February 07, 2012
Attend WA GOP Caucuses on March 3rd

If you want to have a say in who the Republican nominee for President will be, and you are a registered voter citizen in the state of Washington, and you are not participating in the process to select the Democratic nominee, you are eligible to go to the precinct caucuses on March 3, 2012, and vote for a delegate to the county convention.

For a couple of decades or so, the Washington State Republican Party has used a mixture of convention delegate votes, and the statewide "presidential preference primary" vote, to determine delegate allocation to the national convention. But this year, to save money, the state has canceled the primary, so there will only be the caucus/convention process. If you want a say, you have to be involved.

Now, realize, the caucuses do not select who the state party's choice for candidate is. The news will report who "won," but it's a fiction. The winner will not actually be determined until the state convention. The caucuses pick delegates to the county conventions, the county conventions pick delegates to the state convention, the state convention picks delegates to the national convention.

You do not vote at the caucus for a presidential candidate, you vote for a delegate to the convention. It's like how you don't vote for Speaker of the House, you vote for a Representative who votes for Speaker of the House. But how you make your decision of which delegate to vote for can be based on any reasons you choose, just like some people vote for Congress based on whether the candidate will support Pelosi or Boehner for Speaker.

If you want to vote for someone because he is a good businessman, or tireless activist, or smart engineer, or local politician, or simply because they agree with you on the issues, you can do so. You can even vote for a delegate based on which presidential candidate they support, but that rarely happens, in my experience. Caucus-goers seem to care more about the delegates they select than the candidates those delegates support. That's not always the case, though, and this year may be different.

And here's the thing: the same thing happens at the county level. In theory, you could have 40 percent of the delegates elected at the precinct caucuses be for Mitt Romney, and 20 percent each for Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. But then that combined 60 percent goes to the county convention, and congeals around electing delegates who support Santorum, in order to prevent Romney from winning. So maybe 80 percent of the delegates to the state convention are for Santorum, and only 20 percent for Romney, even though Romney "won" the caucuses by a large plurality.

And then at state, maybe Santorum will drop out, and those delegates will end up switching to vote for pro-Gingrich delegates to national. We could have three different "winners," one at each level of the process.

All this to say a few things: if you want to participate in the process of selecting the GOP nominee, this is how you do it; you vote for delegates any way you want to, not necessarily by the candidate they support; the "winner" of the caucuses may not reflect who actually wins Washington's delegates.

Now, where is your caucus? I don't know. If you live in Snohomish County, go to the Sno Co GOP Caucus page and enter your legislative district and precinct. If you're from another county, check with your county party for more information.

And if you're a Democrat, go play ball that day, or something. It's not like you don't know who your candidate is going to be. But if you really want to participate, ask your county party. The procedures are not the same, so ignore most of what I said, except the part about this being your only way to participate. (And with the Democrats, that's not unique to this primary-less year: the Democrats have never used the presidential preference primary to determine delegate allocation. Literally, the primary vote for Democratic presidential candidates in Washington has always been meaningless. You have to go to the caucuses to have a say.)

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at February 07, 2012 03:10 PM | Email This
1. I find this posting pretty offensive as it suggests that people can consider other candidates besides Romney.

When I said that we should be a party of choice I didn't mean this kind of choice.

Elections aren't about choices. Elections are about voting for the most electable. They are about voting for who I tell you to.

Mitt Romney is the most electable candidate that I have seen since John B. Anderson. Don't mess it up for Mitt the way you did for Anderson.

Posted by: ccr on February 7, 2012 07:06 PM
2. Having cut my political activism teeth in 1988 at our caucuses, I can only hope the state GOP has learned the disasterous lesson from then. I was a delegate for George HW Bush at the state convention, only to be flabbergast at the selection of Pat Robertson for our delegates.

The state GOP couldn't be taken seriously after that and we are still reeling. My only hope is that we don't have a carbon copy of that and select Ron Paul. Even with his positives, the end result would be that the state GOP candidates would be tainted for the next couple of decades with that selection.

ccr, yeah, Mitt's about as electable as Anderson. Still not convinced on who is his Reagan, though.

Posted by: doug on February 7, 2012 10:51 PM
3. It's like I said to that tea bagger. What makes your so called "tea Party" so special? I have seen movements like that come, and I have seen movements like that go.

I have seen the Moral Majority Robertson people come, we used them for a while, then we got rid of them.

I have seen the United We Stand Perotistas come, we used them, then we got rid of them.

