Boss Esser’s dirty little secret: there was no WA state GOP caucus!

After reading the rules, reviewing the documents and analyzing the data, I am now prepared to categorically state that Sen. John McCain most certainly did not win the Washington state Republican caucus… because there was no Republican caucus, at least not as most people understand the term.

What transpired Saturday afternoon was in fact a straw poll, followed by a delegate selection process that had no direct relationship to presidential preference. Caucus attendees were asked to register at their precinct table, using a form that asks for, but does not specifically require stating one’s presidential preference.


Unlike the Democratic caucus there is no counting and reporting of presidential preference, and no allocation of delegates proportionate to the stated preference of the attendees. There is no time alloted in the agenda for caucus goers to speak on behalf of the presidential candidates, and no opportunity to go back and change one’s preference. After selecting a secretary (and a chairman if no PCO is present) the attendees proceed to nominate and elect delegates and alternates. Nominees are given “a reasonable period of time” to speak on their own behalf, and are required to indicate presidential preference, but there is no requirement that the indicated preference is the same as that stated on the registration form.

Afterwards the caucus officers are required to submit back to the county party a Caucus Report that includes the names and addresses of the elected delegates and alternates, but note that the official form provides no line for reporting the presidential preference of the delegates.


So, on Saturday night, when WSRP Chair Luke Esser disrupted the emerging media narrative of a potential three-state Huckabee sweep, by officially congratulating McCain for “a hard-fought win,” what is it exactly that McCain supposedly won? The delegate count? Hardly, for not only are the delegates not bound to a specific candidate, they weren’t even elected based on presidential preference. (If they were, you’d think they might have included a line for that on the form.) Furthermore, because the state party rules permit county organizations to allocate any number of delegates, as long as they are at least twice the number of precincts, and uniformly apportioned within the county, a precinct delegate from one county might represent a vastly different number of voters (or caucus goers) than a precinct delegate from another, and thus might play a vastly greater or smaller role in ultimately selecting a delegate to the national convention. A statewide precinct delegate count would therefore be an entirely meaningless metric of presidential preference, even assuming it represents presidential preference at all. Which it doesn’t.

To declare McCain the winner of the WA GOP caucus — as Esser has repeatedly done over the past several days — is to imply that he won the most votes, or would ultimately win the most state delegates based on the precinct caucus results, but the raw precinct delegate count as reported by the WSRP directly corresponds to neither. Esser could have reported the results of the straw poll, which would at least have reflected the preference of the caucus attendees. Instead he chose to mislead the media and the public by presenting delegate totals as something they are not.

And in fact, even if precinct delegates were comparable from county to county (and they’re not) and do represent a binding presidential preference (and they don’t,) the results released by the WSRP and a smattering of county organizations would strongly suggest that both Huckabee and Paul would earn more national delegates from the caucus process than the putative winner. McCain won big in King County, but apparently lost almost everywhere else in the state. That would give McCain national delegates from maybe two congressional districts while Huckabee and Paul split the remaining seven.

Of course, I don’t need to explain any of this to Boss Esser — he understood the process better than anybody, and knew that if the precinct delegate totals weren’t totally meaningless they at best predicted the opposite of his Saturday night pronouncement. But the Huckabee “sweep” narrative had to be crushed, and Esser was more than willing to do it. Huckabee’s lawyers can recount all they want; the damage has already been done.


  1. 1

    Jim spews:

    My Friend Goldy:

    Do not confuse Boss Esser’s bossage esserage with anything.

    The winners (all the R candidates) all won and are all winners–it’s just that some are more winningerest than other winnerers and some of the winners are more equal than the other winners.

    Or something.

  2. 2

    zip spews:

    Cripes Goldy, making a mountain out of a molehill aren’t we? Does it really matter how the WA Republican caucus turns out? I didn’t think so. Does everybody, including 99.9% of Republicans, agree that Esser screwed up? Undoubtedly.

    Thinking about publicizing the “RIP Hillary08″ article coming out in the NY Times? Don’t bother now, by the time you get to it it will be old news.

    Maybe explaining the goofy Texas delegate sytem and why it favors Obama would hold your readers attention a little more than dissecting the Esser screw up 7 times out of the last 9 posts. You could always cut and paste from an “alternate source”.

    Yeah yeah I know it’s your blog, you do what you want, screw the trolls, etc etc. Consider this constructive criticism.

  3. 3

    zip spews:

    McCain had it clinched before Super Saturday. I’m not being a wise guy here, I really don’t understand your fascination with this Esser screw up. Why bother doing all this “investigative reporting” when the caucus is meaningless?

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Well, well … the grassroots Republicans who took the time and went to the trouble of going to their precinct cauci just discovered something we liberals have known for eons: Their party is a top-down dictatorship in which their opinions count for squat.

