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Jill Derby, Chair of the Nevada State Party, also spoke out on delegates as the results came in. She emphasized that national delegate counts are "based upon an assumption that delegate preferences will remain the same," when in fact they could change at the convention. Derby added a disconcerting line to hammer the point home: "We look forward to our county and state conventions where we will choose the delegates for the nominee that Nevadans support."

Translation: If this thing is close, "we" party insiders will "choose" for the rest of the state.

At least the sparring over delegates has forced out a rare political confession, helping expose the distortions of these party rules. And the reforms present themselves: Require binding votes, absentee voting rights, proportional measurement and a true popular vote.

Who came up with these rules? First of all, if Clinton won the popular vote (and that's an assumption, since we have no popular vote tally yet), then she should have a majority of the delegates. Just like in Iowa, second place John Edwards should've had more delegates than third place Hillary Clinton (he didn't).

But, once you get those delegates, they should be obligated to support their pledged candidate.

At the county and state conventions, those delegates aren't there to vote for "the nominee that Nevadans support". They're there to vote for the nominee they've been pledged to support.

It's a bullshit, nonsensical system. And I look forward, once this process is finished, to a comprehensive look at reforming our primary process.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:03 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  why do we always have to pick... (14+ / 0-)
      the most complicated and unfair way to do things? Elections are a total mess in this country. A total mess!
      •  But don't set up the rules, even if they're unfai (18+ / 0-)

        r, and then complain when they don't work your way.

        The funny part is for all Bill Clinton's moaning about how the people on the strip were going to have votes that counted for more, that was a big part of their victory as they won most of the strip.

        But now they're complaining that Obama got the most national delegates because he won the right counties?

        •  The moaning was exactly about this (7+ / 0-)

          disproportionate delegate allotment, one rule for The Strip and another for the rest of Nevada, mainly rural Nevada.  

          Read the suit.  It attempted to stop the unfairness of this delegate allotment, but that was lost amid the madness here about other points in the suit.

          Exactly this problem is predicted in it -- because The Strip's delegate allotment also was predicated on turnout differently than in the rest of the state.  Obama camp thought they'd get the turnout on the Strip.  They didn't.

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

          by Cream City on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:52:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe we shouldn't have moaned about Florida 2000 (6+ / 0-)

            Considering that the Democrats apparently can't run a fair primary season, perhaps we ought to STFU about the Florida 2000 general election. Apparently we wrote the (rule) book on election fraud, we treat that book like the Bible, and we're just calling the kettle black when we snivel about an election decided by Bush cronies on the Supreme Court.

            I think this corrupt process (Obama won NH and NV by delegate count, but not by popular vote) is going to destroy our party before November. In the Internet age, too many people will know they've been screwed by this process, and they'll stay home.

            •  Remember: delegates matter more than voters... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              if you're an Obama supporter.

              That sound you hear out there is reality knocking on the door. It has been standing out in the cold for a long time and it is not happy with us. - Jim Kunstler

              by Superskepticalman on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 04:58:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Bill Clinton: (0+ / 0-)

                "When you ask me that question, your position is that you think that the culinary workers vote should be easier for them to vote than anyone else in Nevada who has to work on Saturday ...

                Wasn't Bill Clinton criticizing the Nevada Democratic Party's attempt to make it easier for people to vote? Bill Clinton and his friends' lawsuit sought to make it harder for some people to vote, no?

                Also, Hillary supporters have been going on and on about how her super-delegates (party brass) put her in the lead even though she trails in pledged delegates. What gives?

                •  Ahem: who is celebrating his delegate victory? (0+ / 0-)

                  I swear; you Obama supporters rationalize better than Tom Delay.

                  That sound you hear out there is reality knocking on the door. It has been standing out in the cold for a long time and it is not happy with us. - Jim Kunstler

                  by Superskepticalman on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 11:06:02 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Wow. Good thoughts, overlander (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and worrisome.  A year to go, and let's hope we learn.

              "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

              by Cream City on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 07:13:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  In 2000 the Electoral College should have (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              homoaffectional, cameoanne

              given the Supreme Court the finger by electing Gore because he won the popular vote - that is how they would have made the institution relevant to this democracy.

              That is how delegates could be a good thing - but now they are just an obstacle to the will of the people.

              Have you ever signed a petition for a delegate to run or voted for one?  What did you know about them besides their party affiliation?  It would be worth paying attention to who you are voting for at all levels.

            •  youre right about Florida 2000 for another reason (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I live in Florida, and Carl Hiaasen said it best after the 2000 election.  He said that no one in Florida was surprised to see voter suppression, corruption and not counting all the votes when it benefited their side not to.  The real surprise was that it was Republicans who were the ones doing it.  For decades before the 1990's, Florida's Democrats rivaled Louisiana in their ability to be bought.

              I tend to think this is one reason why - with many purple states shifting blue over the past 30 months - Florida and Louisiana have been the two main exceptions.  The democratic machine has such a sordid history in these states, that it is unable to successfully capitalize on the the Republican implosion.

              "All the politicians shake their asses. Lookin' for the backdoor" - Sheryl Crow

              by eparrot on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 08:32:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  fair in whose eyes? (0+ / 0-)

              A political party choosing it's candidates, is NOT an election.

              You are free to join a party and influence it's rules.

              It's usually very easy to run as a delegate to you county and state conventions, not many have the time it takes.

          •  The System Makes PERFECT Sense (3+ / 0-)

            Kos says

            It's a bullshit, nonsensical system.

            But its not. Its a system designed by elites to maintain elite control over the process. Its a rigged game that maintains the appearances of democratic participation but that ensures the nomination of corporate-approved candidates.

            Saying that it is "nonsensical" is to pretend that this is accidental rather than intentional, that each of these features is anomalous and not truly systemic.

            The Democratic Party has a function within a larger system. That function is to keep the potentially most insurgent sections of the population (Black folks, the poor, workers, etc...) invested in the formal workings of the system without making substantive concessions to their actual interests. If the Democratic Party were structured democratically there would be a constant danger that the rabble might actually seize control of the machinery. This is impermissible and it is precisely whjy the comprehensive reform you "look forward to" isn't going to happen.

            Nobody is going to crash the gates of the Democratic Party. Those who dutifully stand in line will be admitted one by one on a probationary basis where their willingness to accept the terms of debate established by the corporate elite will determine their individual fates.

            The basic truth of the matter is that the only times the Democratic Party has played the role of "the peoples party" as imagined by so many here (the mid 30s and the mid to late 60s) has been when the rabble was getting out of control in the streets and they had to be lured back into the confines of the electoral game.  

            Sick of candidate diaries? Kasama!
            "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

            by Christopher Day on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 07:04:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Funny, the Democratic Party was pretty much a (0+ / 0-)

              dissarayed failure in the late 60s. Sorry but allowing Nixon to be elected, twice, is not the goal I have in mind when I think of strengthening the party. Your paternalistic attitude towards the dedicated democrats of Nevada is disgusting. Let them decide how their own election works.

              •  Its not patenalistic (0+ / 0-)

                towards rank and file Dems in Nevada or elsewhere. There are all sorts of ways to run elections, but they are not all benign. The super-delegate system, the 15% cut-offs are profoundly anti-democratic and suggest that these are not methods that come from the base but from the elites.

                Sick of candidate diaries? Kasama!
                "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

                by Christopher Day on Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 06:00:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  HRC's an outspoken critic of caucuses ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ... from way before Iowa.

              Obama team has championed the caucus system, tuned their campaign to it, and bragged about the advantage is gave them.

              A lot of people in this thread are frothing at the mouth about how awful the caucus system is.

              And a lot of the same sad sacks were slagging Hillary last week for raising the very same objections they're mouthing today.

            •  Opinions without background or basis. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Partially Impartial

              If you want to understand these delegate selection rules, let me tell you how to research it.  

              The DNC issued about a year ago the rules for selecting delegates to the 2008 convention, they were essentially those of 2004, they are only changed in minimal ways since the McGovern-Fraser Commission Report of 1972.  The Delegate selection rules become part of "The Call" of the DNC.  

              Once this is complete and published, each Rules Committee state by state reviews them, and since each state can adapt the rules to their own circumstance, they may get slightly altered. Any alterations must be approved by the DNC Rules Committee.  Once approved, the Central Committee in each state issues their state "Call" which includes their specific state rules.  

              It should be understood that it doesn't matter whether you use a Primary or a Caucus System, the means by which a state party selects delegates will be found in the same place -- the Call -- and they reflect the same basic principles laid down by the McGovern-Fraser Commission.  

              So what principles are behind the Democratic Rules in both the National Call or the State Calls?

              1. All state delegations at all levels must be gender balanced.  50% Women, 50% Men.  
              1. States must have an Affirmative Action Policy -- not a quota.  All levels of the party must be accessable without regard to religion, race, sexual orientation, economic class or gender.  States must have an Affirmative Action Officer who can certify no group or class was barred from the party processes.  In addition attention has to be given to properly representing age ranges.  
              1. No delegation to a higher convention (State or National) may obligate any delegate to vote in a particular way.  All delegates must use their own judgment on votes.  There can be no slating in the delegate selection process.  (The point of this rule was to eliminate the power of party bosses to vote the whole delegation their way -- let's say the Richard Daley way.)  But those electing delegates may quiz candidates as to preferences on both candidates or issues.  No candidate withdrawing from a race may commit delegates to another candidate.  They can recommend, they cannot order a delegate how to vote.  
              1. The governing bodies over delegate selection processes are a)the Rules Committee of the body to which a delegate is elected, or, b)The Credentials Committee.  These committees have authority to conduct investigations, hold hearings, and make reports to the Convention to which they are tied.  The Committees can have Majority and Minority Reports if there is disagreement, and the convention shall vote between these reports.  There is a threashold for minority reports -- if I remember rightly it is 25% of the membership of the full committee.  The reports of these committees are final once they have been agreed to by the convention.  

              Since a political party is a private entity, and these rules are essentially the by-laws of how we self govern -- the courts have no business in the primary or caucus process, something the Nevada Supreme Court Judge said last week when he denied the appeal of the at large caucuses.  Thus if you think something was wrong with the Nevada Caucus last Saturday -- write up your report and take it to the Rules or Credentials Committee.  Those are the governing bodies, and they can investigate and recommend a ruling to the conventions.  

              I once served as co-chair of the State Convention Credentials Committee, and we got a complaint from two state delegates that they were being harassed by the former County Treasurer of the Party.  He was driving around shooting out their barn lights (the two women were Lesbian Farmers) and he slashed their tires.  It was, essentially, nightriding.  The case had problems as the women had two farms, one in Minnesota near the river, and the other about two miles away, but in Wisconsin.  He also left threatening notes on their cars.  They made local police reports -- but the small town cops did nothing, as the Perp was apparently a local "big boy" and he was also chair of the anti-abortion organization in several counties.  

              So as Chair I got the party lawyer to request the police reports -- I got the two women to re-write their complaint as a complaint, and collect documents -- bills for replacing tires, for instance, would be documentation.  Then I announced a hearing, and the whole thing -- evidence and committee debate took 17 hours.  We recommended the Perp be removed from the convention and alternates seated, and we recommended the State Chair and County Chair meet with the local police and Country  Attorney regarding the case. In the process we discovered the county Party org. did not have an Affirmative Action Officer -- we required they elect one, and provide for training of the officer in State Law regarding discrimination based on Sexual Orientation.  Best we could do -- but it hasn't happened again.  The convention backed our majority report all the way -- and yes, it was done on the floor of the state convention.  

              All I am saying is if you haven't gotten involved and discovered how our party rules work, and the background as to why they are as they are -- please do that before you run off to State or Federal Court. Read the applicable Calls, read the reports of the Rules and Credentials committees to the DNC, and the notes on their deliberations.  

              Never forget that short years ago, this was a party largely run by big city bosses who cut the deals, and the Southern Segregationists.  You may not like what kind of surgery was necessary to eliminate their power -- but at least I hope you consider it before forming opinions.  

              •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

                for the detailed response. I was aware of much of that, but not all.

                My point is that despite whatever surgery reduced teh influence of bosses and segregationists, the system is still effectively stacked in favor of pro-corporate candidates. This is not to say that many party officials aren't sincere in their progressive views on matters of sexuality and more, but that at the end of the day the range of acceptable opinion is effectively dictated by corporate elites (who understand taht in order to fulfill its function a certain amount of largely empty anti-corporate rhetoric must be tolerated).

