As primaries in Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, Nebraska, Oregon and Kentucky trickle in this month, these states once again have no impact on the selection of the Republican nominee. This begs the same questions that bubble up every four years:
Should Iowa be the first state every time?
Should New Hampshire always host the first primary?
Should South Carolina always be the first Southern state?
Should Florida always be the first mega-state?
Should individual states maneuver in self-interest to push the primary calendar into early January (and potentially even before then)?
Should a straw poll at least 5 months prior to any delegates being selected be so important as to cause a candidate to drop out of the race?
Should the selection of delegates have no rhyme or reason from state to state (some winner-take-all, others proportional, others merely a beauty contest with no impact on delegate selection)?
Should members of one party be able to vote in the other party’s nomination process?
Should some candidates be excluded from the ballot in some states?
Is the current presidential nomination process worthy of the Office it seeks to fill?
Presidential Nomination Solution:
Given the 2008 nomination results on both sides (the collapse to a quick decision for McCain and the prolonged grudge match of Clinton-Obama) and the spectacle that was 2012 for the Republicans, it is abundantly clear that we need a significant overhaul of the process – one upon which both Democrats and Republicans (as well as the general population) should be able to agree. The current process is so fundamentally flawed that settling for just a few tweaks will not do.
This Presidential Nomination Solution proposes a straightforward, comprehensive solution that delivers these features:
- A rotation plan is implemented such that no state (or set of states) always goes first.
- The rotation plan considers both North and South as well as Eastern, Central and Western regions.
- No one state is the sole focus on any primary date.
- Smaller states still have the opportunity for retail politics to enable a less-funded candidate to emerge.
- Mega-states have an appropriately prominent – but not overwhelming – role.
- The nomination calendar starts in February and ends in June. This protects us from calendar-creep into the holidays and still gives ample time for party conventions and the general election campaign.
- The delegate awards to each candidate are well reasoned for each stage of the nomination process.
- Republicans nominate the Republican. Democrats nominate the Democrat.
- The candidates’ names consistently appear on all states’ ballots.
- Tuesday primaries are implemented. Why? The general election is also on a Tuesday. The general election is not a caucus.