vot

Obama is winning the popular vote now, and will remain ahead in the popular vote throughout the contest.

by thereisnospoon 2008-03-08 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Like I said before, I am very happy that Texas held both primary and caucus, if not anything else, but solely as an in-your-face and clear-as-day example to show how caucus does not always (probably often does not) represent the will of the people.  I am not saying that the caucuses in those so-called red states should be disregarded simply because they are caucuses, but I think most if not all people would agree that primary is a more democratic forum.  And I think Clinton's victory in the primary is more convincing than Obama's victory in the caucus; unfortunately the delegate allocation does not represent the will of the Texas people. I personally think all states should conduct primaries not caucus in the future, but the problem is that we are in the mess now.  

by observer11 2008-03-08 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Clinton does not benefit anything more from the Republican voters than Obama does in Texas, not to mention his open pleas to appeal to the so-called Obamacans. A weaker candidate?  Do you honestly believe that?! I have never seen anyone tougher or more resilient than Hillary Clinton and I applaud her for it. There is no doubt that she will defeat McCain.

by observer11 2008-03-08 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

uhh. Carnac the Magnificent? You are in here?

You do not know what leads people to vote. This is as ridiculous as people who say that rich, educated, voters who support Obama are doing so because it allays their guilt over race relations in America.

Face the facts: she does a WHOLE LOT BETTER with democratic identifiers than your candidate. If you want to have a conversation about non-Democrats choosing the nomination, bring it on.

by hctb 2008-03-08 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Look, will you stop this about the number of Democrats voting for a particular candidate. You can't tell this from exit polls. All you have to do is look a the results from a closed primary state. People misidentify when asked to self identify their party affiliation.

There is just no way to tell how many Democrats voted for Clinton or Obama.

by kjblair2 2008-03-08 01:07PM | 0 recs
Obviously you haven't looked at exit polls

There is no way to tell the number of REGISTERED Democrats or REGISTERED Republicans who voted for either candidate in an open primary. Additionally, it's not possible to calculate the number of voters who are not registered in either party.

You can look at the exit polls from closed primary states and see the problem. (Closed primary = only REGISTERED Democrats voting.) Here are the self-identified party affiliation in the closed Democratic primaries to date.

AZ: 78/20/2 (Dem %/Ind %/Rep %)
CT: 80/18/2
DE: 83/15/1
NY: 87/12/1
OK: 78/15/7 (What's up with OK?)
LA: 83/12/5
MD: 84/13/3

DC had a closed primary but no exit polling.

The first thing you see is that between 13 and 22% of REGISTERED Democrats don't identify themselves as being a Democrat. So if you have 20% of the voters making a mistake when they self-identify, how can you use these number to try and calculate the number of Democrats that voted for a particular candidate? The answer is, you can't! Exit polls will systematically overestimate the number of independents and REGISTERED Republicans voting in a Democratic primary. Likewise, they will overestimate the number of REGISTERED Democrats and independents voting in a Republican primary.

As a result, any calculation trying to show the number of REGISTERED Democrats voting for Clinton or Obama is doomed from the start. Please, if you are going to argue over data, at least look at it first.

by kjblair2 2008-03-08 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

"We know that more Dems have voted for HRC, and there is no way around that. ... Hillary is well ahead among Dem voters. Well ahead."

Call me ignorant, but I don't know that. Could you provide a citation please?

It's a known fact that Obama has attracted more non-Dems than HRC. Hence, "Dems for a day."

My parents have been registered independents their whole lives, but I believe they have always voted for the Democratic nominee. Dems for a day?

