Impatient to vote for the next president? You don’t have to wait

Thanks to Tom Perez and the Democratic National Committee, you don’t have to:

(a) enter a pointless fight over the announced Democratic Party presidential candidates;

(b) get entangled in the crazed debate going on in the New York Times readers’ comments and many other places whether the Democratic Party has any chance to beat Trump if they don’t choose Joe Biden;

(c) get caught up in the absurd notion that someone other than you (and I) will be choosing the candidate. Keep in mind what we’re hearing now is a lot of yelling and debating and yelling by people who will not determine whom the Democratic Party candidate will be. The people who will are the demos, i.e., us. In mass;

(d) wait for the actual November 2020 election.

Because Perez has announced the Party’s carefully considered plan for avoiding the mess the GOP got into with all their candidates crammed on the stage in 2016, in two tranches, which relegated a bunch of candidates to a second tier status.

And it’s hugely clever because it in essence elicits our pre-votes for the announced candidates, inviting us to provide support right now in what I’d call sort of ranked voting.

Below, I’ve printed the long explanation of how it works. But in brief: since the Party is deeply concerned with and committed to grassroots financing, rather than going after big money contributions, its decisions involving debate qualifications, positions and — my interpretation — eventual support for a candidate or candidates, depend upon both poll numbers and individual contributions to candidates.

Makes a lot of sense since without meaningful campaign funds, candidates will be severely constricted in running against the GOP’s unrestricted (and apparently often illegal) campaign donations.

So, aside from answering pollsters’ calls (see the pollsters below), we can contribute small amounts of money to the individual candidates we like. The Democratic Party will be thus evaluating how voters feel about the candidates, rather than coming up with their own evaluations.

Since I really think well of almost all the candidates, I’ve contributed small amounts to three, so far, and will be contributing additionally to a few more. (I don’t contribute directly now to the various Democratic Party agencies; I send money directly to a candidate’s campaign.) And that’s the ranked voting part: you can send more to the candidate you like the best but you can send money to everyone you like. This isn’t like a ballot; you don’t have to choose just one.

Ten bucks, five bucks, twenty-five bucks. One buck.

In this way, you can vote now. So instead of sitting around getting riled over who’s being talked up and talked about or ignored or demonized, put your two bits in. Act.

Here’s the Democratic Party plan to support fairly all the candidates:

On December 20, 2018, Tom Perez, the chairman for the Democratic National Committee, announced the preliminary schedule for a series of official debates, set to begin in June 2019.[171] In order to qualify, debate entrants must either attain 1% in three polls — at the national level or the first four primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina) — or by meeting a fundraising threshold, in which a candidate must receive donations from 65,000 unique donors, with at least 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 states.[172]

The polling threshold will be determined using polls published after January 1, 2019 up until two weeks for the scheduled debate among polls commissioned or conducted by a limited set of organizations: the Associated Press (with NORC), ABC News (in cooperation with The Washington Post), CBS News (standalone and in cooperation with YouGov), CNN (with SSRS), The Des Moines Register (with Selzer & Company), Fox News, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Monmouth University, NBC News (standalone and in cooperation with The Wall Street Journal, Marist College, and SurveyMonkey), The New York Times (with Siena College), National Public Radio (with Marist College and co-sponsored by PBS NewsHour), Quinnipiac University, Reuters (with Ipsos), the University of New Hampshire, The Wall Street Journal (in cooperation with NBC News), USA Today (with Suffolk University, The Washington Post (standalone and in cooperation with ABC News), and Winthrop University.[173]

If candidates wish to qualify using the fundraising threshold, they will need to present evidence to the DNC of their eligibility using donor data collected by ActBlue or NGP VAN.[173]

Should more than 20 candidates meet these criteria, the 20 debate entrants will be winnowed with “a methodology that gives primacy to candidates meeting both thresholds, followed by the highest polling average, followed by the most unique donors.”[173]

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