                Sick of candidate diaries? Kasama!
                "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

                by Christopher Day on Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 06:08:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Cream, Billary's people control the process (0+ / 0-)

            In one precinct that Obama won, I heard that the people were told they could volunteer to be a delegate and they would be informed later as to who was chosen.  This is clearly a violation of the rules.  The caucusers were supposed to vote for delegates.  In our precinct the Billary people kept trying to get their hands on all of our delegate papers.  They were willing to do anything they could to win just like the sleazy, stand-for-nothing Clintons.

            •  Again, repeating Republican talking point (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zinger99, emsprater

              right away in your header discredits the rest.

              "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

              by Cream City on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 09:06:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  "Billary" ..... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              qwerty, zinger99

              Wow, the rest of what you have to say has to be so 'unbiased'.


              "Hillary Hate" is a disease that will not be cured until after the primaries.

              by emsprater on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 09:07:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Billary is acceptable. I prefer HillBill (0+ / 0-)

                Is there any doubt after watching the last week that these two are running as a team, that the entire Bill Clinton political machine is the behind the scenes muscle of the Hillary campaign, or for that matter that he won't wield considerable influence should they retake the white house?

                Plus Hillary supporters are more than happy to tout the 2-for-the-price-of-one nature of this campaign when it's to their advantage in gaining votes. Why not just call this campaign what it is, the Hillary and Bill campaign, or as I shorten it, HillBill '08.

        •  The worst thing is (9+ / 0-)

          Bill Clinton doesn't mind that he's a superdelegate with thousands times more votes than anyone else. Superdelegates are perfectly fine by him, since Hillary leads with him.

          "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

          by jfern on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:15:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Because certain people like it this way (17+ / 0-)

        It's how they retain their power over the rest of us.

        Fred Thompson doesn't take naps, naps take Fred Thompsons.

        by Hannibal on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:11:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (6+ / 0-)

          The two-party duopoly is designed to keep a small group of elites in control of our political system while create a facade of democracy.

          The first step to solving this problem is admitting that we have it. Progressive Democrats need to realize that their own party is structured to keep progressives out of power.

          This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

          by GreenSooner on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:48:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They won't. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            They've bought the tribalist ideological scam hook, like, and sinker. The (D) power structure is busy telling them to bark at the (R) side of the aisle, just like the (R) power structure is busy telling them to bark at the (D) side of the aisle.

            Only the "tin foil hatters" understand that the (D) power structure and the (R) power structure are one and the same: capital, doing a very good job of getting the public to fight amongst themselves rather than against their oppressors, to whom they continue to send piles and piles of hard-earned dollars, to be sequestered away and inherited by the next generation of capital...

            ...which will continue to "hold office" election after election after election as a result.

            People would rather "vote their gender" or "vote their race" or other silly identity politics tricks than wake up.

            It's the Jedi Mind Trick, and it works well on both (R) and (D) partisans.

            -9.63, 0.00
            I'm not a bleeding heart liberal—I'm an extremely angry leftist.

            by nobody at all on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 07:29:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              This system works well enough for 99% of Americans. Unlike you, I think our constitution is worth protecting, including the most fundamental requirements of our elections. The two-party system has produced the longest-running democracy in the history of the world.

              When you say the D's the the R's are identical, you are saying that you don't care that the republicans went to war in Iraq, want to ban abortion, gut social security, and "double Guantanamo." Maybe you are a republican.

              •  With the possible exception of abortion, (0+ / 0-)

                watch Hillary do exactly the same. Who will profit? Exactly the same people. Same as under Clinton the first, same as under Bush the first, same as under Reagan.

                Apart from the gender issue, there is no functional difference. Same corporations, same allegiances, same power structure. Slightly different wording to appeal to opposed "tribes" and keep the illusion of your "two party system" afloat, but identical policy effects.

                You have been had, mate.

                -9.63, 0.00
                I'm not a bleeding heart liberal—I'm an extremely angry leftist.

                by nobody at all on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 10:15:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Apart from the gender issue" (0+ / 0-)

                  Even if everything you said were true, some of us think that the bodily autonomy of half the population is more than a worthless little detail.

                  Loud proclamations that both sides are the same are heard as either

                  1. a call to revolution or
                  1. a call to inaction

                  Which do you think the typical, distracted, not-ideologically-committed American hears?

                  I'm not waiting for your revolution to act. If you won't participate in a system you suspect is rigged, then whatever your intentions, you've adopted a position that makes you the functional equivalent of that which you claim to oppose.

        •  Yeah, god forbid candidates have to campaign (0+ / 0-)

          In rural areas after Iowa and New Hampshire.

      •  So that the real political power... (10+ / 0-)

        stays concentrated in the hands of the few. You think they really want us to be able to control our own political process?

        The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. - Plato

        by robroser on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:12:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's the American way! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arkdem, beltane

        And also: crappy corrupt election systems minimizes the risk of the corrupt political elite not getting their candidate to win every single election.

        Clinton/Bush - changing the White House since 1981! Give the DLC another chance!

        by Zagatzz on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 01:34:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Er, we aren't the ones doing the picking (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xerico, mimi

        I have had no hand in creating the process for picking nominees.  Have you, MountOlympus?

      •  No caucuses! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The problem is that the system needs to be revised right after the election at a time when everyone is electioned out.  If you wait until too close to the next election then everyone worries that the change will shift the balance to one candidate or another; it gets worse every year with the candidates effectively declaring years in advance of the general.

        Actually it might not be too bad a time to look into it now, just that it will not take effect until 2012.  Maybe we ought to start a thread to start whacking one out.  

        There seem to be two problems.  First, if you start out with a big state than all of the candidates will have to come up with lots of money right out of the gate.  This will favor known candidates (i.e., established politicians or celebrities); that's not too healthy for either pary.  The small state approach lets the candidates show their stuff via retail politics; the main problem here is that the states that are serving as the nursery for the candidates are not really reflective of the Democratic party as a whole:  Iowa, SC and Nevada tend to vote GOP and NH barely votes Democratic in the general so we are testing our candidates in states that they probably won't carry.

        Instead of Nevada, Oregon should have been added as a small early state.

        Caucuses need to be done away with.  They make it very difficult to participate and you can easily end up with electioneering rather than voting.

        --- Democratic mantra for '08: It's the EVERYTHING, stupid!

        by KingBolete on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 10:22:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  So sue! (7+ / 0-)

      Many of these rules and others as problematic were cited in the lawsuit that was so dissed on this site.

      Who came up with these rules?  Same as in any state, the rules are set by the state party -- and approved by the national party.  Take it up with Howard Dean.

      Or sue!

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:11:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So what else is new? (3+ / 0-)

      Back when, only free white male property owners over the age of thirty could vote. The entire Electoral College scam was set up so that if the people voted against the best wishes and wisdom of the oligarchy of that time then their popular vote could be overridden.

      I saw a NV delegate on CNN tonight describe the next two series of caucuses/votes he'd have to survive to be a Denver delegate. If he gets that far, he'll only be bound to his pledged candidate for the first two rounds of voting.

      It's all fluid except for the part where the people may actually vote for the people. If that happens, the grown ups can take it away from us.

      "He not busy being born is busy dying." R. Zimmerman

      by RUKind on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:36:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! (0+ / 0-)

        Back when, only free white male property owners over the age of thirty could vote. The entire Electoral College scam was set up so that if the people voted against the best wishes and wisdom of the oligarchy of that time then their popular vote could be overridden.

        I love when explaining this to so many people people, and one thing is common for a number of them from frighteningly diverse political stripes --- they all seem to come up with some bullshit obfuscation to explain why it's "OK" or "not so bad"...

        ...these imbeciles (and believe me, there are quite a few Democrats among the lot)  should be nicknamed the Electoral College Apologist Coalition.

    •  Hillary did win the popular vote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      if Clinton won the popular vote (and that's an assumption, since we have no popular vote tally yet), then she should have a majority of the delegates.

      If you average out the perrcentages of the 17 county totals you get Obama 46.72%, Clinton somwhere around 40%, and Edwards around 10%. This gives a more accurate idea of who did best in each county, but how many people voted, we have no idea! A larger percentage of a smaller number of people shouldn't mean you win.

    •  Jesus H. Christ! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim J, zinger99, PhilW, dogtracks

      Somebody please pass the cheese to go with all this whine!

      Hillary Clinton won Nevada.  Get over it.

    •  How delegates are chosen (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qwerty, homoaffectional

      Sorry to jumpt to the head of the class. I knew absolutely nothing about how the caucuses worked or how delegates were chosen. So I found this helpful quick primer and thought it might be useful to anyone like myself who did not know how the process worked..
       Once I learned how it works I am outraged, this is process worse and compounds the use of the electoral college. How many ways can the American people be disenfranchised?

      "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality." --Dante

      by arkdem on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 06:18:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not surprised to see this (12+ / 0-)

    Who thought of the idea of Nevada presenting some sort of reform in the system. All we get is undemocratic elections.

    Clearly, we need a national primary in '12.

    "People hate Bush and hate this war. It's that simple, and it's been true for quite some time" - Atrios

    by atrexler on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:07:02 PM PST

    •  How Do You Do a National Primary (3+ / 0-)

      without making it a big money private affair?

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:11:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  National primary: (7+ / 0-)

      No one without $100 mill in the bank and a ton of name recognition could compete.

      Here's an idea that hasn't been proposed: go in alphabetical order. That way it's completely random and favors no one in particular, and all candidates can stay in the race a while until a friendly state comes up. Start with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas. Only Arizona would be expensive to run in, the other three are relatively cheap. Then go to California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware. California is obviously a big fish, but someone could still win without it by running well in the other three. And on and on through Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

      It just seems like every other option leads to some kind of bias.

      The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:12:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's the most absurd idea ever (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenSooner, jxg, sacrelicious, dkmich

        Why should voters in large states have no say?

        •  they should (6+ / 0-)

          but small states will never go for a system that gives CA/TX/NY/FL all the power, and less well-funded candidates deserve a shot. Randomness is the only answer.

          The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

          by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:14:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why do moneyless candidates deserve a shot? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jxg, freespeech

            No one has ever really explained that to me. I can't imagine a possible reason why the qualifications for winning a primary should, in principle, be any different than those for winning a general election.

            And if the corrective measure proposed is to deprive 2/3 of us of  a meaningful primary vote, well, fuck that.

            •  who are these 2/3 of us without a say? (0+ / 0-)

              Last time I checked, something like 27 states will have voted on or before February 5. The only super-big state not included in that list is Texas, and it's their own fault for not moving up to Feb 5 as planned. Both of my home states (biggish Illinois and gargantuan California) did so to increase their clout.

              It's not as if Alaska is deciding the nomination. Indeed, all of the states that have voted at this point (Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada) will be critical battlegrounds in November. Plenty more swing states are voting in short order (Florida on Jan 29, and on Feb 5: Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico). And as I said, plenty of well-populated states are having a huge say in this process. So I don't see that 2/3 of us are being disenfranchised.

              The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

              by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:26:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Why have any vote at all? (9+ / 0-)

              Just compare bank accounts.  

              That's all you're doing if the large states go first.  Effectively, you're depriving three-thirds a meaningful vote.

              •  It's not about money, it's about representation (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                If you can get your message out without money, then you don't need money.

                Just because you don't have money doesn't mean that millions of us should be forced to sit on the sidelines and watch as you pander to Iowa, instead of us.

                •  Mike Huckabee (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TaraIst, Geotpf, MattR, beltane, not a cent

                  If the first Primary was New York or Cali, Huckabee wouldn't even have been able to enter the race.  Cost prohibitive.  In a small state, he could meet with people (think of it; actual PEOPLE) and, even running ads, the rate cards are much cheaper.  NY & Cali (for example) are entirely run through TV ads, which are incredibly expensive.  Turns out, whacko that he is, The Huckster had a message a lot of Rethugs liked.  He had a legit shot to go all the way, had he taken SC.  The end result may be that he loses, but the debate of the other candidates must move over a little in recognition that the guy had a message the rank and file wanted to hear.

                  Now I could give a ratz azz what happens to that demon spawn Huck, but the Democratic Party has had and will have our own Huckabees.  And, yeah, I want them to have a shot (even if it pisses people in bigger states off) and, yeah, it can only be done with the small states going first until you get money entirely out of the system.

