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Old 12-08-2019, 09:35 PM
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Should the Democratic Party stop having Iowa and New Hampshire as first two states in the primary?


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About 43 percent of Democratic voters are Americans of color. Yet the first two states in the Democratic presidential primary are Iowa and New Hampshire, where only 9 percent and 6 percent, respectively, of residents are Americans of color. Yes, the following states of Nevada, at 26 percent, and South Carolina, at 32 percent, are more representative—but that doesn't change the fact that the first two and most campaigned-after states are demographically an abysmal reflection of the Democratic Party.
https://www.newsweek.com/letting-iow...pinion-1475909

Julian Castro has been leading the demand for a change in future elections. While that might be seen as sour grapes as he's not doing well even in his home state of Texas, I think on a generic basis his point stands that if the party is going to preach about diversity.

The upcoming debate, as it stands, is all white. Kamala Harris qualified but dropped out anyway. Lack of money to carry forward to Iowa with donors drying up.

Now in Iowa's defence, they take their duty extremely carefully. Being such a small state this is their time to take frontpage. Vetting candidates, attending events, questioning them and getting to know them. They propelled Barack Obama (though he was cutting into Hillary Clinton's lead in the south anyway) and now a small town 37 year old mayor is the clear frontrunner.

On the flip side maybe if South Carolina for example where Joe Biden has a huge lead went first, it would allow candidates to make their pitch that even though Biden is someone you like a lot, he is the past. Being more diverse means you can perhaps feel more inclined to take on subjects like immigration and race passionately because your audience ought to be more receptive. It's a subject you can hit Biden hard on. Instead they're in Iowa. His lead with black voters is propping him up and the southern firewall is going to be stronger if there are no candidates of colour left. Mayor Pete could win Iowa and New Hampshire and still have big problems because he is polling at zero with black voters. So it goes back to the idea that perhaps the tradition has to change to reflect the democratic electorate more.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:13 PM
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Yes. Of course. Obviously. Should have been done decades ago. [extend to infinity]

What does that have to do with our reality? I won't live long enough to see a change.

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Old 12-08-2019, 10:24 PM
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Yes. A state full of liberals and minorities is more representative of what democrats actually look like in the modern age. 43% of democrats are people of color, but another 35-40% are white liberals (I'm only counting white liberals to avoid double counting non-white liberals). Thats 80% of the democratic party right there and I don't feel they're represented in early states. Well, white liberals are but POC are not.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:31 PM
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Probably.

It shows how much the Democrats are not interested in winning white voters in flyover country, but will need IA and NH in autumn campaigns....both those states are swing states in the fall, but SC is ruby red.

Democrats will have to start out with SC, CA, NV, IA and NH in the middle.

The party of Woke and Diversity will have to practice what they preach.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:32 PM
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Yes.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:53 PM
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Not just the Dems, otherwise it would be a legal nightmare. I know that NH law says their primary comes first and they'll keep moving the date to make that happen. Some kind of rotating system should be in place. Maybe even have some county-level primaries to preserve that "retail" element.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:58 PM
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What the Democrats really should do is scrap the primary system entirely and go back to choosing their candidates in smoke-filled rooms. That's how they came up with candidates like FDR, Truman and JFK* (as opposed to Dukakis, Mondale and Hillary).

*Yes I know JFK won some primaries, but he was preordained by the powers that be.
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:02 PM
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Not just the Dems, otherwise it would be a legal nightmare. I know that NH law says their primary comes first and they'll keep moving the date to make that happen. Some kind of rotating system should be in place. Maybe even have some county-level primaries to preserve that "retail" element.
When a few states tried to move their primaries a few years back, the DNC threatened to unseat some or all of their delegates. Just tell New Hampshire "Sure, you can have the first primary if you want, but we won't be counting your votes."
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:08 PM
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Yes. Of course. Obviously. Should have been done decades ago. [extend to infinity]

What does that have to do with our reality? I won't live long enough to see a change.
Is it ok with you if we discuss it or should we ask a Moderator to close the thread?
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:02 AM
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Probably.

