WA caucus and primary poll

SurveyUSA just published results of a primary and caucus poll in Washington state.

On the Republican side McCain leads with 40% support, and Romney is a distant second at 26%. Huckabee gets 17% and Paul shares 9% with the undecideds. (Yeah…there is probably an anti-Paul conspiracy involved in these results. Right.)

Obama leads the Democratic field with 53% to Clinton’s 40%.

Given (1) the fluidity of the Democratic race, (2) the fact that Super Tuesday comes before next Saturday’s Washington Caucus, (3) that polls–which assume statistical independence among respondents–don’t represent social processes like caucuses very well, and (4) that the poll excluded independents, I won’t be placing (or taking) any bets on the outcome. Even so, Sen. Obama must be happy with Washington state right now.

Personally, I don’t really care what the outcome is. I see great, if different, strengths in either of the Democratic front-runners.

Who plans on participating? About 26% of those questioned said they would participate in their party caucuses. But when subdivided by party, 28% of Democrats said they will participate in their caucus versus 22% of Republicans.

Overall, 88% said they would participate in the primary election, including 91% of Republicans and 86% of Democrats. The Democratic primary counts for almost nothing (except bragging rights for the winner, I suppose), whereas the Republican primary will determine about half the delegates.

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part, but the higher planned participation by Democrats in the caucuses and the surprisingly high planned participation by Democrats in a meaningless primary election sure makes it look like the Democrats have the edge in enthusiasm.

(The more detailed poll cross-tabs are given here.)


  1. 1

    Phil spews:

    The significant numbers are amongst those who say they plan on attending the caucus: Romney 37%, McCain 30%, Paul 20%, Huckabee 9% and Obama 59%, Clinton 37%

    Obama should have a very good Saturday here

  2. 2


    We will be there and will caucus for Sen.Obama. Dodd was the first choice, Edwards the next. But we are fine with this choice. Even more than fine.

    The Democrat Office at 2nd and Cherry has swag. The Broderick building, 5th floor.

  3. 3


    Barbara and I will go to the caucus and campaigned for the Democrat from Kenya and Kansas on Sunday.

    I hate the caucus mechanism but will go out of my support for Obama.

    FWIW, here is an effort at objective comparison of the two Dems:



    older, first female, experienced politician, obvious widely knowledgeable, large cotrerie.

    Bush problem she will deal with best:

    The next President will need to hire and fire thousands of people in a short time. Hillary and Bill have ahuge machine in place to accomplish this.


    overly conscius of gender as an issue, never lected to office until a Presidential wife, despite hype, limited actual record of accomplishments. Difficult ties to powers that be, including her own husband, Weak positions of education, foreign affairs. No obvious talent as a writer.

    Bush problem least likely to be solved

    Restoring foreign prestige. Although Hillary is well known,
    her choices of foreign policy advisers (Albright, Magaziner) are very unimpressive and her comments on foreign policy lack new initiatives,



    Highly intelligent, great skills at using advisers, write own speeches, charismatic. Strong stabds on issue of school reform. Possibility of emerging as World Celebrity/leader. Unque chance of uniting white and black America,

    Bush issue most likley to be solved
    Obama seems to have all of Reagan’s ability to sell himself but without the Reagan crime ganjag behind him. Thsi could quickly change our workd image and help the poeple accept needed sacrifices.


    Not well known or experiences ion the nternational scene, Sammele contact list thyan Clinton.

    Possible Bush issue he will not respove

    Does BHO have enought of a circle to refill the White House?

    Why I am for Obama:

    1. He moves me, makes mke proud.
    2. I like hois stands on Iraq, schools.
    3. Bill Clinotn’s behavior in SC bothered me. Can HRC control him?

  4. 4

    Richard Pope spews:

    The survey only shows presidential preferences of people identifying themselves as Democrats and Republicans overall, as opposed to the presidential preferences of people actually planning to participate in the precinct caucuses.

    And even the percentage of people who say they will attend the precinct caucus is bound to be grossly exaggerated. Let’s see. 1,026 people identified themselves as registered voters. 409 said they were Republicans. 22% of these Republicans say they will attend the precinct caucus. That is 90 Republicans planning to attend, out of 1,026 registered voters contacted — basically 9% of all registered voters who say they will attend the Republican caucuses.

