TagDemocratic

Math of the Democratic Primary

Finally, our long national nightmare is over. Yesterday, the last of the states voted in the Democratic Primary. Although Washington D.C will vote on the 14th, no one cares about them because, one, it will vote overwhelmingly for Clinton and two, because taxation without representation still holds true for the nation’s capital ironically. Anyway, to summarize the results of the primary:

Hillary Clinton now has:

  • Won a majority of the popular vote count
  • Won the most states
  • Won the most primaries/contests [1]
  • Won the most closed primaries
  • Won a majority of the pledged delegates

Bernie Sanders has:

  • Won a majority of caucuses

Ergo ‘super delegates’ will and most already have pledged support for Hillary Clinton (571 to Sanders’ 48) pushing her over the edge for securing the Democratic nomination quite comfortably.

Caucuses versus Primaries

As Five Thirty Eight projects, if the caucuses were primaries instead i.e. voters cast a ballot instead of spending time debating for a few hours before casting their vote, Hillary Clinton would end up winning a majority of those as well. A grand total of 10,000 people caucused in Alaska. If it was a primary, an estimated 57,000 would cast their ballot.

But why estimate when Washinghton State provides the perfect experiement. It held an official caucus that awarded the delegates on March 26. Bernie Sanders won 73% of the vote compared to Clinton’s 27%. Nearly 237,000 votes were cast in this caucus. The state also held a primary on May 24. This time, however, Hillary Clinton won 54% of the vote compared to Sander’s 46%, and even though these results wouldn’t matter and it was purely a symbolic primary, more than 800,000 votes were cast in this primary. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which method gives the opportunity to the most people to exercise their choice.

Even though Clinton won most of the open primaries i.e. open to non-Democrats, I would argue that all primaries should be closed. If you want to elect a nominee for the Democratic Party, you should be a member of the Democratic Party. It’s that simple. If you want to claim youself as an Independent, you’ll have to wait until the General Election to cast your vote. There are umpteen third-party candidates in the fray if you are not satisfied with the two major party candidates.

On to the General

However, remember that, given the structure of the country’s winner-take-all Electoral College, unless your third-party wins the majority of the electoral votes, your vote will benefit the eventual winner from the two major parties. This year, such votes will help elect Trump. You can still exercise your choice but that’s the unintended consequence whether you like it or not and nope, this is not being passive-agressive. It’s just the way things play out.

there is a chance

This Democratic Primary wasn’t really close although it went through to June. But that was mostly because California hadn’t voted hence giving the person who was behind a probable although very unlikely chance. If California had voted on Super Tuesday, we wouldn’t be having this conversation today.

Congratulations to Hillary Clinton. Now onward to beating Trump in the general.

Footnotes:
  1. includes territories that vote in primaries but not in the general. A total of 57 geographic contests were held this year []

The mess that’s the primaries

When I first came to this country and got interested in the politics[1], I was impressed by its primary system. Coming from the land of the Gandhis, the idea that any member of the political party could run for President, appeal to the party base, and effectively be nominated as the party’s nominee for the highest office in land was as democratic as it got.

To be fair, the system has worked well and although it’s not as democratic and fair as most would like it, it still got Barack Obama nominated against the Clinton machine.But increasingly, it has gotten ridiculous. Candidates announce their intentions to run almost 1.5-2 years before the actual election date and the subsequent months is just an endless drama of poll numbers. Governors are rarely in their states, Senators barely register their votes in Congress, and other do-nothings are simply peddling their future media and book campaigns. Running in a primary is basically outsourcing your personal expenses on the gullible donors for at least two years. No other reason exists for Huckabee and Santorum running almost every election cycle.

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Footnotes:
  1. After all, it was the year of the infamous recount []

The Republican Purity Test

Jim Bopp, Jr., the dude who had the smart idea for relabeling the Democratic Party as the “Democratic Socialist Party” has one more brainwave. He has listed a purity test for Republicans with predictable slogans from the Tea Party Movement. The ten commandments are:

(1) Smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill

(2) Market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

(3) Market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

(4) Workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check

(5) Legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

(6) Victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

(7) Containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat

(8) Retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

(9) Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

(10) The right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership

[Source: The Washington Monthly]. He even sneaks in Reagan there by calling it a Resolution on Reagan’s Unity Principle for Support of Candidates; something that even Reagan would fail at passing (raised taxes and provided amnesty to illegal aliens for starters). If you notice, you see a smattering of failed Bush policies and a whole lot of strawman arguments (no one has proposed any restrictions on guns). the Obama obsessions continues with first two tests aimed at strictly opposing Obama policies. The very first point is almost comical because no Republican administration (Reagan or Bush Jr.) has ever achieved that even when they controlled all forms of government (2000-2006) and we know they are no pushovers like Democrats when it comes to pushing their agenda.

Reliance on buzzwords is almost comical; what do market-based healthcare reform and energy reform entail? Point #5 contains two contradictory statements; feasibility notwithstanding. But all said and done, I would really like to see the Republican National Committee strictly enforce this ‘purity’ commandments so that the Republican Party implodes and a seriously rational and coherent fiscally conservative national party emerges. Right now, it just seems like a ragtag motley crew of xenophobic and ignorant characters shouting above everyone else without making any sense. People are supporting the Democratic Party not because they believe in it (at least not all) but rather because they rather not be associated with the current Republican Party that is hell bent on driving out the moderates.

Jon Stewart and George Soros – Leaders of Democratic Party?

Question from the latest Rassmussen poll – “Is the leader of the Democratic Party Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, George Soros, Jon Stewart, someone else or is there no clear leader?” [via] Almost everyone is expected to be on that list but George Soros and Jon Stewart? When were they even considered as Democratic Party leaders and by whom? Far-right wackos? If this is some kind of blowback against painting Limbaugh as a leader for Republican Party, I will gladly accept Jon Stewart as the leader of any party.

Blue Nation

There still is hope for America and not all is lost to the Bush era. Even when everything seems lost and hopeless, you can rest in peace knowing that America is turning blue again. Let us hope that it doesn’t turn black and blue.

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