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tv   Book Discussion on Primary Politics  CSPAN  February 21, 2016 8:00am-8:46am EST

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granddaughter. that turned out not to be true. >> what did you learn in your 18 hours with berlusconi you didn't know before you sat down? >> i guess i learn what it's like to be with a billionaire who knows onlypower, who only knows how to win . who has no self-awareness. doesn't live in the past for the future, he's just there and i learned a lot about the way he and vladimir putin relate to each other. the relationship between putin and berlusconi, i wrote an article in the financial times called the odd couple because here we have bothalpha males . hooton, the former kb g agent. berlusconi, the media mogul and it was fascinating to watch the two of them interacting and see how strong leaders only really respect other strong leaders>> ..
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where did this crazy system come from? this book is an attention on trent attempt to answer that question. it came from manipulations of presidential candidates over the years. and every once in a while, this
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system really almost breaks down and we have an old-fashioned task contested primary. and let me read you the beginning of the book because it is an illustration of that. senator hillary clinton walks into the small conference room at the hotel on capitol hill wearing one of her signature paint is. this one coming baby blue silk with white piping. it was made 22nd, 2008 in the home stretch of a very long race for the democratic nomination. along the way, her once surefire had run into this run into a phenomena man, a first-term senator from illinois, half white, half african-american named barack obama. her husband, former president bill clinton's famous lake called first black president by
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toni morrison had watched the black community reject his pauses before his wife and rally to obama. hillary and bill had seen old friends like new mexico, governor bill ben endorsed obama. yet despite many setbacks, clinton was tantalizingly close to obama. she had a strong finish. she had a good argument for why she was a strong general election candidate and yet in the end she needed the delegates. one week later, hillary clinton ended her presidential race with the gracious speech in front of hundreds of supporters in washington d.c. hers was not the first presidential campaign and would not be the last whose they would be entangled with party nominating movement, which is the topic of this vote.
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so let me start by what i call the first chapter the good old days when parties controlled nominations in primaries were to be avoided at all costs be a we forget some of our great president, franklin roosevelt, abraham lincoln, dwight d. eisenhower were actually nominated in conventions composed a super delegate. nobody voted for these guys in primaries. in fact, primaries were not in fortunes at all. they existed, but they were not important. supposed, for instance at our three return president, roosevelt, dwight d. eisenhower and john kennedy found themselves in the middle of a 10 page story party's nomination. the object today is the same in their day to accumulate a majority of delegates at their
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nominating convention. they are however is the similarities within. the strategy for winning the nomination today bears little resemblance to the strategy of days gone by because the system is so different. for instance, imagine roosevelt confucian to hear people talking about momentum in february after years of convention. momentum was a term that describes behavior at the convention. imagine eisenhower's reaction to the news that senator howard baker had given up his job as majority leader of the senate as well as his senate seat for years before the presidential election in order to campaign both times. can imagine how all of these men would react to a democratic
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primary race in which two senior democratic senators who between them have lost 70 years in the united states congress were never seriously can figure for their party's nomination because all the attention and energy were consumed by a former first lady in a first-term african-american senator. so the point here is the elect are a college race, the general election is still very much the same as it has been throughout our history. but between 1968 and 1972, the democratic party was part and parcel of a day huge reform system. reform is a nominations system. the approximate cost of those reforms was on the part of
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antiwar democrats and women and minorities that deals system cut them out of the action, that deals system famously categorized as old white men talking in smoke-filled rooms was not representative of the party and with the party was to come in. between 1968 in 1972 and then it to 76, a whole series of commissions were appointed to democratic party. i write about this in the book, who the players were and what they were thinking about. they fundamentally changed the nomination system. so what it had been from about 81032 all the way to 1968. so that if it expand of years. think about it this way. between 1832 and 1968,
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presidential candidates kind of knew how to do this. they note that nominating system was. after 1968, the world changed. the democrats changed it inadvertently for the republicans as well because in that period of time, democrats were still a strong party throughout the country. there was the remains of the new deal coalition. there were a lot of legislators of democratic control. so what happened in this. it time was that the democrats in the legislature's past laws creating primaries, date created primaries for the republicans as well. so what we have during this period of time is the transformation that deals system system to the new system and put simply, the old system was a semi-public system. it was hard to see.