    Okay, we had 3,288,642 registered voters in this state for the 2007 general election. Does anyone seriously think that over 295,000 people will be attending the Republican precinct caucuses? I doubt that even half that number will attend.

  5. 5

    Richard Pope spews:

    Phil @ 1

    I didn’t see those numbers in the cross-tabs. Where can I find them? I posted my comment @ 4 without the benefit of your statistics.

    I was going to devote this post to a prediction that Mitt Romney would win the Republican precinct caucuses in Washington. Romney’s supporters are highly motivated to vote in the caucuses. Other Republicans are far more apathetic — remember what happened in Nevada.

    Although I must confess that I had no idea that the cross-tabs of this survey would actually show Romney ahead among likely caucus goers. Since actual attendance will probably only be 150,000 or less, instead of 300,000, I will predict that Romney beats McCain by at least 15 points in the Washington Republican caucuses.

  6. 6

    Richard Pope spews:

    Phil @ 1

    Okay, I missed it! The intended caucus attendee column is to the right — between College Grad and intended primary voter. Never mind :)

  7. 7

    Richard Pope spews:

    And I don’t think the Democratic caucus attendance will be anywhere near the more than 516,000 (575/1,206×28%x3,288,642) predicted by the Survey USA poll. On the other hand, I expect that Democratic turnout will be at least twice the Republican turnout, perhaps even over three times as much. Remember Nevada …

  8. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It also looks like more Democrats than Republicans will be choosing which candidate gets Washington’s GOP delegates, because Democrats with any brains will vote in the Republican primary. The Democratic primary chooses no delegates and therefore counts for nothing and only a fool would throw away his precious vote on a meaningless “beauty contest” when he can use that vote to keep a warmonger from getting Washington’s GOP delegates.

    I’m a Romney vote on Feb. 19. I’m gonna be a Republican for a whole fucking day. I’ll probably wake up Feb. 20 with one hell of a headache, but if it prevents a war against Iran, it’ll be worth it.

  9. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @3 Hey cousin, you forget to mention that Obama wants to reach out to Republicans and work with them, which means they’re going to roll him like Hitler rolled Chamberlain at Munich.

  10. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    When I go to my caucus, I’m going to vote for the bitch in combat boots because I think that’s what we need to purge this country of the Republican cancer.

  11. 11

    Richard Pope spews:

    Here are the oaths that people have to sign to vote in the precinct caucuses or presidential primary:

    o Democratic Party: I declare that I consider myself to be a DEMOCRAT and I will not participate in the nomination process of any other political party for the 2008 Presidential election.

    o Republican Party: I declare that I am a member of the Republican Party and I have not participated and will not participate in the 2008 precinct caucus or convention system of any other party.


  12. 12

    Richard Pope spews:

    So technically, a person could vote in the Republican precinct caucuses on February 9 and in the Democratic primary on February 19 without violating the Democratic oath. The Democratic oath only talks about the FUTURE tense, while the Republican oath covers both the PAST and FUTURE tenses.

  13. 13

    Richard Pope spews:

    John McCain’s platform:

    1. Invade everybody
    2. Invite everybody
    3. In hock to everybody

  14. 14


    @10 Dear Nephew Roger

    I am sorry to hear you have such urges.

    There is a family history of Humanophilia in our Toonbits. Rememberthat curvy Jessica babe in tuir (only) movie? As the elder lagamorph, I think you should consider carefully before copulating with that one.

    Brack, while a human, does have intriguingly large ears and looks a lot better eating a sacramental carrot than does Hillbary.

    Of course, I can understand your enthusiasm for Hillary. If she has the same attitudes as her hubby she likely will fill the cabinet with mice and cabbages. More than that, liley thgey will be lady cabbages and mouses.

    Hillary does mix well with mice.

    BHO, si well .. ampore of a leader. hard to see him wanting mice in the cabinet, I suspect he is more lkiley to choose some rell toghies .. ya know a rig and a stallion or two?

    lagamorph in this

  15. 15

    PassionateJus spews:


    Yes yes we do sign an oath when we vote in the primaries. But how the hell does anyone know which party I voted for?

