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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Slog Poll: Will Washington Matter?

posted by on January 17 at 11:17 AM

I was at the official opening of Barack Obama’s new campaign office in Seattle on Saturday. It was the first presidential campaign office to open here, and a sign that at least one candidate thinks Washington’s Democratic caucuses on Feb. 9 could influence the outcome of the Democratic nomination fight.

But whether or not we’ll actually influence the outcome is still a very open question. Super Tuesday—or, as many are calling it, Super Duper Tuesday—falls on Feb. 5 and, with more than 20 states and over 2,000 delegates at stake, it could easily end up deciding the Democratic contest four days before Washington gets to weigh in.

Or not. If it doesn’t, the next date for nomination contests is Feb. 9, and our Democratic caucuses (as opposed to the Feb. 9 contests in Louisiana, Nebraska, and the Virgin Islands) hold the biggest prize on that day: 97 delegates.

At this point it’s anyone’s guess as to whether we’ll matter. Which means it might as well be your guess. So:

Will Washington’s Feb. 9 Democratic caucuses matter in the Democratic nomination fight?

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Posted by Mr. Poe | January 17, 2008 11:21 AM

Are you asking whether the candidates will care enough to campaign here? Or whether our 97 delegates will make a difference in tipping the scales?

Posted by Gidge | January 17, 2008 11:25 AM

@2: Whether our 97 delegates will make a difference in tipping the scales.

Posted by Eli Sanders | January 17, 2008 11:28 AM

What Mr. Poe said.

Posted by Judah | January 17, 2008 11:30 AM

I would say our 97 delegates will not make a huge difference, but that candidates may well care enough to campaign here coming out of Super Tuesday.

Posted by tiptoe tommy | January 17, 2008 11:36 AM

Well, according to our state Dem party chair, at least two major candidates will be appearing here between Dec. 5th and Dec. 9th ... so that means it does matter.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 17, 2008 11:38 AM

Our votes may (or may not) make a big difference, but our $$$ do.

Posted by N in Seattle | January 17, 2008 11:39 AM

To think that it will be over after 2/5 assumes that 2/5 will be a landslide for someone. I highly doubt it will be.

Posted by Mike of Renton | January 17, 2008 11:41 AM

I think that pundits will be so busy huckabeeing each other in the days after Super Tuesday that the WA caucus won't get much attention.

Posted by stinkbug | January 17, 2008 11:45 AM

umm isn't obama leading by a landslide here? i feel like washington at this point is his state to lose, and the other candidates recognize that.

Posted by Cook | January 17, 2008 11:53 AM

Does anyone REALLY believe that a single candidate will come out the clear leader after Super Duper Tuesday? I think it will be a virtual three-way tie, with each candidate picking up several hundred delegates (and one or two outliers picking up maybe a dozen). Yes, our caucuses will still matter. No one candidate will have acquired the necessary number of delegates to automatically receive the nomination.

And so it should be. Any one of the top three can win. Any one of the top three would be immeasurably better than any of the nutbars running on the other side of the aisle, and any one of the three would seem like a fucking genius compared to the half-wit silver-spoon cokehead fratboy dumbshit sonovabitch who's been occupying our White House for the last seven years.

Posted by Geni | January 17, 2008 12:11 PM

I don't mean to be a dick, but EVERY 4 YEARS people in this state start to suggest 'hey, we could really make a difference this time!' and EVERY 4 YEARS they're wrong, wrong, wrong. Maybe they do it to keep from becoming totally jaded and giving up on democracy altogether.

Anyway, it ain't gonna happen.

Posted by steve | January 17, 2008 12:20 PM

....that said, I WISH Washington did make a difference.

Posted by steve | January 17, 2008 12:22 PM

Half-assed predictions are fun! I'll join in.

If Obama disappoints in South Carolina, he will have a tough time overcoming Clinton's leads in NY, CA, and elsewhere, and will likely get trounced on Super Tuesday. and WA will cease to matter.

If Obama does well in South Carolina, he would gain momentum and could build support in NY and CA. If he ties or pulls off a win in either state, he'll be unstoppable (especially NY). If he disappoints there, then WA will matter; it could be his last chance.

So ... maybe.

Posted by tsm | January 17, 2008 12:27 PM

How about posting the link the the GOP one since the Dem. Caucus doesn't count for anything under the new rules. The only choice seems to be to all turn out for Huckabee or Ron Paul since the GOP Caucus actually chooses delegates.

