February 10, 2008
What The Washington GOP Precinct Caucus Results Mean

Nothing.

People from all over the media, from Josh Marshall to Tim Russert, and Mike Huckabee, are talking about the party declaring a winner, whether it was too soon, and so on. But what the party said about the results literally means nothing at all.

This is clear if you understand the process. The results were released just so that the party could make some news. They have no meaning.

The first thing to understand is that people do not always vote by presidential preference. In my caucus, and in many others in my pooled caucus, presidential preference never even came up. Only two people wanted the two delegate spots, so we nominated them and elected them.

At the precinct caucus next to ours, there were far more participants than delegates, but a similar story: they all knew each other and just said, "well, who wants to go?," and they picked two to nominate and that was it. Presidential preference never even entered into the equation.

Other caucuses were different: a few active Republicans at a precinct caucus a few tables away didn't get elected, because they were outnumbered by Huckabee supporters.

So to portray this as an election for presidential candidates is a complete misunderstanding, worsened by the fact that your stated presidential preference isn't even binding. You could have written down "McCain" on the sign-in sheet (the only record we have) and then changed your mind and said "Romney" in the caucus, and you'd be marked down for McCain.

Or you could have stuck with McCain, but then changed your mind before the county convention. And that's assuming you even GO to county convention: many people won't bother, they are just delegates because no one else wanted to do it. And at county convention, we will split up into legislative districts, and for all we know, McCain supporters could all be from a handful of legislative districts, and then be totally outnumbered at state convention.

For Huckabee to be talking about legal challenges to a completely meaningless result shows that either he has no idea what the results actually mean (nothing), or he is just doing this for show.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at February 10, 2008 05:30 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Why are the Paul supporters claiming that Paul received the most delegates?

Posted by: pc98335 on February 10, 2008 05:49 PM
2. Exactly right. Finally someone gets it. The raw delegate totals are meaningless. This is a fight about absolutely nothing.

Posted by: Chris Vance on February 10, 2008 05:55 PM
3. If the results don't matter, why have an election in the first place?

Posted by: James on February 10, 2008 05:59 PM
4. James: again, there was no election! Not for presidential candidates, anyway. No such election took place.

Chris Vance: yes, it is absolutely maddening!

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 06:04 PM
5. What the state party is reporting (presidential preference of incoming caucus participants) is meaningless. The preference of the delegates coming out of the caucus is not meaningless. It is a very good indicator of who will be best represented in the next phases of the process ending with the selection of 17 WA GOP delegates.

What I am curious is why the state GOP decided to report the more meaningless of the two numbers they could have reported, why they decided to call the results before finishing the count, and why they still have not finished.

Perhaps it is all just incompetance, but I can not help but feel it is somewhat related to them trying to show McCain has momentum and support than he really has. Either way... it is does not reflect well on the state GOP.

Posted by: Lysander on February 10, 2008 06:15 PM
6. For what it's worth, with 93 percent of the results counted, McCain has 25.4%, Huckabee 23.8%, Paul 20.7, Romney 16.7%, Uncommitted 12.3%

As reported by the Washington State Republican Party. http://www.wsrp.org/News/Read.aspx?ID=7042

Posted by: Don Ward on February 10, 2008 06:22 PM
7. What the state party is reporting (presidential preference of incoming caucus participants) is meaningless. The preference of the delegates coming out of the caucus is not meaningless. It is a very good indicator of who will be best represented in the next phases of the process ending with the selection of 17 WA GOP delegates.

Well, I wouldn't call it a "very good" indicator. It is somewhat of an indicator, but many factors play into how good of an indicator it is. I'd say that for Ron Paul supporters, it is probably a better indicator than most, since I'd guess that RP supporters would be more motivated to show up at county, to want to go to state, to not change their minds, and so on. Of course, this is no indicator either way on whether RP may get any delegates at all to national.


Perhaps it is all just incompetance, but I can not help but feel it is somewhat related to them trying to show McCain has momentum and support than he really has. Either way... it is does not reflect well on the state GOP.

My best guess is that they wanted to make the news, so they went for it. That simple. There was no other reason to release ANY "results" in the first place. I can't think this is about trying to make McCain look better, since I see no reason to think that McCain wouldn't hold the same basic numbers for the last N percent.


And heck the what: Joe Fuiten just noted on the news that no one won or lost anything in the caucus ... and that there will be an investigation and that he will be looking over their shoulder to make sure it is investigated properly. But there is nothing to investigate, as he just admitted!

Grrrrrr.

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 06:24 PM
8. It's understandable why folks would get confused though. We do it differently than anyone else in the country, thanks to our independent Northwest attitude...that I wouldn't change for a minute!

We are possibly the only state where the culture of our party is this unique.

We elect delegates from the caucuses based on the credibility and the qualifications of the DELEGATES, not the candidates they support. We do the same thing when we elect our delegates to the State and National Convention.

I'm not sure how much discussion you guys had at your caucuses about the Prez nomination, but ours was pretty much "what do you think about these guys?" We had one Romney and the rest uncommitted.

When we elected delegates we didn't even dicuss the Presidential campaign.

I'm fairly certain that's the norm around the state. We just have a different party culture than other states, which is why it's so hard for other folks in the US of A to understand.

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 10, 2008 06:26 PM
9. I agree that other delagates may change their mind in the coming weeks but I am fairly confident you will not find that from Paul delegates who are already appear to outnumber the other candidates. In other words Pauls delegate count percentage can be treated as a minimum for him. To try and say this is meaningless would seem more credible from everyone if that is what you had been saying for months. what I seem to remember hearing however was...
"Paul may have a few peoples support on the internet but if he does not raise money it does not matter"

Then he raised money. and it was, "well paul may have money but it is not showing in the polls"

Then he started rising in the polls. So then it was, "well polls are meanless, the only thing that matters is getting delegates." Now he is well on his way to getting delegates and we are being told that is meaningless?

More important than Pauls national campaign, these delegates are not going to leave the state platform alone. I predict that next year at this time we will have a much limited government platform than we do now that will attract ever more 'Paul bearers'. By 2010 we will have won over new voters and current Democrats (who will be sick of clinton/obamas war in Iraq). We will then start electing Washingtons versions of Ron Paul to congress!

Posted by: Lysander on February 10, 2008 06:37 PM
10. By the way, I posted this same information/explanation on Huckabee's blog, but they haven't approved the post yet. I wonder what the lawyers that he's sending are going to do?

I thought the WSRP press release was fine. I think it might have been more accurately described as the "straw poll" or something to that effect, but it was fine. It might also have been titled "Washington Caucus Results" but if I was the McCain campaign I would be upset at that headline if I had won. So I think they probably did the right thing. What could they have done better?

The one thing that I would like to point out is that we've never before mattered here in Washington State. At least now we are on the national news as they report our results.

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 10, 2008 06:41 PM
11. Lysander: Paul delegates outnumber whose? Not Huckabee's or McCain's. And no, I'd say RP's delegate count is as much a maximum as a minimum: I think it is not very likely anyone will switch from OR to Ron Paul, at this stage. Meanwhile, McCain's numbers will only go up as he secures the nomination.

And none of the quotes you are giving came from me, so please, no straw men.

And frankly, let's be honest: the only people for specific candidates who had a lot of motivation to show up yesterday are RP and Huck delegates. Romney and McCain delegates had much less reason to bother.

I suspect RP won't get a single delegate to national, from the caucus results, and that McCain will get much more than half.

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 06:43 PM
12. Exactly. In our district all seven participants said they were for Romney last week before the announcement, all were going to support McCain strongly in the general. In the selection process 2 were going to go as Huckabee delegates since 4 did not think a suspended candidate should get votes and two were going as McCain delegates so the message sent was not too strong. So in our little group at the end 43% were still for Romney, and 28+% were for McCain and Huckabee each.

Posted by: David M on February 10, 2008 06:44 PM
13. Chad: it is not understandable how the media and the Huckabee campaign could get this wrong. Everyone else, sure, but it's their paid job to know how this works.

As to what they could have done better: they could have simply done as initially planned, and not released any results. Of course that wasn't going to happen. But they could have made absolutely clear in the results that these results are no real indication of who the delegates will be out of state and how they will vote at national, and they could have waited for 100 percent, or at least explained WHY they didn't have 100 percent.

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 06:46 PM
14. David M: yeah, I suspect a huge portion of the non-McCain, non-Paul delegates will go to McCain at state, if not county.

I preferred Thompson at the caucus, myself, but I will absolutely vote for McCain should he win the nomination. I'll decide who I'll support at county/state later. I am not even sure who I'll vote for in the primary ... probably Thompson.

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 06:53 PM
15. The caucus system is a 19th century relic that should go the way of the horse and buggy. The participants have long ago decided their preference ( thanks to 21st century multi media) and only want to vote. My own experience has been to walk into a room full of strangers and feel like a fish out of water for several hours not having a clue what is going on. Since McCain has already won, this Washington State Republican Primary means nothing just as all the past primaries. Ten Million dollars well spent!

Posted by: SIDNY on February 10, 2008 06:55 PM
16. Thanks for this topic, Pudge. I've been trying to explain on other threads the same thing. You do it far better than I.

Indeed an embarrasement for Huckabee to make so much of results that are meaningless. I love the "we'll have lawyers on the ground" comment from his campaign. Sort of confirms what I've believed about Huckabee all along.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 10, 2008 07:12 PM
17. So, tell me: if the selection of delegates during the caucus has absolutely no relationship to the stated intentions of those who are selected, why go to a caucus at all? Why not just tell everyone they can come to a bull session if they want -- and see how many come?

Also, tell me: if I decide to declare that I am a "member" of the party and then cast a vote in the coming primary election, will that, too, have nothing to do with the selection of a candidate?

Be good with your explanations. Make yourselves appear to be an organized political party consisting of people who want to make a choice based on the number of "members" who favor that choice.

Otherwise, I will no longer have any doubt that I could not declare myself to be a "member" of such a party.

Posted by: Micajah on February 10, 2008 07:15 PM
18. Pudge,
Sorry if you took my comment as a comment directed at you personally, it is more in general.

I do think Paul has more delegates than McCain and Huckabee. His supporters were more willing to go to the next phase than the other candidates and thus is represented by delegates in a higher proportion than his percentage of caucus goers. Considering how close he was in raw number of caucus goers it is not unreasonable to assume that he will have more delegates.

As for whether it is a min or a max, well I think we all agree he is not going to lose supporters, his being the most devoted. So right there it makes it a minimum. I think it will grow is based more on a anecodetal basis, but from what I saw at my pooled caucus, most all the other caucus goers agreed with what Paul has platformed on and all but the pro mccain folks were very interested in sending a very anti mccain message. Many of the non paul non mccain delegates seemed to be very intrested in learning more of paul and I suspect some will switch over, especially as Romney becomes more and more of a memory.

Posted by: Lysander on February 10, 2008 07:23 PM
19. Sidney @ 15:

I disagree completly. The caucus is the most democratic thing we have in this nation. interacting with your neighbors and actually discussing issues and canidates is far better than just filling in a couple ovals and stuffing your ballot in a mailbox.

There are problems that I do not like (such as the state GOP counting the wrong thing, reporting winners before they finish counting, and not being able to finish counting in 24 hours, and active military and other groups being excluded) but these are things to be fixed, not excuses to throw out the whole system.

Posted by: Lysander on February 10, 2008 07:30 PM
20. Micajah says, "So, tell me: if the selection of delegates during the caucus has absolutely no relationship to the stated intentions of those who are selected, why go to a caucus at all?"

Other than the fact that it was nice to chat with a lot of fellow conservatives, I've been wondering the same thing.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 10, 2008 07:30 PM
21. For those states who bind their delegates to the candidate who won, I believe that they are only bound for the first ballot. If the nominating election went beyond the first ballot, then the delegates are free to vote for whomever they want. I also think that a candidate has to win a majority to win the nomination. So if McCain gets 1,100 delegate votes, it goes to a second ballot. Then, all bets are off and we see what happens. Remember West Virginia last week. (someone correct me if I'm wrong on how this works)

This presupposes that there would even be multiple candidates still in the race at the convention. If McCain gets to the magic number of 1,191 then he'll be the only one still in the race because the rest will drop out. But that's what Ron Paul and Huckabee's strategy is at this point; keep McCain from getting 1,191. Then it goes to the convention and it gets interesting.

McCain has a HUGE lead in the delegate count, but he has not won. Don't forget about Romney's delegates. If Huckabee and Romney's votes were added together (they probably wouldn't be, but assume for a moment they were) then McCain is only a couple hundred ahead of Huckabee and it's a horse race.

Nobody needs to holler at me about how much of an uphill battle this is...I know it is.

I'm just saying we'll all look really dumb if we say "he's won" when he hasn't. Well, you guys will, I'll look smart. :)

All of us probably said Billary was a lock for the Democrat nomination this time last year. And didn't we count McCain out a few short months ago? It's a fascinating and exciting year to watch in both parties and if this process has taught us anything it's that prevailing wisdom doesn't always prevail.

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 10, 2008 07:42 PM
22. @2

the "raw delegate totals" may technically mean nothing but the state party still made a huge mistake by declaring McCain the winner without counting all the delegates. the delegate margin difference was and still is around 200.

the well-deserved stigma that already surrounds washington's voting/nominating/caucusing process should have served as a clear warning to those in GOP leadership who would make inaccurate public statements without substantiating evidence to reinforce their claims.

hey vance, remember this quote...
�If the books don�t balance and you can�t figure out why, you have to assume fraud took place.�

well this wasn't a technical vote and i don't think intentional fraud took place but when individuals take time out of their days to engage in the already convoluted process of caucusing then they deserve to have their voice heard and recognized without irresponsible, premature conjecture from party officials.

congratulations WA state on another embarrassing political year filled with blunders.


Posted by: whycaucus? on February 10, 2008 07:48 PM
23. SIDNY @ 15: Since McCain has already won, this Washington State Republican Primary means nothing just as all the past primaries. Ten Million dollars well spent!

Well, blame the people, who instituted it via initiative. At least the GOP tries to play along with the choice of the people to have a primary. Although one could make the argument that if the GOP ignored it, we might not have it at all, as was the case in 2004, when we canceled it because it was meaningless for both parties.


Micajah @ 17: So, tell me: if the selection of delegates during the caucus has absolutely no relationship to the stated intentions of those who are selected, why go to a caucus at all? Why not just tell everyone they can come to a bull session if they want -- and see how many come?

It is not that there is no relationship, it is that there is no NECESSARY relationship.

The point of the caucus is to select the people who will select the people who will determine who our national delegates are. Some people will elect delegates based on presidential preference, especially in a very tight contest. Our contest is no longer very tight, which means it is less of an indicator.

Further, these delegates will select the county (and, for state delegates, state) platforms, so that is another reason to caucus.


Also, tell me: if I decide to declare that I am a "member" of the party and then cast a vote in the coming primary election, will that, too, have nothing to do with the selection of a candidate?

No, the primary counts for 51 percent of the delegates to national convention, just as caucus counts for 49 percent. The difference is that we will know who will get the 51 percent sometime shortly after Feb. 19; we won't know who will get the 49 percent until the end of May.


Lysander @ 18: I do think Paul has more delegates than McCain and Huckabee.

Oh, you mean you think he has more delegates who will REMAIN his. Eh, maybe Huckabee, but McCain will easily win more caucus delegates at state convention, IMO. We shall see.


whycaucus @ 22: the state party still made a huge mistake by declaring McCain the winner without counting all the delegates

But there IS no winner ANYWAY. So I don't see how it really matters.

well this wasn't a technical vote and i don't think intentional fraud took place but when individuals take time out of their days to engage in the already convoluted process of caucusing then they deserve to have their voice heard and recognized without irresponsible, premature conjecture from party officials.

whycaucus: you still aren't getting it. There is no voice to be heard. There is no "fraud" of any kind. There is no winner to be announced, even with 100% counted. There wasn't even an election, except for individual delegates, who may or may not have even told anyone their preference in their caucus, even if they had one they wrote down. Any voice to be heard will be at the county conventions.

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 08:18 PM
24. The chair stops at 87% and it's oh well, what ever, doesn't matter, you don't understand..

I see 100% excuses.... what's your relationship to the chair? Why did any of you even show up?

You speak of credibility, there are a bunch of people looking at this and thinking, "Is this a political party or a freaking social club"?

Posted by: Spank That Donkey on February 10, 2008 08:27 PM
25. It's all just another embarrassment for this state's GOP. They really ought to be getting out of the caucus business unless there could be a defining outcome (except to discuss party platform, etc.) Obviously this caucus was a mess. The end result could be that Ron Paul wins 18 delegates at the state convention, depending on what happens at the county & state level.

Luke Esser, should have just said that clearly nobody won, that there isn't enough information from the results to show that any one candidate will be able to receive the delegates when the state convention comes, we'll just have to wait.

I think Huckabee was trying to get a sweep heading into Tuesday where he's weak in those states, hoping to get a bump. I do agree that Esser should not have declared McCain the winner in Washington, because as so many have clearly pointed out, there really is no way that we'll know the actual winner of these delegates for quite some time.

Posted by: Doug on February 10, 2008 08:28 PM
26. Not to be a massive conspiracy theorist, but, assuming these are sign-in counts (they are, right?) and not delegate totals...

Could Ron Paul have maybe, possibly won the most delegates?

I mean, look at those Clark County numbers...McCain had awful delegate retention (worse than Romney!), Paul did great, and Huckabee did "all right."

Extrapolating the Clark County situation statewide, mightn't Ron Paul have won? If I were the WAGOP, I'd be "delaying" results too. ;)

I doubt that's what's going on, but that's a political junkie dream, there.

Posted by: Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson on February 10, 2008 08:40 PM
27. #8 Chad stated that the culture of our party is unique and that it isn't expected that everyone understand the process. It strikes me as being a culture of neurosis! What about the concept of one person has one vote, and before Iowa and New Hampshire thins the pack for us? I can see the rationale of the caucuses and primaries in the horse & buggy days & no communication, but it doesn't make sense for 21st century.

Posted by: Richard on February 10, 2008 08:42 PM
28. Pudge:
No I am not saying that Paul had less delegates but will retain more through the process. I am saying he had more coming out of the caucus yesterday. As the SSLLLLOOOWWW count from the state GOP showed us, the three candidates had roughly the same percentage of supporters coming in. My theory which seems to be backed up by everything I have heard from media reports from actual caucuses and other people around the state is that Paul won more delegates than the percentage of his supporters would indicate.

In other words he lost the popular vote but won the electoral college if you will. I expect this will continue to be the case in each phase of the WA caucus system.

I also expect it to be underreported throughout the process in the media.

Posted by: Lysander on February 10, 2008 08:56 PM
29. The internal workings of how the sign-in sheets are handled and delegates relate to those sheets is important. I know that the AG (Rob Mc) will have an interest and the State Party Chair has an interest and that interest is John McCain. Be assured that John McCain will win Washington no matter how many lawyers Huck brings. Ron Paul will also get shoved under the train. This whole process is bad.

Posted by: rocketdog on February 10, 2008 09:03 PM
30. Spank That Donkey @ 24: I see 100% excuses...

You don't understand.

There is nothing to excuse. What was being counted is meaningless. Literally.

Doug @ 25: The end result could be that Ron Paul wins 18 delegates at the state convention

Won't happen.

Luke Esser, should have just said that clearly nobody won, that there isn't enough information from the results to show that any one candidate will be able to receive the delegates when the state convention comes, we'll just have to wait.

Agreed.


Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson @ 26: Not to be a massive conspiracy theorist, but, assuming these are sign-in counts (they are, right?) and not delegate totals...

Actually, I think it is some of both, depending on county. I looked over the state caucus rules and found no guidance here.

Could Ron Paul have maybe, possibly won the most delegates?

Possible. I highly doubt it.


Richard @ 27: What about the concept of one person has one vote, and before Iowa and New Hampshire thins the pack for us? I can see the rationale of the caucuses and primaries in the horse & buggy days & no communication, but it doesn't make sense for 21st century.

You misunderstand the purpose of the caucus. It's not about communication. It's about the active party members making choices. This is "one person, one vote:" Each person who chooses to participate gets one vote for delegate.

I am not saying you have to like the system, but the rationale behind it makes perfect sense. It depends on what your priorities and principles are, and there's no right or wrong answer.


Lysander @ 28: I am saying he had more coming out of the caucus yesterday.

There is absolutely no evidence supporting that claim. You may believe it, but you have no actual evidence to cause you to do so.


As the SSLLLLOOOWWW count from the state GOP showed us, the three candidates had roughly the same percentage of supporters coming in.

No, they didn't. Paul needed a huge number compared to the other two to catch up to first place.

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 09:07 PM
31. no pudge,

you aren't getting it.

take some time and visit wsrp.org and read the headline under "wsrp news". it says "sen. mccain WINS republican precinct caucuses"

so your assertion that "there is no WINNER to be announced" is wrong. the wsrp announced a winner even if you didn't read about it.

i understand that the caucus is not an election, that point has already been beat to death by bloggers like yourself. so thanks for the unneeded clarification. moreover, i never said that the delegate count was fraudulent, i don't believe it was.

however, encouraging people to caucus and then not recognizing their voice is inherently counter-intuitive in regards to the democratic process. this cannot be good.

i find it intriguing that party officials are so interested in hyping the caucus process and encouraging people to participate at a local level, yet when questions are raised regarding the allocation of delegates people like yourself and others want to tell voters that their participation "means nothing."

i am a delegate and i understand that the county convention and state convention will ultimately decide the delegate allocation. but the preliminary local caucus, although confusing, is still an important avenue for individuals to voice their opinions, concerns and preferences in regards to the presidential primary. this process does mean something to the people who participated and your attempts to minimize and marginalize the intent of caucus goers is both disturbing and unbecoming of a political blogger.