  5. 5

    zip spews:

    I’m not sure you liberals actually knew it all along, roger, judging by the high turnout!

    Enjoy your superdelegates. Gee it would be a shame if they put Hillary over the top.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Read ‘Em And Weep, Rethugs!

    “In hypothetical general election matchups, a new AP poll conducted after last week’s Super Tuesday contests found Obama edging McCain, 48 percent to 42 percent ….” — Newsweek

  7. 7

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    my my, look at all the republicans rushing to say that this is nothing important(“…move along people, nothing to see here”) and that the caucus was “meaningless” — and with every bit as much urgency as esser had in jumping the gun to proclaim McCain’s “hard-fought victory” to the national media. i haven’t seen such convoluted gymnastics since the jim rose tour was in town!
    the one thing i still can’t understand about this “meaningless” non-caucus with its pre-emptively declared “winner” for which exactly nobody “voted” either for or against, in spite of the lengthy explanations, is this — how at any point in this process is it possible to attach a particular candidate’s name to any of the numbers? and by whom, if the delegates weren’t even asked? and according to what formula?

  8. 8

    ivan spews:

    Zip @ 3:

    and the rest of you GOP apologists frantically treading water and spinning yourselves into pretzels:

    Your party is not only crooked, it is incompetent. It can’t even run a caucus, let alone the state.

    Not only do your policies stink, your politics stink. Not only do your politics stink, your candidates stink.

    Esser the Suppressor and his puppetmasters, Dino Lossi and Rob (hey, no flies on ME) McKenna are in for a rude shock this November.

    Hey Dino, better swing one of your crooked real estate deals and get a compound in Hayden Lake while the getting is good.

  9. 9

    Cleve spews:

    Right, it’s meaningless now — except that Esser reported that McCain “won” and did so by precisely two points, and that the call was made based on the levels of support for each candidate in the counted and uncounted counties.

    In other words, Esser presented a host of misrepresentations so the national media would carry the false story that McCain “won.”

  10. 10

    BarrackHusseinObama spews:

    A very good DEMOCRAT friend of mine went to the Jefferson County Democratic Caucus in Port Townsend. He said it was very interesting in that none of the attendees wore store bought clothes. All of them were handmade knit or tie-dyed. It was packed. A woman was screaming into the mike O-BAM-A, O-BAM-A…..endlessly Everyone joined in.
    The problem was at the O-BAM-A table. They had all kinds of literature on local Marxist candidates that had nothing to do with the Presidential Caucus. Also, the woman running the table said she didn’t know what she was doing and then left to join the O-BAM-A screaming throng leaving the table unattended with all the lists of signatures of O-BAM-A supporters sitting there for anyone to steal. Nice security.
    She finally came back and he asked where he could sign for Clinton. She pointed to another room. He went over there and there was no one around but he could see the Hillary Clinton list. So he went back to the O-BAM-A table and told the woman he wanted the BILL Clinton table…not Hillary…because the candidates on both sides are so pathetic, we might as well have a guy who has the balls to get a blowjob on the job. She became very confused & disoriented.
    He went back & signed the Hillary list and left in total disgust at the process and the kooks claiming to be fellow Democrats.

  11. 11

    Puddybud, A Prognosticator... spews:


    Where was your voice when newspapers printed Heilary won Missouri and called it with less than 40% of the vote in for Heilary?

    Oh yeah they get a pass cuz they are on your side and this is liberal FUWA…

  12. 12

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    that’s exactly right cleve – but still the obvious question remains, and that despite all the blatantly desperate republican attempts here and elsewhere to red-herring or spin this one into oblivion: if there were no “votes” and the delegates either didn’t state their preference or were chosen regardless of their candidate preference, what the hell was esser COUNTING until late monday? his options? 100% of WHAT???
    (and why do they so hate democracy that they create a bizarre maze of rules to insure that their party nominee is NOT decided by the voters in their own party?)

  13. 14

    I Got Nuthin spews:

    This idea was originally floated by Roger Rabbit weeks ago, but I’m endorsing it:

    For better or worse (unquestionably worse) the D primary is absolutely meaningless. However the Rs are picking half their delegates based on the primary results. Therefore, instead of throwing their votes away, all Ds should vote for Huckabee on the R ticket.

    Continue the chaos!

  14. 15

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    and to pud@11:
    i’m sorry, was that yet another feeble and desperate attempt at changing the subject? can’t blame you for that i suppose, as at this point its beginning to look like you and the WSRP are stuck holding a bag of shit with nobody to sell it to. bon appetit! you want some “freedom fries” with that?

