Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Mirage behind Barack Obama's Caucus Delegate "Victories".

The Mirage behind Barack Obama's Caucus Delegate "Victories".
The democratic caucus races held in 14 states plus 2 overseas resulted in approximately 333 caucus delegates going to Barrack Obama. Hillary Clinton received 142 caucus delegates, a net gain for Barrack Obama of 191 delegates. No exact caucus popular vote totals exist because 4 caucus states don't release official vote totals, however it appears that approximately 1 million democrats (perhaps slightly more) voted in all of the caucus contests.

In California, approximately 4.2 million voters voted. When all 16 caucus vote totals are added together along with the state of California's vote totals, Hillary Clinton had more total votes than Barrack Obama. I mention this because even though Hillary Clinton had more total votes when California and all the caucus votes are added together, Barrack Obama still received 499 delegates while Hillary Clinton received only 363 delegates. Hillary Clinton received 136 less delegates even though Hillary led in total votes cast from all the caucuses and California vote totals combined.

More startling facts about caucuses. Barrack Obama's 11 highest winning percentages are in caucus states! 13 of Obama's 16 highest winning percentages are in caucus states! It's important to let that statistic sink in. The mathematical odds that Barrack Obama's 11 highest winning percentage margins would ALL be in caucus states would practically be infinitesimal IF caucus state voting was as fair as primary voting.

More proof is available that caucus states have unfairly skewed delegates to Obama's side. In Washington state, Barrack Obama won the caucus vote by a stunning 68% to 31% margin. 10 days later, Washington state held a non-binding primary. The much higher voter turnout resulted in a virtual tie between Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton. From 68%/31% to 51%/46%, yet Barrack Obama received 53 delegates, Hillary Clinton only 25 delegates.

The evidence is overwhelming that Barrack Obama's success is largely pinioned on his exaggerated wins in the caucus states that require approximately 88% less votes per selected delegate. That's right, caucus states require approximately 88% less voters to select each delegate. Since a disportionately small amount of caucus voters get to select delegates, shouldn't these caucus delegates at the very least not be allowed to sway the super-delegates nor be used as some type of mandate that the super delegates must follow? It is incumbent upon Dean and Pelosi to make it known that the superdelegates CAN vote however they want without retribution.

It is clear that Hillary Clinton is the more popular democratic candidate when voters vote "primary style", in a voting booth and having all day to vote, which is exactly the way voters will vote this upcoming November in the Presidential election.


Anonymous said...

I hate caucuses and the pledged delegate scheme altogether, For example in Pen its basically saying u count more in philly then in rural northern areas, its rediculous!

Alessandro Machi said...

I think I read that Philly counted for more because they slice up the city so that slivers of Philly end up in several different voting regions that count towards different delegates.

Perhaps it favored Hillary in some other states and that evens out??? One thing is for sure, the caucus states did not fairly represent american citizens, the numbers are too far off.

ILoveLA said...

And here I thought CA went to Hillary! How is it he got more delegates when she won our primary? Something's rotten here!

Alessandro Machi said...

HIllary did win California, but even though as many as 4 times as many people voted in California as voted in all of the caucus states, and Hillary had more total votes when California and all the caucus states voting totals are combined, Hillary still received 136 less delegates than Barrack Obama did.

Christina from CA said...

The argument in regards to Washington could also be made for Texas. They initally gave Hillary the victory because she won the popular vote. Then came those nasty little caucuses and so Obama walks away with the delegates.

I also liked how you pointed out that ratio of votes to delegates. Why is it that an Alaska voter gets to have more power than a California voter? It took fewer, many fewer, votes in Alaska to get a delegate, than it did in California.

In the end, the whole system needs to be upgraded to one national primary day period. There are just too many problems this primary season.

3)Drawn out primary system
4)Uneven and unfair media coverage
5)Changing definition of the "will of the voters" (Why can Kennedy, Kerry, and Richardson go against the will of the voters in their states?)
6)No cut and clean rule about how delegates should vote
7)MI and FL losing their delegates, they weren't the only states to break the rules but were the only ones that were penalized so completely.

