Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Texas Two Step

Okay, we do things kinda odd here in the great state of Texas. We admit it. We're a bit off from the rest of the country. How we count the votes in a primary is apparently one of them.

As you all have no doubt heard by now, Texas has a schizophrenic primary that thinks it's a caucus. Everybody votes like the other states. Nothing too strange. We have open primaries, so I can vote Republican or Democrat. Other state do this as well. That's about where it stops being normal. Delegates are allocated in an odd fashion. Precincts are given delegates according to voter turnout in the previous 2 general elections. What this means in an otherwise red state, is that Austin gets 8 Democratic delegates and Amarillo gets 2. Austin even has more than Dallas and Houston. Austin, as you might guess from these numbers, is a very political town. Makes sense. Its the state capitol and the city motto is "Keep Austin Weird". Put the two together and you get a city that stands out from the rest of the state.

So what does this been for Barack and Hillary? It means that the final delegate count for Texas will not be determined tonight. It's entirely possible that Hillary could win the general primary votes and still lose Texas. Which, I have to say, I hope doesn't happen. (Barack needs to win outright.)

It's a refreshing change of pace to actually have a primary worth voting in. This is my first. I'm not ashamed to say it. At 44, I'm voting in a presidential primary for the first time. And this two step business was news to me. I'm a native Texan and can't remember ever hearing about "it's a primary and a caucus" until this year. The news outlets are having a field day talking about the record turn-outs and odd system. More power to 'em, I say. It's fueled this turn out and that's a damn good thing. Time for democrats in Texas to realize they can make a difference someplace else besides Austin.

So, just remember. We grow 'em weird down here in the Lone Star state. Just don't hold Junior against us. (Just for the record, I didn't vote for the ass wipe either time.)

No comments: