Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Caucus v. Primary

I think Hillary has a valid whine about caucuses, based on the results from Washington. Both Hillary and McCain did significantly better in the Washington Primary than they did in the Caucus just a few weeks ago.
 
Primary:
 
Obama 259,323 50% Delegates: 0
Clinton 243,306 47% Delegates: 0
 
Caucus:
 
Obama 21,629 68%  Delegates: 53
Clinton 9,992   31%  Delegates: 25
 

Primary:
 
McCain 187,051 49%    Delegates: 14
Huckabee 82,253 22%  Delegates: 0
Romney 75,548 20%     Delegates: 0
Paul 28,260 7%           Delegates: 0
 
Caucus:
 
McCain 3,191 26%     Delegates: 13
Huckabee 2,898 24%  Delegates: 0
Paul 2,666 22%          Delegates: 0
Romney 1,903 15%     Delegates: 0
Uncommitted 1,662 13%
 
I think based on "momentum" you can explain away McCain's increase in the primary (plus the Republicans actually had delegates at risk), but Hillary has had 3 more weeks of bad news, and yet did significantly better, even in a contest that had no real meaning.
 
This appears similar to me how Romney won almost all of the Caucus states, but not the primary states (except his own and Utah). When actual voters are involved, McCain or Huckabee typically did much better. Obama, like Romney, does great in Caucuses, and though better than Romney in Primaries, he has a much tougher fight with Hillary (despite results from Wisconsin). I think it is something like 10 to 5 in primary states for Hillary, while she has been trounced in the caucuses, winning only (I think) Nevada.
 
And, of course, nuts like Paul dissapear in a primary, but can look respectable in a Caucus system.
 
While I am not a fan of Hillary, I think primaries do a better job of indicating who actual voters want to represent them. After this election, I would like to see Caucuses go away.


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