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Saturday, January 21, 2012

South Carolina Primary

The Washington Post headline reads "South Carolina primary is Romney rival's last hope." The pundits all around are telling me "If Romney wins South Carolina, it is over." How is that right?

You know, I tried out USA Today's Candidate Match Game just on a lark. Turns out the closest candidate to my views (on those particular questions) is Michele Bachmann. Oh, wait! I can't vote for her. She may be on my ballot, but she's not even in the race. And now they're telling me that if Romney wins in South Carolina my candidate (yes, I'm registered Republican ... at the moment) will already be decided. I like someone else? Too bad. Was I leaning toward the more moderate Huntsman? Tough beans. Maybe Rick Perry? No longer an option. I don't get to choose. Several candidates will likely drop out of the race and it will be all over except for the motions of voting.

I don't get it. If it's supposed to be the choice of the people, why is it that Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina get to make the choice? Shouldn't we all be choosing at the same time? This problem of voting at different times is already problematic on the nationwide November vote when California is 3 hours behind New York, so some Californians don't bother because "It's already decided." This doesn't seem right. But, hey, maybe that's just me.

Update: Well, I suppose, since Romney did not win in South Carolina, all our "suggestions for improvement" are moot. Still ...


Dan Trabue said...

I agree with you on this one. It doesn't seem right that we "later states" have already had the field narrowed down for us.

I wonder what we could do, instead? Have simultaneous primaries? That would limit the amount of money that the candidates could afford to spend in any one place (a good thing, it seems to me...) because they'd have to spread their money around.

On the other hand, I can see some value in having some time to winnow them down over time... I sure don't know the answer.

Danny Wright said...

One argument I've heard in favor of this is that, if the primaries were all done in a day, as I would like them to be, then it would take an enormous amount of money to even consider running. As it stands now, you only need enough to prove to donors that support you in a couple of state primaries, one red, the other blue, that their money won't be thrown away.

I'm with you however. I've not wasted any time personally watching the debates. They are just too painful to watch. I figure by the time it's my turn I will have a choice between Romney and someone else, and Romney will win here, whether I vote or not, because he claims to be a Mormon. Then I will vote for Romney for president and it will be a landslide victory.

Then Romney will give the Democrats a victory anyway by picking moderates (read liberal but not rabidly so just yet) for the Supreme Court and they will eventually null and void most all future and past conservative laws, and 90% of the country will not have a clue as to why the massive changes they see are taking place. They will blame the "politicians". But most, really, should be standing in front of a mirror when they go to blaming.

I hope I'm wrong, of course, on all but Obama losing in a landslide defeat. I'll be anxiously awaiting to see who Romney appoints. It's in writing so we can come back and check my prognosis.

Jeremy D. Troxler said...


Great post. I've been thinking very much recently about what a terrible decision it will be at the polls if there are only two boxes: Obama and Romney.

There is the write-in option available, at least one carrot still thrown out for those who would like more than two options, I suppose.


Stan said...

On simultaneous primaries and prohibitive amounts of money, I wonder how they did it before? Before television and instantaneous communication and vastly liberally biased media, how do you suppose it was accomplished? Idle question, actually, because we don't live in those times anymore. And sometimes progress ain't.

Craig said...

I've thought that some sort of regional primary system might work. Divide the country into 4-5 regions and cut down the number. The potential problem is that it could give one region a disproportionate say in the process.

Another option is still 4-5 primary days, but with a geographic mix of states on each day. If it went this way you could rotate which group goes first or change up the groupings to spread out who goes first.

I do think the current system is flawed, but to change it would require some serious effort.