What The Washington GOP Precinct Caucus Results Mean

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People from all over the media, from Josh Marshall to Tim Russert, and Mike Huckabee, are talking about the party declaring a winner, whether it was too soon, and so on. But what the party said about the results literally means nothing at all.

This is clear if you understand the process. The results were released just so that the party could make some news. They have no meaning.

The first thing to understand is that people do not always vote by presidential preference. In my caucus, and in many others in my pooled caucus, presidential preference never even came up. Only two people wanted the two delegate spots, so we nominated them and elected them.

At the precinct caucus next to ours, there were far more participants than delegates, but a similar story: they all knew each other and just said, "well, who wants to go?," and they picked two to nominate and that was it. Presidential preference never even entered into the equation.

Other caucuses were different: a few active Republicans at a precinct caucus a few tables away didn't get elected, because they were outnumbered by Huckabee supporters.

So to portray this as an election for presidential candidates is a complete misunderstanding, worsened by the fact that your stated presidential preference isn't even binding. You could have written down "McCain" on the sign-in sheet (the only record we have) and then changed your mind and said "Romney" in the caucus, and you'd be marked down for McCain.

Or you could have stuck with McCain, but then changed your mind before the county convention. And that's assuming you even GO to county convention: many people won't bother, they are just delegates because no one else wanted to do it. And at county convention, we will split up into legislative districts, and for all we know, McCain supporters could all be from a handful of legislative districts, and then be totally outnumbered at state convention.

For Huckabee to be talking about legal challenges to a completely meaningless result shows that either he has no idea what the results actually mean (nothing), or he is just doing this for show. slashdot.org

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