Thursday, February 7, 2008

Washington State's Double Dip, Polls for the Other February States and Revoting in Florida and Michigan

The dust is still settling on Super Tuesday, but I'm moving on. The story the media is telling now seems to be one of delegate counts and not necessarily one that focuses on the next series of states. Real Clear Politics, for example, doesn't have any polls up for the states that go this weekend and next Tuesday. So, instead of teasing anyone any further (Oh, the things we put in headlines to get people to read.), I'll admit that the polls for those states just aren't out there yet. Even cursory glances at the major newspapers in the states up next reveals nothing. I'm assuming that the Washington Post will have some numbers for the states involved in what they're calling the Potomac Primary eventually. As for the rest time will tell that tale.

Speaking of those other states slated to go over the course of the next week, Washington has put itself in a bit of an interesting situation. Here's what I wrote over the summer:
Washington: A nine member committee (see the press release from the Secretary of State's office) made up of Washington state political leaders made the decision in June to move the state's 2008 presidential primary to February 19. Since that decision was made, the Washington Democratic party opted not to allocate delegates based on the primary and the Republican party will only distribute 51% of the state's delegates to the Republican convention through the contest. So while the state moved the primary from May into February (the same day as the Wisconsin primary), it is a mostly non-binding contest.
That last statement may or may not prove to be true. Why? Well, both parties are holding precinct caucuses this weekend (February 9). All of the pledge delegates will be allocated on the Democratic side, but only 49% of the state's Republican delegates will be awarded. So while the Democrats in Washington opted not to use the primary as a means of distributing delegates (And Washington Democrats have a history of eschewing primaries.), the GOP is divvying up their pool of delegates across two contests. The result is that Washington, at least on the Republican side, will be going twice in the time span of ten days. Now, I say that the February 19 primary may prove to be a non-binding affair, but that isn't necessarily true. It will be binding on for the GOP, but John McCain may go and make that argument moot. Given that there are so few states during the time between Super Tuesday and February 19 though, McCain officially wrapping things up may be a bit of a stretch.

From the Green Papers:
Washington Democratic contest breakdown

Washington Republican contest breakdown

Completely unrelated to the Washington Double Dip (See, I can coin a phrase too; even if it is one ripped from the classic Seinfeld episode.), The Caucus has a post up today discussing the possibility of Florida and Michigan revoting in Spring caucuses to come into compliance with DNC rules. This is a limited story, but the fact that the idea is out there is interesting. The story up until now has been that the Democratic nominee, whoever he or she is, will ultimately decide to seat those delegates. With this race playing on past Super Tuesday and likely to stretch well into to the Spring though, you've got to think that Florida and Michigan Democrats are wary of a brokered convention. If that scenario were to play out, it would be less likely that Obama would allow for Clinton to push to have those delegates seated against party rules and at his expense. So the longer this race goes on, the more likely it may be that Democrats in Florida and/or Michigan decide to pull the trigger on caucus(es) in their states. Late March and early April are wide open on the calendar of delegate selection events. I think I'm talking myself into this idea. What does everyone else think?

The Obama camp has to like this possibility. He has seen a tad of success so far in caucuses.


Robert said...

AT first I thought you had misspelled 'revolting' when talking about Michigan and Florida 'revoting'. I think the caucus idea is a good one. It certainly beats the idea of a lawsuit settling the case, particularly if the lawsuit results in seating the Hillary delegates in August to give her the nomination and then being overturned in October to hand the nomination to Obama and overturned again by the Supreme Court on January 15 to hand the Presidency back to Hillary. Maybe a little far-fetched, but one vote on the Supreme Court settled a recent Presidential elction if I recall correctly. This scenario would be even more interesting if Clinton and Obama were on the same ticket.

Josh Putnam said...

Those court cases wouldn't go anywhere anyway. The courts have shown no inclination to get involved in these nomination battles. They always yield to party rules.

It won't get to that point anyway. Both Obama and Clinton know that they have to keep it somewhat civil or the party runs the risk of squandering a real opportunity in 2008.