Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Open Caucus and Primaries are bad

The buzz today is about the Des Moines Register Poll showing Obama with a lead in the Iowa Caucus. The poll was supposedly the best over the last 2 election cycles. This time the assumptions are that 45% of the vote will be from independents (40) and Republicans (5). In that group, Obama wins overwhelmingly. Among Democrats, in the DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS, Hillary is winning by 6 points.

I doubt if Democrats would be such a small percentage of their own vote , especially with a contested Republican race. But even if the DMR poll is right, the question is should those who aren't committed party members decide for those who are who the nominee will be?
Absolutely not!
We have a great system for electing a President. Democrats get together and nominate who they think is best for them. Republicans likewise. Other parties and independents have the same opportunity. THEN, both parties compete for all votes.
The party system is the backbone of our democracy because it is not possible or practical to recreate coalitions each election or during each crisis. There needs to be a leadership system that can make our politics work, rather than having hundreds of individuals pursuing their own agenda. If independents and Republicans can vote in the Democratic nomination process and have no allegiance to the party then the race would weaken the idea of party. Candidates can make general claims and ignore the party faithful who do the tough and necessary work. Think of local officials and officeholders who would have their power usurped by an influx independent and Republican votes. Think of the activists on particular issues who woud be devalued because a group of indepedents liked someone for a day. It will be great if the Democratic Party is converting so many people that 45% of them weren't Democrats yesterday but now are today, and will work with us tomorrow. But the truth is, these same independents are the ones who respond to Swift Boat Ads and other fads and vote Republican or Independent later.
The rule should be that you must sign an affidavit swearing that you intend to vote for the Democratic Nominee, EVEN IF IT'S NOT YOUR CANDIDATE in the November election. To put some teeth into it, the state should pass a law saying that you can't switch parties for purposes of a Primary within a 3 year period. This means if you vote in the Democratic Primary or Caucus for President, then you can't vote in the Republican Senate Primary coming up in the next two years. Otherwise you either have people who are up to no good trying to derail the process, or loosely affiliated voters who should wait until the general election.

As for the DMR Poll:

If they are the gold standard, how is it that they had Kerry beating Bush in their final 2004 election poll? (Bush won)

Also, the facts show they got the right order in 2004. They were way off on the percentages. In addition they had other scenarios listed that could be used to spin the results. For example they listed certain to caucus scenarios that had Dean ahead of Edwards.

Anyone can be right or wrong. I am right. Hillary will win. See my predictions each day.

No comments: