Why can’t we just vote like normal people?
It was recommended I read up on the rules before going to caucus tonight. So I did:
Caucuses are fundamentally neighborhood meetings. You gather at the location designated for your precinct with other Democrats, vote for your preferred candidate and elect delegates to your county Convention and Assembly.
First, you show up at your caucus site and sign in at your precinct. At 7:00 the fun begins.
At the caucuses, those in attendance indicate their support for candidates competing for their party’s nomination by raising hands, or by splitting into groups supporting each candidate.
Okay, sure, FUN. Send the introvert to a neighborhood meeting where she has to declare herself in front of people, then face their scorn as she walks her dog every day by them because she didn’t choose their candidate. It gets better:
The results of the caucus voting, however, do not directly determine which candidate will win the support of the County’s voters. The caucuses are just first step in the process. Each caucus meeting selects delegates to send to the county assembly (for state and local races) and the county convention (for Presidential races).
So let me summarize. I have to leave my home, go to a public place, spend three plus hours socializing and then declare myself publicly for one candidate or another. And it doesn’t even really COUNT? Seriously? How is this suppose to encourage voter turnout?
Sigh. If you’ve participated in a caucus, I’d love to hear about it. Because right now…I’m thinking snuggling down with the pets and watching a movie sounds like a much more relaxing way to spend an evening after a hard day.
God bless America. And no place else… (Brian Lewis, Rep)*
*Updated to clarify that’s a quote from the film.
Pretend that you are declaring your support in a blog post and who cares what other people think?
Do it. I don’t care who you’re voting for: we love you for going forth and making the effort to do your civic duty.
Holy shit, the GOP Civil War has begun, and it aint pretty….
When Trump becomes the nommy, it will be a feat of the most amazing, most stupefying flip-flopping to watch all these Trump critics suddenly endorse him, out of pure tribal loyalty.
I caucused in Texas in ’08 (for Obama). We did both a primary and a caucus, because of course. (Texas had created that rule to favor John Connally, if I remember right, and abandoned it in 2015 after much mockery.) My precinct caucus was fun; the county caucus (I was chosen as a delegate because I didn’t have childcare problems) was a lot more bitter. I dodged the selection to the state caucus.
I am very, very grateful that PA isn’t a caucus state. I’m enough of an introvert that just the thought of all that socializing and group-persuasion is exhausting.
It seems oddly anti-democratic, and weirdly self-suppressive.
Fuhgedaboudit. God gave us Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. Show me the love in that.
I don’t think I’d want to go to a caucus. Grateful we have primaries in Virginia, with a long and easy window open for absentee voting in person (ie. early voting; you have to give a reason for your absence on Election Day …)
Caucuses disenfranchise too many people, and Colorado’s sounds loopy.
A private ballot is a civic right.
Get rid of them. I don’t blame you, TaMara.
Just Some Fuckhead
Caucusing is a terrible way to select a candidate but it beats fighting to the death, so there’s that.
@Technocrat: If CA had a caucus, I’d probably not show up either.
Paul in KY
Does sound tiring, all that caucusaninging…
Paul in KY
@Just Some Fuckhead: Glad you’re here to give some perspective.
I’d rather go watch sausage being made.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
I don’t know, I think fights to the death would make some things easier. Delegate counts, for example.
@Punchy: At some point repubs are going to have to decide what “country first” really means. I know they haven’t placed the good of the country over the good of their party for a long time, but the stakes are even higher now than they were with the debt ceiling. This time they can’t offer their usual lame excuse – maybe you’re right but it’s too late to do anything. God these guys are so stupid.
It could be worse, you could be a Republican in CO.
Apparently the Republican voters have ZERO control of where their delegates are assigned.
I’m happy to be in a primary state, even though it’s scheduled at such a late date that my vote generally means nothing for presidential primaries. I am, however, looking forward to picking the person set to go against Pat Toomey, so it’s not a lost cause. I’m backing Fetterman for the primary and will vote for anyone who wins the primary on the Dem side. Nothing wrong with any of them, AFAIC. I just love the idea of the tatooed, bald, hulking, goateed guy wearing all black and cargo shorts with an Ivy League degree taking on that prima donna Toomey. The contrast could not be more stark.
