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Five Proposals for Fixing the Primary Process for the GOP.
Free Republic ^ | 1/31/2008 | Jack Black

Posted on 01/31/2008 8:23:00 AM PST by Jack Black

Out of frustration with the current primary system several observers and magazines have suggested a single nationwide primary. This would cause as many problems as it fixes, including making money a huge determining factor and (therefore) giving even more power to the MSM to pick our candidates.

Several of these commentators have compounded the bad idea of a All-State Primary with the worse suggestion that the Congress mandate it.

The proposed plan is not great for several reasons. First off is Constitutionality. The Republican party is not a branch of the US Government which the Congress can legislate rules for!

The Republican Primary is a private organization whose members have the right to set their own rules. If we are unhappy with the process let us force the Republican Party to change them.

Here are some changes I would support:

1. No caucuses. All Presidential delegates shall be determined by a full vote of the people of the state.

2. No winner take all. All states should have the same rules for the primaries. Some "bonus" for the winner is OK.

This year several big states going "winner take all" has skewed the influence of the East out of all proportion to the value they represent to our eventual nominee. New York should not weigh so heavily in picking the GOP nominee, and WTA is making that worse.

3. More delegates for Red States. That is States should get "credit" for going for the GOP Presidential nominee in one or more previous election. This, again, prevents states like New York, which has lots of voters but zero record of going Republican from selecting who will be the candidate of the GOP.

4. Group states into 5 (or so)groups, have them vote on the same day, and rotate between the groups.

The states should be broken up into diverse "baskets". Each basket would get: 1 mega state, 1 midwest state, 1 western state, 1 New England state, 1 southern State, 1 rust belt state. In this way no particular demographic, geographic or ideological group gets an advantage by dint of lottery. These groups are fairly evenly weighted.

Five Groups of 10 states each would mean one primary a month in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May.

5. No independent voting in GOP primaries. This may require the GOP to remove control of our primaries from state legislatures and pay for them oursleves. Fine. On general principles we should not let Democratic legislatures dictate our rules, anyway.

States would be free to hold whatever beauty contests, state sponsored, they choose. We can not prevent New Hampshire from having a giant straw poll in January. But the RNC would not accredite such an event with any power to name delegates. That would ONLY take place in the RNC sanctioned group primaries.

By having our own primary process, seperate from the Dems, we would begin to increase the differentiation between our open, fair and well thoght out process and the corrupt, insider laden Democrat one. This, in turn, would attract voters to our party.

Many commentators have, erroniously, blamed the RNC for the primary mess. This is exactly wrong. Our current system is not an unfair one designed by the RNC, in secret, to benefit John McCain or other favored candidates. It is, instead, a hodgepode of individual rules created by state parties and state legislatures. In many cases the state legislatures are run by corrupt Democratic machines!

No wonder it is a mess. The solution therefore does not lie in having (many Democratic) legislatures take even more control of our process, but rather insisting that the RNC get tough, lay down the law, and create a system that is fair, consistent and for Republicans.


TOPICS: Government; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: broken; primary; systemh

1 posted on 01/31/2008 8:23:02 AM PST by Jack Black
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To: Jack Black

Hear, hear!

I absolutely agree with the idea of completely closed primaries. I believe we have had enough of “crossover” voters dictating our choices for us.

If the State Parties don’t like it, tough. Don’t get seated.

Of course, the imbecile Republican Party at the national level would never do such a sensible thing...


2 posted on 01/31/2008 8:31:23 AM PST by BrewingFrog (I brew, therefore I am!)
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To: Jack Black

I’m in favor of all except the multi-state primary spread out across the country. I’d rather have primaries grouped by region, like say southwest, northwest,northeast, mid-Atlantic, etc which would allow the candidates to spend their time and most importantly, money, in one area rather than hopping from side to side across the entire country. Rotate among the regions, though, so no area has that “first”/”Most important” claim


3 posted on 01/31/2008 8:36:05 AM PST by Mr Inviso
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To: Jack Black

If we don’t get the national primary day, I nominate Indiana for the first basket primary in January. We vote in May so we get ignored completely, but we are counted on as a shoe-in red state. I’m tired of our state getting screwed out of the primary process.


4 posted on 01/31/2008 8:36:10 AM PST by mysterio
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To: Jack Black

It’s probably just me but I feel as though the liberal, MSM is completely manipulating and orchestrating the whole “primary” process this year. The “media” wants McCain and Clinton and that’s what we the people are going to get whether we like it or not. IMHO.


5 posted on 01/31/2008 8:36:26 AM PST by FlingWingFlyer (STILL Proud To Be An American!!!!)
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To: Jack Black

It’s probably just me but I feel as though the liberal, MSM is completely manipulating and orchestrating the whole “primary” process this year. The “media” wants McCain and Clinton and that’s what we the people are going to get whether we like it or not. IMHO.