    Since the primary ballot has both parties’ nominees on the ballot. Couldn’t I just as easily caucus for the Democrats on the 9th and then vote for a Republican on the 19th?

  16. 16

    PassionateJus spews:

    Part of the reason why I’m caucusing for Clinton:

    She is a stronger candidate than Obama because she has been tested so many times — and yet she has always prevailed! Whereas Obama has never been tested on the national level.

    He’s a good public speaker but that’s about it. He doesn’t have enough experience and I think that he will get clobbered when the Republican attack machine gets going.

    The GOP can’t attack Clinton — at least not for anything new.

    What are they going to attack her for?

    Whitewater? Please, the public thought that was a witchhunt and actually elected more Democrats in 1998, a year that historically should have been Republican.

    Standing by her husband when he fooled around? This gives her sympathy in most American’s eyes. What, she should have divorced him? Yeah that’s morality for ya. Sad to say but studies have shown that the majority of Americans cheat at one time or another.

    Trying to reform the health care system? Yeah most Americans are now in support of health care reform.

    What do we know about Obama? He’s been a Senator for three years. Before that he was in the Illinois State Senate for 7 years. He’s a good speaker and a decent writer. He’s never ran for public office nationwide. His opponent in 2004 was Alan Keyes (yeah that’s a tough race).

    Clinton of course has been through several national campaigns as well as state wide elections in both the South and the Northeast. She had a real election in 2000 and she won only by campaigning hard in every county of New York, especially in Republican counties. She is known for winning over her opponents by campaigning aggresively in Republican areas. She started out her public life not by being the First Lady of Arkansas but by being a member of the impeachment inquiry staff of the House Committee on the Judiciary back in 1974.

    There’s not too many differences between the two candidates policy wise. They are both moderate Democrats, slightly left of center. The real differences involve experience, both in government and in political campaigns. I’ll take the known over the unknown this time around. Because she is tough, I’m caucusing for Hillary Clinton on February 9th.



    By the way I was originally for NM Gov Bill Richardson. Obviously experience matters more to me than platitudes about hope.

  17. 17

    Richard Pope spews:

    PassionateJus @ 11

    I wondered about that myself, especially with mail ballots, which are placed in a separate unsigned security envelope that goes inside the outer envelope that the voter signs with the party declaration.

    However, the election rules adopted by the Secretary of State require that the inner security envelopes must be sorted according to the voter’s party declaration before they are opened. And they will not be counted to the extent that they are marked for the wrong party’s candidate.

    So if you sign the Democratic declaration, but vote for a Republican candidate, it will not be counted. Because your inner security envelope will be presumably marked or sorted as Democratic when it is taken from the outer signed envelope. And whatever procedure is used at the county level, Republican votes are not to be counted on these ballots. (Presumably the inner security envelope is marked Democratic, and then the ballot itself is marked Democratic when it is removed for counting).


  18. 18

    Broadway Joe spews:

    Yessiree, Popemeister. Remember Nevada indeed. We were expecting about a 16% turnout, and got well over 20%, and close to 25% in many areas.

    Here’s a hint: bring extra preference cards and blank paper for when the cards run out. I only managed to get by because we had a stash of cards that were printed in Spanish. It wasn’t much of a problem though, because “Obama” and “Clinton” looked just the same no matter the language the card was printed in. I’d prepare for as much as 150% as what the surveys project. Better to be overprepared than underprepared.

  19. 19

    Dutch spews:

    Furball in 8: I’m voting Romney
    in 10…I’m voting Hillary

    who cares about:
    o Democratic Party: I declare that I consider myself to be a DEMOCRAT and I will not participate in the nomination process of any other political party for the 2008 Presidential election.

    o Republican Party: I declare that I am a member of the Republican Party and I have not participated and will not participate in the 2008 precinct caucus or convention system of any other party.


    to typical

  20. 21

    Mark The Redneck-Rabbit spews:

    “I see great, if different, strengths in either of the Democratic front-runners.”