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goldwater in 1964 completely surprised that. the republican establishment by getting enough delegates to win the convention, even while nelson rockefeller is winning primaries. in outcome is something kind of inconceivable today. but the world really did change in this. it time. and so, understanding that change, let me talk about a couple of the features of this current system, which has remained more or less the same from 1972 until today. help us understand what it is about. first of all, let me say this is a system in which sequence matters. unlike any other election in the american political system, this is a series of election. it is not one election.
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it is a series of elections and the out put there not quite straightforward. each election is taking delegate and they are picking delegates who will eventually go to a convention. i like it to the convention in a minute. because it turns into a sequential contest, jimmy carter was the first presidential candidate in the teen 76 to get it about sequence. so one of my chapters is called sequence of strategy because in fact in any presidential race that i can sum into i can summon to write out tonight, there are campaign operatives looking at this calendar. in any race, the issue is what is the sequence of events? where do we think we can win? where might we lose and how in the spirit of six months to be
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put together enough delegates for the convention? jimmy carter products into the surprise of mount udall, to the surprise of jackson who did not understand this and he began by winning a surprise but jury in the iowa caucuses. a lot of people ask me why or iowa and new hampshire first? the answer to that is odd. they've always been first. they were always early. it is just in the old system it didn't matter because in the old system, sequence didn't matter. under the new rules, two things changed that were very important. first of all, the rule was that the first step in the nomination process that had to be at the same time in the same place throughout the state and that people could have to indicate
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who they were for president. suddenly, these iowa caucuses that used to elect precinct delegate to county conventions and frankly they still doing both parties, suddenly they were turned into the functional equivalent of a primary. in other words, reporters could go there as they will on february 1st, observe each caucus comment get the tallies and at 11:00 eastern standard time, they could declare a winner of the iowa caucuses. jimmy carter got that. nobody else quite dead that year and he catapulted the iowa caucuses into really the first important step. we will see that february 1st when most of the reporters from around the world converge on iowa and a real freak show of
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attention. the new hampshire primary has been first in the nation's 1911. long, long time. but again, nobody paid much attention to primaries in the old system and from time to time the new hampshire primary was important, but mostly for what it signaled to the party elites have met in the smoke-filled rooms and conventions. so for instance, harry truman did not do well in the new hampshire primaries in 1952 cover and decided not to run for reelection. lyndon johnson did not do well in the new hampshire primary in 1968, decided he was not going to run for reelection. said that was about the extent of the importance of new hampshire. once however, the whole system changes to the sequence, then what matters is momentum.
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what momentum means in this instance and i write a lot about momentum and show how it works is that success or failure in one concept impacts voters behavior in a subsequent contest and on and on it goes. lucy on the morning the republicans because there's a lot of them and maybe some democrats. they drop out of the race. they say i can't go on. so that is the important of the momentum. instead of looking at 21 new hampshire or who won iowa, the public in the press will start to pay a lot of attention to something called the delegate count. because it can't split into
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pieces, the delegate their award or in some mathematics plays a role here. the rounding rule that play in each state or the system of awarding delegates all of a sudden makes a big, big difference. let's look at 1980. ronald reagan's team in the tea and 80 new looking at the sequence, and knew that at some point in the spring the press would start paying attention to have the most delegates. reagan's friends in massachusetts did him a favor with obviously the help of the campaign. ronald reagan -- ronald reagan
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is not going to do the same. the sitting president is much more of a massachusetts republican. if massachusetts had been winner take all state, they would have gotten all of massachusetts. they said to their friends in the massachusetts legislature, how about awarding your delegates proportionately. by awarding them proportionally, ronald reagan while the same mistakes when delegate. candidates who wonders and have a huge advantage. for instance, barack obama win in and targeted all the african-american districts, understanding correctly he could get a delicate harvest out of those african-american districts even while hillary clinton was
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winning her home state of new york. this brings me to a really important point. after the first contest. this is not a state-by-state contest in the way the electoral college is. this is a contest in 435 congressional districts. that is where they are worded. i republicans can lose the state that pic of delegates and a couple districts. this is how romney won. romney wasn't having any big victory until april of 2012. and yet he was a strong enough candidate with enough organization and enough back in bed even states he was losing, he was picking up delegates. that is the name of the game. if we end up with a type based