Posted by: whycaucus? on February 10, 2008 09:12 PM
32. rocketdog @ 29: There is NO EVIDENCE OF ANY KIND that there has been ANYTHING DONE WHATSOEVER to subvert the proper election of precinct delegates.

And nothing else matters.

If McCain wins the most of the 49 percent of delegates, it will only be because more properly elected delegates from state voted for them, which would only be because more properly elected delegates from county voted for THEM, which would only be because more properly elected delegates from the precincts voted for THEM.

So unless there is some evidence that precinct delegates were improperly elected, then there is no evidence of anything wrong, and while you can dislike the process, any implication of wrongdoing is invented out of thin air.

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 09:13 PM
33. Sooo.... lemme see if I understand what happened yesterday. I show up at my assigned caucus location, sit down at my local precinct table. Ultimately 6 more people show up. We all sign in and, oh by the way, put down our "preference" for President (I wrote down Romney). We then fill out some questionnaire that I'm guessing is some basis for the party platform.

Then at the magical hour of 1:00 we start the "election" of our delegates. Ours went something like this:

"First, who will be in town on April 12th"?

That eliminated 4 people at our table

"Okay, now. Who wants to be a delegate? You? You? You? Okay, great! All in favor say 'aye'. Opposed?" Great! you three are the delegates"

"What do we do now?"
"Fill out the form under 1st Delegate, then alternates"
"Where do I put down our preference for President"
"That was on the sign in form"
"You mean as delegate we don't have to agree on our candidate"
"No, not yet. All you are doing is representing your district at the King County Convention"
"You mean I can walk out of here as a delegate supporting Bruce Willis for President?"
"Yeah, I guess"
"Hmmm..okay"

Next we figured out our PCO didn't show up, and the reason is that he is moving out of state.

"Oh, okay. Anyone want to be PCO? You? Okay, great. But the PCO is also automagically a delegate. Do we need more delegates?"

"No, not really"

"Okay. So, are we done? Great! "Hey, wow! Look at all those people with Ron Paul buttons. What dopes. Have a great afternoon everyone!"

Do have that about right? Whatever people wrote down as their choice for President on the sign in form means nothing? I mean, I'm guessing a lot of those people didn't end up being elected delegates"

So,what the press is reporting is basically the equivalent of the results of a grade school election for class president?

Posted by: Dave on February 10, 2008 09:26 PM
34. pudge,

Actually, I think it is some of both, depending on county. I looked over the state caucus rules and found no guidance here.

Wait, what? Different counties are using raw votes, and others delegates? That doesn't make sense to me. There are going to be many fewer delegates than raw votes. Assuming about a 1:50 ratio, that could make King County count for less than Whitman County. I doubt the WAGOP would allow that.

So far, the state GOP has told us:

1. John McCain is receiving a low plurality of some sort of caucus-related vote.
2. John McCain has won, somehow.

I'm very confused as to why they can't just come out and say, "this is the number of delegates," preferably "and this is where they're from." That would make all of this Huckabee business moot and would stop idiots like me from suggesting that Ron Paul may have one.

Which, by all means, if this is straw-poll, he probably did.

Posted by: Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson on February 10, 2008 09:32 PM
35. So... What's *worng* with Bruce Willis for President? You may be on to something there.....

Posted by: bfr on February 10, 2008 09:40 PM
36. Some of the numbers that are most significant about Republican precinct caucuses in Washington yesterday:

1. About 20,000 voters statewide participated in the Republican caucuses. Well over 200,000 voters statewide participated in the Democratic caucuses -- a ratio of better than ten-to-one.

2. At least 1,300 precinct delegate positions in King County went to candidate "NO SHOW". These positions were not filled simply because either no one attended, or not enough people attended, in hundreds of precincts to fill the available precinct delegate positions. Candidate "NO SHOW" basically tied with John McCain in King County -- who won 1,321 precinct delegates.

3. It has been over 24 hours since the precinct caucuses were completed, and L.Esser still cannot provide any meaningful or credible numbers as to the results. L.Esser simply proclaims that "93.3%" of precincts are reporting, and that McCain has "won" with "25.4%" (of something). L.Esser refuses to release a county-by-county or other detailed breakdown, provide the absolute numbers of precinct delegates (or caucus attendees) favoring each candidate, or even reveal any information about the actual number of voters attending the precinct caucuses.

Posted by: Richard Pope on February 10, 2008 09:49 PM
37. Richard @36.

Unless someone corrects me regarding my experience yesterday, whatever is reported,even if it was 100%, means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the candidates at this point. All it indicates is taht of the people that showed up at the caucuses, signed in AND put down a presidential preference, McCain's name was written down by 20 some percentage of the people that signed in. Huckabee was written down by 20some percentage of the people. Not everyone that signed in was elected as a delegate and NO delegate is committed to vote for ANY candidate at this point. Like I said, if this had been well planned, Esser could have asked everyone to write down Alan Keyes and really messed with people's heads. It wouldn't have mattered!!!!

Again, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Dave on February 10, 2008 10:00 PM
38. The point is that Luke Esser was desperate for the media to report a "victory" for McCain, and did so even before all votes were counted.

If Huckabee had swept WA along with KS and LA, it would have been a huge embarrassment for McCain and shown him as a very weak candidate.

Posted by: Jason on February 10, 2008 10:27 PM
39. From an outside view...this thread is amazing, and I'm hopeful that the Huckabee campaign's lawyers are copying all this as a record of what is happening.

As I understand it from the explanation, and the affirmation from the past State-party Chair...there's no way to extrapolate from the process any meaningful results.

And yet...the WSRP declared that John McCain won to the National Media. That, as it appears from reading these comments, is a misrepresentation of what occurred, and if so, were I one of the other candidates, I'd be very upset and wonder if there was something actionable here. You've represented that a candidate won when there's no basis upon which to do so. I wonder, then, what the motivation was? And this all from the Party who can't get over the 2004 election?

Finally, were there declarations read at the caucuses, yesterday, telling participants that their participation was meaningless as is now being declared here?

This is a morass and is growing deeper and deeper the more you all try to explain it.

Posted by: Timothy on February 10, 2008 10:28 PM
40. I'd guess that except for incompetance on the part of Esser, the only type of Fraud that could be had is if someone at the RNC contacted Esser before making the announcement and told him that McCain desperately needed this win, so call it and quit counting. Heck if they are really desparate, there probably isn't any state mechanism to keep them from misplacing a few tally sheets as well, after all it's just a party matter, does the secretary of state even have a process to certify these results?

Posted by: Doug on February 10, 2008 10:35 PM
41. whycaucus @ 31: so your assertion that "there is no WINNER to be announced" is wrong.

No, it is not. I know the state party announced a "winner," but in fact, there can be no declared winner, since there was actually no contest taking place to win. It's only the first phase. The winner will be discovered only in May at the state convention. Calling anyone the "winner of the precinct caucuses" is kinda like declaring a team the "winner of the first quarter." All that matters, as far as WA is concerned, is who gets elected as a delegate to the national covention, and these numbers do not well-inform us as to who that might be.


however, encouraging people to caucus and then not recognizing their voice is inherently counter-intuitive in regards to the democratic process. this cannot be good.

OK: doing something that didn't happen is counter-intuitive and not-good. Let's stick to what DID happen, shall we?


... when questions are raised regarding the allocation of delegates ...

Perhaps this is the root of your problem: THERE ARE NO QUESTIONS REGARDING THE ALLOCATION OF DELEGATES. None. Zip. You are mistaken. We elected the delegates, and they are who they are, and we cannot know within a significant degree of certitude who they support, because that is not how they were chosen. Some of them may have been, sure, but not all of them, certainly. Maybe not even most.


people like yourself and others want to tell voters that their participation "means nothing."

I never said any such thing. You are, again, entirely mistaken.


this process does mean something to the people who participated and your attempts to minimize and marginalize the intent of caucus goers is both disturbing and unbecoming of a political blogger.

I assume you are not referring to me, because a. I never said a single thing to either minimize or marginalize the intent of caucus goers, and b. I am not a "blogger."

The two women who were elected delegates in my caucus were there primarily because of issues, including giving tribal police authority of general law enforcement officers. I have no idea who they support for President, because it never came up, and by trying to make it all about that, you're the one who is minimizing and marginalizing their voice and intent. I am sticking to the facts, and not jumping to conclusions, and letting their voices be heard properly through the democratic process, which will continue in March and April at the county conventions.


Dave @ 33: "Oh, okay. Anyone want to be PCO? You? Okay, great. But the PCO is also automagically a delegate. Do we need more delegates?"

No, the PCO is only automatically a delegate if they were a PCO before January (I forget the exact date). So Dave, your caucus may have messed this up. I hope not. :/

As to the rest, regarding counting people who just show up and sign in being counted, please see below.


Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson: Wait, what? Different counties are using raw votes, and others delegates?

Not "votes," no, of course: just stated preferences of participants, as there was no such vote. And yes, this appears to have happened, and it will apparently be worked out, and a revised count will be provided later. Not that the count means anything anywyay.


That doesn't make sense to me. There are going to be many fewer delegates than raw votes. Assuming about a 1:50 ratio, that could make King County count for less than Whitman County. I doubt the WAGOP would allow that.

Again, it doesn't matter, since there are no "votes" and no county could count more than any other county because none of the counts count for anything in the first place! (Though again, they are going to get it worked out, so all the counties will have provided the same results, based on actual delegates. So the numbers, as meaningless as they are, will be accurate and correct.)


Richard Pope: no one cares.

Jason: no, Luke Esser was desperate for the media to report anything at all about the GOP caucuses. McCain was ahead, they got all the votes in they could for the night, so they called it for McCain.

What happened is lame enough without inventing ulterior motives.


Timothy: As I understand it from the explanation, and the affirmation from the past State-party Chair...there's no way to extrapolate from the process any meaningful results.

Correct.


And yet...the WSRP declared that John McCain won to the National Media. That, as it appears from reading these comments, is a misrepresentation of what occurred, and if so, were I one of the other candidates, I'd be very upset and wonder if there was something actionable here.

I believe it is a misrepresentation in a sense ... in portraying the results as meaningful. To me, it is just standard P.R. nonsense, not anything more or less.

But actionable? Nonsense. There's nothing remotely actionable here. You're just looking for something that isn't there because you're bitter.


And this all from the Party who can't get over the 2004 election?

To compare a election of delegates with non-binding preferences for candidates to an actual election is ridiculous.


Finally, were there declarations read at the caucuses, yesterday, telling participants that their participation was meaningless as is now being declared here?

You're making things up. No one is saying that their participation is meaningless.


This is a morass and is growing deeper and deeper the more you all try to explain it.

Only because you are understanding it less and less.

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 10:35 PM
42. I'd guess that except for incompetance on the part of Esser, the only type of Fraud that could be had is if someone at the RNC contacted Esser before making the announcement and told him that McCain desperately needed this win, so call it and quit counting. Heck if they are really desparate, there probably isn't any state mechanism to keep them from misplacing a few tally sheets as well, after all it's just a party matter, does the secretary of state even have a process to certify these results?

Posted by: Doug on February 10, 2008 10:37 PM
43. Pudge, I very much overstated the PCO incident. The District Chair came by to answer some questions and we asked if it were important that the PCO be in attendance given that he is moving. He said "no, but it would be good to find a replacement". That's when did the last one not to take one step back vote. Then the District Chair said he would contact me.

Posted by: Dave on February 10, 2008 10:49 PM
44. Wow. What chaos. Can't wait for one of you GOPers to run for King County Auditor. You've really shown Washington voters how well you can set up a secure, accurate and credible vote-counting system, and then count votes, and then report them timely while the nation watches. Real competetence here.

Posted by: amazing on February 10, 2008 11:03 PM
45. Pudge:

I do not have evidence in hand, but I do know there is evidence that Paul has more delagates from saturdays caucus than any other candidate.

The state GOP has the evidence as well but is sitting on it for some reason.

And common sense tells you the same as well. Pauls campaign did an excellant job training all Paul supporters before the caucus. We knew what needed to be done and despite slighlty less supporters, we got elected as delegates which is what was needed. Do you think us Paul supporters would throw money at him (more than any other GOP candidate in the state) but not bother to figure out how to get him delegates?

Travis

Posted by: Lysander on February 10, 2008 11:04 PM
46. "amazing": yes, you leftists keep trying to compare this to an actual election, and each time you do, it proves you to be dishonest or irrational. In fact, the vote-counting is accurate and credible, for the only votes that actually took place: for precinct delegates. Which presidential preferences those delegates had was never the object of any vote. What the state party is trying to come up with a number for represents no actual vote.


Lysander: I do know there is evidence that Paul has more delagates from saturdays caucus than any other candidate.

No, you do not know that. You are making it up. If you have it, tell me what it is. Otherwise I will continue to assume you are making it up. It is not "common sense." It would only be "common sense" if I had reason to think that Paul had enough participants per precinct to give him more delegates than anyone else, and I have no reason to think that, and neither do you.

Seriously, until you can provide actual evidence, just stop. You're looking entirely unhinged.

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 11:17 PM
47. Pudge...I think you misunderstand the nature of what you're describing.

If the WA GOP represented to the Nation that one candidate won, but that there's no basis in that representation, then I think the WA GOP is open for litigation.

The announced results have ramifications nation-wide on the election. If you were in a competing campaign, and a State party told the national media that one candidate won when there's no basis for them to state such, that's improper.

Posted by: Timothy on February 10, 2008 11:28 PM
48. Timothy: no, I am not misunderstanding anything (unlike you, who incorrectly asserted that anyone was saying anyone else's participation was meaningless, and illogically comparing properly counted caucus results to the well-known actual errors in the 2004 general election).

There is absolutely nothing remotely actionable here. You don't know what you're talking about. I presume you either are not a lawyer, or you're an ambulance-chasing one. This would be an entirely frivolous lawsuit.

Posted by: pudge on February 10, 2008 11:36 PM
49. Pudge, you are a saint for dealing with this all day.
Doug @ 42: No, the secretary of state does not have a way to certify caucus results. THIS IS NOT AN ELECTION. Caucuses are run by the parties for the parties and are entirely controlled by the parties. The state is not involved.
As for the Ron Paul folks, I expect they're so upset by all of this because they thought they had a chance to pull off the upset in this state, but it didn't quite work out for them. I would expect that if Ron Paul were ahead with 93% reporting, they would be touting that number to any and all who would listen. The RP folks' problem is that in each step of the caucus process (leg. district/county convention, state convention) the delegates will be more and more sophisticated and they will know not to vote more RP folks on to the next level. So the RP delegates will be getting fewer and fewer with each step.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 10, 2008 11:41 PM
50. Pudge...you said the results, as announced by the Party, were meaningless. There have been posters on this thread who understood their participation to be other than what you've explained it was.

You're saying that there was no basis for the State Party to announce a "winner." And yet, the State party did. And while it is true that I am not a lawyer (never claimed I was) I don't think my quick judgement is too far off the mark. But, we'll see...

Thanks for your explanations of what happened. It puts Esser into some pretty hot water if any of the other campaigns or media outlets or any other interested parties in this Primary season care enough to make an issue of it.


Posted by: Timothy on February 10, 2008 11:54 PM
51. If what was counted was meaningless, then why did the WSRP announce a victory for McCain?

Posted by: Boonie on February 10, 2008 11:55 PM
52. Pudge et al...I just read the story from tomorrow's Seattle Times, and Esser continues to represent this as a contest between candidates, with a clear winner & loser.

Is his representation accurate?

Posted by: Timothy on February 11, 2008 12:05 AM
53. Somebody's heads needs to roll... and I think Luke's is a fine place to start.

Posted by: Hinton on February 11, 2008 12:19 AM
54. This thread is priceless!

Posted by: Daniel K on February 11, 2008 12:20 AM
55. Timothy: Pudge...you said the results, as announced by the Party, were meaningless.

Yes.

There have been posters on this thread who understood their participation to be other than what you've explained it was.

I don't recall any participant who said that. But if so, well, then that is unfortunate that they misunderstood and erroneously thought that they were voting specifically for a Presidential candidate.

I just read the story from tomorrow's Seattle Times, and Esser continues to represent this as a contest between candidates, with a clear winner & loser.

Is his representation accurate?

Accurate? Maybe. Meaningful? No.

Technically speaking, you can declare a candidate the winner of the precinct caucuses, by virtue of getting the most delegates to county convention who have stated that candidate as their preference. But those stated preferences are in many cases not meaningful (as they are subject to change, and in probably a majority of cases LIKELY to change), and even if they could be presumed static, it would not tell us who will actually get the most delegates to national convention. So even if it is TRUE that someone can be declared a winner of having the most delegates elected from the precinct caucuses, it isn't MEANINGFUL, in that it has no predictive value for who will "win" the actual delegates to the national convention.

I would not characterize anyone as "winning" but I don't think I could call it inaccurate. Misleading, perhaps, in that it implies importance and meaning that doesn't exist. But gosh, isn't that what most of politics is about?


Boonie: my claim in the post -- which is my unsubstantiated, but educated, belief -- is that they wanted the press attention that comes with announcing results.

I am not intending to beat up on the WSRP here -- I have nothing against them, other than the fact that they keep calling me for money via annoying telemarketers who won't take no for an answer so I have to hang up on them which I don't want to do because I do want to support the party -- just trying to lay out how it all works. And the way it works is that we vote for delegates, not presidential candidates, and the presidential preferences of those delegates are entirely subject to change, and if the preference is not "McCain" or "Paul," then, chances are, before the county and state conventions, those preferences WILL change.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 12:23 AM
56. Timothy @ 50:
Could you please explain what you think a lawsuit would be based on here? Somebody not liking the headlines in the paper?
As for the "hot water" comment, the press will use it (they already are) because they love controversy. And the "other campaigns" are using it too, as evidenced by Ed Rollins' press release in which he becomes unhinged. But let's be clear about a couple of facts:
1. The Huckabee campaign is not concerned with this controversy because they think picking up a few more precinct delegates is important for them. This is all about media coverage.
2. The reason that the delegate affiliations are released at all is because the media and the campaigns want to declare a "winner." The "winner" is the person who the most delegates marked as their preference. Currently, John McCain has the most affiliated delegates. Once all the counting is done, John McCain will have the most affiliated delegates.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 12:35 AM
57. If it means nothing, then why do we have a caucus AND a primary. Why do the delegates who finally are winnowed out and appear at the National Convention have a say in addition to the candidate selected in the Primary by ballot.
Sounds like a huge waste of time and money. Especially if the caucus is not conducted in a uniform manner in each precinct.
It sounds as ripe for corruption as the last gubernatorial election.

Posted by: Nancy on February 11, 2008 12:46 AM
58. Pudge...did the selection of delegates have any relation to the preference of candidate? Or, is that a secondary metric?

Posted by: Timothy on February 11, 2008 12:46 AM
59. Pudge,

Not to argue with you, my good buddy...but what makes you think the "winner" of the caucuses got the most delegates elected? I visted caucuses and witnessed about 20 precincts (in the district we mutually share) and they ALL counted every single preference that people wrote down. Not a single precinct that I saw only counted the preference of the delegates.

This goes to your point that the straw poll is unimportant because it counted the preferences of the meaningless attendees who are not delegates.

Had they counted only the preferences of the elected delegates the poll might have more meaning. Not a lot more meaning...but it would be more of an indicator of what might possibly happen at the County Conventions.

Another point is that some of the Counties might have had disproportionately larger turnouts than others. So while Ron Paul might have had a HUGE turnout and five hundred votes in Whitman County, they only get six total delegates to the State Convention. That's another reason the straw poll is amazingly meaningless.

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 11, 2008 12:56 AM
60. Nancy @ 57: If it means nothing, then why do we have a caucus AND a primary.

I didn't say the caucus or primary means nothing. I said the results of which presidential candidate "won" the precinct caucus mean nothing.

And we have both because the voters passed an initiative to require a primary 20 years ago.

Timothy @ 58: 58. Pudge...did the selection of delegates have any relation to the preference of candidate? Or, is that a secondary metric?

Just like with any election for a candidate for office, people vote for them for different reasons. I imagine many Ron Paul supporters, for example, only voted for other Ron Paul delegates. Many other caucus participants, such as myself, didn't take presidential preference into consideration at all.

Chad @ 59: I know, we did it that way too, and as I understand it, we are the only county that did it that way. And I think we may have to go over the delegate forms and match them to the sign-in sheets and re-submit our results. I have no idea if our results are included in the currently reported count, or if ours are maybe the ones that are NOT.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 01:12 AM
61. So we should have only counted the preference of the delegates? Are you sure the other counties didn't do that too? That might be weird to see numbers jump around if we reported wrong.

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 11, 2008 01:51 AM
62. Pudge...

Thanks for the information. I think this is a major story, and I've written an analysis of this and placed it on my web site. You can read it here:

http://www.moreperfect.org/wiki/index.php?title=Blog_Perfect

Any feedback is appreciated.

Posted by: Timothy on February 11, 2008 03:12 AM
63. Timothy,

Pierce County has about 1,000 registered voters per precinct, while King County has only about 400 registered voters per precinct.

State convention delegates are actually apportioned between the counties based on Republican voting strength -- which can vary, but does have a strong relationship to the number of registered voters, of course.

The state GOP requires that counties allocate precinct delegates, based on an average of at least two delegates per precinct -- with strong GOP voting precincts getting more, and weak GOP precincts getting less.

So the statewide figures are somewhat like comparing apples and oranges, and may bear little relationship to how state convention delegates are determined. McCain wins lots of delegates in King County, but these have less influence on state convention delegates, simply because King County has fewer GOP voters per precinct.