6 posted on 01/31/2008 8:36:48 AM PST by FlingWingFlyer (STILL Proud To Be An American!!!!)
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To: Jack Black
1. No caucuses. All Presidential delegates shall be determined by a full vote of the people of the state.

Change this to All Presidential delegates shall be determined by a full vote of Regestered Republicans Only.

7 posted on 01/31/2008 8:40:50 AM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Multi state primaries and bunching them all early demand a huge amount of money meaning name recognition and money wins a nomination. The current system is fine except move larger states back some. Iowa, NH, MI, SC and throw in a western state is a good group of states to use to get a feel for the candidates. String states like FL, CA, TX, NY out over the next couple of months allowing candidates to spend more time in each state. Maybe group surrounding states into smaller regional primaries - for example, FL, GA AL and MS on the same day. CA, OR and WA on the same day. Continue to have as many debates as possible to allow under funded candidates a little bit of a voice. Allow the parties to select their nominees over a four to five month period of time rather than what we have now which is basically 30 days and done.


8 posted on 01/31/2008 8:43:52 AM PST by mcjordansc
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To: Jack Black

This is a necessary, and well-thought-out idea. Kudos. The MSM will sabotage us at every turn, as they have been doing for over 30 years now.


9 posted on 01/31/2008 8:45:07 AM PST by mallardx
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To: Mr Inviso
I’m in favor of all except the multi-state primary spread out across the country. I’d rather have primaries grouped by region, like say southwest, northwest,northeast, mid-Atlantic, etc which would allow the candidates to spend their time and most importantly, money, in one area rather than hopping from side to side across the entire country. Rotate among the regions, though, so no area has that “first”/”Most important” claim

So in year X New England gets the first slot, followed by the South. You are still going to have the same problems as now. Lots of candidates who are weak in that region will be declared "losers". McCain and Rudy would likley be our main candidates in your scenario. Entire REGIONS may not be counted. Say MidWest goes last. It's over for all of them.

The basket approach would ensure even if a state is overlooked (by virtue of going last) that its issues have been picked up in an earlier primary. (That is if Ohio is last at least Indiana spoke for the rust belt in basket #2)

10 posted on 01/31/2008 8:46:22 AM PST by Jack Black
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To: Red_Devil 232

Thanks. That is better wording. It’s what I meant, but did not clearly articulate (until point 5).


11 posted on 01/31/2008 8:47:25 AM PST by Jack Black
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To: Jack Black
Good luck with all that.
12 posted on 01/31/2008 8:52:24 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
How many people actually watched the debate last night?

Those who did not watch did not see McQueeg clicking his ball point pin or his stiff jaw breaking grin when confronted about his lies about Romney's "Strawberry Timetable"!

What they see in the MSM sound bites this morning is McQueeg challenging Romney on the subject. But they are not playing the beat-down Romney gave McQueeg!


13 posted on 01/31/2008 8:52:38 AM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: Jack Black

I find it incomprehensible that 3.7 percent of the USA can so totally destroy the candidacy of ALL conservatives running in the Republican Party. SC, NH, IA, and NV amount to ONLY 11,000,000 people total. The fact that they destroyed the ability of 96.3 percent ot the USA to even have a say in this primary is unconscionable. It may be that Fred, Duncan, Tancredo, Brownback, and Keyes used national polls to make their decisions to quit, but I find it hard to believe that the four above states don’t represent a serial financial hurdle to be overcome before going on to the rest of the US. The overblown importance of those four states in this process must be fixed before 2012. I don’t have a clue yet how to fix this.


14 posted on 01/31/2008 9:06:29 AM PST by matthew fuller (John Bolton / Jim DeMint 2008)
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To: Jack Black

Lets just have the red states go before any of the blue ones.

If they never vote Republican anyway they should have little say in choosing our candidate.


15 posted on 01/31/2008 9:06:41 AM PST by Beagle8U (FreeRepublic -- One stop shopping ....... Its the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
It’s probably just me but I feel as though the liberal, MSM is completely manipulating and orchestrating the whole “primary” process this year. The “media” wants McCain and Clinton and that’s what we the people are going to get whether we like it or not. IMHO.

Come to mention it, I did see Dan Rather and Katie Couric coming out of the voting booth at my voting precinct, each wearing a button that said "John McCain - Vote early, Vote often."

16 posted on 01/31/2008 9:11:09 AM PST by imd102
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To: mcjordansc

. “Iowa, NH, MI, SC and throw in a western state is a good group of states to use to get a feel for the candidates.”