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 03:24PM | 0 recs
Caucuses harken to the birth of democracy

In ancient Greece they had direct democracy - much like caucuses.  Caucuses are true participatory democracy.  They require a commitment of time and energy which just voting does not.  This year the caucuses were a tremendous party building activity from which the Democratic Party could build a ruling majority.  If this continues we could win states we only dreamt of winning before. It seems to me that the Clinton argument is that we just want a bare majority - doesn't make any sense to me.  

by Moonwood 2008-03-08 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Caucuses harken to the birth of democracy

Okay. Ancient Greece is your exemplar of participation huh? Yeah, those pesky women, slaves and merchants. Hey maybe we should reform the delegate count: every male landowner gets 1 vote for themselves and 3/5ths a vote for every nonvoter under their control-- you know, wives, minority co-workers, etc.

by hctb 2008-03-08 12:09PM | 0 recs
Thats great demagoguery

I say Greece is the birthplace of democracy and you accuse me of supporting slavery.  I didn't say Greece was a great place or even that caucuses are perfect - my point is that caucuses have worked for the Democratic party very well this year in helping us create a ruling majority.  Your demagoguery is one of the reason we can't get a ruling majority and it is the M.O of the Clinton machine and the Bush machine.  Obama is saying lets do it different - what the Democrats have been doing for 30 years isn't working - a majority of people agree with most of our platform but we can't get a ruling majority.

by Moonwood 2008-03-09 09:25AM | 0 recs
Thats great demagoguery

I say Greece is the birthplace of democracy and you accuse me of supporting slavery.  I didn't say Greece was a great place or even that caucuses are perfect - my point is that caucuses have worked for the Democratic party very well this year in helping us create a ruling majority.  Your demagoguery is one of the reason we can't get a ruling majority and it is the M.O of the Clinton machine and the Bush machine.  Obama is saying lets do it different - what the Democrats have been doing for 30 years isn't working - a majority of people agree with most of our platform but we can't get a ruling majority.

by Moonwood 2008-03-09 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Caucuses harken to the birth of democracy

So why don't we use the caucus model for running our schools, our cities

by Alice in Florida 2008-03-08 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Caucuses harken to the birth of democracy

Sorry--this posted by accident. Was going to say, though, that if caucuses are such a good idea people should have them regularly, every month or so, and use them to discuss and decide matters in their own community--kind of like participating in their local Democratic Committee. The positive aspects of caucus are far less meaningful if you only get together every four years to vote on a presidential nominee. Primaries are better for determining who appeals to a larger population, which can produce a stronger nominee (provided there is a strong field of people running, which we did not have in 2004). But of course a separate primary for presidential candidates is expensive, which is basically why we have caucuses. If only presidential primaries could piggyback on state primaries--but most state primaries are too late for that.

by Alice in Florida 2008-03-08 01:46PM | 0 recs
Lot's of things suck when your strategy sucks

Caucuses suck, the electoral college sucks, the media sucks, the outsized influence money buys lobbyists and special interests suck, lots of things suck about our electoral system but you plan your campaign for the election rules you are handed in the primary and in the general.

These rules were not designed to favor Obama or Edwards or Dodd or any candidate. They all knew the lay of the land going into this, made their choices and chose the strategy they thought would be most effective. They all had the same information up front. If they got out foxed and out organized it was not because of a system that favored one candidate it's because they had the wrong strategy and made the wrong choices.

by hankg 2008-03-08 11:41AM | 0 recs
This why I like TX.

TX has both, which while widely mocked, I think is pretty much the best of both worlds.

Roughly 2/3 of the delegates are handed out based upon the breadth of support for each candidate (Primaries) and 1/3 are handed out based upon the depth of support for each candidate (Caucuses).  Both types of support are important to the success of a candidate in  the General Election.

by EvilCornbread 2008-03-08 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: This why I like TX.

Agreed.

I always like to make the following point: We Democrats support a general "one person one vote" philosophy in order to make sure that no one is unfairly denied his or her say.  We feel very strongly about this because we look at places around the world where elections are shams (e.g., Medvedev)  and are disgusted.  We would never want to go down the slippery slope that might to violations of fundamental things like freedom of speech or to despotism.

