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Primary Elections

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I suppose this is more of a question for the Democrats, but really for everyone. And pardon the novel, but this year’s primary elections are really fascinating for me.

We all know that the Democratic nomination is going to be down to the wire, and likely decided by the Super-Delegates. Neither Obama nor Clinton can possibly reach the “magic number†of delegates based on the states’ votes. With the way the Democrats have the delegates divided in every state by the percentage of votes received, in a close race like this one there is no way for the candidates to get the full support of the party early. McCain got his nomination because of all of the winner-take-all states in the GOP primary.

Then there is the whole Primary/Caucus system, and Texas uses both to divvy up the delegates. It seems that the Caucus system works a whole lot better for Obama than Clinton, and not well at all for McCain.

With the Super-Delegates being the deciding factor, there’s a lot of back-door wheeling and dealing going on. Obama makes the case that since he has the delegate lead, the SDs should vote with the popular vote. Clinton makes the case that because she won the larger states (California, Florida, New York, Ohio, Texas in particular) that are needed to carry the Electoral College votes for President in the general election.

I also heard on the radio yesterday someone from the DC area say that they have been hearing from black people that basically if Clinton wins the nomination because of the Super-Delegates while losing the popular vote, that there would be race riots country-wide the likes of which we’ve never seen

So, first question is this…what do you think of the nomination process (for both parties – split delegates vs. winner-take-all; primaries vs. caucus)? Second, how do you feel about the Super-Delegates in general, and more specifically if either Obama or Clinton is chosen by them?

For my own answers…I personally don’t like the whole caucus system. Voting is supposed to be a private thing and it seems to me that the whole caucus thing violates that by making you publically declare who you are voting for. Seems to me that there is definitely the strong possibility of peer pressure at work there. I also think that the primary system more closely replicates the general election idea in that it is private and doesn’t take a whole lot of time (generally speaking). I think the caucuses will only bring out those who are very strongly committed to a candidate – strong enough to stand against the crowd if need be, and definitely strong enough to give up a few hours of their time to attend a caucus.

I’m really undecided about the split-delegates vs. winner-take-all. I can see positives and negatives on both sides. What I really don’t see much positive about is the idea of these Super-Delegates who will decide the results on the Democratic side. Party-insiders, some state representatives, but not one of them is actually ties to what the PEOPLE want – only who they think is best. There’s too much behind closed doors dealing here, and it really opens it up for an unfair or at least an appearance of an unfair advantage for one candidate. And honestly, the fact that Clinton does have a point regarding the larger states and general election doesn’t negate the idea that if she does get the nomination that a very good portion of the US will feel like she stole the nomination from them, and I do think that riots would be within the realm of possibility. Nevermind the fact that the Democratic National Convention is in my own back yard, or that there’s a group applying for a protest permit called “Recreate ’68†and who want to get violent protests going even if there is no real reason for it – let alone if there IS a real reason for it. So yeah, the whole Democratic Super-Delegate process kinda scares me at this point, regardless of which one wins because a lot of people are going to be very unhappy with the results if it goes that far.
post #2 of 21
I think there will be issues if Hillary loses the popular vote but wins due to the super delegates...even more so than it was an issue in 2000.

Super delegates and caucuses seem to be an outdated way of doing things, as well as the electoral college. It seems to be as a way to discredit the popular vote. We live in the information age. Things are drastically different than they were years ago. You'd have to be living under a rock not to know the issues and the candidates stance on them these days...
post #3 of 21
I don't like the fact that a few people get to cast votes for a lot of people - and its not like the lot of people all agree.

Why can't the election be won by popular vote - everyone gets to pick who they want in office and no one "speaks" for a lot of other people.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I don't like the fact that a few people get to cast votes for a lot of people - and its not like the lot of people all agree.

Why can't the election be won by popular vote - everyone gets to pick who they want in office and no one "speaks" for a lot of other people.
If we had it that way we'd be talking about President Gore!
post #5 of 21
I think each party should have a primary election day, nation wide, and the results collectively decide the candidate. I do not think that people should win states, either in the primary or the election proper.