There would need to be some sort of weighted average, adjusted by the average GOP voting strength per precinct in each county. Only then could a reasonable estimate of the statewide "winner" be made.

Not to mention counting the remaining missing precincts ...

Posted by: Richard Pope on February 11, 2008 03:42 AM
64. Richard...I think you miss my point. I made no comparison between Pierce and King County, nor did I extrapolate to Statewide results.

WSRP Luke Esser is claiming that John McCain "won" the Feb. 9th caucuses. To make that claim, he's counting the stated preferences of elected delegates. But, delegates were not apportioned according to any metric based on their Presidential preferences.

Pierce Counties results, as outlined in my analysis linked above, shows that the Caucus attendees preferred Mike Huckabee, but somehow, John McCain ended up with a greater number of delegates. By counting delegate preferences, Mr. Esser is using a random number and then declaring a "victory" for John McCain that is based on nothing.

This seems to be a major discrepancy.

Posted by: Timothy on February 11, 2008 03:50 AM
65. This thread is great. Someone should attach power turbines to Pudge. That kind of spin control is so epic, it's almost Clintonian.

Posted by: Stan on February 11, 2008 03:54 AM
66. If we here in our own State get confused about this, do you think for a second the MSM and/or the rest of the Nation is going to dig below the headlines and study this? Heck NO! It's the 'reporting' element of this (on a National level) that obviously upsets Huckabee and his folks. If the HEADLINES were 'WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS MEANS NOTHING' instead of 'HUCKABEE LOSES ON MISCOUNT'...or similar there probably wouldn't be this uproar. I'm sick of Washington State being portrayed as a 'cheater' state!

Posted by: Duffman on February 11, 2008 05:43 AM
67. This stuff should be sent to all of the talk radio hosts and networks. It's priceless. Good job!

Posted by: Christina on February 11, 2008 06:04 AM
68. The fault is with the WSRP press release declaring McCain the winner if the results are indeed "meaningless." Seems to be that the officials are acting a little too "Boss Tweed" to be credible. I'm glad Huckabee brought this up -- because it needs to be fixed.

Posted by: Cyndy Salzmann on February 11, 2008 06:23 AM
69. Don't you think you guys should have figured out the rules before the caucus? Might be a good thing to do the next time.

Posted by: Daniel K on February 11, 2008 07:33 AM
70. simply look at the question of "uncommited" and what happens to these delegates and you have to figure out that there is something missing. that something is the next step in the PROCESS! it is fine to talk about the winner of the prefernce ballott and the make up of the delegates elected, but it really should be prefaced and followed with a disclaimer that such speculation is really meaningless and then offer some explanation about the next step

Posted by: Shannon on February 11, 2008 07:58 AM
71. Having read every word of every post in this thread, the person I would least like to be in this state is Dino Rossi.

If he has to depend on you lot to get him elected, he is going down hard.

Posted by: ivan on February 11, 2008 08:02 AM
72. Chad @ 61: So we should have only counted the preference of the delegates?

As I understand it, the state requested one thing, and we gave another. Draw your own conclusions about "should." :-)

Are you sure the other counties didn't do that too?

I am not entirely sure of any of it. This is just my best understanding.


Timothy: I think this is a major story

I think it is almost completely a non-story, insofar as actual delegate counts are concerned. It's an interesting story in regards to how the press and private organizations interoperate, but that isn't what I am concerned with here.


Stan: if you have a comment on anything specific I've said, fine. But to call the stating of fact "spin" makes you look like a fool.


Duffman: If we here in our own State get confused about this, do you think for a second the MSM and/or the rest of the Nation is going to dig below the headlines and study this? Heck NO!

No, I don't think they will; but I think the mainstream press SHOULD. No one here is paid to understand it, but the press is.


Cyndy: The fault is with the WSRP press release declaring McCain the winner if the results are indeed "meaningless." Seems to be that the officials are acting a little too "Boss Tweed" to be credible. I'm glad Huckabee brought this up -- because it needs to be fixed.

There is nothing substantive to fix. Nothing in our official procedures is broken: they all worked exactly as they are supposed to. But there IS no official procedure for relaying results of any statewide "winner," since there is no actual prize to win at this stage. This is a P.R. thing that the state decided to throw together.

So the only "broken" thing is the P.R. machine, not any actual meaningful thing having to do with electing delegates.


Daniel K: Don't you think you guys should have figured out the rules before the caucus?

We followed all the rules that have anything actually to do with electing delegates and allocating them to presidential candidates. What happened here is separate from any rules, because it's only about P.R.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 08:04 AM
73. Hey guys...this is where you blame Dean Logan! Remember, he's the cause of all fixed and false election results.

Obviously he's responsible for this republican caucus debacle. It couldn't possibly be anything else.

Dean Logan -- It's his fault!

ps...sub-blame goes to all the democrats on the king county council..since all elections here are fraudulent and it's always the democrats fault...even for those that are 100% run by republicans.

Posted by: Bill Anderson on February 11, 2008 08:05 AM
74. I agree with Timothy on his evaluation. I was elected because I said I would go. No mention of where we stood or who we stood for. We were 10 people to fill 3 spots. I got choosen because I said I would do it. It had nothing to do on who we represented.
Now the question is we know that all PCO's are to also go to the caucus. Lets say they followed the Party line that they had to list McCain as their choose. This would give McCain at least one representative in each caucus no matter what the vote was for the other members. I am not saying that happened. But it is possible that those who are PCO's could easily be told to follow Party Desires for this caucus and that they will be free to vote as they desire at the County convention. Could that not affect the overall results???

Posted by: David Anfinrud on February 11, 2008 08:23 AM
75. Based on my understanding of the system, it was wrong of the WSRP to call it for anyone right now. Raw numbers should have been reported, and that's it.

But, I'm not surprised given the overwhelming temptation for certain parties to show 'momentum' for a frontrunner candidate.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on February 11, 2008 08:23 AM
76. When are the leftists going to get a new line? Comparing proper handling of the election of delegates in a caucus to improper handling of the election of a governor in a general election is illogical.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 08:23 AM
77. It may in fact be nothing; I realize that but that's not the perception our Nation is getting from all of this. The Nation is again getting the perception that Washington State either doesn't know how to count or that nothing we do in terms of 'count' can be trusted. THIS is the sad part of this whole situation in my mind. We are being unfairly tainted in a negative manner because we don't communicate properly. And I'm using 'we' here as a State - not a particular political party. This is a sad commentary on whoever is running the show.

Posted by: Duffman on February 11, 2008 08:33 AM
78. Chad at 12:56 AM: "So while Ron Paul might have had a HUGE turnout and five hundred votes in Whitman County, they only get six total delegates to the State Convention."

More accurately, Ron Paul had a few dozen supporters and received 19 delegates.

Most of Paul's supporters were WSU students who were from precincts that are largely made up of student housing. Theoretically, Paul could have received a few more delegates, but the delegates are apportioned based on the Republican vote in the last statewide election, which as you can imagine, is not high in majority student precincts here in Pullman

Posted by: Tom Forbes on February 11, 2008 08:34 AM
79. David: Now the question is we know that all PCO's are to also go to the caucus. Lets say they followed the Party line that they had to list McCain as their choose. This would give McCain at least one representative in each caucus no matter what the vote was for the other members. I am not saying that happened. But it is possible that those who are PCO's could easily be told to follow Party Desires for this caucus and that they will be free to vote as they desire at the County convention. Could that not affect the overall results???

That DID NOT HAPPEN. Not statewide, certainly. I am a PCO and I wrote down Thompson. I know many other PCOs who wrote down Romney, Huckabee, and uncommitted.

Further, the party has NO AUTHORITY to tell a PCO to vote that way. None whatsoever. If anyone from the party did say it -- which I don't believe, and I am absolutely sure it was not said to us in Snohomish County -- it would still be the choice of the PCO.

So none of this has any basis in reality, from what I can tell.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 08:37 AM
80. Duffman: It may in fact be nothing; I realize that but that's not the perception our Nation is getting from all of this.

Sure. That is why I said I disagreed with how Esser handled it, and it is part of why I took great pains to try to explain it. :-)

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 08:44 AM
81. Thanks Pudge, and you're doing a heck of a job. So is Kirby Wilbur on KVI presently, I just wish your & his explanations reached main stream media and the Nation.

Posted by: Duffman on February 11, 2008 08:48 AM
82. Ditto. I am a PCO and I am also Whitman County chair for Huckabee.

Pudge is right. No conspiracy. Just bad PR. This is Esser and his staff's first presidential primary. I don't think they were quite ready for prime time.

Posted by: Tom Forbes on February 11, 2008 08:53 AM
83. I want to thank the republican party in Washington state. Now we have a new paradigm for elections. Elections mean nothing and the party can choose the nominee it wants. This is much less messy than the typical democracy thing - why didn't the republicans think of this before? Huckabee is right - the USSR had this technique honed and the republicans are just copying it. I can't wait for the governors race to hear Rossi complain about voter fraud - and leave out the real voter fraud in the republican party.

Gee- if only republicans were in charge the busses would run on time - but only to republican headquarters. Long live the party apparatchiks! Great leader will win because of the support he has among the party faithful!

Posted by: correctnotright on February 11, 2008 08:55 AM
84. Thanks Duffman, but coming from a dyslexic, I am not sure how valuable that praise is. ;-)

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 08:56 AM
85. You can call it "nothing" if you like. Most of the rest of us call it a black eye for the Wa. State Republican Party.

Posted by: Unkl Witz on February 11, 2008 09:08 AM
86. incorrectandleft: Elections mean nothing and the party can choose the nominee it wants.

The second half is true, the first half is false. The party ALWAYS chooses the nominee it wants, and does so THROUGH the election of delegates. Nothing has changed from past years.


I can't wait for the governors race to hear Rossi complain about voter fraud - and leave out the real voter fraud in the republican party.

Except, of course, there is no voter fraud. The only votes that took place in the caucus were for delegates, and those were conducted properly and in accordance with longstanding party rules.

So I ask you: are you stupid, or a dishonest troll? One of those has to be true. My guess: both.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 09:09 AM
87. Pudge, you're right -- need a new line, let's call it what it is: Republican hypocrisy.

Plain and simple.

Course you could never admit it. Because it's the republicans doing it.


Posted by: Bill Anderson on February 11, 2008 09:13 AM
88. My two cups, one for irony and the second for schadenfreude, overfloweth.

Posted by: Splinter on February 11, 2008 09:19 AM
89. I did not say it happened. But that could very well be a possibility that some PCO's did put down McCain for the Good of the party arguement. Look at the level of McCain support in King County. I never saw a sign for McCain but sure saw a lot of Ron Paul Signs at the Caucus. Maybe we were different but the Ron Paul signs were very evident in the Parking lot. I have no clue what our count was for individuals that attended. I was in my small group and we were struggling more on how to answer the Questionaire discussing what they meant and the affects if we support one item over another. We were more concerned over the State Platform and filling in the Questionaire. We spent 90% of our time just on that Questionaire. I read the questionaire out loud so everyone could hear the question and nearly lost my voice repeating each item so everyone could find the proper letter to fill in. Plus the questions on what do they mean when the said .... We looked at the vagueness of the questionaire and tried to figure out what a good conservative answer would be. In some cases limiting to one choice was just wrong. I would have loved to be able to say all of the above for one question. Or choose 2 or 3 items for some of the others. At least I understood what they were talking about when they said do you want tolls to fix roads. Several in my precinct were shocked at the idea. They had no clue that it was even being talked about to use tolls to fix all our roads as the best way to fun repairs.
But again very few McCain supporters were there most of us were in the other camps.

Posted by: David Anfinrud on February 11, 2008 09:20 AM
90. Bill Anderson: You see, the word "hypocrisy" necessarily implies that a person has opposing views in situations which are essentially analogous. I know it is hard for you to understand the fact that the situations are not analogous, and that therefore it cannot reasonably be called hypocrisy.

I'm sorry you are having such trouble with this. It must be tough going through life having so many people use so many words that you don't understand.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 09:23 AM
91. David: yes, some people could have done it "for the good of the party," but not because the Party *told* them to. And this would be no different from anyone who is NOT a PCO.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 09:30 AM
92. And to think this time last year we were arguing whether or not we should allot all of the WA delegates based on this caucus process. No thanks! If they want to do this again then maybe get some real caucus rules going, require the precinct delegates to vote their pledge at the county caucus, then maybe they could announce the 'winner'. What a horrible way to run a caucus election. I'm guessing there will be a great debate on this in a couple years on what to do with it next time.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 09:35 AM
93. If the GOP had reported this honestly as the result of a non-binding straw poll of caucus attendees (or of those who would end up being selected as delegates; I'm still not clear on exactly what these meaningless numbers represent) instead of reporting it as "the caucus results," all this could have been avoided. I suspect the reason the numbers were so slow coming in is that no one knew going in that the GOP was going to treat these numbers as meaningful results, and so there was no provision made for getting a quick and accurate count.

I have to disagree with Pudge on one thing: I think reporting these numbers as "caucus results" is an out-and-out lie.

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 09:40 AM
94. The perception is our reality.

I have no particular dog in this fight, since I'm best described as "undecided" at this point.

But simplistic answers, like the caucuses "literally means nothing at all" avail us nothing at this point, and serve to give an incompetent party cover for that incompetence.

Many of us here dig into the meanings. I believe anyone reading this thread would get the technical aspects of what the caucuses accomplished

For those who want to know why we're suffering through a taxpayer financed, $7.5 million dollar "beauty contest" the purpose is the same reason the parties have gone after requiring party registration so rabidly for the past 10 years or so.

They want a "list."

The parties will gleefully go through the idiocy of having BOTH caucuses AND a primary, tho the democrats, in their typically "democracy developing" way, will be ignoring the results of said primary.

Except, internally, they won't be "ignoring" them... both parties are going to input every vote in to their data bases, so you become an "identified voter."

So, the reason we're getting stiffed for the tab for this purely party exercise should be clear off the top. Now, "clear" in this instance, doesn't equate to "right," in the sense that these purely party functions ought to be paid for by the parties standing to gain from them, but no one in government seems to have the testicular fortitude necessary to stand up to our party hacks (on both sides) to tell them, "look, you want to do this? Fine... pull out your checkbooks and pay up front. Otherwise, go wiz up a rope."

That said, the PERCEPTION here geometrically exceeds the reality in value.

Both Chris and Pudge tell us these results "literally means nothing at all."

Yet, in the area of perception, Esser calling the race for McCain gives these "means nothing at all" results the greatest POSSIBLE meaning.

And Esser, who I've known from the leg for many years now, is not a stupid guy. He knew damned well what those impacts would be, and he knew precisely what he was doing.

Clearly, what Esser and those behind his decision (I don't believe for one second that he did this all by himself) (Who has he worked for these past several years? And who endorsed McCain a LONG time ago?) couldn't comprehend is the fall out of their short-sightedness.

The state democrat party apparently has every statistic known to man available for review, including THEIR sexual preference statistics.

Republicans, correspondingly, don't even appear to know what day it is, relative to that.

Democrats were reporting at a far faster rate than R's were, even though they had many, many, many more people to account for.

Watching national results, democrats had 57% of theirs reported before Republicans had one. Update times for Republicans were missed in every instance (It's simple, really: if, for example, you SAY you're going to update at 7:00 pm, THEN UPDATE AT 7:00 PM! How hard can this be?)

However, the one fact, indisputable on its face, is this: Had Esser just kept his mouth shut, stayed there and counted until ALL of, or at least 99% of the results had been tabulated, then none of this would have happened, and the party, once again, wouldn't look like a collection of morons.

This entire episode would not be happening. And we wouldn't even be discussing it.

Instead, the party is damaged by the one person who's oath SHOULD include the phrase, "First, do no harm."

THIS type of damage is viral. And the only way to make all of this go away is for the one responsible to resign.

Posted by: Hinton on February 11, 2008 09:44 AM
95. pudge,

While I appreciate your replies here, can you give us a shadow of an indication of why the WAGOP doesn't just come out and report delegate totals?

I cannot understand why the Republicans would report it in this way. Every other state reports delegate returns, because by most standards that's what decides who "wins" an election. Reporting meaningless results when evreyone else reports the meaningful one, is beyond a weird strategy.

I mean, I haven't read up thoroughly on the GOP system, but the selected delegates will eventually determine the state delegates, no? So it can't be entirely meaningless. Correct me if I misunderstand.

Posted by: Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson on February 11, 2008 09:48 AM
96. To all...this is a major story. Any attempts to casually wave this away are misguided.

Pudge...I'm not arguing with your assertion that the results are meaningless. I agree. Luke Esser manufactured a "result" that represents nothing substantive.

Again, you can read my analysis of why this is a big story on my web site at:

http://www.moreperfect.org/wiki/index.php?title=Blog_Perfect

Posted by: Timothy on February 11, 2008 09:53 AM
97. I haven't read all the preceding posts but one thing I noticed conspicuously missing from all the MSM reports of the caucus is any mention that if you add up the 26% of the delegates for McCain, the 24% of the delegates for Huckabee, and the 21% of the delegates for Paul, you get a total of 71%. That means that there are 29% of the delegates still in play. Many of them are former Mitt Romney supporters who haven't had time to regroup with Romney stepping aside 2 days before the caucus and so declared for Mitt at this time. Most of the others are undeclared delegates. I was a Mitt supporter who signed undeclared at this time. That's more delegates than any of the 3 candidates got. By the District Caucus, many of these people may have decided on a current candidate. At any rate with 2% separating the top 2 candidates and 29% still in play, Pudge is absolutely right - there's no meaningful result at this time.

Posted by: RBW on February 11, 2008 09:54 AM
98. To defend Pudge here at least he has a grasp on the process.

First, if they reported delegate totals, it still would have no meaning. Just reading updates readers on this site posted here, it shows clearly that some areas were very strong for McCain or strong for Ron Paul or strong for Huckabee. If their strength of delegate counts were concentrated in specific counties then the result could mean less support for them at the state convention.

The most accurate count would have been, the expected preference of state convention delegates. They would have had to use the preferences of the precinct delegates, then figured out mathmatically what that would translate to in their county delegation, then after adjusting for how many delegates the county actually had, alter it to show what the state count would be.

They could have done this - but then again with as close as the count is, by the time the county caucuses show up, the numbers would be all different. Some people would stay home and alternates (which usually have different preferences) would take their place.

The precinct delegates needed to be pledged to the winner of the precinct, as well as the alternates pledges - at least through the county caucus - that would have helped it be at least a little bit more predictive.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 09:59 AM
99. pudge,

Stop feeing the trolls. The media has decided that this is the narrative they are going with. It doesn't matter how the caucus system works, or what the intent is, this is a stolen election narrative that wants to make the WA GOP look bad. Huckaboom will do whatever it takes to disrupt. He's a Democrat in with the MSM. Go back and look at all of the "Huckabee" human intrerest stories over the past five years in all kinds of non-politics related MSM press. Runner's World, etc. The guy is loved by the MSM. And the MSM knows that they can milk him for damage to the GOP. Huckabee is not a credible candidate, and he never was. He preyed on the pro-life social conservatives, as a means to a disruptive end.

So just stop responding to the trolls, because they've got their narrative and they are going to run with it no matter what.

Posted by: Jeff B. on February 11, 2008 10:02 AM
100. Chalupas!

Jeff, you got the reward for the first person in this post to personally attack a candidate rather than discuss the caucus process.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 10:07 AM
101. Benjamin:

"...can you give us a shadow of an indication of why the WAGOP doesn't just come out and report delegate totals?"

I can: Precinct delegates are not pledged to candidates, they are selected as individuals. No one's saying that delegate selection at the caucuses is meaningless. Those delegates will select the county's delegates to the state convention as well as adopting the county party's platform. That's not nothing. But precinct delegates are not delegates "for" any particular candidate, so there really are no delegate totals to report.

"I cannot understand why the Republicans would report it in this way. Every other state reports delegate returns, because by most standards that's what decides who "wins" an election. Reporting meaningless results when evreyone else reports the meaningful one, is beyond a weird strategy."

I think they reported a meaningless result because they desperately wanted to report something, and a meaningless result was all they had. No candidate has "won" anything in Washington State yet.

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 10:08 AM
102. ScottM...

This story runs deeper than the fact that "No candidate has 'won' anything in Washington State yet." The process that the WA GOP put into place is not adequate to represent the will of those who attended the WA GOP caucuses. Additionally, Luke Esser has now poisoned the water by declaring that McCain won something that he didn't win. But, it also shows that the delegates were unfairly apportioned to favor McCain, even though we have no way of knowing if that represents the will of those who attended the caucuses.

Posted by: Timothy on February 11, 2008 10:12 AM
103. Jeff,

Not all of us are trolls. Thanks.

Scott,

I don't understand how that's possible, since Clark County is reporting both sign-in totals and pledged delegate totals. Clearly the latter number is available in some form, and if it is, it should be reported instead.

If they are assigned to a candidate, that should be the reported results. Not sign-in sheets. Even if they aren't concretely pledged, that is the number most likely to be the state convention result, no? So that should be reported, not sign-in sheet totals.

And now the Times is referring to these returns as "delegate results," so I'm just plain all-around confused.

Posted by: Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson on February 11, 2008 10:12 AM
104. Doug: If they want to do this again then maybe get some real caucus rules going

We had real caucus rules.


require the precinct delegates to vote their pledge at the county caucus

So you want to take away rights from the delegates?

Hinton: But simplistic answers, like the caucuses "literally means nothing at all" avail us nothing at this point

Please do not misrepresent what I said. I said the "results" as reported by the state party are meaningless. Not the caucuses themselves, or the delegates elected there.


For those who want to know why we're suffering through a taxpayer financed, $7.5 million dollar "beauty contest" the purpose is the same reason the parties have gone after requiring party registration so rabidly for the past 10 years or so.