But at the same time, we also know that some voters are more informed than others.  Indeed, many of us probably feel that many Republicans have been lied to and fearmongered into supporting Bush, but were they sufficiently informed they would not do so.  We don't like this very much.

When the opinion of the uninformed is as valuable as the opinion of the informed, the optimal decision is less likely to be made.  We are ok with this because the alternative is too dangerous, and there is clearly no good way to even begin to discuss how to assess these things even if we COULD make sure such laws were not abused (which they would be).

Caucuses have real problem, perhaps foremost is the privacy issue, or perhaps the limited time issue (though I think caucuses on a Saturday have to be more inclusive than, say, the weekday Nevada one that Hillary won).  But as strongly as I feel about the need to make sure everyone has the right to vote, I'm not necessarily discouraged that the people who are showing up to make such an important decision for our country is the "enthusiastic and parcipatory" subset of votes.

And again, caucuses have issues.  The people who show up at caucuses are not necessarily more informed than those who can't.  But on the issue of "everyone" vs "only the people who care a lot", I think it's not as clearcut as Jerome wants to make it out to be.

by jackstah 2008-03-08 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Stop spamming.

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-08 11:49AM | 0 recs
Wow! It takes Hillary 736 more votes to

earn a delegate than Obama. In my world, that results in a Hillary nomination if she, as seems likely, wins the popular vote. I'll take people-powered over process-powered anyday. Are you paying attention to this superdelegates?!

by Rumarhazzit 2008-03-08 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow! It takes Hillary 736 more votes to

So we're using a comment in a thread at Talkleft as actual evidence now?

by ChrisR 2008-03-08 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow! It takes Hillary 736 more votes to

Again, calling Obama's campaign "Process-Powered" is extremely insulting.  I urge you to get people out to vote for Clinton and put her over the top in terms of the popular vote.  But don't insult the millions of people working to get Obama elected.  

by enozinho 2008-03-08 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Gov. Crist

Gee, I wonder why Crist would do that...

by Brillobreaks 2008-03-08 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Gov. Crist

Yeah, like he doesn't enjoy infighting within the Dems - he has already endorsed McCain.

by marcotom 2008-03-08 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Gov. Crist

and by the way, Floridans favor a revote, as determined by a poll lately.

by marcotom 2008-03-08 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Gov. Crist

i imagine Floridians were interested in a revote in mid November 2000, but that didnt happen either.

I think a revote would be best to ameliorate this problem, but that is a difficult coordination game.

by hctb 2008-03-08 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Good for him!  He can outspend Clinton again by 3:1 or 4:1.  

by observer11 2008-03-08 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

and still lose.

by hctb 2008-03-08 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

This argument that Hillary can't get her supporters out on Saturdays to vote her her is simply ridiculous ... really . . . ridiculous .... well, beyond ridiculous.

Maybe . . . just maybe . . . Obama actually has more supporters than Clinton. But I'm sure that can't be the case. Must be the "precess" (you n, the rules are all against Hillary.)

I'll let you Clinton supporters in on a little secret. Maybe Obama is leading in delegates, total votes etc. because people really DO what him to be president.

Did you guys consider that?

by poserM 2008-03-08 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck
I think the Texas example should be sufficient to bring to light the bias caucuses introduce in Obama's favor. The caucuses and primary were both competitive the eligible electorate was presumably the same but the results differed by more than 10%.
All arguments that Obama's supporters bring in favor of their candidate performance in caucuses can be ultimately reduced to their acceptance of voter disenfranchisement as a systematic way of boosting their candidate.  
by blueosprey 2008-03-08 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Are caucuses rather than primaries ever used to select candidates for State or local offices?

by CLK 2008-03-08 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I think this site ought to be re-named "Operation Hope."  Compared to 'MYDD,' it would more accurately reflect some of the creative math and desperately hopeful posts that we see here in the comments section.  I gotta hand it to you guys, you're experts at making lemonade out of lemons.

