US expats meet to pick presidential candidate
6 February 2004, AMSTERDAM — As US expats gather around the globe this weekend to participate in choosing the Democratic Party nominee, an official in the Netherlands has predicted a higher overseas turnout in the presidential election in November and a big swing against George Bush.
6 February 2004
AMSTERDAM — As US expats gather around the globe this weekend to participate in choosing the Democratic Party nominee, an official in the Netherlands has predicted a higher overseas turnout in the presidential election in November and a big swing against George Bush.
"Traditionally the majority of US expats who vote in the presidential election, support the Republicans. Often these people tend to be executives on short term assignments," said Robert Checkoway, chairman of Democrats Abroad (DA) in the Netherlands.
"Now though, we are increasingly seeing people who have been away from the US for up to 20-25 years who want to exercise their ballot against Bush," Checkoway said.
*sidebar1*It is estimated that some 7.1 million US citizens live overseas, making expats in terms of population, equivalent to the 14th largest state in America.
"And after Florida in 2000, people realise that every vote counts," Checkoway said.
He expects at least 80 US expats in the Netherlands will attend the Democrat Abroad Caucus at the ABC Treehouse on Amsterdam's Voetboogstraat on Sunday 8 February.
Democrat Abroad organisations throughout the world are holding similar caucuses from 6 to 9 February.
Each caucus will elect delegates to attend the DA convention in Edinburgh, Scotland, scheduled for 27-28 March. The conference will in turn send delegates to the Democratic Party National Convention in Boston in July when delegates elected by the states in primaries or caucuses will elect the party's candidate to run against Bush.
The candidates for the Democratic nomination are John Kerry, John Edwards, Howard Dean, General Wesley Clark, Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton.
Unlike primaries which involve a direct election, a caucus is a meeting open to registered Democratic voters. Participants attending the Dutch caucus on Sunday must sign a Party Pledge of Support.
The candidates will be represented by a campaign official who will give a short introduction. Afterwards a straw poll will be held and the participants will divide into Presidential Preference Groups to show support for a particular candidate. These groups then elect the caucus delegates to send to Edinburgh.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + US Presidential election