They want a "list."

Not true, Hinton. It is done because the TAXPAYERS passed it via initiative. Let's not have taxpayers complain because the taxpayers got precisely what they asked for.


Both Chris and Pudge tell us these results "literally means nothing at all."

Yet, in the area of perception, Esser calling the race for McCain gives these "means nothing at all" results the greatest POSSIBLE meaning.

Yes, I have explained several times, the lack of meaning I am referring to is that it does not inform us, at all, who will end up getting the caucus delegates. Doesn't even come close. Of course there is a meaning in perception, and that is why I bothered to write all this, and why I said Esser botched it all.


Democrats were reporting at a far faster rate than R's were, even though they had many, many, many more people to account for.

Part of that is because they are counting two completely different things. The result of each Dem precinct caucus IS the preference of the delegates. The result of the GOP precinct caucus is the delegate, which then has to be matched up to their preference. So when the voting for delegate is done for the Dems, that's it, they can report it. The GOP had to then go and do additional work to get the numbers.


However, the one fact, indisputable on its face, is this: Had Esser just kept his mouth shut, stayed there and counted until ALL of, or at least 99% of the results had been tabulated, then none of this would have happened, and the party, once again, wouldn't look like a collection of morons.

Yep.


THIS type of damage is viral. And the only way to make all of this go away is for the one responsible to resign.

Shrug. Complain to your state committeeman/woman and county chair.


Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson: While I appreciate your replies here, can you give us a shadow of an indication of why the WAGOP doesn't just come out and report delegate totals?

Presumably because they didn't have them entirely. There could be many reasons for this, the most obvious being that because there was no actual statewide contest, there were no set rules on how to report the results, and some counties did it differently (for example, some counted only delegates' preferences, others the preferences of all participants; this is a housekeeping matter that will be resolved).


Timothy: To all...this is a major story. Any attempts to casually wave this away are misguided.

I stand by my claim: this isn't a major story.

But then, I also say anything that happens to Britney Spears is not a major story. That doesn't mean people won't talk about it incessantly as though it has significant meaning and purpose. It just means they are foolish to do so.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 10:15 AM
105. So, from my analysis that I've linked above...here are the results from Pierce County as reported on the Pierce County GOP Web Site.

The delegates preferences are:
McCain 192
Huckabee 186
Romney 143
Paul 142
Uncommitted 51

1946 people signed in and their preferences were:
Huckabee 609
McCain 571
Romney 304
Paul 303
Uncommitted 167

So, Mike Huckabee received the largest support from those who attended those caucuses, and yet, McCain received the most delegates.

Why?

Posted by: Timothy on February 11, 2008 10:18 AM
106. pudge,

Presumably because they didn't have them entirely. There could be many reasons for this, the most obvious being that because there was no actual statewide contest, there were no set rules on how to report the results, and some counties did it differently (for example, some counted only delegates' preferences, others the preferences of all participants; this is a housekeeping matter that will be resolved).

How could they have possibly counted delegates in some places, and sign-in sheets in others, while remaining remotely fair?

Did they project delegates based on sign-in sheets? If so, as we've seen in Clark County, that's not representative of delegates, which is - as far as I am familiar with the system - what counts. Maybe they forgot to provide a sheet where delegates were able to list their candidate preference. That seems like a realistic clerical error, and also would explain this mess.

Either way, there is no reason that this should not have been regulated statewide. And someone certainly should have realized the importance of knowing the preferences of the delegates in respect to reporting results. It seems to me that the GOP has failed here, either as a matter of public relations clarity or in infrastructure.

Posted by: Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson on February 11, 2008 10:21 AM
107. Pudge:

"So you want to take away rights from the delegates?"

No, requiring them to pledge to vote their precincts' voters requirments doesn't take rights away from delegates, it ensures the rights of the actual Republican precinct caucus goers are preserved.

So, delegate one tells his precinct that I will support McCain - and his precinct being all McCain supporters says, okay you are elected. delegate one then laughs under his breath because he really is a Ron Paul supporter and now has secretly infiltrated the county caucus (you can reverse names if you wish).

That is the point, if precinct caucus goers prefer a particular candidate and select a delegate who prefers that candidate, then they should be able to reasonable expect that their delegate will represent their views. If not, then those caucus goers might as well stay home.

My suggestion protects the rights of the precinct caucus goers. If you can't see that then it is obvious that you are a political insider who doesn't give a crap about the initial voters.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 10:24 AM
108. Benjamin, what state parties mean when they report "delegate totals" is national convention delegate totals. We don't have those yet, and there's no way to extrapolate them from what happened at the caucuses.

The "pledged delegate" totals are presumably merely the sign-up sheet tallies with those who were elected delegates broken out.

Just like at the caucuses, county convention delegates may select state convention delegates based on factors other than presidential preference. In any case, delegates are free to change their minds. To report them as "McCain delegates," "Huckabee delegates," etc., would not be accurate, and would be particularly misleading since people would think it meant "national convention delegates."

As I said above, I think it would have been fine to report these totals as the results of a non-binding straw poll and let people draw their own conclusions about what it actually meant for Washington's national convention delegation.

"How could they have possibly counted delegates in some places, and sign-in sheets in others, while remaining remotely fair?"

Fair? These numbers don't mean anything. How can it be fair or unfair? I think the reason it was handled so clumsily is that no one expected the state GOP to release these numbers on caucus night and claim that they were "the caucus results," so there was no system in place to ensure a quick and accurate statewide count of these meaningless numbers.

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 10:35 AM
109. ScottM...exactly right. But by declaring that John McCain actually won Washington State, the WA GOP lied to the National media.

That misinformation has had a direct impact on the overall race. Huckabee had a narrative emerging on Saturday night that he was sweeping the day. But, that narrative was derailed when the WA GOP declared that McCain was the winner.

McCain wasn't the winner of anything, and it was dishonest of the WA GOP to declare as such.

Posted by: Timothy on February 11, 2008 10:45 AM
110.

"That is not what we do in American elections," Huckabee said on CNN's American Morning Monday. "Maybe that's how they used to conduct it in the old Soviet Union, but you don't just throw people's votes out and say, 'well, we're not going to bother counting them because we kind of think we know where this was going.'

Thanks Mr. Huckabee, I couldn't have said it better myself. And FANTASTIC job Mr. Esser, you made believers of all of us.

Washington State Republicans === fascists, communists, crooks and liars!

See pudge, it DOES matter!

Posted by: barely awake on February 11, 2008 10:46 AM
111. Timothy: So, Mike Huckabee received the largest support from those who attended those caucuses, and yet, McCain received the most delegates.

Why?

Who knows? Who cares?

Maybe because the Huckabee supporters didn't want to go to county convention. Maybe because half of them showed up in a single precinct and only got two delegates to represent them all. There's no way to know from looking at this data, and no reason to think anything untoward happened.

... by declaring that John McCain actually won Washington State, the WA GOP lied to the National media.

He did not say that, that I am aware of. He said that McCain won the state's precinct caucuses. That is not at all the same as saying he won the state.

Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson: I don't think Jeff intended to call you a troll. Others obviously are.

How could they have possibly counted delegates in some places, and sign-in sheets in others, while remaining remotely fair?

"Fair" is weird to me since the "results" don't matter anyway. But as I said: this is something that will be resolved. They recognize all of it should be done the same way, and so they will fix it.


Doug: No, requiring them to pledge to vote their precincts' voters requirments doesn't take rights away from delegates, it ensures the rights of the actual Republican precinct caucus goers are preserved.

Nonsense. Many precinct voters, including myself, DID NOT CARE about the presidential preference of our delegates. You're telling me that someone should be obligated to me about something I don't want them to obligated to me for!

As I told all 38 of our precincts: if you want to ask your prospective delegates to promise to support their stated preference at county, fine, they can be bound by their word, and if they lie, you can try to make sure they never get elected delegate again. But let's not assume that precinct caucus participants WANT their delegates to be bound to their stated preference. Some do, and some don't.


My suggestion protects the rights of the precinct caucus goers. If you can't see that then it is obvious that you are a political insider who doesn't give a crap about the initial voters.

Nope, just the opposite. I care so much about the individual caucus participants that I don't want to force unnecessary rules on them. I trust them all as adults to make their own decisions.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 10:56 AM
112. barely awake: "... you don't just throw people's votes out and say, 'well, we're not going to bother counting them because we kind of think we know where this was going.'"

Thanks Mr. Huckabee, I couldn't have said it better myself.

That's sad, since everyone's votes were counted on Saturday. There is absolutely no evidence of any kind that indicates otherwise.

If you have any such evidence, let us know!

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 11:00 AM
113. I'd still like to know just what was actually counted? We never indicated the candidate preference of our designated delegate. We just indicated all our preferences on the precinct sign in sheet we turned in.

Did they count the preferences of all the attendees? Or, through a more laborious process, did they match the indication of the designated delegate (from another document we filled out) with that person's preference on the precinct sign in sheet?

I feel sorry for Esser. He's in a damned if you do damned if you don't situation. Imagine if he'd refused to provide any numbers and honestly said that the results don't reflect what candidate half the final delegates will prefer?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 11:10 AM
114. Just what we've been saying all along, in a close election, doesn't really matter how the individual voted their preference, we can rely on those appointed or elected officials (whether precinct officers, party chairmen, election supervisors) to straighten out how they want the results to be. It's the old adage, if you want to be the democrats in this state you better win big because if you win by a little you really lose.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 11:13 AM
115. First of all I am not from Washington. Second of all the results from Saturday night were being reported as if it had a bearing on the National GOP convention in September. Third of all, after reading this thread the rules are not at all hard to understand. A little clarity would be in order.

One thing I would like to be explained by Mr. Pudge, who is a delegate (if I have read correctly) to the county convention of his residence (I'm sorry I missed your county Mr. Pudge). Do you have to announce your candidate preference before your county convention? How many delegates to the WA state convention will be elected at your county convention? Does your county elect delegates who are obligated to vote for a candidate at the state convention? or are they free to vote for anyone once they get to the state convention? Mr. Pudge, are you up for election as a delegate to the state convention?

Number 105 has posted on the Pierce County results. My calculations show 714 delegates to the Pierce County convention. Is this correct? How many delegates from Pierce County go to the state convention?

Finally, (I apologize for the many questions), I assume the delegates not pledged in your primary election are pledges at your state convention (some time in May I recall)?

Posted by: MarkN on February 11, 2008 11:14 AM
116. Doug: Just what we've been saying all along, in a close election, doesn't really matter how the individual voted their preference

Entirely false. That is the only thing that DOES matter: which preferred delegates you voted for.


we can rely on those appointed or elected officials (whether precinct officers, party chairmen, election supervisors) to straighten out how they want the results to be

Entirely false. No appointed or PCOs, chairmen, or "election supervisors" (whatever those are) have any authority here. Only the delegates do, and those are the people you elected.


Doug: you are spreading completely incorrect information.


MarkN: One thing I would like to be explained by Mr. Pudge, who is a delegate (if I have read correctly) to the county convention of his residence (I'm sorry I missed your county Mr. Pudge). Do you have to announce your candidate preference before your county convention?

No. But if it is a close race, you probably won't be elected as a state delegate if you don't.


How many delegates to the WA state convention will be elected at your county convention?

139 IIRC.


Does your county elect delegates who are obligated to vote for a candidate at the state convention? or are they free to vote for anyone once they get to the state convention?

The latter. There is nothing in the rules binding them to a stated preference.


Mr. Pudge, are you up for election as a delegate to the state convention?

Probably will be. As I was busy doing all the paperwork after the caucus, I didn't fill out the state delegate nomination form. The rules state that I can notify the county chair of my intent to be on the ballot at least 72 hours before the opening gavel of the county convention, so I will probably do that tomorrow. If I don't, however, then I can still be nominated from the floor of the LD caucus at county convention, which I will probably be chairing.

Finally, (I apologize for the many questions), I assume the delegates not pledged in your primary election are pledges at your state convention (some time in May I recall)?

May 29-31, and I am not sure. This is going to be a bit different since some of those delegates elected will likely have their preferenced dictated to them by the results of the primary, so maybe some will be bound, and others won't? I am not sure on this, but that is my best guess.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 11:25 AM
117. This thread is done. Put a fork in it. You can use the same fork that you used for the Huckster's campaign.

The real vote is the 19th. I may even vote for McCain contrary to my promise last week to make a protest vote for Paul. That is based on the actions of one Mr. Michael Huckabee.

Posted by: swatter on February 11, 2008 11:25 AM
118. Ah wait, here it is.

The at-large delegates at state are apportioned according to the primary. In addition, each congressional district gets two. And I believe the preferences of the latter are not obligated, while the former are.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 11:28 AM
119. Pudge @ 104, this statement of yours is inaccurate:
"Not true, Hinton. It is done because the TAXPAYERS passed it via initiative. Let's not have taxpayers complain because the taxpayers got precisely what they asked for."

Initiative 99 in 1988 was an initiative to the legislature. It was not an initiative to the people which could enact a law. The legislature enacted the law.

In addition, the presidential preference primary that resulted from that initiative to the legislature authorized people to cast votes as "unaffiliated" voters -- that is, as "independents" who declared no party preference or affiliation.

The legislature changed the law in 2007, so that this year's presidential primary doesn't include the opportunity for unaffiliated voters to have their votes counted and reported -- for whatever influence their votes might have. (Since the bandwagon effect causes people like Luke Esser to report "results" when there are none, it should be obvious that the votes of "unaffiliated" voters could have an influence on the national process.)

Who asked the legislature to eliminate the opportunity to cast votes as "unaffiliated" voters? Was there a silent groundswell of public sentiment that caused Secretary of State Sam Reed (R) to request this change to the law?

This year's presidential primary is not at all what the taxpayers who submitted that initiative to the legislature wanted.

Who did want it to be this way this year? Some people within the two major parties apparently wanted the primary to be the way it is this year.

Posted by: Micajah on February 11, 2008 11:29 AM
120. I agree that we all would have been better off if Esser just would have said - "We don't know because we have not finished counting yet". His excuse this morning on the radio that he had to quit counting because Republicans had to get up and go to church the next day was hilarious! Dave Ross almost choked on that one. Is there anyone in the house that can run a political Party??

Posted by: Rocketdog on February 11, 2008 11:31 AM
121. swatter: ha. That is exactly what my wife said last night (except her "protest vote," like mine, was for Thompson ... although she was also considering Romney).

Huckabee not making friends here. Possibly bad move BEFORE the primary. Makes me think he knows even less about how things work here.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 11:32 AM
122. #120 I too heard that comment by LE on the Dave Ross Show about the 'counters' having to quit so they could get up and go the Church next a.m.
I'm not a Republican but I was embarrased for them when I heard that. Incredible...keeps getting worse.

Posted by: Duffman on February 11, 2008 11:43 AM
123. Pudge, is it not true that precinct officers such as yourself are an appointed and/or elected official? Is it also not true that precinct officers such as yourself are automatically awarded a spot at the county convention to choose whomever (in your caset Thompson) you would like to see supported by means of a delegate to the state convention?

Therefore my statement at number 114 that partly makes light of the 2004 election is not as you put it: spreading completely incorrect information.

In our county, the precinct captains/officers were automatic delegates to the county.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 11:47 AM
124. Swatter,

You vote for McCain!?! Wow, Huckabee really is doing his job well, he's managed to get conservatives who have vowed never to vote for McCain to actually physically support him. Hmmmmmm, part of the big plan?

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 11:49 AM
125. Pudge @ 90 resorts to ad hominem attacks once again.

Pudge seems to often this deplorable tatic when logic and facts aren't on his side.

Time to hang 'em up on this one, pudge. Unless you have more names to call me.

Posted by: Bill Anderson on February 11, 2008 11:54 AM
126. The delegates preferences are:
McCain 192
Huckabee 186
Romney 143
Paul 142
Uncommitted 51

1946 people signed in and their preferences were:
Huckabee 609
McCain 571
Romney 304
Paul 303
Uncommitted 167

So, Mike Huckabee received the largest support from those who attended those caucuses, and yet, McCain received the most delegates.

Why?

Timothy,

Perhaps it's because each precinct has a given number of delegates, but each precinct did NOT have the same number of voters show up? Like how the electoral college works; just because you win the popular vote does NOT mean you win the electoral vote.

Really, this is pretty easy to understand... You go to a precinct that has 3 delegates. I go to one that has 3 delegates. You have 75 people show up, 50 vote for Huckabee 25 vote for McCain, and your delegates agree to represent themselves that way (2 for Huckabee, 1 for McCain).

My precinct has 5 people show up. All 5 vote for McCain. Delegates agree to represent themselves that way.

We end up with 80 votes cast, 50 of them for Huckabee! Yet of the 6 total delegates, Huckabee only gets 2...

Make sense now?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on February 11, 2008 12:04 PM
127. Perhaps one of the chortling Democrats who have posted here could inform us what excactly was counted at THEIR caucus on Saturday. It sure wasn't the number of delegates ultimately going to the national convention.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 12:12 PM
128. Thank you for your respones Mr. Pudge. In summary, 18 delegates to the national GOP convention will be chosen at the May 29 - 31 WA state convention.

By which time, in all likelihood, John McCain will have enough delegate to secure the nomination. Since the delegates to the WA are not formally obligated by their respective county conventions to vote for a specific candidate, I would conclude that the it is a strong probability that all 18 delegates chosen in May will be McCain delegates.

If only in the name of party unity and the national campaign. I could be wrong. Folks in Washington could see things differntly.

If I was Huckabee I would concentrate on the primary (2/19) and the county conventions. Lawsuits over "straw polls" can only hurt in the upcoming primary.

Posted by: MarkN on February 11, 2008 12:17 PM
129. Shanghai Dan...that may be a reasonable explanation, but the truth is, we have no way of knowing.

There was no uniform way to elect delegates, and to your theory, no direction that the number of supporters in each precinct were to be reflected in their delegate counts. So, you make the assumption in your theory that precinct attendees preferences mattered.

But, they didn't.

Posted by: Timothy on February 11, 2008 12:22 PM
130. Scott,

Benjamin, what state parties mean when they report "delegate totals" is national convention delegate totals. We don't have those yet, and there's no way to extrapolate them from what happened at the caucuses.

No, that is not what they mean, to my understanding. They refer to county delegates, which are pledged to a candidate, and are eventually whittled down for national delegates.

The Washington state Democrats reported a final total of 21,629 delegates for Obama; 9,992 for Clinton; 363 for uncommitted; and 51 for other candidates.

I can't imagine why the GOP wouldn't use this system, and instead arbitrarily appoint delegates, which would defeat the purpose of having declarations at sign-in to begin with. Qu pasa?

Posted by: Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson on February 11, 2008 12:25 PM
131. Micajah: Initiative 99 in 1988 was an initiative to the legislature. It was not an initiative to the people which could enact a law. The legislature enacted the law.

Yes. Doesn't change my point, which is that the people wanted a primary that the parties would not be bound to accept. And they got it.


In addition, the presidential preference primary that resulted from that initiative to the legislature authorized people to cast votes as "unaffiliated" voters -- that is, as "independents" who declared no party preference or affiliation.

Yes, which, as per CDP v. Jones, the Supreme Court has ruled is unconstitutional to force on a party. So the people have two choices: they can cast votes as independents, or they can have the GOP use their votes.


Doug: Pudge, is it not true that precinct officers such as yourself are an appointed and/or elected official? Is it also not true that precinct officers such as yourself are automatically awarded a spot at the county convention to choose whomever (in your caset Thompson) you would like to see supported by means of a delegate to the state convention?

Well, no, I likely won't vote specifically for Thompson supporters to the state convention. And I also may vote for delegates who are supporters of McCain, or others. Maybe even Ron Paul. Who knows?


Therefore my statement at number 114 that partly makes light of the 2004 election is not as you put it: spreading completely incorrect information.

Yes, it is. You are spreading completely incorrect information. The fact that I am, as PCO, an automatic delegate to the convention has nothing to do with anything, except that it only bolsters my claim: my precinct elected me to be PCO, just as they elected the two delegates on Saturday. Again, it is the precinct that chooses.


Bill Anderson: yawn. People might care about your claims of ad hominem if you weren't hip deep in red herring and tu quoque.


MarkN: In summary, 18 delegates to the national GOP convention will be chosen at the May 29 - 31 WA state convention.

Close: there will be 18 selected by the caucus portion of the state convention, but there will also be the at-large delegates, which I think will number 19 (and in addition IIRC, three more "superdelegates" who have already been selected).

And yes, I also surmise those 18 will likely be all McCain delegates, should he wrap it up by then. The other 19 will, I think, be allocated proportionally to whoever gets 20 percent or more of the primary vote.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 12:35 PM
132. Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson: The Washington state Democrats reported a final total of 21,629 delegates for Obama; 9,992 for Clinton; 363 for uncommitted; and 51 for other candidates.

I can't imagine why the GOP wouldn't use this system, and instead arbitrarily appoint delegates, which would defeat the purpose of having declarations at sign-in to begin with.

We don't use the system because we want to elect DELEGATES as whole people, not just which candidate they prefer.

And we do not appoint delegates, arbitrarily or otherwise. We elect them (except for the PCOs appointed before January, who are in effect appointed delegates, but those are not appointed arbitrarily), and we do it with purpose and reason.

If you don't like the system, then become a PCO or delegate and get it changed.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 12:57 PM
133. Pudge -- the people no longer have the presidential primary election they wanted. It was taken away at the request of Sam Reed (R). You are flat wrong in stating that the people got precisely what they wanted. They had it, but it has been taken away.

Since only party "members" can now cast votes in the primary, why should the taxpayers foot the bill? This isn't what the taxpayers sought, and it isn't what the taxpayers had up to this year.

