Caucus Math

Caucus math is hard.  So I made a spreadsheet to deal with it.  This is based on the 2004 rules, and can’t deal with every situation.  At some point I will probably make a web form to do it.

Interesting thing about caucus math:

There are situations where it will be in your group’s interest to send people to someone else.  If you can make a minor candidate viable in your precinct, there is about a good chance that your making them viable will rob your opponent of a delegate instead of you.

I realize this is not exactly Democratic, but it is exactly the kind of crap that I love.  🙂

  • this happened in my precinct in 1988

    The first time I was old enough to vote, I caucused for Illinois Senator Paul Simon. In my precinct only three candidates were viable: Simon, Dukakis and Babbitt. We had the largest group. When people broke into preference groups, it looked like Simon was going to get 3 delegates, Dukakis 2 and Babbitt 1.

    The Dukakis and Babbitt people got together and realized that if some people switched fromd Dukakis to Babbitt, it would change the math (Simon was a greater threat to Dukakis than Babbitt).

    So even though no one defected from our Simon group, our precinct ended up allocating 2 delegates each to Simon, Dukakis and Babbitt.

    I was really mad!

  • I have seen this backfire too.

    At my 2004 caucus, the Kerry people shifted some votes to Edwards, thinking that it would cost Dean a delegate, but they miscounted, and the new Edwards delegate came from Kerry, not Dean. 

  • I think I used your spreadsheet in '04

    I was a Dean precinct captain.  I brought a spreadsheet that the local coordinator (can’t bring his name up right now, tall lanky guy, curly blonde hair, smart as hell) gave me.  I had one kid doing head counts of the other groups as I plugged in numbers.  It saved us a couple of delegates as we scrambled to deal with the Little Big Horn moment, i.e. where the hell did all those Kerry supporters come from?

    Invaluable tool.  Don’t nead a laptop either.  If you have a PDA with Windows CE you can use it from a handheld.

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