I don’t blame you, TaMara.
I grew up in Iowa where my father proudly attended the Republican caucuses regularly. It reminded me of other organizations like the Elks, Rotary, etc. It was easy for the people who were used to being part of those types of community groups but harder for very private people.
I am glad that CA is a primary election and that (at least in my county) the default method is a mail-in ballot.
Primaries aren’t elections. They are internal party operations.
Think of caucuses as mom asking the family what they want for dinner with the understanding that she has veto power and can make everyone eat fish sticks if she wants.
I caucused for Obama in 2008. It was exactly as you described – uncomfortable, long, and contentious. Also remarkably hot. We were jammed into a small church room (the Repubs got the big room), and there were a lot of unhappy people. This was just when Obama was becoming a viable candidate, and the Hillary supporters were not very happy.
Glad I did it, and I’d do it again for Bernie, but it just so happens the one thing Texas did right the last few years is change our primary from a caucus to a voting system.
If caucuses didn’t exist and republicans proposed introducing them all right thinking people would denounce them as just one more effort at voter suppression.
I’ve heard all the arguments in their favor here in Nv. but it’s still all bull.
We have a strange situation here in Nv. where the primary is constitutionally set for June so the only way to be an early voting state was to caucus., but I still hate it.
From a long article on the Atlantic. It is as true today as it has ever been – if you don’t vote then don’t complain about the outcome’
TaMara – Thank you! I feel exactly the same way about caucusing, and as a result, I’ve never gone. I can’t get over the feeling that caucuses are expressly designed to limit participation. It’s annoying.
I’ve done an “unassembled caucus” process for local Democratic candidates here in VA, but it’s a misnomer. It’s really just a primary run by the party; you come in during the hours it’s open, cast your vote, and leave. I’ve been a delegate to the congressional district and state conventions since ’04, which is mostly just a ritual; the number of delegates for each candidate is determined by the primary. However, we do get to vote on who gets to be the national convention delegates (which I’ve run for, but never won.)
Also, my congressional district convention is famous in the region for having resolutions about controversial national issues, which are bitterly fought over for hours, and only to inevitably die at the state convention. Fortunately if you don’t care about them, you don’t have to stick around, because all the other voting happens before that.
I liked the Washington caucus I went to. Since we don’t have primaries here, it’s a good way to choose delegates.
New Hampshire has a law stating that they will have the first primary in the nation. Iowa wants to be first because of all the campaign money flowing to the state and every one who is campaigning suddenly becoming a staunch supporter of corn subsidies. They can’t have a primary, because New Hampshire will keep jumping them to first, so they have to have a caucus. And as long as Iowa has a caucus, which they will defend tooth and nail, it will be a lot harder to convince other states to give up their caucus. The American presidential election system is held hostage by slightly more than 1% of its population.
Virginia kept switching back and forth between caucus and primary (and each party could choose its own thing). Caucus was a huge pain as I recall, because unlike the homespun images we would get from Iowa “feature” stories….about 800-900 people showed up at our caucus site…and we just wanted to vote and go home, but all the caucus afficionados (about 20-30 people at most) wanted to debate platform statements, and election of slates of delegates to the state convention (where the caucus votes would be translated into actual results)….just a horrible waste of time. In some subsequent years the Dems went for “firehouse primary” where it was technically a caucus but you could just show up, fill out a piece of paper and leave.
I think the R’s went a few years ago for a “convention”, bypassing either a primary or caucus….and they got saddled with a surprise Lt. Gov. nominee who had a few hundred people pay the fee, stay overnight and vote for him….knocking out the professional politicians…he went on to get clobbered in the general.
My BF and I were just talking last night, in advance of today’s “fun” in MN, that we really want a primary system. Not likely in the near future, but certainly our preference.
And I’ve been a delegate at several State Senate conventions, a county convention, and even a Governor Moonbeam delegate to the state convention in Texas way back when. And I think the system is nuts. It favors the insiders and those who can take a significant amount of time off work to advance their personal agendas, disguised as group ‘consensus.’
Direct. Primary. That should be it.