Yes, you "members" of parties can ignore the primary election results, if you want; but don't claim that we now have what the taxpayers wanted.

As for the caucus process, perhaps it would help if the state GOP published its rules ONLINE for all to see.

Here are some excerpts that demonstrate that you have a peculiar idea of how the caucuses and conventions ought to work. You say you don't care about the county convention delegates' preference, but the rules require them to state their preferences. You are correct about one thing: the GOP set up no process for reporting those stated preferences -- either through incompetence or your "members'" strange ideas of how to follow the will of the caucus participants.

2008
WASHINGTON STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY RULES FOR PRECINCT CAUCUS AND FOR ELECTION OF DELEGATES TO STATE CONVENTION


RULE 10 -- Who may participate in the Precinct Caucus

"Any registered voter of the precinct in which the caucus is being conducted who is willing to state by signing a REGISTRATION FORM and LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AT PRECINCT CAUCUS form that he/she considers him/herself to be a Republican and has not participated and will not participate in the 2008 caucus or convention system of any other party shall be eligible to participate in the caucus." [Note: there is nothing to state what information the form and list contain. Presumably, one or both have a space for stating the participant's presidential preference.]

Rule 15 - Election of Delegates to the County Convention

"Each nominee shall be given a reasonable period of time to express the nominee's views concerning the nominee's candidacy. In a Presidential year nominees shall indicate Presidential preference or declare themselves uncommitted."

RULE 18 -- Caucus Results

The precinct committee officer or the elected permanent chairman of each caucus or "pooled" caucus shall cause to be postmarked or delivered to the place designated for return no later than February 16, 2008 the following results:
1. Registration Form and List of Participants at Precinct Caucus
2. Report of Precinct Caucus, showing the elected delegates and alternates to the county convention.
[Note: there is no requirement to state the required presidential preferences of the elected delegates. The nominees were required to state it, but the rules don't require that it be reported.]

RULE 33 -- Certification of Delegates and Alternates [to the State Convention]

"It [the certification of delegates by the county chairman] shall also contain a notation of the voluntary Presidential Preference of each delegate."


RULE 37 -- Allocation of Delegates to National Convention

The at-large delegates to the 2008 Republican National Convention shall be allocated among the respective Presidential candidates in the same proportion (subject to the rounding of numbers) as each candidate's share of the Republican vote in the Presidential preference primary, provided that any candidate receiving less than 20% of the vote shall not be entitled to any allocation hereunder.

Two delegates from each Congressional District Caucus shall be elected to represent Washington State at the 2008 Republican National Convention to be allocated on the basis of the participation in precinct caucuses and county conventions as provided for in these rules and in accordance with the will of the delegates elected through these processes.

One additional delegate from each Congressional District shall be elected and allocated to the winner of the presidential primary in that Congressional District.

Posted by: Micajah on February 11, 2008 01:06 PM
134. Exactly. Precisely. There are 19 delegates to be allocated proportionally (if one receives at least 20% of the primary vote) tied to the statewide primary on February 19th.

If Huckabee wants to stop McCain from going over the top, I would concentrate my efforts on the primary next Tuesday. Not on some over the top comments about the Soviet Union and lawsuits over silly PR stunts by GOP officials. Then at the end of May, he may have a shot at the other 18 delegates. If not, bye bye Huckabee.

Anyway, the process in Washington doesn't sound all that bad. I live in a state that does not caucus (only a primary), and I would sure attend the caucus and would not mind going to a county convention (haven't been to the county seat in some time). Nor would I mimd running for election to the state convention (although the state capitol is quite some distance), so Mr. Pudge, I hope you file your papers in time.

Posted by: MarkN on February 11, 2008 01:06 PM
135. pudge,

Thanks for your reply. I think it is a bad system but I'm pledged as a delegate elsewhere, so there's not much to do.

Best of luck to the GOP with resolving this as a public perception matter. It does not sound like it will be very easy.

Posted by: Benjamin Johnstone-Anderson on February 11, 2008 01:22 PM
136. But the WSRP's own website reports the results in terms of a percent of delegates. From the website: "The percentages reflect the preferences of delegates who were chosen at precinct caucuses around the state earlier today."

So Pudge your statement that we want to elect delegates as whole people and not just which candidate they prefer seems to be contradicted by the WSRP itself.

I understand what Chris Vance says that the raw delegate totals are meaningless. Why then does the WSRP report that McCain has "won" the 2008 Precinct Caucus?

If it was just to make news, it sure worked.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 01:22 PM
137. Bill Cruchon: But the WSRP's own website reports the results in terms of a percent of delegates. From the website: "The percentages reflect the preferences of delegates who were chosen at precinct caucuses around the state earlier today."

Correct.


So Pudge your statement that we want to elect delegates as whole people and not just which candidate they prefer seems to be contradicted by the WSRP itself.

It doesn't SAY that -- it says merely that these are the stated preferences of the delegates. If you don't understand how it works and you make assumptions, then yes, that is what many people would believe is impleid. Which is why I stated my disagreement with how it was presented.


Micajah: Pudge -- the people no longer have the presidential primary election they wanted.

Correct, because what the people want is unconstitutional. They want a binding blanket primary. That is unconstitutional. So this is the best they can get.


It was taken away at the request of Sam Reed (R).

Don't blame Reed: he did what he always does. He tries to get the most citizens the most representation. He knows that neither party will accept the result if it is an open primary. The open primary forced on any party violates the Constitution, so it is gone, forever. So Reed says, if we want it to count for ANYTHING, it has to be closed.

The people wanted a primary, and this is the only way Reed could get used for anything. Seems to me Reed was acting in the best interests of the taxpayers according to their expressed will and the restrictions of the Constitution.

I realize what you're saying, that this is not what was asked for exactly. But you are not speaking for The People. Some people probably feel if they can't get exactly what they want, the whole thing should be scrapped; others want whatever they can get. Reed has to do what he thinks is best according to the expressed will, and the expressed will is "we want a primary."


Since only party "members" can now cast votes in the primary, why should the taxpayers foot the bill?

Because they chose to have a primary. They can also un-choose to. Many Republicans would be more than happy if that happened, and the Democrats obviously don't want it.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 01:34 PM
138. It's all about how people perceive the news. It was wrong for Esser to declare McCain the winner when there was no real winner. The way the media has been carrying the news is exactly the way Esser put it in his press release which is misleading.
If the Washington GOP caucus was supposed to yield no winner, why declare McCain the winner of the Washington GOP caucus and mislead people to believe that McCain won Washington state and have the news media carry it that way.

How many people will go back and research the Washington GOP caucus process? Many people rely on the news and press release and they believe what they are told. It's very unfair and deceiving of Esser to do what he did.

I think it's right for huckabee to challenge the press release and correct the perception that has been passed accross to everyone regarding the results of the Washington caucus.

Posted by: Observer on February 11, 2008 01:37 PM
139. This article misses the point. The purpose of calling the race early was was to influence the national election by controlling the media coverage. The delegates that will be selected later in the state convention are insignificant in comparison to the national publicity.

Posted by: Amanda on February 11, 2008 01:40 PM
140. I understand what you're saying, Pudge.

Given that we did not sign a document at the caucus that indicated the preference of precinct delegate just what has been counted to achieve these reported results?

It turned out we agreed our delegate would represent his preferred candidate. Surely that wasn't true in all precincts. I don't recall any documents which would have plainly stated the preference of the appointed delegate.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 01:45 PM
141. Observer: agreed, sortof. Huckabee is sounding like a buffoon by talking about legal issues, but there is a case to be made that even if McCain comes out ahead, that doesn't make him the winner of anything worthy of note.

Amanda: This article misses the point. The purpose of calling the race early was was to influence the national election by controlling the media coverage.

Yes, I said in the second sentence of the original post, "The results were released just so that the party could make some news." Your unsubstabtiatable assignment of ulterior motive aside, obviously, it was about the media, which is what I said.

Bill Cruchon: Given that we did not sign a document at the caucus that indicated the preference of precinct delegate just what has been counted to achieve these reported results?

There was a spot on the sign-in sheet for you to mention your presidential preference. There was nothing particular to the delegates. The secretaries and so on had to go back and match up sign-in sheets to delegate sheets.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 01:53 PM
142. Pudge, you couldn't be more wrong if you tried. You say: "Correct, because what the people want is unconstitutional. They want a binding blanket primary. That is unconstitutional. So this is the best they can get."

No, repeat "no", court decision caused the elimination of the right to cast votes as "unaffiliated" voters in the presidential preference primary.

Those votes of unaffiliated voters were -- prior to this year -- tabulated and reported separately from the votes of people who declared their party affiliations. Neither those "unaffiliated" votes nor the votes of people who declared their party affiliations were required to be used by either party.

Since the presidential preference primary election had no binding effect on the selection of the parties' candidates, there was no constitutional reason to eliminate it. That is why neither Sam Reed nor anyone else stated in their testimony to the legislature that a court decision required the elimiination of "unaffiliated" votes.

You are confusing the elimination of the "blanket primary" for other offices and the elimination of the presidential preference primary.

They are not the same. One was unconstitutional, the other was not.

Posted by: Micajah on February 11, 2008 01:58 PM
143. I disagree with almost everything Pudge says about policy. But his comments @ 137 are exactly as I see the situation.

The parties have the absolute right under the First Amendment, supported across the board by court decisions at every level, to determine who will carry their banner into the general election, and how those people will be selected.

If you think the presidential primary is a waste of taxpayer money, vote Sam Reed out. But his successor, whoever it is, will do just what Sam did, because the Secretary of State must implement the will of the Legislature.

I won't speak for Pudge or anyone else, but if people want the primary scapped because it is a waste of taxpayer money (certainly my position), the path to that is through the Legislature.

If people think the primary is a better process than the caucus system and would be worth spending $9-10 million on because of that (not my position but certainly a colorable argument), the starting point for making that happen is partisan registration.

Because, as the law states, the parties have the right to control their candidate selection process.

That appears to be too big a dose of reality for many in this state to swallow. They would rather wallow in the illusion of their "independence."

If people want to be "independent," fine, that's their right. But they shouldn't think that they can butt into a party's business.

Posted by: ivan on February 11, 2008 01:59 PM
144. pudge: people do care....they are fascinated by a party that throws blame around everywhere else but is unwilling to accept any responsibility for any missteps whatsoever -- as it reminds them of what's going on on the national level quite a bit

Posted by: Bill Anderson on February 11, 2008 02:07 PM
145. ivan, you and pudge are correct to a point, however, the statement, "The parties have the absolute right under the First Amendment, supported across the board by court decisions at every level, to determine who will carry their banner into the general election, and how those people will be selected" isn't complete.

As is custom for SP commentators to complain about, the teachers' union should not be able to take dollars from their members and do whatever they want to with it.

The political parties can choose a mechanism for determining how they select a candidate but they cannot violate the rights of it's members in doing so. In this state, if the state republican party has a mechanism for determining it's delegates to the national convention, is there an equal rights issue when individual precincts or counties have fundamentally different ways of determining who gets to be voted on as far as delegates are concerned or who gets automatic delegate status to county and state conventions?

My question being that does the party's right to choose how it wishes to select a candidate also require that if it chooses to use an election of delegates to provide equal protection to it's members?

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 02:15 PM
146. I don't get it. Pudge is saying no one "won" WA on Saturday. He says the broo-haha is all about nothing. So why is McCain claiming he won WA?

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/02/11/656283.aspx

After congratulating Huckabee on his victories in Kansas and Louisiana, McCain defended the Washington GOPs decision to call him the winner its caucus, despite allegations of voting irregularities coming from the Huckabee campaign.

It's pretty clear that we won [in Washington], McCain said. [Huckabee] certainly has the right to challenge if he chooses to. But I honestly don't know enough about the details except that I know that state parties declare elections when they have sufficient evidence as to who's won and who's lost. That's not unusual in any way.

He claims he won. Pudge, is McCain wrong? Are you going to make a separate post saying he's wrong?

This is crap. How can Esser do this to the party? Who cares if the media has their "narrative"? Is that more important than lying to the media about the process?

I know a lot of people that PO'ed right now, and I can't imagine any of them coming out to vote in Nov. Especially if the WSRP is going to stab us in the back like this.

Posted by: Reaganology on February 11, 2008 02:17 PM
147. It seems that everyone reporting on this forgets that the R's decided to use the primary election to allocate 51 percent of their delegates based on the primary, the balance based on the caucuses. See Primary Voters Pamphlet: http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/2008/PPVPED01Final.pdf

So, given the closeness of the election, how can the R's declare a winner when 51% of the delegates will be based on the ELECTION which has not occurred yet? The Election isn't until February 19th!!

BTW, if the caucus is meaningless (as some posters claim) why is Esser on the radio encouraging R's to participate in both the caucuses and the primary.

Moreover, does dual primary election and caucus violate "one man one vote"?

Does that discriminate against people who cannot attend the caucuses? RCW 29A.56.010(1) states that
The current presidential nominating caucus system in Washington state is unnecessarily restrictive of voter participation in that it discriminates against the elderly, the infirm, women, the disabled, evening workers, and others who are unable to attend caucuses and therefore unable to fully participate in this most important quadrennial event that occurs in our democratic system of government.

Does the fact the state runs the primary election - which requires party disclosure - violate the state constitutional right to "absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing his ballot" Washington Constitution Art. VI, sec. 6 ?
The Washington State Constitution, Article VI, Sec. 6 unequivocally states: All elections shall be by ballot. The legislature shall provide for such method of voting as will secure to every elector absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing his ballot.
Why then have a primary if it is not binding? And why should taxpayers pay for the expenses of a process that is not only constitutionally suspect but controlled by the parties?
Even though the party's can restrict participation in the partisan primaries to party members [to protect their freedom of association], doesn't the caucus system [where you announce you support among the candidates running in your party] violate your state constitutional right to absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing your ballot? Isn't that a violation of your constitutional rights?


Posted by: WakeUpFool on February 11, 2008 02:20 PM
148. Micajah: No, repeat "no", court decision caused the elimination of the right to cast votes as "unaffiliated" voters in the presidential preference primary.

Correct. I didn't say it did. You are the one who is confused.

What I said is that it eliminated the ability to cast such votes and force the party to use them for anything. Yes, obviously they were not forced before, but before, there was at least a chance the party would choose to. Since the blanket primary was removed, there was no more such chance.

What I also said was unconstitutional was what the voters REALLY wanted, which was to do precisely that: force the parties to accept the result of a blanket primary, since you kept harping on voter intent.


Those votes of unaffiliated voters were -- prior to this year -- tabulated and reported separately from the votes of people who declared their party affiliations. Neither those "unaffiliated" votes nor the votes of people who declared their party affiliations were required to be used by either party.

You are now driven to argue that in order to not waste money, the government should ... waste money. Because that is all an unaffiliated vote in this primary IS: a complete waste of money. Democratic votes too.


ivan: Agreed entirely.


Bill Anderson: people do care

In here, no, one cares about anything you have to say. Sorry to be the one to break it to you.


they are fascinated by a party that throws blame around everywhere else but is unwilling to accept any responsibility for any missteps whatsoever

Repeatedly in this discussion I have stated, in no uncertain terms, that the state party handled this poorly and should have done it differently, and I have noted several times that there were discrepancies with how the counties handled it, due primarily to confusion coming from the state party, which are now being fixed. To claim that I am saying the party does not have any responsibility for this is an obvious lie.

And this is why no one cares what you have to say.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 02:23 PM
149. Doug at #124, plan? What plan? Huckabee is making such a fool of himself it is embarrassing; who does he have as a campaign manager? Oh, that's right- Ed Rollins.

It's over for the Huckster. He just wants to play games and get ahead of Romney's totals. It's ABC, except Huckabee and Paul.

Posted by: swatter on February 11, 2008 02:24 PM
150. Pudge says, "There was a spot on the sign-in sheet for you to mention your presidential preference. There was nothing particular to the delegates. The secretaries and so on had to go back and match up sign-in sheets to delegate
sheets."

Bingo!

Weren't we supposed to discuss and agree on which candidate each precinct's delegate would represent at the County Conventions? Would that not necessarily match the delegates original preference?

Yet that is what was counted...just as I suspected.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 02:26 PM
151. Good to know - the only role for an ordinary voter in selecting the President is in the Democratic Party.

You guys sure know how to run an election.

Posted by: Voter on February 11, 2008 02:30 PM
152. Poor Esser is in a tough spot here. Imagine the outcry if he had done the reverse, choosing to not release any results until all the counting is done. Everyone would be up in arms: "Give us the damned results!"
Instead he chose to release the figures that were done by the end of Saturday night, and only after an analysis very generous to Gov. Huckabee showed McCain would still be in the lead.
Obviously a hapless county or two can't get the voting tabulation done, but this is hardly the state Republican party's fault. Admirably, they're not saying who doesn't have their results done. If they did, that poor person would be getting all the venom and bile that is currently being directed at the state party.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 02:35 PM
153. Doug @ 145 directs this question to me:

---
In this state, if the state republican party has a mechanism for determining it's delegates to the national convention, is there an equal rights issue when individual precincts or counties have fundamentally different ways of determining who gets to be voted on as far as delegates are concerned or who gets automatic delegate status to county and state conventions?
---
I can't speak for the Republicans, or for Democrats in any other state. We Democrats in WA have one set of rules for the entire state.

Posted by: ivan on February 11, 2008 02:39 PM
154. Doug: ivan, you and pudge are correct to a point, however, the statement, "The parties have the absolute right under the First Amendment, supported across the board by court decisions at every level, to determine who will carry their banner into the general election, and how those people will be selected" isn't complete.

As is custom for SP commentators to complain about, the teachers' union should not be able to take dollars from their members and do whatever they want to with it.

Doug, no, the union issue is about COMPULSORY dues. The whole legal issue last year was not about whether the union could use the dues of its normal members for any purpose, it was about using dues that were forcibly taken from people for political purposes.


In this state, if the state republican party has a mechanism for determining it's delegates to the national convention, is there an equal rights issue when individual precincts or counties have fundamentally different ways of determining who gets to be voted on as far as delegates are concerned or who gets automatic delegate status to county and state conventions?

No. There is no equal rights issue whatsoever. Equal rights applies to the government, not to private parties.


Reaganology: He claims he won. Pudge, is McCain wrong? Are you going to make a separate post saying he's wrong?

I don't see how it matters WHO says anything. What matters is what is said. I've already been perfectly clear on the issue. If McCain says something I've said is wrong, then what McCain says is wrong. What do I care? You appear to think that I might change my view depending on who is saying something: you don't know me well at all if you think that.


I know a lot of people that PO'ed right now, and I can't imagine any of them coming out to vote in Nov. Especially if the WSRP is going to stab us in the back like this.

I can't imagine how anyone can describe what's happened as anyone being "stabbed in the back."

WakeUpFool: So, given the closeness of the election, how can the R's declare a winner when 51% of the delegates will be based on the ELECTION which has not occurred yet? The Election isn't until February 19th!!

You need to look at what Esser actually said, which is that McCain won "the precinct caucuses," which is at best technically correct but irrelevant.


BTW, if the caucus is meaningless (as some posters claim)

NO ONE claimed that.


Moreover, does dual primary election and caucus violate "one man one vote"?

Absolutely not.


The Washington State Constitution, Article VI, Sec. 6 unequivocally states: All elections shall be by ballot. The legislature shall provide for such method of voting as will secure to every elector absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing his ballot.

No, this does not apply. That refers to the CONTENTS of your ballot: what you voted for. However, what is being reported is WHICH election you participated in, which is NOT secret (indeed, for everyone in here who has voted in WA, which elections you've participated in for the last few years is a matter of public record).


Why then have a primary if it is not binding? And why should taxpayers pay for the expenses of a process that is not only constitutionally suspect but controlled by the parties?

Read the discussion between me and Micajah above.


doesn't the caucus system [where you announce you support among the candidates running in your party] violate your state constitutional right to absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing your ballot?

Absolutely not. The caucus system is not subject to the state or federal constitution. It is a private organization that can make its own rules.


Bill Cruchon: Weren't we supposed to discuss and agree on which candidate each precinct's delegate would represent at the County Conventions?

Nope. You could do that if you wanted to, but no reason you had to.

This is part of my point: these caucuses are not DESIGNED to make your presidential preference a primary feature. Your caucus may think presidential preference is the most important thing; mine might think fixing U.S. 2 is the most important thing, and discuss only that.

If this were a true delegate-for-candidate deal, we would pledge it there in the caucus itself, not just merely write it on the sheet on the way in. That we write it only on the way in should instruct us here: we cannot give too much credence to the results.


Voter: oh, the Democrats are going to count the primary? Wow, that's big news!!!

Ed the Head: Obviously a hapless county or two can't get the voting tabulation done, but this is hardly the state Republican party's fault.

Well, the organization and communication was poor. There are no rules set for doing this. I say the fault is equal parts state and county.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 02:41 PM
155. Thank you pudge. Huckabee's grandstanding on this assures his self-destruction. Why does he have to try to bring down his party with it?

I have no problem with the existing caucus/convention party systems. I have a real problem with the taxpayer-funded state Presidential Primary/straw poll.

Since I hear I'll have to indicate my party preference in the registration book when signing in, I'm wondering how my local polling place is going to handle my attempt to vote only the school-levy part of the ballot? (Last time the Optical Scanner wouldn't accept my ballot without the D or R bubble filled in and they had to unlock the back of the machine to put the ballot in. So much for our state election process. Oh, I know, I know, it's just part of the plot to make us all vote by snail mail.)

And someone please tell Sam Reed to drop the "national primary" nonsense. A national primary would only serve to further the media-inspired faith in a "national popular vote." The electoral college is the only thing left to save us from rule by the "madness of crowds."

