As a lifelong citizen of Texas, I am embarrassed by the method state Democrats use to select the delegates from our state. In what is being referred to as the 'Texas Two Step', on Tuesday during the day - Texas will hold a primary where Democrats can vote for either Barck Obama or Hillary Clinton, then that night the same democratic voters are asked once again to show up at state caucuses and vote again. I wish I knew who exactly came up with this idea and how on Earth that person could have thought this two step system was fair at best or legal at worst? For all I know, my state democratic party has been doing things this way for a long time - but no one noticed because the nominee was always selected before Texans even went to the polls to vote.
The Texas primary system is heavily weighted in favor of Barack Obama. Not only does Obama do well in a caucus setting, but since the democratic party in Texas rewards past voter turnouts in presidential primaries, African-American votes will count for more delegates than votes from either whites or Mexican-Americans. The reason this is happening is because in previous election cycles, predominately African-American voting districts have turned out in higher numbers to vote than have whites and Mexican-Americans. Basically, the whole democratic primary system here in Texas is broken and it is in severe need of repair. However, it is too late to fix the Texas system before voters start casting their ballots and visiting caucus locations in less than 48 hours.
The close nature of the 2008 presidential race has brought close public scrutiny to how the various states select delegates to their respective conventions. From my point of view, the GOP has a much better system for selecting a presidential nominee than do the Democrats. The first mistake that the democratic party makes is by not having a winner take all system in each of their state primaries. Instead of dividing delegates between either congressional districts or some other formula, Democrats should follow the Republicans and allow which ever candidate wins a state the right to take all of that states delegates. While the Republicans have already selected John McCain to be their candidate in November, the democratic party is still fighting to see whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will be their nominee.
The second thing that must be changed in the democratic primary system is the removal or reduction in the number of 'Superdelegates' that represent the party at the national convention. Having almost 1/3 of all delegates casting votes without being forced to abide by the will of the people is a system that could damage Democrats badly if the person that received the most votes did not win the nomination. 2008 is showing all Americans the flaws that are present in the various state primaries and this years close election on the democratic side should be a wake up call to party leaders to fix their systems before something bad happens down the road.
Read more about 2008 Elections:
Democrats In Florida Might Vote Again
Cleveland Fight Night, Obama/Clinton Square Off
Clinton Campaign Racist By Forwarding Obama Muslim Photos?
Ralph Spoiler Nader Enters 2008 Presidential Race
Obama/Hillary Both Did Well In Austin, Tx Debate
March 02, 2008 Archives