The Price of Your Vote

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you have contributed money to one of our candidates for the nomination.  Maybe it was $2300, maybe it was $23.  Either way, you demonstrated that you're willing to pay to get your guy or girl elected.

Now let me ask you a strange question:  how much would I have to payyou to vote for the other Democrat in the general?  Don't get all huffy and insulted.  I am here to confess that I would vote for John W. McCain in November for roughly $5,000.  Neither Barack nor Hillary would need to pay me more than about 50 cents.

So, what's your price?  If you're for Hillary in the primary, how much would you charge to vote for Barack in the general?  Or vice-versa?  Would either one have to pay you more than McCain would?  

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A Hand of Poker

Somewhere, perhaps here, I read that election law in New Mexico calls for a tied election to be settled by a hand of poker between the candidates.  It's one of those factoids that, whether it's true or not, should be.  

The question I raise here is: what counts as a "tie" in an election like the Democratic primary?  How close does an election result have to be before both sides acknowledge that setlling it by a hand of poker, or a coin flip, is as "fair" as any other method would be?

Or, to put it in practical terms: should the last, most marginal primary voter or caucus-goer -- the one who gives Barack or Hillary the 50%+1 victory -- have more say in picking the Democratic Party's nominee than, say, 795 Democratic holders of public or party office, a.k.a. "superdelegates"?

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Are You a Democrat?

Are you a Democrat?  If you're not, don't bother touting your candidate for the Democratic nomination to me.  My definition of a Democrat is simple:  you are committed, today, to supporting and voting for the Democrat in November.  Otherwise you're a personality cultist.  You may be a sincere and sensible person, and I might agree with you on practically every policy question, but unless you are a Democrat in the above sense you risk driving me away from your prefered candidate in the primary.

This applies in spades to the candidates, as well.  My very first criterion -- the first question I would ask if I had the remaining candidates to myself for five minutes -- is whether each of them is a real Democrat by my definition.  The slightest hint from Barak that he would not support Hillary, the merest suggestion from Hillary that she would not work hard for Barak, the smallest intimation from Edwards that he would sit out the general election campaign, would disqualify him or her from my consideration -- in the primary.

I am not a "positive campaign" fanatic.  I do not expect our candidates to abstain from badmouthing each other.  But unless they badmouth the Republicans even worse, they lose my vote -- in the primary.  All our candidates claim, to one degree or another, that they can "reach across the aisle" to "get things done", but I will not vote (in the primary) for a candidate who scorches the earth on our side of the aisle to get the nomination.  That's all I have to say.  There's nothing after the jump.  I'm only one voter in MA, but (thanks to NH and IA) my vote still matters -- in the primary.  I will vote for your guy or girl in the general, because I am a Democrat.  Are you?

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MA Voter says: Thank you NH (and IA)

I am a Democrat.  That means I will vote for any Democrat over any Republican in November.  

I live in Massachusetts.  That meant, until tonight and according to the polls and pundits, that my vote would be irrelevant in selecting the Democratic nominee.

I am everlastingly grateful to NH for tonight's result.  That does not mean I am pro-Hillary or anti-Obama.  And I have not written Edwards off, either.  What it means is that I now have the chance (and the obligation!) to decide which Democrat I prefer.  I was always planning to do that anyway -- though to hear the pundits tell it, I was going to be swayed, if not stampeded, by the judgement of Iowans and New Hampshirites -- but now it will matter a little bit.

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A Rhetoric Tax

Having just watched the Republican candidates' debate in Iowa, moderated by George Stephanopoulos, I have a suggestion for our  Democratic candidates: watch Giuliani if you want to know what a front-runner looks like.  Hizzoner is a repulsive little man and a scam artist, but he understands something our candidates don't seem to: to win the Presidency, you have to beat the other party.  Giuliani bashes us Democrats, and our candidates, at the drop of a hat -- and he brings his own supply of hats.

The Democratic candidates need to get in on this hat-dropping business.  If they want to be the Democratic candidate, they have to at least pay lip service to the notion (the fact, really) that Republicans are mostly nuts.  

So I have a modest proposal for them: a rhetoric tax.

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