The case of the “extended” Democratic primary race between frontrunners Senator Hillary Clinton of New York and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, it serves to be a double-edged sword. On one hand, there is the painful divide within the Democratic Party and the current Democratic voters. On the other hand, voter registration has skyrocketed in the favor of the Democrats.
In a recent survey conducted by the Associated Press, over 3.5 people have registered to vote. So far, it has been the Democratic Party that has benefited from this spike in voter registration.
The continued Democratic race has put many states in play. These were states that tended to be neglected during the years that an election takes place.
During March 4, which is dubbed as “Super Tuesday II,” Senator John McCain of Arizona had clinched the GOP nomination from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. For the time being, John McCain is the presumed GOP nominee. However, this is due to the delegate rules set by the Republican National Committee. The delegate rules by the RNC are set for winner take all.
In regards to the delegate rules by the DNC, the delegates awarded are proportional to the victories in the state contests. This is why the race between Obama and Clinton has gone on for months. The Republican race had ended back in March.
In the past, Huckabee said that the delegate rules of the RNC should be like the ones set by the DNC. If that was the case, the Republican race would not have been over in March. Then, Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney would still possibly be in the race. Texas Representative Ron Paul would surely still remain in the race as well if that was the case.
Right now, the Democratic Party can reap the benefits in the boom of voter registration. Voter registration has skyrocketed amongst those that live in both the rural and city areas in both the North and the South. More Blacks, women, and young people have been registering to vote as well.
Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas says that these gains might be permanent. However, Republicans brushed it off saying that it may not last in the long term. That brings up the concern that this is just political hype. While there is a spike in newly registered voters, there is the concern of whether or not they will cast the ballot if their candidate does not make it to the general election.
Nothing is in concrete on how much an impact that the spike in voter registration will have on the general election.
But, the 2008 elections will be a historical election on many different fronts. On one front, there is the spike in voter registration. There is the possibility of a first female president or a first African-American president.