It shows how much the Democrats are not interested in winning white voters in flyover country, but will need IA and NH in autumn campaigns....both those states are swing states in the fall, but SC is ruby red.

Democrats will have to start out with SC, CA, NV, IA and NH in the middle.

The party of Woke and Diversity will have to practice what they preach.
And how exactly do they change the schedule, when by state law, the New Hampshire primary must be the first primary held? The timing of the primaries is not in the control of the DNC.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:13 AM
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And how exactly do they change the schedule, when by state law, the New Hampshire primary must be the first primary held? The timing of the primaries is not in the control of the DNC.
It's now how should they do it. It's should they do it in the first place. I can imagine ways it could happen if enough people are convinced.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:13 AM
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The timing of the primaries is not in the control of the DNC.
The timing of primaries that can earn delegates might be in control of the DNC.

e.g. 2008 Michigan Democratic primary
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:01 AM
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And how exactly do they change the schedule, when by state law, the New Hampshire primary must be the first primary held? The timing of the primaries is not in the control of the DNC.
I find it odd that state legislatures can influence the inner workings of political parties. Is that even constitutional?


Also, what happens if other states pass the same law?

Last edited by Alessan; 12-09-2019 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:08 AM
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The timing of primaries that can earn delegates might be in control of the DNC.

e.g. 2008 Michigan Democratic primary
So if the state legislature refuses to change the timing, the DNC disenfranchises Democratic voters in New Hampshire?
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:49 AM
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So if the state legislature refuses to change the timing, the DNC disenfranchises Democratic voters in New Hampshire?
Yes, obviously. Is this a trick question?

Of course state specific Democratic Party branches are in some way or the other in some way lower than the the nationwide Democratic Party as a whole.

I know you're Canadian, but this is the system we are working with in the US.
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Old 12-09-2019, 02:02 AM
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So if the state legislature refuses to change the timing, the DNC disenfranchises Democratic voters in New Hampshire?
Yes, this exposes the limits of the DNC's control of the process. In 2008, the DNC ultimately decided not to shoot the hostages, so nobody is going to believe them in the future.

Maybe they could also punish the candidates who file for a forbidden primary, but that wouldn't work for every contest (the Iowa Democratic caucus doesn't use ballots at all, and some states allow third parties to file on behalf of a candidate).

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 12-09-2019 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 02:16 AM
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I find it odd that state legislatures can influence the inner workings of political parties. Is that even constitutional?
I missed the US Constitutional requirement that national political parties be non-profits incorporated in Delaware and free from outside scrutiny.

State political parties each incorporate in a state under that state's laws and regulatory purview. Also, state primary elections are funded by the state; whoever pays the piper, calls the tune, etc. So yes, a state can tell subject organizations what to do, and when, and how, when it's on the state's dime. The escape clause: A state or local party can hold private caucuses at will. Whether a national party accepts such is another matter.

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Also, what happens if other states pass the same law?
Food Court fight!
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:31 AM
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I find it odd that state legislatures can influence the inner workings of political parties. Is that even constitutional?


Also, what happens if other states pass the same law?
It's very weird, to be sure. There's no such entity as a "Democratic Party" or a "Republican Party". Voters cannot become party members in any normal legal sense. At most they have to register with a party to be eligible to vote in their primaries, but not all states require this. Yet neither the registration nor the primary voting are conducted by the parties, but by the states and other political jurisdictions. Each state has a private non-profit entity that "controls" the party but has little actual power besides making money available to favored candidates.

Courts have allowed the current system to function since forever, putting the power of state law behind these private events. That's extremely unlikely to end. I think that's the quiet rationale for not upsetting the system. The parties are entirely dependent on the states - despite their control as governors and legislators - for their existence. These "states' rights" dominate because of the insularity and jealousy of the smaller states. The parties aren't going to stick their hands in those beehives.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:42 AM
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And how exactly do they change the schedule, when by state law, the New Hampshire primary must be the first primary held? The timing of the primaries is not in the control of the DNC.
I've been saying for years that, given how long the campaign's been going before we even get to a primary or caucus, and how brief the time usually is between the Iowa caucuses and the point at which there's a clear winner, the party really needs to move a few primaries/caucuses back into the year before the election.

