Independents May Play Key Role in Rhode Island

Rhode Island holds its primary March 4. It's another state with an open primary, meaning Independents can vote in the Democratic contest.

This may not bode well for Hillary Clinton, even though recent polls have her ahead of Barack Obama in the state (poll results here (pdf)) and the Clintons are very popular in the state. There's been a surge in voter registrations..

About 6,800 of the voters who registered in the last four months are Democrats, 1,900 are Republicans and 12,000 are independents, who can vote in either party's primary.

The new voters this year are also young voters. About 20,000 are between the ages of 18 and 29, the Journal reported.

Rhode Island has 21 delegates. Hillary will campaign there Feb. 24. It's true that Independents and young voters tend to favor Obama. But, this statement by an Obama organizer at Brown University is just silly:


"If we beat Hillary here, she's going to have to drop out because she's going to run out of money.

Rhode Island also has a large senior citizen population:

Rhode Island has one of the largest populations of senior citizens per capita of any state and has a large number of working class voters, groups that have been strong supporters of Clinton in previous contests.

The dilemma for Hillary:

Registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans three to one in Rhode Island, although there are more so-called "unaffiliated" voters than Democrats and Republicans combined. Those voters can cast ballots in either primary.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Is there any way for Democrats (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 02:50:33 PM EST
    To take our party back?

    Why do we allow Open Primaries & Caucuses?

    i could be wrong, but i think that's a state (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 03:10:46 PM EST
    party decision. why they would do that remains something of a mystery, you'd have to inquire of the state party poobahs for an answer.

    based on recent trends, this will either be a win for sen. clinton, or a tie at worst. had i the time, i'd do my famous "multiple linear regression and corrolation analysis", and give you exact %'s. sort of. lol


    State laws (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ben Masel on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:37:55 PM EST
    In Wisconsin, if you want to have a Primary, it's open. You can have a closed caucus or Convention if you like, but then you don't have the State pick up the tab.

    Yes you can (none / 0) (#5)
    by Salt on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 03:12:07 PM EST
    but you will have to go out and vote in the remaining states make your voices heard, instead of letting Party partisans only 4 to 28 percent of turn out and choose for you.  Turn out is high for a Primary but its no where the number that are in the Dem base, there is time.

    Because they'll never get it back... (none / 0) (#6)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 03:14:24 PM EST
    that way.

    It took open primaries for the Republicans to win in 1980, and it'll take open primaries for the Democrats to win 2008.

    Majority of voters are independents, they aren't attached to any party. This is something the card carrying party members have to realize, for their own good.

    If you want that brass ring, you'll have to actively go after moderates and independents -- especially in very close elections.

    If not, McInsane will win this election. He WILL win over Obama, simply on no other issue than experience. If granny had to choose between her 15 year-old son, or a 50 year-old harden war hero who's been in Washington forever, she's not going to vote for the whippersnapper. Just not going to happen.

    Hillary has to go against McCain. Let experience vs. experience duke it out -- and I hope Hillary wins!


    I think the democratic party (none / 0) (#30)
    by felizarte on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:39:07 PM EST
    has the equivalent group that the conservative evangelicals are in the republican party.

    The center is practically gone from both parties.


    Dem for a Day (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by magisterludi on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 04:09:03 PM EST
    I would like all to remember that paean. Republicans changing their registration to vote BHO in caucuses and open primaries. For a day, mind you.

    In my most sincere opinion, the majority of these folk don't buy the post-partisan change message. The objective is to keep HRC out of the WH, not to elect BHO.

    Yes, that is a danger... (1.00 / 1) (#15)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 04:25:29 PM EST
    in any election with open primaries.

    Yet it's also a two-edged sword. All those White male voters for OBABA, for instance in SC, should be telling in itself of this tactic.

    If I was a Dem, I'd be very weary of this OBABA fanfare, because if it's too good to be true, 99.9% of the time, it is.

    OBABA is counting on a youth vote that historically doesn't show up in GEs; popularity with White male voters (who tend to vote Republican -- especially in the South); and a Black vote, that I've seen since 2004, increasingly conservative to particular liberal ideals (especially gay and women rights).

    If there was any candidate that's a wolf in sheep's clothing, it's this OBABA. The open primaries isn't the only concern!


    You got that right! (none / 0) (#29)
    by john5750 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:32:27 PM EST
    Is this a joke? (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 05:22:27 PM EST
    "A new article about Obama wearing Iraqi solder's bracelet is going to put him over the top."

    I hope these's snark here.

    Ahhh (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by wasabi on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 05:25:45 PM EST
    Thanks, but no thanks.  I'll support him in November if he wins the nomination, but not before.

    Hillary got Health Care for Soldiers (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by nycvoter on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:21:11 PM EST
    like speeches, bracelets don't mean much.  Real health care for National Guard and Reserves, now that means something.  How about Hillary's work to make sure the Pentagon pays the bonuses to people who signed up to fight and now their bonuses are being stopped because they were injured.  That the kind of work I want my President to care about.

    No matter what (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by john5750 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:39:23 PM EST
    In November we have to all get out and vote, whether it's for Hillary or Obama.

    Sign up for mail-in ballots, anyone can.  This has been a GOP secret for years, but we can do it, too.

