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January 18, 2008

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Edwards is out, not because of IA or NH but because the DLC doesn't want him and because the media is ignoring him. The Corporations are happy to have the race between 2 'acceptable' candidates. So I will vote for Edwards in our Feb primary despite his being pegged as a loser.

If a yellow dog turns out to be the Democratic candidate for president, I'll vote for him, her, or it. And if by some horrid twist of fate a Republican wins the election, well, I don't know what.

The only legitimate goal here is to beat the Republicans. So do whatever it takes. Please.

John, I'm just talking about the primary. I'm in the same boat as you for the general.

The whole point of the Democratic Party rules are to force you to choose among those candidates who, at the time you vote, are viable. This is why we have the 15% viability rule at the primary or caucus level -- and at all levels of selection. The point is not to have candidates who are not going to be able to achieve nomination, still sticking around. Once we adopted rules that eliminated the broker or the old smoke filled rooms, the whole point was to force actual democratic voters to make a selection among those capable of getting to a nomination.

Sara, but unlike caucus rules, there is no Democratic Party rule that limits viability of candidates who do not perform well in the early states. It is all based on perception (especially media perception) and relies on voters following conventional wisdom. Thus, there is a very simple solution for those who don't want Iowa or New Hampshire to have such extreme influence: Don't give it to them

I agree to some extent on changing the schedule EP. I managed about ten years ago to get a proposal in our state platform that would reform the system.

My plan -- five specific dates for either caucuses or primaries. The states would be grouped by timezone, with Alaska and Hawaii put in the mountain states, because they have the least population. The fifth -- actually the first primary would be in the state with the smallest population in each timezone -- this would go first, and allow for retail politics. The timezones would rotate, with ET first, and then in the next election cycle, CT would be first, etc. Where a timezone divides a state, the weight of population would decide the timezone.

Primaries and Caucuses would be three weeks apart, beginning in second week of March. It would be over by Memorial Day.

To do this you would need agreement between the DNC and the RNC, and then Federal Law.

Why do we still have Caucuses instead of all Primaries?

Alyx, we have Caucuses because a goodly number of State Parties (and even State Law) require them, and prefer them. Both National Committees give states the choice. The DNC rules are very complex, but I think you will find that caucus states are more liberal or progressive and have more healthy parties.

The DNC rules are very complex, but I think you will find that caucus states are more liberal or progressive and have more healthy parties.

Sara is far and away the expert on caucuses, but I have to take some exception to this point, or at least ask how it was arrived at! The "health" of a state party is difficult to measure -- for example, here in New York the Democratic party is very powerful but also very top-down, and it's debatable whether that's healthy -- but the "liberalism/progressivism" of a state is something where I think we can more readily find consensus.

The caucus states, I believe, are Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. At best I'd call, out of those thirteen states, four or five of them as liberal-bent -- Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, Washington and maybe Louisiana, two of which were battlegrounds for Kerry in 2004 but by no means strongholds, and the last one is actually solidly red. In contrast, the states I'd put at the top of the list for liberalism -- Massachusetts, New York, California, Rhode Island -- all have primaries.

Put another way, if you consider the final 2004 map, every one of Kerry's 8 strongholds is a primary state, of his five weaker holds three had caucuses, and of his six battlegrounds one (Minnesota) has caucuses. That's four caucus states for Kerry, and the remaining nine caucus states are red.

I would think given from what we have learned and seen about caucuses we would just do away with them and just vote like you do in a primary. From all the hemmin and hawin I have seen and that it's not an excact figure any political structure can win they day if they did not. I still do not get why we have the electoral college either. I say forget all of that and just vote. Winner takes all and make it simple, otherwise it seems that it is not an exact science here.

Short version: A vote that changes after Jan. 3 is a vote against the power of one's own state primary.

emptypockets, I never considered this before, but I think you're dead-on. Can't tell you how pissed I am (as one who has lived only in Super Tuesday states) that I'm now forced to deny either my idealism or my pragmatism. I'm for everybody voting on the same day. Unfair to the little state people? I don't see how granting disproportunate influence to a select few tiny states makes everything more fair.

But just to stem the bitching, how about this: pick a different coastal, midwestern, and southern state to go first every primary season. Why in unholy hell should Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina get to be first year after year, especially now that their political infrastructures are so well worn?

ew said "as people like me go to the polls and vote based on the way we think the results will turn out"

How about this idea? Vote for the candidate with the best ideas. Be damned with what other people vote or think. This is about who would be best to lead the country. Isn't that what you're supposed to be voting on, not who you think will win? (Isn't it kind of self-referential and thus ridiculous for a vote to be taken on who you think will win the vote?)

Changing your vote because the other guy might win just shows either
1. How little the ideas between candidates differ, or if they DO differ,
2. How gutless one is about one's principles.

Never give in to opinion polls. Fight for your candidate until they withdraw. Make the election about ideas, not polls.

Cajun, excellently put! I agree whole heartedly, it seems it all seems politcally maligned doesn't it?

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