And now it's the tea baggers term. Oh, we used you in 2010 (thanks for the vote on Homosexual Marriage) and now we are getting rid of you. We just redistricted out Allen West's seat.

For at it's heart, the Republican party will always be a Progressive Party. It was at our foundation. We are the party of Teddy Roosevelt. We are the party of Richard Nixon.

We gave you affirmative action. We gave you price and wage controls. We gave you amnesty for illegals in the 1980s no less. We gave you destroying capitalism in order to save capitalism

You think you are going to take over us? You think you are going to destroy the Rockerfeller Wing of the Republican Party? Oh, the Robertson people tried...they Failed. Oh the Perot people tried and they they failed as well. And now, its the tea baggers who the very own people who they voted for in 2010 handed in votes for gay Marriage. In the end you tea baggers especially in our state, if not nationally have won NOTHING!.

So, leave the deciding on candidates stuff to us the professionals, and you do what you do best. Lick stamps, wave signs and hate the opposition with all your heart. And then just go to the polls and hold your nose. That's what you are going to do anyway. I know that because that is what you have always done.

Yeah, hate me CCR if you want, you are still in the end going to vote for my candidates. Because in the end as much as you hate me you hate the Democrats more. So say it all together now. Lesser of two evils. Lesser of two evils! Yeah, that's it.

Posted by: CCR on February 8, 2012 01:10 AM
4. Bozo is dead. Bozo isn't coming back. The 1980s were an aberration and even there our defeat wasn't as bad as some make it out to be. After all we got Bozo to appoint Bush VP and Sandra Day O'Conner to the Supreme Court.

We are Proud Progressives. We embrace Dan Evans. We embrace Teddy Roosevelt. The moral majority - lost. The United We Stand people - Lost. The tea baggers - lost.

We will NEVER ALLOW conservatives to take over our party. Never! The Republican Party will always be progressive. It's our history. It's our future!

Posted by: CCr on February 8, 2012 01:20 AM
5. CCR: you are boring. FYI.

Posted by: pudge on February 8, 2012 07:05 AM
6. doug: Mitt can quite easily win the general election. Far more electable than Anderson, and far more electable than Gingrich or Paul or Santorum. Also, he's a better leader than any of them, and that is more important than having the "right" views.

Posted by: pudge on February 8, 2012 07:07 AM
7. Also, he's a better leader than any of them, and that is more important than having the "right" views.

Gosh, now who is engaging in satire? It doesn't matter what a candidate believes? It just matters that he is a "good leader"?

Well in that case Obama has been a GREAT LEADER. Leading us in a totally WRONG direction, but he is doing well leading us in this wrong direction. His leadership was seen through how he got Romneycare passed on a National Level (totally going to ruin our economy don't get me wrong but we are just talking about "leadership").

"Good Leadership" when it is taking us the wrong direction is even more dangerous than bad leadership. Pudge you have spoken as a true amoral Republican who probably in a decade or so will be praising Obama for his "Leadership" just like they are now praising Bill Clinton for his "Leadership".

Hitler was a great leader too if all you consider about someone is their "leadership" skills.

By the way, did you know that Anderson voted for Obama last time around? I was surprised when I found that out. Not surprised that he did it because in the end that's how all RINOS behave. I was surprised that guy was still alive.

What is so interesting about this is that the RINOs always say "vote for party regardless" and we can't have people dividing the vote and all of that, yet when it came to Reagan, they ran a candidate against him IN THE GENERAL. Sure ultimately that didn't have an effect but only because the so called "unelectable" Reagan won by such a great majority.

Posted by: Steve on February 8, 2012 08:14 AM
8. Steve: It doesn't matter what a candidate believes?

No one asserted any such thing. If you're going to attack someone's views, please do it honestly.

Posted by: pudge on February 8, 2012 09:32 AM
9. Don't know how the Republicans do it, but with the Democrats, National Delegates are selected at the Congressional District Caucuses, before the State Convention. As Pudge stated, generally it is in the same proportion as the initial caucuses, but can vary as people drop out of the race.

Posted by: Lionel Hutz Esq. on February 8, 2012 10:46 AM
10. Lionel: Don't know how the Republicans do it, but with the Democrats, National Delegates are selected at the Congressional District Caucuses, before the State Convention.

They are CD caucuses, but in my experience -- and I expect it to happen this year -- it takes place at the same time and place. So technically it's a different meeting, but most people think of it as one thing. But it's a worthwhile and accurate distinction to make.

As Pudge stated, generally it is in the same proportion as the initial caucuses, but can vary as people drop out of the race.

