If all of the primaries were on the same day, I hope that we wouldn’t have an instant runoff. Several candidates would win primaries, and no one would win a majority of the delegates. The convention would be more suspenseful and exciting, causing more people to watch and hear the great republican ideas. When the 1980 Republican National Convention started, four candidates had delegates, and no one had a majority of the delegates. In Nov., Reagan won about 40 states.
Having a national primary day (of course the “states rights” crowd will scream about that scenario unless all 50 states adapt the same day one by one), then awarding delegates based on percentage of the vote won in each state seems like the best scenario to me. Right now it’s based on countries won or something, so McCain got 54 out of Illinois’ 57 delegates, despite the fact he only won 48% of the popular vote in the primary. The breakdown in 2008 for the Illinois primary was like this:
John McCain 426,777 - 47.45% - 54 delegates
Mitt Romney 257,265 - 28.60% - 3 delegates
Mike Huckabee 148,053 - 16.46% - 0 delegates
Ron Paul 45,055 - 5.01% - 0 delegates
Rudy Giuliani* 11,837 - 1.32% - 0 delegates
Fred Thompson* 7,259 - 0.81% - 0 delegates
*Candidate withdrew prior to the primary
I suppose under the alternate plan, Ron Paul’s 5% of the vote would entitle one or two of his nutty Illinois supporters to become delegates to the convention, but he still wouldn’t get anywhere close to the nomination. Besides, if the GOP convention has 5% Paul loons advocating for him, that prevents them from doing what they did in 2008 and having their own convention since the GOP nominee was decided before the convention started.
There might be an occasional outcome like Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral bid where some candidate gets over 50% of the delegates during the national primary and is thus assured of being the party nominee before the convention opens, but more likely than not you’d have 5 or 6 candidates going into the convention and you might see some wheeling and dealing during the convention where the third place guy throws his suppport to the second place guy so together their delegates outnumber the first place guy. That WOULD make conventions more exciting and harken back to the surprise picks of the 19th century, although a drawback would the guy with the biggest number of delegates going to the convention would complain he was robbed and his supporters would resent the process.
Personally, I’m tired of having no say in picking the candidate because the race is over by the time my state votes. Even when we had the insanely early Feb. 2nd primary so Illinois could be part of “super tuesday”, half the candiates had dropped out before any Illinois citizen got to weigh-in on who the candidate should be.
All 50 states should get a chance to vote on every announced GOP primary at the start of the primary season. But Iowa and NH will scream bloody murder if anyone moves to stop them from deciding the GOP nominee for the rest of teh country.