Saturday, February 09, 2008

Primaries.

My dear wife just floated an interesting possibility. According to CNN's coverage, on the Republican side, if a candidate for the nomination doesn't pass the threshold of number of delegates (which I think is around 1900), then all delegates are free to vote for whomever they choose at the convention. Which means that, if Mike Huckabee continues to take delegates away from John McCain, then McCain's delegates will be free to vote for someone else at the convention. And Mitt Romney didn't, as far as I read, actually withdraw from the race: he "suspended" his campaign. One wonders if Romney has a backup plan in the works....

(On the Democratic side, my understanding is that delegates, once pledged, are expected to vote for whom they are pledged for, regardless. Which means, at this point, the decision will be in the hands of the superdelegates.)

8 comments:

undergroundman said...

Are you sure this is true? My understanding is that a presidential candidate has to receive a minimum threshold (15%) to receive any delegates...but once they do that, they've got their delegates.

This website seems to explain this stuff ok: http://www.republicansource.com/primaries.htm

ADHR said...

I'm not sure, no. It's at least third hand -- from my wife, who got it from CNN, who got it from someone else. Or is that fourth hand? Do I count myself? Anyway.

The page you cite doesn't actually help, as it suggests it's up to the state parties to determine when and how delegates are freed or bound. Wikipedia also doesn't help.

D'you get the feeling that no one really knows how this process actually works?

undergroundman said...

I certainly do!

It seems like this is the first year that people realized that there actually are primaries, too.

ADHR said...

I vaguely recall some coverage of the 90's primaries preceding Clinton's two elections. And something when Bush was competing for the nomination against McCain (largely because of the viciousness of the attacks on McCain). But this year, things do seem to be drawing more attention. Bush-fatigue, maybe?

undergroundman said...

It seems like people are finally waking up to the political process, honestly, and they're curious as to why it's so fucked up. Maybe I'm just being naive, and generalizing my selective experience with young and uninformed people over all people, though...

You ever go on Reddit? My username is lazycritic. I do a bit of commenting, mainly inserting economics opinions, and I'm constantly downmodded by Ron Paulites.

ADHR said...

It's always struck me that Reddit, del.icio.us, etc. are all plagued with the same problems as Digg. Ron Paulites being the least of it.

undergroundman said...

Dumb people are the problem, though, don't you think? And it's too easy to push up articles without reading them.

ADHR said...

The intelligent are always outnumbered by the ignoramuses, though, unfortunately. Witness the vast hordes who would rather believe an invisible man waved a wand and caused all life to appear, than believe that a complex series of natural processes made it seem as if all life just appeared.