How to Fix the Presidential Primaries (Hint: End the Iowa Caucus)


Today, I am just writing an opinion on the election process and Iowa by proxy.

As we all know, primaries kind of suck. Not just suck, the presidential primaries nationally have become the home to this bizarre campaign stunt in which Iowa and New Hampshire matter more than other states. It creates this world where large states, such as Texas, New York and California, get little to no power in deciding who becomes president of the United States for simply having a later primary.

Here’s just a quick way to fix it.

Before just saying the solutions though, let’s talk about why this is a problem.

The issue is largely Iowa and how it’s a lower relevance state which gets candidates bowing to them every four years; attending barbecues and going to farms acting like they care in the slightest, for no reason.

The results? George W Bush and Mike Huckabee won for being the only guys in their primaries actively supporting ethanol subsidies. Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz won for rogue Christianity. Hell, Barack Obama likely only won for him being senator to a state right next to Iowa.

This process has boxed off non-social conservatives from the GOP primary, ignored Democrats from larger bases such as the west or east (where more of its active members are) and made both parties slaves to corn subsidies for useless ethanol.

Iowa is just one prick in the pain of the primary, where New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and more all get their own little perks for votes and none of these states ever matter much in the general election anyway.

Establishing the current primary as a bipartisan bust in which both sides are getting screwed, we are left with proposals, and sadly, the most common proposal really isn’t very good.

It’s the idea of just doing it all in one day. On the surface, this actually does make some sense. For gubernatorial, congressional or senate races, we do the primaries all in one day. There is no one county one week and another county the next week, it’s all just a process that is a one day deal.

However, the issue here is a one state primary versus a fifty-state primary lends itself to one hell of a giant issue. That issue is that it’d be a clusterfuck, which likely just ends up with the trophy going to the person with the most money. The candidates who will make it work will be the dynasty candidates with a hundred million dollars that corner regions, and smaller candidates (who previously used the Iowa process to go town hall to town hall and build a name) are ruined.

This just doesn’t work either.

Which brings us to my solution, which is a simple one, but effective for representing the entire county properly while still allowing smaller candidates to obtain relevance.

The method works like this.

America gets divided into four boxes for 48 states set into 12. These boxes will be set so in the four, they are put in regions. Meaning one box would represent the east such as New York, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and so on, while another box for the south can get Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and so on.

The other two boxes will represent the Midwest and the west. For Alaska and Hawaii, they will rotate into different boxes every four years. For example, one year they can be in the Midwestern box, and next cycle they can be in the eastern box, etc.

In this process, at the end of each election the four boxes are made and a live event happens in which names of states are picked out of the boxes one at a time.

So, an eastern box could pick say Rhode Island, the western box picks California, the southern box picks North Carolina and the Midwestern box picks Michigan, these are now set to be the first four primary states held on the same day. After that, names get continue to be picked from the same boxes and they will set the order of the primary process, which will have a different four states coming from one of the four boxes every week, and the final week will be six states factoring in for the boxes which had Alaska or Hawaii added to them for that cycle.

This process will be a three-month cycle of four new states every week representing a different region of the country with one state.

That is the process I believe should be done, now the question of why is this better? It’s better because it represents every region of the country equally for a week by week process.

The model set, being a week by week model, avoids events such as Super Tuesday and allows for no sudden surges or gaffes to influence a real lead or give someone with a lead a win and holding other states irrelevant.

The process of it being random gives no state an over influence on the primary, so no one state can dictate how things get handled.

Having four primaries from different parts of America weekly makes it so no candidate, based on political views or region of origin, gets a particular advantage over the other.

Operating four states weekly answers the Iowa problem while avoiding the big money control of a national election.

This model makes the media and political junkies happy due to how random it is and makes their charts even more insane.

This is just what I feel is a better model for politics going forward.

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  1. Here’s my take: The taxpayers, through the government, are being forced to pay for private organizations to choose their candidates. Why? Why are we subsidizing these organizations and helping perpetuate a duopoly? In many states the duopoly is, for all intents and purposes, written into the law. Isn’t this the exact thing that Libertarians are supposed to be against? Why “fix” something that shouldn’t exist at all?

  2. I don’t think that most of America thinks the primary election system needs fixing.

    In all events, the entire primary election process is a way for parties to pick their nominees. Each party controls independently how it’s delegates are selected and what, if any, impact a state’s primary election has on the selection process. For example, in Washington State, the D party assigned zero significance to the primary election and the R party selected only half its delegates based on the primary election.

    Seems to me that libertarians should be the first to just shrug off the primary election. If one or more parties want to assign significance to the primary election, fine; if not, that’s OK too.

    Don’t know what needs fixing or why.

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