Other states can pick a president too

With all due respect to the citizens of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, how is it fair that they get such disproportionate power over the rest of us every election cycle? Why should some states always be given greater influence to determine the presidential nominee, over and over again?

primaries_early.jpgI’m getting ready to vote, but my two favorite candidates have already dropped out, because these other privileged states have already determined them not to be viable. Same thing happened in 2004. Same states.

It’s time to shake up that unfair influence. The privilege of picking the “viable” nominees should be on a rotation, not just given to the same select voters every time.

Here’s the Tom Ryberg proposal:

Every four years, the major parties pick three different states to go first: one coastal, one midwestern, and one southern. All others vote on Super Tuesday, or thereafter.

Think I’m onto something? Tired of voting after it’s all but been predetermined for you already? Tell them about it (and while you’re at it, tell them too).

5 Responses to “Other states can pick a president too”

  1. underdog Says:

    the cowards who dropped out are the reason you are not voting for them.

    why dont you go ask your favorite candidates why they don’t have the courage to stay in the fight

  2. Tony Steidler-Dennison Says:

    Your argument that the early states have disproportionate power has already been completely shot down in ’08. There was no clear front-runner in either party coming out of the early states. There still isn’t. And, it’s likely that only the Republican nominee will be decided after Super Tuesday – in practice, a national primary day.

    That some of the candidates have dropped out is more a matter of economics, message and the media than the undue influence of a few small states. And, since the first two elements rely heavily on the last, your disdain for the early states might be better directed at the ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, etc. On both sides of the aisle, all the major media outlets appear to have picked the front-runners. The rest – the unchosen few – receive disproportionately less coverage. At best, they get coverage that only seems to slyly emphasize their perceived lack of viability.

    The advantage of the early states is something all candidates benefit from, regardless of party. They’re toughened by the rough-and-tumble of face-to-face politics. They have to get out and meet voters. They have to answer real questions from real people. Without the early states, the primary campaigns would be a television-only affair, a long arms-length from the concerns of real citizens.

    One more thought. If either party saw the early states as hefting an undue amount of influence on the races, you can bet the schedules would change radically. Even they understand the value and purpose of the forge.

  3. Tom Ryberg Says:

    Hey, welcome to you both.

    I think it’s important to point out that I fully support the early primary system. It works, this and other years, for many of the reasons that Tony Steidler-Dennison mentions. However, there’s no good reason for Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to always be among the privileged states year after year. That gives them a continual disproportionate advantage over voters elsewhere.

    underdog, if I happened to live in Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina, I would have had the opportunity to vote for my preferred candidates. However, I happen to live elsewhere, which means that year after year, my vote only matters in the context of what the same other states already decided.


  4. trbpublising Says:

    I think it is part of the myth of American democracy that we actually believe our votes count, or that every vote is counted.

    Witness the stalward, hanging chad counting, count every vote Democratic Party. Can you actually believe the can look into the camera and champion democracy – when they with drakonian, authoritarian measures – stripped the delagates of Michigan and Florida from the slate to the national convention.

    Horse race. Place your bets. It’s a vetting process. A means of “de-selecting” all but the machine politicians from both parties. Now hijacked by the rightwingnuts and the moonbats – there is little left that resembles democracy.

    But that is ok. Because it really only applies to the Executive Branch. The real power in a contitutional democracy belongs to the people and their elected represtatives. The powers under the rule of law enumirated in the Constitution to the Congression Branch are the functional tools of Government.

    From the powers of war and peace, to the powers of taxation and appropriation – these are the things that matter. The checks and balances of the Executive and Judicial then being administrative, rather than initiating.

    Find someone from your congressional district who is running, or your Senatorial candidates that reflect your views of governance and vote for them.

  5. Andria Says:

    Tom, I agree with your idea to continue to have a few early voting states that rotate. I think that several states do have a disproportionate amount of influence on our vote.

    Tony, you said that if either party felt that some states were disproportionately influencing the vote, that the party would do something about it. I disagree. I think that the parties do not want to shake things up with current early primary states, for whatever reason (maybe money from donors in those states, but that is just one idea.) The party elite are satisfied with the status quo and aren’t beholden to registered party members in any real way.

    Additionally, does it matter that the media are the ones that actually portray candidates as viable or not, and not the voters in the early states? To me, it seems that the perception the rest of the voting public has is what matters, and since the votes affect media coverage, and the media coverage affects perception, then the votes do affect public perception of the race in a disproportionate way. The message we get from the media clearly affects the choice of all votes thereafter.

    All this is to say, no one has had any reason to object to Tom’s plan, thus far.

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