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Are we there yet?

May 23, 2016

Washington (the state) holds a couple of fairly inconsequential primary contests tomorrow.

Now, that doesn’t mean that the opinions of people in Washington are any less important than anyone in other states.

Indeed, assuming Donald Trump “wins”  while running against people who are no longer actively in the race, the Republican candidate can pick up a few more of those 1237 delegates that will nominate him in July.

Democrats  Clinton and Sanders have almost nothing other than bragging rights to gain.

That’s because of the odd way in which Washington handles its primary process. As explained on one election schedule posting site (

“The Washington State GOP holds a caucus on February 20 but presidential primary delegates will be awarded based on the results of the Washington State primary on May 24. The Washington State Democratic Party does not allocate any delegates from the primary, but rather holds its own caucus on March 26. As a result, Democrats may vote in the primary on May 24 but the vote is considered a “beauty contest” as it holds no bearing on delegates.”

This is the point that arrives at some time during all presidential elections.  The point at which the whole thing becomes fodder for SNL sketches or local comedians and results are discussed in the entertainment section instead of above the fold on the front page.

Luckily for most of us, that drop off  coincides with summer where “hotdogging it” means getting out the patio furniture and the grill instead of responding to some inflammatory statement on Twitter.

Of the remaining elections only California has the potential to be truly newsworthy in terms of gauging public opinion. Perhaps the budget forecast by Governor Brown that predicts the state’s  goodie locker will be smaller starting in 2019 will influence voting, but that assumes any voters were even listening, much less able to remember all the way back to May 16.

In short no, we aren’t there yet, not that very many people care at this point. Considering that this election is one of the more important in the last two or three decades, that’s a shame.

That lack of interest explains why administrations typically wait until summer to make big moves such as ending the embargo on arms shipments to Viet Nam.

Just for kicks it might be OK , just this once, to keep at least one ear tuned in this year.

Because at some point, we are going to get there.

From → op-ed

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