State caucuses just aren't fair

No secret that Clinton hasn’t won a state caucus so far.

No secret that Texas democrats value the primary more than the caucuses.

No secret that Hillary wins the Texas primary, and Obama wins the Texas caucuses.

Obama has netted 128 delegates from the state caucuses not including Texas.

So why does Obama do better in the caucuses ?

I have the suspicion that caucuses require participation that may take several hours. I can imagine there’s discussion that can get pretty loud. That’s fine if you’re young, but what if your old ? Older people can’t stand loud noise or stand around or sit in hard chairs for too long. They don’t like to drive at night. Some are scared to go out at night.

Given that Hillary does much better with the older crowd, and Obama does better with the younger crowd, its no wonder he does better in caucuses. Given the conflicting results of Texas, this democratic nomination race would be a lot tighter if the process was fair to older people.

The “old people” you refer to should have brought this up before all the caucus’s (sic) were over.

That wasn’t my experience. Walk in, sign in, write my candidate’s name on a piece of paper, turn it in, walk out. Done.

Now, I could have stayed for discussion and voting on Senate candidates, but chose not to.

They’re not all like that. Some have multiple rounds of voting, and you do need to be there for a considerable longer time than just voting as you did.

And if there were a fairer process in Michigan and Florida.

She won Nevada.

Not necessarily. Washington caucuses allowed people to come in, sign their name and their choice, and leave. My wife did exactly that. I stayed around to watch, and all that happened was selection of delegates to the county. Pretty dull actually.

Besides the relatively large brush you’re using, caucuses don’t have to be at night. Washington’s was held at 1 pm on a Saturday afternoon. They could sign in, state their choice, and leave. Minimal noise, minimal standing around, minimal hard chair sitting. No worries about being strongarmed by the gangs of ne’er do well Obama thugs, and still plenty of time to drive slowly home in the left lane, turn signal on the whole way.

So it would be more “fair” if it was solely primaries, when older people have all the time in the world to go out and vote during the day? Many younger, working, people cannot get to the polls after 7 am or before 7 pm. I’m already on the bus at 7, mornings and evenings. Given the bus schedule, and where I work, it would take me more than 1/2 the day to stay home, vote, then get to work.

How about if it was solely caucuses, held, say, on a Saturday afternoon? That would work for the scared-of-nighttime-driving old people. Or are you looking more for a system that’s better only for those who are Clinton supporters?

Both systems have their ups and downs. Both candidates have won in caucus states and primary states. Granted, Texas’ system is jacked up and should probably be changed. But you can’t advocate the changing of an entire system just because it doesn’t work as well for your candidate. She should’ve prepared for that and planned accordingly.

This was the procedure at my precinct in Texas:

  1. Sign in and write down your vote on the roll sheet.
  2. When finished, precinct chair tallies the results. A formula is then used to translate the raw votes to delegates that have to attend a State Senate District level caucus later in the month. In my precinct the count was 52 votes for Hillary and 44 for Obama. That translated to 8 delegates for Hillary and 6 for Obama.
  3. The Obama and Hillary voters each select from amongst themselves 8 or 6 delegates who promise to attend the district caucus and 8 or 6 alternate delegates who are backups if they can’t attend.
  4. The delegates and alternates are recorded on the roll sheet. (At this point I left as everything seemed official and done.)

Things are probably more complicated when there are more than two candidate worth choosing from…

As to why this is better than simply having a normal primary, I guess Texas likes to be different about things. :slight_smile:

Yes and no. Obama still got an extra delegate. Which brings up another unfairness that I learned from Texas. Populated centres are weighted more heavily for delegate allocation. It isn’t one man one vote.

Exception rather than the rule

Minimal for you perhaps.


No big deal for you. You are not on limited income so you can afford to take half a day off. Or take a taxi.

no question I like Clinton. I’m 57 years old. I’m tired and I don’t want to deal with any bullshit. Just give me a simple secret vote where I don’t have to explain myself. (I can’t vote actually)

Your wrong about Nevada.

It isn’t about her, its about old people.

Wah, wah, wah.

Old people came out and caucused for Obama. If he could get them to the caucus sites, then she could’ve gotten them there, too.

How do you know? Never heard of caucuses in California.

I know because I’m paying attention. Why aren’t you?

I’m trying. Got a cite ?

I don’t think this is true, at least not in all cases. The person overseeing our caucus (WA state) said that due to some historical circumstances, the delegate allocation for our (very rural) part of the state was disproportionately weighted over the more densely populated areas. I’m just sayin’…

BTW, it’s unclear to me that “fair” is a relevant attribute of a primary process. You want to pick the candidate that is best for your party. If we wanted a free-for-all that was democratically “fair”, then we’d get rid of parties altogether and just run a bunch of candidates in the general.

You’re asking me for a cite that old people went out and caucused for Obama? Seriously?

Ok, sure, I see plenty of old people, how about you?

