Will debates take over from primaries?

Or, why bother with the Presidential primaries when the debates are doing the winnowing?

Sure, each state party has to decide who they’re going to back, but if there’s already a clear favourite, why back anyone else?

Debates only “winnow” because people who lose debates and/or suffer in polls conclude they won’t win votes. If you get rid of the voting mechanism, the debates have zero ability to winnow.

I don’t get what you’re proposing.

Candidates are dropping out because they have run out of money, not because some network only wants seven people on stage.

And even still, why should a party’s candidate be chose by news networks instead of… oh, what’s the technical term for those things… oh yeah, “voters?”

Things haven’t changed with all these debates. Most people don’t watch them, those that do only watch because they want to cheer their favorite hero or boo their favorite villain. We all watch the sound bites and let the talking heads tell us who “won” the “debate”.

It still comes down to having to practice politics at the retail level in Iowa and New Hampshire to be able to raise enough money to compete in the states with some significance. Then the money takes over and whoever can make the most punishing negative ad about the other guy will usually prevail.

The debates are partnership between the media and the parties to hype the primaries and control the nomination process. People don’t care that much about the debates, and they’re caring less about the primaries too as a result of this nonsense.

Because (a) unless they’re winnowing down to one candidate per party, they still need to know which candidate to choose, and (b) remember that polls include people from all parties, whereas primaries are limited to registered voters of the party in question; the two can be significantly different.

Democratic party caucuses/primaries, and most Republican party ones as well, aren’t winner take all, so a state doesn’t “back” a candidate.