Friday, May 16, 2008

Why are the results so different in the primary and the caucus in Texas on the same day and what does that mean more generally about caucus results?

Prof. Althouse discusses the primary and (preliminary) caucus results in Texas. She includes some reportage from her son Christopher, who is involved in the process as a Clinton supporter in Texas.

The Texas Democratic Party has a very complicated process to select its delegates. Prof. Althouse points out that Obama did better in the caucus while Clinton did better in the primary. Prof. Althouse highlights the Clinton camp's arguments and does not entertain any other explanation for the discrepancy. The reportage from her son hypothosizes that "much of that difference could be attributable to the shenanigans of Obama's base of fanatics." Sure it could be. It could also be due to any number of other factors.

As luck would have it, I also received a bit of reportage from a Clinton (alternate) delegate in Texas on the night of the primary election. Specifically, my mom. She called me as she was pulling out of the parking lot of her polling place. She never had participated in the caucus process and hadn't really planned to but she voted late on her way home from work and by the time she voted the caucus process was beginning. Someone asked her if she wanted to sign up to be a delegate or an alternate and she basically said what the heck. She didn't stay for the meeting part of the caucus as she had to get home and get dinner.

I would also point out that the Texas primary was at the beginning of Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos". Now, I have no idea what percentage Clinton's primary support came due to Operation Chaos but I am pretty confident that few, if any, participants in Operation Chaos participated in the caucuses.

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