Howard Dean has said he will not allow a big fight at the convention, so while it might be down to the wire, at least it won't be some to do. Also, it is still possible to get the magic number of delegates; there's a game on CNN you can play allotting the delegates in the remaining states and it's surprisingly within reach.

I think Clinton's rhetoric about being able to carry the big-electoral states is crap. Most of those states are solidly Democratic and will go that way regardless of who the candidate ends up being. California, New York, etc, are not going to suddenly go red just because a sort-of-majority wanted Clinton more.

What does matter is Obama's ability to do well in red states. Clinton will never do that.

This points out an obvious flaw in the primary system-- it doesn't always prove the candidate will win anything, just that they can win among their own party. Sometimes the person who wins the nomination is the worst candidate.

I take comfort in the fact that no matter what happens, we'll be better off next year than we are now.
post #6 of 21
Or split the 50 states into two 25 state elections spaced 2 months apart. Then the candidates could go campaign in a few states and everyone would get equal chance in voting.

Right now, you have it where the media, etc. decides which candidate they want to "support" and gives them plenty of coverage and ignores the rest.

Maybe before the elections - hold a few debates among the candidates - the people could decide who they want to support and go from there.

It would be far less money/time spent on campaigning across the country.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
I also noticed that in the states where all the candidates didn't personally campaign (like Colorado) it was the ones who did go there who got the win. That's kind of a "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" type situation - did they choose not to go to states where they were really far behind in the polls, or are voters really that fickle about voting for someone who actually visits their state?

We had 2 candidates and 1 spouse come to Colorado. Mitt Romney (at a car dealership, but about 1000 people showed up, when he was banking on about 300) and Obama (a large arena - it was packed), and Bill Clinton (same arena as Obama, also packed). The vote was decidedly for Romney and Obama.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I also noticed that in the states where all the candidates didn't personally campaign (like Colorado) it was the ones who did go there who got the win. That's kind of a "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" type situation - did they choose not to go to states where they were really far behind in the polls, or are voters really that fickle about voting for someone who actually visits their state?

We had 2 candidates and 1 spouse come to Colorado. Mitt Romney (at a car dealership, but about 1000 people showed up, when he was banking on about 300) and Obama (a large arena - it was packed), and Bill Clinton (same arena as Obama, also packed). The vote was decidedly for Romney and Obama.
You've got that! I think Mitt was the only Republican that went to Michigan and 38% of the republican vote went to him...If I remember right McCain and (maybe) Huckabee skipped that state.

People are already claiming victory on the radio for one candidate or the other. I was screaming at them on the way to work "They didn't get the total delegates require DUMMIES" (for lack of better term).

As for people rioting, yes they probably will.. I think anyone is looking for an excuse to riot at this point with the last 8 years down the hole that we'll never get back. The only true reason to riot is if Bush sneaks past an OK with Congress for him to be president the rest of his life.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
If we had it that way we'd be talking about President Gore!
now that would have been scary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
As for people rioting, yes they probably will.. I think anyone is looking for an excuse to riot at this point with the last 8 years down the whole that we'll never get back. The only true reason to riot is if Bush sneaks past an OK with Congress for him to be president the rest of his life.
i like how hillary is now saying she wants flordia and michigan to count.
and blaming it on the republicans Blame the DNC and mr.dean.

on a side note, clinton then bush signed on to give the US presdent the right to suspend elections in time of war. so dont count that out yet.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yeah, well, Rush Limbaugh is claiming that her victory in Texas is because of him. He told his listeners that since Texas has an open primary (you don't have to be registered to the party to vote for them), they should all go out and vote Hillary to keep the Dems in chaos.
post #11 of 21
I know. This is very exciting. Not to mention historic. I am pulling for Hillary. I would love to see a woman in the White House. I know she will do a wonderful job.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I don't like the fact that a few people get to cast votes for a lot of people - and its not like the lot of people all agree.

Why can't the election be won by popular vote - everyone gets to pick who they want in office and no one "speaks" for a lot of other people.
I totally agree - that's how it's done in Australia.
post #13 of 21
I received an education in caucuses this year. I'd never been to one before, and went to the democratic one in Kansas. The last time Kansas did this, there were less than 100 people who showed up at the caucus. This time there were thousands of people. It's the nature of the election this year that is causing the chaos with the caucuses. The place I went to did call in the police and fire department to maintain order - they thought we were going to riot.

