The primary/caucus process must change

By | January 9, 2012

Well the voting has begun today for the Republican nominee to challenge Barack Obama in November. Apparently Iowa and New Hampshire think they are so important that they want to be the first two states to vote. Iowa had their caucus last week and New Hampshire has their Primary Tuesday.

The reason why it started when it did was because Florida wanted to push their primary back to January 31, which meant that Iowa and New Hampshire had to push theirs just so they can be first. I do not know the history behind that but that is what the people of both Iowa and New Hampshire want. Judging by the map I think it does not make any sense, especially since the next two are South Carolina on January 21 and Florida, which I had mentioned is on January 31. Now I understand that some candidates might skip New Hampshire and campaign in South Carolina or some candidates might campaign for 7 days in New Hampshire, then 11 days in South Carolina and then 10 days in Florida which might be a little too much on their schedules, so I have come up with an idea that might just work for all future primaries and caucuses in both the Democrat AND Republican parties.

My proposal is to divide the country into 5 regions of 10 states each and then once a month those regions go to the caucuses (in the form of states like Iowa) or primaries (in the form of states like Florida or New Hampshire) and then vote like normal. (I realize the US held territories like Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands also send delegates to the conventions, but have excluded them from this distribution because they do not vote for the President in November) After all, we have all 50 states vote in November, so why not have something in a smaller nature during the primaries or caucuses? The list I had come up with is a rough sketch, but I hope the general idea comes across.

  • WEST – California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska
  • ROCKY MOUNTAIN – Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana
  • MIDWEST – North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky
  • SOUTH – Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Delaware
  • NEW ENGLAND – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island

Then every month one region can vote either at the beginning or the end of the month. This way every candidate can have some skin in the game regardless of how much money they have or how they rank in the polls. For instance, in Iowa the Top Three have Ron Paul and Rick Santorum but in Illinois they are not in the top three in any of the polls I had seen. That would be all right because in the voting system I am proposing they could focus on the states they ARE popular in within the certain region and try to use that popularity to gain supporters in other states of the same region. So Paul might focus on Illinois while Santorum could go to Minnesota since they are in the top three in Iowa and Rick Perry, who is 5th in Iowa, could stay in Iowa and build up his poll numbers.

The pro’s of the regions voting at the beginning of the month would be that with the voting out of the way they can focus on the next region. (For example, if the Midwest voted today, then the candidates can focus on the New England states the rest of the month, with voting coming up about February 3rd) The pro’s of the states voting at the end of the month would be that the candidates can focus squarely on that particular region. (for instance, the candidates can focus on the South states leading up to voting on January 31st) One thing I would see with this is that all of the voting and tabulations would be done by May which means that the nominee would have three months to find a running mate and get the grassroots campaign at least started by getting the main headquarters set up before the convention. Then the day after they give their acceptance speech they can get started on their general election campaign.

There might be more pro’s and con’s for both scenarios, but they might come in another blog entry. If any have any pro’s or con’s to what I had posted, please mention in comments or in my Instant Messengers or social media outlets.

(cross-posted from http://rickbulow1974.blogspot.com/)

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