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Old 10-07-2019, 02:45 PM
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Anybody else sick of NH and IA having so much say in the process?


Reading the Biden thread got me thinking. I live in Michigan (one of the three states that put trump over the top and the narrowest one to boot) and by the time the race for the Democratic nomination gets here it will either already be decided or perhaps a candidate I might have wanted to vote for will be gone. Every four god damn years, it's New Hampshire and Iowa that get such out-sized influence on what, arguably, should be a national process. Does this bug anybody else? I get the whole "retail politics" thing and the argument that the first states should be ones that are small enough that mounting an effective campaign could be done cost-effectively.

Could you do "sub-state" primaries? Say in a collection of counties, or Congressional districts?
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:51 PM
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There really should just be one date where everyone has their primaries. I can't figure out the logic of why primaries should be spread across months, but not general elections.

I mean, why shouldn't Iowa and New Hampshire have their general election for the office of the President on June 1, 2020? And then here in DC, we could have our general election for President on December 15, 2020? Makes total sense, right?
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:55 PM
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There really should just be one date where everyone has their primaries. I can't figure out the logic of why primaries should be spread across months, but not general elections.
Two reasons:
1) It's really hard for the candidates without a huge war chest to campaign in every single state.
2) Unless we had something like ranked choice voting, it would be a near certainty that no candidate would get more than 50% of the delegates and it would just go to convention.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:55 PM
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Yes, and also, fuck yes.

Our primary system is broken. I agree with Ravenman that there should be one date nationally for primaries.

While I'm wishing for things, I'd like a shortened campaign season (6 weeks before National Primary Day, and then 8 weeks to the national conventions, which can be held at the same time because why not).

I will also take a pony Spanish Norman with dressage training. Thank you.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:59 PM
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The primary system, with two smallish states starting it off, lets the campaigns focus, and has other advantages. A big primary day, like Ravenman recommends, might be better — though I don't think so — but would have a huge effect on the process. I think the slower-moving winnowing route is better — I'm not even sure I'm happy with "Super Tuesday."

If there are going to be two smallish states to offer a good cross-section of swing voters, New Hampshire and Iowa might be excellent choices, IMO. (Could this serendipity — if you agree I'm right — have arisen by chance and been retained in Darwinian fashion?)
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:02 PM
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So, primaries are (in addition to straight canvassing) tests of how good candidates are at getting their machines going - appealing to the local party sachems, $$, mobilizing volunteers, etc. etc. When I vote for someone in a primary, I actually prefer to know how well they did at that sort of thing (and I don't want to waste time evaluating the minor candidates really). For my money, being a Super Tuesday state would be where it's at - but moving all the primaries to a super-super Tues would defeat the advantages there.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:05 PM
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So, primaries are (in addition to straight canvassing) tests of how good candidates are at getting their machines going - appealing to the local party sachems, $$, mobilizing volunteers, etc. etc. When I vote for someone in a primary, I actually prefer to know how well they did at that sort of thing (and I don't want to waste time evaluating the minor candidates really).
If a candidate wasn't doing well in getting organized for Primary Day, you'd know it. Or, you'd never have heard of the candidate. Either way, the problem solves itself. Poorly organized candidates would simply lose, just as they do now.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:08 PM
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If a candidate wasn't doing well in getting organized for Primary Day, you'd know it. Or, you'd never have heard of the candidate. Either way, the problem solves itself. Poorly organized candidates would simply lose, just as they do now.
Maybe I shouldn't say truly poor ones but "second tier". I don't think we really know anything about a particular contest until a vote - there are plenty of qualitative stories about "so and so is really turning on the voters/getting out the vote" that don't pan out when the vote happens.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:31 PM
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Maybe I shouldn't say truly poor ones but "second tier". I don't think we really know anything about a particular contest until a vote - there are plenty of qualitative stories about "so and so is really turning on the voters/getting out the vote" that don't pan out when the vote happens.
But large states don't have staggered primaries by county when it comes to governor, senator, etc. I'm quite certain that staggered primaries is not holding our country together in any meaningful "but for want of a nail" sort of way.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:32 PM
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Mechanically, isn't it up to the parties themselves - if they wanted to change it, they could?
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:36 PM
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Mechanically, isn't it up to the parties themselves - if they wanted to change it, they could?
Pretty sure that the primaries/caucuses are set up by the state-level parties themselves, so if say... North Dakota decided they wanted to be earlier than Iowa, there's nothing stopping them, except maybe some kind of Federal regulations on how early the primaries/caucuses can be held.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:45 PM
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Pretty sure that the primaries/caucuses are set up by the state-level parties themselves, so if say... North Dakota decided they wanted to be earlier than Iowa, there's nothing stopping them, except maybe some kind of Federal regulations on how early the primaries/caucuses can be held.
My understanding is that, at least in the case of New Hampshire, they have a state law stipulating that their primary must be held before any other primaries. So, if another state tried to jump the line, New Hampshire would very likely leapfrog them.

