On Presidential Primary Madness

The Presidential Primary/Caucus process is broken.

Florida moved their primary in January, and the Democratic National Committee said, basically, “Get the fuck back in line, or we’ll take your delegates — and your voice in picking the next presidential candidate — away from you.”

Now Michigan is moving their primary into mid-January. Which means that New Hampshire has to move further up, and Iowa will move further still.

This is fucking ridiculous.

Yes, states want to have some say into the nomination process. It’s no fun to live in a state where the primary has no effect on the nominee or the issues.

But the end result of states crowding the front of the calendar to get a stake in the process is that the primary process has become front-loaded. We could very well have the nominees set by spring, with the actual conventions (and the traditional kick-off to the campaign season) four or five months later.

It’s going to take Congressional action, I think. No state may hold a presidential primary prior to 180 days prior to the general election. No more than five states may hold a presidential primary on a single day.

Fuck Iowa. Fuck New Hampshire.

The process has gotten out of hand. It’s broken. It needs to be fixed.

2 thoughts on “On Presidential Primary Madness

  1. It’s going to take Congressional action, I think. No state may hold a presidential primary prior to 180 days prior to the general election. No more than five states may hold a presidential primary on a single day.

    Since when is that their say? The national political parties aren’t federal institutions (though they do receive some funding, admittedly). The “primary” elections aren’t deciding anything on a federal level; hell, they’re ballots whose results are solely for the benefit of private organizations in each state.

    There’s absolutely no basis for Congress having any input into the process, unless you’re going to try to shove it under the “interstate commerce” clause, which even then you have to kink it into loops of assumptions to make it hold.

  2. I agree with Andrew. The Republican and Democratic National Conventions (among others) are essentially private businesses, or perhaps private non-profit organizations, which are independent of the government. If the National Barking Spider Resurgence Party wants to ask its members in 2009 who they want to have run in the 2012 election, they should be able to do so without interference from the government.

    I would, however, like to see some legislation that says that no taxpayer money is allowed to go to primaries. If political organizations want to narrow down the number of candidates, let *them* pay for the election.

    davidh

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