So there you go Super Delegates. It's all summed up for you rather nicely.

jill said...

Just for grins, I ran the numbers after the Wyoming caucus. Less than 2% of the state's population participated.

Caucuses don't represent the will of the people. They represent the votes of the very small percentage of people willing to invest the time and energy to participate in an abusive voting process. If every state had primaries, all voters would have equal opportunities to let their voices be heard. And if all states had the option of mail-in ballots, like we do in California, participation would be even higher, because people could vote at their convenience instead of having to conform to polling places and hours.

Beyond that, we'd be much better off without delegates, period. Only the popular vote should count.

If we truly had a fair election process (primaries only, popular vote only), Hillary would certainly win.

Robin said...

I agree, caucuses do not reflect the will of the people. Primaries are much better sample. I don't understand why so many states have these, but the reality is that we have a system that allows a candidate that is not electable to be nominated.

I hope the unpledged delegates are watching and listening!

underpaidnurse said...

This caucus system really doesn't seem to be to democratic. There is something fundamentally wrong about how it is done, run and how a group of 100 people who had the time to spend hours at one, can decide over countless thousands that would have voted in a regular primary because they would have been able to make it to a polling station. Not very democratic, but then again, the democratic party doesn't seem very democratic anymore.

AwfulCaucusSkew said...

Hurray! -- I've been beating this drum against the Caucus Skew so long. I'm working on the following as an op-ed. See what you think. (For more info, you can go to my caucusdebacle blog. I've been obsessed with getting this info out.)

There are some missing Headlines in Election 2008: Hillary Actually Won Iowa // 28% of Hillary Voters Mad As Hell - Here's Why // Superdelegates Have a Real Job To Do //Dems Ignore Huge Voter Suppression // Hidden Trap for Dems in Fall // The Will of (Only the Healthy)People? // // A Mockery of Democracy // The Math is NOT the Math // Shocking 15% Caucus Skew.

In Texas Hillary's voters were +4 in the primary and -12 in the caucus on the same day. A 16% swing. Suppose we had only seen the Caucus Results in Texas? This startling and huge number is true though hidden in all the caucus states. Hillary actually won Iowa. With no Absentee Ballots allowed, her core voters were disappeared.

In my 2400 volunteer phone calls for Hillary, an average of every 8th call in a Caucus State got me 87-yr-old Vera, “Oh no, honey, I can’t caucus, I’m a cripple.” I say cajolingly, “Couldn’t you vote-by-mail Absentee?” No Absentee Ballots for the house-bound in Caucus States. “If I can’t be there in my body, I don’t count.” I discovered an epidemic of house-bound older women in America, most with a terrible fear of falling.

Hillary didn’t ‘get back the women’s vote’ in New Hampshire because she teared up in a diner. Baa baa Humbug. Bleating Unexamined Media Nonsense. Her New Hampshire voters got back the Absentee Ballot.

When the shameful 15% Caucus Skew is revealed in detail, the (non-lemming) superdelegates must take into account the voter suppression against a large core group of Hillary’s voters, a bastion of General Election Democratic voters. These cheated voters all know they’ve been silenced, disappeared. Ruth, 82, “Just because I’m sick doesn’t mean I can’t think.” Lorna, 91, “I don’t dare go out to caucus, dear, I’m off-balance.”

Democracy is not a game. The rules of democracy are that each citizen gets her/his one sacred voice, vote. There is no metric by which the Democratic nominee is not chosen by the superdelegates. The whole point of (non-lemming) superdelegates is to think long & hard. A hundred thousand of Hillary’s voters, the backbone of the Democratic Party, were cheated of their share of pledged delegates and popular vote. No organization, no 'ride' helps these folks, only the Absentee Ballot. This is voter suppression on a massive scale. Mr. Obama’s putative lead is The Big Lie.

