Primary Rant

primary map

New York, California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oregon, Indiana, Connecticut, Maryland, Arizona, and many other states have not yet held primaries or caucuses for the presidential race, and yet the media experts are in a rush to declare victors on both sides. This is what’s wrong with the approach used every four years. How can California and New York, never mind Delaware and Wisconsin, be superfluous to the outcome? It’s irrational to say “America” has decided—and unfortunate that so many candidates have already dropped out because Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina again were allowed to hog the front of the line. This system is crazy. New Hampshire should be 50th next time around. This is not a partisan argument either way; it’s just illogical and unfair time after time to grant voters in some parts of the country a heavier say in the outcome. There has got to be a way to change this.

I can’t believe the political culture allows this. To me, the lack of action verges on political malpractice among the parties, state and national officials, and federal election commission. It’s absurd that all the players simply fall in line each time around and go along with the demands of places like N.H. and Iowa that they deserve to be first because it’s a local custom like tapping the maple trees for sugar or harvesting the corn. These states have no “right” to be first all the time. And this time all the Southern states have voted before any state on the West Coast. What gives there? Make it a lottery. Find some way to shake up the order. Mix it up with various parts of the country voting on the same day like California, Iowa, Indiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Maine. Then the next Tuesday make it Ohio, Washington, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Kentucky, Montana. Something like that. Do that every other Tuesday from February through May on seven Tuesdays. Seven times seven, plus one on the last round—and add Puerto Rico, D.C., Guam, and other islands and territories week by week.

One Response to Primary Rant

  1. Victoria Oliver says:

    I was very glad to see your article. Our candidates are being chosen by the media and the ranking of the state. I have two basic problems with the system (but that’s not all, of course). First, the Presidential election is a FEDERAL election, and as such I think that all states should follow the same rules. I also don’t think it is fair for the primaries to be hosted by the same states year after year.

    Here’s what I would do: take the U.S. map and break it up – East, South, mid-West, North, West, etc. Then each time a Presidential election is held, one state from each district would be designated as the first primary for that district. Then the next time, a different state would be first, and so forth. The primaries are too loaded in the South – something like what I propose would help level the playing field. All the primaries from each district would hold their primaries on the same day. Maybe the first round is (starting with the East) Connecticut. Then the next district is the mid-Atlantic states and Delaware goes first for their district, Georgia, Texas, North Dakota, etc. Almost like how college basketball does their rankings for their play-offs.

    And, finally, with the technology we have today, there is no good reason to not count individual votes instead of the dumb delegate system we have now. There are a lot of ways it could be done, but – bottom line – it could be done. It won’t be, though, because of political cronyism.