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Old 03-04-2020, 07:51 PM
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Why are presidential primaries so strung out & always in the same order?


Presidential elections - everybody votes at the same time, the first Tues after the first Mon in Nov. Yes, I know there's mail-in ballots but they're a minority & for people who can't make it to a polling place on that day.
Presidential primaries - Iowa & New Hampshire always lead, then a bunch of states on Super Tuesday, then other states straggle along.

36% of the states have voted & those people had more options than I will get. There were seven people on the stage at the last Democratic debate but now four of them are out of the race & Warren is 'assessing her campaign', which means she'll probably be out soon, too.

I believe there were years were voting for the non-incumbent party's candidate was symbolic, meaning that <nominee> had the enough delegates to have the nomination wrapped up before my state voted. Therefore, I had three choices:
  • Vote for the nominee - even though it didn't matter, symbolic vote
  • Vote for my preferred (remaining) candidate - even though they'd still lose the nomination, symbolic vote
  • Not bother to vote, because it really doesn't much matter, other than to some pollster, who I voted for.

Living in a in a later primary state, it's very disenfranchising. If they don't all have them at the same time, why don't they at least change the order every four years so that every state gets a fair crack at a bunch of candidates at some point?
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:19 PM
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mostly it's tradition and there is no real push to change it . NH even has a law they must be the first primary. There have been changes, CA used to vote late but now they are on super Tuesday. Here in NC we moved from May to super Tuesday.

Last edited by Bijou Drains; 03-04-2020 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:30 PM
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Except the first four states in February, every state gets to choose when they hold their primary. Your state government chose the date you vote. The national parties set the rules they choose from. There are benefits built in to encourage that the primaries be spread out. The DNC gives bonus delegates. Go in April and the state get a 10% bonus in delegate allocation. Go in May or June and it is a 20% bonus. States that go after March 24th get a 15% additional bonus if they schedule at the same time as as least two neighboring states. By going later you have fewer options but your vote counts more. Your vote is also less likely to be completely ignored in the only number that really matters, delegates Because of the high threshold to earn any delegates the DNC uses big chunks of the vote in early states can produce zero total delegates. Your vote counts more, when the race is not decided, than if you went earlier.

They are strung out to give candidates that are not already big names with big fundraising ability to have a chance. February is a slow start in states with not very many delegates spread around the country. Campaigns can do relatively cheap retail politics to find an audience, get publicity, and raise money for later. That intent sort of fell apart this year because three states moved to Super Tuesday. Minnesota was less of a big deal. The two largest states, California and Texas, also moved earlier.

If you don't like the date your state votes write your state legislators. They picked your later date not the party.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:33 PM
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They’re not. It was a major mistake to move TX and CA up to Super Tuesday.
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Old 03-04-2020, 08:54 PM
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They’re not. It was a major mistake to move TX and CA up to Super Tuesday.
I don't see it that way at all; it's great that they moved both states up. It's unfortunate that Joe ran a timid campaign that allowed others to be more competitive than they should have been. He shouldn't have had competition, but because he couldn't dominate the center-left vote, that compelled Bloomberg to run. Had all of the other centrists dropped out a month to six weeks earlier, Biden would be on his way to the nomination.
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:16 PM
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Texas and California missed out on a lot of "being courted and wooed" campaigning by allowing themselves to be lumped into Super Tuesday. They should have stood out alone as big bonanza prizes on their own.
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:36 PM
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Texas and California missed out on a lot of "being courted and wooed" campaigning by allowing themselves to be lumped into Super Tuesday. They should have stood out alone as big bonanza prizes on their own.
Historically, it hasn't worked out that way, particularly in the case of California.
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:03 PM
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If you don't like the date your state votes write your state legislators. They picked your later date not the party.
Depends on state. Here in Kansas, e.g., the state legislature has nothing to do with the presidential primary; the state Democratic Party is organizing and running their own primary on a date they selected, and the Kansas Republicans decided not to have one.
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:12 PM
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A longer primary process gives some time for research on candidates that may not be well known. Locals may know of the clay feet of a candidate that looks electable from far away.
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
NH even has a law they must be the first primary.
Except they were the second, unless you're splitting hairs & saying Iowa was a caucus not a primary. Even so, I don't care about NH laws mainly because they don't apply to me as I'm not in NH. That's also true of any of the other 44(?) states that have primaries instead of caucuses; why do any of them give a hoohah about some NH law? If some state moved theirs to one day before NH, can NH do anything about it other than moving theirs up as well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DinoR View Post
Except the first four states in February, every state gets to choose when they hold their primary. Your state government chose the date you vote. The national parties set the rules they choose from. There are benefits built in to encourage that the primaries be spread out. The DNC gives bonus delegates. Go in April and the state get a 10% bonus in delegate allocation. Go in May or June and it is a 20% bonus. States that go after March 24th get a 15% additional bonus if they schedule at the same time as as least two neighboring states. By going later you have fewer options but your vote counts more. Your vote is also less likely to be completely ignored in the only number that really matters, delegates Because of the high threshold to earn any delegates the DNC uses big chunks of the vote in early states can produce zero total delegates. Your vote counts more, when the race is not decided, than if you went earlier.
First, don't shoot the messenger, I get it. However, the message is utter horses...! Dems in my state get one vote, just like Dems in NH. However, they had seven choices, where at best, Dems in my state are going to have two, & at worst, Dems in my state are not going to have any real choice (& it's happened before), only rubber stamp what voters in prior states have already done. The state party gets a bonus, not the individual voter.
We have one primary election, for federal, state, & local offices. It's always around the same time, whether this year when there really isn't a Republican presidential contest or eight years ago when there wasn't a Democrat presidential contest as Obama was going for his second term.
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Old 03-08-2020, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
Presidential elections - everybody votes at the same time, the first Tues after the first Mon in Nov. Yes, I know there's mail-in ballots but they're a minority & for people who can't make it to a polling place on that day.
Presidential primaries - Iowa & New Hampshire always lead, then a bunch of states on Super Tuesday, then other states straggle along.

36% of the states have voted & those people had more options than I will get. There were seven people on the stage at the last Democratic debate but now four of them are out of the race & Warren is 'assessing her campaign', which means she'll probably be out soon, too.

I believe there were years were voting for the non-incumbent party's candidate was symbolic, meaning that <nominee> had the enough delegates to have the nomination wrapped up before my state voted. Therefore, I had three choices:
  • Vote for the nominee - even though it didn't matter, symbolic vote
  • Vote for my preferred (remaining) candidate - even though they'd still lose the nomination, symbolic vote
  • Not bother to vote, because it really doesn't much matter, other than to some pollster, who I voted for.

Living in a in a later primary state, it's very disenfranchising. If they don't all have them at the same time, why don't they at least change the order every four years so that every state gets a fair crack at a bunch of candidates at some point?
I dispute your premise. You are not disenfranchised (why does everyone use that word wrong all of the time?). Your vote is as much of a valid vote as those in earlier states. It is just that results are now known such that your vote for a lesser candidate cannot make up the difference between that candidate and the leader.

Vote for Warren in April, or vote for her in NH, she still loses. But your vote still counted.
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Old 03-08-2020, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
Historically, it hasn't worked out that way, particularly in the case of California.
True, California has usually been in June when it’s been wrapped up. But that does help the state and local races since there’s more time for them to get going and get exposure.

The early states have to go back and vote again for state and local races, which often means very low turnout.
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