@walden: I didn’t vote in the 1992 presidential primary campaign because the Virginia Democrats had a caucus that year, and I was out of state. No caucusing by mail.
@bluehill: They decide a long time ago that “country first” is a marketing slogan. What they really mean is “we’re sure what we want is best for the country, so if you don’t want what we want, you’re un-American.”
@RaflW: Minnesotan here as well, and I couldn’t agree more. It seems like a system meant to allow insiders to protect turf.
I am sorry, but what’s with the delicate flower routine?
I was a precinct judge in ’88. I was a Jesse supporter, but had to set that aside to run the caucus. Since then, I have stopped the official primary day work and have been satisfied to be just a regular participant. We really have good discussions and it is a cool way to get to know folks a bit better.
The most raucous caucus, yeah I went there, was 2008. Two hundred people were split 60-40 for Obama and there was a part of the Hillary crowd (including one of my neighbors – and she was a bit of a crab apple about it) who were in the mood to be a bit unneighborly for a bit.
That episode is why I laugh at some of the HRC supporters here who have whinged about the sporadic reports an “bad attitudes” on the part of Sanders folks.
But even with that, it is not a bad way to spend an evening every four or maybe eight years.
Oh…what a hardship. Not.
I would be uneasy as well and yes I am an introvert, too. Oh -wait – my polling place has been the same for decades. I walk 6 houses down, across a major street right up to the church old school gym. There I wait my turn in line at the voting machine. Except for the new system in 2012 of receiving a voting sheet to fill out as you sit at a banquet table with strangers who could see clearly who you are voting for, Then you feed the sheet into a machine and wait till it is accepted.
As a plus I live in a Republican town in western NYS. I am a Democrat and the Mr. A is a Republican. It has been almost 2 months of his recovery from surgery with the TV on all day with politics. :(
@walden: Yeah, Virginia Republicans are in a constant battle between True Conservatives, who want a convention so they can be sure to pick a True Conservative without interference from those pesky voters, and more pragmatic (though not necessarily more mainstream) types who know that those pesky voters are more likely to pick someone who can win.
And “insiders” are those who have done a significant amount of work for the party. When the party is choosing leadership, should the people who keep it running day in, day out, have more say than somebody who drives past once every four years and may in fact be a strong supporter of the other party?
The root of the problem is that after 228 years, we’ve still never really decided whether we want to be “united” or “states.”
We have 50 (or is it 51?) different, quirky schemes for selecting delegates who pledge to vote for our preferred candidates on the first ballot of the national Party convention.
@Mike J: And that’s why people think parties are cartels.
Anyway, yes, caucuses should be eliminated. We’re the Democratic Party, and we should obey small-d democratic principles, which means that people who have jobs or children or just people who are flat out sick or disabled should have a say in their democracy.
Let me be clear, for those shaming me with my civic duty bs – I’ve voted in EVERY election since I was 18, no matter how big or how small. I did my research and knew my facts.
This is my first primary/caucus cycle as a registered Democrat. This is the first time I was aware of what a clusterfuck caucusing is.
A caucus sounds worse than it is. Mostly. It’s time consuming, but it’s not like you have to stand up and give a speech. Here in Iowa you arrive at the caucus site, you sign in, you find yourself in a room with other folks you don’t know, and you sit down. That’s the worst of it for introverts.
When the caucus is finally called to order, you may have to move to another part of the room to join others who are supporting the same candidate. Then there’ll be a count, during which folks raise their hands and call out their number. You know…’One!” “Two!” and on like that.
That’s basically all you have to do. There’ll probably be a period during which you can try to convince other folks to join your group — but you don’t have to say anything. You can play a game on your phone. Then, if some folks switched groups, there’ll be another count. The votes get totaled up, then you get to go home.
Not exactly, at least not here; they’re kind of a weird hybrid. Their purpose is to choose a candidate for the party, but the rules are set by state law, and they’re paid for by the state and run by state officials. Caucuses/conventions are run entirely by the party, and can be run pretty much any way the party wants.
It isn’t. It’s supposed to encourage tight control of the results based on the participation of a minority of party members. It’s meant to be a damper on populism.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that caucuses actually have a net depressing effect on voter turnout for the general election. I certainly wouldn’t be feeling good about the state of democracy after attending a caucus.
