Category Archives: Primaries

PA Primary Results: Hillary Wins Big, GOP Delegate Picture a Mess

First thoughts:  Well, Hillary won by 10.  I guess that means this superdelegate tracking is going to have to continue for a while.

Regarding the GOP delegate races, those results are a little spread out over the interwebs, so will require some time to aggregate.  My favored candidate for my district– Jim McHale– did not win, but he did OK.  Interestingly, in my district well-known insider Ken Davis, about whom many are less than enthused, was included on the GOP sample ballot as an endorsed delegate at the last second absent any appropriate vote, at least as far as this committeeman is aware.

While Mr. Davis did not win, he did siphon off 1300 votes which affected the ultimate results.  There could be an explanation for this, but the most thorough one I’ve heard thus far is there was a “mix-up”, so an endorsement fell upon him by fiat, like manna from heaven.  This will require more investigation.  A very polite e-mail to the chairman of the Chester County GOP has thus far gone unanswered.

As for the rest of the Commonwealth, I believe there are at least some unendorsed delegates who have been elected, and not all of them are Paul-bearers.  As Mr. Drudge says, developing…

Democratic Superdelegates: We Don’t Care About Pledged Delegates

Here’s a piece in the Post [ht Rich Lowry in The Corner] suggesting that the main criterion for the remaining uncommitted democratic superdelegates will be electability.  One can debate which democratic candidate is more electable, but implicit in that assumption is that a marginal lead among pledged delegates will not account for much.

A couple of Pennsylvania’s remaining uncommitted superdelegates include Democrat party-liner Mike Doyle, and Senator Bob Casey.  The former was harassed on Super Bowl Sunday by a call from Bill Clinton, showing the GOP is not alone in being out of touch with the priorities if the average American.

Bob Casey shows his characteristic inability to lead anyone, or say anything of substance, when he says “When you have that much at stake and you have two historic figures, it’s going to be difficult to unify the party, and I think we’re going to need people in the middle who can bring people together.”

As Oregon Secretary of State and superdelegate Bill Bradbury said in that piece , “I just believe that the determining factor for superdelegates shouldn’t be, ‘Well, 49 percent voted for Hillary and 51 percent voted for Obama, and that decides it for us.’ Sorry, but that’s not how it works.”

Or, how Sen. Bingaman of New Mexico put it: “If superdelegates were just intended to automatically vote for the preference someone else expressed, there wouldn’t be any purpose…”

So, here we have the leaders of the Democrat party being rather insouciant about the will of actual democrats.  Of course, they could also argue that will is impossible to divine, as many of Obama’s pledged delegates are from caucuses rather than primaries.  A process like this makes elections in Pakistan, Russia, and Guatemala seem bursting with rectitude by comparison.

Mike Doyle from Pennsylvania channeled the spirit of this blog: “You’re going to see a lot of delegates remaining uncommitted…There’s a sense that this is going to Denver not resolved.”

People:  This is how the leader of the free world is elected.

DNC To PA Democrats & Rest of the Nation: Go Pound Sand

Clinton’s victories last night in Ohio and Texas may give the impression that here in Pennsylvania the democratic primary will be critically important to securing that party’s presidential nomination.

Of course, all it really did was ensure that nobody’svote matters anymore.  Neither candidate can secure enough pledged delegates to be the presumptive nominee at the convention, so it is all going to come down to the superdelegates.

I remind you, those super-delegates aren’t elected by anyone.

GOP to PA Republicans: Go Pound Sand

John McCain now has all the pledged delegates he needs to become the GOP nominee to be president of the United States.  I plan to support him.

Of course, we got to this point without anyone asking a single Pennsylvania Republican to actually, you know, vote on it.  That’s not democracy.  It’s not democratic republicanism, even.  I guess it’s sort of an oligarchy.  Not that this stopped the PA GOP from offering an endorsement.  Oddly, I’m actually a committeeman, and still nobody ever asked me about it.

So, those elected in April to be delegates to the GOP convention should know that the nation at large doesn’t care about their votes.  So treat it with the regard party leaders show it, and formally abstain.  If told it is important for party unity that they vote for John McCain, suggest then that the party should act in a way that values their participation.

If told they should observe the will of their districts, happily agree.  Then say as there is no way for any of us to actually know the will of these districts, thus an abstention is the best possible choice.

Some May Ask: “So What’s The Solution Smarty-Pants?”

