Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Nevada democratic caucus

Democratic party officials announced that more than 115,000 Democrats came out and participated. That compares with the 2004 caucuses, when about 9,000 voters joined in for the party’s caucuses.
Despite the support to Obama of the Clinary Union (a local union with 60000 members), Clinton won the popular vote. (Clinton 51%, Obama 45%, Edwards 4%). However, Obama won the majority of delegates (13 to 12 of Hillary). The math turns out to be a bit confusing, but the shorthand is this: The more populous Clark County, which Clinton won, awarded a even number of delegates, and Clinton and Obama split those down the middle. Meanwhile, the more rural areas, which Obama won, awarded an odd number of delegates, which gave Obama the edge.
It wasn't a High Noon quick draw that resolved the stalemate between Clinton and Obama - but a pack of cards. Under party rules, a pack was shuffled and a supporter from each camp asked to pick a card. Obama won both times. The quirk had little effect overall, and Mrs Clinton won the popular vote.The votes were tied after Saturday's caucuses by 26 votes each at a district in Genoa and 24-24 at Zephyr Cove near Lake Tahoe. At an elementary school in Genoa, caucus chairman Nancy Downey shuffled the pack of cards - which happened to have "Hillary" printed on the back - and spread them out on a table.Clinton supporter Greg Kuntz pulled out a five. An Obama supporter picked a king, clinching the vote, and securing an extra delegate to the next round of voting, when about 10,000 delegates meet at county level. "I drew the five to lose to the king," Mr Kuntz told the Associated Press. "Only in Nevada." Mr Obama's luck held in Zephyr Cove and his supporters again won the traditional Old West tiebreaker by picking a nine and trumping the Clinton camp's five.

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