I have no idea if Iowa has a similar law about the timing of their caucuses.
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Old 10-07-2019, 03:56 PM
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Which, as a law, should be regarded in much the same way as the attempted law by the Indiana legislature concerning the value of pi. It so happens that no other state has such a law... but what if they did? If it's sensical for New Hampshire to have such a law, then it's sensical for two states to do so, which leads to an obvious absurdity.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:02 PM
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I would support a rotating slate of states going first. Yes, it would take decades to circle back around to your state, but there you have it. The type of candidate and type of campaign would have to adjust to each cycle to target whichever states are first up.

My issue with Iowa and New Hampshire is similar to the Electoral College debate. These small states have an outsized influence on the outcome. If, for instance, New York or Illinois, (states with large "blue" urban areas, but more "red" non-urban areas) always went first I can bet we would have seen different candidates succeed early on over the years.

Now, I can imagine many folks starting to kvetch about the idea of New York or Illinois going first. Well, welcome to how we feel about Iowa and New Hampshire.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:17 PM
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Regarding IA and NH having an influence, lets look back at the past 12 contests, since the Iowa caucus started in 1972.
Between the two states and two parties, that's 48 separate elections.

Of those
16 the incumbent was running
16 the winner went on to be the candidate
16 the winner was not the candidate.

So 50/50. I think their influence will wane as more and more big states join in with Super Tuesday.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:40 PM
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Yes, and also, fuck yes.
I think it's stupid that IA and NH have the influence that they do. But if we had all primaries on the same day, wouldn't campaigns just blow their funds on large-electoral-vote states and ignore the rest? I don't know the answer, I just don't see that as a solution.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:46 PM
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It's Jimmy Carter's fault Iowa has become a big deal!
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Old 10-07-2019, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by septimus;21903329
If there are going to be two smallish states to offer a good cross-section of swing voters, [I
New Hampshire and Iowa might be excellent choices[/I], IMO. (Could this serendipity — if you agree I'm right — have arisen by chance and been retained in Darwinian fashion?)
I couldn't think of two worse choices. Two disproportionately white and rural states in a country that is overwhelmingly not rural and is racially much more diverse. Feh.

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Old 10-07-2019, 05:28 PM
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The country is urban, but many swing voters in swing states are small-town or rural.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:12 PM
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The country is urban, but many swing voters in swing states are small-town or rural.
I don’t see that as a reason to give a structurally larger voice to an unrepresentative sample.
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:25 PM
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Reading the Biden thread got me thinking. I live in Michigan (one of the three states that put trump over the top and the narrowest one to boot) and by the time the race for the Democratic nomination gets here it will either already be decided or perhaps a candidate I might have wanted to vote for will be gone. Every four god damn years, it's New Hampshire and Iowa that get such out-sized influence on what, arguably, should be a national process. Does this bug anybody else?
Yes, and no. On the one hand, the current system kind of sucks, for reasons that you and others have already stated. But on the other hand, there's something great and glorious and wonderfully all-American about the Iowa caucuses.

