Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Count me among those who think that a prolonged primary/caucus nomination battle is good for Democrats and good for democracy.

Across the country people are voting. And many of them are voting for Democrats. This could be good practice for the fall. If nothing else, contested primaries provide a means of comparing voter interest across and within elections.

While it's possible to read too much into these results, let's look at Missouri, a state frequently identified as a "bellweather".

In the Show Me State, a little over 800,000 people voted for the two leading Democrats; about 550,000 voted for the three leading Republicans. In a state George W. Bush carried twice, this can't be a bad sign.

Next week brings Virginia and Maryland to the chase. The week after adds Wisconsin. March and April bring the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively. Democratic turnout there, particularly in the former state which has also gone GOP the last two cycles, could be an indicator of how the nominee will fair in the Buckeye State come November.

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