Montana Republican Caucus

Posted by Katherine | April 18, 2008 – 5:19 pm
Driving in to Bozeman
Driving in to Bozeman [meganpru / Flickr]

An anonymous moderate Republican student at Bozeman High in Montana attended the local Republican caucus on Super Tuesday. He/she may be voting for the first time this year but is already an astute observer of the way primaries can play to polarized voters (hat tip to Ann Raber):

To my surprise, the Republican frontrunner, Senator John McCain, was not very well received, there was lukewarm support for both Governor Mike Huckabee and Governor Mitt Romney, who are both popular hopefuls, and there was one great surprise. There was an overwhelming number of Ron Paul supporters. Odds are, driving around town, most people have seen the signs reading “Ron Paul 2008” and such, but I had no idea he had this kind of a following. […]

As I left the building, the first thing I thought about was how politically polarized many of the attendees were. I realize that this is a caucus and that it is typically those with the strongest interest in politics that attend, but I was still shocked. I’ll come out now and say that I am a supporter of Senator John McCain. I believe that this is because he is more of a moderate politician, somewhat similar to how I am. His moderation is the major reason why not many at the caucus supported him. Until earlier, I could not understand why such polarized candidates come from the current system, as it would make more sense to run a moderate candidate nationally, since most Americans identify themselves as moderate. Now I know why.

The student notes that Bozeman High is “notably liberal” and found it interesting to hear views at the caucus that were different from his/her own and from those of classmates. But he/she didn’t feel the Republican party was as good a listener: “As a voter, I feel ignored by my own party.” In Montana, Mitt Romney came in first, followed by Ron Paul. It would be fun to know the student’s analysis of McCain’s overall primary victory.

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