After the caucus, I called our friends who have been very politically active all of their adult lives, and have attended many caucuses. When we explained what we had experienced, they were appalled. Caucuses are usually run very orderly, with open discussion, debates, and time for everyone attending to hear the views of all the parties. Even though there are usually a small group of people, they are educated on the topic before they pick their candidate. In a group that is usually so small, it doesn't really matter that you are doing this publicly.

I do think it odd that in a normal setting, a small group of people become the voice of the state. But as we found out this year, anyone can show up if they are interested, and a lot of people had interest this year.

Super delegates are a means to balance out public opinion with the interests of the party in general. As long as each state uses their own method to elect delegates, I think they are needed.
post #14 of 21
Simply put:

The Democrats will never get rid of the super delegates because it gives power to party officials (who voted for it, and would have to vote for removing it)...


The electoral college will never go out because then the congressmen would lose THEIR power(who voted for it, and would have to vote for removing it).


Bottom line, they're here to stay.....
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Yeah, well, Rush Limbaugh is claiming that her victory in Texas is because of him. He told his listeners that since Texas has an open primary (you don't have to be registered to the party to vote for them), they should all go out and vote Hillary to keep the Dems in chaos.
Right... this was Rush's fault. It had nothing to do with the Primacaucas rules that are set up in Texas. On As It Happens (a Canadian radio show) said the way the Texas vote count was set up was done by to a quantum physicist on some sort of illegal drug that was in a bad mood.

I would love for this country to be driven by the popular vote, but I don't think that's ever going to happen. I'd also like to see a total overhaul of election rules as well, meaning that people have more than one day to vote, banning exit poles and many other things.
post #16 of 21
We had a messed up election once again... Clinton won by more than enough that it probably doesn't make a difference to that. But still.

Three counties ran out of ballots: Franklin, Cuyahoga, and Sandusky. Two of those counties are where Columbus and Cleveland are. You know, where Obama won by a hefty percentage. In Cleveland and Sandusky, they stayed open late, but here they didn't.

This happened last time too-- how on earth could they not have figured this out by now!
post #17 of 21
I didn't even know they still used paper ballots here. I have lived in the Columbus area for 12 years and have voted in two different polling places and they both had the touch screens with the paper receipts.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denice View Post
I didn't even know they still used paper ballots here. I have lived in the Columbus area for 12 years and have voted in two different polling places and they both had the touch screens with the paper receipts.
There was the option of paper anywhere that had the computers because of all the terrible things that happen with those touch screens (they're easily hackable, they spontaneously select candidates that the voter didn't, they misreport, etc).

I'm not sure if any precincts still use paper entirely, I can't find anything that makes it clear, but the polls in Cleveland and Sandusky stayed open later because of the shortage, so I am postulating that some places still do.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
DH told me yesterday that if Clinton wins Pennsylvania, it's very possible that she could have the overall (nationwide) popular vote, but not the delegate lead. So then what?
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
We had a messed up election once again... Clinton won by more than enough that it probably doesn't make a difference to that. But still.

Three counties ran out of ballots: Franklin, Cuyahoga, and Sandusky. Two of those counties are where Columbus and Cleveland are. You know, where Obama won by a hefty percentage. In Cleveland and Sandusky, they stayed open late, but here they didn't.

This happened last time too-- how on earth could they not have figured this out by now!
Julie, please don't forget the removal of the tab that said "Please do not remove."

Election workers in Ohio are Rocket Scientists.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
DH told me yesterday that if Clinton wins Pennsylvania, it's very possible that she could have the overall (nationwide) popular vote, but not the delegate lead. So then what?
It's not going to be pretty. The Democrats may not be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Democrats usually win the women's vote at least marginally, and they win the African American vote by a large percentage. One of these groups will not be happy and will feel that their candidate was robbed. It's going to turn into an insiders game, the old smoke filled back room and if I was betting money on who wins that one it will be Hillary. They are the masters at that game.
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