Enough Pundits for A While- Let Us Reflect

Today is Super Tuesday. So much is on the Line. You Don’t Need More Opinion


By the time today ends, more than a dozen states will have had their primaries. More than one-third of the delegates for the national conventions will have been allocated. It’s a turn the corner day.

Let us hope for a good run for our better angels.

Given all that, it occurs to me that the last thing any of us need today, including you, dear reader, is yet another advice/opinion column. So, today I offer only my best wishes to all and encouragement to be thoughtful if today is the day you vote.

We will have plenty of time and opportunities to commiserate following today’s events. We should know by the end of the week what the coming months look like. I expect we will be down to a very few candidates. One might be the clear favorite, but I suspect it will remain a small group for a bit longer.

The odds of a contested convention are higher than might have been inspected, but depending on how everyone, especially the candidates, conduct themselves going forward, that does not have to be a bad scenario. If it takes 2-3 rounds of voting, so be it. If it takes multiple rounds – not good.

A number of candidates will need to ask themselves some hard questions and make some important decisions after this week. So will we citizens. I commend to you, and to the candidates, a recent article in the Washington Post by someone who has already gone through that decision process. John Delaney, like most of the early departures, made the right decision for the right reasons. They left with dignity. They were solid candidates who will contribute in the future. May we see more of that. This is a good, short read:


Good luck to us all going forward. There is much yet to be done.

Bill Clontz, Founder, Agents of Reason       Bill Clontz

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4 replies to Enough Pundits for A While- Let Us Reflect

  1. Bill, here’s a couple of questions you might clarify: What happens to the delegate count from those dropping out of the race? Same goes for the money left in their political fund after paying all campaign expenses (if any amount left).

    • Good questions, Jerry. I am no expert on neither, but my understanding is as follows: It varies by state, but generally, if the candidate in question made the 15% threshold, those delegates are bound to vote for that candidate, even if withdrawn, on the first round of voting. Any subsequent rounds, they are essentially free agents, much like the super delegates in the case of the Democrats. If the candidate does not have 15%, they are free agents at the start.

      I believe the candidates are free to retain all funds donated, even after the campaign. Nice bonus, eh? Many in this situation use the money to support other candidates they support and/or set up some sort of PAC that can support others or be available for their own later campaigns for another office.

  2. I believe, because there were so many candidates in the race when I early voted, that my vote was wasted for president and it would have been better if I had waited until today. I wonder if there were others who felt this way. Shirley

    • Shirley, this is a comment I heard from a number of people over the last couple of days. I know the feeling! I, too, voted early and had the same thought in passing. I normally recommend people consider early voting, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it is usually easier than voting on the primary voting day and it helps the parties get a better feel for turnout, who to still send messages and literature to, etc.

      But you can make a good case that with so many candidates out there, waiting until election day can make sense. Look at all the changes that happened in less than 72 before election day this time around!

      But in the end, I would not feel that an early vote is wasted if your candidate dropped out. In the first place, your vote sent a message of what sort of candidate you were looking for. A vote for Pete or Amy, for example, generally meant the voter wanted someone in the center of slightly left of center. The parties take note of that.

      Additionally, it is different in different states, but generally, delegates for candidates who have dropped out are either free agents from the second ballot onward, or if the candidate did not get 15% of the vote, they might be free from the start.Essentially, we then trust our vote to someone selected as a delegate, one who represents people who wanted a particular type of candidate. Not perfect, but reasonable to expect they will be inclined to support such a candidate at the convention.

      Still, I think your basic point is correct. With that much play in what happens with multiple candidates, the voter might want to hold off voting rather than voting early.

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