In an effort to be “relevant”, the Washington GOP State Committee met Saturday June 2 and voted to determine the majority of its delegates (51%) to the Republican National Convention based on the results of the presidential primary rather than the caucus and convention system. Simultaneously, Republican and Democrat leaders have had ongoing meetings to determine the date of the presidential primary. This series of meetings resulted in today’s annouced date: February 19.
“The primaries have been moving up more and more,” Secretary of State Sam Reed said Monday. “In order to be relevant, and actually be a part of this and have an impact, we really need to move it up.”
Without the change, Washington’s primary would have been held in May. States are rushing to move their dates in an effort to get a bigger say in primary politics, which have long been dominated by early states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.
But this move to make our state’s presidential primary “relevant” is only one sided. But whose side benefits? The Democrats vow to ignore the primary and choose its delegates based solely on the caucus system.
The state Democratic Party, as it has in prior years, will ignore the results of the statewide vote and instead allocate its 80 elected delegates using the results of its caucuses, where voters will meet in their precincts to discuss candidates and elect delegates. They’ll also have 17 “super delegates,” elected officials and high party officers who are free to back the candidate of their choice at the conventions.
So there will be no incentive for Democrats to go to the presidential primary and request a Democrat ballot. Their vote won’t mean a thing. Instead, they are free to go and select a Republican ballot and vote for a liberal Republican. This is probably why the campaigns of Rudy Guiliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney all have said that they prefer a presidential primary over selecting the nominee via the caucus and convention system. We know that their positions on issues aren’t popular with the majority of the Republican base, likely to attend their caucuses.