UW Election Eye spent five days on the ground covering Democrats at their national gathering. Here are some reflections and photographs. CHARLOTTE — The Democratic National Convention was supposed to end in President Barack Obama’s address to a live audience of 70,000 at Bank of America Stadium. It did not. A last minute change shifted…More
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With reporting by Alicia Halberg and Stephanie Kim
Democrats held their legislative caucuses on Sunday to help decide the party’s platform and select the presidential nominee. With Obama guaranteed the nomination, many simply didn’t see any point in attending.
Only 24 people showed up for the meeting of Washington’s 36th legislative district caucuses at Whittier Elementary in Ballard, where 15 precincts met to caucus.
Alice Woldt, former chairwoman of the King County Democratic Party and former chair of the 36th district Democrats, convened the caucuses at Whittier. She said the district had tried to reach out to potential caucus-goers using local media, calling those who came out in 2008, robocalls in the area, and having caucus officers talk to their neighbors.
“With all of the media attention on the other party, we need to build up energy and enthusiasm, otherwise people won’t think that we’ve got anything going on,” Woldt said.More
Signs, signs everywhere a sign.
On Tuesday the signs all suggested that the Republican presidential primary was over, done, finito, and that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were ready to rumble. Someone needs to tell Rick Santorum, though, because he was defiant in defeat.More
Note: this is the second of two related posts on the state of the 2012 Republican presidential contest. Part 1 was posted yesterday morning.
TACOMA — The Republican presidential nomination is not over yet, Rick Santorum says. Part of his campaign’s argument is that delegates in caucus states will be allocated to him in greater numbers than the popular votes were on caucus day.
The Pierce County Republican Party convention on Saturday is one place to test Santorum’s view.
The results suggest Santorum might be right.
On March 3, Mitt Romney handily won Washington state’s presidential straw poll at the GOP caucuses, garnering 38% of the statewide caucus vote to 25% for Ron Paul and 24% for Santorum. In Pierce County specifically, Romney won 38% of the vote, Santorum won 26% and Paul received 23%.
That was the popular straw vote on caucus day. In Washington, as in many other caucus states, the official process of appropriating delegates to candidates begins at the precinct caucuses — but is entirely separate from the straw vote — and then moves to the county, and finally to the state level.More
Note: this is the first of two related posts on the state of the 2012 Republican presidential contest. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow morning.
The leaders of the Republican Party and the national news media have decided that Mitt Romney is going to be the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2012.
For example, national news outlets barely waved at Rick Santorum’s big win on Saturday in the Louisiana primary. The New York Times story included this as the second sentence: “The win gave Mr. Santorum a much-needed psychological boost but it will be unlikely to change the dynamics of the race.” And Politico led its coverage with this: “Rick Santorum picked up another win on Saturday in Louisiana, but the victory won’t significantly change the delegate advantage held by Mitt Romney in the GOP nominating contest.”
On Sunday morning, Republican establishment types left no doubt. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN, “I think the primary is over. Romney will be the nominee. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet. But she’s warming up.” And former Mississippi governor and GOP insider Haley Barbour said on NBC, “Unless Romney steps on a land mine, it looks like he will be the nominee.”
Romney is certainly the most likely candidate to be the nominee, but I think it’s too early to make the call.
Many news outlets and the GOP leadership are ready to move on to the general election, but the party’s base of evangelical Protestants is not ready to do so. Romney has yet to win a state where the Republican electorate is more than 50% evangelical.
There are at least three serious land mines still out there for Romney.More
Many voters we’ve met on the campaign trail say they support Mitt Romney because he seems to be the most electable. And when you look at the Republican Party presidential nomination delegate count, the math is in his favor. Romney aides point out that with Super Tuesday behind them, Romney needs…More
SANDPOINT — Super Tuesday is upon us. With seven primaries, three caucuses, and 419 delegates at stake, the news media are rich with speculation. For the first time ever, the state of Idaho’s Republican Party gets to be part of the buzz.
Until this year, Idaho’s GOP determined its presidential and local nominee preferences with a primary in late May. At the presidential level, the 32 delegates chosen then attended the GOP National Convention with little allegiance to the candidates. Three quarters of the delegates were “soft pledged” (meaning they could change their minds) and the remaining 8 were simply “unpledged” — in other words, free agents.
The late season primary and the changeable delegates meant that Republican candidates rarely visited and few paid attention to the Gem State. Finally, the GOP got tired of being ignored and resolved to make its sizable number of delegates — more than Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada — count in 2012.
So last October, they instituted a caucus system and moved the date way, way up to Super Tuesday — not an uncommon move for states who want more of an early say in the nomination process. So, on Tuesday, 44 counties will open their doors to first-time caucus goers at 7 p.m. In accordance with Idaho’s new voter identification law, only registered Republicans with valid ID can participate.
After that, it gets complicated.More
Last Thursday I spoke to Washington State Republican Party Chairman, Kirby Wilbur, and he was confident that the turnout for the Washington caucus could be “50,000 and north of that.” Wilbur should be feeling pleased with his predictive powers. A press release sent to me this morning from Josh Amato, Washington State Republican Party Director of Communications,…More
KINGSTON — Kingston High School had a nearly full parking lot when we arrived at 9:45 this morning. The setting was stunning: a new state of the art high school set amidst cedar trees, with the boys baseball team warming up on the field. UW Election Eye reporter Lucas Anderson and I followed signs from the…More
PASCO — Rick Santorum lost a Republican presidential delegate in Michigan today but gained a cause. Mitt Romney won convincingly in Arizona and narrowly in Michigan in primaries on Tuesday. The outcome in Michigan was particularly damaging for Santorum, who hit the social issues too hard for some and employed widely criticized robo-calls to…More