  15. 16

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Again – the GOP has nothing – nothing at all – zip. The best they can do is deflect. “Well we may have told our fellow republicans their vote is shit and we don’t care who they want to win the nomination because the party bosses want it to be McCain – but you guys have super delegates so it’s okay that we just do anything we want.”

    Man – no wonder America is so screwed up. These deflection tactics are no doubt being taught to nearly half of American children by their republican parents.

    “Son you shouldn’t have shot your teacher in the face,” said the GOP dad. “But father, Bill Clinton got a blow job from Monica,” said the GOP son.

  16. 17

    Puddybud, A Prognosticator... spews:

    Mike@15: While I have stated I am not in favor of what Luke Esser did (do you read these blog threads), I also stated the primary will count for our side. I voted in the primary and chose to ignore the caucii because of the previous year chaos.

    You can blather all you want as the anecdotal stories appear about the issues in your caucii.

  17. 19

    Daddy Love spews:

    So what is it? Ar Democrats just happy to have two strong candidates and line up between them roughly divided, with an Obama surge currently happening? Or are Democrats split and in disarray?

    Similarly, are Republicans happy to have two strong candidates and line up between them roughly divided, or are Republicans split and in disarray?

    I don’t know. I do know what seems strange is that the GOP front-running candidate and putative nominee (McCain) can’t pull over 26% of Republicans in a state caucus. And maybe even that a candidate (Romney) who everyone knows has withdrawn from the race can still pull 16% against same said putative niominee. Seems kinda lame, but what do I know?

  18. 20

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    okay at this point there is enough information to make a clear assessment of a couple things:
    1) because of the WSRP rules and the reports from the caucuses of how the delegates were chosen, the only thing esser could have been actually “counting” was the raw number of delegates put forth by the caucuses.
    2) because of the WSRP rules and the reports from the caucuses of how the delegates were chosen, any assignment of a particular candidates name to any of those numbers COULD NOT BE OTHER THAN arbitary and capricious.
    evidently some republicans dont have a problem with that. okay. glad i’m not one.

  19. 21



    Breaking news! Grant is still buried in his tomb! A dog bit a man! It rains here!

    Like, you think you’re breaking some news about how GOP caucuses are run? Get a grip, man, I’ve been going to them for decades, and this is how they’ve ALWAYS been run. You state your candidate preference at the outset, vie for delegate and alternate positions (there’s a slightly different process for electing alternates than there is delegates), get elected (or not) based upon who you support, and move on from there.

    This is some great revelation??? Under what compost pile have you been hiding all these years?

    BTW…looks as though there was some irregularity in the Dem counting too. Douglas County in Eastern Washington didn’t go for HRC after all even though local county officials misreported caucus results to the House of Pelz. Read all about it here: http://archives.seattletimes.n.....las+county

    It sure looks as though Luke Esser did jump the gun, but guess what? No matter how much you might wish it otherwise, the results of the GOP caucuses will still result in a win for a Republican.

    Sorry, Goldy, but no one expressed a preference for you!

    If you want to do some journalistic muckracking, how about investigating the potential scandal brewing in the Dem Party over how super delegates, who will account for 20% of the total, may end up screwing the popular sentiment expressed in both caucus and primary states.

    The Democratic Party establishment – party insiders, bosses, ex-pols – will go into a close convention and THEY will make the decision; the “little people” can go bugger off since it’s Democratic Party orthodoxy that their betters must make decisions for them and order their lives.

    How is it that Tom Foley, who hasn’t been an elected official from this state since the 1994 Republican Revolution and who doesn’t even live in the state gets to go to Denver as a super delegate from Washington State?

    What’s next? Will Warren Magnuson’s body be exhumed so he can go as a super delegate in some sort of bad political remake of Weekend at Bernie’s? Boss Tweed and George Washington Plunkett (“I seen my opportunities, and I took ‘em!”) would be right at home in today’s Dem Party.

    Read liberal NY Times columnist Frank Rich’s scathing indictment of how unseamly, but typically Clintonian, the super delegate cesspool is at:

    Your silly claim that Republicans didn’t have a caucus as “most people understand that term,” is bogus. We had caucuses as WE understand that term and have had them for many, many, many years. That we don’t do them as YOU understand them simply means you lack an understanding of how others do things.

    Guess what! Dems didn’t have caucuses as “most people” (read most of America) understand them. Well, duh!

    My precinct is sending three McCain and one Romney delegates to the District Caucus, thence to the County Convention. The Romney delegate knows he’s out and that McCain will be the nominee, and she will support him enthusiastically (she told me this), but in the great tradition of American political conventions, she’ll go in and make a statement on the first ballot, then support the nominee in the final analysis.

    Since you ain’t workin’ steady these days and have so many ideas on how Republicans ought to run their business, would you like to apply for a job with the state GOP? When you get around to sending me your resume, I can drop it off to them. You know so much better how to run everybody else’s business, why not?

