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Darth Paradox

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Caucuses [Feb. 7th, 2008|02:54 pm]
Darth Paradox
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The presidential nomination process comes to Washington state this month, and it's confusing.

There will be caucuses held on Saturday, February 9th, at 1 PM, at various precinct locations depending on party. There will also be a primary election on Tuesday, February 19th, all day long, at the usual polling places.

Here's the trick: For the Republicans, the primary and caucus each count roughly one-half for allocating the delegation from Washington state. For Democrats, though, the state-mandated primary is held but its results are ignored: all delegates are allocated via the caucus. The Democratic presidential primary is just a straw poll in Washington state.

To participate in the caucus on Saturday, you must show up to your precinct's caucus location at 1 PM. Caucus locations are set by the legislative district party organizations - their websites should have details. Important: your caucus location may not be your normal polling place! In fact, it likely isn't.

The caucus is essentially a meeting of party members, though depending on party rules you may or may not need to be registered as a member of the party to participate. The Democratic requirement is just that you consider yourself to be a Democrat and that you swear not to participate in another party's nomination process - no registration is required.

At the caucus, you'll sign up or group together according to the candidate you wish to support. A count is done, and then those groups without enough voters to earn a precinct delegate will be given an opportunity to join other viable groups. After this final count, each candidate group has earned a certain number of precinct delegates, who will go on to participate in a similar process at the legislative district and state levels. The delegates to represent the precinct are then chosen from each group according to the numbers permitted.

Of course, this all means that we'll only have an estimate of delegates won by each candidate when the caucuses are over - the actual numbers won't be strictly decided until the state convention, which I think is in April.

If anyone's curious about my own preferences, I'll be happy to elaborate. I'm also happy to help people find their caucus locations. (They're determined by precinct, which is the 4-digit number following your legislative district on your voter registration card.)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: kikiduck
2008-02-08 06:43 am (UTC)
I am working on Saturday. THIS IS VERY BAD TIMING.
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[User Picture]From: absurdhero
2008-02-08 07:43 am (UTC)
If anyone's curious about my own preferences, I'll be happy to elaborate.

Proceed.
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[User Picture]From: darthparadox
2008-02-09 12:39 am (UTC)
Well, having gone to the Obama rally this morning, I'm rather convinced now. I was already planning to support him, but hearing him speak and hearing about his vision for the country definitely improved my opinion of him.

I like a lot of what Clinton's had to say, policy wise. But I don't think a President can inspire and change policies alone - cooperation is required from Congress (y'know, the people who actually pass the laws comprising the President's platform, if they feel like playing along) as well as support from the populace as a whole. I think Obama will be more effective at leading in that way.

I also think he's going to have a better chance in the general election. He's capable of turning out Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike to vote for him. Clinton... well, she won't have much trouble with the Democratic vote, but she'll turn out the Republicans to vote against her, and I don't know that she'll rally the independents well.

And since I hate pretty much every Republican candidate there is, I'd really rather see Obama win.
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From: kernighan
2008-02-09 03:34 am (UTC)
You hate em all? Really? Even McCain? I like him for having strong, independent opinions. He works well with both Dems and Reps, and he's led well. I'm glad he beat out the other Reps... I think he's a good guy.
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[User Picture]From: darthparadox
2008-02-09 09:35 am (UTC)
McCain? No. He wants to see an open-ended commitment in Iraq. He's not a "maverick" so much as a panderer - he's been playing the "political outsider" card for nearly a decade now solely because he thinks it plays well politically. As soon as he realized which way and how strong the political wind was blowing, he changed from a strong critic of Bush's to a cheerleader for the war.

I don't trust him one bit. I don't think he's genuine, I don't think he's a good guy - I think he just says whatever he considers to be most politically expedient. If he were really a man of principle, he'd have been speaking out strongly against the Bush administration's use of torture ever since it was first revealed, and he'd be opposing the continued occupation of Iraq as a 21st century version of Vietnam. If he couldn't learn his lesson from that war, there's no hope for him.
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[User Picture]From: absurdhero
2008-02-09 03:32 pm (UTC)
Great points. I think he lost some of that plain-talking credit when he started twisting Romney's words about timetables. A vote for McCain is a vote for more of the same.
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[User Picture]From: absurdhero
2008-02-09 03:24 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you came to the same conclusions I did. I'd wish you happy caucusing, but it sounds like a pain in the ass. Hopefully Washington will make the process less complicated in the future...

I'll miss Clinton - I can't see her running again next time there's an open ticket on the Democratic side, and it would be politically unwise to run her as VP, but maybe Senate Majority Leader is in her future. She's just too much of a liability to run this year, especially when we can put a 'movement' on the ballot.
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