Your next assignment:  Figure out how Hillary is going to survive the five-week interval between her next defeat (MS) and the Pennsylvania primary.
She will need to manufacture some good news to keep the superdelegates from pulling the trigger, and I anxiously await the spin coming from her campaign.

Best of luck....

by global yokel 2008-03-08 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Okay. Let's rename the site and reclaim the rightful mantel of hope for Clinton. We believe in her. Yes she will. (where's that flashlight to shine behind her head like a halo?)

by hctb 2008-03-08 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

"Look, caucuses make sense for states that are not used to mattering in the process"

Oh don't worry, Wyoming doesn't matter, it is an Obama state.

by kasjogren 2008-03-08 12:54PM | 0 recs
Too much smack, not enough reality

Hillary is behind in the popular vote.

And to finish the thought, she's behind even though Obama is getting no credit for Iowa, Nevada, Washington and Maine, because those states don't tally the caucus votes.  

So - yes, it's true, she had to get more votes for each delegate, net.  But, also net, the reason she's way behind in delegates is that she's also behind in the popular vote.

That is all.

OK - one more thing - please, dear god, do not try to count Michigan or Florida.  If there's one thing I am hoping for, as an Obama supporter, it's that we actually get a primary contest in those states so we can put that canard to rest once and for all.  Please check the turnout for the beauty contests that were held in those states - they had the lowest turnout percentages of the entire primary - even though the Republican contests were going to award some delegates.  Democratic voters stayed home.

Let's do these again when everyone's paying attention.  If anyone would like to make a wager on whether HRC comes out of those two contests with a 600,000+ vote margin - as her supporters are claiming now, because they credit Obama with none of the "uncommitted" votes - I'll be more than happy to take the action.  

It will be a wonderful day when that particular soap bubble bursts.

by TL 2008-03-08 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Too much smack, not enough reality

"Please check the turnout for the beauty contests that were held in those states - they had the lowest turnout percentages of the entire primary"

jesus, what planet are you bots living on?  you have seriously gone off the deep end.

by nance 2008-03-08 02:04PM | 0 recs
OK, let's look at the numbers

You're right to say I was too quick on Florida about absolute turnout numbers.  The turnout appears to have been pretty good - especially on the Republican side, where they set a record.

However, I am clearly right on two points.

(1) Turnout in the Dem primary in Michigan was very low.

(2) Turnout in the Dem primary for MI and FL are real outliers in this election.  In most states - and in all of the blue and purple states except AZ, McCain's home state - Democratic turnout has trounced the Republican turnout.  

There are only two exceptions - Florida and Michigan.

Here's the voting in Michigan:

868,002  (R)
592,261 (D)
1,481,761 (Total)

And here's Florida:

1,924,346 (R)
1,734,456 (D)
4,239,350 (Total)         

For comparison sake, here is New Hampshire:

288,058 (D)
239,328  (R)
527,376 (Total)    

And here is Missouri:

823,376  (D)
588,849 (R)
2,056 (L)
1,414,281 (Total)

I could go on. Here's US News, as of mid-February:

"On a state-by-state basis, Democrats had higher turnouts than Republicans in 19 out of 25 states. The six outliers that tilted Republican were Arizona (Sen. John McCain's home turf), Utah (a pro-Romney Mormon stronghold), Michigan (where Rep. Denis Kucinich was the sole Democrat to campaign), Florida (where no Democrats campaigned), Alabama, and Alaska."

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/camp aign-2008/2008/02/28/high-democratic-tur nout-sends-a-mixed-signal-for-november.h tml

As to Florida, what drove the D vote, and who did not vote?  According to the Sun-Sentinel, the big draws in FL in Broward County were (1) a property tax measure and (2) local elections that turned out the suburbs.  HRC won Broward by 24 points.  If we hold a real primary in Florida and Barack Obama loses Broward to HRC by 24 points, I'll eat my hat.

