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Will Washington count?

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Will Washington Count?

Ever since the Evergreen State scrapped its presidential primaries, we’ve wondered whether our little old caucus would even matter. Ha! Oddly enough, it’s mattered more than ever. Four years ago, Barack Obama’s insurgent campaign was just starting to make gains on the Hillary Clinton machine. His Washington caucus win was a turning point.

This year should be no different, as the race is going gangbusters way later than anyone predicted. A Washington win on March 3 will give any candidate a crucial bounce going into the pivotal Super Tuesday slate of primaries on March 6. Expect to see more candidate visits; perhaps some of those nasty Super PAC ads will even pop up.

A caucus remains a squishy situation — grassroots support can swing the outcome much more than in an actual primary election, so watch for a solid Ron Paul showing. And the party won’t actually award any of the state’s 40 delegates until its June convention.

Former GOP state chairman Chris Vance predicted to the Seattle Times that, if there’s no clear nominee by June, Washington might be a do-over. “We could see the surviving candidates come and work the floor of the Washington state convention” for delegates, he says.

Tuesday of Reckoning

The big headline from February is that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum survived — and suddenly the landscape is getting less friendly for Mitt Romney. On Tuesday, 10 states will cast ballots; 419 delegates are at stake.

If Georgia goes to Gingrich and Massachusetts sticks with Mitt, the day will boil down to three states: Tennessee, Oklahoma and OhiO, which is shaping up as the pivotal Super Tuesday battleground. If they split three ways, that helps Mitt; if Romney fails to win one of those three, he may have to circle June 5 on the calendar, when California and New Jersey hold primaries with 222 delegates at stake.

Um, What’s a Precinct?

Quick, where’s your voting precinct? You don’t know, do you? Ever since we switched to voting by mail, nobody knows their voting precinct. But now that we’re caucusing, you need to know where to go.

If you have your voter registration card, it’s printed right there. Then you just need to go to spokanegop.com to find where your neighbors will be caucusing. If you can’t find your precinct, log onto wei.secstate.wa.gov/olvrsite, fill in some information and you can get it. Then go back to spokanegop.com for the location. Whew!

And don’t be late: Caucusing starts at 10 am on Saturday, but get there by 9:30 to sign in. To caucus, you must be a registered voter.

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