    After all, your track record of getting listened to by the vox populi is so sterling! Of late, a Goldy endorsement has all the value of a kiss of death and is considered by some – even by many Dems – to be almost a mark of Cain.

    Maybe your next thread can be on real breaking news? Like, how traffic is bad during the commute southbound on 405, with slowing from Bellevue and backups all the way to the top of the Kennydale Hill. Film at 11:00.

    The Piper

  20. 22

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    on further examination, it appears that the WSRP rules were written specifically for the purpose of circumventing the wishes of the rank-and-file while at the same time allowing plausability of denial to party officials in the event of anyone calling them on it. why, those rules aren’t hard to understand at all! you just have to think like a republican for a moment…
    …er, i think i have to go take a shower now.

  21. 23

    correctnotright spews:

    I guess every time Bush talks about bringing “democracy” to the Middle east, he really means “republican style” democracy where one vote counts for – nothing. Where the party leaders decide who the winner is based on – nothing.

    Huckabee is right – we are back in the USSR. The party decides what is the right way to vote – so even though Huckabee won a majority of actual sign in votes in Pierce county – McCain ended up with more delegates. This is, of course, fair and right – the party knows more than the poor misinformed voters.

    At least in my democratic primary we listed preferences, used a mathematical formula to determine the number of delgates, had discussion to try and get people to switch votes and generally got along well. Apparently, this was not the case at the republican primary…

    Obviously, I should have tried the republican caucus. I want to see how real democracy works – where it doesn’t matter who most people vote for – but who the precinct officer is…because the party knows what is right for the people.
    All faith and trust rests with the party, comrades! All power to the glorious party and the central committee chair – Lesser. Lesser is more! War is peace! Only the weak democrats want to surrender! Never mind that Rand report behind the curtain – on to glorious victory for the party of the people!

  22. 24



    In times during the 1984 campaign, Walter Mondale had polling numbers that put him ahead of Ronaldus Magnus Reaganus.

    And the result of the 1984 election WAS…???

    The only poll that counts is the one conducted on Election Day. Ask Obama supporters in New Hampshire.

    The Piper

  23. 25

    Another TJ spews:

    the results of the GOP caucuses will still result in a win for a Republican.

    … unless Cool Hand Luke decides otherwise.

  24. 26



    Did you stay up all night thinking of that “joke?” Feeling quite taxed now are you? Consider napping, eating lots of whole grains and fiber, and downing a couple bottles of Fleet Phospho-Soda in order to release pressure on your brain.

    And as a joke writer? Don’t quit your day job!

    The Piper

  25. 27

    rhp6033 spews:

    “Furthermore, because the state party rules permit county organizations to allocate any number of delegates, as long as they are at least twice the number of precincts, and uniformly apportioned within the county, a precinct delegate from one county might represent a vastly different number of voters (or caucus goers) than a precinct delegate from another, and thus might play a vastly greater or smaller role in ultimately selecting a delegate to the national convention.”

    Okay, that one has my head spinning. Are you saying that a county can select as many delegates it wants to the state convention, and all of them have a vote there? So much for “one man, one vote”. Surely I’m not reading it that way, otherwise some eastern Washington county could send ALL their republicans to the convention, thereby controlling the outcome?

  26. 28

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    You state your candidate preference at the outset, vie for delegate and alternate positions (there’s a slightly different process for electing alternates than there is delegates), get elected (or not) based upon who you support, and move on from there.

    But Poopyhead, this part: based upon who you support has been demonstrated to be an outright lie.

    The thing is, most of the folks who went to caucus for the GOP had no idea that the delegates are not apportioned according to the percentages of candidate’s supporters at the caucus. They assumed that since we live in a democracy, the process was democratic. It doesn’t help that the party doesn’t seem to post the caucus rules on the state website, just some of the county ones. Why is that?

    Well, I have two words for you, Poophead: Pat Robertson. It’s about time the fundies figured out they have been used by the GOP as complete tools. That Huckles is going to be the one to expose it is a delicious irony.

  27. 29

    correctnotright spews:

    @28: I am in no way a Huckabee supporter – but if I was, I would be steaming MAD. My votes don’t seem to count in Washinton state. The rules don’t enforce any kind of proportional voting for representatives. My vote would be ignored. No wonder Huckabee is angry. The WSRP declared McCain the winner based on – the right of the party to determine who the winner is (the votes (delegates slected per no rules)were not even finished. Also, with the chair of the best buddies with the AG (who is also Chair of the state McCain committee) it starts to look mighty fishy to me – and I imagine to Huckabees lawyers.

