Weighting swing states much more heavily in primaries

So I encountered an idea on another message board which I thought intriguing: It would benefit the D’s and R’s if they were to change their primaries so that instead of states with larger populations having more delegates, it were states that were viewed as most essential for the standard-bearer to win in November that had the most delegates.
Ohio is much more important than California or Texas, despite having a smaller populace. So it should be states like Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Virginia, etc. that would have many party delegates in the primaries while deep-blue or deep-red states like Oklahoma or Massachusetts had few delegates.
The idea being that if you field a candidate who can win big in the swing states in April, he’s likely someone who will also resonate strongly with those same swing states in November.

Ugh, so making residents of Hawaii , Utah and Maryland, even more separated from the political process. I might as well vote Republican in the general in hopes that my state becomes swing so that I can at least have some influence on the process. No thanks.

I’ve thought of the same idea as well. If we’re not going to fix the issue of swing states, we may as well acknowledge reality.

I think the problem with this is that the non-swing states would become swingier.

California is so solidly Democratic because Californians tend to align strongly with the core values of winning Democratic politicians. If you start choosing Democratic Presidential nominees without caring what California thinks, then you’re going to start losing some of the qualities that make Californians so fired up about Democrats. Which makes the Democratic edge smaller in California.

Now, that might not matter that much in California, since the edge there is quite large. But if you increase focus on swing states, you’re going to lose some edge in the states that are closer, which might just result in a different set of swing states.

Plus you’ve increased the importance of local Ohio issues in national politics, since now we’re more likely to pick candidates that are particularly tailored to what Ohioans want. Ohio, as a result of its swing-state status, already has an outsized role in national politics. Not sure that increasing that is a recipe for better national policy.

What is the formula for deciding how many delegates each state gets at the DNC? I’m afraid that, rather than proportional to total population (D+R), it is already opposite to what OP wants. Other procedural matters also need to be considered.

Iowa and New Hampshire already have an out-sized role in the selection process by virtue of their early caucus/primary. And, those are swing states — coincidence? Nevada, another swing state, also has very early caucuses. Candidates can and should cater to swing-state voters without having it spoon-fed to them with convention arithmetic. Democratic insistence on focusing on Guns! is one good example of the D’s suicidal tendency.

The most important swing states are the “tipping” states, or whatever Nate Silver calls them. Millions of dollars the D’s spent on political consultants and not one could grasp the Silver graphic showing that Pennsylvania was key? :eek: The mind boggles.

The cigar smokers in the old smoke-filled rooms understood all this. Turning elections over to the people is when it all started going wrong! :slight_smile:

each party controls the delegate numbers per state. In the past some states had # of delegates reduced by going too early in the year for their primary. they pretty much ban any other states trying to jump before Iowa/NH.

The biggest flaw I can think of is that the primary contest in Florida, for example, is among Democrats. The candidate that performs best among the FL primary voters is not necessarily the one best-positioned or most-likely to win FL in the general election in November where they are facing a much different electorate.

Iowa and NH have such a small number of black people they are not realistic for Dems either.

A look at the rules for 2020.

Both parties include factors that generally benefit more strongly partisan states. Neither has been breaking delegate allocations down strictly by state populations.

Do you mean in the general election? Because New Hampshire has gone blue ever since 2004 and Obama won Iowa twice.

The swing states already have too much power. This proposal would simply make it worse.