Thursday, February 25, 2016

If you live in Utah, The Utah presidential preference caucus (not the June primary) is the one that counts for Bernie

The BBC has a very interesting article that puts Donald Trump's win in Nevada in perspective. The state has 2.9 million people, yet only 34,000 people voted. This is roughly 1% of the state population. Why did so few people show up? Perhaps shopping was more appealing that day.

The Democratic primary in Nevada just a few days ago had an estimated turnout of 80,000 people, more than double that of the GOP's primary. So that's a bit more than 2% of the people in the whole state. Maybe those numbers portend a victory for the Democrats in that state next fall. But I do find the low voter turnout for primaries ironic considering how important the right of nomination is.

Utah has roughly the same population as Nevada, at the last census we had 2.8 million people, most of us living along the Wasatch Front. The GOP and the Democrats will both hold caucuses in Utah on March 22nd, so we get a double-header. Trump is still the presumptive nominee in national polling and as such, the casino mogul would make an interesting bedfellow for this Mormon state if he won. But the latest polling shows Cruz leading the field in Utah.

The Democrats are a minority in this state, but our vote still counts. Take a look at how Bernie and Hilary are polling in Utah in the results from the same poll:


Clinton has a definite lead among self-identified Democrats, 51% to 44%. But among all Utahns, Sanders has an overwhelming lead, 41% to 19%. This would suggest that there is a sizable body of independent or at least non-Democrat voters who prefer Sanders over Clinton.

Here's the kicker: The Democratic presidential preference caucus is open to all voters, not just Democrats. Sanders could carry Utah and walk away without any trouble, but we must get out the vote out for the Utah event on March 22nd. 

I suspect a fair number of Republicans will attend both events. Some will attend the Democratic Presidential Preference vote to vote for Bernie as many Republicans seem to believe that Bernie would be easier to beat. On the other hand, the Republican caucus is closed only to registered Republicans so we can only expect registered Republicans to show up there.

Oddly, this presidential preference caucus is a break from tradition. The vote on March 22nd, is the presidential primary, even though there will be a primary election for other offices in June. KSL.com has the details here.

So if you know of anyone who was planning to wait until June for the Utah primaries, let them know about the Democratic presidential preference caucus on March 22nd - same day registration is allowed too. This is the vote that counts for the delegates at the convention this summer. All we have to do is show up and vote at the caucus to help Bernie win it. 
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