                  I am sorry you don't feel sufficiently pandered to.

                  •  The Pandering is secondary (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    not a cent

                    I want a vote, and I want it to be of equal weight and at the same time as everyone else's. Only in this bizarre process is that controversial.

                    •  I lived in NJ most of my life (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      and it never bothered me that we voted late.  My vote was still my vote and I cast it according to my conscience.  And I haven't seen the formula anywhere that says my vote is weighted less than any other vote.

                      If you believe your own vote is worth less, based simply on others getting to go earlier, that's a problem that goes deeper than any change to the electoral system can cure.

                      Heck, this year, the late states might even be determinative.

                      Personally, I see no greater democracy served, nor any other virtue, by simultaneous voting or being among the first.  I really don't.  I find the concept of a national primary to be absolutely anti-democratic and I fail to see how such a system could possibly result in better quality candidates.

                      Then there is always the more cynical view:  "If voting changed anything, they would make it illegal."

                  •  We did have our own Mike Huckabee (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Bill Clinton circa 1992, was a relatively unknown governor of a small state running without a lot of money.

                    There should be a lottery to pick the states. Then each state goes in that order over a 4-6 month period. This would decompress this ridiculous primary schedule and would allow everyone to get the same retail politicking that New Hampshire and Iowa enjoy.

                    •  bill clinton was a trusted servant to big money (0+ / 0-)

                      by that time and was heavily promoted by the big money that owns the Democratic Party.  They knew they could count on him.

                      Politics is not arithmetic. It's chemistry.

                      by tamandua on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 06:15:26 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  clinton gained nationwide renown for the worst (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        speech ever given at the 1988 convention, or maybe anywhere ever, largely because it never ended.  it just went on and on and on.

                        bill clinton is a brilliant man, and he has made many wonderful speeches since then, but the real reason he is so effective is that he is singleminded in his egotistical fighting for power.  his rule of egomania led us right to george w. bush.  and clinton is so amoral that he has been perfectly comfortable with cozying up to the bushes whenever it serves his purpose.

                        if hillary clinton is elected, things will not go well for this country or the world.

                        Politics is not arithmetic. It's chemistry.

                        by tamandua on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 06:21:11 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Wasn't NH all about his philandering? (0+ / 0-)

                        The Clintons play NH like a violin.

                  •  Flip side (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Heart of the Rockies

                    It is frustrating to live in a state where you don't get to vote until after most of the candidates have been driven out. As a California voter, this is the first time that my preferred candidate will still be on the ballot, only because the primary was moved up.

                    So while I see some value to a national primary, I agree 100% with your point that the present system allows non-mainstream candidates to have a shot. Otherwise, it is a system where the few annoint the one. Or is that already the case, anyway, and we just don't recognize it?

                    Not a Cent to those who won't fight torture.

                    by not a cent on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:06:27 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Just think (0+ / 0-)

                    We never would have heard about squirrel popping!

            •  Money (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dkmich, zinger99

              Trivia question: how much more money has Hillary Clinton raised than John Edwards?

              Trivia question: how much of that difference has come from donations larger than $1,000?

              That said, I'm an Edwards delegate here in Nevada, and if it weren't for the help of Hillary folks I wouldn't be a delegate.

              Kos' post takes a twisted quote and twists it further. He's expressing outrage at the wrong thing, if any outrage at all is warranted.

              Hillary should get the more delegates than Obama. She won.

              If we can find a way for that outcome to occur within the rules, we should do it, right?

            •  Initially (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, costello7

              at least, a lesser known candidate has some chance of gaining traction with the current system. I am thinking a national primary might be an improvement, but the downside is it would definitely eliminate qualified candidates who don't have the early backing/name recognition.

              Like B. Clinton, to be honest. He was such a long shot, no-name, limited experience candidate in the beginning. His support and money grew over time. With a one-shot primary, that never would have happened.

              Not a Cent to those who won't fight torture.

              by not a cent on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:52:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'll take the downside (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GreenSooner, jxg

                for a process that's fairer to voters.

                •  See I think it is unfair to voters (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  beltane, not a cent

                  to have a system that eliminates most candidates from consideration before the race even starts.  The current system is not great and the ability to raise money definitely influences who runs and who doesn't, but moving to a national primary or front-loading big states will prevent even more candidates who are qualified from getting in the race.

                  And I say this as a NY/NJ resident who theoretically would gain from a national primary.

                  •  One could make a case either (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    way. I have always lived in big states, my current state of Colorado being the lowest population by a lot.  And always felt I was handed a nominee.  But I do value the retail politics possible in small states.  I would hope there would be many more solutions than Iowa and NH vs a national primary--solutions that would deal with the issues of retail politics, big money, TV markets in populous states, timing, etc.

              •  This is just nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                beltane, boobs

                Lesser known candidates don't have a chance. Bill Clinton was not a "long shot, no-name." He was the overwhelming choice of party insiders.

                Last month, political scientists Marty Cohen, David Karol, Hans Noel, and John Zaller, published a fascinating study in the electronic journal The Forum entitled "Political Parties in Rough Weather." The paper concerns the effects of the McGovern-Fraser reforms that created our current presidential nomination system following after 1968.

                The authors conclude that while relative long-shot candidates were able to take advantage of the system in 1972 and 1976, party elites eventually figured it out and, from 1980 to 2000, were nearly always able to impose their will on the selection system. Clinton's win in 1992 is absolutely a case in point.  Click the link above and read the article. Clinton was the overwhelming favorite of party leaders going into the 1992 primary elections, as Cohen, Karol, Noel, and Zaller document.

                As for this year, the authors are somewhat agnostic about whether the system is changing or not. On the one hand, in 2003 (the year before the election is critical for the "invisible primary" of party leaders), leading Democrats failed to coalesce behind a candidate for most of the year, until at the end they broke for Dean.  Thus 2004 seems an exception, but it may just have been a one-time aberration.  If the system hasn't changed, the authors suggest, all signs point to a Clinton win this year.  

                This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

                by GreenSooner on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 12:09:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I actually kind of like... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...the alphabetical order idea. How's about 5 states a week for ten weeks, beginning in late February or early March?

        Over the years, you could even rotate the order, so that every four years whoever were in the first five in, say, 2012 are in the final five in 2016, and on and on.

        I'm sorry I overreacted. Really.

        by turnover on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:23:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  sure, why not? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Every other solution I've heard ends up favoring the big money candidate, the "centrist" candidate, the labor candidate, etc. Alphabetical would keep it totally random and would keep worthy candidates in the race for a fair amount of time.

          The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

          by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:28:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  kinda like they did with ballot order in NH (0+ / 0-)

          starting this year, they put everyone in alphabetical order but they choose a random letter of the alphabet to start with.  (Z this year)

          (and of course the fact that Clinton ended up at the top of the list and that candidates near the top have a natural tendency to do better was rarely mentioned to explain the results in the NH primary)

          •  You think you would be helping voters (0+ / 0-)

            by randomizing 22 names?

            In the New Hampshire primary, I'm informed, the voter had just one vote to make. It was not a consolidated election, there were not 10 or 15 things to vote on.

            Do you believe any number of voters showed up at the polls without knowing who they would vote for?

            Unlike the case of offices lower on a ballot, where high drop-off and a premium for the first-listed candidate can be identified, New Hampshire's method of aiding its voters to find their candidate seems extremely reasonable to me.  

            You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

            by Clem Yeobright on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:42:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm, Alaska first (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        frankzappatista, beltane

        I kind of like that idea.  The older candidates like Gravel (would he win as a favorite son?) could catch pneumonia at an outdoor January rally in Nome, Edwards could get a nice photoop in front of an igloo talking about fighting against global warming to save its indigent resident, and Kucinich would have to spend 10% of his campaign funds to find out that the judge won't let him enter the Anchorage debate.  Now what would Clinton and Obama do?  On the other side, Huckabee and Thompson could plan a campaign bus tour to Juneau, Giuliani could talk about what he would do to protect the Aleutians from terrorists, and all of them could have a huge rally in Barrow to open ANWR.

      •  A National Primary... (0+ / 0-)

        Would probably throw the whole thing into chaos. In this election, it'd virtually assure that no one candidate had a majority of the delegates.

        Feb. 5 is about as close to a national primary as we get.

    •  Screw the primaries (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich, KenM30, happymisanthropy

      let's just do an IRV style presidential election from the get-go.

  •  Reminds me of the old grade school line... (10+ / 0-)

    "Heads, I win. Tails, you lose."

    Harry and Rory Reid make the rules in Nevada. Then they complain about them. But, ultimately, they get their way.

    It's "old school," baby.

  •  may I suggest a mailed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, freespeech, Clem Yeobright

    ballot that goes out to Democratic Pary Members who have paid a membership fee to the party.  That fee covers the cost of the ballot.

    Have it be an instant run off done nationwide.

    No fuss no muss.

    I will make them have it. I will stuff their mouths with Gold!--Aneurin Bevan (on the NHS)

    by Salo on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:07:13 PM PST

  •  They're going to piss folks off if they tinker (6+ / 0-)

    ...with this thing.

    People are pissed off enough without adding this.

    •  So you want Nevada to look like Stalinist Russia? (0+ / 0-)

      If a candidate wins the popular vote by six percent but loses the state that is fine by you.

      Actually the "tinkering" as you put it is a built in feature of the system. It enables  the state leaders to step in and fix  these anomolies.  Of course alot of horse trading goes on but that is what these people live for. It is how the system plays out. It sucks and should be reformed but that is the way it is now.

      Obamaniacs screaming that they should win, even if they lose the popular vote, are embarrassing to a democracy. More indication that Obama is a Democratic Bush.

      •  How do you know that Obama lost the popular (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, BentLiberal

        vote.  The Party hasn't announced those numbers.  All you have is the delegate count.

      •  Wow a Red-Baiter. Thanks for the nostalgia. (0+ / 0-)

         So you want Nevada to look like Stalinist Russia? (0 / 0)  

        I'm not a partisan in the primary, so you err in ascribing my post to what you think is my candidate preference:

        Obamaniacs screaming that they should win, even if they lose the popular vote, are embarrassing to a democracy. More indication that Obama is a Democratic Bush.

        Unfortunately you and the other rabid partisans around here don't know how silly you look and how much you're damaging the site and the Democratice party.

        Your comment is TR-able for being unproductive and for attacking a Democrat.

        But it's not even worth my time to click troll-rate on you.

        Still thanks for the biggest laugh of the week: a red-baiter (from out of the past?) calling a Democratic candidate a Republican. LOL!

        I suggest a long walk in the fresh air. I know you will likely come back with more "commie" accusations, so have fun with that, but seriously, try the walk, ok?  Take care and I hope you feel better.

        Done with ya now -- bah bah.

  •  And I'm really glad you brought it up (8+ / 0-)

    I've been screaming my head off saying this all day, and nobody seems to want to listen.  I even wracked up a few troll ratings for telling people it was a lie that "Hillary won the most votes".

  •  Why bother to caucus at all? (8+ / 0-)

    Growing the Democratic Party is a good thing.

    by citizenx on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:08:16 PM PST

  •  It might be a great project for the blogosphere (11+ / 0-)

    To propose a comprehensive set of new rules for the Democratic nomination process.

    Barack Obama. Because we can do better.

    by poblano on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:08:18 PM PST

  •  As for the NFL Caucus, I have moved to the (8+ / 0-)

    Green Bay Packers since my Colts are no longer viable and my Bears never were and I really dislike the Pats.  

    Seriously though, we need to really look at the whole election process, not only caucus reform or removal, but the electorial college, election integrity and public financing.

  •  Why was the delegate system ever set up that way? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freespeech, peraspera, beltane

    Was it to provide an out in case the assigned candidate revealed himself to be a philandering manbot with close ties to our national enemies?

  •  Is Nevada the main (0+ / 0-)

    problem here?  I mean, are there certain states where it is less democratic (small d) than others?  You're saying Iowa is a better system than Nevada, right?

    •  I don't think that is what he is saying. (6+ / 0-)

      Edwards finished second in Iowa but got less delegates that Hillary who finished third, which just doesn't make sense.  I think it is more against all caucusing and potentail manipulation so the results really don't matter and the power stays with the party heads.

      •  It's about rural-urban power struggles still (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        today.  It's not really about caucuses vs. primaries, since the same disproportionate delegate allotment happens in some primaries.  Heck, it's still happening in state legislatures.  Check out redistricting in your states and see if it really made sense last time around.  Even so, it might not next time, depending upon which party is in power.

