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BREAKING: Nevada Caucus Likely An Embarrassing Mess


the next democratic primary is once again a caucus It is in Nevada in entree

Barry 22nd and I wish I had better news, but sadly it does look like the Nevada democratic caucus is going to be, yeah, another embarrassingly convoluted mess kind of building on the mess of the Iowa caucus on February 3rd the big news after Iowa and the complete failure of the app that I was was using to communicate the results from different parts of the state Nevada decided they are not going to use the same app that imploded in Iowa They had initially planned to use that app They, they're changing their plans and this made a lot of people think it's definitely going to go more smoothly in Nevada than it did in Iowa and in some ways it's still might, but there are more and more reasons to be concerned about what's going to happen in Nevada One issue is, okay, well they're abandoning the app that didn't work well in Iowa, but what are they replacing it with? You've got to replace it with something

There is not a super clear answer right now According to the associated press, Nevada Democrats told precinct leaders, you will be getting an iPad the day of the caucuses Seth Morrison is a site leader who's going to oversee a bunch of different precincts in the Las Vegas area And Seth said he was told he would be trained on the iPad when he picks it up a few days before the caucuses And then on the day of the caucuses he will have to teach the precinct leaders how to use these iPads that they're going to be getting

That doesn't sound great to me I don't know about you, but that's not sounding, that's not inspiring Huge levels of confidence Number two, um, in Nevada they will be reporting three sets of numbers for the first time Similar to an Iowa, there's going to be the initial vote totals from the first sort of round

Then there's the realignment based on candidates that don't meet the 15% viability threshold, have to realign to other candidates And then you have a final vote total and then you have to report the final delegate number These, uh, all of these steps add opportunities for human error And chaos and confusion And we've talked about more generally what about getting rid of the caucus system altogether

But then the real factor is that Nevada on top of all of the caucus craziness has early voting, which Iowa did not have Now you might be thinking to yourself, well in a primary you just send in who you're voting for early That's no big deal It gets counted on the of the election How on earth do you do early voting in a caucus? And the way it works, interestingly enough, is early voters who want to participate in the caucus have to use a rank choice, valid ballot, since you won't be there to see whether your top choice meets the 15% viability threshold

And if they don't, you get realigned to some other candidate You have to in advance order the candidates in terms of preference So this is another element that could wreak just absolute and total havoc at the local precinct level in Nevada when tallying up the votes because it all has to be done during that few hour period that the caucus is taking place And then on top of this to add just like an almost cartoon ish element to everything Instead of you know, an Iowa, they would do the coin flips for tiebreakers in Nevada and it sort of is fitting because of Las Vegas

Nevada is going to do a card game There will be a high car draw You draw a card and whoever gets the high card, that candidate gets the tie break the which is just absolutely crazy Any system that involves coin flips or drawing cards to decide who wins Even at the, at the micro, a delegate level, it's a bad system

The one simplifying element in Nevada is that there are only delegates, there aren't delegates and state delegate equivalents like in Iowa That's a good thing So growing concern from Nevada Democrats should be concerned given what we are learning there Nevada has 36 delegates up for grabs This makes it roughly the size of Iowa

Iowa had 41 delegates, a New Hampshire had 24 delegates and then on top of everything as a as, as we, as of right now, we don't really have good recent polling from Nevada The latest poll is from January 11 that makes it difficult to even have some kind of a base number to compare vote totals to which can help to sniff out problems If you have a bunch of recent polls and a candidate is polling 10 and then they get 40 then that raises a red flag and you've got to figure out whether those results are accurate Hopefully by February 22nd which is the day of the Nevada caucuses, there will be more, a more recent polling, one other kind of messy thing in Nevada, which is even more uh, acute than in Iowa In Iowa, where you vote, vote sort of matters

And as we saw Pete, Buddha judge got the largest number of delegates despite not getting the largest number of votes in Nevada This is even more pronounced Nevada's total population is just a hair over 3 million people Las Vegas has about 20% of that population 650,000 Reno has another 250,000 so between Las Vegas and Reno, you have about 30% of the total population of the state

It just those two cities, because of that urban rural divide in Nevada, you can win in urban centers and lose on delegates and you can have all of these wacky scenarios So if you look at 2008 for example, in 2008 in the Nevada caucus, Barack Obama came away with 13 delegates and Hillary got 12 but Obama lost the popular vote totals by about six percentage points Still got more delegates than Hillary This is more pronounced than it was in Iowa this year In 2016 there was also a pretty unbalanced delegate total relative to the popular vote

In 2016 Hillary won the popular vote by just five percentage points, but she got 57% of the delegates, a much larger share And of course this in part is because of those viability thresholds that we talked about earlier today In any caucus, this can happen in Nevada that urban rural divide can make it even even more acute So let's hope for the best Ideally they're preparing for the worst

The silver lining here is that, and this is a weird silver lining It's another very small number of delegates on super Tuesday, March 3rd, all of these primaries, it's off First of all, it's all primaries from, from what I recall And it is a much larger number of delegates, a lot of, of potentially difference-making primaries on March 3rd So if there's any silver lining about Nevada, it's that it's not that many delegates

And if it gets royally screwed up, it's unlikely to drastically affect the total delegate counts I know that that's an extremely, it's an extremely low bar to be setting Uh, but it is what it is

Source: Youtube

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