"The presidential primaries and property tax amendment attracted the most attention, but it was city elections that appeared to really boost voter turnout Tuesday in Broward County.

Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Cooper City and Hillsboro Beach all reported some of the highest voter participation rates in the county, and each city had hotly contested elections for mayor and city commission.

Turnout was low in the predominantly black neighborhoods along Interstate 95 and Dixie Highway, which may have hurt Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who swept the black vote in South Carolina. He lost Broward County to Hillary Clinton, 57 percent to 33 percent."

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politic s/elections/sfl-flbturnout0131sbjan31,0, 5059313.story

by TL 2008-03-09 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

You would think with 35 years of experience she would have figured out how the nominee for the democratic party was elected.  She even got to see it twice up close and personal.  

Maybe you should be more worried that your candidate can't figure out a process after 35 years of going through it.

Just a thought.

by kasjogren 2008-03-08 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: if?

I'm really not worried about it at this point.  Even if HRC somehow managed to usurp the process and get the nomination she has managed to poison the water enough to guarantee a loss in November.  Especially after she conceded the entire foreign policy debate to McCain.

But you are just looking for a good spot for one off insults so feel fee to reply with one now.

by kasjogren 2008-03-10 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Oh and as a side note, John McCain has the experience to know how the nomination process on his side works.

by kasjogren 2008-03-08 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

This has been an extraordinary Democratic campaign. In state after state, primaries and caucuses both have been deluged by high turnout of motivated voters. And in state after state, the election officials have been wildly unprepared. Tens of thousands of voters have been left in the rain and snow and night, never getting to vote.

The answer is vote-by-mail. If there is a much greater than expected turnout, it just takes a few more hours to count the ballots, but nobody is disenfranchised. And it's cheaper.

by anoregonreader 2008-03-08 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

People get turned away during primaries as well, don't you know?

And I assume you know that the number of delegates awarded to individual states are based on a number of factors, none of which are related to the number of people in the state.

Since we're trying to get someone elected President, the electorial college is the determining factor, isn't it. Well, CA got 6.7 delegates per EC voter while WY only got 4.0 delegates. Doesn't that seem to be a little unfair for the one vote, one person rule doesn't it? Same outcome if you use population.

Look, we have the system we have. If one candidate did a better job at laying out a strategy to get the nomination, shouldn't that be a plus and not a minus?

by kjblair2 2008-03-08 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

You forget expanding the field of putting more states in play, VA, MO, IA, CO and not losing MN,WI OR, WA and MI to McCAIN IF hILLARY IS THE NOMINEE.

RCP GE AVG. mCcain vs Hillary McCain up .07&
McCain vs Obama Obama up 5% OVER hILLARY.

AA's make up 25% OF THE DEMOCRATIC BASE. Hillary will lose a significant nmber of that base if it is perceived that Obama IS TREATED UN-FAIRLY BY A BACK ROOM DEAL.  

by BDM 2008-03-08 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Look, no Democrat is going to lose NY or CA. And no Democrat is going to carry OK, TN or AZ. (But I guess those count since Clinton won them.)

We have a process to select a nominee. That process includes primaries and caucuses, pledged and super delegates and allocations based on previous Democratic turnout. Is Obama whining that WY gets fewer delegates per capita than CA does. No, he accepts that's the system he has to work under.

Unfortunately, your candidate is at the moment losing. Has she lost? No. Just that the road ahead for Clinton is a lot harder than it is for Obama.

by kjblair2 2008-03-08 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: solution


How about this:

Do away with super-delegates; do away with open (season) primaries; do away with caucuses.

Then we'd have a much higher voting turnout and the parties could actualy pick their own candidates (what a novelty) -- instead of the machiavellian wishy washy crossovers.  and we'd have a real choice in the general election, because the candidates would not be trying to attact the wishy washy uncommited voters of the middle.

by moevaughn 2008-03-08 01:21PM | 0 recs
Re: solution

In the time of Lincoln and Douglas, before the primaries, people actually elected local people as delegates. The local delegates went to the convention, and there was a caucus, of the elected delegates.

