Primary Process

Is the Presidential Primary process messed up? Perhaps it has its deficiencies, but it might be the best possible system.

The Democratic primary process has become long and drawn out. There has been a great amount of criticism given to it and the committee that designed it. Certainly this year it has not played out as envisioned, but I would argue that overall the system works as well as can be expected. I talked with a woman who is a loyal Democratic supporter who said she planned to vote for McCain because of the mess that has been created and the fact that the delegations from Florida and Michigan might not be seated. She argued that a national primary would be the way to go.

I could not disagree more. I like our slow start primary. Iowa and New Hampshire provide candidates with a unique opportunity. A one day national primary would have split the Democrats down the middle (40% Clinton, 25% Obama, 15% Edwards, etc...) Who is the nominee? Clinton because she won the most votes? Do the candidates get that percentage of the delegates. Let's look at the Republicans... how would they have done? Is it possible that a candidate like Ron Paul (someone who is not trully representative of the party one the greatest percentage of votes? Does he become the nominee?

The slow down one state at a time primary process USSUALLY allows candidates to build the necessary momentum to capture a clear majority of the delegates. More importantly, it lessens the importance of money. In a national campaign, the candidate with the most money wins. Iowa and New Hampshire negates some of the advantages of money. Candidates such as Mike Huckabee and John Edwards who have important messages, but might not have the fund raising capabilities of other campaigns have the chance to get their message heard. In a one day national primary their message would have been lost. Iowa gave them a platform and while they didn't ultimately win, they had their shot. Mike Huckabee might have secured for himself the number two spot on the ticket had he not made the tasteless joke about Barack Obama the other day.

While the primary process may be flawed, it might be the best system possible. I do think it should be tweaked however. The opening states should be rotated. It is not fair that one or two states hold so much power every year. That privilege and honor should be rotated around several small market states that still allow candidates with message, but little money to have their message heard.

Comments

The woman you talked to is nuts

Voting for McCain because you don't like the Democratic primary process is like cutting off your foot because you can't find your gloves.

Tell her I said so.

I like your ideas. Who knows ... maybe things will evolve.

I like the idea of rotating the starting states

I think that would eliminate the rush to be first, and might prevent the fiasco that Florida and Michigan voters are watching, and that the DNC is having to arbitrate as we type.

As for voting for McCain because you don't like the Democratic primaries - well, you know, sometimes you do have to shoot your nose off when you don't like that freckle. ::eyeroll:: Whatever.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

No national primary please.

If we go to a national primary then whoever is able to garner the money first will win. Also, then the only states that will matter will be the big boys - CA, NY, PA, TX, IL, & FL. With a national primary a candidate will not go to Puerto Rico or any other small state or territory.

The vetting process should take some time and should be subject to a certain amount of ups and downs while the candidates travel and debate.

I do think we need a rotating system, or a regional system or an order with the little guys going first followed at regular intervals by groups of states with increasing numbers of delegates.

The bad thing is that the DNC (and the NCDP) seems unwilling to tackle this problem. I can't say I blame them too much for with 50+ state legislatures and secretaries of state to deal with the process would be labyrinthine to say the least.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?