@Kurzleg: My most recent S.D. 62 convention (not the caucus, but some time later, as a delegate) was a complete cluster. I am blissfully forgetting the details, but there was some sort of screwup with delegate credentialing and after hours of sitting in a crappy middle school auditorium, we ‘voted’ by acclamation for some slate or other, and all went home grumpy having missed most of one of the glorious days of spring.
It makes one keenly interested in direct primaries.
I now live in a state that does a caucus rather than a primary, but by the time it gets to ours, the nomination will be largely decided.
I may still go though, just for the experience.
@Redshift: Yeah, you’re right. I keep waiting for the “moderate” repubs to wake up because their apparent apathy at letting their party fall apart is losing its humor. I’m trying not to go all Godwin, but the likelihood that Trump wins most/all of Super Tuesday while espousing ideas that place him comfortably within the fascist spectrum is alarming.
I can see value in a caucus for selecting party functions. A caucus to vote for the county leader, the finance chair, etc.
They are a terrible way to pick a candidate for a general election and should not be used. It prevents absentee voting and forces people to vote at a specific time and place or not vote at all.
@Redshift: One of the problems with primaries is that the state pays for them and decides which parties it runs them for. Yes, that will be based on the percentage of votes those parties got in previous election and stuff like that, but it is one of those things that is aimed at keeping the system tilted towards the two parties that are already part of it.
@Keith G: If you were part of my precinct, much less precinct judge, I’d change my affiliation back to independent so fast the papers would smoke and never darken a caucus door.
@Redshift: But the party can discontinue this system at their discretion. That is, the state as contractor to the party for running the primary has a set of rules which must be followed, but the party can end that arrangement. They don’t even need a caucus, they could just hold a convention, pick a candidate, and be done with it.
People get too wrapped up in fairness angles within the primary system when the primary system itself is fundamentally and deliberately unfair.
And we wonder why voter participation is so low…
@TaMara (BHF): Now that cuts.
But the thing is, it you had shown up, all would have been peachy.
@Keith G: I refrained from profanity, I was pretty proud of myself. :-D
I never lived in a caucus state til I moved to Alaska. My first one was in 2008. There were about 500 people in the dining room of the senior citizen center which had a capacity of 260. It was so crowded you had to shuffle across the room with your arms clutched to your side to “fan out” and the counters stood on tables to count everyone. After the first count only Clinton and Obama had more than 15% so we re-shuffled and ended up something like 5 delegates for Obama and 4 for Hillary. Caucusing was by state congressional district and we were connected by phone to other locations so our district got 9 total.
Then the majority of people left and we voted for the actual delegates. The state convention was in Palmer and you had to pay your own way. I had airline miles (there are no roads ) and so I volunteered. So I ended up at the state convention where our district only had 4 representatives – 3 for Obama and 1 for Hillary. The fanout was repeated and Obama won. His people had been bussed down from Anchorage. (It was May by then so it was late – Clinton and Obama were both campaigning in Puerto Rico at the time. Obama sent us a videotaped message and Hillary had a spokeswoman who scolded us)
The remaining days of the convention were interesting – in some votes we got to weigh our 4 votes by the number of delegates we were supposed to have – so it counted like 9. Many of the Anchorage people didn’t bother to show up so the rural areas (after flying in we had to stick around) counted more heavily. In Alaska the rural areas are bluer and the urban areas redder although that doesn’t hold within the Democratic party
Its not at all representative and is designed to discourage participation except by party regulars – but I don’t understand how you can “protest” lack of participation by not participating. This year I predict Bernie will win Alaska because his people will show up. I haven’t made up my mind – the D caucuses here are March 27.
Our caucus experience seems to be the outlier here. I caucused in Texas in 2008 for Obama with my husband (who had attended Camp Obama in 2007) and our son who was 6 and daughter who was 3. Our caucus site was our neighborhood community center so it was actually rather fun. It was very crowded — I don’t think our neighborhood had ever participated in the caucus process like they did that night. It was a bit like “the neighborhood night out”. My kids were talking to their friends; we were talking to our neighbors.
However, once we got inside, there was some tension between the Clinton and Obama camps about the rules. Since my husband had been trained and had canvased in Iowa, Nevada, and Texas by that point, he was one of the de facto leaders for our caucus site and he actually knew the rules. Obama won our site.
I am glad we don’t have to caucus any more in Texas but I don’t regret the experience at all.
the Conster, la Citoyenne
They don’t vote, and think that posting hostile shit to Elizabeth Warren’s FB page is a winning strategery. Then they wonder why they aren’t taken seriously.
@SenWarren has recorded over 9000 threats to her FB page
BTW, anybody got a non WSJ subscriber link for yesterday’s “Staring at the Conservative Gutter” article?
The precinct that I voted at this morning was quite busy. There were at least sixty people in front of me, and the makeup was more men than woman. That was at eleven. It might be a good day for Trump.
That depends on where you are. Here in California, we have a jungle primary for everything except president, so the primaries are quite explicitly not just internal party operations.
My first caucus experience was in 2008. I didn’t want to say anything or get involved, but a couple of high-school-aged folks made an impassioned speech for Obama. It inspired me to speak up myself in support, and I ended up volunteering to be the delegate to the next stage: a high school gymnasium where we sat around on the bleachers filling out forms. You don’t really have to be an extrovert to participate or even ever say a word. It can be a fun way to see the traditional democratic process at work
@Technocrat: no coin tosses.
I’m debating on whether to vote and in which primary. In Texas here and can vote in either one.
Republican primary: Initially I was leaning toward Trump, to help thwart Rubio, but I don’t think Rubio has any chance now anyway, and Trump might actually carry Texas. So my thinking has shifted to Ted Cruz, because the longer he is in the race, the more damage Trump will sustain. Also, if Ted Cruz did happen to win somehow (Trump implodes?), he would be slaughtered by either Dem in the primary.
Democratic primary: Hillary is going to win, so I don’t feel like it matters voting even.
What say you gals?
I have to work during the caucus so I “voted” absentee. Not sure if it will be counted unless the counts are really close.
We have same day registration in Maine and in 2008 people stood in line for hours and hours in the snow to wait for their turn to register. The Obama volunteers were walking up and down the lines bringing chairs and blankets to people. It was wild.
@hw3: This comment is truly one that has inspired me. Thnx
@Mike J: I have no problem with a caucus and convention process for local races, state party chair, etc. And caucuses and conventions can make sense for endorsing for things like mayor or city council.
I think the system whereby the national ticket candidates are voted on by secret ballot by all in attendance or who came to the polls that primary day, and then a caucus for all state and local races from 7:01pm till the fat lady sings is just fine with me.
Because, yes, I do think that people who only vote every federal election should have some say in who is on the federal-level ticket in November. They probably do know f-all about who should be party chair, tax assessor-collector, etc. and would have no influence in that caucus portion.
@RaflW: Governor Monbeam? I thought that was Jerry Brown of California, so who is (or was) the Texas version?
Hey, *I’m* going to mine in Custer County…mostly so that I can harangue my fellow new-met Dems (I’ve never voted here before) about why the heck we don’t have any Democratic candidates for County Commissioner. Just because we won’t get elected is no reason we shouldn’t be running a candidate!
Just Some Fuckhead
@Cacti: If you go, you can insult Bernie Sanders voters to their faces.
In general, BCDP runs the caucus process fairly well. (I’m in one of the L cities.) I’m in a new precinct this year (we moved) so I don’t know what this year’s will look like, but in the past, when we lived in one of BoCo’s more working class neighborhoods, we had between 4-8 people in a room; BCDP tries to keep precincts small and walkable because they use precincts for walk and call list organizing. The presidential side is generally the least important, but the one that gets people in the room. This year, I don’t think we have contested House or Senate races, and to my knowledge, we don’t have contentious local races. (2014 was interesting because there was a trench fight for county coroner.) In general, I have gone on as a County delegate any time I wanted to go, because most precincts don’t have a lot of volunteers. The flip side of this is that not wanting to go on is the norm. The platform and ballot issues are important — especially COCare this year — and I believe there might be a “let’s have primaries instead” issue.
