February 18, 2008

If you think the electoral college is stupid...

Our state primary is tomorrow. Unfortunately it is kinda meaningless.

The state of Washington has both a caucus and a primary. We have had a caucus for some time, but a few years ago an initiative was passed to have a primary. The primary was supposed to bring more voters into the process. Not everyone is available to meet in the local gym to hash out the delegate count with his neighbor. Unfortunately the primary didn't actually replace the caucus, so now we have both.

The caucus was held February 9th. I was out of town, so I wasn't able to attend. It sounds by all accounts that the caucuses were very well attended. However, the well-attended 2004 caucus represented about 3% of the voters, while a well-attended primary represents 40-50%. Snohomish County has now gone to all mail-in ballots for general elections anyway. Why hang on to caucus anymore?

So in this weird hybrid system, the delegates for the Republican party are split between the caucus and primary about 50/50. For the Democratic party, all of delegates were already allocated in the caucus. As someone who is primarily a Democrat, it seems pointless to vote in the primary. Even as a Republican, McCain is pretty much the nominee. Except...

There are the super delegates to think about. After all the states allocate their delegates, there are 795 super delegates that may ultimately decide the Democratic nomination. These 795 people represent about 20% of the total delegates. There are 17 from Washington state, and it has been suggested that the primary may sway some of their votes. They certainly have no responsibility to follow the will of the people, (at this point they are running in the opposite direction) but if the primary results match the caucus, it could send a message.

If the primary doesn't match the caucus, it will highlight how messed up Washington's system is.

1 comment:

HB said...

It's all a bunch of caucus & bull.