Our state is the West’s political litmus test
BY JOHN STEPHENS III
On February 20, Democrats fanned out across the state of Nevada to caucus and elect delegates to the state and national conventions.
Billed as the first caucus in the West, the event allows candidates to measure their ability to connect with voters everywhere and demonstrate broad appeal.
A caucus by definition is a local gathering of registered members of a political affiliation — Democrat or Republican — who meet up to talk up, support and vote for their preferred candidates.
There is a rather complex formula used to determine candidates’ support and electability. Caucus goers who want to participate, but are uncommitted to any particular candidate, may be treated to discussions and debates about the pros and cons of the Oval Office aspirants.
“I hope that voters will pick former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who stumped for the Democratic frontrunner and eventual caucus winner. Donald Trump won Nevada’s Republicans.
The process was not completed without controversy: many caucus participants complained about long lines, confusion and consumption of time needed to support their candidate.
This level of interest must be maintained in the fall, because the 2016 election has become even more important with the passing of ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He was a true adversary of African-American rights and values, and it is the president’s job to nominate his successor. Now, the Senate must do its job and confirm his replacement.