This suggests a path to changing things up. A small but racially diverse state that has too few delegates to really matter if it's not one of the first few states should move its primary up to, say, September 2023 or 2027 in the next cycle that the Dems don't have an incumbent President. (Maybe RI or Delaware.)

It's true that the party would have to say, you can't do that, so your delegates won't count, in order to keep NH from moving its primary to August. (Might be too big a move for NH to consider anyway.) But since their delegates have minimal impact on the nomination anyway, that's not much of a cost.

What they'd gain is the effect of their primary on the race for the nomination: those candidates that competed in the primary would demonstrate, early on, whether they can appeal to a diverse electorate, and those candidates that succeeded there would look a lot more viable going into IA/NH.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:58 AM
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My objection to the early Iowa caucus isn't that it's a predominantly white state or that it's in "flyover" country; it's that it's a caucus held in a way that isn't really the most (small-d) democratic way to ascertain public preference. I mean, yes, the Democrats are within their rights to do what they're doing; I just find it ridiculous that the result of the Iowa caucus is weighted so heavily in the public perception.

As for New Hampshire, well - they're gonna do what they do. They have so little else to lay claim to; might as well let them have this.

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Old 12-09-2019, 12:01 PM
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It's true that the party would have to say, you can't do that, so your delegates won't count, in order to keep NH from moving its primary to August. (Might be too big a move for NH to consider anyway.)
The calendar has proven no significant hurdle for NH in the past. They are prepared to move to whenever they need to in order to preserve their first in the nation status.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:35 PM
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The calendar has proven no significant hurdle for NH in the past. They are prepared to move to whenever they need to in order to preserve their first in the nation status.
Yeah, I know. Their primary was originally in March, now it's in February. They'll even move it to January (and have!) if someone moves theirs earlier.

Let's say someone moves their primary to the Tuesday the week after Labor Day the year before. Like September 10, 2019, to use this year's calendar as an example. NH's choices in the way of a move are: (a) to move it to the day after Labor Day, when people are still getting back from vacations, or (b) move it to August, when people are on vacation. Or (c) move it way earlier.

I think assuming they're good for any of those rather drastic moves is quite an assumption. Moving your primary up by a few weeks is one thing; moving it up by half a year or close to it is quite another thing entirely.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 12-09-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:26 PM
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The escape clause: A state or local party can hold private caucuses at will. Whether a national party accepts such is another matter.
That's the distinction? A "primary" is state funded (and subject to state laws) while a "caucus" is neither? Huh, I had vaguely wondered for some time why it was the New Hampshire Primary and the Iowa Caucus but never bothered to look up the significance of those terms. Thank you.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:49 PM
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That's the distinction? A "primary" is state funded (and subject to state laws) while a "caucus" is neither? Huh, I had vaguely wondered for some time why it was the New Hampshire Primary and the Iowa Caucus but never bothered to look up the significance of those terms. Thank you.
Caucuses are completely different beasts; they're not really a vote. It requires people to be in a particular location for extended period of time in order to participate and therefore is usually restricted more to the party faithful and seriously motivated voters.
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:30 PM
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No. Yes, I know IA and NH are really white. But they’re also swing states and quite different. Promising everything to farmers in IA doesn’t fly in NH. Both states are accustomed to retail politics every 4 years from both sides. I spent ten days in SC, and I encountered mostly political apathy among the Dems. That’s not uncommon when you know you’re going to lose pretty much every statewide race and national race. It’s a great test for Republicans but not so much for Democrats.

Another aspect is that there are plenty of veteran campaign staff that already know the lay of the land in IA and NH. That makes it especially helpful for the lesser known candidates. It’s helpful having your staff spend more time planning campaign events and less time researching hotels and other mundane stuff.

