Should The Major Parties Change The Presidential Primary Process?

Posted: January 7, 2012 in Current Events, Politics
Tags: , , , , ,

I am bothered by the disproportionate attention that the early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire get.  Let’s see, Iowa has 1% of this nation’s population while New Hampshire has less than 0.5%.  This is not to mention that a much smaller percentage votes (Iowa only managed a little over 122,000 voters, which as it happens is a Iowa Caucus record.  New Hampshire may manage to double that total.).  Yet these are the states that are “special”, they are representative of the pulse of the nation? Or is it really that they just happen to be first, so candidates have all the time in the world to campaign in these states and the media who need content (the easier, the better) is more than willing to provide the coverage?

New Hampshire has all of 12 delegates on the line this Tuesday (1,144 is needed to win the nomination).  But do you know how many delegates were on the line last Tuesday in Iowa?  Zero.  Zip.  Nada.  Goose Egg.  That’s right.  So whether Mitt Romney won or Rick Santorum won or whoever, it was all meaningless.  The Iowa caucus vote is non-binding.  A separate vote held the same night chooses delegates…..for the county conventions to be held later.  Then the county conventions select delegates….for the State Convention to be held at even a later date.  Finally at that convention, sometime in June, delegates are chosen for the National Convention.  And those delegates can support any candidate they want.  Makes the obsessing over which candidate “won” in Iowa seem pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it?

Now on the one hand, if the parties want to continue to let Iowa and New Hampshire have all this influence, perhaps that should be their prerogative.  But on the other hand, since they do decide to give these states extra influence in the nomination process, it’s not a stretch to believe that these states also gain extra influence over this country’s policies (ethanol subsidies anybody?).  So maybe it does matter.  Either way, it would just seem to me that a better process would either involve rotating the order of the primaries among the states or just having everyone vote on the same day (maybe a side benefit of this second option would be that it might shorten the election cycle?).

I expect both parties will get right on this.  Thanks in advance!  🙂

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  1. […] Should The Major Parties Change The Presidential Primary Process? (gesvol.wordpress.com) […]

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