What I mean is this: normally Senators and former Vice Presidents and zillionaires like Tom Steyer are far too good to get within five miles of any building, event, or person associated with ordinary, working class people. Most of the time they prefer to travel first class (if they don't have a private jet), stay in luxury hotels, eat lobster and caviar, ride in limos, and hang out with the rich while avoiding those icky people who aren't rich. But the Iowa caucuses force the the candidates to spend almost a year traveling around to union halls and churches and county fairs and high school gymnasiums in rural areas and small towns, places where they normally wouldn't go. It forces them to fry steaks (or at least be present when steaks are being fried), stand on hay bales, and do other things like that. I mean honestly, what's better than watching Bill de Blasio and Andrew Yang snarfing hot dogs off paper trays with their bare hands?
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:59 AM
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I like the idea of a couple of small states being the test bed instead of making a candidate campaign nationwide for the nomination. But it should not be freaking Iowa and New Hampshire all the time. They should divide the states into tiers (small # of delegates up for grabs; medium #; lots of delegates) and then schedule them by lottery with the first few berths always going to small-delegate states with relatively affordable broadcast media. Maybe next year it would be Kansas and Delaware and then Alabama and New Mexico.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:12 AM
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I would support a rotating slate of states going first. Yes, it would take decades to circle back around to your state, but there you have it. The type of candidate and type of campaign would have to adjust to each cycle to target whichever states are first.
I agree. A rotating panel of 4-5 regional primaries would address the problem of resources. One regional vote per month would allow candidates to focus their efforts and each region would get a turn being first.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:38 AM
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The system isn't entirely broken. I'd hate to see a single national primary just because whoever has the most money, the most name recognition, and the early lead in the polls is going to win. Somehow we have to winnow the field down to a manageable number. IA and NH have been pretty effective in doing so. You have to be able to show that you can win retail politics, talking with the voters and show that you can make a case for yourself. In the bigger states, all you can do is hold rallies and blitz the media with ads.

I don't mind that IA and NH get first crack. But then we go to SC where on one side it's who is the reddest one of all and on the other it's who gets the black vote. I'd like to IA and NH followed by an Eastern Time Zone primary (for states with split zones, let them choose which one to be in ), a Pacific Time Zone primary, a Central Time Zone primary, and finally the Mountain Time Zone Primary. Throw AK and HI in the Pacific for good measure. Two small states and then a month where we have a different time zone every week.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:02 AM
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There really should just be one date where everyone has their primaries. I can't figure out the logic of why primaries should be spread across months, but not general elections.
Small "trial" states allow candidates with both a good message and who put in a lot of work (visiting counties, holding townhalls, knocking on doors), but who otherwise have little name recognition and campaign funds the opportunity to compete against well known candidates with big war chests. An underdog putting in a strong (even second or third place) finish in Iowa potentially gives them enough media exposure and extra donations/endorsements to snowball into the next state primary, and the next one, until they are finally able to compete at a national level.

Holding primaries on the same day massively favors the established candidates with lots of money - the smaller candidates would simply fall flat on their face trying to get their message out to millions of people all at once. Having excellent retail politics means jack when you can't afford simultaneous major ad buys to Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York metropolitan areas.

None of this matters for the general election- the candidate has already has the full party support behind them, and national recognition.

Does it need to be Iowa and NH? No, but it should *probably* be a small state (both in population and in overall area), with a swing tendency and a good cross section of voters.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:40 AM
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There has to be some mechanism for winnowing out the less viable candidates, and NH and IA do serve that purpose to at least some degree.


In the past, the party bosses would select the candidates in a smoke-filled room. Not a great thing. But, the candidates selected were generally competent and acceptable to a broad swath of the electorate, in contrast to today's over-reliance on primaries.


I think a middle ground is needed, where the party selects a handful of candidates and then they face primaries. This would provide an initial vetting of the candidates and allow for public input. Someone from outside could still challenge the official candidates, but would need broad support to succeed.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:22 AM
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Parties can choose their nominees however they wish. It doesn’t bother me. If it were up to me I’d go back to the party boss method.

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Old 10-08-2019, 11:27 AM
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I mean honestly, what's better than watching Bill de Blasio and Andrew Yang snarfing hot dogs off paper trays with their bare hands?
So, so many things, frankly.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:45 AM
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Yeah, the primary system is screwed up in so many ways that it's hard to know where to start.