    Luckily the republican apologists on this site have set me right – Clinton did it too! Or see, the democrats made an error also (gee, errors are not deliberate obfuscations of undemocratic voting).

    If I was a republican in Washington I would be:
    Want to change the rules in Washington state

    But that would be the logical reaction. Instead, we have excuses, blame the democrats and attempts at justification.

    I wonder why the republicans in this state are going extinct? How many voted in the republican caucuses? I guess we can’t actually get that number – can we? Was it really less than 1/10th the numbers at the democratic caucus? Do we need to file an endangered species exemption for republicnas in this state?

  28. 30

    Rod S. spews:

    Nothing @14: Better not do that if you attended a Dem Caucus. On the ballot you have to sign an oath that you did not participate in another party’s nominating process – and the lists of caucus participants is public record for 60 days (I think) and you know the R’s are going to be comparing the list looking for D’s who voted in the R primary.

  29. 31

    rhp6033 spews:

    It seems that the current batch of Republicans pretty much came to power by first using dirty tricks within their own electoral process.

    Take, for example, Karl Rove. When the draft lottery was established, Rove held a student deferment from 1969-1971, despite being in school only part-time or withdrawing after first registering for classes. When the student deferments were abolished, he was mysteriously re-classified as 1-H “not currently subject to processing for induction”, a status he held until the draft was cancelled in June 1973.

    A hint behind the re-classification may be the position he took in June 1971 as a a full-time paid position as Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee. Rove then campaigned for Nixon’s re-election, and was a protoge’ of Donald Segretti (convicted Watergate plumber and co-conspirator). In early 1973 Rove left that job to campaign full-time for the position as National Chairman of the College Republican organization (making one wonder how can someone who was barely a college student at all, two and a half years previously, was qualified to lead a “College Republican” organization).

    But this is where Rove’s dirty tricks really got started.

    Rove was opposed by two candidates, one of whom (Dolan) withdrew to support the other (Edgeworth). Rather than risk an election he might lose, Rove came up with a “previously unknown” set of bylaws for the group, held his own convention with his own delegates, and annointed himself the winner. He challenged the credentials of those attending the regular convention, and the issue was submitted to the Chairman of the Republican Party for resolution – at the time, George H.W. Bush.

    Now this was all in the midst of the Watergate investigations, and the candidate who had withdrawn (Dolan) in favor of Rove’s opponant (Edgeworth) thought he should reveal the character of who Rove really was. So he anonymously sent the Washington Post some tapes which were made of some of the “training sessions” Rove held, where he advocated a number of dirty tricks to be used against the Democrats. The Nixon White House asked the F.B.I. to investigate, but the justice department didn’t prosecute anybody. Instead, they told the Justice Dept. who leaked the tapes to the Washington Post, and word got back to Bush that it was an Edgeworth supporter. Bush promptly wrote to Edgeworth telling him that Rove was determined to have won the election. Then Edgeworth, not knowing the background, wrote back to Bush asking for an explanation.

    “Not long after that, Edgeworth has said, “Bush sent me back the angriest letter I have ever received in my life. I had leaked to the Washington Post, and now I was out of the Party forever.”

  30. 32



    “…most of the folks who went to caucus for the GOP had no idea that the delegates are not apportioned according to the percentages of candidate’s supporters at the caucus.”

    You know this because??? Have you asked “most of the folks who went to caucus for the GOP?” Are are you pulling bupkis out of your hat?

    How “democratic” is the Dem Party process what with the super delegates and all??? Did you read the Frank Rich column about the stink that even now pervades your party? The odious efforts of HRC, et al, to abandon blacks in order to pit Latinos against them?

    Yo, Dems! How’s the politics of race hatred workin’ out for ya???

    Republicans in Washington have never subscribed to proportional representation, which you presume to be a given. You have your rules, and we have ours. That ours are different than yours doesn’t make them better or worse…it just makes them different.

    What is fascinating, however, is that the whole proportional representation (PR) thing has resulted in the current mess among Dems. You can’t get a winner because you refuse to say winner take all.

    If Dems continue to Denver split like this, it will get ugly. To those who claim HRC and BHO are friends, I have to ask what have you been smokin’? There are no friends in politics; it’s all about interests and power.

    HRC will do ANYTHING to get the nomination. BHO will do ANYTHING

  31. 34

    rhp6033 spews:

    So, is it fair to say that ALL the Republican delegates are essentially Superdelegates, since they aren’t bound in any way to vote for a particular candidate?

    I’ve participated in Democratic caucuses quite a few times, and the one thing I’ve noticed is that – nobody really knows the delegates who are selected. They may be “neighbors” from three blocks away, but you’ve never seen them before, even though they say they’ve been active in party politics. If there are no rules binding them to vote for a particular candidate, then how are we to trust that they will vote according to their stated preference?