    Obama campaign's statement (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 02:47:01 PM EST
    will probably raise money for HRC campaign coffers.  Thanks, O.

    If people WOULD (none / 0) (#3)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 03:01:46 PM EST
    vote on the issues in this primary then I would look at this as a gain for Dems. Right now they are voting for for Unity and Change... two words that do not bode well together.

    Facts prove otherwise (none / 0) (#9)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 03:56:05 PM EST
    As a web designer, I'd die for stats like this...


    Average Visit Length 5:00

    Those aren't just drive bys!

    Some more SEO, and this blog can truly compete with the other top bloggers.

    On Site Stats (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 04:54:38 PM EST
    Glad someone noticed!

    The average length of a site visit on TL has always been high, around 2 minutes. For the past week, it's been 5 minutes. That's amazing.  

    I did a check last week. Here were the numbers (they could be different slightly today.) For the hugely trafficked Daily Kos with 1 million visitors a day...the average time each visitor spends on the site is one second. On MyDD with 85,000 visitors a day, the average site visit is 17 seconds. On Open Left, with 35,000 visitors, it's 29 seconds.

    For Atrios, with 100,00 visitors a day, it's 10 seconds.

    At the other end, for Crooks and Liars, with 180,000 visitors a day, it's 2 minutes, 40 seconds.

    Digby's daily average of 31,999 visitors spend 2 minutes on her site.

    I think it's great that you readers hang out here so long.


    It's the objectivity. (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by echinopsia on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 05:01:10 PM EST
    And the strict comment policy that keeps the signal to noise ratio up.

    When the site content is g-o-o-d (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 05:02:46 PM EST
    folks stick around and park. Five minutes on the face of it doesn't seem long, but that's the average. That means folks are reading the content (not just refreshing the page or other gimmicks to up the count).

    Very BIG plus.

    Hardest thing isn't getting the traffic/hits/backlinks, it's keeping visitors (especially) to stick around to absorb your "brand". Once you do get a good readership, word gets out, and it'll just grow and grow and grow.

    You have a winning formula. Keep at it!


    How to really read stats... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 05:15:11 PM EST
    "For the hugely trafficked Daily Kos with 1 million visitors a day...the average time each visitor spends on the site is one second."

    That's marketing gimmicks to up the hit count (page refreshes, for example). It's great for popularity advertizing, not for advertizing dollars (as advertizers now are smart about what really counts, keeping visitors/content producers on the site to actually view the ads).

    People read about Markos making good money on advertizing, but without external help today, the marketeers would be hard pressed by DK's keeping times. He had to readjust his rates.

    Site content makes or breaks a site. Higher it is to the noise ratio, higher the keep times. That translates to the visitor/poster better reading; to the site maintainer, a livihood (as it'll become a full time job to maintain)!

    So drive bys, the numbers don't lie. TL is doing a good job, and doing it where it counts.


    Used to go to HUffPo till it became (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Florida Resident on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:05:03 PM EST
    Obama Central.  Not that I don't like Obama it his followers commenting and posting on that site.  They say things that no decent Democrat should say about another human being lest of all another Democrat.  My opinion

    That's it... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:11:56 PM EST
    They say things that no decent Democrat should say about another human being lest of all another Democrat.

    I've been wondering how to voice my reservations about the comments there (and some other sites too)-- I don't know how they live with themselves.

    And some of them used to be friends.....


    Nice! (none / 0) (#11)
    by kangeroo on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 04:06:38 PM EST
    About that Obama operative at Brown (none / 0) (#10)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 04:01:45 PM EST
    I'm told there's a sucker born every minute.
    I didn't know they'd all join together and chant "Yes, we can".  :-)

    PammSyphilis?!? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 04:14:31 PM EST
    Your comment was deleted and you are suspended for the day. But I do not think you actually comment here so , maybe not even a suspension.

    Generational Divide (none / 0) (#14)
    by john horse on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 04:23:35 PM EST
    Even though I'm a Hillary supporter, I think you have to credit Obama with getting young people excited about politics.  My son goes to school in Rhode Island and supports Obama.  I suspect this divide between parents who support Hillary and children who support Obama is not that uncommon.  Those of us baby boomers have finally reached the other side of the generation gap.

    You're probably right (none / 0) (#16)
    by stillife on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 04:28:08 PM EST
    about a lot of young people, but my two kids (and my son's girlfriend) are Hillary supporters.  And no, I didn't do anything to influence them; they reached their own conclusions from watching the debates.

    Oddly, my elderly mother is an Obama supporter. So much for statistics!

    I do agree that this has been an extremely exciting (nerve-wracking) primary season and it's been quite a civics lesson for me.  


    Can't see Hillary losing RI... (none / 0) (#17)
    by frankly0 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 04:40:08 PM EST
    Having lived in RI for a number of years awhile back, and being pretty familiar with its demographic composition, I'd be pretty astonished if Hillary didn't win big there. Heavy into blue collar voters, huge tilt toward Democrats, pretty significant Hispanic population. Only the Thayer Street crowd on the East Side strikes me as politically rich material for Obama.

    RI is basically Massachusetts minus most of the latte sippers.