The thing that's really screwed up, IMHO, is that the campaign now starts in earnest right after the midterms, but there's no voting for over a year. Then in the space of four weeks, we'll run through IA, NH, NV, SC, and Super Tuesday, at which point the race will probably be effectively over.

In the odd-numbered year before the general election (2019, etc.), we shouldn't be relying just on polls to tell us who's ahead. We should have had some actual primaries and caucuses already: Lord knows the campaign has been going on long enough for voters in a few early states to make up their minds.

Maybe next time, Delaware could have its primary in June 2023, then maybe Rhode Island in September. The DNC would probably vote to disallow their delegates, which would turn their primaries into what used to be called "beauty-contest" primaries (i.e. vote totals that determined no convention delegates), but those states would probably gain more impact by going early than they'd lose by having their delegates disallowed.

This would also give an early test for all the vanity candidates, and the outcomes of those primaries could be used as justification for kicking the low performers out of the televised debates.

BTW, I like the idea of starting with small (but more representative) states. I think that there should be some sort of tiered system where, once the early small states were done, the remaining states had primaries that were grouped by the number of electoral votes they had: states with 6-10 EVs would have their primaries on the same day, then states will 11-15 EVs would go two weeks later, then all the states with 16 or more EVs would have their primaries three weeks after that, which would solve the problem of the race being over before the big states got to vote.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:47 AM
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I mean honestly, what's better than watching Bill de Blasio and Andrew Yang snarfing hot dogs off paper trays with their bare hands?
One lifetime is too short to make a complete list.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:01 PM
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Yes, and no. On the one hand, the current system kind of sucks, for reasons that you and others have already stated. But on the other hand, there's something great and glorious and wonderfully all-American about the Iowa caucuses.

What I mean is this: normally Senators and former Vice Presidents and zillionaires like Tom Steyer are far too good to get within five miles of any building, event, or person associated with ordinary, working class people. Most of the time they prefer to travel first class (if they don't have a private jet), stay in luxury hotels, eat lobster and caviar, ride in limos, and hang out with the rich while avoiding those icky people who aren't rich. But the Iowa caucuses force the the candidates to spend almost a year traveling around to union halls and churches and county fairs and high school gymnasiums in rural areas and small towns, places where they normally wouldn't go. It forces them to fry steaks (or at least be present when steaks are being fried), stand on hay bales, and do other things like that. I mean honestly, what's better than watching Bill de Blasio and Andrew Yang snarfing hot dogs off paper trays with their bare hands?
Now now, ITR, there are more than wypipo in barns wearing gingham in Iowa that are All-American. We too want to see all of the candidates grovel around and choke down local dodgy foodstuffs.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:14 PM
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I’ve gone back and forth on this issue. Starting small does help candidates get their feet wet, especially if they’ve never ran a national campaign. Having a message bomb when you’re in some elk lodge in Iowa isn’t a campaign killer.

While I like the idea of changing around the small states, it does help that the campaign infrastructure can stay fairly consistent in the two states. It’s easy to hire a Democratic or Republican organizer because they’ve worked the state before and know how to do it. Also, the pollsters know how to poll IA and NH, Ann Selzer in IA might be the absolute best pollster in the USA. Also, IA and NH are usually somewhat competitive in the general election. Finally, the next two states are NV and SC, so you do get some diversity although it’s mainly an appeal to Hispanics in NV and the African American community in SC for the Democrats.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:27 PM
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I’ve gone back and forth on this issue. Starting small does help candidates get their feet wet, especially if they’ve never ran a national campaign. Having a message bomb when you’re in some elk lodge in Iowa isn’t a campaign killer.
That would make sense, except in our current way of doing things, the Democratic candidates have spent what feels like a years already on TV nationally trying to get their message out. It almost feels like the caucuses and primaries are now an end point, rather than a starting point.
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:31 PM
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Yes, and also, fuck yes.
Living in Iowa, I can't agree more, and am also very much looking forward to the next 13 months being over.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:32 PM
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Living in Iowa, I can't agree more, and am also very much looking forward to the next 13 months being over.
I used to live in Columbus, Ohio. I feel your pain even as a politics junkie. Couldn’t even watch a football game without being bombarded with ads.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:05 AM
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Pretty sure that the primaries/caucuses are set up by the state-level parties themselves, so if say... North Dakota decided they wanted to be earlier than Iowa, there's nothing stopping them, except maybe some kind of Federal regulations on how early the primaries/caucuses can be held.
Both parties set scheduling rules that the states must follow or be penalized. Both protect the current slow start with four states in Feb. In 2008 Michigan and Florida both tried jumping ahead of the line, violated the federal party rules, and got smacked down. They were penalized most of their delegate allocation.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:29 AM
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I think 2020 in particular will not be quite as bad as it has been in other years. Iowa isn't till February 3rd, with only NH, South Carolina, and Nevada before Super Tuesday. On March 3rd the states that vote are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. That's a pretty good mix of large states and small, blue, purple, and red states, coastal and middle of the country. I highly doubt that any of the top five will drop out before then. If it's going to be determined before the convention, I think March 17th when Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio vote will be the determining day.