One of the delegation candidates running who happens to be endorsed and is not some rabble-rousing manufacturer of nuisance like myself asked me “Dysfunctional system?  Of course.  I’d be curious about your remedies.”

First, it may be news to people who run the Pennsylvania GOP, but pretty much all the delegation candidates with whom I have spoken agree our primary system is broken and wish it would be reformed.  As such, my notion of a protest vote is, by definition, not radical or contrary to the will GOP members.  Nor is it contrary to the will of their constituents, at least as far as we can tell.

Seems to me the best idea is the rotating regional primary.  A national primary day would be an improvement, but it would be nice to maintain the ability for a less wealthy candidate to slowly build momentum.  A regional primary might preserve that.

See the Wikipedia entry for regional primaries:

Furthermore, I would make delegational appointments proportional, and still maintain a small pool of unpledged delegates who would decide the race in cases of very, very close races.  The ratio currently in the Democrat party seems high.

For a variety of reasons the national parties aren’t all that warm to the idea.  I think it mostly has to do with a reluctance to “learn” a new system, and also the fact that some political perquisites are currently distributed with the current system.  Also, the way the system currently runs has put those very beneficiaries in the position of determining if reform is necessary.

In order to draw attention to this need for reform, I plan to lobby delegates from Pennsylvania to formally abstain.  This has three major benefits:

1)  While abstaining the delegation can express full-throated moral support for the presumptive nominee, so party unity is preserved.  Personally, I don’t think unity in this context matters a whit.  Some people of good conscience think it does, though, so the charitable thing to do is to find a way to accommodate them.

2)  The threat of a protest may actually force people to listen to our delegation in less sexy convention procedures, like the platform ratification.  Some of those less sexy rituals may actually end up having something to do with election reform.

3)  By abstaining on the floor the whole nation would briefly be forced to consider this issue.  As reform is necessary on a national level, this is critically important on a PR level.  Nothing will ever happen unless those responsible for keeping it the way it is have a bright light pointed at them.

That’s the gist of what I’m doing here, at least on the GOP end.  If the state folks don’t get back to me soon, I am going to have to start freelancing again.  I’d rather not.  I’m as lazy as the next guy, and would love their help.

Bloodbath Coming in Democratic Nomination

Obama now has a delegate lead in the race to become the democratic presidential nominee.  He leads in pledged delegates, he leads when superdelegates who have declared a preference are included, and he still barely leads when Florida and Michigan are included, which the DNC previously rendered impotent for their impudence in moving up their primaries.

Hillary has an uphill battle.  Of course, she could just bow out for the good of the party….

Just kidding!

This analysis is courtesy of NBC Political Director Chuck Todd, link here because WordPress won’t let me embed this clip for some reason.

Will Florida and Michigan be included?  What will the super-delegates do?

Wouldn’t it be funny if it still turned out Pennsylvania’s primary doesn’t matter for the Democrats, too?  And wouldn’t it be nice if we had a system where people just voted for the major party’s nominees, we counted the votes, and then knew who won?

Don’t get me started on the inanity of computerized voting machines…

PA GOP Primary Results Officially In: They Won’t Matter

Did you stay up late last night awaiting the results of the Pennsylvania primary?  It certainly was dramatic waiting for the results from western Virginia to come in, but in the end the Huckster just couldn’t eat into enough of McCain’s support amongst moderates.

So by voting for McCain the other Commonwealth in the Union, Virginia, officially determined the results of Pennsylvania’s GOP primary.  And all the other remaining GOP primaries to boot.  In the words of McCain Campaign Manager Rick Davis [ht Byron York at NRO]:

“The results from tonight’s primary elections in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., make it mathematically impossible for Governor Huckabee to secure the Republican nomination for president…He now needs 950 delegates to secure the required 1,191. But in the remaining contests there are only 774 delegates available. He would need to win 123 percent of remaining delegates.”

So it is official.  Pennsylvania’s uncommitted GOP delegates can pledge to support whoever they want without undermining McCain’s campaign.  They should, then, strike a blow for reform and abstain while expressing their unqualified moral support for the Senator from Arizona.

Or, novelly, they could pledge to support whoever their districts happened to support prior to the Four A poke and prod ethanol boondoggle in IA.

Your disenfranchisement brought to you by heartening bipartisan cooperation in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and the maneuvering of the state GOP.