Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Future Primaries

The Hill reports that Gov. Richardson of New Mexico is looking at creating an early Western based primary system for the next presidential election.
I have long felt that to offer the greatest opportunity to a candidate, we should have a five month primary season. The first, will consist only of Iowa and New Hampshire. You are not going to change these two, even if they are relatively unrepresentative of the national body politic. Of what interest to Florida are corn prices and milk subsidies?
The next months primaries would be the 12 least poplulated states, followed the next month by the nation's next 12 least populated, etc. until you reach the last primary, which would be the 12 most populated states.
The advantage of this method, is that ad buys in low population centers are really cheap. Plus, candidates could meet real people face to face. By the time they reach California, the only people they meet are reporters and handlers. It would also force a candidate to have a broad compaign strategy rather than just Iowa or New Hampshire. By spreading the wealth, from Alaska to Rhode Island, it would take more organization than a one state strategy.
The advantage for the most populous states are that they will have seen a candidate perform for 4 months, and still have the ability to swing the deciding factor to one candidate or the other. After all, California or New York alone have more votes than the first group combined.
If you like this idea, let's all send a message to Gov. Dean and Gov. Richardson for the Democrats, and those of us in Montana can relay it to Marc Racicot for the Republicans

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