My Take on New York

Check out my New York installment of “50 Ways of Looking at a Primary” over at the November 3rd Club:

Today, millions (hopefully) of New Yorkers head to the polls to cast their votes in the Democratic and Republican primaries, each side offering only two legitimate candidates as a handful of states have once again prematurely winnowed the field.

For Democrats, New York is a closed primary, meaning only registered Democrats can vote today, and in an odd and annoying twist that offers just one example of why our state legislature is considered one of the most inept and corrupt in the country, unregistered voters had until January 11th to register and declare themselves Democrats, while those already registered but affiliated with other parties (ie: Working Families, Green, or even Republican) had to change their affiliation by October 12th of last year, way back when Clinton was still the presumptive nominee and Barack Obama was barely a blip on our political radar. Simply put, a lot of the momentum Obama has built up in the past couple of weeks will be dampened here as many new and non-Democrat voters who’d be inclined to vote for him won’t be able to, myself included.

Back in 2003, annoyed with the Democrats giving in on the War resolution, I officially changed my affiliation to the Working Families Party and up until late-December had decided to opt out of the primaries altogether since none of the candidates were doinganything for me. Then I keyed into Obama right before the New Year and decided to change my affiliation back to Democrat so I could vote in the primary only to run up against the aforementioned ridiculous deadline, leaving me effectively disenfranchised.

That said, despite this technically being Clinton’s home turf — IMO, she’s as much a New Yorker as the Jets and Giants, which is to say, in name only — Obama has made inroads here in the City thanks to some intense grassroots organizing, especially in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and coupled with his demonstrated appeal to more conservative suburban voters, he should perform better than would have been expected a month ago, winning a solid chunk of our 232 pledged delegates and ensuring that states like Maryland, Virginia, Hawaii, Washington, Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island (yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaa!) get to cast meaningful votes in the coming weeks.

PS: Happy birthday, Victor!

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