It was considered unseemly to actually run for office.

by Don Meaker 2008-03-08 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Saying the popular vote should be important is great, but we don't have a real popular vote. Nobody knows how many people voted in Iowa or Washington -- they don't record it. The numbers you see are precinct level delegates. In some states the records are kept, but in many they don't bother once the precinct delegates are chosen and certified.

I think the Texas example should be sufficient to bring to light the bias caucuses introduce in Obama's favor.

The ironic thing is that the Texas primacaucus was engineered in 1992 to give Bill Clinton an advantage during the nomination race.

The entire caucus system is designed to give party insiders like Hillary Clinton an advantage. Obama was clever enough to nullify that advantage. If the system were different, his strategy would have been different.

System is further reformed  so that popular vote is better reflected and strong democratic states are not penalized for being winnable in the general.

Democratic states already get assigned a number of greater than proportional to their population. To take an example, Washington has a population of 6,395,000 and 78 pledged delegates. Indiana has a virtually identical population (6,345,000) but only 72 delegates.

Fact is, if delegates were apportioned by population, Obama would have a bigger lead.

by Leovigild 2008-03-08 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Why would you troll rate this comment?  unfair and uncalled for.  UPRATE

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-03-08 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

If you don't say something substantive, you should expect to get troll-rated.

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 02:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Funny, but when I read the TOS, I didn't find that was included in the rules.

Don't like the sentiment, fine, I can accept that.  Try leaving a comment instead explaining that you think their comment was substance free, you might even get "mojo" for it, but don't troll rate.

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-03-08 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

I personally don't see much of a difference between "Obama/Webb 08," and "Clinton suxxx!" Neither dignify an answer.

And I don't care what the rules say.

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck
And I don't care what the rules say.
 
 Well we've certainly seen that attitude a lot this year.
by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-03-08 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Jerome, dude, give it a rest, already. You are SO biased. If you suggest that the SD's base their votes on the popular vote, then you of course are ignoring states with Caucuses, and as they are currently, for better or worse, part of our system, you just can't do that. Did Bill Clinton's campaign criticize caucuses when he ran for office? Or is this a tactic for Hillary because she has weaknesses in her campaign and does not do as well as Obama in caucus states?

And why does NPR's website say that Obama is currently ahead in the popular vote as well as the pledged delegate total?

quote: "Sen. Barack Obama remains ahead in the number of pledged delegates: He has won 1,360 to Sen. Hillary Clinton's 1,220. He also leads in the popular vote, winning 51 percent of all votes cast so far, versus 49 percent for Clinton."

by magnoliagirl 2008-03-08 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

a lot of us have had our eyes opened about caucuses in this election.  bill clinton wasn't up against a bunch of bullying harassers at caucuses intimidating, harassing, and illegal rule-breaking to disenfranchise their opponent's supporters.  don't compare obama to bill clinton.  that is f'ing insulting.

by nance 2008-03-08 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

a lot of us have had our eyes opened about caucuses in this election.  bill clinton wasn't up against a bunch of bullying harassers at caucuses intimidating, harassing, and illegal rule-breaking to disenfranchise their opponent's supporters.  don't compare obama to bill clinton.  that is f'ing insulting.

