The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Texas Two-step


February 18, 2008

Reading between the lines of a front page story in this mornings Washington Post:

Hillary Supporters: Oh My Heavens! We just read the rules for the Texas primary and discovered that even if we win we might not win! Why didn’t you tell us this earlier? How unfair is that?!?! Our big Texas strategy could fall apart because of these rules where our voters don’t count as much as we need them too. Is there any way we could question the established rules to help our candidate win?

Several top Clinton strategists and fundraisers became alarmed after learning of the state’s unusual provisions during a closed-door strategy meeting this month, according to one person who attended.

The rules of the Texas Primary / Caucus / Delegate selection fracas are beyond complicated and arcane. There’s a primary AND a caucus, on the same day. Delegates are distributed on the basis of turnout in the previous two elections by State Senate district. The results of the caucus aren’t announced until the state convention in June. The best explanation I’ve read of it was in the Houston Chronicle, here.

In a nutshell, if Obama wins big in Austin (self-styled ‘weird‘ college town), and large African-American districts in Houston (especially) and Dallas, he can counter-act Hillary’s expected sweep of the heavily Latino parts of the state.

I’m guessing that Obama’s people read these rules a while ago, and that’s why they don’t seem so worried about it.

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Dr. Peter Howard focuses on US foreign policy and international security. He studies how the implementation of foreign policy programs produces rule-based regional security regimes, conducting research in Estonia on NATO Expansion and US Military Exchange programs and South Korea on nuclear negotiations with North Korea.