In other words, I think that in 2020 at least we won't have a situation where the people in the states that vote in early to mid March are going to substantially change their votes because of who wins in three small primaries and one small caucus held in February. We probably won't be in a situation where it's already obvious on March 2nd who the nominee is going to be. I think what's actually happened this cycle is that Biden and Sanders sucked the oxygen out of the room and prevented everyone other than Warren from having an opportunity to break out of the pack. IOW if Biden wins Iowa and NH and then rolls on through the rest of the primaries, it isn't so much that Iowa and NH "determined" Biden to be the nominee. In that scenario it could be any two random states that go first with the outcome likely being the same.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:26 PM
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Reading the Biden thread got me thinking. I live in Michigan (one of the three states that put trump over the top and the narrowest one to boot) and by the time the race for the Democratic nomination gets here it will either already be decided or perhaps a candidate I might have wanted to vote for will be gone. Every four god damn years, it's New Hampshire and Iowa that get such out-sized influence on what, arguably, should be a national process. Does this bug anybody else? I get the whole "retail politics" thing and the argument that the first states should be ones that are small enough that mounting an effective campaign could be done cost-effectively.

Could you do "sub-state" primaries? Say in a collection of counties, or Congressional districts?
Michigan tried to cut its way to the front of the line in 2008, and that almost wrecked the convention. The thinking was this: Michigan isn't big enough of a state to be a "kingmaker," so it would become an "influencer" by having its primary early, under the impression that the party would react by (a) withdrawing the credentials of the state's delegates to the national convention, then (b) reinstating them once the candidate had been established. As a result, the only person who bothered campaigning there was Clinton. One small problem; after just about all of the primaries were completed, nobody had a majority of pledged delegates, and the Clinton campaign was demanding that the Michigan delegates not only be seated, but be seated in accordance with the original primary vote, which was divided between Clinton and "uncommitted." When the party came up with a compromise that gave Obama a significant share of the delegates, pretty much making sure Clinton could not win, the Clinton campaign pretty much left the meeting with the words, "We're taking this to the floor of the Convention."

I'm not sure how Iowa got to the front of the line. New Hampshire is the first primary because Tradition, That's Why. IIRC, South Carolina and Nevada were added to make the South and West more influential.

Note that there are bonuses (in terms of delegates) for holding a primary after March 31, and for groups of adjacent states holding them on the same day. Neither of those was incentive enough to keep California from moving (for the second time) from early June to Super Tuesday.