I don't suppose you have any evidence of "bullying," "intimidating," or "harassing", do you? Of course not. And even if you did, you'd still be unable to explain Obama's +20% wins in most of the caucus states. To get these kind of numbers with more people initially showing up to caucus for Clinton, Obama would literally have to kill millions of her supporters. Of course, if you're crazy enough to believe that Obama's a closet misogynist and is responsible for the recent negative turn in this campaign, I certainly wouldn't put it past you. How long will it be before Clintonistas start compiling freeper-esque lists of all the people Obama's killed? Alegre? Susan Hu? We're counting on you.....

by RP McMurphy 2008-03-08 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

oh god, thank you todd!!!!!  i'd worried for a while that you'd gone over to the caucus-loving, bullying, harassing, arm-twisting, and caucus rule-flouting side.  i love how so many obama supporters are all too happy to disenfranchise people as long as that means they win.  ugh.

by nance 2008-03-08 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Right...


This is all heading one way. And after the fiasco of untold numbers of voters being turned away in WY today, the bloom is completely off the caucus rose.

Say hello to your first Democratic female nominee for president ever, and say goodbye to the glass ceiling, permanently.

She still has an uphill battle in front of her. You're living in an alternate reality if you think that she's going to win for sure.

Second, say goodbye to the glass ceiling? So sexism will cease to exist if Clinton is elected? What, are you going to round up all of the sexists and gas them or something? Burn all of the books that perpetuate misogynist stereotypes?

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

The only thing that "sucks" here is the way these caucuses were organized. The folks who planned them had fair warning that turnout would be extremely high.

How that translates into an indictment of the caucus system in general, I have no idea.

by nstrauss 2008-03-08 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Caucuses violate a basic precept of good government: The secret ballot. Unions are trying to end the secret ballot so they can nudge workers into supporting corrupt Unions.

by Don Meaker 2008-03-08 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

The Democratic Party is not government.

by nstrauss 2008-03-09 01:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

So Why does Obama have more popular votes than Mrs. Clinton, unless you really think she should get those from MI?  Oh, I see.  Its how many popular votes per delegate that's important.  Well, this is certainly a novel way of looking at things.

by jolene 2008-03-08 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Iowa (+1), red state

How short your memory is. Iowa voted Democratic in 2000, 1996, 1992, and 1988. Historically, California is far more of a "red state" than Iowa. California voted for a Republican in nearly every election between 1952 and 1992. Perhaps we should disregard Hillary Clinton's primary win in this historically "red state."

by RP McMurphy 2008-03-08 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

The "Math Club"? I.e. the rest of the world who are following who is winning the nomination pursuant to the rules currently in place?

by dmc2 2008-03-08 06:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Yeah, it's also known as the Reality Club.

by rfahey22 2008-03-08 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck

Jerome,

It must be pretty hard for you to accept that Hillary has no chance to be ahead in the "math count" and that puts your candidate at a big disadvantage.  Your frustration would be better served in accepting Obama as the eventual Democratic nominee.

by mfranczak 2008-03-09 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck
Jerome and Todd are the ultimate hypocrites.
Todd "caucuses suck" Beeton, and Jerome "It's quite a bit of a handicap that Obama's being handed through his process-powered campaign" Armstrong, were both on board Mark "it's all about the delgates" Penn's bandwagon before the HRC campaign discovered it was going to lose that battle.
by haystax calhoun 2008-03-09 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Caucuses Suck
I prefer to vote in privacy and I don't want to have to argue with someone to defend my vote.  It is obvious to me that primaries are the better way to go.  I don't understand why caucuses were even started; I guess because they are less expensive.  That must be one of the products of capitalism.
I don't understand why everyone is so excited about Wyoming as approx. 8,000 voters turned out to the caucus.  Just that number shows that there is something weird about getting too excited.  I heard someone say last night that there are that many people milling around the streets of most large cities on any given night.
Did you know that Kennedy and Carter both won their presidential elections without winning the majority of the number of states?  Are superdelegates comparable to the electoral college?
by sarnorton 2008-03-09 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Why &quot;Math Club&quot; won't trump

Because "Chess Club" of superdelegates knows that to overturn the pledged delegate winner is the only way the Democrats can lose this fall.

I don't see how anyone can think that wouldn't happen.

by OH Mark 2008-03-10 08:19AM | 0 recs

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