Cute Shayna. Only you pulled a 2006 photo of a caucus held in Washington state and Aguecheek tells me that Washington holds their caucuses in the afternoon. I found another more recent photo of a 34th district caucus relevant to the present nomination race.

By the way Aguecheek, I see most people are sitting expecting a long haul. That’s okay with old people at 1 oclock in the afternoon.

Populated centres (sic) are worth more because they are districts that have had a higher proportion of voters in the past, therefore, they are rewarded with more delegates.

What’s your point? It was said caucuses don’t have to be at night. That’s true. Like I said earlier, if you want to change the rules, do it before the game starts. It does not at all surprise me that somebody wanting to change the rules in the middle of the game supports Hillary.

You can’t please everybody. And what’s so rough about showing up, signing a piece of paper, and then leaving?

He’s making fun of old people. It was a joke.

Some of us can’t just take a half a day off. Some of us can. Regardless, you’re arguing that it’s more fair to make somebody take half a day off than to show up and sign a piece of paper.

I can understand you wanting a vote you’re ashamed of to be secret, but why would anybody have to explain their choice at a caucus?

What about Missouri, where Obama won the popular vote, and tied in delegates? That’s just the way things work. With states like New York, Illinois, California, and Georgia, states like Nevada, Missouri, and New Mexico don’t have enough effect to get worked up over a single allocated delegate.

Old people are getting plenty of say. Voters older than 60 have a higher relative portion of voters than any other age group. Of course I’m biased because I’m half your age, but if you were to put yourself in my shoes, at my age, wouldn’t you be flabbergasted with the turnout of the younger age brackets compared to the past? Heck, even putting myself in an older person’s shoes, I’d be ecstatic that young voters, those that are going to be around in a quarter century, have finally started giving a shit about politics and how candidates effect them.

*For future reference, it’s “you’re”, a contraction for “you are”, not your.

ETA: If you respond in complete sentences, it’ll be easier to follow my responses next time.

I admit that ‘anecdote’ does not equal data.

Regardless, my 28-year-old butt was one of the youngest people at my Texas caucus. And by youngest, I mean that there were perhaps ten people there under thirty. The vast majority of the Democrats in my precinct (we had 83 people at the caucus) were well over forty. Two couples were easily in their eighties; they looked about as old as my 93-year-old great-uncle.

Older folks got shuffled to the front of the line more often than not, and generally without asking. It isn’t a situation where you must remain for the whole thing – admittedly, if you want your voice heard in the resolutions, it would be a good idea to stick around.

The twentysomethings mostly went home after they signed. The elderly couples stayed, almost all of them.

I may be misinterpreting, but it seems that you are quite consistently trying to find ways that your candidate’s lack of a well-defined lead is fair.

See above. Obama won the popular vote in some states and the delegate allocation was tied.

Representation by population, kinda like the House of Representatives. At-large delegates (if I’ve got the rules correct) are awarded based on statewide votes. So winning the popular vote does get an extra bump in delegates, even if one doesn’t carry the cities. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

Just like the Texas Primacaucus is the exception rather than the rule. Each state makes their own system. If one doesn’t like one’s system, lobby the state party to change it. Those who’ve got an evening caucus can push to have it moved to a Saturday afternoon.

I’ll see your “huh?” and raise you one. You just said that older people don’t want loud noises, don’t want crowds, and don’t want to sit around in hard chairs. I gave an example of where they didn’t have to put up with all that. So it’s all good, right? People who wanted to, stayed. Those who didn’t left. A couple of older women left with my wife after they voted. A whole buttload stayed to see the entire process through. They seemed happy enough. Much more happy than the poor 5 year old kids who were left to go stir crazy in the corner while their parents practiced their constitutional rights.

I’m painting older people with a very broad brush, just like you painted them above when you stated that all of them were afraid to go out at night, driving around. Everybody knows that old people drive slowly in the fast lane and forget to turn off their turn signals…

You have no idea what kind of income I’m on. Nor do you know if I could afford to take a taxi. As it happens, I’m not on a fixed income. But nor could I afford to take a taxi. Many younger working folks are making minimum wage and can’t afford to take a few hours off their work day. And older, retired, people can afford to take the entire day off. Because they don’t have to clock in anymore.

I’m 35. I’m sick and tired of 51% mandates. I’m tired of innuendo, falsehoods, jingoism, gotcha journalism. I’m tired of parties threatening to filibuster the second there’s a bill on the floor they don’t like. I’m tired of My Way or the Highway government. I’m tired of torture. I’m tired of signing statements. I’m tired of wiretaps. I want a government for my adopted country in which I would be proud to take part.

Just give me an open, honest, system where I can work with my peers and get things done. Or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof.

No I’m not. She won the popular vote. In a caucus state. If she didn’t win the population centres, that’s her poor planning, not the state’s.

For me, it isn’t about him. It’s about all people.

Okay! So move caucus states to Saturday afternoons and they’re not unfair anymore. Is that what you’re saying?