Saturday, March 03, 2012

Raucus Caucus Redux

So I gave you the set-up, so I feel obliged to tell you how things turned out for the GOP caucus.

As promised, I slept in, though that had more to do with the head cold I'm nursing than any strong political attitude. However, it seems that not everyone had that level of common sense, and most of the staff of the Stranger went to caucuses, in some cases ending up running their precincts and being selected to go to the next level for nomination. Yeah guys, very funny.

The caucus was accompanied by a preference of candidate (which is termed a "beauty contest" but is really just a non-binding straw poll), and Huffpo reports with 90% of the vote in, we have Romney at 36.6%, Paul at 24.9%, Santorum at 24.4%, Gingrich at 10.6% and Others at 3.5%.  The votes also award 30 delegates to Romney, and 5 each to Paul and Santorum. This last bit is both premature and wrong, since there with be a county-level winnowing process, and then the state delegation selected from this.

Now, this winnowing can go two ways at this point. By the time of county and state, Romney can have enough delegates piled up elsewhere, which means everyone falls in line and goes with the inevitable. By the same token, a stated tactic for the Ron Paul supporters is to get into the process in this step as potential delegates for another candidate, and then declare for their man at a later stage (which is fair under the rules). Heck, enough members of the Stranger staff are going over to the next level to make up their own voting bloc.

The caucus did not go off without a hitch. The Paul supporters challenged the mainstream leadership, and there were cases of voters being turned away because the chosen venue was too small (that's good news for a party worried about a lack of enthusiasm, but has already raised the tweets of shennanigans).

And I got a bit of chuckle from this amusing typo in the Seattle Times reporting on Paul's electability versus Romney's:
Larry Hughes, a 71 year-old retired IT professional with a neat, thin gray moustache, shook his head. He recalled believing that Barry Goldwater was a much-need change agent, as Dukes sees Paul now, only to see Goldwater badly beaten.
“I see Goldwater all over again,” said Hughes.  Romney is the only candidate who can be Obama, he said.
(I think the speaker meant "beat Obama" as opposed to "be Obama", but I guess Romney could be Obama if he tried. I mean, he's been everyone else so far).

In any event, if you are interesting in how YOUR state is handling the primary season, a great resource is The Green Papers, which is process-wonk's Nirvana of all the minutiae involved in the primary and caucus process, and gives a ring-side seat to the convoluted and often messy process of democracy. Go take a look.

More later,