  32. 35

    Sempersimper spews:

    Jesus Christ, the piper is still faunching about in here???

    How can you stand the stench?

    I thought he’d implode by now.

  33. 36

    Don spews:

    Pianist — something like:

    McCain 26%
    Huckabee 24%
    Paul 21%
    Romney 17%
    Uncommitted 12%

    An odd result, to be sure. Hope this helps.

  34. 37



    Inadvertently hit a key resulting in a post before I was finished…

    Anyway…Since when has PR been mandatory? That’s the way Dems do it, but it doesn’t mean everyone has to do it that way. When we vote for real come November, there will be no PR, only winner take all.

    Dems need to quit overlaying their rules on us. And taking advice from you birds on political stuff is like having Dr. Kevorkian as a family practice physician.

    And @28 your reference to Pat Robertson means what? I remember 1988 when his campaign swept the caucuses because they turned out the people to attend them. So? Welcome to grass roots ground game political activism. Isn’t that exactly what Dem campaigns sought to do this year?

    You chowderheads act as if all this is somehow new and scandalous when it’s as old as the hills and thrice as dusty. Big deal! What it tells me is that you have an extremely low threshold for anxiety and Chicken Little sky-is-falling hysteria and pretty thin levels of experience in Washington State grassroots politics.

    Where is it written we have to play by YOUR rules?

    The Piper

  35. 38

    Another TJ spews:


    It took you half an hour to come up with “don’t quit your day job?” That’s the quick wit from you we’ve all come to appreciate.

    But you seem a bit touchy about this subject. It’s easy to see why, given the corruption plaguing your party. I won’t rub it in too much.

    And to answer your questions, no and no.

  36. 39

    rhp6033 spews:

    PS @ 32: Actually, this situation demonstrates a real problem within the Republican “Winner Takes All” system. It makes it possible for a candidate to influence the entire election (nomination) process by focusing their efforts on only a small area, and a small number of votes. It’s virtually impossible to steal an election, even a close one, if you have to manufacture or cancel votes by the hundreds of thousands. But if all you have to do is change a few hundred votes in one state (or even one county within a state), then it is entirely possible.

    It was the same problem revealed in Florida in the 2000 election, and in Ohio in 2004. It’s no wonder the Republicans like the “winner take all” system.

    The Democratic system of proportional representation may be a bit more messy, but it is certainly much fairer.

  37. 40

    Richard Pope spews:

    What Goldy still hasn’t posted yet — is how PATHETICALLY SMALL the overall GOP caucus turnout really was. Maybe 20,000 statewide, as compared to nearly 300,000 on the Democratic side.

    It is much safer for the state GOP to post the candidate preference of precinct delegates, instead of caucus attendees. If they posted the preferences of caucus attendees, it would be easy to see that only 20,000 people attended the caucus statewide. But by posting preferences of precinct delegates, this obscures the true facts and permits an illusion that large numbers might have attended.

    In most areas, the vast majority of caucus attendees were chosen as precinct delegates. Mainly because there were an average of only 3 voters attending the GOP caucus in any given precinct. And many precinct delegate positions went unfilled due to the lack of voters to fill them.

    For example, King County had at least 5,881 precinct delegate positions — (2,548 precincts x 2) + 785 automatic PCO delegates. But only 4,195 precinct delegates were selected, with at least 1,686 delegate positions going vacant due to the lack of voters attending the caucus. So there were far more unfilled delegate positions in King County, than were received by the purported winner John McCain, who got 1,321 delegates.

  38. 41

    Fnarf spews:

    It would just be nice if you could play by SOME rules.

    McCain came away with more delegates in counties where he had fewer voters. How’s that happen?

  39. 42

    rhp6033 spews:

    Actually, I couldn’t care less who the Republicans nominate, or how they do it, other than idle curiousity. They are going to lose in November 2008 anyway, as long as they don’t successfully steal the election.

    But given the loud campaign the Republicans raised against the King County vote counting process in the 2004 election, we can’t help but having a bit of fun, at the Republican expense.

  40. 43

    rhp6033 spews:

    RP at 40: In fairness, I would point out that Republicans believed that the caucus would select 1/2 of the delegates, and the other 1/2 would be selected according to the primary. A lot of Republicans might have mistakenly felt that they had to choose between one or the other, or they might feel that voting in the primary is sufficient to satisfy their duties to the Party.

    The Democrats, on the other hand, knew the caucus was the only method which counted, which would have driven more to attend.

    I guess we can tell if this has an effect if we look at how many will actually vote in the Republican primary next week.

    But comparisons between the Republican and Democratic primary votes will be meaningless, because the Democrats know that their primary votes won’t be used to select delegates, so participation in the Democratic primary will be relatively low.

