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Primaries Don't Matter (If You're a Democrat)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I was looking for information on when and where Washington State's caucuses would be held when I stumbled onto this interesting bit of information from the Secretary of State's website:
Q: How will the political parties use the results of the Presidential Primary?
Political parties retain the authority to decide if they will use the Presidential Primary to allocate delegates to the national nominating conventions. The political parties may also use caucus results, or a combination of primary results and caucus results.
The Republican Party used the results of the primary to allocate all of the Washington delegates in 1992, half of its delegates in 1996, and one third of its delegates in 2000. The State Republican Party has decided that it will use the 2008 Presidential Primary to allocate 51% of its delegates. The remaining 49% of the delegates will be allocated based on caucus results.
The Democratic Party has never used the results of the primary to allocate delegates. The State Democratic Party will only use caucuses to allocate delegates in 2008. (Emphasis added)
(Source: Washington State's February 19, 2008 Presidential Primary (.pdf), Frequently Asked Questions)
I find it interesting that the Democratic Party, the party that professes to be the champion of the little guy, doesn't even recognize the little guy's vote when it comes to selecting their delegates. Those delegates, of course, will later go on to select their party's next presidential candidate. Interesting, indeed. It makes you wonder why Democrats even bother with primary elections.


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