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:33:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  One person One vote (13+ / 0-)

    Fuck the caucuses and fuck the drawn out primaries. Run the damn primaries on a Sunday, everyone goes to the fucking poll all over the country, and you count the fucking votes one fucking vote per person.

    The delegates are not traveling to DC over horseback still, you know? Fuck this nonsense.

  •  Good luck with the Clintons involved (6+ / 0-)

    whatever they can do to muck it up they will......
    well they will send McCauliff

    CondiLiar Rice, enabler and war criminal

    by gaiilonfong on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:11:33 PM PST

  •  people forget the reason why states (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, peraspera, beltane

    have caucuses....ITS TO SAVE MONEY I would bet that after 2008 no more caucuses will ever take place.

    "We don't need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered" -Hillary Clinton, the dream crusher.

    by nevadadem on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:11:40 PM PST

  •  Everyone Agrees the 9 Most Terrifying Words in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, Hannibal

    the English language are "We're the people and we're here for our government."

    They just squabble a bit on which elites should run it.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:12:26 PM PST

  •  I hear this every election cycle... (8+ / 0-)

    Everyone always says that once this election is over, then we're really going to look hard at our election system.

    It never happens.  People forget it about the day after the elections are over.  

    I hope you stick with it, Kos.  Without a fair system, where We The People are the ones choosing, what is the point?

  •  the delegates to the county conventiona (7+ / 0-)

    are not "party insiders" they are just people who were trusted by the candidate's supporters to be delegates. Usually they do stick w/their candidate.

    I am getting sick of people who have never caucused pissing on the caucus system. With all its flaws, its the only example of participatory democracy we have.

  •  Not sure how they are going to work this (0+ / 0-)

    it sure didn't work for Gore in 2000...are they going to persuade a die-hard Obama supporter to change to Clinton or what?

    Not saying it can't happen, but it might be tough.

    As Kos says, this changing the rules of the game only AFTER we've played it has got to stop.  Either change the rules or accept the results, but don't change the rules BECAUSE you don't like the results.

    Never give up! Never surrender!

    by oscarsmom on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:12:48 PM PST

  •  Who won? (13+ / 0-)

    I mean really?  People turned away, media coverage that sucks, changed processes for no logical reason (why caucus now?)  Lawsuits?  Unions wanting to be right this time endorsing, it's more political than politics.  Pundits that would rather have "bragging rights" than pick the best candidate for the party.

    I guess a hundred million dollars can buy you something, but not a lock on the nomination.

    Right now, I feel cheated by the system because it doesn't seem to be working.  The media is picking the nominee, the pollsters and the pundits.  Talk about coercion!  It's bombardment.

    by Ellinorianne on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:12:59 PM PST

  •  Smoke-filled rooms (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jxg, oscarsmom, tom3256

    We actually got better candidates with less damage to party unity in the olden days when candidates were selected by party officials through back room wheeling and dealing. Not advocating a return to that, of course, but surely something better can be found than what we're currently doing.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:13:13 PM PST

    • (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      what we got was the period from 1865-1900 when our country was completely taken over by robber barons while the Presidents created of the regional political machines twiddled their thumbs all the way to the bank.

      Chester A. Arthur indeed...

      The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. - Plato

      by robroser on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:18:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hillary won. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Show her the money.

    And by money, I mean delegates.

    Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight.

  •  Good God, what a corrupt system (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sacrelicious, just another vet

    This is like the 1972 Olympic gold medal basketball game. If those in control don't like the outcome, they'll just keep trying till they get what they want.

    I used to live in Nevada and enjoyed my time there, but this is just disgusting. And BTW, it has Harry and Rory Reid's fingerprints all over it.

  •  So did all this second guessing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim J, EricRSINY

    happen after Iowa too, when Senators Clinton and Obama tied in delegates? I sure remember seeing headlines that he'd won, hmmm.

    work for justice, pray for peace

    by eleanora on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:14:17 PM PST

  •  the caucus system seem more like (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, wanderindiana, arkdem

    backroom Corporate raiding

    than it does a Democratic process:

    of one person, one vote!

    All Votes are NOT created Equally it would seem
    in caucus land!

    Last minute re-registration,
    and out-of-state "support-meisters"

    are especially disturbing too.

    It takes a long time to bring the past up to the present -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jamess on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:14:21 PM PST

  •  It is Nevada after all.........9 (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions." U.S.Grant

    by shigeru on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:14:26 PM PST

  •  From NYT (6+ / 0-)

    Mrs. Clinton scored a clear victory measured in the number of people attending the caucuses on her behalf.

    If that is correct...

    When it comes to speaking about the economy Hillary has been doing so all year

    by EricRSINY on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:14:28 PM PST

  •  Can someone explain briefly (5+ / 0-)

    why a caucus, and not a regular primary?

    Is there some sort of advantage to it?  I sure don't see any.

    And who's screwy idea thought that caucuses were just what the doctor ordered?

    LOL - you may answer one or all 3 (or none).  :o)

    "I believe in the promise of America." ~ John Edwards '08

    by Terre on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:14:41 PM PST

    •  from what i understand (6+ / 0-)

      it's cheaper to have a caucus because the party has to pay for it.

      This primary can't end soon enough. Too many stupid people saying stupid things. - kos

      by Marlboro Lite on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:16:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But local taxpayers have to pay for caucus (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marlboro Lite, jxg, Terre, phoenixdreamz

        sites, too.  Stories in Nevada press about costs of school sites, messes left by caucuses not following rules -- and janitors and some teachers did have to work today to open schools and clean up after caucuses (thus, the lawsuit, as those school workers then could not participate in their own neighborhood caucuses).

        Only the state budgets get off scot-free with caucuses, because states have to pay for primary and general elections.

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:20:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  OIC (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marlboro Lite, phoenixdreamz

        Thanks ML.

        I think if they MUST keep them (and I don't see why they must) then they should be done in schools or any building that has enough rooms to hold each of the candidates supporters.

        Instead of going to one room only, each supporter goes to their candidates assigned room.  If their candidate ends up not viable, they then leave the room and go to one of those that are left.

        Then, each delegate should be binding.

        "I believe in the promise of America." ~ John Edwards '08

        by Terre on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:22:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  seems like a good idea to me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Terre, phoenixdreamz

          of course, things that make sense don't always go over so well. ;-)

          This primary can't end soon enough. Too many stupid people saying stupid things. - kos

          by Marlboro Lite on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:26:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Uh, that is what they do (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the problems come if they don't correctly estimate turnout, as happened today in some cases, as happened in Iowa in some cases . . . and, of course, happened in some cases in elections, too.  Thus the long lines, not enough machines, etc.

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

          by Cream City on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:38:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know I'm late in replying (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cream City

            and so you may not see this, but I thought that all voters were in the SAME room, and then moved to different areas within that room?

            I'm suggesting completely different rooms, for each candidate, and then a movement to 2nd choice candidate/room.

            "I believe in the promise of America." ~ John Edwards '08

            by Terre on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 11:01:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Some did different rooms, if they could (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I read.  Some mashed many precints into one room, a mess.

              I.e., sorry, I see what you're saying.  It is a better plan, if facilities are available.  And there are funds for such facilities, usually charged per room, etc.  (Such as a school, which has to have funds from the party to pay for the custodians, the teachers told to work the caucuses -- thus the lawsuit, since they couldn't vote at them -- the cleanup afterwards, etc.  If the party doesn't pay for it, as I read happened at a lot of caucuses, then the local taxpayers foot the bill.  Angry Nevadans about that, I read.  Parties are to pay for caucus costs.)

              "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

              by Cream City on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 11:07:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Great! (0+ / 0-)

                I've been off all day, and I wasn't certain you'd see my reply.  Glad you did.

                Cost would be another thing I hadn't thought of, if they were "charged" by the room, but I can't imagine that it would be as expensive as a primary.  And it would be so much better as far as funny business goes.

                Anyway CC, thanks for the QUICK reply.  :o)

                "I believe in the promise of America." ~ John Edwards '08

                by Terre on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 11:17:17 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It certainly would be cheaper than a primary (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  but who pays is the problem.  States pay for primaries, and apparently Nevada did not want to do so?  Reports conflict on that.  State political parties pay for caucuses, and keeping them cheap frees more money for campaign costs.

                  Whatever, I am sure glad that my state has a primary!


                  "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

                  by Cream City on Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 08:20:57 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  About Edwards and Iowa (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If there's one thing this points out, it's that we have no clue who got the most second voters to support them, Clinton or Edwards, in Iowa.  Numbers there were state delegates, too.

    8% was probably a large enough margin to say for sure that Obama should have won, per voter choice.  But who should've been 2nd?  Beats me!

    "... politics has been divided between two types of people: those who want more people to vote, and those who want fewer people to vote." - Sen. Kerry

    by cdsmith on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:14:56 PM PST

  •  And then you have things like... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freespeech, arkdem, Hannibal

    ...Superdelagates... What the hell is a superdelegate?  Is it a delegate on steroids or something?  What makes them so "super"?  It sounds like like something out of a Nintendo Entertainment System videogame from the 80's...

    "Make sure you grab as many powerups as you can, enter the code and unlock superdelegate powers!"

    Seriously.. I don't understand any of this stuff at all!!

    I don't mind caucuses... I like the concept, personally...  being able to talk to other voters and plead the case for your candidate... I think that is really cool, personally!  And the best part is that there are no 49% losers in a caucus... a consensus must be reached which helps prevent the superminority from being totally shut out!  I like that!

    But this delegate mess is ridiculous!



    •  Superdelegates are perfectly fine (0+ / 0-)

      Since Hillary leads with them, superdelegate Bill Clinton sees no problem. He only sees problems in inequities that hurt Hillary, not help her.

      "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

      by jfern on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:20:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  South Carolina: 125,000 fewer voter than 2000 (8+ / 0-)

    Republican Primary had.

    440,000 today.
    565,000 in 2000, when Bush & McCain were battling it out.

    (They can't even excite the voters of South Carolina. Pretty sweet.)

  •  caucuses are undemocratic (15+ / 0-)

    beyond that, it's worth mentioning that when hillary came in third, in iowa, while probably winning one more delegate than edwards, her campaign didn't try to spin it as her having come in second.


    goodness gracious, thats why she received state delegates. Also, Obama won the popular vote in Iowa, thats why he received the most state delegates.

    For example, in Harry Reid's district, the actual vote tally was 35 for Hillary, 20 for Edwards, and 12 for Obama. Harry Reid and his wife were uncommitted.
    Based on these totals, Hillary received 3 state delegates, while Obama and Edwards each received one.

    Hence, even though 115,000 people participated in the caucus, the final state delegate tally was 5300 to 4700 or something like that.

    Hillary Clinton would not have received the most state delegates if she lost the popular vote.
    I can't believe people are actually wondering who won the popular vote.

  •  Counting Rocks & Desert? (6+ / 0-)

    According to the entrance poll & the "County Votes", Hillary won Clark County (the Las Vegas Metropolitan area) by double digits.

    About 70% of the population of Nevada lives in Clark County. So in order to give more delegates to Obama, the Nevada Democratic Party has to basically count the rocks & desert in the rural & less populated precincts as mattering as much as the voters concentrated in Las Vegas.

  •  More voters (12+ / 0-)

    turned out for Hillary.  When more voters turned out for Edwards in Iowa, but he ended up with one fewer delegate than Hillary, everyone agreed that Hillary "lost" Iowa, that she came "third place," even though she had one more delegate than Edwards and only one fewer than Obama.  The majority of voters in NV voted for her.  Whatever the exact division of delegates, we know who won the majority of voters in NV.  That's how it was evaluated on Dkos after Iowa, how it was evaluated in the press.  Why is NV different?  Clinton has momentum, she was the winner of the popular vote.  More people in NV want her to be the nominee.  There are super delegates at issue, as well as how the delegates from the drop-outs will swing.  Let's not pretend that her winning the popular vote in NV means that she lost NV.  Geez.

    Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night, but the flash that means everything - Henri Poincaré

    by milton333 on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:20:35 PM PST

    •  You don't know that. (0+ / 0-)

      there has not been a popular vote total released yet. All we have is % of the county delegates which do not equal popular votes.

    •  it took me forever to figure out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      what was going on with the delegate count when i saw it (before Nevada). and i tend to be some what smart!

      now i'm confused because some are referring to Obama's delegates as being the national ones, but it looks like that isn't a done deal until April. this is getting too whacky for my common sense to understand.

      i'm liking votes so much better, but hand counted of course! lol!~

      •  There are no national delegates (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        yet.  Anyone saying otherwise is wrong.

        When it comes to speaking about the economy Hillary has been doing so all year

        by EricRSINY on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:04:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, i finally got that part (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          straight in my head  ;) throwing spin in with the odd rules of this caucus is what scrambled my brain. plus, i'm from a straight up voting place! i wonder if i'll get the same lady i get every time i go to vote . .  lol!~

          •  Same here (0+ / 0-)

            from a simple state where you have to be registered in a party to vote in that party primary and all votes count the same...ok not quite but close.

            When it comes to speaking about the economy Hillary has been doing so all year

            by EricRSINY on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 04:41:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Kos... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    perhaps someone out there will pick up on this...

    When it comes to speaking about the economy Hillary has been doing so all year

    by EricRSINY on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:21:25 PM PST

  •  You know (0+ / 0-)

    I had forgotten the whole delegate selection thing, the stage AFTER the primary, which I actually participated in here in So. CA 4 years ago.

    Somehow managed to trip over the thing today while websurfing as I waited for today's results, and went to the pertinent site.

    Now I have the form which must be submitted to attempt to become a delegate.

    I know I'm all the wrong demographics, but maybe, just maybe.... Sure would be fun to make a little trip to Denver this summer !

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:21:46 PM PST

  •  Well said. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The caucuses are a 19th-century anachronism that is woefully out of sync with the democratic principle of one person, one vote.  Same with the superdelegates.  Let's get rid of both, and have state primaries be the sole determinant for who wins our nomimation.

    •  And who will pay for it? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big Tex, phoenixdreamz

      That's why states want caucuses -- parties have to pay for them.

      With the current state of the economy as well as many state budgets, you may see more states dropping primaries.  They'll certainly resist adding them.

      It may be the time to push this in terms of outrage, but these are not the economic times to do so.

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:25:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a good question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cream City

        I believe that they should be paid for by either the state or federal government, because I think that the cost of having an undemocratic nomination process is greater than the cost of having to pay for primaries in every state.  Of course, I also think that we should have public financing for election campaigns, but that's a different can of worms altogether.

  •  One Man One Vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Whatever happened to that rule?  Why hasn't it been fully implemented?  Why do we have all these arcane delegate and super delegate shenanigans?  Why do we still have the electoral college?  Why do we have Repugs trying to game the winner takes all rule in California but not everywhere else?  At the same time they claim to be worried about voter fraud. So they claim to want picture ID not readily available to some less monied folks. Ironically, a national ID card/drivers license could be a solution to some of these issues.  Of course, there would still be Diebold problems.  I think it might be worth the trade off in privacy to have the card and let everybody with a card vote and monitor the voting and counting and have real popular vote winners at every level.  And primaries the same way.  Otherwise, the insanity is going to continue.  And continue.  And continue.  

  •  It's pretty funny to see people here trying to (9+ / 0-)

    spin a first place finnish into a loss. Keep pn keeping on guys.

    Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

    by tigercourse on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:25:13 PM PST

    •  it's ridiculous (11+ / 0-)

      I'm especially disappointed in the media narrative coming out of Nevada when comparing it to what happened in Iowa.

      In Iowa, based on his caucusing totals (including the support of nonviable candidates), Obama won more than 38% of all state delegates in Iowa. Edwards won 30%, while Clinton won 29%.

      However, the national delegate numbers from Iowa were Obama 16, Clinton 15, Edwards 14. What's interesting is that the media narrative following Iowa did not really focus on the national delegate numbers, and Obama was declared the overwhelming winner. In my opinion, this was the correct narrative, and I was glad to see Hillary act gracious in defeat. She didn't tout the fact that despite John Edwards' claims of his second place finish, she potentially had more national delegates. I think this was smart because she realized that national delegates can change, and she would look like a sore loser because it was evident that she came in third place. I'm not sure if Iowa's national delegates are binding, but its clear in Nevada that they are non-binding.

      So, in Nevada,  based on her caucusing totals (including support of non-viable candidates), she received 51% of the state delegates, while Senator Obama received 45% of the state delegates. Now, based on Nevada's unique national delegate formula, Obama did in fact win 13 delegates, while Clinton received 12. However, because these delegates are non-binding,  if Clinton wins overwhelmingly on February 5 and beyond, at the Denver Convention, the 13-12 deficit could become something like a 19-6 victory. Some Nevada national delegates would likely defect to Clinton to acknowledge her statewide victory.  Likewise, if Obama seizes control of Super Tuesday, the 13-12 margin could climb to 22-3 in his favor, if Hillary tanks or a scandal sinks her candidacy.

      What's curious is that the media is buying Obama's spin in talking about national delegates in an effort to diminish Clinton's win.
      In contrast, the closeness of national delegates was a distant afterthought in Iowa. Hillary would have looked silly if she said, hey wait.. I only lost 16-15-14, instead of 38-30-29. Could you imagine what people would say about her if she spun Iowa as a three way tie based on the closeness of national delegates?

      Hence, I'm a little disappointed in Obama and his supporters for failing to congratulate Hillary on her popular vote win in an effort to spin the results.

      •  And the majority of voters, women (7+ / 0-)

        know how to read this.  Clinton still isn't "likeable enough."  She still is supposed to get twice as many votes to even pull even.  Etc.

        Older men also don't like sour grapes -- and older men also voted more for Clinton than Obama in every state so far.

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:44:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  what might be happening (0+ / 0-)

        is the media is starting to morph their narrative.  Usually, it's the Iowa-New Hampshire horse race, followed by a little bit of drama, then a coronation.

        It's all different this year, and they're even waking up to the fact that even SuperDuperTuesday (what a corny name) won't settle it.  Maybe neither Obama nor Clinton will have enough delegates, prior to the convention, although I haven't looked at the overall math of such a hypothetical situation.

        Maybe the media will start broaching the whole "brokered convention" meme, just to keep people tuned in.

        To me, that is a plausible explanation why the media didn't mention the delegate count for Iowa.  In most election years, it doesn't quite matter, just like in years besides 2000, the Electoral College didn't really merit much discussion.

  •  Popular vote (6+ / 0-)

    It would be highly unlikely that Hillary did NOT win the popular vote.  I would be willing to bet that the spread is, in fact, greater than the 51-45 spread in state delegates awarded.

    The Nevada delegate apportionment rules penalized large precincts and rewarded small precincts; if you voted in rural Nevada, your vote would be about 10x more valid than if you voted in densely populated Clark County.

    As we've heard all day today, Hillary did well in Clark County and Obama did well in rural Nevada.  Obama's voters in rural Nevada had their votes translate into state delegates at a higher rate than did Hillary's votes in Clark County, and yet he still had a smaller number of state delegates.

    It is fairly certain that Obama lost the popular vote by a margin greater than 6 points.

  •  Why wait? (0+ / 0-)

    It's a bullshit, nonsensical system. And I look forward, once this process is finished, to a comprehensive look at reforming our primary process.

    Is this new information?

    And why wait until the bullshit, nonsensical process is finished? Why not make a campaign of drawing attention to the bullshit, nonsensical process rather than cheerleading?

    Those questions lead to an even bigger question in my mind: can we take over the system from within? Can we face the monster without becoming the monster?

    I have just about lost all faith in the promise of inside-out reform.

  •  Who has the power to change this? (0+ / 0-)

    Do these people want to change it?  Do we start writing letters to Dean once this is over?  Whatever Democrat ends up in the White House?  Or is it something that state legislatures and parties would all have to decide spontaneously to change, because I don't see much chance of that happening.

    •  The state parties set the rules (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TaraIst, phoenixdreamz

      The state parties set the rules and DNC approves them.  There is nothing that has to be approved by state legislatures if the rules need to be changed.

      When it comes to speaking about the economy Hillary has been doing so all year

      by EricRSINY on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:30:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And what makes you think that reform (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wanderindiana, Gamma

    will ever happen kos?

    Just like with reforming our electronic/paper balloting system:  I'll believe it when I see it.

    I'm starting to lose what last remnants of faith I had in our country, our party, and especially the netroots.

    Feingold is my hero.

    by Marc in CA on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:28:01 PM PST

  •  I don't know if I understand (0+ / 0-)

    At the end of the day after each caucus or primary, each candidate supposedly comes out with a set number of delegates. I always assumed that such delegates were supporters of said candidate and that the candidate could exercise functional control over the delegate. This is in contrast to the superdelegates who do whatever they want.

    Now, the Nevada state chair is saying that that is not true, that nobody won anything and that the real decision will be made at the state convention in three months? Is this right?

    Barack Obama -- The Time is Now

    by pragprogress on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:31:27 PM PST

    •  No national delegates elected today (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TaraIst, phoenixdreamz, JedReport

      there were statewide delegates who go to state convention and then they vote which determines delegates to the convention.  In theory they will vote for who they are "pledged" for but they are not bound to do so.

      When it comes to speaking about the economy Hillary has been doing so all year

      by EricRSINY on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:36:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It may have been county delegates selected... (0+ / 0-)

        today.  There is a culling process that results in the national convention.

        •  n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Precincts selected county delegates today, I believe.  They will select state delegates on 2/23, who will then vote on 4/19 for the national delegates.

          That's my best reckoning of how this process works, based on what I've read tonight.  Presumably, Obama will come out with 13 delegates on April 19th, and Hillary will get 12.

          I don't know why people are making such a fuss about 1 measly projected national delegate.  It's not like it makes much of a difference, even if Hillary got 13 and Obama got 12.

          It would be more a controversy if Clinton's supporters in Nevada try to somehow turn this into a winner-take-all situation, on April 19th.  They basically split the vote.  Let them split the national delegates.

          •  What could happen (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            is that if the nomination has been decided by the time the state convention meets all the delegates could vote for that person in a sign of unity.  So it is possible that all 25 national delegates end up going to just one person.

            When it comes to speaking about the economy Hillary has been doing so all year

            by EricRSINY on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 04:42:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  All of that seems rather irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

              It doesn't matter if they would theoretically switch after the nomination is decided. What matters is whether or not there is a set number of delegates who are pledged to each candidate. It sounds like there is, and the Nevada state chair was talking out of their ass. Obama has 13 and Hillary 12.

              Barack Obama -- The Time is Now

              by pragprogress on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 06:44:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  A fix to this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, phoenixdreamz

    Do it same way South Carolina does primary to ensure state winner wins most delegates.  Each Congressional District sends a certain number with the total being 29.  There are another 16 delegates that go to the winner statewide.

    When it comes to speaking about the economy Hillary has been doing so all year

    by EricRSINY on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:34:48 PM PST

  •  Does anyone have the number to the popular vote? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Kos, you are insulting my intelligence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diplomatic, phoenixdreamz

    Hard to take what you are saying seriously.

    Speaking as an Edwards delegate here in Las Vegas (and I might add I was elected with the help of Clinton people who gave up a delegate in the process), I'm much more concerned about the possibility that our party's stupid allocation process might mean that the plurality is denied a victory.

    That's the outrage.

    Now, if some people switch -- and they do so entirely within the rules of the game -- to make sure that the popular will is expressed, why do you stand against that?

    Because you are being outcome oriented.

    Now that's cool, I don't mind outcome oriented politics. In fact, that's the kind of politics I like.

    But when you cast it in such stark terms of moral outrage, I have to laugh. I cannot take it seriously.

    I'm an Edwards delegate. I don't know what the rules are for what I'm supposed to do. I will follow those rules and I want to support Edwards. I also want the person who wont the most support to win the most delegates.

    I'm going to do what's right, talking with my neighbors in the process.

    Moreover, you are twisting Ari's twisted quote. Unfortunate.

  •  The Nevada results almost exactly matched the (6+ / 0-)

    poll averages heading into today. She won the caucus by 6, and the polls had her ahead by 4. The polls were obviously based upon "popular votes". Anyone who claims she lost the popular vote is two beans short of a salad.

    Hillary Clinton's Liberal Ranking

    by tigercourse on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:41:11 PM PST

  •  people are missing the point in NV (8+ / 0-)

    any dem win Las vegas Gore and Kerry all won handily where 70& of the people live but we get destroyed up North. some places we lose 80-20 and always lose statewide. Obama did great in the places the party needs to do better in. Instead we nominate a candidiate who will be DOA in way too many places.

