Instructions For NH Voters

Welcome to the New Hampshire Democratic primary. Please select one of the following candidates:

Clark, Wesley
Dean, Howard
Edwards, John
Kerry, John
Kucinich, Dennis
Lieberman, Joseph
Sharpton, Al

Democrats: Please vote for the candidate that you think will receive the most votes. Remember: the key to this election is electability, so do NOT vote for the person you would prefer to see as President. Instead, choose the person that you predict the most other people will prefer to see as President in the general election. Also remember that the Democrats will only win if they can attract conservatives “Crossover” voters, so imagine a right-wing Republican — preferably someone who holds political views antithetical to your own — and vote as you think he would.

Republicans: If you are a Republican trying to “spoil” the primary, your goal will be to vote for the LEAST electable candidate. Try to figure out which candidate the Democratic caucusgoers would vote for if they were voting their conscience instead of voting for who they think will get the most votes, and vote for that person.

Thank you for your participation! Democracy works because of voters like you!

32 thoughts on “Instructions For NH Voters

  1. I feel better about not voting now! The decision was taken care of for me by clairvoyant primary voters! Now I can tell my boss I’m out voting in November, but spend the day drinking Schlitz with the boys.

  2. Of course this is how it works, and it should. Grownups understand the need for comprimise.

    What is the point in backing Dean (if you love him, which I don’t) and winning only 4 states come November? He isn’t going to be President next year, no matter what. Sorry to spoil any dreams, but even Democrats don’t like him, never mind the independents and flip floppers who actually decide elections.

  3. This isn’t an election. It’s a horse race. Do they bet on this stuff in Vegas? I wouldn’t be suprised if they do. Base the odds on predictions of polls and the invaluable opinions of nightly newscasters. To say that we need to pick an electable candidate may be a clever strategy, but it puts the “mockery” in democracy…or something like that. If you don’t vote for who you think would be the best President you are wasting your vote in my opinion. I realize the real world and the ideal world are two very different places, but that’s only because everybody knows that…

    And of course we don’t like Dean, he has so completely permeated the media for the last 3 months that we can’t help but be sick of him.

  4. I agree, and if I think about it makes me kind of mad. In fact, it makes me really mad! It all reminds me of that old Simpsons episode: ‘don’t blam me, I voted for Kodos!’

    There was a letter in the Boston Globe a while ago, in which the writer complained that Gore’s endorsemtent of Dean ‘subverted the democratic process.’ Which it may have, for idiots who only vote for the candidate they think is going to win anyways. Dude, if he’s already going to win, then you don’t need to vote for him!

    Oh well, this is from someone who voted for Nader in the last election, in a concession to electability. What? Sure, he was more electable than the socialist ticket I voted for in ’96! But I won’t make that mistake again. :D

  5. Please tell me you’re not another disgruntled Dean supporter. I like some of his stance, but he ain’t all that. If you’d looked beyond other blogs, Dean’s showing wouldn’t be that much of a surprise.

  6. So you are all saying my vote counts for something?
    I thaught it was the supreme court that decided the presidency!

  7. Are there caucuses in New Hampshire? I’m not being a smart-ass – I’m not sure if they skip the caucus because they have a primary, or if they have a caucus on the day of the primary. I know, for example, that Washington had both, back when we had a primary.

  8. No caucuses here in NH, just the primary. It was perhaps the best voting I have ever done — we cross-country-skiied to our town hall, got a nice little ballot (red for republicans, blue for democrats), went behind a shower curtain, and marked an X in the box with a nice sharp #2 pencil. Then we dropped our ballots in a nice wooden box that has been the town’s official ballot box since its founding in 1763. Old school, yo. On the way back we saw a bunny hopping through the snow. Nothing makes election day better than a snow bunny. Seriously.

  9. i say that the “presidentiary” should be decided by three simple questions, asked of each candidate at the same time in sound-proof booths:

    1) what is your name?
    2) what is your quest?
    3) what is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

    they have five seconds to respond to each question. incorrect answers result in a particular trajectory into a firey pit so that they might ne’er bother us again.
    this country already looks like a moron collective to the rest of the world, so why try and improve on that. if one has no expectations, one cannot be disappointed.
    mp might have something… an untapped, tapped resource.

    cave cuniculum cum magnis dentibus acutis.