  41. 44

    YLB spews:

    The stench of desperation hangs in the air. Pooper’s olfactory sense fails him for the odor’s origin is his own stinkin’ comments.

    Your party is hopelessly authoritarian Poopster. Christmas Ghost blurted in an earlier thread, “Why bother going to caucuses. The nominee’s been selected.” Indeed. IIRC Mitt Romney only suspended his campaign. If Romney supporters want to go to the convention, they should go to support who they believe will do the best job. Let Romney make the case for McCain before he himself hands his delegates over in the interests of his party.

    But no, Pooper is convinced that poor delegate from his precinct will cave long before the convention in accordance with the wishes of boss Esser the Suppressor, boss McKenna and boss Pooper the party boss’ loyal lapdog.

  42. 45


    RHP @27,

    No. Each county’s collective representation at the state convention is roughly proportional. And within each county, each precinct’s representation at the county convention is roughly proportional. But because precinct size varies by county, as does the number of delegates per GOP voter, a precinct delegate in one county might represent a vastly different number of people than a precinct in another.

    For example, let’s say you have two counties, each with 10,000 registered voters, and each with 100 precincts, and both having roughly the same GOP turnout. County A allocates 200 precinct delegates (plus automatic delegates), the minimum required by the rules. But County B allocates 800 precinct delegates, because it really likes a party.

    The holy rollers in County A really go for Huckabee 75% to 25%, giving him 150 delegates to McCain’s 50 County B modestly favors McCain 60% to 40%, giving him 480 delegates to Huckabee’s 320. Luke Esser counts the number of delegates elected that day and reports McCain the winner by a comfortable margin of 530 to 420, when in fact Huckabee was the stated preference of many more caucus goers across the two counties, and the likely impact on national delegate selection is an even split.

    The value of precinct delegates are simply not comparable from county to county.

  43. 46

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    @32: We aren’t talking about the Dems process here. So I’ll burn that strawman down right now. Like it or not, at least the rules were clear to all Dems.

    Now, to the point: My comment was based on what was posted relating to the ‘rules’ for selecting delegates in the GOP caucuses. My points were 1) there is nothing in the rules that obligates the apportionment of delegates as a percentage of a candidate’s supporters 2) since the rules were not transparent (or apparently known) to the caucus participants, what you have is a party run by Boss Hog. It isn’t an exercise in democracy, as participants (according to many news stories) were expecting.

    I’m sorry that these are not facts you want to deal with. Instead of pointing fingers at how the Dems do things, don’t you think you should be showing up to WSRP headquarters with torches and pitchforks? Probably not, since you are supporting the approved candidate. But I’m pretty sure there are some Huckabee and Paul supporters who think you are full of crap!

  44. 47

    Tlazolteotl spews:


    The GOP changed their caucus rules and don’t publicize them exactly because of Pat Robertson’s win. You see, the fundies make the GOP look like a bunch of nuts to the rest of the voters in the state. Even the GOP would like to use them to get out the ‘base’ in November, but what they don’t want is for the fundies to have any meaningful say in the selection of the candidate – because the corporate wing knows that candidates that the fundies like don’t have a wide appeal to the general electorate. A lot of fundies in this state are just now figuring out how they are getting used by the GOP. Now, I may not think too highly of their superstitions, but obviously the corporate GOP thinks fundies are far more stupid than I do, because I don’t think they will be willing to accept this state of affairs, especially since they find the corporate candidate so completely unacceptable.

  45. 48

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Why should I even have to explain this, anyway? Christ in a corndog, some people are deliberately dumb.

  46. 49

    Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean spews:


    Searching for “Rossi” and “2004 fraud allegations” yields 0 hits.

    Doesn’t anyone else see the irony?

  47. 50

    Richard Pope spews:

    Sylvester @ 49

    Using the Google to simply search for “2004 fraud allegations” doesn’t get many results either. The only thing mentioned is some vote-by-mail fraud in Birmingham, England — apparently 20,000 fake postal voters had been registered, and then removed after an investigation. The search term you used is simply too specific to get very many results at all.

  48. 51



    Sweety, I’m one of those “fundies” you so scornfully condescend to. Half those in attendence at my caucus were likewise “fundies,” but we had zero problems, an amicable gathering and everyone had the fullest possible opportunity to speak their piece.

    For you to contend that the GOP “uses” one element of its base is pretty hypocritical given how your party manuevers and pits one ethnic group against another. I encourage you to read and take to heart the Frank Rich column Puddy and I have mentioned repeatedly.

    Here’s another link to it:

    Unless and until Dems run pristine pure operations without even a hint of dirty politics and stop operating from the baser instincts, please do not lecture me on how we do it.

