Sunday, May 4, 2008

Obama's Caucus Strategy

The Boston Globe has a great retrospective look at the Obama campaign's strategy for the first phase of the primary season (Super Tuesday and before) and its focus on growing the grassroots in caucus states. Paul has often said during our discussion group meetings that luck is a part of this game. Often that luck boils down which campaign correctly forecasts how primary season will progress. And the advantages Obama planned for before and took away from Super Tuesday are the root of his lead over Clinton in terms of delegates and the percentage of the popular vote won.

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Robert said...

Very interesting article from the Boston Globe. It helps put the Obama campaign into clearer focus. There were two very interesting pieces featured on RCP this morning that also put the nomination process into perspective -- one looking back

and one looking forward:

Josh Putnam said...

Here are those links from Rob:

Looking back

Looking forward

Now I have to go read them.

Josh Putnam said...

Here's the thing on the retrospective look from Jay Cost:

If 2008 is an anomaly, then future cycles will revert to form. And that ultimately means that the incoherence he speaks of will be masked once again by quick nomination choices. These rules differences between parties and between states are under the microscope only when the contest is close (...and remains close). For example:

2000: Hanging chads, overvotes, undervotes in Florida

2004: poorly run polling sites in urban Ohio

2008: Well, you name it. Everything we've been talking about since the nomination phase kicked off in January.

In the end, I am skeptical of the national parties' abilities to fundamentally alter the rules of the game.

The interesting thing is that reform may come from the most unlikely place. That the conservative party in American politics may be driving change in this context is strange. But the Republicans are better equipped to make changes because of the top-down approach to the nomination process that they developed during the post-reform era. The Democrats' bottom-up approach translates into more opinions that have to be squared in order for change to take place.

Thanks for the link Rob. Definitely a thought-provoking piece.

Josh Putnam said...

Well, at least now we have an answer to the question that has been bothering me since talk of the Credentials Committee membership began to gain attention. The primaries and caucuses that determine the 161 (non-Dean appointed) members are the 2008 contests.

"The full make-up of the Credentials Committee will not be determined until all the primaries are completed..."

The primary results from 2008 determine the rest of the members of that committee.

What's odd is the statement that Obama would have more Cred. Comm. members, but not have a majority. I understand that the "Dean 25" throws those calculations off some, but it looks like Obama will have a small advantage among those 25. How could Clinton or Obama not have a majority among the remaining 161 members though? Is this not a two person race?

Here's the link to the original Dean 25 post I had.

Robert said...


Remember this is the Democratic party you are talking about. They have different ways at arriving at a majority than anyone else.

If there is a fix or the nominating process it will be to modify it to provide solutions to another year like this one and thus complicate another year that is not like this one.

If Clinton invokes the nuclear option, it will blow up the party, and the only beneficiaries will be the Republicans.