One may wonder - how is it that Hillary won the Texas primary by around 4 points, yet Obama is winning the caucus by double digits (around 12 points) - when they were both held the very same day, in the very same state, amongst the same voting population?

This excellent piece by Ann Althouse, whose son was on the scene, gives a great deal of insight into what really can happen at these caucuses.


Why are the results so different in the primary and the caucus in Texas on the same day and what does that mean more generally about caucus results?
There are allegations of irregularities in the Texas caucus process:

Clinton aides alleged that Obama allies locked Clinton supporters out of caucus locations and illegally signed up participants before the so-called precinct conventions opened the doors to voters....

The Obama campaign made similar complaints against Clinton supporters throughout the day, illustrating the increasing bitterness between the two Democratic rivals....
More: "The complaints from the Clinton campaign include Obama supporters intimidating voters, giving caucus goers wrong information, and changing people's votes at those caucuses.."

Her son's first hand report gives a great deal of detail about what happened, please follow the link to read it for yourself.

He concludes:

What I've experienced and heard about directly is a very small part of the hundreds of complaints that have come in to the Clinton campaign. What I saw directly might not have technically violated any of the rules, but certainly was enough to potentially trick Clinton supporters into showing up late, and was enough to discourage Clinton supporters from staying to become delegates and alternates.

And his conclusion:

I left feeling like I could easily see why someone would not want to participate in the caucus. Just knowing how chaotic it can be really discourages people from voting. The difference between the primary and caucus results in Texas can be seen as an experiment that demonstrates the difference in results between those two systems, and much of that difference could be attributable to the shenanigans of Obama's base of fanatics. Right now, with less than 50% of the vote counted in the Texas caucus and 100% reporting in the primary, he's ahead 12 points in the caucus, and she's ahead four points in the primary. That's a 16 point difference in his favor in the same state, on the same day. Of the races he's won, 11 have been caucuses (12 if you count Texas), and she's only won one caucus (Nevada). What would happen to the math if you gave her 16 more points in all the caucuses?

Hillary and Obama have won exactly the same number of delegates in primaries.  His entire pledged delegate lead is based on success in the caucuses.

Should the superdelegates feel morally obligated to support Obama because of his pledged delegate lead?  

No way.


Originally posted to markusd on Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 09:44 AM PST.

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