Iowa Democrats' disaster just a symptom of primary problems

The Democratic caucus in Iowa took place two days ago and we should’ve received the results about 30 hours ago, and that’s giving the counters a bit of a break.

The important number in a primary is the number of delegates each candidate will get. Unlike regular elections including presidential elections, this is not take all or nothing. The number of delegates pledged to a candidate are divided by the number of votes they receive.

Primaries should probably be standardized. Why are states like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada always first? Why are we constantly hearing about Iowans and New Hampshirites (yes, I looked it up) getting to meet the candidates in person, and how they are better than the rest of us in deciding who to support? Do they have special communication and judgment skills?

Those states don’t have large populations and that doesn’t make them any more valuable. What makes them valuable is that they’ve traditionally gotten opportunities to give their opinions first, and that sets the pace for the other states.

Florida, of all states, had a pretty good idea about four or eight years ago. The state wanted to count more in the process so I believe it set its primary date before the Super Tuesday elections, in which several states vote. One of the parties threatened to reduce the number of delegates Florida would receive, and I believe the party decided it was worth losing delegates in order to make a point that order matters. I give anyone involved credit for having guts.

Please note I dictated into my phone while driving to work, and simply edited and made a picture before publishing this.

Elections and caucuses are state issues, and states have their traditions, but certain things should be standardized. We *are* talking about the president of the United States, aren’t we?

Giving a few states the power to set the pace every single presidential election year is not fair to the rest of the states and that has to change.

Perhaps the country could be divided into maybe four regions and the order of first, second, third and last will change every four years. Elections would be held on one Tuesday each month for four months. Maybe that wouldn’t be fair because certain regions have higher populations than others and would be worth more delegates.

An alternative would be selecting states by population and region, creating a mix of both filters. Of course, that would have to change after every Census and whoever would get to decide would have to be united in their selection. And all the states would have to agree to follow the decision.

I think both of those alternatives would be better than what we have now.

And then we can talk about the Democrats in Iowa getting their act together. The only good part may be that taxpayers didn’t pay for the caucuses, but the Democratic Party that was responsible for the delay did.


  1. (from The Inquirer) Pennsylvania looks a lot like America. How come it doesn’t have a bigger say in the 2020 primary? (

    In terms of a measuring stick for a presidential campaign, Pennsylvania has a lot to offer ( two diverse big cities, populous suburbs, and vast rural areas. It combines the Acela corridor with the Rust Belt. Plus, it’s politically balanced, as Republicans and Democrats both regularly win statewide offices.

    But Pennsylvanians won’t weigh in on the presidential primary until April 28, after 37 other states have already voted (plus Democrats living abroad). And for a variety of reasons, the state appears unlikely to move its primary date from the fourth Tuesday in April. So for now, those in Pennsylvania will just have to watch and wait (

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