I would like some clarification on caucus or primary rules, please

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    • #249078
      • Total Posts: 1,098

      I live in Colorado and we have now open primary rules,

      although one can only vote for one of the parties as an

      independent. Does the 15% rule still apply? What happens

      to the lower % votes?  Does the state party decide to whom

      they apply? Don’t forget that the claim in Federal court that

      the party is a private group did not find any “resistance”. Thus

      I don’t think that those votes for candidates under the 15% rule

      may just be thrown out. Does anyone know what mechanism

      the party applies in such a case?

    • #249080
      • Total Posts: 5,299
    • #249117
      Jim Lane
      • Total Posts: 663

      I don’t understand your comment about federal court.  If you mean the DNC fraud lawsuit, the court’s holding was that, once the Democratic Party chose to adopt and promulgate a rule, it was bound by that rule.  The 15% rule has been adopted, just as was the rule of neutrality that was at issue in the lawsuit.  Therefore, the 15% rule is in effect.

      The Democratic Party (unlike the Republican Party) prohibits winner-take-all primaries throughout the process.  Instead, delegates are allocated proportionally.  Some delegates represent a Congressional district, and the allocation is based on the vote in that district.  Additional delegates are allocated based on the overall statewide vote.  At each stage, the allocation is among those candidates receiving at least 15% of the vote in that district or state (with a special rule for what happens if no candidate reaches that threshold).

      There’s a practical problem that arises because delegates are human beings who can’t be split up.  In an election for, say, U.S. Senate, a candidate who gets clobbered in one county can still take that one-tenth of the vote there and add it to his or her statewide total.  In a Presidential primary, though, a candidate with one-tenth of the vote in each of ten Congressional districts can’t combine ten tenths of a person into one.  That candidate simply won’t get any delegates.  The votes for that candidate are not reallocated to other candidates, though.

      Note, however, that votes for a candidate who misses the 15% threshold in one district still count toward the statewide allocation.  Many states have fairly progressive urban districts and fairly conservative rural ones.  A progressive candidate who gets only 10% of the vote in a conservative district won’t get any of the delegates from that district, but the votes from that district will be counted in determining the statewide allocation.

    • #249137
      • Total Posts: 1,461

      Interesting , but what happens to the delegate count? Let’s say that a state has 10 delegates. Candidate a gets 50%, B 25%, C,d,e.f, and g each get 5%. Do c,d,e,f,and g’s delegates go to the convention unassigned? And what happens to B? Does he gain or lose his half delegate? My understanding is that caucuses force themselves to decide that at the time, but what about primaries?

      • #249436
        Jim Lane
        • Total Posts: 663

        In your example, only two candidates, A and B, cleared the threshold, so only they qualified for delegates.

        Suppose there were 1,000 votes cast: 500 for A, 250 for B, and 50 each for the five others.  There were 750 “qualifying” votes cast, of which A had 500 and B 250, so A gets 500/750 of the delegates and B gets 250/750.  These fractions are applied to the total number of delegates allotted to that state or district.  That produces a result for each candidate of the form 4.667 (or 3.286 or the like) delegates.  Each candidate gets the whole number (here, the “4” or the “3”).  The remaining delegate(s) are allocated according to the fractions, highest fraction getting the first remaining delegate, second-highest the next, and so on.  The five candidates who missed the threshold get no delegates.

        If there are 10 delegates available, A gets 6.667 (because 500/750 x 10 = 6.667) and B gets 3.333.  That means A initially gets 6, while B gets 3.  The remaining delegate goes to A because A has the higher chopped-off fraction, so A’s final total is 7.

        All this is for a primary.  As you note, a caucus is different.  The supporters of c, d, e, f, and g, standing in small forlorn clumps in the high-school gym, see that their candidate doesn’t have 15%.  Some might gravitate toward A or B.  Some, however, might coalesce.  If enough supporters of c, d, f, and g decide that e is better than A or B, then they can switch, turning e into E who reaches the 15% threshold.  This is one respect in which caucuses are superior to primaries, despite the caucuses’ other undemocratic features.

    • #249197
      retired liberal
      • Total Posts: 3,437

      Don’t the rules depend on who is ahead, or maybe behind? It sure seems so.

      We are an arrogant species, believing our fantasy based "facts" are better than the other person's fake facts.
      If you are wrong, it will be because you are not cynical enough.
      Both major political parties are special interest groups enabling each other for power and money, at the expense of the people they no longer properly serve…
      Always wear a proper mask when out and about. The life you save could be both yours and mine.

    • #249493
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 18,635

      Another reason why turnout, turnout, turnout is so important. The only way to overwhelm the DNC system is with sheer weight of numbers.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

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