Imagine for one moment that 15% of Mr. Obama’s young or black supporters were prevented from voicing their vote for him. Would that feel just, feel democracy, feel American to you? Of course not. You’d rightly demand that reporters and superdelegates look into it & take it into account.

I have fallen so hard for the Myth of American Democracy through my life. John Kennedy was murdered on my 19th birthday. I was watching black-&-white flickering TV live when Ruby shot Oswald. I wept for MLK, for Bobby. I had no plan to have this heart-wrenching story be poured into my ear. Who knew that there were so many older women house-bound by this dread of falling? I have to speak out fiercely for Vera, Lorna, Ruth. This is doubtless their last vote and they shouldn't be suppressed by my beloved Democratic Party. I believed that progressives mean it when they say they speak for the silenced and invisible.

The Chuck Todds, David Gregorys, Tim Russerts, Matthews, Olbermanns -- and even Hillary's spokesfolk -- all have it wrong. Everyone knows generally & vaguely that Caucuses Stink. The Missing Piece is this huge specific number of disappeared Hillary voters who also are a vital chunk of the Democratic General Election force. Everyone prattles with alarm about how upset the black vote and the young vote would be if the superdelegates decide that Hillary is the better candidate against Inevitable Republican Venom Machine. What no one talks about is that stunning 28% who say in polls that they won't support Mr. Obama in the General. I was shocked by the number myself until I remembered just how many older women are dismayed then enraged by not getting to vote & no one respecting them enough to complain about it and the staggering Media Misogyny which has bludgeoned anyone listening.

These non-coastal older women are almost never online so they aren't part of the Obama Blog Troll Army whose legions assault the Media. But they're there in force, hidden and furious and heartbroken. (They also don't have the give-money-every-few-days access that those of us online do, so Hillary's fundraising doesn't reflect her support at all.)

It's not because I'm smart that I have this info. It's just that when I heard Vera say, “Oh, no, honey, I can't caucus, I'm a cripple. If I can't be there in my body, I don't count” and then the fourth call after that was another fear-of-falling Hillary supporter and the seventh call after that – I was so shocked, I began to keep track. Caucuses are not quaint and charming, not Tra la la to Grandmother's Caucus We Go, not hallmarkcard, normanrockwell -- they are a Mockery of Democracy. Most Grandmothers can't get there.

This Caucus Scandal is rotten in our democratic soul. The only way to drive a stake into the vile heart of the Caucus System for the future is to show how drastically it has twisted this election and history itself.

Robin said...

Wow, I don't live in a caucus state and had no idea. I wonder how many are like me and are just learning how unfair caucusing is.

It really bothers me that so many are unable to vote. What can we do to help change the system?

Alessandro Machi said...

That's a great question Robin. What should be done to make caucuses a more accurate reflection of that states voters? I don't have an exact answer.

However, maybe the states have to agree to hold a primary if the caucus votes just don't seem to be an accurate reflection of what happened in the caucus.
It almost seems like the states don't do that much to insure a fair and accurate vote.

Probably not a realistic solution but for what has gone on in 2008, I think most of the caucus states should have a primary revote.

Robin said...

Need to let your super-delegates and local papers know that you know how skewed and unfairly the delegates are assigned with caucusing. Ask them to go with the popular vote. If all the supers went with the popular vote in the states that had a primary, Hillary would win the most delegates and the nomination.

Robin said...

Beginning to agree with so many that are saying they will only vote Hillary in 2008. Still hoping she will win, but if she does it will be through sheer determination by Hillary and her supporters. The DNC process has worked against her from the very beginning.

It may be worth waiting another 4 years to get the attention of the DNC to change their crazy nomination process. Get rid of caucuses and superdelegates and go to all primaries so the voters are allowed to select the best candidate and a candidate that can win. Unless Hillary wins the nomination, maybe my energies can best be spent looking ahead to 2012.