Every 4 years we hear the same griping about IA and NH, but they’ve done a decent job in allowing candidates to get their messages out. My own candidate, Pete Buttigieg, is one of the most remarkable political success stories in the modern primary era.
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Old 12-09-2019, 08:58 PM
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What the Democrats really should do is scrap the primary system entirely and go back to choosing their candidates in smoke-filled rooms. That's how they came up with candidates like FDR, Truman and JFK* (as opposed to Dukakis, Mondale and Hillary).

*Yes I know JFK won some primaries, but he was preordained by the powers that be.
That's not really true. Yes, it was for FDR, but Truman was chosen by FDR to replace Wallace whose socialism had become toxic. As for JFK, his campaign didn't really take off until he won WV, putting the whole fear of a Catholic behind him. The earlier loss by Al Smith made the party bosses leery of running a Catholic.

That said, I agree the whole primary system has been a disaster. For both parties. Does anyone think the party bosses would have nominated Trump? Or Roy Moore? Although I hesitate to make a prediction, it is at least conceivable that the Republican party will go down the tubes over Trump.

A better system would be a national primary with ranked choice voting. But the real problem is that the candidate who best appeals to the base will almost have to be the one who least appeals to the rest of the country.

Incidentally, it is not at all clear that Hillary wouldn't have been nominated by a smoke-filled room (although nowadays the smoke would smell heavily of pot). One of the charges made against her was that that party bosses had put a heavy hand on the scale. That may have made a lot of Bernie supporters sit on their cans or get up and vote for Jill Stein. Another argument for ranked choice voting.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:22 PM
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That's not really true. Yes, it was for FDR, but Truman was chosen by FDR to replace Wallace whose socialism had become toxic. As for JFK, his campaign didn't really take off until he won WV, putting the whole fear of a Catholic behind him. The earlier loss by Al Smith made the party bosses leery of running a Catholic.

That said, I agree the whole primary system has been a disaster. For both parties. Does anyone think the party bosses would have nominated Trump? Or Roy Moore? Although I hesitate to make a prediction, it is at least conceivable that the Republican party will go down the tubes over Trump.

A better system would be a national primary with ranked choice voting. But the real problem is that the candidate who best appeals to the base will almost have to be the one who least appeals to the rest of the country.

Incidentally, it is not at all clear that Hillary wouldn't have been nominated by a smoke-filled room (although nowadays the smoke would smell heavily of pot). One of the charges made against her was that that party bosses had put a heavy hand on the scale. That may have made a lot of Bernie supporters sit on their cans or get up and vote for Jill Stein. Another argument for ranked choice voting.
On the other hand, Bernie supporters wouldn’t have had months of Bernie running against the Democratic Party and screaming ‘rigged, rigged allowing them to believe every conspiracy theory imaginable.
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:43 AM
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Caucuses are completely different beasts; they're not really a vote. It requires people to be in a particular location for extended period of time in order to participate and therefore is usually restricted more to the party faithful and seriously motivated voters.
That's true in Democratic caucuses, but the Republican Party requires simple secret ballots for the presidential preference portion, and there's a trend toward longer voting hours, so they end up looking like a party-run primary.

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Old 12-10-2019, 03:15 AM
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So legally speaking, could the Democrats say, "We're going to ignore the results of the official NH primaries, and instead hold our own privately-funded primaries in New Hampshire in May?"
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:20 AM
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So legally speaking, could the Democrats say, "We're going to ignore the results of the official NH primaries, and instead hold our own privately-funded primaries in New Hampshire in May?"
Yes, but that would only affect the selection of delegates from New Hampshire. The press would still be free to show up in February to cover The New Hampshire Primary and give a bunch of coverage to the winner, which is the main actual benefit from winning (or outperforming expectations) in Iowa and New Hampshire.

There are states in which state law requires a presidential primary, but one state party or the other doesn't want it, so there's a "beauty contest" primary alongside a caucus that determines the actual delegate results.

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Old 12-10-2019, 03:31 AM
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Would people actually go to vote if they knew that their vote was meaningless?

I mean, even more than usual?
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:14 AM
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Farther down the calendar, the non-binding primaries do get really low turnout, but the attention given to the early states has nothing to do with the delegate allocation, so I doubt the turnout would be affected much.

