Tuesday, February 02, 2016

The Democratic Caucus Was So Close Coin Tosses Were Invovled

This is how close the Democratic caucus was, in one tweet. The tweet is, "I've come across three instances in which a Democratic caucus delegate was awarded with a coin toss. Hillary Clinton won all three." MarketWatch says, Coin toss broke 6 Clinton-Sanders deadlocks in Iowa — and Hillary won each time

The delegate totals that are reported publicly — 689 and 686 — are estimates of the delegates each candidate would have at a statewide convention. But individual caucuses don't pick state delegates — at least not directly. Each caucus picks a set of delegates to a county convention, which then selects delegates for a district convention ... which then selects delegates for the statewide convention.

That makes four levels to the caucus process — and there are a lot more delegates at the county level (the level for which caucuses assigned delegates Monday) than at the state level. So while a coin toss at a precinct caucus definitely gives the winner an advantage, it's not as straightforward as 'winning a coin toss gets you an extra delegate in the statewide count.'

The fact that so many caucuses came down to coin tosses isn't necessarily an indication that the entire race could have gone one way or the other if not for a bit of luck — although that's certainly possible. What it definitely is, however, is an indication of just how evenly divided Democratic caucus-goers throughout Iowa were. In precinct after precinct, Iowa Democrats got together and found out that equal numbers of them supported Sanders and Clinton."

Ok, so it's not quite as big a deal but it's still stupid. We're voting, we're picking a president, a coin toss should have absolutely no role in this. Here's a better idea, if there are six districts tied, then split them 3-3. It's amazing to me that 16 years after the "hanging chad" fiasco in Florida we still can't manage to count. We can't even staff caucuses, It took all night to count all the votes in the Iowa Democratic caucus. Here's why.

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