As I understand it, this is more likely to be the case with the Dems than the GOP, because Republican delegates from the precinct caucuses are not in any way bound by or attached to their preference, while Democratic delegates are.

Posted by: pudge on February 8, 2012 11:33 AM
11. Pudge,

Mitt is not a better "leader" than Gingrich. However, Mitt is a better "appeaser". I don't the history of Paul or Santorum as far as 'leadership', but no one can question the effectiveness that Gingrich has shown in leadership. Mitt couldn't shine his shoes when it comes to leadership.

Steve is right however, there is Leadership, such as the type that Hitler was great at, then there is leadership, such as the type that Neville Chamberlain was great at.

Leading like Chamberlain, with appeasement, only tends to mean you are leading your lemmings off the cliff. I would categorize Mitt's leadership in the same category, compromising your values and morals away to appease.....it's not leadership, it's more like facilitating a group psychiatric session.

Posted by: doug on February 8, 2012 12:05 PM
12. doug, Mitt is not a better "leader" than Gingrich.

I think he is many times a better leader than Gingrich. I think Gingrich is a terrible leader. I think he is capricious and flighty and heavy-handed and so on. Yes, he had some successes as Speaker, and he also had some dismal failures.

There's many reasons why a huge number of the Republicans under him in the 90s don't want to follow him again, and it's not because he is for or against a health insurance mandate: it's because they thought he was a poor leader, and I agree with them.

Posted by: pudge on February 8, 2012 02:07 PM
13. State convention is May 31st thru June 2nd.
The state convention splits into 10 CDs to elect 3 national convention delegates each.
The state convention as a whole elects the 10 at large national delegates.
Three party leaders attend the national convention as super delegates.

43 total

Posted by: Loren U on February 8, 2012 02:26 PM
14. Therefore: if you attend the caucus you must get chosen to be a delegate to your county convention.
At the county convention you must be chosen to be a delegate to the state convention.
At the state convention the rules above apply.

Each caucus and county convention has their own rules on delegate election to the next level. Check with your local party leadership.

Newt is not a good leader. That is why he left the House not in ethical disgrace but in electoral disgrace.

Posted by: Loren U on February 8, 2012 02:32 PM
15. A good leader is someone who will convince his followers to follow him into territory they don't want to go. Gingrich did that, with a heavy hand and that is why the establishment don't like him now, because he was successful as a leader and they didn't like it because it cost them their pork projects.

Romney, on the other hand, doesn't try to convince his followers to follow him into territory they don't want to go, instead he changes his positions and morals to follow them, even when it's not the right place to go.

I would agree if you said Newt is missing many qualities of a good leader, however, he was a very successful leader, absolutely no question. Mitt might have many qualities of a good leader, however, he has FAILED to perform that leadership.

Posted by: doug on February 8, 2012 03:02 PM
16. I'm leaning toward Santorum now. Newt will be in Georgia or TN on March 3rd. Rick may be here. Paul is just too far out. Romney needs to have a positive message so I can vote for something.

Posted by: Loren U on February 8, 2012 03:24 PM
17. doug: A good leader will demonstrate to the people he is leading that is worth following.

Posted by: pudge on February 8, 2012 04:42 PM
18. And I don't buy that Romneycare is worth following, nor many of his other things he did as governor. Yes, if he could convince us that those were the right things, that would demonstrate remarkable leadership.

He hasn't been able to, in fact he doubles down on his mistakes.

Leadership is Mitt's major problem. If he had it then voters would fall in line, as it is the GOP establishment is trying to push the follower into a leadership position and it obviously isn't working.

He best grow some balls and man up if he wants to lead.

Posted by: doug on February 8, 2012 07:36 PM
19. can the CCR-troll be deleted?

Posted by: SmoledMan on February 8, 2012 08:23 PM
20. Most of the 46th district will be holding a joint caucus at Messiah Lutheran.

Posted by: mark on February 8, 2012 09:29 PM
21. Santorum has played it fairly well up to now. Gingrich reached and asked his help in bringing down Romney. Up until this week, Romney was not attacking him, but now his Super-PAC ads have jumped on Santorum. Romney is not helping himself by the barrage of negative ads and won't until he shows the positive side and simplifies the 59-point plan (poor sound byte material) and makes the sale to the conservative/Tea party base, his campaign will probably resemble Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign - close but no cigar...

