Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm Busy - And I have a question

This week was a whirlwind. Lots of meetings about lots of things on the horizon. I have 9 teaching times scheduled over the next 6 weeks. Vineyard Midweek starts Jan. 30 and I'll be teaching a four week class in the auditorium about discipleship and following Jesus. It's a little more prep heavy than normal, so I've been thinking about that. I'm also up the next two weeks for the Fearless series talking about Ruth and Gideon. Tomorrow I lead a session for the Growth and Healing leadership team retreat and I'm looking forward to getting to know them a little better.

I've been sucked into the election coverage in my spare time. I have never been very political, at least not as "being political" is traditionally defined, but I find election years interesting in a reality-show kind of way. I told someone earlier this week that presidential elections are kind of like American Idol, except that people generally don't vote for presidents the way they do for Idol. I wasn't trying to make any statement, but it felt like I was in the moment. I find the whole process interesting and still rather confusing. If anyone can explain what a delegate really is and how in the world entire states (Michigan, Florida) can be stripped of their delegates for moving their primaries a month earlier, I'd love to hear that. While you are explaining it let me know why the states that lost their delegates are still the states that the most highly contested now - thanks.

I'm going to go read Ruth now and wait for someone smarter than me to read this and explain the election process. I know you're out there.


LTorres said...

Well you’ll find a good breakdown of the delegates at the following link.

Florida and Michigan moved up their primaries without permission. The Republicans penalized each state 50% of their delegates and the Democrats took away all the delegates.

So both of these states only have value to the Republicans. They are looking for momentum because there is no all out front runner. The only Democratic “player” on the ballot in Michigan is Hillary. Obama and Edwards pulled their names form the ballot when the states were penalized by the party.

Florida has the same value for the Republicans as Michigan, half the delegates and potential momentum. The major Democratic candidates have pledged not to campaign in Florida so it will be interesting to see if the pledges are maintained. There is no clear front runner on the Democratic side and Super Tuesday is a week after Florida with 2075 delegates on the line.

You asked.

Joe said...

You sound smart, ltorres...if that is your real name. Here are my questions: Aren't the voters in the states kinda screwed b/c their state decided to move the primary? It seems odd to penalize them to the point where their primary votes do not matter at all.

Second, I'm confused on how you actually win a delegate. Delegates are real people right? Not just points you win. They can even change their mind, right? For instance, does Hillary get all the delegates from NH or are they prorated and she gets 39% to Obamas 37%? It seems like some states are all or nothing and others aren't. Help me, ltorres, you're my only hope.

ylmurph said...

oh I'm out there all right....I'm out there...

Steve Fuller said...

I have no idea how any of it works, but Rudy Giuliana wanted me to mention that he was mayor of New York during 9/11.

LTorres said...

I think the whole thing was stupid. It was dumb for the legislature to go against the national parties and move their primaries closer to the beginning of the year. This was not allowed by the rules. I think it was dumb to bring the mess into the courts and even dumber for the Democrats to completely take away the delegates from the states. Some democrats are registering for the Republican Party and will vote in that primary. I’m not sure that’s good for either party or the country.

To your questions;

In most sates Candidates will win a set portion of their delegates based on the primary vote totals. This portion is called the Pledged Delegates.


Some states are winner take all and some states allocate delegates based on primary vote totals. There are 463 un-pledged delegates of the 2380 available. 1191 is the magic number here to become the nominee. These Un-Pledged Delegates are free agents like the democratic super delegates. Most of these delegates are elected but a sizable minority are automatically delegates because of their RNC member status.

The Pledged Delegates are required to vote for a particular candidate based on the primary voting process. These delegates can be released by a candidate if the candidate bows out of the race. They will more than likely go to the person the leaving candidate endorses.


In the democratic primary Pledged Delegates are not obligated to vote as pledged. So Candidates are able to review the list of delegates, state by state, that have pledged their support and delete anyone that is questionable.

There are also Super Delegates. These are uncommitted delegates that can vote any way they like. These people are appointed by the DNC and are former governors, presidents, congressmen and other political big shots. Super Delegates equal 796 of the 4049 delegates available in the democratic primaries. The magic number for a democrat is 2025 delegates to get nominated.

Candidates will use the endorsement of Super Delegates to garner further support in votes and dollars.

I hope that helps.

Matt Olds said...

I vote for whoever wears the snazziest blue blazer...

Helen Ann said...

I'm voting for Glenn Beck!