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Interesting Info About the Puerto Rico Caucus (winner take all?)

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Altair Donating Member (59 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:10 PM
Original message
Interesting Info About the Puerto Rico Caucus (winner take all?)
Edited on Wed Mar-05-08 10:24 PM by Altair
I've been doing some digging on the Puerto Rico caucus since I've seen conflicting info regarding whether it's winner take all or not. Now, officially it is proportional allocation, as seen at this link.

http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P08/PR-D.phtml#0607

Historically, however, Puerto Rico has acted as a banana republic of sorts, allowing the governor to override the voters and give all the delegates to the candidate of his choice. It's amazing to me that this has been tolerated, but it has. As noted in this article, for example, Jesse Jackson won the Puerto Rico primary in 1988, but the Governor ended up giving all the delegates to Dukakis:

In 1988 Jesse Jackson won the primary in Puerto Rico over Michael Dukakis. Yet a month later, Puerto Rico's governor instructed his fifty-one delegates to back Dukakis. "This is clearly machine politics," Jackson wrote then, "and should have nothing to do with the 1988 campaign." The 2008 campaign has again exposed the undemocratic influence of the superdelegate elite. But just as the activists of '68 pushed aside the party bosses, forty years later voters can demand that the party's nominee reflect their choice.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080218/berman

This winner-take all history is also noted in this US News article:

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/barone/2008/2/6/puerto-rica...

This sorry history has led people to worry that the same will happen this year. The Governor of Puerto Rico Anibal Acevedo-Vila has endorsed Barack Obama (even though Clinton has big support there). It appears, however, that with the whole world watching, no such tricks will be played. In fact, in his press release endorsing Obama, the Governor noted, in apparent response to the US News article, that:

"The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will hold its Democratic Presidential
campaign caucus on June 1, 2008, with 63 delegates available to the
candidates. Contrary to recent media reports, Puerto Rico's delegates are
awarded on a proportional basis."

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&S...

The Governor thus seems to be assuring that the voters will actually decide this election (a quaint idea). Assuming that's the case, the Puerto Rico delegate scheme seems to be tailor-made for inertia. 36 district delegates are proportionally allocated by senatorial district (Puerto Rico has no congressional districts).

District 1 San Juan: 4
District 2 Bayamn: 5
District 3 Arecibo: 4
District 4 Mayagez: 4
District 5 Ponce: 4
District 6 Guayama: 4
District 7 Humacao: 4
District 8 Carolina: 4

As you can see, all but one of these districts has 4 delegates, which means that Hillary will have to get more than 62.5% of the votes in a district to avoid a 2-2 split. Presumably, the Governor's political machine will have enough influence so his friend Obama is not blown out by such margins. Since the Puerto Ricans voted for Jesse Jackson in 1988, this speaks well for their ability to vote for a black candidate. There are also 19 at large delegates which will be allocated based on the total PR vote.

In its projections leaked accidentally (?) to the media, the Obama campaign anticipated that Hillary would get 30 delegates and Obama would get 25:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/3/2/131036/9854/465/...

That was before the endorsement of the governor, however, so I'm not sure if the situation has improved for Obama. Anyway, hopefully this clarifies what is going on in Puerto Rico.
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kwenu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. In other words, Obama will be the leader in pledged delegates at the end of the day!!!!
Edited on Wed Mar-05-08 10:16 PM by kwenu
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Altair Donating Member (59 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Correct
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ExFreeper4Obama Donating Member (122 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Its over Hillary
Leave the race now while you have a shred of dignity left
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. its a myth
Democrat Party rules prohibit winner take all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_%28United...


I don't know how the rumor got started but it was big enough that Wikipedia had a special section on it.

Puerto Rico issue
Although journalists at several news outlets<14><15> have indicated that Puerto Rico's 63 delegates will all be awarded to a single candidate rather than proportionally, in reality, the party's Delegate Selection Plan states that delegates are to be allocated in a manner similar to other state caucuses.<16> The Washington Post Fact Checker has determined that the "winner take all" Puerto Rican primary is a myth.<17>



good research and good question

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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. I would have hated for Obama to win that way
Glad it will be a real primary.
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TAWS Donating Member (312 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
6. Puerto Rico IS NOT A PRIMARY, it is a CAUCUS n/t
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Altair Donating Member (59 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Corrected
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spag68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. Why do they get delegates anyway?
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TAWS Donating Member (312 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. They have more delegates than Oregon and they can't even vote in GE n/t
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NMMatt Donating Member (523 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
10. Puerto Rico by going last has always weighed in on an already decided election
As they will again this year by affirming Obama in overwhelming numbers.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-05-08 10:39 PM
Response to Original message
11. PR's Governor has endorsed Obama. n/t
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