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on the democratic side are a tight race for the republican side, combat march, mid-march we are going to start seeing delegate counts in the papers and that is the name of game, which brings me to the near final chapter, which is the convention. every four years, just as people ask where this crazy system comes from caucus they also asked to conventions really matter anymore? some years ago was given a talk like this most of the time mbi begins was fairly alternately in a very elderly woman came up to me and said now i understand. i said what is that you understand? she said now i understand why conventions aren't exciting anymore. when i was a girl, conventions were really exciting. people gathered around the television or the radio before
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that and listen to all four days of the convention. well, the recent conventions used to be exciting is up is the place where out the back room that is taking place in the two years before because believe me, presidential candidate did start two years before. this is not a new phenomenon. it's just that we didn't need so we did though. by the convention, you actually see what is not being. by the republican convention in the 64 to the surprise of the past score, not to mention the republican establishment and a little bit of relationship to what might be happening now, by the republican convention, the establishment realizes they have been taken over by barry goldwater conservatives. but he lost big time, that remained a remarkable story of
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the old vista been taken over literally from the ground up from precinct caucuses to. so go back to the question and to conventions matter anymore? mostly we think they don't because the nomination is decided in the primary is in delicate have historically whop to the convention and then found by the people in their state. they don't change very much. we've had three contested convention in the post-reform area. the 1976 republican, the 1980 democrats and the need to 72 democrat. in each of those, the person who won in the primaries won the nomination because the delegate stopped. however, this does not mean that conventions are completely gone
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because it all depends what happens in the primaries. it's entirely possible that someone, particularly in a field, it's entirely possible that nobody walks into their convention with a majority of delegate. it is entirely possible that it is split, better. if there is no first ballot, then you have a convention. in the old days, that used to happen quite frequently, although the 1924 convention which went something like 118 ballot was unusual. but in the old days, it pays to have been quite regularly. it doesn't now because the primary voters kind of sort this out and that is why it doesn't happen anymore. so finally, i asked often, isn't there a more rational way of doing this? this doesn't make ends.
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why don't we have a national primary? why don't we have regional primaries? there's a ton of smart ideas about their as do a better way to do this. the simple answer when it comes to the nomination process, there is no decider. nobody is really in charge. in fact, 153 step or political bodies have sent in to say about the domination process. who are they? economists in the united states periodically had something today. they passed campaign finance laws. the republican national committee and the democratic national committee have a lot to say about this. there are 50 state republican committees, 50 state democratic committees and for good measure, 50 state legislators. were they all agreed?
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no. what is the probability they would all say the system is more rational. we are going to do that? not going to happen. they all have a piece of the puzzle and they go back to the fun mental problem. that is why in 2016 as a beacon of this nomination, you will see a raise that is as complex and differentiated as the united states of america felt a thank you cannot take some questions. hot lack [applause] [inaudible] -- was the earlier system one in which delicate were not around to follow the will of the primaries in the states and now they are?
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>> that is the biggest change. yeah, the biggest change between 68 and 72 was first of all an increase in the number of primaries. the rules said the primaries that the delegates had to be bound by the outcome of the primary. so if george mcgovern won 50% of the delegate than 50% popular vote, it is that 50% of the delegates would be covered. there is a challenge. the big challenge western illinois because then second illinois delegation that reflect did the results of the primary. the old mayor daley, the father of mayor daley had a delegation that was a traditional delegation of his party leaders, union officials, better. the first site at the convention was over who would be seen from illinois.
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jackson one. mayor daley and his crowd bought out of the convention. it wasn't good in the long run for george mcgovern, but it showed just how much things were changing. yes. >> were there situations in which the primaries for both one-way and delegates will do what they wanted to do? >> all the time. constantly. in fact, there were only about 16 primaries from 1968 going back and most of them are called beauty contest, which means they had no bearing on the delegates are who they voted for, it better at. some of the more progressive states would be some in the sad by a march to primaries and delegates or disconnect date.
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-- disconnected your >> i've heard a lot of debate as to how important iowa and new hampshire are. i've also heard other states like ohio and florida with the final result. i'm wondering from your tears how much of an impact. i know momentum is a big factor, but how much of an impact does that have? >> that's a really good question. so, let me answer it in two ways. first of all, they almost always win a lot to field. they almost always reduce the field by a couple candidates. there is almost always someone -- believe me i've worked for candidates to the next day have dropped out. my dear friend bruce babbitt was out of the race the day after iowa so we went on to new hampshire. it was a lot of fun, but it was over. there is always a winner when.
