Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More on the Raucous Caucus

Hail Caesars and Other Hotels

We referred in a previous post to the "Bacchus Caucus," as sites were approved in Caesars Palace as well as several other on and off-Strip hotel locations. The purpose was for the Democratic party to get more people involved in the election process and did it ever! Latest estimates were that more than 116,000 caucused for their candidates including many registered Republicans and Independents who registered as Democrats for the day. Analysts wonder at the long term impact the numbers might have, especially of those registered Republicans who would rather switch than fight. Will they vote for the party of the switch, or did they get caught up in the euphoria of a rare caucus in Nevada?

Another interesting phenomenon of the statewide caucus is the number of rural voters who tossed their support to the Obama camp rather than the Clinton camp. The mining and ranching counties are meager in population compared to Clark and Washoe counties, and are historically Republican dominated, yet in nine of 14 of those counties Obama was a decisive winner. That helped to give him the edge in delegates even though Senator Clinton won the popular vote - a fact that made some Democrats shudder as they reflected over a similar phenomenon that occurred in the Gore/Bush election of 2000.

Is Billy a bully? After the Iowa primary in a state that has been described as "the whitest place outside the North Pole" gave Senator Obama the nod over Senator Clinton, weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth was heard from the Clinton camp and seen in interviews - mostly through the pipeline of the media and talk show pundits. Republicans sat up and took notice as they had for years been preparing a campaign against the former first lady - to keep Bill from becoming the country's main man. The gloves came off in the Clinton camp and Sexy Ex-Prexy Bill became a player (although many felt he had been a player for some time). The result was two consecutive Hillary victories.

But some say that the country's ex had no business providing "Give me a break" and other critical soundbites. Regardless of what else Exy Prexy might be he is a strong campaigner. That much was evidenced in Las Vegas when he relentlessly sought as much back-of-the-house access to employees as he could get in an effort to blunt the culinary support of Obama. And it worked. Although Hillary supporters railed against the Strip caucus sites because they were seen as strengthening the Obama endorsement, she won the popular vote at nearly every site.

Four years ago the Demos were barely able to eke out 10,000 folks to caucus. This time 116,000 showed including as many as 40,000 new registrations, The large numbers also brought plenty of complaints about the mechanics of the caucus. Long lines, early door closures, and jeering of the opposing candidates were but a few of the complaints. Party leaders saw the glitches as the result of a good thing - the large number of potential voters. Will the excitement hold? Time will tell.

A little blogging music Maestro... Cindy Lauper's "Time After Time."

Dr. Forgot

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