    "We don't need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered" -Hillary Clinton, the dream crusher.

    by nevadadem on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:43:20 PM PST

  •  It is indeed BS & we need to (0+ / 0-)

    wotk for reform of the process. The superdelegates are also undemocratic.

  •  Despite (0+ / 0-)

    the many informal obstructions to us having a real democracy, there are still of course these formal obstacles as well. We should begin breaking down both immediately.

  •  Not surprising! (0+ / 0-)

    Edwards was running 27% in pre-caucus polls.    He ends up with 4% at the end of the caucuses?    I'LL say there was some coercion going on.

    I'm starting to think that caucus is a crappy way to choose delegates.     Secret ballots are used in elections to prevent this sort of stuff.

  •  So the Democratic party isn't really democratic? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How ironic. Then again, the Republican party isn't really Republican (the word comes from the Latin term Res Publica, which literally means "thing of the people" or "common wealth", which is clearly quite ludicrous with today's economically elitist and popular will-despising GOP).

    Part of me kind of likes the idea of caucues. We have them here in Washington and it's how delegates get selected. And, ideally, given how participatory it is, ideally, it's how candidates should get selected. But given that far fewer people take part in them than do primaries, that they're stacked in favor of those candidates with the best local organization, and that all these arcane rules exist that disenfranchise even those party members who do show up to caucus, they do not appear to work very well in reality. I don't know, maybe it would be best to scrap them and go to an all-primary format--with independants not being allowed to vote in them unless they're willing to register with a party (in which case they're no longer independants).

    Looks like we might be headed for another '68, and the GOP headed for another '64. A perfect storm might be brewing in BOTH parties, with the mother of all general elections to follow.

    Or not.

    0101011101100101 010101000110100001100101 010100000110010101101111011100000110110001100101

    by kovie on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:02:57 PM PST

  •  Ok, let's try this again: Clinton won pop. vote (6+ / 0-)

    Here is the link to the NV Dem Party's website about how they get delegate figures from each individual caucus in each precinct, etc.:

    NV Dem Party delegate calculations

    The formula:

    Number of eligible attendees in a preference group [A]


    Number of delegates to be elected from that precinct caucus [B]

    Divided by:  Total number of eligible caucus attendees [C]

    Equals:  Number of delegates to be elected by that group [D]
    Ok, for example. 40 people go to a precinct caucus and 20 support Edwards. The precinct number of delegates is 3. So:

    (A x B)/C = D
    (20 x 3)/40 = ___
    = 3/2 = 1.5 delegates for that group

    "B" is the key variable here, it is the number which changes based on what county and precinct you are in. For the more sparse and rural counties, the number is higher. For the cities, it is relatively lower.

    "A" & "C" are related. "A" cannot be larger than "C" because you can't have more people in a candidate group than the total number of people at the precinct caucus.

    What this means is, A/C is always a fraction < or equal to 1. There is not a lot of variance or change in this figure.

    Which is why "B" is THE critical number. "B" is larger for small counties, small for larger counties with cities. "B" can change the size of the delegates picked a lot, and this is how Obama was able to end up with more national delegates (a different calculation than this, for county delegates, but related) even though he almost assuredly lost the popular vote -- the "B" in the counties he won was much larger than the "B" in the counties Clinton won.

    I'll post this and do examples in the next reply to show this more...

  •  A predictable disaster (4+ / 0-)

    A contested convention would be an unmitigated disaster.  This issue of exact and final assignemnt of delegates resulting from a primary or caucus is only one of the issues of delegate selection and control that have grown increasingly murky since the last time we had a contested convention 50 years ago.  Many, many states have as bad or worse in this respect than Nevada, and no two have exactly the same rules.

    None of this mattered for 50 years, because the delegates didn't really do anything but enjoy a week-long boondoggle.  But in a contested convention, they would be deciding who will be our next president, so now all of a sudden these issues matter a whole lot.  The fights over them will very likely mean that we would never get past the stage of seating delegates, and into actually voting a candidate.  A contested convention would be very likely unbrokerable.

    I hope people are starting to realize why some of us see a contested convention as something a bit less rosy than if the whole story would be that we will have some festival of open process democracy.  We haven't picked nominees in conventions for 50 years, and have let the rules grow rusty with underuse since.  But in those same 50 years, the presidency has become the be-all and end-all of our political life.  These two processes are not unrelated, and this is no coincidence.  What it is, is an utterly predictable disaster that had to happen sooner or later to a system that ran off the rails 50 years ago.  Hold on to your hats.

    The way up and the way down are one and the same.

    by gtomkins on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:05:54 PM PST

  •  If Hillary is our nominee, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenM30, nobody at all, tom3256

    I will vote for McCain as a protest. This party needs to be taught a lesson.  From Gore in 2000, Kerry in 2004, and now Hillary in 2008, this DLC-triangulating-incrementalist-status quo-poll driven shit has led to nothing but a corporate-driven agenda that ignores progressives and the party's base. I'm sick of it. At least I know where McCain stands.  Hillary, not so much.

    According to Hillary, "lobbyists are people, too."

    by Prince Georges for Obama on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:08:45 PM PST

  •  Isn't This ALREADY Illegal? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In Gray v. Sanders, 372 U.S. 368 (1963), the Supreme Court applied the "one person, one vote" in throwing out the "County Unit System" which was used in Georgia's primary elections.

    James Sanders, a voter in Fulton County, Georgia, brought a lawsuit which challenged the legality of the County Unit System. James H. Gray, the chairman of the State Executive Committee of the Democratic Party, was one of the named defendants as the suit focused on the Democratic party primary elections which usually determined the selection of Georgia officeholders.

    Sanders argued that the County Unit System gave unequal voting power to smaller counties. Rural counties which accounted for one-third of Georgia's population also accounted for a majority of County Unit votes. Fulton County had 14.11% of Georgia's population at that time, but only 1.46% (6 unit votes) of the 410 Unit Votes. Echols County, Georgia, the smallest county in Georgia at the time, had 938 people or .05% of the state's population and .48% (1 unit vote) of the unit system. The system managed to give votes to Fulton county at a proportion of one-tenth the county population while giving Echols county a vote which was 10 times the population of the county.

    In a 1946 Georgia primary, Eugene Talmadge lost to James V. Carmichael by 16,000 votes but won the election because he received 244 county unit votes, while only 144 went to Carmichael.

    Writing for the majority, Justice William O. Douglas  held.....

    How then can one person be given twice or ten times the voting power of another person in a state-wide election merely because he lives in a rural area or because he lives in the smallest rural county? Once the geographical unit for which a representative is to be chosen is designated, all who participate in the election are to have an equal vote - whatever their race, whatever their sex, whatever their occupation, whatever their income, and wherever their home may be in that geographical unit. This is required by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The concept of [372 U.S. 368, 380] "we the people" under the Constitution visualizes no preferred class of voters but equality among those who meet the basic qualifications. The idea that every voter is equal to every other voter in his State, when he casts his ballot in favor of one of several competing candidates, underlies many of our decisions.

    [...]The conception of political equality from the Declaration of Independence, to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, to the Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Nineteenth Amendments can mean only one thing - one person, one vote.

    •  The teachers union suit said what you say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and the court said that one man, one vote does not apply in caucuses and primaries, run by parties.

      The suit, so dissed here by those who did not read it, actually was arguing against the disproportionate delegate allotment in Nevada and predicted this problem.  Had people here read it instead of just reacting to headlines and campaign talking points, they would have seen that this all was predicted.

      Go back to the Bill Clinton video and see what he was talking about: disproportionate delegate allotment.

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 07:59:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Outdated system. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This shit was created back in the horse and buggy days, when it was too much trouble for each voting location to send all of it's votes to a central location(i.e. state capital), so they divided everything up and allowed each district to have a certain number of "delegates", based on population. These so-called "delegates" were originally committed and should still be committed to vote for the candidates selected by the voters of the districts they represent. Now I'm hearing different stuff. Like "party insiders" can change the commitment of a "delegate".
    They keep these outdated practices in use for a reason. I would sure like to see the primary system modernized and made more efficient.

  •  Obama Wins Nevada (4+ / 0-)

    I don't get it. All the press is reporting that Clinton won the primary in Nevada, but Obama got more delegates. That is crazy. Imagine, for the sake of argument, that Bush won Florida fair and square in 2000 (by say, a couple thousand votes). Would people then say "Gore Won" (because he won the popular vote) even though Bush gets to become President. Am I missing something?

    Yes, the caucus system in crazy, but no more crazy then the electoral college. Until you change the system, you have winners and losers -- and tonight, the winner is Obama in my book.

  •  will we ever SEE a popular vote count? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethropalerobber, tom3256

    my understanding is that Iowa Dem Party never reveals the actual vote totals either. i posted about this several times on the night of the Iowa caucuses, after reading a NYT article about it.

    I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:19:25 PM PST

  •  Sorry State of Journalism (0+ / 0-)

    Everything is a surprise lately because there is no one out there doing any real research or investigative journalism.

    Barack came from some 25 points behind in the polls and won a bigger swath of the state. He seems to have momentum. If it were the other way around, I might understand the outrage, but it wasn't.

    When did Kos throw his weight behind Clinton? Did I miss the endorsement?

  •  Off with their heads! (0+ / 0-)



    Siberia! (well... North Dakota, anyways)

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:34:40 PM PST

  •  Obama has the momentum and is the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nobody at all, DFutureIsNow

    Only candidate that will bring more Democratic to the Congress. Hillary was favored for over 12 months and we will not gain much in Congress if she wins nomination. The dirty tricks will get worse, but it will be up to us to change that...

    "The Conservatives definition of torture: Anything that provides death or false information from its captive." Me 2007

    by army193 on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:48:28 PM PST

  •  The obvious solution (0+ / 0-)

    is for both national parties to standardize primary and caucus selection procedures.  

    And while they're at it, set up a fair voting schedule that doesn't start in January.

    "Deforestation can never be stopped as long as trees are worth more dead than alive" - Mark Lynas

    by Bob Love on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:57:17 PM PST

  •  No more caucuses, no more Electoral College (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    *Closed proportional primaries for noms.

    *Popular vote decides general elections

    No more of this crap, at any level

  •  I can see why a state would opt for caucus system (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, gansterr

    It's a way for rural precincts to have a voice.  In many western states there is one big city and lots of small towns.  If the state used a primary, the voters in the city would always choose the candidate.

    By using a caucus, every precinct gets at least one delegate.  It does mean that the delegates per voter ratio is higher in rural precincts.

    The NV election was a case where those small precincts ended up tipping the delegate count so it isn't the same as the voter count.  But that's the point...preventing the 'tyranny of the majority' so to speak.

  •  pardon me for my naivete (0+ / 0-)

    but is there a way to facebook a kos thread?

  •  Well, as an Edwards suppoter, (0+ / 0-)

    I do not like caucuses or superdelegates in the current Democratic idea.  I am sure John had more than 4% of the vot in Nevada.  And I am sure that if it is close with Hilliary vs Obama, it will be more disective in SC.

    Kos, at least the Dems have proportional representation, where the repugs are winner takes all.

    Lets just be pleased to waTCH THE MOAsT DYNMAIC Election in world history, should,,,, ...  

  •  I thought what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    But party coercion sounds like something typical for Nevada.

    Where else would they force you to party?

    The Goldberg Principle - "You can prove any thesis to be true if you make up your own definitions of words."

    by myiq2xu on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 01:31:28 AM PST

  •  a bullshit, nonsensical system!?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amRadioHed, DFutureIsNow

    The dem primary system has to be bullshit and nonsensical. Otherwise it would be totally out of touch with the bullshit nonsnsical systems of all other elections in the US.

    Clinton/Bush - changing the White House since 1981! Give the DLC another chance!

    by Zagatzz on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 01:32:52 AM PST

  •  Actually Obama can win more (0+ / 0-)

    Depending upon how Edwards delegates break out!

  •  Just imagine the screeching from the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmknapp, EricRSINY

    Obama supporters had the counties where Hillary won, been awarded delegates by the "more delegates per registered voter" rule.

    There would be at least 101 recommended diaries ranting about the unfairness of rural counties being awarded more than one vote per person.

    Obama won in rural Nevada counties. And because the state Democratic Party awards rural counties more delegates per registered voter, to balance the political power of the cities, the Obama campaign claims his edge there gave him a narrow win in delegates, 13 to Clinton's 12 -- even though Clinton won the popular vote 51-45 over Obama.

    Salon link

  •  Parties can use whatever system they like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cream City select a candidate, including drawing lots & consulting goat entrails. This is a free country.

    I think there is a confusion between party nominations (which may or may not include primaries) and general elections spelled out in the e Constitution.

    This dichotomy was demonstrated in the recent court decision about the at-large precincts, where the judge agreed the plaintiffs had a point about the unfairness, but that the court had no basis to tell the Democratic Party, or any party, what to do. None.

    Even the Nevada state law that spells out the apportionment of delegates has no teeth, because it beings with a big caveat:

    The number of delegates from each voting precinct in each county to the county convention of any major political party for that county must be determined pursuant to the rules of the party, if the rules of the party so provide, or, if the rules of the party do not so provide, in proportion to the number of registered voters of that party residing in the precinct as follows:

    So only if the Party has no rules does the state law apply. The Party trumps state law in this regard.

  •  nominee (0+ / 0-)

    I would really like Edwards to be the democratic candidate.  However (and I have said this numerous times), we have no say in who the candidate will be.  Big business, corporate interests (the lobbyists) and therefore the MSM (the ones who really run this country) decided a long time ago that they want McCain for the Republicans and Clinton for the Democrats and that is exactly what will happen.

    * 3926 *

    by BDA in VA on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 04:20:13 AM PST

  •  Another Issue (0+ / 0-)

    At the conclusion of the announcement of the results of initial alignment, if there
    are any non-viable preference groups, the eligible caucus attendees in those
    groups will have another fifteen (15) minutes to realign in second alignment. Only
    those eligible caucus attendees who aligned with non-viable groups will be
    allowed to realign.
    Eligible participants in viable groups will have their pledge
    cards collected after initial alignment and only those eligible attendees with
    pledge cards will be counted in second alignment


    Where is this from?

    This seems to me means that unlike other caucuses you should not be able to realign if your candidate was viable and from what we heard last night this happened.

    When it comes to speaking about the economy Hillary has been doing so all year

    by EricRSINY on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 04:25:05 AM PST

  •  I Have A Name For This System: CLUSTERFUCK! (0+ / 0-)

    The only rule for should be:

    You keep what you earned

    Obama / Edwards '08 REAL Change From The Status Quo

    by DFutureIsNow on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 04:31:28 AM PST

  •  We need a Federalist Papers on this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Democratic Party used to require a 2/3 majority in the convention for the nomination of the candidate.

    The D (like the R) convention used to be virtually all-white.

    The D (like the R) convention used to be virtually all-male.

    The D convention used to be attended mostly by state delegations selected by state committees.

    Things changed. Consider the 1948 bolts by right and left (and Minneapolis mayor Hubert Humphrey's stirring speech). Consider the Free Democratic Party of Mississippi. Consider the McGovern Commission and its successors.

    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 04:35:58 AM PST

  •  I would like to blame 'party rules' (0+ / 0-)

    ..but the sad fact is that we still have a lot of actual Democratic voters choosing Hillary.  

    I don't know if my fellow Democrats truly understand how devastating the selection of Clinton will be to our chances in every national, federal, state, district, county, local, and neighborhood election this November.  But if she ends up the nominee, it won't be just because of an arcane primary system.

    I will have a healthy share of blame to hand out to everyone on OUR side who helped make it happen.  

  •  April 20 (0+ / 0-)

    A lot can happen between now and April 20th when the deligates are chosen at the State Convention.

  •  A war to be won and it’s not between each (0+ / 0-)

    I responded to two post-Nevada diaries that made the  Rec list. I confess to taking a position against one of the two front runners. Then I read in the NYT that Bloomberg met with a third party vote specialist, the one who advised Ross Perot. Heartbroken under-describes how I felt and feel now.

    Who won last night beside the operatives? If we continue to battle each other this way, the right wing.

    A simple please. Anyone criticizing the statement/action/youtubed behavior of candidate x and spouse x’ or surrogate x’ please provide the X that inspired the critique. And then let it rip, but one argued point at a time before concluding on why it will be a cold day in Guantanamo before you vote for x, see spouse x’ in the White House, etc.

    We are (gasp) sounding like the guys who yell at each other over and over on CNN, each over renewed by some new political action or event, but always the same over, all for the case of ratings. I never watch them, but IIRC one of them is naming Novak.

    Dial it down, transfer the ire into the campaign against Tweetie (button above, right) or Greenwald’s campaign against Mike Savage who makes Imus look sane, or to support Sen. Dobbs, or even (I am a realistic BlueBayStater) hating the glorious undefeated and coached by a friend of Democrats Patriots.

    But not into candidate debates at Dkos. There’s a war to be won and it’s not between each other.

  •  "Hillary Haters" Lose Again. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cream City, Clem Yeobright

    No surprise. The "Hillary Haters" Posters are coming mainly from those CLAIMING to support Obama. I have seen this on every Blog I have visited, and I have Posted about the Repub strategy of stopping Hillary at any price/cost. Early last night when the first results came in, most of the cable news channels were putting their spin into full mode for Obama, distorting the meaning of how Hillary was winning, with a variety of theories. For anyone to not KNOW The Media is no friend of the Clintons must be living on another planet.

  •  Finally (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, Cream City

    Kos discovers the lock on the gate.  Dealing with this might make it a little bit easier to crash.

    Wait a minute! How do we deal with this?  We have to persuade the same people who benefit from this system to change it.  There is at least irony, paradox, or contradiction in this.  A classic fable talks about belling a cat.

  •  Deciding a Caucas Result by Drawing a Card! omg (0+ / 0-)

       As reported by MSM the results of one caucas in Nevada was decided by opposing sides drawing the highest card when the vote was tied.  Read below.
    Why am I not surprised the system is still so broken.  FLORIDA FOR FAIR ELECTIONS!  OK AN OXYMORON


    STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote documents significant irregularities in the Presidential election of 2004.  While raising crucial questions, interviewees underscore the fact that election fraud and election reform are not partisan issues.  We follow the stories of people who face a spectrum of challenges: from grassroots organizing to groundbreaking legislation. The overriding question that the film presents is: How can we create an election system in which voters have confidence, and in which they trust that their votes will be counted fairly?

    The film weaves together dramatic behind-the-scenes experiences of poll workers, computer security experts, journalists, politicians, activists and voters of all ages. We hear from those who feel their communities were targeted for intimidation during the election, side by side with  descriptions of irregular machine tallies, in which the number of votes tallied don't equal the number of votes cast.

    Questions the film raises include: what caused statistically significant discrepancies between exit polls and final official vote tallies? why was the mainstream media virtually silent about a spectrum of anomalies?  what caused technical glitches such as votes switching from one candidate to another on touch screen voting machines in at least thirteen states? We hear from students who waited more than 12 hours to vote in OHIO, as well as Native American and Hispanic voters in New Mexico who registered to vote for the first time, only to learn that their votes were not counted.

    The Presidential election of 2004 ignited both personal, as well as political passions for millions of people. For many, their involvement did not end when

    I still hate the Clintons

  •  Who came up with those rules? (0+ / 0-)

    It's Nevada, the gaming capital of America ;)

    "People die. Strategies fail. Blame is laid. And we, as a nation, are made to look like assholes." - Brandon Friedman

    by Militarytracy on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 05:36:01 AM PST

  •  Granularity. (0+ / 0-)

    The allocation of whole numbers of delegates by precinct, where each precinct has a very small number of delegates to assign, is inherently unfair.

    If a precinct, for instance, has but one delegate, it goes to the candidate with 50.1% of the participants (or the one who wins the draw of a card, when tied.)

    If a precinct has two delegates, then a candidate with 25.1% cannot be denied one, even if an opponent gets 2.9 times as much support!

    The anomalous result in NV is the necessary effect of some CDs having an odd number of delegates to assign and others an even number.

    I like winner-take-all!

    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 05:40:18 AM PST

  •  Obama Florida Dem to Caucas March 1,,true, (0+ / 0-)

      I am an Obama supporter and have filed to be a state delegate to be selected by our county Dem caucas on March 1 in Largo Florida (Pinellas County)
    As a member of the Stonewall Democrats I'll also have a chance for a spot of one of the  11 GLBT statewide delegates.  You have to send in your application by Jan 29th, go to the training on the 26th and take your supporters to the Caucas locations on March 1.  As Dave Barry says  "I am not making this up".  But no one else seems to know it!

  •  I think it's a good system, actually (0+ / 0-)

    In theory you have to campaign in all the Congressional Districts... you can't just rack up a huge margin in one city and be guaranteed to win a state.

  •  Kos: Grassroots = Netroots - Computers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cream City, tiredntexas, jjackso1

    Let me go thru this slowly for those of you, like Kos, who are having a hard time understanding the difference between a primary and a caucus.  In a primary people show up, mark their ballot for the candidate of their choice and leave.  The total votes are counted and each candidates' vote total is posted. A caucus is different.  A caucus is not just about expressing candidate preference.  A CAUCUS IS A GRASSROOTS PARTY ORGANIZING TOOL. For example, at each precinct caucus party cental committee members are chozen, party platforms are discussed,and volunteers for phone banking, yard signs and lit drops are signed up.  In a caucus you are never going to get that "popular vote tally" that Kos wants because THAT WOULD MAKE IT A PRIMARY. In a caucus your candidate has to have minimum number of delegates to be viable.  If not, and just like in a general election, you have to move your support from your first choice, to your second or maybe even third or fourth choice.  Democrats in Iowa, Nevada and other states choose to have caucuses because they build party affiliation and structure that help win general elections, which, if you keep your eye on the prize, is what this whole thing is all about. What is so ironic about Kos' insistence that a caucus system is "bizarre" is that a caucus system is a grassroots organizational tool just like the netroots, minus the computers. Anyone who wants to show up can participate.  

    •  A caucus is also a way to keep party insiders (0+ / 0-)

      powerful.  One might think that with all the caucuses in Iowa and with all the attention they get that by now they wouldn't have a problem with "organization."  Also, making the vote an accurate representation of the number of people who vote for each candidate would NOT MAKE IT A PRIMARY.  A caucus differs from a primary in many ways, and perhaps the most important one is that it is not a secret ballot.  Yes, the votes are counted for your candidate only if that candidate is "viable."  That still does not preclude the counting of final votes and the allotment of actual delegates based on the number of votes counted for each candidate.  The caucus system still exists because party hacks still want their thumb on the scale of every so-called election. To make the selection of candidates for the highest office in the U.S. democratic, we need a one or two day primary that takes place on the same day for every state.  We need to stop hating our people who live in cities or big states.   Isn't democracy supposed to be one person one vote?

      •  Be careful what you wish for (0+ / 0-)

        Organizatin is an ongoing process.  You think the 125,000 new Democratic voters that registered to partipate in the caucuses might help win Iowa, a competitive state, for the Democrats come the general election?  In a precinct caucus, where the purpose is to select delegates to a county convention, the viability threshold is necessary because you cannot subdivide delegate slots by anything less than a whole number.  If the precinct you're in has six delegate, your candidate needs to have at least 15% of the attendees to get one of those slots.  If you report the results without regard to viability then YOU'RE JUST CONDUCTING A LENGTHY PRIMARY. Viability is simple math that has nothing to do with the desires of so called party "hacks." If you want to call the hundreds of thousands of people that showed up at the Iowa and Nevada caucuses party "hacks" I guess that is your choice.  However, your suggested resolution, a one or two day national primary would only make the real "hacks" in our election system, i.e.,those that trade money for power, more important.  Such a system would guarantee the selection of the candidate with the most money and party boss (GOTV) support.  From what I can glean from your post I do not believe that is an outcome you really want.

  •  We also need to reform the electoral college. (0+ / 0-)

    Bush got selected in 2000 with fewer votes because the Electoral College is undemocratic.  It does not count each vote equally.  In the Electoral College, each state's electoral votes are based on the  number of its representatives in the House plus two votes for its two senators.  Because some states such as South Dakota have a very small population, the addition of two electoral votes for two senators triples their electoral vote, while New York's electoral vote is increased by only 6%.  In New York, one electoral vote represents 550,000 people while in South Dakota one electoral vote represents 232,000 people.  
        So why is this system not reformed?  Whichever political party benefits from this system will refuse to amend the Constitution, and right now that political party is the Republican Party.  Also, small states don't care if the system is unfair.  They like the system the way it is because it happens to favor them.  Many of them hate big cities and big states, and the prefer giving votes to grass and trees than to all those ethnics living in our cities.
        What is a state anyway?  Is it the human beings who live there or the flora and fauna?  If it's the latter, then maybe votes should be given based on acreage in each state.  Do we believe in one person one vote or don't we?