Before 2016, the Iowa Republican caucus was non-binding and plenty of people turned out (relative to other caucuses).

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 12-10-2019 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:00 AM
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Nevada and South Carolina were added as early states to create that minority influence. If seems to be working just fine, since IA and NH aren't as important as they used to be. The last few races have been long delegate slogs where a lot of states ended up mattering. The last competitive race that was rendered finished by IA and NH was the 2004 Democratic race. Which is when they made the changes, because Kerry did not stand head and shoulders over his competition enough to justify him having unstoppable momentum from those two wins. But that seems to be a problem that's been mostly solved. Minority voters basically decide the Democratic nomination now. Without IA and NH you could basically just call the race for Biden now.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:46 PM
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The candidates have been in Iowa all summer. Marianne Williamson moved there! She's been campaigning in New Hampshire since January!

I'm really not seeing much difference between this year and 2015. Minorities are getting shafted as per usual. I find it impossible to believe that huge outcries for more and proper attention to be given to diverse states will not be forthcoming. What actions that will precipitate are sadly unforeseeable.
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:31 PM
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The candidates have been in Iowa all summer. Marianne Williamson moved there! She's been campaigning in New Hampshire since January!

I'm really not seeing much difference between this year and 2015. Minorities are getting shafted as per usual. I find it impossible to believe that huge outcries for more and proper attention to be given to diverse states will not be forthcoming. What actions that will precipitate are sadly unforeseeable.
Which minorities have been shafted? Harris gambled on trying to get SC support early on. That backfired. She wasn’t able to get enough people in SC to start caring about a Feb 2020 primary in the middle of June 2019.
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:17 PM
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Yes, this exposes the limits of the DNC's control of the process. In 2008, the DNC ultimately decided not to shoot the hostages, so nobody is going to believe them in the future.
They didn't "shoot the hostages" because, as it turned out, the Michigan delegates didn't matter - and Michigan's Democratic Party counted on this when it made the decision to have the early primary. That's why every "early state" that has an early primary does it; they know that, in the end, their delegates will not have any effect on who the nominee will be, so why not have an early primary so the state can have some say in the matter (through the process of momentum), and, invariably, when a candidate has enough delegates well before the convention, the party will let the early states' delegates into the convention as a show of unity?

The 2020 Democratic Delegate Selection Process lists the following penalties for "early primaries": the state loses half of its pledged delegates and all of its superdelegates, and any candidate that campaigns in the state on or before the primary is held cannot receive any votes from that state's delegates. IIRC, in 2008, Clinton did campaign in Michigan before its early primary, while Obama did not.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:06 PM
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Which minorities have been shafted? Harris gambled on trying to get SC support early on. That backfired. She wasn’t able to get enough people in SC to start caring about a Feb 2020 primary in the middle of June 2019.
If the entire field were spending as much time in SC as they were in IA, maybe that would be different.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:42 PM
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IT's not about attention, it's about actual influence on the nominee, and minorities have more influence on the nominee in the Democratic Party than white voters do.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:55 PM
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IT's not about attention, it's about actual influence on the nominee, and minorities have more influence on the nominee in the Democratic Party than white voters do.
I am waiting with bated breath to read how you will back up this statement.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:00 PM
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The winner of the minority vote has won the last two competitive Democratic primary contests over the winner of the white vote, and the polls currently show us heading in that direction again. If the candidate with the whitest support indeeds wins IA and NH and then loses anyway, it kinda proves the point in a pretty ironclad way.

Let me back up a little on 2016. Sanders probably didnt' win the white vote, but he won in the whitest states and NH while coming close in IA, and it didn't get him the nomination. Clinton went on to cream him in states with significant minority populations.

Last edited by adaher; 12-10-2019 at 09:04 PM.
  #41  
Old 12-10-2019, 11:34 PM
Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Black voters are no more than one-quarter of Democratic primary voters. They do have an especially high representation in South Carolina, but that's one of a very few states that is true. Hispanics are less than half the size of blacks. Non-Hispanic whites run about 60%. I looked at several sites for figures. Here is a Brookings survey with 2018 numbers.