I don't see anything in the Delegate Selection Process that requires that a state hold its primary statewide on the same day. I suppose they can "sort of" do sub-state primaries, as about 70% of each state's delegates are at "district level" (it's not clear if those have to be Congressional districts or not), but they still have to be combined to determine how the state's "statewide" delegates are divided up. The statewide delegates have to be determined at the state level; that is a rule.
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
I couldn't think of two worse choices. Two disproportionately white and rural states in a country that is overwhelmingly not rural and is racially much more diverse. Feh.
Also, not sure about NH, but Iowa isn't really "swingy", except in the sense that both parties have some realistic hope of winning it in a close election. But the Democrats in Iowa tend to be much more liberal than Democrats nationally, and the Republicans more conservative. So if you're trying to design a system that maximizes the chance of nominating a candidate who appeals to "moderates", Iowa isn't a good place to start.
  #40  
Old 10-11-2019, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
I couldn't think of two worse choices. Two disproportionately white and rural states in a country that is overwhelmingly not rural and is racially much more diverse. Feh.
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
I don’t see that as a reason to give a structurally larger voice to an unrepresentative sample.
Voters from cosmopolitan cities are irrelevant — they're voting for the D.
White evangelicals from the South are irrelevant — they're voting for the R.
Blacks are irrelevant — they're voting for the D.
Big states like California, New York, Illinois — irrelevant.
Even Texas and Florida are irrelevant: they won't choose the D unless the D is coasting to victory anyway.

The election will be decided by small-town white voters from states demographically similar to Iowa and New Hampshire.

In a perfect world, we'd want a candidate who appeals to a variety of citizens. In the real world we want a candidate who can get elected. She'll need some near-redneck votes from specific states like New Hampshire, Iowa, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
  #41  
Old 10-13-2019, 09:19 PM
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A spread out primary season is okay (but the campaining has been on for months, and the 1st primary is 'when'?) because clay feet can take time to notice, and small states early gives regular people a shot at actually meeting candidates, but leaving out large states like, say, California) until the primary is decided deprives many of their voice.

More rotation sounds good to me.
  #42  
Old 10-15-2019, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Voters from cosmopolitan cities are irrelevant — they're voting for the D.
White evangelicals from the South are irrelevant — they're voting for the R.
Blacks are irrelevant — they're voting for the D.
Big states like California, New York, Illinois — irrelevant.
Even Texas and Florida are irrelevant: they won't choose the D unless the D is coasting to victory anyway.

The election will be decided by small-town white voters from states demographically similar to Iowa and New Hampshire.

In a perfect world, we'd want a candidate who appeals to a variety of citizens. In the real world we want a candidate who can get elected. She'll need some near-redneck votes from specific states like New Hampshire, Iowa, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
I agree that it's highly likely that one of Michigan, Pennsylvania, or Wisconsin are going to be the tipping point state. Most likely it will be predominantly white people from the suburbs of places like Philadelphia and Milwaukee who will be the tipping point.

I also doubt that the nominee will be determined before 3/3/20. If we do have a nominee before that time, it's likely because the losing candidates all had a huge failure rather than everyone dropping out because they came in 2nd place in New Hampshire or 3rd place in Iowa. In the scenario that there is a nominee after New Hampshire, my guess is that having all the states that vote on 3/3/20 vote on 2/3/20 would likely have ended up with the same result.
  #43  
Old 10-15-2019, 12:20 PM
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Which, as a law, should be regarded in much the same way as the attempted law by the Indiana legislature concerning the value of pi.
I've thought that when states do that, it is to calculate taxes on something that crosses state lines in a pipeline.
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  #44  
Old 10-16-2019, 02:34 PM
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When I am God-President, I'll implement one of these systems.

System A: Multi-primary system with three national primaries and one national general.
SPOILER:
On the first Tuesday of February in presidential election year, hold the first non-partisan primary (no caucuses!) in all states. Any candidate who gets the most votes in any state, passes onto the second primary. On the first Tuesday of May, hold the second non-partisan primary. The two candidates who get the most votes totalled across all states pass to the third primary, and the two candidates who won the most states also pass. On the first Tuesday of August, hold the third non-partisan primary. The two candidates who get the most votes totalled across all states pass to the general election. On the first Tuesday of November, hold the (still non-partisan) general election. The single candidate who gets the most votes totalled across all states wins the office.

At the first primary, little-known candidates can focus on small states with low campaign costs. They choose the state they think they'd do best in. Better-funded candidates can campaign across more states to get better assurance of passing. There will be fringe candidates that pass, but I consider that a feature at this stage. Better to be heard and voted out in stage two, then to fester as malcontents. Also, removing party control of the election process is also a feature. Make parties focus on winning at the ballot instead of restricting access.

