Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Note on Puerto Rico

On March 6, Puerto Rico made two important changes to their Democratic delegate selection contest. It will now be a primary for the first time--not a caucus--and they have moved the date up to June 1, so it will no longer be the final contest in the Democratic race. That honor (at least for now) belongs to South Dakota and Montana, which will hold primaries on June 3.

It is also a proportional primary, which means that there is now no chance that all 55 delegates (plus 8 superdelegates) will be awarded to a single candidate--as some have feared--yet the new date also means that any large delegate pick-up by either candidate there would not feel so odd anymore.


HistoryBuff said...

The presidential election is winner take all electors for each state, why are some of the primaries done differently? Which is the better system?

The Law Talking Guy said...

I'm suspicious of PR's move. I wonder whom it is intended to benefit. I cannot imagine that the decision to go to a primary was made merely because of a desire for more public participation.

The Law Talking Guy said...
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The Law Talking Guy said...

To answer historybuff, electoral rules have consequences, so you have to pick what you want. A winner take all (WTA) system devalues minority voices in favor of unity. Note that both Clinton and Obama have a larger % of the popular vote than McCain (who rarely breaks 50% anywhere) but he's the runaway nominee because he's a plurality winner. I think the Democratic system ultimately builds a stronger party than the GOP system.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Thinking about it, I have to think that Clinton's caucus-phobia is the reason why the party leaders in PR (mostly clinton supporters) see this
want an earlier primary.

Dr. Strangelove said...

"Actually, Puerto Rico is expected to be Clinton territory, and a big one at that. Although no Dem contest is WTA, there is a history (according to some websites) of the PR democratic party voting in lockstep for its candidate. So Puerto Rico is not a place Obama expects to win."

That's what you wrote on February 12, LTG. Now you are saying Clinton pushed to change the contest because she thought she was going to lose. Do I detect a note of paranoia?

Raised By Republicans said...

History Buff,

Like LTG said, electoral systems have predictable consequences and which system you prefer depends on which consequences you prefer.

If you like small parties or opinions held by small numbers of people, you'd like the proportional reprsentation system. But if you want to ensure that there will be a clear winner that appears to have a dominant mandate, you'll want a plurality/winner-take-all system.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Not paranoia. Think about it. Clinton has made a case that primaries matter more than caucuses. So, if she's due for a win in PR, she'd rather have it be a primary win! That way she can talk more about how she wins primaries and he wins caucuses.