Posted by: Suburban Mom on February 11, 2008 02:41 PM
156. I caucused in District 02-15 in Pearce County. I was excited to see the room packed to overflowing with seemingly enthusiastic people. When it was finished most went away with no idea of what actually happened there. I still have no idea who is actaully going to be a delegate for who. There were not nearly enough forms and the one party worker present spoke so softly I heard almost nothing she said.

We asked many questions and got few answers. There was a hodgepodge of instructions in the packet given our group. The party website seemed to mostly discourage attendance of the caucus by making it very hard to figure out where to cuacus.

I doubt we will see many who attended again since it was just a waste of time. I did get to listen to many speaches by the Ron Paul dreamers. Somehow every Paul supporter was a large white guy with a big beard looking like they just came in from the woods. I have no idea how they think that we can return to the gold standard and abolish income taxes at the same time. There is not enought gold in the world to do so, and how would our bankrupt government pay for it?

Good job Luke, no wonder we are babes in the wilderness here in WA.

Posted by: wmscott on February 11, 2008 02:41 PM
157. Esser was in a pretty easy spot, he just had to tell the national media that the 18 delegates won't be awarded until May and from the results at hand it was pretty clear that no candidate has shorn up enough support amongst the delegates to guarantee them any of the 18 delegates. Then he could tell them to check in with him later.

Instead, he did what any McCainiac would do in the position of power that he had, he tried to stop the McCain bleeding from a horrible day and announce that he was 'The Winner'. He could release the accurate results when they were ready, and since he had the ears of the national media, could have explained at the same time, the above.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 02:43 PM
158. CANDIDATE "NO SHOW" OUTPOLLS JOHN McCAIN TO WIN KING COUNTY GOP CAUCUSES!

King County has 2,548 precincts, and state GOP rules required allocation of at least twice as many elected precinct delegate positions countywide, as the number of precincts in the county. This would be 5,096. In addition, the 785 Republican PCO's were allowed as automatic precinct delegates, without being elected, so long as they attended their precinct caucus. This would have been at least 5,881 precinct delegates that COULD have been selected on Saturday - so long as even a minimal number of GOP voters attended in each precinct.

However, only 4,195 precinct delegates were selected on Saturday. This means that at least 1,686 precinct delegate positions went to Candidate "NO SHOW" because of the absence of ANY Republican voters in well over one thousand precincts in King County.

So Candidate "NO SHOW" had a convincing victory in Saturday's King County caucuses - at least 1,686 precinct delegates, compared with John McCain's 1,321 precinct delegates, and Mike Huckabee's 798 precinct delegates.

http://www.kcgop.org/documents/KingCoCaucusPrelimResults.pdf

Posted by: Richard Pope on February 11, 2008 02:43 PM
159. Suburban Mom: Since I hear I'll have to indicate my party preference in the registration book when signing in, I'm wondering how my local polling place is going to handle my attempt to vote only the school-levy part of the ballot?

They SHOULD have no problem with it. In Snohomish County it's no problem. Good luck to you though ...

Oh, I know, I know, it's just part of the plot to make us all vote by snail mail.)

:-)

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 02:48 PM
160. Surely you are mistaken Richard, you point out that the PCO's were automatic delegates - pudge (#116) has insisted that that is not the case and he was elected.

I guess in a close election, as I pointed out before (#114), the PCO's (appointed and/or elected) can make a difference. In your numbers above, they represent about 15% of the county caucus delegates.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 02:50 PM
161. Oh, I should probably point out to you Pudge that most of the time the PCO's are elected at a time other than presidential primaries so the precinct has no idea who the PCO will support at the county caucus, hence the individual voters who show up at the caucus and select their delegates have an unequal representation based on their selection of the candidate, than the PCO's.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 02:55 PM
162. suburban mom:

it's grandstanding to ask what was the actual vote?

what is this: putin's russia?

Posted by: william2008 on February 11, 2008 02:58 PM
163. Doug @ 160

PCO's were automatic delegates from the precinct to the county convention (and LD caucus, if applicable). Pudge was talking about the process of electing state convention delegates at his upcoming Snohomish County convention.

Posted by: Richard Pope on February 11, 2008 02:59 PM
164. Now Huck's asking for a "recount."

His people clearly haven't the slightest idea how this process works. If they're talking about recounting the sign-in sheets, then they're stupid. If they're talking about recounting the precinct delegate votes, then they're ridiculous.

More likely that they don't know what they're talking about. I don't think Huckabee has one single person on his staff with the intelligence and competence to actually figure out what it is they'll be recounting if they recount.

Thank God Huck's going to lose. His administration would likely have been no more competently run than his campaign.

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 03:00 PM
165. ScottM:

What was the actual vote count?

This is a simple question that the state party should be able to answer.

The fact that they won't is telling.

You will give no "momentum" to McCain by rigging elections to go his way. Republicans frown on that sort of thing.

Posted by: william2008 on February 11, 2008 03:03 PM
166. Did it occur to any of us that this hoopla is more about the national attention and not what we think here in Washington State?

I'm watching CNN right now (sorry guys, don't kick me out of the party, but Fox was on a newsbreak). Lou Dobbs and Wolf Blitzer are BLASTING the WSRP and giving Huckabee some props. I personally think it's blown out of proportion, but it seems to be playing better for Huckabee nationally than for McCain. And that's what Huckabee is doing. Do we really think that their campaign is unaware of our caucus process?

It's the only thing the Huckabee campaign could do to limit the negative impact of our little faux paux, and it seems to be working.

We have a difference perspective of Huckabee's statements here in Washington because we are more familiar with our own process and it's meaning.

But in Virginia, Texas, and other upcoming states if Huckabee can stay in the national headlines by making it look like McCain's solitary "victory" last weekend wasn't exactly that...well then that's just elongating the story of his sweep isn't it?

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 11, 2008 03:04 PM
167. Doug: I should probably point out to you Pudge that most of the time the PCO's are elected at a time other than presidential primaries so the precinct has no idea who the PCO will support at the county caucus, hence the individual voters who show up at the caucus and select their delegates have an unequal representation based on their selection of the candidate, than the PCO's.

That is only true if the main purpose of the caucus is to select presidential candidates.

It isn't. It is to pick DELEGATES AS INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 03:04 PM
168. Pudge says, "If this were a true delegate-for-candidate deal, we would pledge it there in the caucus itself, not just merely write it on the sheet on the way in. That we write it only on the way in should instruct us here: we cannot give too much credence to the results."

No kidding.

I understand now why the Huckabee Campaign might be upset. The "meaningless" results posted by the WSRP with the implication that they were meaningful deprived Huckabee of a weekend sweep,(however meaningless the actual numbers might be).

If the so-called results posted by the WSRP are entirely meaningless don't we have to wonder what the heck it was we were doing for 2-hours on Saturday afternoon?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 03:05 PM
169. Chad: right, I said either Huckabee doesn't know how it works, or is being intentionally deceptive to make the most out of it. Not sure which is worse.

william2008: it is a simple question, if the state has the information. See my post from 10 minutes ago on the front page: watch the news tonight. SnoCo GOP has been spending all day getting the results, having to go over hundreds of delegate sheets and sign-in sheets to match them up with only a few volunteers.

Please let's not act like we know things we don't!

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 03:08 PM
170. Chad Minnick:

Again: what was the actual vote count?

This is a simple question.

Long dissertations on "process" sound like something is being covered-up (even if it isn't).

There was a vote in Washington State. What was the vote count? Why can't this simple question be answered? And if it can't be answered, why do you engage in this exercise at all?

(I'm in Virginia. And I'm curious why you would hold a caucus, but not release the actual vote count. It smells bad at best. It is bad at worst.)

Posted by: william2008 on February 11, 2008 03:10 PM
171. Sure, Pudge, but then McCain is also being deceptive by claiming to have "won" Washington State. So there's a lot of spinning going on here because the facts are WAY too complicated to put into a soundbite.

What was Huckabee to do? He got jacked and the news of a sweep or tie last weekend was taken from him by the declaration of a McCain "victory." That was a momentum killer and now he's doing whatever he can to sieze it back.

What we should be saying as a party to the national media is: "every one of Washington's delegates are still up for grabs. The caucuses assigned NONE. We will be choosing 19 of them on February 19 and 18 at our State Convention in June. So check back with us in June to know who won Washington State."

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 11, 2008 03:14 PM
172. Bill Cruchon: If the so-called results posted by the WSRP are entirely meaningless don't we have to wonder what the heck it was we were doing for 2-hours on Saturday afternoon?

Electing delegates to the county convention.

I was not the pooled caucus chair, but I helped out, and one thing I said up front to the 38 precincts is that we WERE NOT voting for or nominating any presidential candidates. You could vote for your delegates based on their preference, that is up to you, but we were there to elect delegates.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 03:16 PM
173. William: there wasn't a vote, so there were no votes. Most of us listed a "preference" when we signed in at our caucuses, but that had little or nothing to do with which candidate will be represented by our National Convention delegates.

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 11, 2008 03:17 PM
174. chad minnick:

if you listed a preference, count those up. report the outcome.

again, why engage in the exercise if you don't do this?

(even if there's a later process in Washington State that is more "official" - there is no good reason not to report the outcome from the caucus.)

Posted by: william2008 on February 11, 2008 03:20 PM
175. william2008:

What do you mean by "the actual vote count"? These were caucuses to elect precinct delegates to the county convention. Each precinct has its own vote count. A "statewide vote count" would be meaningless.

If you're talking about the "vote count" for the candidates, there wasn't one. There was a nonbinding sign-in sheet for participants to list a preference. Those numbers don't mean anything as far as the eventual composition of Washington's national convention delegation and there was clearly no statewide system set up for the counting and reporting. That's why there are no totals available yet.

Eventually, they'll have those meaningless numbers. The state GOP's mistake was in releasing the percentages Saturday night as if they mattered instead of waiting until the counting was done and releasing the raw numbers as a nonbinding indication of caucus-goers' and delegates' stated preferences.

That's what this whole thread is about.

This wasn't an election, and no one "rigged" anything. By claiming they did, you slander the ordinary, hard-working people who volunteer to serve as PCOs, because they are the ones who tallied the only votes taken.

Also, I'm not a McCain supporter. I am a supporter of truth.

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 03:21 PM
176. The GOP attempts humor: http://net.gop.com/valentine/Default.aspx

Posted by: Bill Anderson on February 11, 2008 03:23 PM
177. Pudge, are you saying that we were there simply to elect delegates with no preference? What kind of sense does that make?

I understand that these were merely delegates to the County Convention.

And yet the WSRP reports the results as if delegates did name a preference...which was evidently decided when they walked in the door and signed in. I think if most participants knew that was how it worked they'd have stayed home.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 03:27 PM
178. ScottM:

I can tell you guys are Republican activists. I am a Republican activist. I know you all are the type of people who put a lot of work into GOP campaigns. So you deserve praise. (I've sat at a table outside of a precinct all day in the rain for Republican candidates - more than once - I've been there).

I think you may be too close to the process, though, to see how your statements look to an outsider.

If there was a "non-binding sign-in sheet for participants to list a preference" then you should be able to count up how many participants listed a preference for McCain, Huckabee, etc.

If you can do this, you should. If you cannot do this, I don't understand why you engage in this process.

Perhaps some background is in order: why do you engage in this process?

Nonetheless, I have yet to see a persuasive explanation as to why you can't give an accurate count of the candidate preferences indicated during your caucus.

Thanks-

Posted by: william2008 on February 11, 2008 03:28 PM
179. Chad: OK. I am not defending McCain, so ... whatever. :-)

As to a "sweep," the best he could have gotten was a "we don't know yet" anyway, so it would have only been a "partial sweep" at best. Eh. I am more concerned with us -- our party and its members, its delegates and participants -- than with Huckabee or McCain.

And I agree with your proposed statement. It's what should have been said. They could have, as I mentioned in another comment, even provided results as long as it was with that caveat, and we would've been OK.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 03:30 PM
180. For the benefit of those outside the Evergreen State who are reading this...

We have a unique party culture here in Washington. We also have a unique structure. It works well for us, and we're all used to it. But you guys might not understand it and it may even seem a bit complicated. Here are some thoughts to help you understand why we keep saying the preferences don't tell the complete story.

1) Washington State has never mattered in a Presidential Primary. So we have never focussed on electing delegates based on their support or lack of support for any particular candidate. We simply make our decisions based on other criteria.

2) To explain my point above, we had several people at my precinct caucus, but only three wanted to run for the two spots available. We all knew each other, either from activism in the party, the community, or because we're neighbors and see each other at the park with our kids. We just worked out who was going to be the delegates and who would be the alternate. I volunteered to be the alternate. Problem solved. No one asked or cared about the Presidential preference.

3) Even though I am only an alternate and not even a seated delegate to the District and County Convention, I am a candidate for State Convention delegate. I expect I'll be elected since I always have been. I expect Pudge will be elected. If we have Republican State Legislators, active or retired, they will be elected if they want to be. We send those we trust and respect to the State Convention as delegates and they will decide for us who will represent Washington State at the National Convention. We've done it that way for so long that it's become part of our culture.

4) Even though the two delegates from our caucus were each for different candidates, I (the alternate whose preference is presumably not calculated in the numbers released to the media) may be the only one elected to the State Convention from my precinct. I have a different preference than either of the two of them. So while my vote wasn't even calculated in the totals released to CNN and Fox News, my preference may matter the most. That's why Pudge and Chris Vance and the rest of us are saying this is a tempest in a teapot.

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 11, 2008 03:36 PM
181. william2008: I explained one reason why this is "taking so long." You appear to have missed it. Look at my other post today, and watch KING5 news tonight.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 03:38 PM
182. Bill Cruchon: are you saying that we were there simply to elect delegates with no preference?

No. I am saying, as I have been saying, that it is up to each participant how to vote, and that there is nothing inherent in the process that implies we need to care about presidential preference of our delegates, and, in fact, many people did NOT care.


What kind of sense does that make?

I like to call it representative democracy. As Edmund Burke wrote, "Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion."

You can, of course, ask what your representative believes on a particular issue: war, gay marriage, taxes, or presidential preference. But you have no obligation to vote along one or any of them, and his only obligation is to use his best judgment, unless he makes a promise, in which case he is bound by his word.

Remember, these are precinct caucuses: ideally, you are voting for your neighbors, people you know. Granted, it doesn't work that way much anymore, which is the biggest flaw in the system, from my view, but that is how it is designed.


And yet the WSRP reports the results as if delegates did name a preference...which was evidently decided when they walked in the door and signed in. I think if most participants knew that was how it worked they'd have stayed home.

I announced how it worked at our caucus and no one seemed dismayed. I saw nor heard a single complaint from anyone.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 03:39 PM
183. The actual counts are available, William. I'm not sure if they are listed in the WSRP's press release or on the website, but I've seen them around. Also, many of the County Party's are releasing the actual counts (delegates' preferences and caucus attendees preferences) on their own websites. They still have to count some that are slow to come in, but that will all be widely available this week.

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 11, 2008 03:41 PM
184. chad:

thanks for the explanation.

when is your convention?

and if the process works the way you explained, why did the state chairperson make a "declaration" about a "winner" before receiving all caucus sheets? as best i can tell, misperceptions about your process began with this statement by your state chairperson.

Posted by: william2008 on February 11, 2008 03:42 PM
185. "That's why Pudge and Chris Vance and the rest of us are saying this is a tempest in a teapot."

But it ain't. Not this year. The Party reports the "results" in terms of which candidate won the Caucus. If we were honest we wouldn't report the "results" at all since we are merely selecting our preferred delegates to the County Conventions. But no, that's not what we do. We report the results as if they have meaning far beyond the real purpose of this truly meaningless process.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 03:47 PM
186. The "declaration" wasn't really that. It was simply that McCain won the most votes at the caucuses. It might have been worded better, but I honestly believe they didn't intend to misrepresent to the national media that McCain won our delegates. How were we to know that you guys would assume our caucus preferences would have anything to do with our delegates? None of us locally thought anyone would go home with delegates on Saturday.

Posted by: Chad Minnick on February 11, 2008 03:49 PM
187. "The first step towards recovering from our defeat in 2006 is recognizing that we have a problem, and today we did that," said Esser.

from http://soundpolitics.com/archives/007950.html

Maybe he needs to admit his problem all over again...

Posted by: Bill Anderson on February 11, 2008 03:53 PM
188. Huckabee just tried to creat controversy. The next best thing to positive marketing is negative marketing and he is going for the gusto. Someone, please put a fork in this guy; he is done.

My cubbymate is more convinced than ever that the two party system sucks. No, he didn't attend both caucuses like he threatened.

Posted by: swatter on February 11, 2008 03:54 PM
189. william2008:

"I can tell you guys are Republican activists."

I used to be, but I no longer have a party affiliation, and I am now a political inactivist.

Don't do something, just stand there!

"If there was a "non-binding sign-in sheet for participants to list a preference" then you should be able to count up how many participants listed a preference for McCain, Huckabee, etc."

Yep. And eventually, each county party will tote up is numbers and report it to the state party, and we'll have totals. But the sheets actually have to be counted up by people, and then presumably rechecked for accuracy. Then they have to count them up again, including only those people who were elected as delegates, and again, recheck them for accuracy.

This all takes time. It's only been two measly days since the caucuses, and presumably some counties simply haven't been able to get their numbers totaled up.

If these numbers were important, presumably an efficient counting and reporting system would have been set up. But they aren't, so one wasn't.

"and if the process works the way you explained, why did the state chairperson make a "declaration" about a "winner" before receiving all caucus sheets? as best i can tell, misperceptions about your process began with this statement by your state chairperson."

It was an incredibly stupid thing for Esser to do.

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 03:57 PM
190. swatter:

you're missing my point.

i'm not a huckabee fan. (i was for romney. now i guess i marginally like huckabee more than mccain. but i don't feel great about either).

but "declaring" a "winner" before all the "preferences" are counted .... and then blaming huckabee for complaining ... makes you look bad - not huckabee.

Posted by: william2008 on February 11, 2008 03:58 PM
191. You're not getting what I'm trying to say here at all Pudge. Probably my fault for not being clear.

I get the process.

What was the point of anyone having to designate their preference at all?

This isn't representative democracy. It's a crock.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 03:59 PM
192. Bill Cruchon @185:
If no numbers were reported Saturday, people would be angry about that, too. Seems to me, some people were going to be mad any way it was played. Regardless of this controversy, some people would be pissed off that their candidate didn't get the most delegates. Perhaps pissed off people are inherent to this process.
I'm happy to hear from anyone who is upset with the process. For those of you who are merely upset that your chosen candidate isn't the one on top, I don't consider that significant. Ask yourself, would I be just as upset if it were called for Mike Huckabee (or Ron Paul)? If the answer is no, then you need to consider whether your anger is justified.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 04:02 PM
193. william2008 @190:
Esser says calling it for McCain was based on a model that took the remaining delegates to be determined and greatly inflated Huckabee's support and reduced McCain's. Their model still had McCain getting the most delegates, so they called it for him. To end up on top at this point, Huckabee would not only have to increase his percentage for the remaining delegates, but increase it overwhelmingly.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 04:10 PM
194. For all of you who are claiming that "it takes time to count these votes..." remember that the Democratic party had rougly 10 times the amount of attendees, and they actually had to count, recount, and verify each precinct. The D's were able to report their numbers, completely by later Saturday night.

The problem here seems to be that the Republican Party of Washington had no clue what they were doing, counting or reporting. My guess is that what is taking so long is that they received delegate forms, but those delegate forms didn't list Presidential Preferences. So, Esser, in his last-minute decision to grant a victory based on delegate preferences, had to then go back through the sign-in sheets, find each delegate, and count their preferences.

The bottom line is this: there's no way that Luke Esser should be declaring a victory for John McCain. The process he set in place wasn't constructed to choose a "winner" following the caucuses. There's no relation to what happened in the caucus and the "winner" that he's now declared to the Media.

For those Republicans who thought that their voice, relative to their Presidential Preference mattered...it didn't. This was not adequately explained to you, and this was glossed over by Luke Esser.

This caucus was a mess, and Luke Esser continues to misrepresent it when he declares John McCain the winner.

Posted by: Timothy on February 11, 2008 04:11 PM
195. william, your comment only works if there is a race. The Huckster, even with his outstanding and stellar performance (MSM, not me) he still doesn't have the same number of delegates Romney has.

Please, someone, stick a fork in this guy. He's done.

Posted by: swatter on February 11, 2008 04:14 PM
196. ed the head:

ok - i'll take that at face value ... as long as the actual numbers are released by the state party.

otherwise, this talk about "models" (without pointing to confirmatory actual results) sounds fishy.

i'm with the GOP - i'm just trying to let you know how this looks to me as a non-Washington-State Republican.

Posted by: william2008 on February 11, 2008 04:16 PM
197. For william2008 and others wondering about the process here:

As has been mentioned, there were "sign-in" sheets for each precinct on which an attendee to the caucus had the option of stating a presidential preference, however these preferences merely reflected the position of the attendee when he or she arrived at the caucus - prior to discussing and debating the issue with neighbors. It is possible that a delegate could have been persuaded to change preference thanks to the caucus process itself. That is one of the points of caucusing. Again, there is no way to actually tally whether a delegate was "for" a particular candidate at the end of the caucus based on the final documents that were submitted. One could plow through the sign-in sheets and make an assumption that a delegate's position was exactly the same after debate as it was prior to the start, but that would not be very good reporting.


And piling on to what some others have said in this thread, it should also be noted that in addition to presidential preference, there are other issues that may have mattered when delegates were elected in each precinct. Some may have been elected simply because of their ability to attend the next caucus in the process. Some were perhaps chosen for their positions on various issues that will be discussed and debated for the party platform (land use, education, transportation, etc.) Or, some may have been chosen simply because the they were the only person who showed up in the precinct.

