My Primary Proposal

Extrapolating from current events, states will soon be fighting over the week after last presidential election so they can hold the first primary of the next election cycle.  It's totally nuts, but completely predictable from the incentives:  No cost and large perceived benefit from moving one's state's primary forward.  What there needs to be is a countervailing cost to moving forward.

Here is the proposal I made 4 years ago:   States in the first 25% of primaries (by delegate count) can only award 25% of their delegates on their early primary date, and must hold a second primary three months later to award the rest.  States in the next 25% can only award half their delegates at the first primary, and must also hold a second primary to award the rest.  Everyone else in the back half can award as normal.  So the first half of the primaries only award 18.75% of the delegates.  Candidates may get momentum from early state wins, but over three quarters of the delegates will yet be awarded, so later states will matter too.

  • TCO

    Or just reduce the total delegates that they EVER get in the convention. I still think small states may want to go early. But at least you avoid the super tuesday thing.

  • http://brcbanter.blogspot.com Craig

    I would prefer a law that says no presidential campaign expenditures may take place, or donations be made, before Labor Day of the year preceding the election.

  • http://that-xmas.livejournal.com Xmas

    How about political parties go back to making the Conventions the place that decides who's running for president and make the primaries a way of selecting a slate of delegates.

    You know, make it more like the general election.

  • http://jackalopepursuivant.typepad.com/ Dan

    I like the idea of five primary dates, each seperated by 2-3 weeks. On the first date, the ten smallest states (by delegate weight) vote, etc., until on the last date the ten biggest states vote. The contest remains in play the whole time. Small states have the ability to set momentum, but the last states aren't rendered irrelevant.

  • http://jackalopepursuivant.typepad.com/ Dan

    I like the idea of five primary dates, each seperated by 2-3 weeks. On the first date, the ten smallest states (by delegate weight) vote, etc., until on the last date the ten biggest states vote. The contest remains in play the whole time. Small states have the ability to set momentum, but the last states aren't rendered irrelevant.