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the second way to look at that is in these early contests, it is a question of expert patients. so the winner of new hampshire is not always the actual winner of the popular vote. 1992, bill clinton goes to new hampshire with maybe the worst hand with ever seen in a presidential candidate. he is a dope smoking, draft dodging womanizer. i'm quoting the republican side, so don't tell bill clinton that i said that. that is what he is being perceived as. he comes in second. he is discounted because he comes from new hampshire. so he has a neighboring state. clinton who is expected to be just that finishes a strong second. by finishing a strong second, he
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becomes the comeback kid and he wins new hampshire. said this time around, let's go to the new hampshire primary coming up. there's all sorts of expectations going on. i mean, look at the polls and then say a difference of 10-point from what we expect to happen to what happened in either direction can have a big impact on how the candidate is perceived by the press and the voters and the subsequent dates. we can see all sorts of shapes and arrays resulting from iowa, new hampshire and the expectations. both of these states are but also their delicate don't matter at all. they just have no delegates in these dimensions. later states have large numbers of delicate. at this stage, it is a little
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early to tell. >> what is next? what point do we see the candidate? have it start to really show that direction. >> okay. at what point are we really see this race? in february, we will see iowa, new hampshire, south carolina and nevada. those four races, with which are sanctioned by both parties as early. one of the funny things to realize in the recent years and the democrats and republicans can't agree on the color of the sky they are so pitted against each other.
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democrats and republicans have been talking all the time about the timing of the process. they can agree on these things. so there is general agreement on what february looks like. we then go to march 1st, super tuesday. 14 states on that day. a lot of them southern, big delegate cams. so the day after super tuesday we will see a lot of what this race looks like. two weeks later you have another day with a lot of delicate shows in an allotted tapes that will further show this. as they move into april and get some more big states in the races come by the way in the mid-atlantic, we are going to have another delicate. my guess is somewhere between march 1st and taxed in april, april 15th will have a pretty good sense of who is winning. if in fact, however, the races
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going back and forth and back and forth, you'll hear a lot of talk about brokered conventions. [inaudible] get to the convention. get to the convention and most delicate feel some are bound by state statute although that not enforceable. there is sort of party rules in each party that gently say you should vote for the person you are like to vote for. so they will get to the convention and generally on the first ballot people will vote the way their state voted. then, if nobody has a majority, if nobody gets the nomination, everybody is free. then, stuff happens. then it replace candidate,
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fourth-place candidate decides where they are going to move. you could see given how the antipathy he has the mongoose republicans bush and, you can see candidates two, three and four of forming a coalition. there's a lot of anger, a lot of emotion, but that is what is to have been in the old days but nobody came in. the important egg i believe is these days they would take that and then it is all a too everybody's negotiating skills. >> elaine, i missed the first part of your talk so i apologize for that. i would like to tell you personally how aggrieved i am by all of this because i am from california. so everybody knows, with 13% of the nation's population.
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i know your book is about the primary not the general. and the general or provide 55 and my vote has never counted. and i've got great hair. -- gray hair. you probably know this. one time we moved in earlier and we were hoping we would have some influence. but it turned out it was over then a solid both parties. gore had beaten badly by then. so every june comes around. 13% of us go to cast a vote in the primary, but it's completely irrelevant. and then we go to the general election. because we been in the terrace and 1992, it's a solid blue state. that's a matter for democrat or republican come your vote is essentially meaningless. i've never been able to cast a meaningful vote for president. >> you are exactly right. welcome to d.c.