  10. To vote or not to vote, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the crooks and puppets of outrageous elections, or to take arms against a sea of hypocrites, and by opposing…. accomplish nothing.

  11. The primaries are the time to be discerning and study the candidates carefully. Once you get to the general election, your choice is merely big government(D) vs.(R) small government. OK, and war vs. peace.

  12. Well put. But on the otherside of this particularly funny piece is the idea that you really should be voting for the candidate that is best for the ENTIRE country (and by extension, the world). If you solely vote for the person YOU want, then you’re just turning the democratic process into a school yard popularity contest.

    Granted, until the general election, none of this makes much sense. Obviously, by the time the primaries make it out west, most, if not all the viable candidates have dropped out. Hence the reason why our antiquated primary system should be put out to pasture. All primaries, in every state, should happen at the same time. Then, everyone could exercise their right to vote for the candidate of their choice (even if it isn’t the best choice, ie: Nader, Kucinich, Cthulu, or Gallagher).

  13. wait, E! hopefully, the person you are voting for IS the one you want *precisely because* you think that candidate is the best for the entire country. right? what you are saying seems to suggest that you should vote for someone who would be the best candidate for the entire country, even if you don’t like him… but, unless you have a dastardly plan for the country, why wouldn’t you like him then?

    and… aside from the influence of the electoral college, elections are nothing BUT a popularity contest. it’s called the “popular vote.” the candidate that wins (electoral college aside) is the one that is most popular with most of the population (regardless of whether the voters decided for themselves or let a poll/fox news/etc. tell them).

    unless, of course, this whole ridiculous notion of “electability” enters the fray, and i haven’t seen it summed up better than it was in the post that spawned this whole conversation. thank you, DY.

    i blame any incoherence in this post on what my job has done to my brain.

  14. Electability? Popularity? I’m not so sure I buy it. But, for the sake of argument… people voting their “conscience” netted this country what in the last election? Bush.

    I like Nader. I really do. But I didn’t vote for him. Not because he wasn’t electable but because voting for Nader would assure Bush would be elected into the most powerful position on Earth. The knew the election would be close and differences between Nader and Gore were almost negligible. I’d rather have Gore in office right now and I bet a whole bunch of the tree-huggers who wanted Nader are kicking themselves in their ozone-free asses right now because by voting for Nader, just enough votes were taken away from Gore to make it even closer. Then when Jeb handed Shrub Florida, our fate (as well as that of a bunch of third world nations) was sealed.

    Great if you think an election is all about popularity… or about voting for the “dream” candidate that says all the right things (which we all know any candidate will be unable to ever deliver) but the real idea you should always keep in mind, at least from where I’m standing, is which is the lesser of two evils.

    Let’s be perfectly straight about one thing: If I had a choice, I wouldn’t choose someone who wanted to be president. I’d choose someone who doesn’t have such low aspirations.

  15. well, yes, i agree with you. the guy that wins the popular vote is the one that says the stuff that makes the most people happy. doesn’t mean he’s telling the truth. and very much agreed about nader serving only to take votes from gore.

    yes, the people best suited to run this country are too smart to put themselves in such a shitty position (lee iaccoca, back in the 80’s, asked “why would i take the pay cut?”). and also agreed about the lesser of two evils. i belong to the contingent that already knows who they’re voting for even though the democrats are acting like a bunch of headless chickens on crack. i’m voting for Not Bush.

  16. What happened to:

    Vote for the person who will best lead the country, solve attacks against citizenry and improve the lot of the disadvantaged?

    That is the electible man!

  17. In 2000, people told me I was throwing my vote away when I supported Nader. He couldn’t win, they said, and Bush would be elected because I denied my vote to someone who could beat Bush.

    In 2004, people tell me I am throwing my conscience away by supporting someone whom I think could beat Bush.

    Dandelion break, anyone?

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