Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Solution to Primary Leapfrog Idiocy

With the Wyoming GOP announcing their intention to move their delegate selection contests to January 5th, it is now conceivable that New Hampshire will hold its primary on December 18th, with Iowa going December 10th, due to each state's laws dictating their position in the process and the fact that both Christmas and New Year's Day are on Tuesdays.

Nothing says Presidential elections like hot chocolate and candy canes. How will primary voters react to the carolling of the candidates? Fred Thompson may not even be in the race at that point, but I bet he does a heck of a rendition of "We Three Kings."

From the AP story:
"We're first in the nation," said Tom Sansonetti, the state party's 2008 county convention coordinator. "At least for the next couple, three weeks until New Hampshire and Iowa move, which I expect they will."


"Ultimately the goal here is to look beyond 2008 and fix the system, because the system is broken," Sansonetti said. "Ultimately the goal here is to look beyond 2008 and fix the system, because the system is broken," Sansonetti said. "All this jumping around is because the states feel disenfranchised by letting Iowa and New Hampshire call the shots."

First off, Iowa and New Hampshire don't call the shots: President Bush lost in 2000, Senator Bob Dole lost is 1996 and President Bill Clinton lost in 1992.

Now that we've got that out of the way, here's my solution for 2012 and beyond. However, part of it starts now.

- Iowa and New Hampshire go in mid-January.

- The remaining states are split into four groups of 12, with a geographic distribution so that each region of the nation has 3 representative states in each group.

- Then, the second Tuesday of February, March, April and May one group has a primary.

- This primary rotates every four years, so that the group that goes last one year goes first the next.

(ex. Year 1: 1234 Year 2: 4123 Year 3: 3412 Year 4: 2341)

- The initial order would be determined by overall eligible voter turnout percentage in the GENERAL election of 2008 for the group. The group of states with the top turnout goes first in 2012, with the group coming in second going 4th so they get to go first in 2016.

- Finally, in 2024, after everybody has had the chance to go first, the order is redrawn based on the voter turnout percentage over the last four elections (2012-24), and the process begins again.

It really isn't that hard, and I would think the parties and states could come to some kind of agreement before their conventions in August 2008, which at this rate will be nine months after the first primary ballots are cast.

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