Again, it cannot be overstated that no candidate "got" any delegates on Saturday, so no candidate "won" anything. It would be more accurate if the media reported something like, "It appears that 25.5% of delegates elected on Saturday indicated their preference for John McCain prior to the start of the caucus. However, it will not be known how many delegates any candidate has from the state of Washington for some months to come."

I think the real story here is sloppy, sloppy reporting by the news media - exacerbated by a foolish statement from Luke Esser.

Posted by: Brian White on February 11, 2008 04:23 PM
198. swatter:

until a GOP candidate hits 1,191 delegates, the race is not over.

political races are very fluid, dynamic things. (even more so than football games - and you see how that worked-out for the N.E. Patriots). odd things can happen.

romney's 285 delegates have not been released. heck, ron paul's 14 delegate may even end up being important.

your proposition that the Democrats get to actively choose a standard-bearer - but not Republicans - is not going to go-over well in upcoming states that still have primaries.

they will want to vote. and if there's 51% conservatives in a state, it probably WILL NOT go for mccain.

that's why they hold the primaries, after all.

thank goodness they do.

(now if we could just limit all GOP primaries to actual, you know, Republicans.... that would be even better... we'd probably still have Romney in the race)

Posted by: william2008 on February 11, 2008 04:25 PM
199. brian white:

what you say above may all be true.

but i think i would say it slightly differently: the MAIN problem was the declaration of a winner by your state chairman.

if you are choosing non-committed delegates to a future state convention, why on Earth would you announce a "winner"?

and if you do announce a "winner" - why don't you release the actual "preference" results showing the actual preference count?

and if you intend to release the actual preference count, what's taking so long?

these are all fair questions.

blaming huckabee for asking such questions just makes you all look bad - not huckabee. that's my view as a GOP activist from Virginia.

Posted by: william2008 on February 11, 2008 04:33 PM
200. Brian White says, "It is possible that a delegate could have been persuaded to change preference thanks to the caucus process itself. That is one of the points of caucusing."

That's what I thought too, Brian.

Otherwise it would be nice to have been informed prior to signing the sign in sheet, "remember, if you are selected as a delegate your preference will be tallied as your final choice".

My head hurts.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 04:33 PM
201. Bill Cruchon: What was the point of anyone having to designate their preference at all?

Just so they could make a show of it all like it means something.

This isn't representative democracy.

Why? It seems to me that this is exactly what it is.


Timothy: For all of you who are claiming that "it takes time to count these votes..." remember that the Democratic party had rougly 10 times the amount of attendees, and they actually had to count, recount, and verify each precinct.

Again, that's a bit beside the point, since the actual voting in each Dem precinct included a record of which delegates were for which candidates. The GOP's didn't. And as ScottM said, "If these numbers were important, presumably an efficient counting and reporting system would have been set up. But they aren't, so one wasn't."


The problem here seems to be that the Republican Party of Washington had no clue what they were doing, counting or reporting.

See, exactly, you are comparing apples and oranges. The GOP had NO PROBLEMS counting the actual votes. But unlike the Dem caucuses, there WERE no votes for presidential candidates. So it is a different process, reconciling the actual elections of delegates with separate sign-in sheets. It's not about the WSRP having no clue in counting or reporting the actual elections, it is about them having no procedures or rules for reporting something ELSE: the presidential preferences.


For those Republicans who thought that their voice, relative to their Presidential Preference mattered...it didn't.

It did, absolutely, if their precinct caucus decided to make it matter.


This was not adequately explained to you

To the 38 precincts at my pooled caucus, it was.


This caucus was a mess

Nope. The caucuses were fine. The reporting of what happened at the state level, and communication of that information between county and state, was a mess, though.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 04:35 PM
202. william2008:

No disagreement regarding the state chairman. And point taken on the chicken/egg element at play regarding the media. However, the media does have a responsibility to fact check their reporting - something they clearly aren't doing.

As to your reference of the "actual preference" count...

As I mentioned, the only preference count available would be derived by counting the preferences stated prior to the caucus itself - which is inherently inaccurate. The caucuses are designed, in part, to give attendees the opportunity to change one another's minds on candidates and issues.


Posted by: Brian White on February 11, 2008 04:41 PM
203. "Bill Cruchon(says): What was the point of anyone having to designate their preference at all?

Pudge says, "Just so they could make a show of it all like it means something."

Exactly! That whole 2-hours on Saturday was nothing but a waste of time. Why did it matter in any way whom was designated as a delegate?

This is just such a joke. I guess we were all just there to give the WSRP some phony numbers to put up.

Well it backfired, didn't it? I faulted Huckabee for challenging the numbers initially. Now I hope he'll expose the whole idiotic process.

As Republicans we can do better, and we should apologize for last Saturday's charade.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 04:55 PM
204. william2008: I blame Huckabee for incorrectly stating there are legal issues; for illogically asking for a statewide recount; for pandering to Ron Paul voters to try to increase public outcry.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 04:57 PM
205. william2008 @199:
why on Earth would you announce a "winner"?

For the millionth time, the reason results were released was because EVERYONE expected it. The campaigns expected it, the media expected it, the public expected it. Results were released with 87% counted, and people were up in arms. IF NO RESULTS HAD BEEN RELEASED, PEOPLE WOULD HAVE BEEN UP IN ARMS. People were going to be pissed off either way.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 05:03 PM
206. On HA, it was noted that this story is # 1 on reddit right now!

Way to put us on the map, GOP!

www.reddit.com

Posted by: Bill Anderson on February 11, 2008 05:08 PM
207. Pudge,

For a lawyer that did not know there was a medical marijuana law that allowed patients to grow their own medical marijuana,you have no room at all to make pun of other lawyers,even the ambulance chasing ones.

I know, "Nobody cares" in our limited tent.

The R's will continue to lose election after election...And I don't care. The R's are a lost cause.

Posted by: Publicbulldog on February 11, 2008 05:09 PM
208. Bill Cruchon: Exactly! That whole 2-hours on Saturday was nothing but a waste of time.

Again: totally false. You are coming from the perspective that the main point of the caucus is to nominate the presidential candidate. That is false. It may be YOUR main purpose for participating, but that is not the main purpose why the caucus exists.


Why did it matter in any way whom was designated as a delegate?

Because you want good people to represent you at the county convention.


This is just such a joke. I guess we were all just there to give the WSRP some phony numbers to put up.

Nope. We were there to elect delegates to represent us at the county convention.


Well it backfired, didn't it? I faulted Huckabee for challenging the numbers initially. Now I hope he'll expose the whole idiotic process.

Yeah, let's "expose" an "idiotic process" that has been used, and well-understood, for longer than we've been alive.


As Republicans we can do better ...

See, this is where I don't get why you don't get it. If you don't like the caucus process, one of the best ways to change it is THROUGH THE CAUCUS PROCESS!

You can offer a resolution. Propose a change. This is a GREAT way to change how the party works. One of the two best ways (the other way being becoming a PCO and working through the county central committee).

So you're saying the only reason for you to go there is to pick a candidate, and you're bummed that you didn't get to do it the way you wanted, but you could have used the caucus for other means too, which contradicts your claim about only using it for the presidential candidates!

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 05:10 PM
209. Pudge says, "You are coming from the perspective that the main point of the caucus is to nominate the presidential candidate. That is false. It may be YOUR main purpose for participating, but that is not the main purpose why the caucus exists."

Then why does the caucus exist? And why does the Party report numbers as if the main point of the caucus is to nominate the presidential candidate?

And knock off the condescension. I've got sweatshirts older than you.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 05:20 PM
210. PEOPLE - Why is this so hard to understand???

This was NOT an election. There are no votes to count. There were only delegates selected to go on to the next higher convention - delegates who are not bound.

The WA Democrats used a different system. Most other states use a different system. Don't confuse what they do with what the WA GOP does.

Posted by: Seabecker on February 11, 2008 05:20 PM
211. "This was NOT an election. There are no votes to count. There were only delegates selected to go on to the next higher convention - delegates who are not bound."

Yes, yes, we know that.

If there were no votes to count, just what was the WSRP counting that declared McCain the "winner" of the caucus?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 05:29 PM
212. Publicbulldog: I will take time out of my self-imposed boycott of your comments to note the fact that I am not a lawyer, and never said I was. And that is not the only thing you got wrong in your comment, but it is all I care to mention.


Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 05:34 PM
213. I came here from TPM Muckraker. Pudge's explanation of the process is very helpful and the comments thread is quite entertaining.

Anyhow, good job, keep it up.

Posted by: jonnyq on February 11, 2008 05:34 PM
214. Bill Cruchon: Then why does the caucus exist?

Again: to elect delegates to represent you at the county convention.

This includes, as has been stated previously: proposing resolutions, picking nominees for all offices (not just President), voting on the platform, and other party business.


And why does the Party report numbers as if the main point of the caucus is to nominate the presidential candidate?

As I said in my original post: "The results were released just so that the party could make some news."

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 05:40 PM
215. Thanks jonnyq .... funny that someone on the TPM thread persists with the silly meme that confusion -- not any actual errors -- over a report of an essentially meaningless number has any comparison to actual errors in a general election. :-)

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 05:45 PM
216. Pudge says, "So you're saying the only reason for you to go there is to pick a candidate, and you're bummed that you didn't get to do it the way you wanted"

Where did I ever say that, Pudge?

I understood fully that we were there to designate delegates to our respective County Conventions.

What I don't understand is why the Party tallied the eventual designated delegates preference on the sign up sheet to indicate who "won" the caucus. As you can see, that now has national implications.

Dammit, how much more clear do I have to be?

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 05:47 PM
217. Pudge,
I was wasting my time trying to convince you of a law that exsisted despite you saying it didn't..You are right,You do not have to mention it,I already know what you sound like with your foot in your mouth.
Besides nobody cares right Pudge.
I don't know why you R's even bother up here in Washington anymore.
The state is blue and there isn't a damn thing the limited tent bunch can do about it.

Posted by: Publicbulldog on February 11, 2008 05:49 PM
218. pudge: funny that someone on the TPM thread persists with the silly meme ...

That's probably just based on a first-glance analysis, which is what most people are looking at on the blogs.

You do have to admit, yours is not the easiest system to understand. I for one wouldn't be too happy being subject to a system where my vote is so far removed from the process by which my party's candidate is actually selected. But then, I'm a Democrat and not a Republican. Those party names sometimes actually mean something, I guess...

That said, great job explaining it. And you do have a way with the trolls, I must say.

Posted by: jonnyq on February 11, 2008 05:57 PM
219. I understood fully that we were there to designate delegates to our respective County Conventions.

Then why do you keep asking why the caucus exists, if you know why the caucus exists?

Perhaps I misunderstood: did you not mean that question literally? I thought you did.


What I don't understand is why the Party tallied the eventual designated delegates preference on the sign up sheet to indicate who "won" the caucus.

I don't see why it matters, since the number would be meaningless either way. Perhaps we could have told people they could change their stated preference after the caucus, but again, I don't think it matters significantly. I don't know why we bother to write down the preference at all. Why not also write down the preference of our delegates on everything else, too?


As you can see, that now has national implications.

I don't care about any national implications. We do what is best for us, and whatever else happens is irrelevant to me.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 06:01 PM
220. jonnyq: well, one of the first Democrats (OK, Democratic-Republican, which became the Democrats later) was James Madison, who wrote a lot of things about the dangers of democracies and the far better republic as a means of protecting the rights of minorities and individuals (cf. Federalist 10).

That said, I am not too tied to this system. It is what it is, and it has pros and cons, like all systems. I think Chad Minnick @ 180 above -- who has a lot more experience in this system than I do, especially considering this was my first contested-presidential-year caucus (my first was 2004, which was very sparsely attended) -- explains the reasons why our system is the way it is far better than I could.

As to trolls, they are the wind beneath my wings. I work for Slashdot, so it's not like the weak trolls we get here can possibly ruffle my feathers. :-)

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 06:08 PM
221. Pudge,

It is obvious that you don't think the nomination of a presidential candidate is an important thing for the caucus participants to consider.

Lots of other people think it is, including the people who wrote the state party's rules for the caucus.

Why do you think this rule requires the people who want to be delegates to the subsequent conventions to state ther preference or their uncommitted status?

Rule 15 - Election of Delegates to the County Convention

"Each nominee shall be given a reasonable period of time to express the nominee's views concerning the nominee's candidacy. In a Presidential year nominees shall indicate Presidential preference or declare themselves uncommitted."

Posted by: Micajah on February 11, 2008 06:12 PM
222. I said, "What I don't understand is why the Party tallied the eventual designated delegates preference on the sign up sheet to indicate who "won" the caucus."

Pudge says, "I don't see why it matters, since the number would be meaningless either way. Perhaps we could have told people they could change their stated preference after the caucus, but again, I don't think it matters significantly. I don't know why we bother to write down the preference at all. Why not also write down the preference of our delegates on everything else, too?"


I said, "As you can see, that now has national implications."

Pudge says, "I don't care about any national implications. We do what is best for us, and whatever else happens is irrelevant to me."

You can defend this caucus system all you want, Pudge. It's resulted in misleading numbers the entire country takes as Washington's Republican Presidential Caucus. You say the numbers are "meaningless" and I agree.

Don't come back and tell me I don't understand the process. I think the process is flawed, and I further think you ought to be concerned about its national implications.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 06:17 PM
223. Micajah: It is obvious that you don't think the nomination of a presidential candidate is an important thing for the caucus participants to consider.

Marginally true, taking "don't think" in its literal sense, rather than colloquial sense of "opposite of think" rather than "absence of think."

A more accurate way to state it would be that I think that what is important for caucus participants to consider is whatever they think is important for themselves to consider. If that is presidential candidate preferences, then great.


Why do you think this rule requires the people who want to be delegates to the subsequent conventions to state ther preference or their uncommitted status?

It is mostly about the party being able to see where people are coming from. I personally don't see the value in it, but a rule's a rule, so we write it down. But that rule, of course, does not imply it is something caucus participants should care about (and, of course, we know that many caucus participants did NOT care about it, which is perfectly fine).

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 06:21 PM
224. Bill and Pudge:

I think the problem is that Bill is claiming that the system itself "resulted in misleading numbers," while Pudge's position is that the system worked fine, and the problem was the GOP's decision to step outside the system to announce these numbers as "caucus results."

That's why Bill says that the process is flawed, and why Pudge says that Bill doesn't understand the process.

It's always better at least to agree what the argument is about. That way you don't simply repeat the same points over and over.

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 06:26 PM
225. I don't see why it matters, since the number would be meaningless either way.

If a piece of information is misleading and possibly false, the fact that it turns out to be "meaningless" is no defense--in fact, that's sort of the core of the problem.

It may be "meaningless" from the point of view of view of the delegate total at the end of the contest, but that doesn't mean it's "meaningless" from the point of view of subjective candidate momentum. This is why candidates participate in straw polls/beauty contests before voting begins. If it turned out that someone "fixed" a non-binding straw poll, that would have no direct bearing on the election of any candidate, but it would represent a hit to the credibility of the one running the poll.

In this case, the folks running the Wash. GOP caucus are looking a bit silly for announcing a "meaningless" result--and not doing a good job announcing or counting it in the first place. Admittedly, Huckabee might also look a bit silly launching a lawsuit over it, but it wouldn't be the first time Huckabee has looked silly.

Posted by: Consumatopia on February 11, 2008 06:29 PM
226. For an event that "literally means nothing at all", you all have certainly devoted a lot of time and energy explaining it. It still looks like a black eye for your party and the more you spin and protest, the more obvious it becomes.

Posted by: Unkl Witz on February 11, 2008 06:32 PM
227. But Scott, has not the GOP always has announced these Caucus numbers? The flaws in the system only become apparent when you have no incumbent running, such as this year when the so-called Presidential Caucus results are so close.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 06:32 PM
228. Bill #211: "If there were no votes to count, just what was the WSRP counting that declared McCain the "winner" of the caucus?"

That is a fair question, but from reading your other posts it is really the ONLY fair question you pose.

IMHO, the state GOP messed up with their announcement. It caused confusion, but has no effect of the results. They should have said, "Based on preliminary assessments, it appears that Saturday's caucuses will yield more delegates for John McCain than for the other contestants. However, since the process is simply a selection of delegates to the next conventions, it will be several months before we know exactly what the results of these caucuses are."

There are two problems with such a statement, however. 1) The results are not immediately known, which is not acceptable to our MSM who will create a story if they can't find one, and 2) Most reporters are not intelligent enough to understand it.

Posted by: Seabecker on February 11, 2008 06:39 PM
229. Bill Cruchon: You can defend this caucus system all you want, Pudge. It's resulted in misleading numbers ...

No, it has not. Luke Esser's generally poor reporting of what happened is what resulted in misleading information, not the caucus system itself. Indeed, the actual numbers are not actually misleading, if you understand what they represent. So the problem is not the numbers, but the context. We have had this system for a long time and this didn't happen before ...

As to whether the numbers have been released before, I don't know; I do know that the WSRP has not planned to release them at all on the day of the caucus as recently as January, according to one news report I saw last month.


Don't come back and tell me I don't understand the process.

I wouldn't. You were the one who asked why we had a caucus, and I mistakenly thought that meant you didn't understand it. Won't happen again.


I think the process is flawed

Fine, but whether the caucus system is flawed is distinct from the P.R. mess we are seeing now.


and I further think you ought to be concerned about its national implications.

Yeah well, I never cared what other people thought I should think before, and I won't start now. No offense. :-)

I guess I should explain my reasoning here a little bit more: I am the Henning PCO, I am the 39th Legislative District chair for Snohomish County, and I am on the executive board of the Snohomish County GOP. I am here to serve my PCOs and others in my precinct and district and county.

What the rest of the country thinks of what we do doesn't matter to me. If I were serving at the state level, maybe I would care, but that's above my "pay" grade. I have enough to care about without bothering with other things.

Now, if the Republicans I serve hate the system, well, that matters to me. And if they hate it because of how it looks to the rest of the country, that's fine: I don't care why they hate it. All that matters to me is serving them, so if they hate it, they hate it, and I will help find out why they hate it, no matter what the reason, so I can help come up with a solution that works for them.

So I do not, and will not, care about the rest of the country, because my obligation is simply to my local Republicans, to fulfill their needs, to support their efforts. And the effort I am supporting now is the caucus set up according to what are, ultimately, their rules. It's what they want, and my obligation is to them, so therefore, that is what I care about. And so if they decide this makes us look bad and they want a change, so be it, we'll figure out how to do it.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 06:41 PM
230. Bill:

"But Scott, has not the GOP always has announced these Caucus numbers?"

I'm sure they have. I have no problem with announcing the numbers.

The problem is the way in which it was announced, with Esser rushing out Saturday night to declare McCain "the winner of the caucuses" as if we knew that he would get most of the delegates based on what happened Saturday. The fact that he did so without bothering to set up an efficient system for gathering the numbers makes it even worse.

If he had waited patiently for the numbers to come in, then announced that McCain had a lead in the stated (non-binding) preferences of the delegates, no one would be griping.

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 06:48 PM
231. Seabecker says of me, "That is a fair question, but from reading your other posts it is really the ONLY fair question you pose."

Please list the "unfair" quesions I have posed.
I'm more than happy to debate issues and admit if I've been wrong. Don't just tar me with a broad brush without examples.


Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 06:52 PM
232. "It still looks like a black eye for your party..."

Well, duh. The problem is that you guys clearly intend to overplay your hand. "Vote fraud!" is the cry on your side, even though there was absolutely no vote fraud involved.

If you would stick to crying "What a bunch of duplicitous morons!" you might be able to score.

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 07:05 PM
233. I just watched Robert Mak on NWCN report on this issue. I imagine his report will be broadcast again on KONG at 10:00 and KING at 11:00, as well as on NWCN.

Worth watching.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 07:07 PM
234. For an event that "literally means nothing at all", you all have certainly devoted a lot of time and energy explaining it.
-Posted by Unkl Witz at February 11, 2008 06:32 PM

With the 2 jackasses of your party duking it out and noisily doing it here in WA for the delegate prize, it makes perfect sense that the rest of the world would ASSume that when one of them was announced the winner that the GOP would have one as well.

It's the dems fault.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskjold on February 11, 2008 07:21 PM
235. According to Eric Earling's latest, this is the way other GOP caucuses work as well--stated delegate preferences are the basis for declarations of "victory" and are even extrapolated to national delegate totals, at least by the media. Seems dumb to me, but there you go.

So Esser's real mistake was in jumping the gun and declaring before the numbers were solid.

But a recount is still a dumb idea. It's the delegate elections which matter. Those who were elected county convention delegates will be going to the county convention even if the state party misreports their preferences.

In other words, if Huckabee actually "won" the nonbinding poll of delegate preferences, then it is his supporters who will make up a plurality at their county conventions (though they may change their minds about supporting him between now and then). Why recount numbers which don't matter?

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 07:27 PM
236. You are missing the point Scott, Huckabee has a legitimate complaint with Esser in that Esser may have ultimately allowed for McCain to gain more national delegates later by stopping Huckabee's momentum. Huckabee would have liked Esser to go on national tv and take back his claim that McCain won the Washington Caucuses prior to tommorow's east coast contests.

Evidently Esser didn't want to correct it so he therefore believes McCain won, whatever that means to Esser. Huckabee's recount suggestion is a suggestion to go through it all again and make sure the state party which announced the winner, didn't make a mistake somewhere. They obviously made some counting errors by counting reported results which shouldn't have been counted. There likely are more mistakes all over the state judging from this blog and others that show how different precinct locations were treating voting differently.