Santorum can make the sale to the conservative /Tea Party base, Romney might be able to, but have seen only sketchy evidence so far and Newt probably has too many self-inflicted wounds to be able to successfully reinvent himself again. At this time, I am split between supporting one of these three and someone else sought out in a brokered convention.

Posted by: KDS on February 9, 2012 11:22 AM
22. By my reckoning, Santorum and Gingrich simply cannot win a general election. Santorum is too scary to non-social-conservative independents, and Gingrich is too disliked.

Paul could maybe win a general election, but I doubt it: most Republicans probably wouldn't even vote for him (which is why he can't win the nomination).

I like Romney the best as a leader, and I think he is the only one with a serious chance of winning in November. I agree with all of them, on different things. But Romney is the only one I have confidence in to win, and to lead.

Posted by: pudge on February 9, 2012 01:24 PM
23. pudge; as much as I'd like to share your optimism about Mitt Romney, as a candidate - he needs improvement to be able to win in November. He may get the nomination, but there's still a noticeable pushback by conservatives. He has demonstrated he can lead though. However, he must make the sale to the conservative/tea party base and if he doesn't, then I sense a rerun of 2008 - except it will be much closer with the same end result except he replaces McCain as the GOP candidate.

He must also explain why Obama's concept of fairness is wrong and perverted. Just because most everyone here knows, it does not mean the the "dumbed down masses" know, i.e. the section of the public that Obama thinks are stupid.

I agree with your take on Santorum and Newt.

Posted by: KDS on February 9, 2012 02:59 PM
24. "By my reckoning, Santorum and Gingrich simply cannot win a general election. George W. Bush is too scary to non-social-conservative independents, and Richard Nixon is too disliked."

There, I fixed your history a bit.

Posted by: doug on February 9, 2012 03:52 PM
25. doug: if you really think Bush and Santorum are the same on the social conservatism scale, you are completely out of touch.

And Nixon wasn't nearly as disliked in 1968 as Gingrich is today.

Posted by: pudge on February 9, 2012 05:41 PM
26. Can we get a thread on this assault on the Catholic Church? Do any of you remember the woman who used to post here - Willa? - she is a black teacher purportedly Catholic who vocally supported and cheered abortion. I would love her take on Obama's threat to religious liberty and especially to the Church she - and supposedly Murray, Cantwell, Gregoire and Pelosi - are amongst the faithful. I have to admit that though I despise John Kerry and have loudly decried his convenience Catholicism, I heard that at least he came out against this horrific governmental abuse.

On the other hand Hypocrite Patty is fund raising off it. What an absolutely despicable "Catholic" she is. Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, a prominent priest blogger and Canon lawyer Edward N. Peters, JD, JCD, Ref. Sig. Ap are both loudly calling for and encouraging denying communion to Pelosi for her loud abortion support. They need to add the absolutely despicable "Catholic" Patty Murray. Kathleen Sebelius is already barred from Communion for her abortion support. With this assault on Catholicism I hope and expect to see more action by bishops against folks who support the perpetuation of such grievous offense of the most basic of Church teaching.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskold on February 9, 2012 07:42 PM
27. I don't mean to rain on your parade, but unless things take an uptick in the next few months - it doesn't look all that good for the GOP presidential field.

Is it possible that a horrible president can get reelected who has decimated our economy ? According to this- the answer looks to be disappointingly Yes - unbelievable !

Posted by: KDS on February 9, 2012 10:15 PM
28. I don't fully buy into the editorial that I referenced in the previous post, but that should be a wake up call that this vital opportunity may be squandered unless the GOP gets their act together and move ahead. My thoughts and hopes are with Mr. Romney with the hope that he successfully channels former Pres. Reagan who clearly defeated an incumbent. Defeating an incumbent will not be easy and will require effective in not Reaganesque persuasion to erase the backbiting and poorly orchestrated debates as they have played out.

The RNC is culpbable for not stepping in and taking charge of scheduling the debates and choosing moderators, unlike the Democratic party typically does. As for the candidates, the GOP has to play the hand was dealt to them then ask why stronger candidates were not recruited (although I heard Paul Ryan would be open for the
VP slot, which would be a boost). The old "next in line" scenario is not enough and is often self-defeating, as whoever is the nominee has to earn it. Hopefully, this phase can be looked back upon as the necessary vetting that has not occurred to this extent in recent history. Obama & Clinton fought it out into June 2008, so there is enough time to get it right down the home stretch - IF the candidates stop the left wing attacks on each other, primarily from Gingrich.

Posted by: KDS on February 10, 2012 10:16 AM
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