At the second primary, candidates can go for broad appeal by winning the most votes nationally, or they can go for a focused appeal by winning in the most states. The second option is to make it easier for less-funded candidates to pass through. The third primary is basically a dry run of the general, which are both based solely on national vote total.


System B: Fifty staggered primaries over 50 weeks.
SPOILER:
Similar to the current system, but order of state primaries (no caucuses!) is based on how close the previous presidential vote was. Close is defined as the absolute difference between the top vote-getter in the state and the second place. This gives an advantage to smaller states, which tend to have close absolute vote difference. The first primary is the first Tuesday of September in the year before the presidential election. Each following primary is one week later. Delegates are assigned proportionally to number of votes.

This system magnifies the impact of voters in states that are most contested. Ideally that will improve the quality of candidates in appealing to states most likely to change the outcome of the election.
  #45  
Old 10-16-2019, 04:34 PM
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Parties can choose their nominees however they wish. It doesn’t bother me. If it were up to me I’d go back to the party boss method.
Party bosses have picked candidates who benefited the nation with their defeat. Have primary-winning nominees done America much better?

Here's a nominee selection proposal the 2nd Amendment crowd should love: Gunfights. Shootouts at the GOP Corral and the Donkey Pen. Or for Evangelical support, throw all candidates (bound and gagged) into a pond and see who floats. Let their deity decide. For tradition, such elimination contests can be staged in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The US electoral system in both primary and general contests is quite broken and thus amusing and terrifying. Do we get the government we deserve? I could (but won't) dream up perfect voting systems but why bother? US political players seem to LOVE long campaigns. Some are already running for 2028. So we can expect primaries to be vicious and crazy entertaining. We'll keep stumbling along with this until annihilation.
  #46  
Old 10-16-2019, 07:09 PM
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I just want it compacted. Have the primaries in June and July. The conventions in August. Campaign in September in October for the general. Way it stands now, Iowa is 2/3 and New Hampshire 2/11. The last primary, DC, is 6/16.
  #47  
Old 10-17-2019, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleonast View Post
System B: Fifty staggered primaries over 50 weeks.
SPOILER:
Similar to the current system, but order of state primaries (no caucuses!) is based on how close the previous presidential vote was. Close is defined as the absolute difference between the top vote-getter in the state and the second place. This gives an advantage to smaller states, which tend to have close absolute vote difference. The first primary is the first Tuesday of September in the year before the presidential election. Each following primary is one week later. Delegates are assigned proportionally to number of votes.

This system magnifies the impact of voters in states that are most contested. Ideally that will improve the quality of candidates in appealing to states most likely to change the outcome of the election.
I like this except perhaps changed to 25 weeks. 50 weeks would only work if there were as many candidates as there are now and they are almost all relatively young and healthy. A year's age can really show on some of these current candidates and current events might overshadow the benefit of weeding out a shorter list of candidates.
SPOILER:
I've also thought of something similar except to assign the number of delegates based on population and purpleness, but the idea of absolute vote count instead determining the order of primaries is even better.
  #48  
Old 10-17-2019, 07:40 AM
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Say, here's a crazy idea:

Each party has all of its primaries on the same day. The parties don't have to have them on the same day as each other, but I can see pretty much every state screaming about the costs of setting up multiple elections if they don't (in which case, offer parties an alternative if either (a) they pay for all of the costs, or (b) it is conducted by mail/online). Whoever gets the most votes is that party's nominee.

If having a majority is that big of a deal, use a ranked preference system similar to how the Oscars select Best Picture (and how Australia conducts its House elections) - if nobody has a majority, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated (or candidates, if their combined votes would still put them in last place - e.g. if there were five candidates and they got 35%, 30%, 20%, 10%, and 5%, the bottom two combined are eliminated at once because even if everybody who voted for the #5 candidate switched to #4, #4 would still be behind the other three) and those votes are transferred to whoever is ranked highest on those ballots among the remaining candidates.

Anybody who doesn't like the system will have the hypocrisy pointed out to them when their candidate "wins the popular vote" but loses in the electoral college.
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