Before Esser announces a 'winner' he should have all the preferences of the county delegates counted, that is what Saturday's process was supposed to find out. Let's get that count done right so Esser can reannounce who has the most precinct delegates so he can also explain to the media that due to the closeness of the race, it's quite possible that McCain will end up with zero of the national delegates.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 07:40 PM
237. Doug: They obviously made some counting errors by counting reported results which shouldn't have been counted.

Again: how do you know this? Where's your evidence?

If you're referring to Snohomish County, we have no idea whether those results are included, that I can tell. And even if those were included, chances are that replacing them with the other count will HURT Huckabee, since Huckabee was leading in the participant list ... so if he got somewhere close to the same percentage of the delegate list, and those numbers were included, then his overall percentage will drop.


it's quite possible that McCain will end up with zero of the national delegates.

Actually, no, I don't even think that is within the realm of reasonable possibility, even just considering the 18 CD caucus delegates (which I presume is what you are referring to). It is possible, but so is Hillary getting all the GOP delegates possible ...

I agree Huckabee has two fair complaints: that the result should not have been announced until the count was much closer to final (esp. given the potential for volatility of results from county to county), and that the state pumped up these results as far more meaningful than they are.

But none of that justifies his meany irrational claims about full precinct-level recounts, legal challenges, comparisons to the USSR, and other nonsense. I think Huckabee is going to have really hurt himself for the primary.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 08:07 PM
238. Bill Cruchon,
could I please distill all your previous posts down to their essence? Here's my stab: "I support Mike Huckabee/Ron Paul. I don't like John McCain and hate that his lead looks bad for Mike Huckabee/Ron Paul. Even those these caucus numbers don't actually matter, the fact that anyone else cares means I have to care about the perception." Does that sum it up nicely?
ScottM @ 230,
1) The fact that you, any caucus attendees, or any reporters equated the affiliated delegate totals with the eventual national delegates is really not the fault of anyone other than those who chose not to understand how the system works.
2) There's no doubt that McCain being in the lead benefitted McCain, but do you believe that Esser announced the results precisely to give an advantage to McCain? Some on this thread have pointed out that Esser was at McCain's rally on Friday, but ignored the fact that he was also at Janet Huckabee's event in Kirkland too.
3) If he had "waited patiently" to release the numbers, people would be crying foul about that, too. Wait, don't wait, either way, there would be people screaming bloody murder.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 08:32 PM
239. Even Huckabee at his worst is still better than Hill or Barack at their best.. Not good PR for the State Republican party. It would pay off in the future to establish clearer guidelines for this caucus process in WA State - to prevent future embarrassing episodes such as this. Other than that, a hat tip to Pudge for posting the what looks like longest thread in SP history.

Posted by: KS on February 11, 2008 08:48 PM
240. Amazing - Luke Esser's Washington State Republican Party "organizes" a caucus that has no rules, that produce results that have no meaning, that are contested by people who attended who saw McCain delegates selected over others despite the proportion of support, and the one who is going to have hurt himself from this is Huckabee?

Are you kidding me?

Posted by: Daniel K on February 11, 2008 08:48 PM
241. Kirkdorffer @ 240,
Daniel, we know what you are. You're a very liberal D trying to stir up trouble here. We're not going to take what you have to say seriously.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 08:56 PM
242. Pudge, outside of King County, this state hates it when there is an appearance of stealing of an election. This episode will only serve to get Huckabee more votes in the primary for those who haven't voted yet.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 09:08 PM
243. Ed the Head:

1) I never equated the county delegate totals with the national delegate totals. But it is the national delegate totals which will actually determine who "wins" the caucus/convention delegates. To declare a "winner" definitely implies that the national convention delegates will go a certain way.

I also acknowledged in post 235 that it is common practice to declare a "winner" based on the nonbinding preference statements. I still think it's completely stupid, but it is common, so I said that Esser's real error was declaring a "winner" too early.

2) I never said that he wanted "to give an advantage to McCain" in particular. I'm sure he would have been just as happy to quickly declare whoever was the national frontrunner to be the "winner." If Huckabee were a winner rather than a loser, it would presumably be McCain who would now be whining and demanding a worthless recount.

3) If Esser wanted to announce the results Saturday night, then he should have set up an efficient system to get the tally sheets counted and reported quickly. If not, he should have waited.

And I still say that caucus results should be announced as non-binding and meaningless as far as national delegate selection, but now I offer that not as a specific criticism of Esser, but of the caucus process as a whole.

Oh, and Bill Cruchon, your criticism of the process seems more valid now, insofar as the process (as applied) does seem to include a declaration of the "winner."

I would also add (though not for Ed or Bill) that nothing has been "stolen" here. The state party's report of the numbers has nothing to do with who actually goes to the county conventions. The delegates were elected perfectly legitimately.

Posted by: ScottM on February 11, 2008 09:13 PM
244. Pudge, I agree with your comment on Snohomish county, if those numbers were in the Saturday total then Huckabee will lose on the precinct delegate count. However, those numbers had to have been in the count because they said Esser received their numbers and Esser would never have called the election in McCain's favor knowing how huge of a lead Snohomish county gave Huckabee, if he knew Snohomish county results were still outstanding.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 09:15 PM
245. It's not a fight about nothing. The winner gets status and momentum. They were afraid of the news spreading that Mccain got swept up in all 3 contests, which I am sure Mccain did.

Go Huckabee!

Posted by: Dan Campbell on February 11, 2008 09:18 PM
246. Daniel K: Luke Esser's Washington State Republican Party "organizes" a caucus that has no rules

False. The rules were very specific, and as best we can tell, were all followed. That's not even a good attempt! Try again!

However, those numbers had to have been in the count because they said Esser received their numbers and Esser would never have called the election in McCain's favor knowing how huge of a lead Snohomish county gave Huckabee

That is not fact, but assumption. The logic is reasonable, but ... you do not KNOW.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 09:18 PM
247. Pudge,

The logic is reasonable and if Esser did do it the other way, then it is more than egg on his face, it becomes conspiratorial, so they had to be in there.

Have you checked out some of the national blogs on this issue, all over the country Dems and Reps alike are hammering Esser on this and almost to a 'T' they are supporting Huckabee, maybe he actually managed to undo Esser's McCain victory stamp of approval by himself.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 09:24 PM
248. ScottM @ 243: "If Huckabee were a winner rather than a loser, it would presumably be McCain who would now be whining and demanding a worthless recount."
Not likely. The McCain campaign knows it's won the big prize. It's the Huckabee campaign that needs to make hay of of this confusion.
Everyone needs to remember, the 18 delegates that will ultimately be selected through the caucus process are out of a total 2,380 delegates. This isn't about deleagates, it's not even entirely about perceptions. Ed Rollins is just using the state party as a scape goat to raise money.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 09:25 PM
249. You people are NUTS! How can you justify this? Your leader announced a winner, gave vote totals (numbers and percentages), said there was more counting to do, claimed to do some crazy analysis of the "votes" and now you are all saying there weren't any votes, just preferences? Seriously, do you not see the issue? Why did Esser declare a winner if there was nothing to be won? This is a cluster if I have ever heard of one. I would be calling in attorneys, too. Anyone who cares about democracy should be alarmed. You are either not counting votes or misrepresenting something as a vote that is not a vote. It is misleading, irresponsible, and rediculous. How you can blame any of the candidates for your completely insane process is beyond me. The people from the main campaigns that are coming to investigate are not just representing their candidate, but are representing the people that thought they were voting. Wow, I had no idea Washington State was so messed up and the fact that those involved are defending this debacle with such pathetic and confusing reasoning makes you all look even worse. You have embarrassed everyone involved...your state, the Republican party, Senator McCain, Governor Huckabee, and Congressman Paul. What a shame.

Posted by: Rachel on February 11, 2008 09:31 PM
250. Rachel: I know there's a lot here, but you don't make your case very well by lashing out about things you don't understand.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 09:42 PM
251. Pudge "We end up with 80 votes cast, 50 of them for Huckabee! Yet of the 6 total delegates, Huckabee only gets 2...Make sense now?"

NO IT DOESN'T. Does that make sense to ANYONE? Why would the person getting the most votes not get the most delegates? Please don't answer that question with your crazy explanation of the process. Please take a step back and apply common sense and logic. Then you will see why there is an uproar. What a mess you all have caused.

Unbelievable.

Posted by: Rachel on February 11, 2008 09:45 PM
252. "Washington State Party Chairman Luke Esser released the following statement this evening, 'What a great day for Washington Republicans. They came out in full force today to support their candidates, and to make their voices heard. Congratulations to Sen. McCain for a hard-fought win, his second caucus victory in the 2008 presidential nomination process. And congratulations to Gov. Huckabee for his strong second-place finish.'"

Doesn't sound like "nothing" to me. You guys have some explaining to do.

Posted by: Rachel on February 11, 2008 09:56 PM
253. Rachel @ 249 & 251:
Rachel and all else upset about the caucus process, that's what a caucus is. That's what all caucuses are. If you're upset about Washington State, you should be upset about all caucus states. It's the same basic process in all of them!
This is not about democracy. We take care of that when we vote in November. When parties nominate candidates, the parties make the rules, not the government. Some here don't seem to understand that.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 09:57 PM
254. Rachel: Does that make sense to ANYONE?

Yes, it makes perfect sense.


Why would the person getting the most votes not get the most delegates?

Because 75 of the 80 people all voted for three delegate positions in a single precinct.

The other 5 people also all voted for three delegate positions in a single precinct.

Each precinct only gets three delegates. That one precinct has more people show up to vote doesn't mean they magically get more delegates than the other precinct.

This is how most caucuses work across the country. This is also how the electoral college works. If only 200 people show up to vote in Texas, they still get their full slate of electors.


Please take a step back and apply common sense and logic.

That is precisely what I've done.


Then you will see why there is an uproar.

Yes, among people who don't understand how caucuses work.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 09:58 PM
255. Pudge, there is an uproar from people who understand the caucus as well, after all Esser did declare a winner for the national media, one that needed to win in order to avoid a huge setback that could have caused more losses later.

Posted by: Doug on February 11, 2008 10:02 PM
256. @253
Rachel and all else upset about the caucus process, that's what a caucus is. That's what all caucuses are. If you're upset about Washington State, you should be upset about all caucus states. It's the same basic process in all of them!

Um, no. This is simply a lie. Most caucuses have a formal process to tie the number of delegates to the relative support of the particular caucuses. Much of the confusion that everyone is having is that they don't understand how the Washington State GOP could have even thought of conducting a caucus that functioned like this.

Posted by: thehim on February 11, 2008 10:02 PM
257. thehim, no, you are wrong again, as usual. Rachel was complaining specifically about the fact that 50 people could show up for Huckabee in one precinct, and only five for McCain in another, and McCain could still end up with more delegates. This part IS the same for all caucus states.

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 10:12 PM
258. @249. Esser's motive do not mitigate the fact that there was NOTHING to VOTE for.

Washington is really no different than Iowa, yet people blindly accept the "results" of the Iowa caucus as meaning something. Why not whine about Iowa as well?

From the Iowa Republican Caucus description:

At the party caucuses on Jan. 3, a straw vote is taken, and delegates to the county convention are selected. The results are not binding on elected delegates, but the delegates usually feel obligated to follow the wishes of caucus-goers. At county conventions on March 1, delegates are chosen to both the Congressional district conventions and the state convention, and they may or may not be chosen based on their presidential preferences. At the April 26 Congressional district conventions, delegates previously chosen to attend the state convention are told which presidential candidate is preferred by the district delegates. At state convention district caucuses June 13-15, delegates to the national convention, three from each of the state's five Congressional districts, are allocated proportionally to presidential candidates. At the state convention on June 14, the remaining 25 delegates are selected. Of these, 22 are allocated proportionally to presidential candidates, and 3 unpledged delegates are selected from among party leaders.

So, there was no absolute winner in Iowa, either on the GOP side. Many states that use the caucus system are similar to ours. The only results you can really count as meaning something are in states that have primary elections.

It's really not all that hard to figure out.

Posted by: Dave on February 11, 2008 10:13 PM
259. Ed the Head says somewhere back there, "Bill Cruchon,
could I please distill all your previous posts down to their essence? Here's my stab: "I support Mike Huckabee/Ron Paul. I don't like John McCain and hate that his lead looks bad for Mike Huckabee/Ron Paul. Even those these caucus numbers don't actually matter, the fact that anyone else cares means I have to care about the perception." Does that sum it up nicely?

Good Grief. I've never beat the drum for any candidate and certainly not for Ron Paul. Maybe Ed hasn't been taking his meds.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 10:14 PM
260. What Esser stated and what the people on this blog who were there in person stated do not jive. The people who were there say nothing mattered, that only delegates were elected and they were not elected based on who their candidate of preference was. They were elected based on their schedule availability to attend the convention. How can that translate into any kind of "win" for any of the candidates? Maybe counting the voter preferences from the sign-in sheets that would be reflective of the caucus, but to extrapolate a win by counting only the selected delegate's preferences when they were not selected based on whom they supported is extremely misrerpresentative of the voice of those who turned out to caucus. You are misrepresenting your voters and you are misleading the public. You should be held accountable.

Posted by: Rachel on February 11, 2008 10:20 PM
261. Except Dave, no straw vote was taken at our caucus. The results tabulated were based on the initial sign-in sheets and matched to the eventual precinct delegates. No one got to vote on anything.

Posted by: Bill Cruchon on February 11, 2008 10:20 PM
262. Rachel: What Esser stated and what the people on this blog who were there in person stated do not jive.

They do, if you understand the process well. But yes, I was against Esser announcing as he did, because I knew most people wouldn't understand.


The people who were there say nothing mattered, that only delegates were elected and they were not elected based on who their candidate of preference was.

Well, SOME may have been elected based on their preference. But often, they weren't.


How can that translate into any kind of "win" for any of the candidates?

It shouldn't. But on the other hand, it is factually accurate to say that a certain percent of the delegates were stated as supporters of this candidate or that one, and to say this is "winning the precinct caucuses" is not incorrect. It is misleading to imply that this result is MEANINGFUL.


Maybe counting the voter preferences from the sign-in sheets that would be reflective of the caucus, but to extrapolate a win by counting only the selected delegate's preferences when they were not selected based on whom they supported is extremely misrerpresentative of the voice of those who turned out to caucus.

Yes, this is why Snohomish County reported initially the results of the preference of the whole caucus, not just the delegates.


You are misrepresenting your voters and you are misleading the public. You should be held accountable.

In what way?

Floggings at dawn?

Posted by: pudge on February 11, 2008 10:34 PM
263. Doug @ 255:
I'd accept that argument a little easier if anyone in the national media seemed to care about our caucus. All they seemed to care about was the controversy. I haven't heard anyone suggesting that if Huckabee took Washington (as an aside, I love how all the people complaining that these results are meaningless would be touting them if Huckabee were the lead delegate winner), he would have the momentum to stop McCain. Seems to everyone, inlcuding the media and the Huckabee campaign, that McCain has the nomination wrapped up.
Huckabee's suppporters need to figure out that Mike Huckabee is not currently running for president. He's running for vice president. His whole game is to get more delegates than Romney, or at least get close, and have enough delegates to make McCain think he needs to choose Huckabee. If you understand that and want to support Huckabee, fine. But I don't want anyone to be gamed into thinking Huckabee's still running for president.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 10:43 PM
264. "In what way?" You should be held accountable to represent the truth to the public...that the vote meant nothing because it was not representative of the people who thought they were there to vote and because there is nothing meaningful to count. There should be a retraction to Esser's statement of any winner or any vote count. A release of the attendees preferences could be shared, but no one should be declared a winner. You have a right to your wacky rules if they are what your constituents believe represents them best, but declaring a winner and counting phony votes is misleading and unfair to all of the candidates, to voters, and to Republicans.

Posted by: Rachel on February 11, 2008 10:46 PM
265. WA GOP Releases Updated Caucus Results - McCain Still Leads
http://q13.trb.com/news/kcpq-021108-caucusupdate,0,4559846.story

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 10:53 PM
266. Rachel @ 264:
"...it was not representative of the people who thought they were there to vote..."
If you don't know the difference between voting and caucusing, I have my doubts about whether you should be there, too.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 10:56 PM
267. Wow, I give up. There is no hope in helping you all see how you have misrepresented your own process. You've done yourselves this disservice and, if anything, you have set either Huckabee or McCain up for an embarrassing result when the truth comes out. I hope it is your state Republican party who is embarrassed and not your people, or these candidates.

Posted by: Rachel on February 11, 2008 11:03 PM
268. This is my last comment, I promise. Post #30 (Dave) says: "Then at the magical hour of 1:00 we start the "election" of our delegates. Ours went something like this:

"First, who will be in town on April 12th"?

That eliminated 4 people at our table

"Okay, now. Who wants to be a delegate? You? You? You? Okay, great! All in favor say 'aye'. Opposed?" Great! you three are the delegates"

So the conclusion one must draw is that McCain had the most people who would be in town on April 12th and Huckabee had the next largest number of supporters who would be in town so he has a "strong second-place finish"? What a disgrace. Tell the public the truth. Your caucus meant nothing other than a political gathering to find volunteers to go to the convention. There was no winner of anything. Tell the public that. Retract Esser's statement. I don't care if the final vote total shows Huckabee or Paul as the leader, this caucus doesn't mean anything and that is what the public needs to know. TELL THE TRUTH!

Posted by: Rachel on February 11, 2008 11:12 PM
269. Rachel @ 268:
Exactly!
I'm sorry you built up the caucus in your mind to be bigger than it is, but all these results from Saturday are going to get filtered. First in the county conventions, then at the state convention when our national delegates are selected. By then the nomination fight will be over and the 18 delegates that go on to the national convention will probably all be McCain delegates.

Posted by: Ed the Head on February 11, 2008 11:20 PM
270. I can't believe I read the whole thing.
This has been very helpful. I think I understand now. A political party has the right to determine its own decision making process. I'm not clear on why this process was chosen. Probably for historical reasons that aren't important now.
The problem is your process doesn't fit with the national election narrative. But, your party chair got all excited by the chance to participate in the national story. It makes the Washington GOP look really bad.

Posted by: greycat on February 11, 2008 11:37 PM
271. It's been 20 years since my last Republican caucus, so I don't remember all the details. But I do know I managed to get myself appointed as a PCO (not elected, appointed) and was supporting Bob Dole that March.

I also remember the Robertson delegates outnumbering me umpteen to one (actually, I think the number was more like four or six) and I got shut out of the county convention.

But one thing I do remember is that I wound up with a phone number where I supposed to phone in results -- some press cooperative in charge of getting election results promptly for the media.

Well, I misread the rules and phoned my results in promptly at the 8 p.m. start time instead of waiting until 8:30. As a result, though, I got a nice coffee cup with an elephant holding a phone saying "I was first!" as one of the first precincts to report in the state.

When I switched parties, I gave that coffee cup to a Republican friend of mine. I'll have to ask if she still has it.

My point here? It's not like this is rocket science, people. There's been a system before to collect results, whether it's for presidential preference or the final delegate count. I don't know if that press co-op is still around, but it's pretty apparent the GOP didn't have an effective way to tally up the results everyone wanted.

While pudge is probably entirely correct in that the GOP was electing delegates and not picking a presidential preference, no one outside the state GOP was interested in whether Joe, Frank and Edna were going to go to the local county convention or not. They wanted to know who Joe, Frank and Edna would like to become the next President of the United States.

Enter Luke Esser, who apparently brought the same competence to his job that he brought to his incredibly unfunny Seahawks column for the Seattle Weekly. First, he decides it's too much trouble to set up a system to quickly provide the results that the media was clamoring for. Since at least he's picked up a check from the Weekly, he should have had some clue as to why all these media types were hanging around his office Saturday. Then he leaves the job 87 percent done and declares a winner anyhow before sauntering out the door for a beer. Or something like that.

In short, the process may not be flawed. In fact, it may work just fine for the GOP, as pudge asserts. But Luke Esser is unquestionably an idiot. I'd like to say that I'm glad he's on your side and not ours, but with Greg Nickels and Ron Sims, it would be nice to have an opposition party to keep them honest. The Democrats can get away with being useless because the GOP manages to be worse than useless.

All the same, Rachel, don't worry about accountability. If you're yearning for it, you'll have to wait in line behind what I'm sure is a very furious Dino Rossi. Pudge might find a line he can draw between this and 2004. Not too many other people will, though.

Posted by: World Class Cynic on February 11, 2008 11:52 PM
272. All the same, Rachel, don't worry about accountability. If you're yearning for it, you'll have to wait in line behind what I'm sure is a very furious Dino Rossi. Pudge might find a line he can draw between this and 2004. Not too many other people will, though.

That's entirely backward. No one except Democratic partisans who never would vote GOP anyway will think this has anything to do with a general election.

Go ahead. Ask an independent which is worse: confusion over unofficial results from precinct caucuses, or rampant errors by Democratic election officials in the closest gubernatorial election in U.S. history. I dare you.

Posted by: pudge on February 12, 2008 07:00 AM
273. Pudge - Just wanted to thank you for this forum. Although I feel the process and the results were misleading to the public, I am glad that you have this post so that we can hear from people who were actually there. I feel I know what really happened now so I just wanted to say thanks.

I really hope Esser will retract his statement about any "winner" so the GOP can move on from this embarrassing event.

Thanks again.

Posted by: Rachel on February 12, 2008 07:18 AM
274. Thanks Rachel ... I disagree with you a bit, but you're right, this looks bad just because of confusion alone, and it's good to hear the perspective of people who aren't involved in the process, who aren't (like some of the Dem trolls in here) just out to "get" people.

Posted by: pudge on February 12, 2008 07:38 AM
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