  •  Read "The Right to Vote" by Alex Keyssar (0+ / 0-)

    if you're interested in the Electoral College and fair and democratic voting.

  •  Same thing could happen in primary states (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TaraIst, Cream City

    NY awards delegates by congressional district. A candidate could win a bunch of districts by one vote and lose one district by thousands of votes - they'd lose the statewide vote but get the most delegates. No one has complained about that, to my knowledge.

    Caucuses have objectives other than choosing a candidate. Iowa gave weight to rural areas to try to get candidates to campaign there. Dem registration is way up there this year. Someone posted on another board that they met some people at the caucus and exchanged numbers so they could work together in Nov. That would not have happened at a primary.

    •  You're talking about winner take all, not (0+ / 0-)

      the allocation of votes.  They're not exactly the same thing, but equally wrong.  I'm sure you know the old wise saying that two wrongs don't make a right.  Also, I understand that caucuses have objectives other than choosing a candidate.  Is this why we spend so much money in two small states and give them twenty times more power than anyone else in determining who should be president?  Having political junkies exchange phone numbers can be encouraged in many ways, and distorting the election results is the worst possible way. Political parties can make their own rules.  They're not governed by the constitution.  I'm sure they can find better ways to build their party.  It's not accidental that a caucus goes first because as we all know, it gives politicians the best chance to impact the results.  It's really too bad that some of us only want democracy when the results come out our way.  

  •  Look forward to reforming the process in 2009 (0+ / 0-)

    Then look forward to reforming the process in 2011.

    Then look forward to reforming the process in 2013.

    Then look forward to reforming the process in (you fill in the year).

    Get my drift?  Things are working fine for those wielding power in the Democratic party and, as long as it does, any changes that are perceived as "negative" will not happen.

  •  If Obama won, you would want it to stay the same. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Biased much?


    "It takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush"

    by gotalife on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 07:21:29 AM PST

  •  i was disturbed by that quote as well but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...the first time i saw it reported i thought it was from a clinton campaign official (i.e. spin). kind of disturbing spin, i thought, but it would also be pretty weak spin to tie your claim to the potential of "faithless delegates."

    but now i see this is not from the clinton campaign, but from the chair of the state party? wtf?

    shorter chair: "the people have had their fun, but we'll take it from here."

  •  National party rules are responsible (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cream City

    With respect to delegate apportionment, it's a national issue.

    Every multi-district state assigns three quarters of their delegates at a congressional district-level.  So as long as there are significant intrastate divergences in support, popular vote losers getting more delegates will be a fact of life.  Any campaign that isn't planning accordingly when deciding where to focus effort in a state will get what they deserve.

    •  Ah, at last, a thinking Dem; thanks (nt) (0+ / 0-)

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 08:02:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Look, I'm for Obama, but (0+ / 0-)

      that does not mean that I approve of any system that is basically unfair and that gives votes in one district more power than votes in another district.  We should be smart and decent enough by now to do the right thing.  All of this dishonesty is why many people don't bother to vote.  Maybe someday someone will use the fourteenth amendment as justification for taking this issue to court.  I hope it's soon, but unfortunately don't see it happening.  I guess you can figure out why.

  •  In 1972, Democrats in Texas voted for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    George Wallace. Our delegation to the national convention, led by governor Dolph Briscoe, voted for George McGovern and gave the finger to the democratic primary voters in Texas. My family had been yellow dog democrats. Every time I think about this betrayal, I still get pissed. I decided, at the age of 10 or 11, that the democrats were untrustworthy and undeserving of my support. That one event pushed me to support Reagan and the Republicans in the 1980's. I refused to support a party that would not honor its committments to the voters. I sincerely hope that the Nevada democratic party won't make the same mistake and make enemies by refusing to follow through on their word.

  •  See? Democracy sucks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Make me king.

    Congratulate Senator Clinton on her win in Nevada AND check for caucusing irregularities. We owe it to democracy.

    by bhagamu on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 07:54:58 AM PST

  •  you are right on the money kos (0+ / 0-)

    It's a travesty.

  •  Kos, what's so hard to understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Maybe I'm naive but it sounds almost exactly like the presidential election system where one can lose the popular vote but win the election due to the fact that different caucus sites(ie states) each get a number of delegates??? Am I wrong, please feel free to let me know...My other issue is the fact they are not committed, that's just flat out silly and should be banned, especially since it now seems the party establishment is trying to turn Obama delegates to Clinton because again she's whining about the rules....

  •  good luck with reforming the primary process (0+ / 0-)

    in the way you are suggesting.  I mean, I totally agree how silly it is.  Before my wife went to vote early last week (Florida), I explained to her what had happened to date and she basically expressed disbelief that we select the president that way.

    However, do you really think the party is going to willingly give up power?  And the court cases have basically said that short of blatent discrimination, the parties can select candidates however they want.  We have no real hope of leveraging outrage among he population as a whole given the other issues they care about - making the point that this issue affects all the others will be about as effective as John kerry's nuances were.

    The only two ways this could change are with a constitutional amendment or by infiltrating enough of the state parties to get 35 or 40 of them in favor of real reform.  The former is all but impossible, while the latter is probably a proposition spanning multiple decades.

    I'm not saying don't try - of course we do.  And I do think there is a small chance that by 2012, something will have changed with the Iowa,NH,Nevada, South Carolina BS.  But the real reforms that will result in the nomination process actually being democratic are many years of hard work away.

    "All the politicians shake their asses. Lookin' for the backdoor" - Sheryl Crow

    by eparrot on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 08:26:33 AM PST

  •  Who Won (0+ / 0-)

    Who among the Democrats truly won the state of Nevada?


  •  Come on, this has to amuse most of us (0+ / 0-)

    Clinton and her allies have completely rigged this so they'd win, and this is the second time in a week they are now whining because things didn't go their way based on the rules their supporters in the state party put in place, very ironic

  •  What's this "we" business? (0+ / 0-)

    Melber has this one wrong.

    Who decides at county and (districted) state convention levels? "We" doesn't refer to party insiders. It refers to Clinton, Obama and (a few) Edwards partisans elected by their precinct subcaucuses.

    Obama delegates can change their minds. They can lose interest and just not show up. In some cases they'll have gone to precinct caucus but failed to find enough volunteers among their number willing to go the next step and fill their allocated precinct delegate slots anyway. Some may decide on principle to rebel agaisnt the allocation system and honor the popular vote. Some may decide for the sake of Unity to help a sub-viable faction achieve viability, or to cast their lot with the winner.

    All these things can and do happen with regularity between caucus levels.

    Given the numbers, I would not expect these effects to change the outcome in the rural sectin ov NV-02.

    But "party insiders"? Gimme a break.

  •  That's called a 'primary' (0+ / 0-)

    "But, once you get those delegates, they should be obligated to support their pledged candidate."

    Yes and we could have a political system based on direct national voting and citizen referendums on all important issues. And God knows there certainly is a case for the former (if not for the latter). But the facts are that at all levels of elections and government we are set up as a representational democracy. We don't elect puppets, we elect delegates and representatives that we hope will make the right choice given total available information at the time of actual selection of candidates or voting on legislation.

    Formal or informal pledges are all fine, but making them binding just makes state conventions a mockery. Personally I prefer a primary, but stressing because on occasion a caucus can turn raucous is kind of useless. As an example you don't have to like the concept of a super-delegate but in reality things can change between January and July and it is useful to have representatives with a degree of maneuver room.

    •  If things can change between Jan. and July, why (0+ / 0-)

      not have the primaries in June?  Come on.  There's no excuse for the horrible system we have now other than a transparent way for political hacks and egomaniacs to continue to dominate what passes for democracy or representative democracy or whatever you want to call it.  The entire process is stretched out as long as possible so more and more money can be poured into it.  I know it will never be perfect, but do we have to make it so ridiculously corrupt and unfair?  Again, that's probably the main reason why so many people don't vote, and of course, many politicians like it just that way.

  •  "President John McCain" (0+ / 0-)

    Might want to start getting used to it.

    •  President John McCain is obsessed with military (0+ / 0-)

      matters.  I have nothing against the military, but is that all we are in this nation?  It's not healthy.  The framers wanted the President to be a civilian, and they had important reasons for that decision.  Maybe that is what we are.  It does seem to be our chief export.  We're arming the entire planet.

  •  Ah, finally Markos saw the light! (0+ / 0-)

    Now, Markos, would you please support those candidates, who sincerely offer comprehensive solutions to get rid of this bullshit, nonsensical system?

    And you think the Clintons would do that? Why haven't they done it before, never talked about it? They are masters in playing the system's game, never thought that the game playing of a bad system is NOT what we want and need.

    Why hasn't Obama offered it? He is a constitutional lawyer for heavens sake and is in "mute" mode about that as well.

    I am angry, I am not gonna support anyone, if they can't come to their senses and construct a new primary system and amend the electoral college.

    Obama hasn't done enough to make us believe he would be the candidate, who uses his legal prowess for the right causes. I am waiting, Obama. Hurry up.
    We have heard enough about hope and unity, now please get to work for the real thing.

    SOS to Michelle! Make him take out the legal trash, pronto.  

    •  Aw. Cmon. (0+ / 0-)

      The middle of a campaign is no time to take on this issue. It should have been handled by starting right after the last election if it were going to be done.

      And stop acting like it's easy. Even changing this ridiculous primary process would possibly require a constitutional amendment. Let's have this discussion after the election.

  •  A little math (0+ / 0-)

    Hillary won the popular vote by 6%. 6% of 25 delegates is 1.5. Unless I'm bad at rounding, Hillary should have 2 more delegates than Obama in Nevada.

    "Remember it's true: loyalty is valuable, but our lives are valuable too." ~ David Bowie

    by majortom on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 11:28:37 AM PST

  •  But how do they count votes? (0+ / 0-)

    They claim that over 100,000 people went to caucus, but the results I saw were five or six thousand votes.  I didn't see anything that would add up to anything close to l00,000.

    •  A CAUCUS IS NOT A PRIMARY (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You are not seeing raw vote totals.  Raw vote totals are how primary elections are decided. In a caucus the precinct attendees choose delegates to county conventions, who choose delegates to district and state conventions, where the delegates to the national convention are chosen.  The five to six thousand number is the number of delegates selected to attend the county conventions.  So, more than 100,000 people attended the Nevada precint caucuses to select the 5-6,000 delegates that will go to the county conventions.

  •  Kos wrong again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Anyone with a basic, unbiased understanding of how the caucus system works would know that Kos is misrepresenting the process. Anyone who is elected a delegate at their local caucus can attend their county convention and run to be a state delegate, then a national delegate. These delegates then get to vote on the nominee. It's an open democratic process that rewards those who take an active role in the party. It will NOT be decided by the democratic insiders, but by a democratic process that rewards participation. Kos should take off his blinders and do his homework before posting inaccurate statements. There may be a lot of problems with the caucus system, but one should at least know how it works before assailing it.

  •  The delegate selection process in NV is not new (0+ / 0-)

    It's been on the books since last October. For the takers:

    (And don't mind the glaring error in the year of the cover - it's "October 2007")

    Second, NV is a state that eschews spending wherever it can. Since the cost of caucuses can be rolled off to the parties as "an internal affair", unlike full-blown primaries, it won't cost the state a penny - and so they continue to exist.

    It's something that can only be fixed from within, at state level. No high-minded national level discussion will be of any use at all.

  •  Three points. (0+ / 0-)
    1.  Often the cast of characters changes between caucus day and higher levels of decision making.  Likewise, shocking revelations mid-campaign that change a candidate's desirabily are not unheard of.  Consider Gary Hart.
    1.  Defections in pratice a rare and the logistical burden of binding people to their votes is great.  Most candidates also have an informal "whip" system.
    1.  Party bosses don't control delegates for candidats who contemplate changing their votes.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

    by ohwilleke on Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 09:50:07 AM PST

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