I agree — caucus is a stupid process. It privileges extroverts at the expense of introverts, those with business hour jobs over those who work second and third shift, those without child care issues over those who have inflexible childcare situations, and pushes the cost of and responsibility for an elective process (which should be an election) to a private party (the party structure) with minimal accountability. And that’s the real reason — the state doesn’t have to bear the cost of a caucus, when they would have to bear the cost of a primary election. However, now that we’re on universal mail ballots, the cost of elections has dropped dramatically, and Colorado is relatively good about wanting to raise voter turnout. I’d be perfectly content with a jungle primary (ugh) or an instant runoff if it ends this caucus process.
Practical advice — wear comfortable shoes and clothes, dress in layers (3/4 sleeves with a light cardigan work for me), carry a water bottle, eat first, have a pocket snack you can share (somebody always forgets to eat, or didn’t have time, and is cranky — it’s amazing how much a nut or granola bar can make the process better for everyone).
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
The Democratic Farm Labor Party can run whatever system it wants to choose its presidential nominee, but I won’t be participating. As it happens, tonight’s session is the first of four parts, so missing it means forfeiting the next three meetings as well. If it had been just a one off, I’d caucus, but that’s too steep a price to pay.
So long as you can vote at 7pm and 7pm only, it’s going to be very hard to generate turnout.
I am not going. This is a raw deal for parents that have little kids.
Thank you for this. Exactly what I’ve been thinking. Moved to Colorado recently and was horrified reading about the caucus process here. I caucused for Obama in another state in 2008 which was easy and fun so figured I’d do it again here. But to go spend several hours debating local issues I don’t know anything about and standing up for a candidate when it appears I am only helping select delegates to a regional convention (where they are not actually bound to vote for caucus candidate) which will select delegates to the state convention which will actually chose the nominee: sorry, not interested. And I have never missed an election or a primary since I was eligible to vote in 1972. Feel vaguely guilty about it but not enough to kick the cat off my lap and actually leave the house.
@farthestnorth: @TaMara (BHF):
Well, ours is scheduled for 6 pm…don’t know what it’s like in other districts, but the ones I’ve participated in have always been in the evening…and even tho’ I’m pretty deeply introverted myself, I’m not shy when I feel I have a role to play…and I dunno, I actually enjoy the caucus process. I think because of ’08, when it occurred to me what a historic election was coming up, and feeling like I had been a part of it in a way that I had never felt before. If I hadn’t caucused, would I have volunteered? Phone banked, given money, run around on election day slapping “don’t forget to vote” flyers on a bunch of houses 30 miles from my home? Maybe not. Yes, it’s possibly a foolish, inefficient, and outmoded system. But it’s one of the few times and opportunities I feel like I have a chance to discuss serious subjects with like-minded citizens, even if we do disagree (and man, did we disagree about a stand on gun legislation in ’12! The complexities of being Blue in a Red-Purple state!).
TaMara- I’ll be attending my first ever caucus tonight in MN. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of persuasion required. In MN it’s a presidential preference ballot that gets dropped in a box. In MN the vote is binding – delegates can’t change their mind at the state convention.
Davis X. Machina
Caucused for years here in Maine, since 1986. We caucus off year, too, for local office candidates, and for convention delegates. ‘ve been a delegate four times, and an alternate twice, as near as I can remember. Obama, Dean, uncommitted, Tsongas, Dukakis…)
Lots more going on besides the preference poll, and the selection of delegates and alternates to the state Dem convention.
State house candidates and other down-ticket candidates will try to hit all their in-district caucus sites during the afternoon. Town Dem committees will try to fill up their numbers, county committee members will be chosen or drafted. Nominating petitions for those offices that haven’t got candidates will get signed, as will referenda petitions.
So, yeah, if you’re political, it’s a big deal.
I saw that movie once. What actually happened when a black man became President was far, far wilder and crazier than anything in that movie.
I participated in the Texas caucus in 2008. A horrific pain for all the reasons you describe, and also a profound waste of time. We essentially stood around for 2+ hours while organizers tried to figure out what was happening, then we walked to the part of the room associated with our candidate, and after another hour they counted. So a primary where slips of paper are replaced by bored, tired, and increasingly angry humans.
