Make or Break Tuesday? A Democratic Presidential candidate could be decided today. Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont all hold their primaries today. Ohio has 164 delegates up for grabs while Texas has a whopping 228. Should Senator Clinton take Ohio, Texas, or both, she may charge on; however, if the votes are not close and she loses by a wide margin, there will be pressure from the Democratic Party for her to throw in her hat.
As for Texas, we just can’t seem to do primary voting like everyone else. Some states have primaries and some have caucuses. Texas does everything bigger (ok, at the least more confusing) so we have both. What has become known as the “Texas Two Step,” voters not only have to show up at the polls to vote, we then have to return to our precinct for the caucus.
What is the caucus (a.k.a. precinct convention)? The caucus turnout will determine roughly one-third of the Texas delegates needed by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. Republicans distribute delegates based entirely on primary votes, although they will caucus Tuesday night to conduct party business. Be sure to bring proof that you voted in the Democratic primary, either a stamped voter registration card or a receipt of primary voting from the polling place. If you have neither, you may still participate in the caucus; your vote will be confirmed later.
Arrive before 7:15 p.m., but be prepared to wait. Caucusing cannot start until polls close, and high turnout means voting could run late. You may “sign in” your presidential preference and leave. Your “sign in” will be used to allocate delegates among Clinton, Obama and other candidates. If you stay, you can also vote to choose delegates to the next level from your precinct. Depending on turnout in your precinct, you may be there a while.
I foresee chaos and confusion at the larger precincts. This will be my first time participating in the caucus. Had this race not been so close, I’d actually look forward to going to the caucus and chit-chatting with other voters about the candidates, taking the vote, and going back home. Turnout for the caucuses are usually low, but this time things are different. It’s gonna be a long night. 😦