Playing the Primary...


Apr 17, 2002
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At an OP in view of your house...
I played the Michigan Primary today, and was glad I did it. This is despite car trouble and snow. There is very little excuse for not making it to your primary, in my opinion. You need to exercise your freedom and opinion through your vote, otherwise don't complain if you are not heard...

That all said, playing the primary is a bit different then the general election.

The reason it is different is because you aren't really picking your candidate, the party is picking the candidate. However, the party wants their candidate to win the general election, so it behoves them to have a vote, and elect that candidate democratically.

So whoever wins each state gets so many delegates from that state (depending on size/population of state). So, the 2nd place winner in your state won't get any delegates from your state at all, generally speaking. The only exception to this is if, say for example, John McCain wins Michigan, but drops out of the race. He can urge his delegates from Michigan to place a vote for Huckabee instead. If Huckabee came in 2nd place, this is likely to occur. If Romney came in 2nd and Huckabee third, then some delegates might vote Huckabee per McCain's request, but some might vote Romney because he was 2nd.

At the end of the day, the delegates are supposed to represent the people of the party in their state, and cast their vote accordingly; however it is their decision which way they end up going, especially in special circumstances.

The delegate process makes things a little more complicated then if it were simply done by popular vote. A lot of people don't really understand how the delegate process works, and therefore don't vote to get optimal results in the primary.

That said, when you vote the primary, you can take 1 of 2 strategies. 1 is you can vote your favorite, and hope that in the end it all works out. 2 is you can pick your favorite couple of canditates, your least favorite couple of candidates, and use the probabilities based on the polls to vote someone you would like in office vs. someone you don't like.

For example, my favorite is Mike Huckabee. However, he is 3rd right now at 16%. I do not like Mitt Romney at all, and he is up 26%. Romney and Thompson are my least favorite, with my favorites (in order) being Huckabee and McCain, then a distant 3rd and 4th would be Ron Paul and Guilliani. McCain is up by 1% at 27% against Romney right now, and could win by a small margin. Since it is so close, and I don't want Romney to take our delegates, I voted McCain. I did so even though I like Huckabee the best, and urge that voters and other states vote for him. The reason I did so is because if Romney wins Michigan, Huckabee's 3rd place won't matter, because Romney gets all the delegates, and has a greater chance of winning the nomination. There is also a good chance that Huckabee would turn his delegates over to McCain if he was clearly not going to win the national nomination; and vice versa. They have been very respectful and supportive over each other, even though they are clearly different candidates. There is no way either would give their delegates to Romney, or vice versa.

Confused? I hope not.

It can seem complicated, but you really have to know how the system works in order to maximize your vote come your day. I hope this little post helps.

That said, who out there left is going to play the primary? What's your strategy (even if you don't want to tell us who you vote for..)?