Monday, December 18, 2006

Nevada Dems Enjoy Early Caucus

The Las Vegas Review Journal has an article which includes a brief story on the expectations that Nevada Democrats has from being the beneficiary of an early Democratic Caucus. This summer, the Rules and Bylaws Committee, followed shortly by the full Democratic National Committee, established two early nomination contests in addition to the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary. Nevada will host an early Caucus. South Carolina will finally join Republicans with the First in the South Primary, after a trial run in 2004.

They are right to be excited about the benefits this will bring.

South Carolina Democrats watched for many election cycles as the "First in the South" Republican Presidential Primary slowly contributed to the decline of the Democratic Party in their State. With the increasing importantance of the contest, the Republican Primary began to draw major media attention. That meant any Republican wanting to run for President had to make numerous pilgrimages to the Palmetto State.

The Republican candidates raised money for the State Republican Party and were very generous to SC Republican candidates throughout the State. The media attention contributed to crowd building and an ever-present energy on the Republican side. Young Republican politicos were pursued by Presidential candidates to staff their campaigns. Many of those landed senior positions in Republican Administrations in Washington. Over time, SC Republicans have grown to have major influence in Republican Presidential politics and that has helped them in every way that you can imagine.

The average voter, perhaps even someone who votes in every election does not understand the Presidential nominating process. I believe that for years, many of these people came to their own conclusions about why the Democrats weren't participating in the hoopla surrounding the Republican Primary. Were the Democrats not running anyone for President? Did the Democrats not have anybody good enough to run? Had the Democrats run out of money? Perhaps the Democrats were just ignoring South Carolina.....

Not one of these conclusions is favorable for the Democrats. It would have been hopeless to explain to the voters what was going on. Over the years, this was a major factor in South Carolina going from a One Party State to a One Party State.

Nevada Democrats should enjoy their newly earned status. But don't tell the Republicans! Maybe it'll take them as long as it did for us to in South Carolina!