Tag Archives: caucuses

Epic Confusion over Maine GOP caucus (Update)

There are tons of things that I don’t understand about our political process. One of the most confusing is the the caucus. In essence, these caucuses provide an opportunity to waste an enormous amount of time for actually no benefit. Notice that the caucuses in Missouri and Maine are not binding. Therefore, the delegates can go to the convention and vote for anyone they want. What’s the point?

Late Saturday night, we found out that Mitt Romney had a narrow victory over Ron Paul. There was some head scratching. It didn’t seem to make any sense. As a matter of fact, this whole GOP primary doesn’t make any sense, but I’m jumping ahead of myself. Why did Ron Paul do so well in Maine? On the other hand, why did Romney do so poorly? Over the last several days, other questions have arisen. In several cities and towns where Americans went and legally caucused, stood in line and registered their votes, for some reason, votes have not been counted. One county had a large amount of snowfall and was granted permission to hold their election this week. They got an official okay from the state Republican Party. Now, they find out that their votes will not to be counted in the overall tally.

Rachel did a great segment on this last night:

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With the questions about Maine and the complete three-ring circus that was the Iowa Republican caucus, there is a negative light cast not only on the Republican Party, in specific, but on the American electoral process, in general. It is hard for me to imagine that Republicans are that much worse at counting votes than are Democrats. Why do we have so much variation between how caucuses are run? How does the state choose between a caucus and a primary? It seems to me that the sheer randomness of how any given state chooses to do things is wholly inefficient. I just don’t see how this is good for the American people. Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, environmentalist (Green party), Independent or whatever, I just don’t see how this arbitrary craziness is truly going to represent our votes in the end.

What are your thoughts?

Update: Just to add fuel to the fire, the executive committee of the Maine GOP met on 2/16 and released the following statement – We are morons and we’re sorry that we screwed everything up. Oh, no, I’m sorry. That’s my translation of their statement. Here’s their real statement.

“We have worked diligently to contact town chairmen throughout Maine to reconfirm the results of their individual caucuses. These totals once confirmed will be posted on the Maine Republican Party Web site.

All Republicans are keenly aware of the intense interest in the results of the Maine Republican Party Presidential Preference Poll. In fact, I have had numerous conversations with Senate President Kevin Raye and Washington County Commissioner Chris Gardner regarding their concerns that the Washington County poll results be included in our final tally. As a result of these conversations I called a meeting of the Executive Committee to discuss this matter.

The results of the Washington County caucus will be reviewed at the March 10 Republican State Committee Meeting. The Executive Committee voted unanimously to recommend to the State Committee that they include the results in the final tally for the Presidential Preference Poll as their caucus had been scheduled to occur by the February 11 deadline, however it was postponed due to inclement weather. ”

How do you count the popular vote?

How do you count the popular vote? We’ve been hearing for months from the Hillary Clinton campaign that she is ahead in the popular vote. According to the blog 538, there are over 900 different ways to count the popular vote. All of them can be argued to be legitimately “correct.” He has included an excellent Excel table so that you can come up with your own permutations. Do you count Florida yes or no? If you count Florida to count them at 100% or 50%? The same with Michigan. With the added caveat of what do you do with the uncommitted votes — don’t tell them, count them for Obama or a portion according to the exit polls. Do you count Puerto Rico and other territories? Do you count the Texas Caucus? Do you count advisory primaries? Finally, do you use caucus vote estimates or do you blow off caucuses completely.

If you use caucus votes estimates, you ignore the Texas Caucus results much account Puerto Rico in the territories, exclude Michigan uncommitteds, exclude Michigan and count Florida at 100%, Barack Obama is up by more than 100,000 votes.

Abracadabra — now votes are important in primary

I have to admit, Hillary Clinton and her minions continue to come up with new ways to confuse the public. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away (December of 2007), Democrats were told that in order to win the Democratic nomination you needed to amass over 2000 delegates. Now, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and Pennsylvania Representative Jack Murtha, both Hillary supporters, who have talked about winning the popular vote. We’ve all heard it before, if Hillary wins the popular vote, then super delegates like sheep should migrate to her.

How are you going to add up the popular vote? In places like Iowa and Nevada which had caucuses, how do you figure out the popular vote? Remember, if your candidate did not get 15% of the vote that you had to choose another candidate. So, how is this going to work? since the standard has been delegates for the last 40 years or more, why are we trying to figure out the popular vote?

Just to continue this absurd note, how would you include or exclude Florida and Michigan? It seems that the only fair thing to do would be to exclude both of them. At the end of the day, what you accomplished?

If we Democrats want the candidate with the most popular vote than caucuses must go. Also, we need to change the rules at the convention not as the contest is going on.