    Ummm…. can you name one “strength” that either of them has? I think he’s a bigger marxist than she is, but is that a “strength”?

    I’m still waiting for one of them to give a speech about free markets, smaller government, the Constitution, and individual liberty.

  21. 22

    JamesA spews:

    I will attend my first ever causus on Saturday for Obama, and will be bringing at least four other like minded neighbors with me.

    One question I have for any political experts out there: If Washington State Democrats select Obama by a decent margin, will our super-delegates, Patty and Maria, change thier vote and back Obama, or tow the Emily’s List line and back Hillary all the way to the convention? Just curious if they will or have to actually represent the people that elected them, or if they can just blow us off.

  22. 23



    And when will a Repticran give a speech about:

    free markets …….. you mean like oil? healthcare?
    smaller governement…. as in Bush???
    Constitution … as in Florida? first amendment?
    individual liberty … as in sodomy, free speachy, warrants,

    Face it:

    Tom Jeff, Andy Jackson, Abe Lincoln … would today be Dems.

    Washington, Adams, DEouglas, Hovver … they MIGHT be Federalists but they sure as hell would not follow the current elephant droppings.

    IF the Reprican party survives Novemeber, it will undergo a reform that is going to be very trocky .. a return to Feedraliam? That makes sense but a lot of fundies and war harks are NOT going to be compfrtable with the strict patriotism of Mr. Adams.

    If anything, Obama, may turn HIS party into a neofederalist party, leaving the Reps tp be the party of no clear philosophy.

  23. 24

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    JamesA: You missed the Maria CantThinkWell positive commentary on Heilary this past weekend didn’t you?

    I liked what Oprah said about the feminazis!

  24. 25

    JamesA spews:

    Mark @21 –

    I would say that both Obama and Clinton have the strength and wisdom to know that torture undermines our basic American values, results in unreliable information and puts our troops at greater risk in our current war. This is one of the “no-duh” strengths that I find hard to understand how the Republicans can even be debating, but that just goes to show you how far they have sunk.

    Any coward can toss out this type of basic value at the first sign of danger in the world, and that is exactly what the Republican party has come to represent… a bunch of cowards living in fear.

  25. 26

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    Bugs Bunny:

    You mean, Hubert Humphrey and John Fitzgerald Kennedy would be Republicans with the knee-jerk far left movement of the democrat party (1900s based NEW Progressive Democrat Party Heilary Clinton July 2007).

  26. 27

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    As long as it’s not Hillary in 2008, it doesn’t matter. It wold give me great satisfaction to see her political career end.

  27. 28

    THE Puddybud The Prognosticator... spews:

    JamesA: Heilery said the troops stay in Iraq until 2013.

    Google it smart guy!

  28. 30


    Politically (and factually) Incorrect sez:

    As long as it’s not Hillary in 2008, it doesn’t matter. It wold give me great satisfaction to see her political career end.

    If Hillary Clinton does not become the Democratic presidential nominee, or if she is nominated and (FSM forbid) loses in November, she will still be a distinguished Senator from the state of New York.

  29. 31

    Windie spews:

    now, once again its time to yell at the stupid, autocratic parties and tell them to either get off the public tit for their primaries or give us our open primary back.

    I know you guys don’t like people actually taking part in the process, but you can’t have it both ways!

    PS: While we’re at it, lets do all the primaries on the same day. New Hampshire can blow me.

  30. 32


    Not only will I be participating in my caucus on Saturday, as the PCO I’ll be leading it. We’ll elect 10 delegates to the LD caucus on April 5.

    And not only will I be leading my precinct caucus on Saturday, I’ll be the Area Coordinator for the six precinct caucuses, totaling 43 delegates among them, at my site.

    I’m still contemplating my decision on a presidential preference. I initially backed Chris Dodd, then generally preferred John Edwards. At this point, I’m still considering signing in as Uncommitted; if there are too few of those to earn a delegate, I’ll probably switch to Obama for strategic (i.e. ABH) reasons. Alternatively, I might cut out the middleman and sign in for Obama.