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or frankly welcome to new york. there's a lot of dates -- first of all of the electoral college, a lot of states have no say in our modern time just because it's so polarized and america has sorted it self out into red states and blue states and red counties and blue counties. it's really surprising how homogenous we have become by geography. in the nominating system, the problem is that it has always been a sequential system. if you switch to a national primary, said lay everybody would spend all their time in california. of course you would. if you want to get a plurality of the above, you would go to the most populous state and where would she be? california, texas, florida, new york, the big states around the
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great lakes. that is where you would go. ditto if you change the elect are all college by some people are suspecting so there would be a lector is awarded to the winner of the national vote. this is a very intriguing idea because you wouldn't have the constitutional convention. each state could give their two senate votes to the winner of the national vote. suddenly people would go to california because they want to get the national vote at. it is interest in both instances in our nomination process and in our general election process, we don't have a direct vote. the vote is mediated in one in since through delegates, the other three electors. my students whenever i teach presidential election, i show my students photographs and nice actually, you could find it on
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youtube, actually a video of the ohio may not electors in 2012. everybody is amazed to discover there's real people, real individual people who go to the state legislature has the founding fathers predict it and sign affidavits and send them to the united states senate and the senate leaves them out. that is how the system works. jeff greenfield who is a reporter for cbs for many years, some of you may remember him. i'm a bestseller, but it was thought it was a really interesting novel. he wrote a novel about a presidential candidate who dies in between election day and the meeting of the electoral college. and so, he was not officially president. so was vice president could make seat and and his vice presidential running mate was
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apparently a sort of vague doofus and hot all sorts of problems that people were not happy with him. and then, plays this out in an electoral college for the men and women actually matter. and then it like an extension for suddenly these individuals who these days when you go on the delicate extension, it's really sort of lori and you stand there with your assigned and wave when they tell you to wait to find you see your friends, but it is kind of lori. there is really nothing to do. a match in a brokered convention would be really exciting as would an electoral college that actually made the decision. [inaudible] i was wondering what effect you see how these on the upcoming
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election in the primaries and general election. >> well, it depends how they are implemented and how well people understand them. there could be suppression of the vote various places. i suspect the democratic party is monitoring this close land have a lot of lawyers ready to look at this in the general election. in the primaries i am not sure that they will have that infrastructure. but i know in 2008, both national political parties have really done our job at monitoring elections in the states and possible infractions in violations of civil rights. we will see it, but both parties are kind of ready for this.
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>> it occurred to me as we were in church he she, there's another thing that happened california that doesn't happen in new york because we are three hours behind. often the presidential race is over according to all the pundits outside the club for 6:00. that means many people decide not to go to the polls. they also don't go for governor and state senator in the dekalb of them are. all of our elections get distorted by this process and the president see which is that most people are most interested in have decided those. >> i don't know how you fixed the time zone problem. yes.
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[inaudible] >> it is the way it is because when the 13 colonies were at the pump to shin, they knew they had to reflect the population, but there were a lot of small stakes. so what they did was they allowed each state to have a number of rational districts plus their two senators. so one of the outcomes of that is wyoming's three electoral votes are worth about 600,000 people per electoral vote. california both are worth you shall have our population per electoral vote. they did it for two reasons. one is to get the big state, small state, but also remember
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they were kind of elitist back then and they did quite trust the population. so what they did is they sent what went this be decided in state legislatures where there is other elites like us. so the whole idea was there might be about. but state legislators would really do it. that is why you meet in the state capitals around december 12. everybody needs of the state capital and the affidavit and that is how we elect the president. they did it back then because they were afraid of the mob. if you remember, the original constitution had u.s. senators elect did. not by popular vote. this whole thing starts to break down you enter jack said really
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genetically change is on the assumption that the people in the role of the people in the process. our founding fathers for all their wisdom were a little nervous about actual voters. >> talk about how convention delegate their chosen. >> first of all, as you know, it is different from every state. but generally there's two matches. sometimes -- usually what happens is you have the primary end sometime later, there will be convention in the congressional district and people will go to those conventions have usually party activists and vote for him to
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visuals to be delegates, representing the presidential candidate. if hillary clinton gets through delegates, bernie sanders gives free delegate, the first rational district in maryland they will meet the first congressional district, but any rate they will meet in a caucus and they will actually pick the individual is to go to the convention, which is why convention participant still are somewhat like the old convention participant. they still tend to be cardiac to this, elected officials, et cetera. sometimes they will do this before the primary mwave order. but this election processes generally a separate process from the delicate wording. the primary were so delicate,
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but the individuals are chosen at some other point. the >> iowa and new hampshire have had that foment them to influence other states. historically speaking, has there been one stated particular that has sponsored more often than not question her >> in the primary process question? question on shrimp -- no, not really. in the general election, it has been all ohio, all florida all the time. ohio and florida in recent years have been the places to watch. but in the primary system, i can't say that is the case. what does happen in a state that are heavily democratic tend to get more delegates to the convention and likewise
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republicans tend to get more delegates. there isn't a bellwether in the primary. [inaudible] >> thank you very match. you've been a great audience. buy the book. [applause] >> thank you all for being here. if you wouldn't mind doing us a favor of holding up your chairs and bring them against the bookshelf when you get out. thank you.


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