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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

In Political Math, Texas Equals Iowa Plus New Hampshire

Who would have ever thought that Texas could become a combination of Iowa and New Hampshire overnight? But that’s where we find ourselves as we head toward next week’s Democratic Primary and Caucus.

What usually happens is that after the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary, it’s fairly clear who the Democratic nominee for president will be. And by the time Texans get around to voting, the national media couldn’t care less.

Now it’s pretty safe to say that after the Texas Primary and Caucus, we will know if our nomination process is over or if it’s still going on.

If Barack Obama wins, it’s over. If Hillary Clinton wins, it’s still going on. That’s not etched in stone anywhere but I do think it’s the one piece of conventional wisdom that will hold true this year.

Then there’s a question about how to determine the winner because of our “bizarre” system that really wasn’t ever thought to be all that bizarre before because it didn’t make any difference.

Now with so much on the line, everyone is trying to figure it out and with its formulaic delegate allocation, double voting, historically designated super delegates and everything else, it’s just a tad bit confusing.

According to Ed Martin, former executive director of the Texas Democratic Party and the preeminent authority on Party lore, trivia and fun facts, the combined primary plus caucus system was developed back in 1988 with the expressed intent of preserving some of the old caucus system while still allowing for a meaningful popular vote as well.

The thinking was that keeping some of the caucus system would favor old style grassroots organizing and prevent candidates from simply sweeping in and buying a popular vote primary victory with a bunch of television advertising.

On election night, the popular vote totals are what folks are going to see on their screen. Meanwhile, 35 percent of the delegates will be determined by the caucuses and it’s going to be far more difficult to both get that count and factor it in to the overall result.

It’s a spinmeister’s dream come true. If Clinton is winning the popular vote while Obama carries the caucuses, count on the Clinton campaign to completely dismiss the caucuses while the Obama campaign says they’re all that really matter. Don’t believe either one; with things going the way they are, every delegate counts.

If this is all so confusing that it almost makes you want to only go vote once on Election Day and not return to your polling place to participate in your precinct caucus when the polls close at 7 p.m. (yes, that’s what you have to do to participate in the caucus), then perhaps you agree with David Berg, a high profile Houston attorney.

As a one-time Clinton fan who now supports Obama, Berg penned an op-ed offering the following advice to his former friends: punt!

Apparently Berg hasn’t been paying very close attention to how “inevitability” tends to work out in this campaign and thinks that Hillary should save everyone a lot of trouble and simply quit.

Rumor has it that Berg also suggested that the New York Giants forfeit prior to this year’s Super Bowl since there was no way they were going to beat New England.

(Originally published by Examiner Newspaper Group)

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