To refresh your memory: Washington State has 44 delegates, winner-take-most (majority takes all) proportional primary (20% threshold), with statewide and CD delegates. Closed primary (deadline to switch is next week; deadline for first-time voters is next month), but it’s all mail-in. …And, just think! Five months ago, I would have had to write another three or four sentences to explain all of that. Now I can just assume that most of you folks will be able to follow along. It’s an ill wind, huh?
Anyway, it turns out that Ted Cruz has already done the work – before the deadline – that will ensure that the people picking the actual delegates (and the delegates themselves!) will be people who rather like Ted Cruz. As usual, his team started early: “In Washington, Cruz named a state leadership team in November and had slates of delegates lined up for recent county conventions and legislative-district caucuses.” And, given that the pool of potential delegates has already been created, it’s pretty likely that the end result in Washington State will be the same as in other ones: to wit, one where Ted Cruz steamrollers his opposition when it comes time to picked pledged delegates.
It’s darkly entertaining when people – very, ah, enthusiastic people, – call this ‘cheating.’ To be fair, those people have been carefully misinformed by television and other media about what the rules are in primary elections. So of course they’re upset to find out that it matters that Washington State is a closed proportional primary! Or that there’s a statewide/CD split! Or that delegate selection is so absolutely important to the state political parties that it get its own system! Nobody told them otherwise, and somebody should have. And now of course they’re being lied to, by politicians and political flunkeys who are becoming uncomfortably aware of all the new enemies that they kind of didn’t mean to make – so I’m not entirely unsympathetic.
But I am unsympathetic, because I didn’t know any of this stuff at first either. I just educated myself on the process. It’s not exactly hard to learn, either. If it was hard to learn, they’d just have to dumb it down further so that politicians could understand it.