Thursday, June 23, 2005

From Across the River: NJ to move up Presidential Primary

In a move that I am very much pleased with, the New Jersey Senate voted to move up their Presidential primary from June to February.

From the article:
Under the legislation, the next primary would be held on Feb. 26, 2008 - a week before the crucial "Super Tuesday" primaries.

With an early primary, New Jersey would likely become a key battleground, bombarded by major media campaigns from New York and Philadelphia.


New Jersey has 15 electoral votes, compared with four in New Hampshire, which holds the earliest primary. More important, the move could give New Jersey voters a chance to decide from a wider field of candidates.

While candidates often do drop out after New Hampshire's primary and Iowa's caucuses, more might stay in the race with New Jersey looming on the horizon. Racially and economically diverse New Jersey stands in stark contrast to the largely homogeneous New Hampshire and Iowa.

Great. I wish PA would do the same. Anything to lesson the impact of Iowa and New Hampshire... Fundamentally, I actually think a longer campaign season is a good thing. But, there has to be a more sensible way of choosing candidates then simply getting the winner of Iowa or New Hampshire, places that are far from representative of America.

What would be better? How about a rotating system that has a mix of big and small states?


At 11:30 PM, Blogger Rep. Mark B. Cohen said...

I will vote for an earlier Pennsylvania primary if I have the opportunity to, but I doubt it will mean anywhere as much as it advocates say it will.

The first primary--the one that made Howard Dean the temporary frontrunner--was the unprecedented Moveon primary, in which many more people voted than in New Hampshire and Iowa combined in 2000. I can only assume that Moveon will have another primary in 2007, and that other groups will follow. And the quarterly financial statements are a well-covered primary in themselves.

The logical way to revolt against the dominance of Iowa and New Hampshire is to emulate them. The more states that emulate them, the more that non general public measurements-- like interest group votes and campaign financial statements and number of volunteers signed up and number of Meetups established--will pick the frontrunners and eliminate the laggards.

If one candidate takes a commanding lead according to all or most indicators, he or she will be the one to beat regardless of the primary schedule.


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