    Do I want to become an LD delegate? Maybe, though it’s not a really strong desire. It’ll be interesting to see whether there’s a fever among the more-convinced-than-I to be elected as delegates. That was certainly the case four years ago, when the precinct had only 4 delegates and a dozen of us wanted to become one of the 3 Dean delegates.

  31. 33


    Windie bloviates:

    now, once again its time to yell at the stupid, autocratic parties and tell them to either get off the public tit for their primaries or give us our open primary back.

    Don’t blame the parties for this primary. Well, maybe the Republicans, but they’re just pandering by picking half of their delegates through the primary. For the Democrats, the silly, wasteful primary is absolutely and completely meaningless. The WA Dems argued against holding the primary, but the Secretary of State ruled otherwise.

    Thus, the blame for the presidential primary rests directly on the shoulders of Sam Reed. He’s the one who’s wasting our money by running the presidential primary. His goal is to confuse Washingtonians with it, just as he endeavors to make the caucus process appear more confusing and complicated than it actually is. That’s because, like you, he’s deeply nostalgic for unconstitutional activities.

    BTW, you mean blanket primary, not open. It’s bad enough that pranksters can screw up an open primary by voting for the “wrong” party, but even worse (and both unconstitutional and incredibly ridiculous) that Washington used to allow voters to bounce back and forth among parties on the very same ballot.

  32. 34

    Puddybud, A Prognosticator... spews:

    I guess this isn’t a free country per a lefty musician.


    “At some recent John McCain campaign rallies, John Mellencamp’s “Our Country” and “Pink Houses” have been booming out over the speakers. Uplifting heartland rock must have seemed like a smart pick, but there’s just one problem: Mellencamp is an ardent Democrat. And, until recently, he supported John Edwards – who had been playing “Our Country” and “Small Town” at his rallies. Mellencamp hasn’t yet made a public response, but his reps are quietly reaching out to McCain and asking him to stop playing his tunes.”

    Fair use and copy left to the URL holder above.

  33. 35

    Puddybud, A Prognosticator... spews:

    How many people in the WA caucus and primary are being politically swayed by MSNBC?

    LANNY DAVIS: I certainly read the polls that she’s ahead in many states, tied in many states, and the national gap is tightening. But these are two great candidates and I’m not surprised. But I did want to start the show by thanking you, Tucker. You’re about the only show on MSNBC that consistently allows a Clinton perspective to be expressed.

  34. 36

    Upton spews:

    Got my ballot yesterday. Even though it doesn’t mean anything, have already voted for Obama. Be interesting to see how things shake out tonight.

    Hope all the enthusiasm translates into a victory in Nov.

  35. 37

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    N in Seattle sez:

    “If Hillary Clinton does not become the Democratic presidential nominee, or if she is nominated and (FSM forbid) loses in November, she will still be a distinguished Senator from the state of New York.”

    Yeah, she’d still be the (un)distinguished senator from New York, but it would be the end of her goal to be prez. And that would just gall the shit out of her!

    And that would make me very, very happy!

    As long as it’s not Hillary in 2008, I don’t care who gets elected.

  36. 38

    delbert spews:

    @8 – Roger – Thanks for voting Romney in the R primary.

    I’ll be declaring “D for the day” on Saturday to vote for Obama.

    McCain vs. Clinton is the worst possible outcome. Two people with little qualifications to be president other than a burning desire to tell other people what to do.

  37. 40

    Puddybud, A Prognosticator... spews:

    Reading some of the liberal commenters on this board, they prove my point. Damn the WA State democrat rules, we’re liberals we know what’s right for this country and screw the WA State processes. I’ll do what I damn well please!

  38. 41

    proud leftist spews:

    Puddy @ 34: “I guess this isn’t a free country per a lefty musician.”

    Do you honestly believe that a songwriter’s request that a politician, whom the songwriter does not respect, stop using his songs at campaign rallies is anti-freedom? Your lunacy knows no bounds at times. I believe it is dishonest for McCain to use Mellencamp songs at his rallies when Mellencamp is a well-known Democrat. Of course, dishonesty is an essential trait for any viable Republican politician.