@Elizabelle: We have signed up to caucus in Washington state in late March. I agree, this is a dumb way to do it and most people are unaware that it’s even happening. I moved here from Califronia, a state with primaries, albeit one of the really late ones so my political friends all feel a bit disenfranchised by all of the earlier states’ caucuses and primaries.
My youngest is a Bernie fan; we tried to get her to go to the caucus in her precinct but she’s too… I dunno, but she says she won’t do it. Won’t get up a little early on a Saturday to support the candidate of her choice. If there was a primary, she’d vote.
She’s so angry about politics right now I can hardly talk to her,because she knows that Bernie is not going to prevail, she knows he hasn’t been supporting the down-ticket races, he hasn’t campaigned as effectively as he could have, and she says she doesn’t trust Hillary. She couldn’t tell me what she doesn’t trust about her and got mad when I pressed a bit.
To make up I sent her a link to a Bernie action figure startup bleg, which she adored. Heck, I like Bernie too and may buy one if they ever go into production.
Another supporter of mail in voting here. If the Democrats really want to increase voter turn out, skip the whole voting holiday nonsense and push mail in voting or make voting a week long process, if the candidates have to campaign for 18 months, seems only fair we should get a few days to cast a vote.
This little-known tip often works! (Sorry, seeing too many of those click-bait article links on pages I visit.) And don’t ask me why it does. I have no idea.
If you go to Google and search for the exact title of the WSJ article, e.g.,
"Staring at the Conservative Gutter"
(including quotation marks) you will get back a list of results that usually has a link to the actual article at the top. If you click that link, quite often it will take you to an unlocked version of the article. The URL is exactly the same, but the article is unlocked. Go figure.
But I have found that if you try to go back to this page later, even using this same method, the article is locked. Something murky is going on in the background.
In this particular case, the article was locked the first time I tried this method. But I opened a new private window (not a tab) in Firefox and was able to get it. Again, I have no idea why this works. I just tried it again with another WSJ editorial piece, “Republican Divide About Trump Grows,” and was able to get an unlocked copy of that as well (in a new private window).
ETA to point out the possibly obvious: The key is to go for the article through a Google search.
This is why the Tea Ba…er, Tea Partiers are dominating GOP politics – they get their people to caucuses and the like and so they have a stronger influence on who the candidates are for various offices.
It’s designed that way – when NYT put things behind a paywall the advertisers complained – so now the purpose of a paywall is to get as many people to subscribe as possible but not block one time viewers who come from search engines. Web sites can look at the “referrer” and tell such things as where the link you clicked on came from – so they can tell it came from a search engine and allow it.
Also (too) – right click (Cntrl-click on a Mac) on the link and “open in private window” (Chrome) or “open in Incognito window” (Firefox) for websites that allow, say, 5 free articles per month – the private window doesn’t access the cookies saved from your regular browser so can’t tell if you visited it before. Web sites can also track your IP so in theory they could tell it was the same internet location – but since most ISPs use non-constant IP addresses and the sites don’t want to block the geeky people who figure it out – just get as many as possible to pay while not blocking so many the advertisers are unhappy.
Davis X. Machina
@Steeplejack: WSJ closed this loophole about 10 days ago IIRC
@Scamp Dog: Jerry Brown was a candidate for President in 1992. I was a Brown delegate to the TX Democratic convention. It was eye opening. Clinton must have had a 250:1 delegate advantage, so in three days of floor speeches, the state party refused to let any surrogate speak for Brown. I’m pretty sure we heard 3 minute speeches by second choice candidates for Bupkus County constable, but the Clinton machine had the convention totally, utterly locked out for Brown. Sure, we were seated, by silenced to the point of eventually staging a march/protest on the convention floor — to no avail.
@Davis X. Machina:
Well, it worked for me twice today, on two separate articles: the one Mike J was asking about and the other one I mentioned.
@shortribs: We have mail voting here in WA and the last election had the lowest turnout Ever. Still it avoids so much hassle, and please No E-Voting Ever!! .