Thanks to everyone who showed up to Solly’s last night to fete me and Brian Beutler. I can’t speak for Brian but I’m really–I’ll just resort to this word–blessed to have so many brilliant, witty, caring friends who don’t care about the size of their bar tabs.
Now that I’ve sung that note of cheer, back to the usual sarcasm and dread. Martin Austermuhle surely has the most thankless beat at DCist.com–reporting every angle of the flawed and futile attempt to give a Congressional vote to Washington, D.C. In this installment Austermuhle is reduced to promoting Mike Huckabee to Washington’s Republicans. There were, at the end of 2006, only 30,050 registered Republicans in the city. They turn out to vote at a rate of around 10 percent. They do hold a presidential primary but even less of them participate in that. In 2000, George W. Bush landslided the D.C. primary with… 1,771 votes, or about two-and-a-half times the total vote for Lyndon LaRouche.
Such a small pool to play in! Maybe Huckabee can win! But if D.C. Republicans are anything, they’re despondent about their party’s chances to win anything in the city, ever. They have zero interest in helping the city get a permanent Democratic vote in Congress.
That small sample size makes me wonder whether Ron Paul has a chance to win the D.C. primary. It would be a token victory, but it wouldn’t be impossible. If Jeff Frazee and Aaron Biterman rounded up every college student who thinks it’d be fun to vote for Paul and everyone from a Cato event or a Reason happy hour moseyed to the polls you’d have, what, 350-400 votes? They’d have to overcome the split presidential votes of the Republicans who show up only to vote for their committeeman/committeewoman, and if those split fairly evenly–300 Rudy, 300 Fred, 300 McCain, 300 Romney, 300 Huckabee, a bunch of write-ins–sure, Paul could win. Seems unlikely, but if there’s a nice underground campaign it would be a fun little outcome.