CBS News on National Presidential Caucus
June 18th, 2007

CBS News just published a story on the National Presidential Caucus:

Moved by what they see as a need for citizens to have “more and better ways to prepare for the very short, intense” presidential primary calendar in ’08, a consortium of political groups, including Politics Online, Unity ’08, Democracy for American and the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, have initiated a National Presidential Caucus to take place 12/7/07.

Building on the success of Meet Ups in the ’04 cycle, organizers describe the NPC as “part mass straw poll, part mass focus group.” The goal is to have “thousands” of people organized in small groups across the country that culminate in tabulated preferences for presidential candidates. Phil Noble, the founder of Politics Online and an endorser of the NPC, calls the NPC “that rare combination of the newest digital tools for online participation with the oldest form of communication, face to face.”

Despite the fact that a front-loaded calendar allows more voters to participate in the primary process, the NPC contends that “our national elections remain essentially poll-driven, mass media campaigns and little more than an ugly spectator sport.” These self-organized caucuses — Republican, Democratic or Open -encourage people to meet with other political engaged citizens to discuss the issues important to them. It essentially opens up the caucus experience to voters who don’t live in a caucus state. The organizers suggest caucus meetings that take place after work (from 6-8pm local time) and to be held in publicly accessible spaces (ideally ones that have internet access). Of course, they are also hoping that presidential candidates and their campaigns are engaged and involved in this process.

Registration is scheduled to officially open on Labor Day (September 4) at A preliminary Straw Poll Caucus (sort of a dry run) will take place on 10/26 (

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