Despite the delusions of Sanders voters, he had approximately zero chance of winning the 2016 nomination. Clinton won in states that had mostly white voters and states that were diverse. She certainly had more support from blacks, but to say they had more influence on who the final nominee would be remains, let us say, unsubstantiated. Heck, Barack Obama won SC with only 55% of the vote.
  #42  
Old 12-11-2019, 01:08 PM
Keweenaw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
So if the state legislature refuses to change the timing, the DNC disenfranchises Democratic voters in New Hampshire?
In 2008, in defiance of the DNC set schedule, New Hampshire did change their Primary.

The DNC Commission set the primary schedule in 2008 as follows:

1st Iowa
2nd Nevada
3rd New Hampshire
4th South Carolina

Instead of doing what they did to Michigan, they gave New Hampshire a waiver for breaking the rules.

It's unlikely anyone else will make the attempt to challenge based on what happened then.

Here is Carl Levin's Op-ed at the time - Link

Last edited by Keweenaw; 12-11-2019 at 01:11 PM. Reason: added op-ed
  #43  
Old 12-11-2019, 01:30 PM
dalej42 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keweenaw View Post
In 2008, in defiance of the DNC set schedule, New Hampshire did change their Primary.

The DNC Commission set the primary schedule in 2008 as follows:

1st Iowa
2nd Nevada
3rd New Hampshire
4th South Carolina

Instead of doing what they did to Michigan, they gave New Hampshire a waiver for breaking the rules.

It's unlikely anyone else will make the attempt to challenge based on what happened then.

Here is Carl Levin's Op-ed at the time - Link
Isn’t Nevada a caucus though?
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  #44  
Old 12-11-2019, 01:46 PM
Thing Fish is online now
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Does it really matter? If a candidate is counting on minority voters to win and they do poorly in these States, they could just, like, not drop out until they see how they do in diverse States.

In the case of this particular election, for example, it appears Joe Biden could do poorly in the first two States, but quickly catch up once the more diverse States begin voting.

It seems like the only real problem here is the ingrained notion that results in those States are highly predictive of results in other States, and the easiest solution would be to stop believing that, rather than to move the primary calendar around.
  #45  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:10 PM
Lance Turbo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adaher View Post
The winner of the minority vote has won the last two competitive Democratic primary contests over the winner of the white vote, and the polls currently show us heading in that direction again. If the candidate with the whitest support indeeds wins IA and NH and then loses anyway, it kinda proves the point in a pretty ironclad way.

Let me back up a little on 2016. Sanders probably didnt' win the white vote, but he won in the whitest states and NH while coming close in IA, and it didn't get him the nomination. Clinton went on to cream him in states with significant minority populations.
Paraphrasing... "The winner of the minority vote has won the last two competitive Democratic primary contests over the winner of the white vote, except in the more recent one of those two."

Do you even hear yourself?
  #46  
Old 12-11-2019, 03:07 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adaher View Post
Clinton went on to cream him in states with significant minority populations.
"States with significant minority populations" correlates very strongly with "highly populous states". This is overwhelmingly true when looking at absolute numbers (Which state has the most hispanics? California. Which state has the most left-handed redheaded twins? California.), but it's also true when looking at percentages.

So, yeah, the winner of states that have lots of people in them is a lot more likely to win. That doesn't remotely support a claim that "minority voters have more influence on the who the candidate is".
  #47  
Old 12-11-2019, 07:22 PM
adaher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Turbo View Post
Paraphrasing... "The winner of the minority vote has won the last two competitive Democratic primary contests over the winner of the white vote, except in the more recent one of those two."

Do you even hear yourself?
The winner of the minority vote has won the last two Democratic contests. And will almost certainly win this one.
  #48  
Old 12-11-2019, 07:30 PM
Velocity is online now
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Maybe the DNC and RNC should both front-load the swing states. Have the primaries begin with Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, etc. Start with the battleground general-election states at the very beginning. Either you can perform and resonate well with those states, or you can't.

Sure, it would have the undesirable effect of magnifying those states' power even more, but that's life - until the EC is abolished.
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