Thats exactly what we had with Wyoming (who) in the middle.
After NH, half (the better) of the GOP was already eliminated by the MSM pundits and they had drafted the candidate pairings they wanted, shutting the others out of the campaign reporters in tow and the press releases.

I think the primaries should be conducted in alphebetical order in pairs. Wisconsin/ Alabama Washington/Alaska etc.
Run the primarys two per week for 11 weeks with 6 states on the last week. four states per week in groups of two elections allows the candidates travel time for campaigning between elections. Put a spending cap on what each candidate can spend for each state election, or a total cap based on whatever spending strategy each candidate prefers.
Spending caps put all of the candidates on equal terms with the big budget campaigns. Let the campaigns save the majority of the campaign budget on whoever gets the nomination and return any excesses to the party for the final campaign. We have to get the big money out of the primary cycle. No thanks to John McCain and his CFR his plan has totally backfired on campaign finance. That should be a final warning that McCain is not a viable leader as President.

What really turned me off about this election cycle was two things. Starting a year earlier than tradition. And allowing 5% of the states and voters to statistically eliminate certain candidates (with help of the MSM).

I don’t know if we could have ended up with any different front running candidates using my idea. But we will never know what could have been and we are pretty much out of choices as of now.


17 posted on 01/31/2008 9:53:00 AM PST by o_zarkman44 (No Bull in 08!)
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To: Jack Black

Also: Rotate all the states (even the big ones) through an early schedule so that everyone gets access at some point to the front line.

OR

Let each state bid when they want their primary to take place. The earlier the primary, the fewer the delegates they control according to some logarithmic or steep curve formula.


18 posted on 01/31/2008 9:55:08 AM PST by Kevmo (We need to get rid of the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party. ~Duncan Hunter)
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To: Mr Inviso

Agreed....we should also choose each area’s position randomly.


19 posted on 01/31/2008 9:58:04 AM PST by Postman
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To: Beagle8U
Lets just have the red states go before any of the blue ones. If they never vote Republican anyway they should have little say in choosing our candidate.

That's an interesting idea. State would have to EARN the right to go early. Guess who would have had the lead-off primary in 2008 under your scenario?

UTAH.

I can hear the screams of the FredHeads all the way to the depths of my command bunker from that one...

20 posted on 01/31/2008 9:58:53 AM PST by Jack Black
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To: Jack Black
Utah going first would be fine with me. Its the next 10-15 that would determine the nominee.
21 posted on 01/31/2008 10:21:57 AM PST by Beagle8U (FreeRepublic -- One stop shopping ....... Its the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: Jack Black

Sorry. All primary elections should be replaced by caucuses. Caucuses provide a place for arguments to be made prior to the vote by caucus-goers. In Iowa, at least, the caucuses also start writing that year’s party platform, something done by only the party elites in primary election states. Primary elections are examples of the top-down control over the party wielded by the party’s professional politicians.


22 posted on 01/31/2008 10:47:42 AM PST by VanShuyten ("Ah! but it was something to have at least a choice of nightmares.")
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To: Jack Black
The Republican Primary is a private organization whose members have the right to set their own rules. If we are unhappy with the process let us force the Republican Party to change them. Here are some changes I would support: 1. No caucuses. All Presidential delegates shall be determined by a full vote of the people of the state.

The rise of primaries has destroyed both major parties, who, organizationally, are both near collapse.

If nominees are selected by popular vote (leaving aside the issue of who gets to vote for a moment), what is the function of party organizations? Why should parties exist at all?

If parties exist to promote specific ideas or programs, then why should voting by tangentially connected idiots be able to repeal those ideas or programs?

For example, if the Republican Party national organization is committed to reversal of Roe v. Wade, why should primary voters be allowed to choose a pro-choice candidate? They shouldn't, as I see it.

At MOST, these votes should be advisory in nature.

Or, if Presidential candidates are to be chosen by what is in effect a plebescite, then the electors (voters) should have to have some sort of actual connection (other than declaratory) to the party they are voting in.

I voted in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire this year, for example. How absurd is that?

23 posted on 01/31/2008 10:56:07 AM PST by Jim Noble (Trails of trouble, roads of battle, paths of victory we shall walk.)
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To: Red_Devil 232
Change this to All Presidential delegates shall be determined by a full vote of Regestered Republicans Only.

Most "registered Republicans" have minimal or no connection to the major goals and objectives of the RNC, and a lot of them can't find their a** with a flashlight.

These ideas are good, but party enrollment is so close to meaningless that it can't be the standard for reform.

