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Tag: democratic party


Can Romney count on ‘the military vote’?

It’s long been a political given that military voters skew Republican. Georgetown University professor Rosa Brooks, writing in Foreign Policy, says that may have been the case in the 1980s and ’90s; now military voters more closely track how the general population votes. And on some issues, service members are even slightly more liberal than civilians.

Here’s the article.

The Myth of the Republican Military Voter

By Rosa Brooks
(c) 2012, Foreign Policy

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are said to be tussling over the fabled “military vote,” and during this extraordinarily tedious election season, both have highlighted their fondness for all things military. Despite the efforts of both candidates to drum up military support, however, most commentators assume that the military “naturally” supports Republicans over Democrats. But will “the military vote” really favor Romney next week?

Romney hopes it will, and right-wing conspiracy theorists are convinced it will — that’s why they keep huffing and puffing about alleged Obama campaign attempts to suppress military votes, through methods as devious as neglecting to inform service members of their voting rights and supposedly burning military ballots.

But the Obama campaign has no reason to hope that service members don’t vote, and Romney shouldn’t count his chickens before they hatch. The military is far from a “natural” Republican voting bloc. Although the military appears to have skewed Republican in the 1980s and ’90s , for most of the last century the politics of military personnel appear to have more or less mirrored the politics of the civilian population.

There’s ample reason to believe that this is the case again today.
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Caucuses no substitute for a presidential primary

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

If 1,500 people got locked out of the polls in a normal American election, citizens would be howling about Putinesque conspiracies and invoking the specter of Jim Crow and the literacy tests of yore. The U.S. Justice Department might even send in a SWAT team.

Yet 1,500 Republican voters got locked out of the party’s presidential nominating caucuses in the Tri-Cities on Saturday, and all that came of it was some griping.

One reason is obvious: There was no foul play. Republican organizers simply ran out of space in the Three Rivers Convention Center, which they’d rented for the occasion. Nine hundred had come to the 2008 caucuses; the party planned for 2,000 this time – but 3,000 or so actually showed up Saturday morning.

Another factor, less obvious: There’s no general expectation of caucus-going. The vast majority of Republicans and Democrats don’t go to them. Most voters probably don’t know what they are, exactly. A cynic might even say that nominating caucuses are all about exclusion in the first place.

Ordinary folks have routinely been locked out of the parties’ caucuses, figuratively, every four years.
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Politics doesn’t get much more personal than this

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Tomorrow’s a big day for state Republicans. They’ll gather in schools, community centers, lodge halls and church meeting rooms to conduct a highly personal brand of politics: the party caucus.

They will make and listen to impassioned speeches for the four presidential candidates – Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul – and select delegates to the county convention. A non-binding straw vote will be taken, with the winner getting bragging rights three days before the big Super Tuesday contests in 10 states.

The outcome of the straw poll is important enough that all four GOP candidates stumped in Washington at least once. The official winner won’t be named until the party’s state convention starting May 30 in Tacoma.
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