  39. 42

    Richard Pope spews:

    This just in — Mike Huckabee wins West Virginia Republican convention, after McCain throws his support to Huckabee. Mitt Romney had the strongest support in West Virginia, with Huckabee in second place and John McCain in third place. So McCain threw his support to Huckabee in order to prevent a Romney victory.


  40. 43

    YLB spews:

    Way to go Huck Norris!

    I’d love to see it come down to McCain vs. Huck. That Romney stinks to high heaven of phoniness, will say anything for a vote and he’s got Saint Ronnie Raygun Tourettes something awful.

    Huck is a fraud too just not quite as stinky.

    Yep, it’s the greedheads gritting their teeth and going with McCain and the Christianist Reconstructionist theocratic rapturists being show the door once again – only this time, on election day, they’re going to stay home.

    I love it!

  41. 44

    correctnotright spews:

    @33: Good points – it is time to vote out the pathetic republican secretary of State Sam Reed – he is wasting our money on an unnessary primary.
    Not only that – a lot pf people in WA state are confused about the whole thing and the pathetic local rags (I mean the Seattle times and PI) haven’t helped at all – instead we have big pictures of snow or football players on the front page….
    How about some real information to actually inform people! No wonder we have one of the lowest voting rates in the world! We get the government we pay for….or I should say the corporations pay for…

  42. 45

    Puddybud, A Prognosticator... spews:

    Proud Leftist – What I said was lunacy? Why isn’t McCain free to play what he chooses? He can say screw you Mellencamp too.

  43. 46

    proud leftist spews:

    I suppose it doesn’t surprise me that you don’t respect an artist’s intellectual property. While what McCain is doing isn’t copywright infringement, it does lack integrity. McCain’s use of an artist’s product for his own purposes, knowing that such use is inconsistent with the artist’s wishes, does not speak well of McCain. He should use music in the public domain or music written by a Republican (of course, there is precious little of that because composing music requires creativity and Republicans are a bit short in that category).

  44. 47



    Didn’t St. Ronnie stop playing Born in the USA when Bruce objected?

    Of course, no one in the Republican party actually listened to the song before “borrowing” it:

    Born in the USA

    Born down in a dead man’s townThe first kick I took was when I hit the groundYou end up like a dog that’s been beat too muchTill you spend half your life just covering up

    Born in the USAI was born in the USAI was born in the USABorn in the USA

    Got in a little hometown jam so they put a rifle in my handSent me off to a foreign land to go and kill the yellow man

    Born in the USAI was born in the USAI was born in the USABorn in the USA

    Come back home to the refineryHiring man says “Son if it was up to me”Went down to see my V.A. manHe said “Son don’t you understand now”

    I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off the Viet CongThey’re still there he’s all goneHe had a woman he loved in SaigonI got a picture of him in her arms now

    Down in the shadow of the penitentiaryOut by the gas fires of the refineryI’m ten years burning down the roadNowhere to run ain’t got nowhere to go

    Born in the USAI was born in the USABorn in the USAI’m a long gone Daddy in the USABorn in the USABorn in the USABorn in the USAI’m a cool rocking Daddy in the USA

  45. 49

    Forest Fox spews:

    Richard Pope (17),

    You presume that the Secretary of State’s rules will be followed. They probably will be in 38 counties of the 39 counties, but King county will do what it wants as it suits their objectives and will do it impunity. If they need to count cross-party ballots to give the election to McCain, they almost certainly will. (Of course, they could always just give a bunch of ballots to the counters to fill out too.) With vote by mail, who would ever know? Remember the 2004 Gubernatorial race? King county is notoriously corrupt and has done nothing substantial to change that image, in fact, just the opposite: vote by mail makes vote fraud even easier. There is a serious lack of accountability there.

  46. 50

    G. in Maple Valley spews:

    My daughter and I are both independents, and my mother has always been a registered republican, but tomorrow we’re all signing the pledge as democrats to caucus for Obama because of that poll. Knowing the primary is meaningless and seeing the low percentage that plan to show at the caucus, we want to do our part to try to get the person we feel is the better candidate on the ballot.

    (Well, actually Mom is ABH, but what the heck…)