Posted by Mr. Yuck | January 17, 2008 12:39 PM

@15 You have the caucus and the primary confused. The Dem caucus counts, but the primary doesn't.

Posted by Mike of Renton | January 17, 2008 12:54 PM

@15 - the Dem caucus is the only one to count - the Dem primary is just a beauty show that gets NO delegates. The GOP has half the delegates from their caucus and the other half from combat-avoiding scum who don't want to serve in Iraq ... oh, sorry, I meant from the Primary.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 17, 2008 1:42 PM

Hey Will in Seattle, if you don't check the comments in this Slog post, you'll feel very, very embarrassed on February 9.

Posted by N in Seattle | January 17, 2008 1:57 PM

The more I study the democratic primary system, the more disgusted I become with how undemocratic it and the DNC are. This article explains how Florida and Michigan will not have a vote in who the Democratic Nominee will be!!!!:

Posted by tek | January 17, 2008 2:06 PM

I seem to remember the Republicans having no primary at all in 2004. Would that be better?

Posted by Mike of Renton | January 17, 2008 2:12 PM

@20 Of course not, and your point is? For the DNC to flush the voting rights of two states down the toilet bothers me. And this decision stinks all the more given the history of voting rights in Florida. Instead of Bush Inc sticking it to them, its the DNC.

Posted by tek | January 17, 2008 2:41 PM

Yes. Sorta.

At the rate we're going, things won't be settled Feb 5. Nobody is pulling big majorities anywhere.

But the caucuses Feb 9 are only our "first determining step", and we don't get around to real delegate selection til ... I forget.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | January 17, 2008 3:07 PM

tek, they did it to themselves.

DNC rules were clear -- no one could choose convention delegates within X days of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. Michigan and Florida set their primaries to be too soon after IA and NH, ergo, no delegates chosen in their primaries.

I suspect the compromise will be that delegates will be "chosen" later on, perhaps even partially basing the distribution on the results of the primaries.

Posted by N in Seattle | January 17, 2008 3:10 PM

What ever happened to an election? It would seem like the caucus is a way for the party to hold members and prospective members hostage for 6 hours, bullying them into making donations. Sounds a little like one of those time-share condo pitch meetings.

I'll admit that I've never been to a "real" caucus, but the reports of those that have makes it sound like a glorified middle school civics class project. ("let's play Election!") You spend hours trying to convince other informed people that they don't know what they are doing, and that they should vote for your crackpot candidate, not theirs.

I didn't get a chance to vote for Bill Bradley in 2000, and I won't get a chance to vote for Bill Richardson in 2008. Say what you will about those candidates, but don't I have some sort of right to vote for the candidate I want?

Of course not. The two parties in Washington have somehow hijacked an open election state into one that finances the balloting of a private organization. If the Dems or GOP want to have a private election, let those bastards (and the suckers at their caucuses) pay for it!

Posted by Sir Vic | January 17, 2008 3:13 PM

The only thing WA contributes to presidential races is making sure we deliver to the Democractic nominee in the general election.

The last two elections have been extremely close in electoral college terms. In recent years the Dems have come to rely on/assume they are getting all three west coast states and the northeast, while slugging it out in the great lakes to eke out the win. It's the union versus the conferedacy every freaking 4 years.

If Florida could count votes, WA voters could take pride knowing we prevented a middle eastern war.

Posted by just win baby | January 17, 2008 3:40 PM

@23 Why did the DNC make those rules? Why are those rules more important than the rights of Florida and Michigan to Vote? As an aside how does the DNC in denying the voting rights of Florida help the Democratic Party? If the DNC denied your right to pick the Dem Nominee, how would you react N in Seattle? The DNC with this bold dick head move might of already lost Florida and Michigan for the Democrats.

Posted by tek | January 17, 2008 4:02 PM

Look, the prob is that the MSM and the powers that be want Iowa and NH to be first in the nation, and keep front-loading the election with the states in the Eastern half of the USA.

It makes no sense, of course, given where our current population lives.

Just like the Electoral College, that was created so the Elites could keep down the masses (no, that is not a joke).

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 17, 2008 5:19 PM

@26 You might ask why Michigan and Florida Dems voted for those rules before violating them.

Posted by Mike of Renton | January 17, 2008 5:20 PM

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