In response to primary date change, DNC strips Florida of its 2008 delegates

Story here.

Isn’t this, well, overreacting? (Especially considering it was a Republican-dominated state legislature that approved moving up the state primaries to January 29.)

Why are they doing this? The DNC is the Democrats’ national organ – why should it be so invested in letting New Hampshire have the earliest primary? Or in prolonging the primary season?

Will the RNC follow suit?

The body that made this decision is the committee in charge of rules. They pretty much had to do it, or else become devoid of purpose. Between now and the convention, the rest of the DNC and Florida will undoubtedly work something out.

But they parties have to do something. The race to be first among the primaries has become pretty obscene.

No, not in my opinion.

If the big states are allowed to bully their way up to the front of the primary line, it hurts the Democratic process. Having big states at the front favors the well-funded, establishment candidates who can afford to mount media campaigns there.

Better to have a few small states go first, so that talented but underfunded candidates get a chance to compete on a more level playing field. I think the DNC did well by adding South Carolina and Nevada to the roster of early states. Together with New Hampshire and Iowa, that gives us a pretty good georgraphic sampling.

An underfunded candidate can win a couple of these small early primaries and make up for a lack of start-up campaign cash in a hurry by riding the wave of free publicity that follows.

I think the DNC should fight to preserve this system. If the process had been front-loaded in '92, we would never have heard of Bill Clinton. Democrats would have probably nominated Paul Tsongas, who was (as I recall) the establishment favorite that year.

Democratic Underground thread. (In a primarily echo-chamber board like DU or Free Republic, the most interesting threads are those which reflect divisions within the membership.)

They aren’t. New Hampshire is. In fact, they have a state law attesting to that very fact. So what is happening is that other states are trying to start before New Hampshire in an attempt to be “more relevant” and New Hampshire simply moves back further ad infinitum until the NH Primary for 2020 will be happening in 2016.

That is, unless the parties get a grip on the process in the only way they can: by threatening or imposing sanctions.

The other states will simply have to bow to tradition, because New Hampshire is too heavily invested in this contest, probably because it is their only chance to have any relevance whatsoever. As a small state, they have little to say in the face of California, Florida, Texas, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania in the general election and are therefore imminently ignorable except for the primary. That’s why they are going to war over this.

While I really don’t like top-down solutions, the primaries these days have gotten out of hand. I think a law forcing them to all be within a three-day period no more than six months before the election date would not a be bad thing anymore. Every bloody state wants to be first, although there’s not much evidence this actually has any real effect on the process. (It does, however, cause weird media paroxysms as they abruptly focus on some canidate no one else likes who happes to be poular in New Hampshire for no logical reason.)

Excellent idea, but it would have to be a federal law, and I’m not sure that would be constitutional.

Something has to be done somewhere. I’m a FL resident, and I’d like to be first, but I’m sure that the 49 other states would like that distinction as well.

As Airman Doors points out, if this is allowed to continue, then states will just keep leapfrogging each other until the primary season is ridiculously early.

But it’s crap that New Hampshire gets to be first in the nation every year. They are mostly white, and don’t represent any kind of demographic in the country.

Be careful what you wish for, though. What if we did have primaries within a week of each other in every state. You could have a situation where 15 candidates enter the race and one wins the nomination with 12 percent of the popular vote. Buchanan certainly would have won the GOP nomination in 1996 under this plan. McCain would have won in 2000. Howard Dean would have won in 2004.

A long primary season lets the people learn, lets the weaker candidates drop out, and allows a consensus to be reached within parties, which is what THEY want. They love these plays called “conventions” on TV.

I would probably favor some kind of rotating system where a small state gets to lead off every four or five election cycles (switching off with other small states) and followed the next week with a handful of representative larger states across geographic lines.

I’ve got a better idea: Let all states have their primaries on the same day, but let them be multi-round primaries: The top two or three finishers (however many it takes to add up to more than 50%) in the first go on to the second; repeat until a candidate gets a majority.

Or, easier and cheaper, do it all in one day by instant-runoff voting.

Any one-day system just guarantees the big-money establishment candidate wins. If we are trying to separate money from politics, that moves us in the wrong direction.

It’s crap that Florida should maybe be the first primary. I don’t feel properly represented by Hispanic immigrants and retirees. I think Pennsylvania should be first.

Yeah, that doesn’t work either. Someone has to be first, and everybody wants it to be them. Fortunately or not, New Hampshire will always be first. The only question is when they will have it.

No, someone doesn’t have to be first, though you could make a case that it’s a good idea.

I dunno, I like the rotating scheme suggested by jtgain. That seems to have the advantage of spreading things out without the unfairness of having states with permanent states at the front of every cycle.

No, someone does have to be first, via New Hampshire statute. As the 10th Amendment covers the rights of states to do that which is not expressly forbidden in the Constitution, for the government to stop them there would have to be a Constitutional amendment. Good luck with that. They couldn’t even get the ERA passed, try punching something this petty through.

Or the parties could sanction New Hampshire, in which case they would probably disregard the sanctions and do their own “formal” informal primary anyway to have some influence.

I’m not so sure it has to be an issue for the federal gov’t to decide. The DNC and RNC could get together, figure out a rotating schedule, and then only accept delegates from those states that follow that schedule. Iowa and NH might fight it, but if worse comes to worse, after a few cycles of getting no delegates, I think candidates would start to focus on those states that actually matter.

New Hampshire isn’t important because if the delegates. New Hampshire is important because it acts as a bellwether of the relative positions of the candidates. Winning New Hampshire is not that big of a deal, but finishing any worse than a close third generally tells the candidates not to waste any more time or money.

That could happen anywhere, but the people of New Hampshire have chosen their state to be that place. The delegates? They don’t matter. They are so minimal as to be almost completely irrelevant. It’s the shaping of the races that matters.

Well, what if Florida “had to be first, via Florida statute”? Then Florida and New Hampshire primary dates could spiral in an eternal loop into the past to the point when the 2008 primary date for New Hampshire is Feb. 4, 1886 and Florida’s date, under it’s new law is January 28, 1886.

Sure, the state of New Hampshire can pass a law under the 10th amendment saying that it is the state with the largest male penis size in the world. It doesn’t:

  1. Make it true.
  2. Have any effect outside the state of New Hampshire.

My point is that there is no rational reason for the GOP or the DEMS to continue to suck the proverbial schlong of New Hampshire. The only reason is the political one. It is the gamble that the first primary of 2008 will be NH, so we should play nice with NH politicians. Any political courage is lost.

Would anyone please tell me why New Hampshire should have the “first” designation EVERY SINGLE YEAR?

I’ve already adequately explained that. Several times.

Fair enough, but I’m still not convinced they can’t be convinced to give up their spot, if for no other reason to avoid the recursive loop Jtgain. Offer them a prefered spot in the first couple cycles if necessary, or have the RNC and DNC to lean on their candidates to ignore their primary.

Obama/McKinley 2008!

But other dudes have refuted it. Seriously NH State law is not part of the US Constitution. Any state can be first.

Let’s have them all on the same day.