    You’re looking to manufacture issues by viewing things through your very left lens. And your snarky characterization of Republicans illustrates how genuinely dumb you are about us.

    You hear me poke fun at you guys – you are a target rich environment – for your excesses and goofy ideology, but you don’t hear me charactize the constituent elements of your party the way you do mine. That I regard political parties as amalgams of individuals rather than unalterable members of iron-clad groups (blacks, Latinos, Gay/Lesbian/Transgender/Bi-Gender/Goat-Gender/AlienLifeForm-Gender, hairy-armpitted feminists, hairy-legged feminists, hairy-faced feminists, metrosexuals, metronaturals, metromartinets, eunuchs, dope fiends, and assorted CommiePinkoBedwetters – Don’t like my characterizations, do you???) is something you ought to take into consideration.

    Democrats always seem bound by their groups, while Republicans start from them and form alliances to build coaltions. Heaven help the Democrat – Joe Lieberman – who strays from this orthodoxy and fails to chant the appropriate mantra.

    You got your own share of troubles, and the solution to them is something to which you should attend before you wag your pretty little finger at me and scold me for sins we all have in common.

    The Piper

  49. 53

    Richard Pope spews:

    Piper Scott @ 51

    Piper sez: “Half those in attendence at my caucus were likewise “fundies,” …”

    So I guess that means your precinct caucus was attended by yourself, your wife, and two other people?

  50. 54

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    @51: You got your own share of troubles, and the solution to them is something to which you should attend before you wag your pretty little finger at me and scold me for sins we all have in common.

    Fine. You don’t want to address why the GOP feels they have to hide their caucus rules from participants, and why they don’t feel obligated to apportion delegates in what any sane person would understand as a democratic manner, that’s fine. If you want to call me a hairy lesbian I’m fine with that too. I guess there isn’t anything left to discuss, since you have all the ‘answers’!

    “The GOP is just fine! Look over there! It’s a hairy lesbian feminist OMGWTFBBQ!”

  51. 55

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @10 Great pulp fiction. With a little more practice you could sell mimeographed copies of your “work” from a corner at the Pike Place Market.

  52. 57

    michael cathcart spews:

    you guys are complaining that GOP caucus goers didn’t know the rules, but I would contend that atleast 95% of Ron Paul supporters knew the rules. In Spokane we have been going over them for months. If you care about your candidate you go prepared, understanding the rules and knowing what kind of fraud to look out for.

  53. 58

    Sara spews:

    To Ron Paul supporters: I guess everybody’s got to have a cause. Is your district represented by Ron Paul? Mine is, that man hasn’t done anything in office in years. He hasn’t even co-authored a bill. Give me a break. Go do your homework and research. Ron Paul is a joke! When I first heard he was running for President, I couldn’t stop laughing. I can’t stand our President but I know he’s done more in 8 years than Ron Paul has done in his entire time in Congress!

  54. 59


    56, McCain was born a citizen of the United States, even though he was born in Panama (the Canal Zone). He did not have to be naturalized. Therefore, he is eligible. There’s plenty wrong with McCain’s candidacy without making up false scandals.

  55. 60

    BH voter spews:

    Yawn. What a boring life it must be, be retired and have nothing better to do that respond to blog posts all day (Piper, Roger R., et al). On any string, when I see your third or fourth post, I know it’s time to click off and move on.

  56. 61

    michael cathcart spews:

    hey Sara – Paul was named one of the 50 most influential congressman just a couple of years ago, and by the way he’s authored more legislation than just about any other in todays congress. He only puts forth Constitutional legislation and thus rarely makes it out of committee.

  57. 62

    tickoff'd GOP spews:

    It’s not about being a republican or could have just as easily happened to the democrats..and in the past has happened.

    The GOP did hide the rules from those who attended! There was NO PUBLISHED rules at the caucus I went to..when we asked questions no one could give us an answer..we even had the state committeewoman and national committeeman at our location.

    I don’t care what the rules are as long as they aren’t hidden and people know what they are and can show me IN WRITING what the rules are. It’s not right that you need to be a “rocket scientist” or a political hack in order to have your voice be heard and your preference to be known.

  58. 63

    Mike in Seattle spews:

    desperation indeed. no poopster, you’re not poking fun here. you’re attempting to puff yourself up like that pipsqueak hannity, and call names, and desperately try to change the subject. this strategery is clear, (mondale 84? i almosst peed my pants! OH THE HUMANITY!) but i still cant understand why you pathetically loyal “useful idiots” work so hard to defend their “right” to deprive you a voice in what you claim is your own party. are you one of those wingers that gets paid ten cents a comment for posts to dem/left blogs? you seem like the kinda person that would sell out democracy for such a fee. well, youve earned your 50 cents today. now go lay down.