It’s amazing how seriously people can take a little thing like a presidential caucus.
Everyone has been all over the Washington Republican Party’s back over this caucus result thing. But as the party’s spokesman laid out to me yesterday, Chairman Luke Esser owed it to the party faithful to announce results Saturday, because no one likes to go to bed with things unresolved.
OK, so it seems that at least four counties had transmitted the wrong information to the party on Saturday. They were supposed to be counting the stated preference of the elected precinct delegates, and they’d counted the sign-in sheets, which reflected the preference for all their caucus attendees — two measures that seem to have little to do with one another. Oops. As the party spokesman stressed to me yesterday, it’s their first time reporting results on the same day, so perhaps mistakes were inevitable.
But never fear! The party has fixed that mistake (at least partially, one of those counties hasn’t provided the correct information yet) and John McCain is still in the lead. With 96% percent reporting, he’s up 25.6% to Mike Huckabee’s 23.3%.
Now maybe the media and Mike Huckabee‘s lawyers will get off the state GOP’s back. The main thing to realize, they want everyone to know, is how little Saturday’s caucus bears any relation to the final slate of delegates Washington State will send to the national Republican Convention this summer. From The Seattle Times:
Due to the way Republicans select their delegates, the results could bear little resemblance to the presidential preferences of the 40 Washington state delegates ultimately sent to the GOP national convention in September.
“Nobody won or lost anything on Saturday,” said Vance, now a public affairs consultant and McCain supporter. “But every other state had been able to report a ‘winner,’ so there was expected there would be a ‘winner’ in Washington state.”
So the “winner” of the “caucus” (according to the party’s “count”) was McCain. Probably. So enough with the fuss already.