24 posted on 01/31/2008 10:59:14 AM PST by Jim Noble (Trails of trouble, roads of battle, paths of victory we shall walk.)
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To: o_zarkman44

I agree that the primary schedule should be spread out with a limited number of states per week. How it is organized can be debated. I don’t think there is anything that can be done about the media declaring winners and losers so early that candidates are marginalized before they even get going.


25 posted on 01/31/2008 11:25:44 AM PST by mcjordansc
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To: Jack Black

Only moronic politicians could come up this primary, caucus system. This is the first time I have been involved in the nomination process, and for pure, unadulterated, pound-for-pound idiocy it is without rival. Dems and Pubs voting on different dates in different states? It is like it is all for free and doesn’t come out of the taxpayers pockets.

This doesn’t have to be hard. You put the names of the 50 states on 50 ping pong balls and put them in the hopper. You get the parties to agree on dates and draw the ping pong balls out for those dates. You do this every primary election. That eliminates the nonsense about trying to be first and certain states like NH and Iowa having more sway in elections than they rightly deserve.

There are 435 representatives, therefore 435 districts and 435 delegates. When the time comes for a state to vote, the votes are tallied by district and it is winner-take-all. You win that District, you win that delegate. All political parties vote on the chosen date in that state. There is no caucusing or super-delegates, the people vote and whomever gets the most votes in that district, gets that delegate. The candidate that gets the most delegates is obviously the nominee.

Perhaps this could eliminate the convoluted mess that we have now. Perhaps it might lead to better candidates and better nominees. Perhaps Americans would be more likely to get involved, knowing their vote won’t always be on the back end of every election, when the race has already been decided?


26 posted on 01/31/2008 11:59:57 AM PST by WildcatClan (The epitome of irony is that few entities exist, less common, than common-sense.)
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To: Jim Noble

Your observation might be true for everybody in NH where party enrollment or even state citizenship is meaninless as we saw this past Dec.


27 posted on 01/31/2008 12:18:35 PM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

the MSM had a huge victory in 2006 and they are flexing their muscle this time too. There is a good chance neither party’s base will get their preferred candidate.


28 posted on 01/31/2008 12:21:30 PM PST by ilgipper
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To: WildcatClan
Your suggestions are ok, but they don't ackowledge that the Republicans are not a government entity to be ordered around by laws like the Dept. of Agriculture.

There is more to the primaries than congressional districts, including giving elected reps votes. That is as it should be.

You system is pleasingly simple but ignores the reality that the Congress does not have a legitimate role in fixing this problem.

29 posted on 01/31/2008 12:44:17 PM PST by Jack Black
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To: Jack Black

((((((You get the parties to agree on dates and draw the ping pong balls out for those dates))))))

I am not looking for the government to mandate any of my proposal. If the parties do not agree then obviously it won’t happen. I am all for separating the process from the government as much as possible. I view political parties as anything else; The Democratic and Republican parties are the government for all intents and purposes and they surely don’t mind using our tax dollars to hold their elections.

My intent is to have fewer voters feel alienated by the nomination process and counter the problems produced by the disorganization of the circus, they call a process. What any party is looking for is a candidate to represent them. We are a representative republic and my ideas support that system. If the electorate voting in each district is good enough to choose representation in congress, then surely it is up to the task of choosing a party nominee.


30 posted on 01/31/2008 1:47:48 PM PST by WildcatClan (The epitome of irony is that few entities exist, less common, than common-sense.)
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To: Jack Black

Most of those sound good, but I disagree strongly about caucuses vs primaries.

Primaries have much higher ‘turnout’, meaning they attract many more people who don’t pay much attention to politics and therefore vote based on what they hear from the MSM. Romney won all the caucus states except Iowa and West Virginia which went to Huckabee. All of McCain’s victories came from primary states.

Attending a caucus requires more effort than voting in a primary, thus the people who show up at a caucus are more likely to put more effort into politics in general and staying informed rather than just tuning into the MSM a few days before the election and voting based on that.


31 posted on 02/06/2008 3:56:53 PM PST by ConservativeJen
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To: Beagle8U

Yes, the ordering and assignment of delegates should be based on how the state went in the last general election. Either lead with ‘battleground’ states that were decided with less than 5% of the vote in the last general election, or start with the reddest states and work down the list.

Either way, ‘blue’ states along the Boston-NYC-DC corridor, Illinois, and the left coast should go last.


32 posted on 02/06/2008 4:03:31 PM PST by ConservativeJen
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To: ConservativeJen
It makes no sense at all to have voters in states that vote RAT in every general election to determine who the nominee will be.

If the candidates can’t win in the red states it doesn’t matter how much the RAT states like them.

Red states can thin the herd before the blue states offer their input.

33 posted on 02/06/2008 6:36:26 PM PST by Beagle8U (FreeRepublic -- One stop shopping ....... Its the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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