Otherwise meaningless Washington Caucus will give Santorum momentum

As Presidential candidates and political prognosticators turn their eyes from Arizona and Michigan to Super Tuesday, Washington state looms in the foreground. While none of Washington’s 43 delegates will be awarded as a result of Saturday’s contest, the caucus may serve a powerful role in the battle for momentum.

From 1989 until 2008 a primary election decided Washington’s party nominations. In ’08 the Republican Party decided to award half of its delegates based on a primary election and half through a caucus. This year, however, the Washington GOP will be relying on a caucus vote to inform its delegate selection.

In reality, the Washington caucus this Saturday is a glorified straw-poll. No delegates are directly awarded, but it kicks off the convention process that will culminate in the allocation of delegates at the State convention at the end of May.

The decision to suspend the primary election process this year was fueled by a desire to shrink the state’s $5 billion deficit. In May of last year, the legislature authorized the canceling of the primary election after it was determined that relying on a caucus system would cut $10 million from the state’s bottom line.

Though the Washington caucus serves no real electoral purpose this year, it is still an important engagement in the fight for momentum going into Super Tuesday.

Public Policy Polling’s mid-February survey showed Rick Santorum boasting a commanding 38 percent lead among likely caucus goers and Mitt Romney taking second place with 27 percent. Ron Paul placed third with 15 percent, and Newt Gingrich rounded out the list with 12 percent.  At the point of the survey only 50% of those polled were “strongly committed” to their candidate of choice. The other half indicated that they might end up supporting another candidate.

The frequent change in leaders in this year’s Presidential Primary contest has highlighted the importance of campaign momentum. This week the search for this valuable commodity will give meaning to an otherwise pointless state caucus.

While delegates will not be rewarded as a result of Saturday’s contest, an estimated 50,000 Washington State Republicans will express their preference for President of the United States.

Such a small turnout will leave the gift of momentum in the hands of a small group of party stalwarts, giving each voter the rare opportunity to heavily influence the Super Tuesday electoral street fight.

Comments

Polititainment

Maher: Clinton scandals a 'bulls--t meme

The "Real Time" host defended Bill and Hillary amid reports of the Clinton Foundation's suspect finances during a segment of his show Friday night, even while both his liberal and conservative guests criticized the presidential pair for their latest controversy, according to Mediaite.

Frankie Muniz comes out as conservative
Actor and child star Frankie Muniz may be best known for “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Agent Cody Banks,” but he’s hoping that he can make his work for soldiers and in the political realm a bigger part of his legacy. Muniz talked to D.C. morning show WMAL about his new projects working for PTSD awareness […]
ESPN host slams Tom Brady for Obama snub

ESPN host Stephen A. Smith is very angry that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady skipped out on President Obama's ceremony to honor the Super Bowl champion team at the White House Thursday.

Jenner comes out as trans, Republican
Former Olympian and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star Bruce Jenner finally revealed that he identifies as a woman in his Friday night “20/20″ interview with Diane Sawyer, but it was a different announcement that had viewers freaking out. Sawyer asked if Jenner cheered when President Obama became the first president to even say the […]
Waka Flocka Flame endorses Hillary

Just days after announcing his own candidacy for president in 2016, Waka Flocka Flame is endorsing Hillary Clinton for the White House. The Atlanta rapper said during a recent interview with MTV News that he will vote for Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

2016

Pizza Hut mocked Hillary Clinton in 1999 ad

BuzzFeed has unearthed a 1999 Pizza Hut advertisement that mocked Hillary Clinton for being a carpetbagger by moving to New York in order to run for the state's U.S. Senate seat.

Clinton Foundation placed on 'watch list'

The prominent charity watchdog group Charity Navigator has put the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation on its "watch list" along with two dozen other suspect charities, like Al Sharpton's National Action Network.

Rand: 'I’m tired of us retreating' on abortion

Rand Paul wants conservatives to go on offense when it comes to debating abortion.

Rand Paul attacks Jeb Bush in anti-NSA Tweetstorm

Last week, Jeb Bush declared NSA spying "the best part of the Obama administration"-- so you knew it was only a matter of time before Rand Paul had something to say about that.

Scott Walker challenges Obama to poker game

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker continued his foreign policy feud with Obama this weekend, suggesting that the president's weakness on the Iran nuclear deal makes him the ideal poker opponent.

Policy

New surgeon general defends gun control tweet

Newly-sworn-in Surgeon General Vivek Murthy defended his past comments on gun control--comments which stalled his confirmation for over a year.

The new 'Call of Duty' game is based off Snowden

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 takes place within the story of "the largest leak of intelligence in military history," involving pages of redacted security documents that spill closely-held government secrets. Sound familiar?

Obamacare brings growth in food stamp enrollment
CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama’s health care law has had a surprising side effect: In some states, it appears to be enticing more Americans to apply for food stamps, even as the economy improves. New, streamlined application systems built for the health care overhaul are making it easier for people to enroll in government benefit […]
DC gets mad at Gowdy and Buck over gun photo

Reps Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Ken Buck (R-Colo.) just dodged a run-in with the D.C. authorities.

The danger of policing through Facebook

These days, everything happens on social media--including solving crime.