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Nevada could join New Hampshire and Iowa in holding early presidential votes under a Democratic National Committee proposal designed to broaden the pool of voters choosing the presidential nominee.

A DNC commission that seeks to revamp the party's primary schedule is moving toward adding a Western state and a Southern state in January.

Nevada and Colorado are the most likely candidates in the West largely because neither has joined a separate movement to hold a Feb. 5 Western States Primary, commission members said [...]

Nevada also is being considered for the January vote because of its growing Hispanic population, large number of union households and booming population, Stratton said.

Anything that lessens the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire in the nomination of our presidential candidate is a good thing. Anything that increases the influence of the West in the process is a good thing.

There's been talk that the commission will slot in four or five caucuses between Iowa and New Hampshire, ensuring broader regional representation in those crucial early contests.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:00 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As an Iowan (4.00)
    I agree that Iowa and New Hampshire shouldn't have precedence over other states.
  •  Do you know what southern states (none)
    they're looking at?
    •  good question Admiral (none)
      I would like to see a southern state join in with Nevada although South Carolina is in the mix early followed then by Tennessee and Virginia...at least their primary votes have weight. Many states are still voting in May.

      I would love to see another state join Nevada..and go earlier.perhaps in the southeast..as Iowa is in the midwest..early..NH..northeast early and then if Nevada in the West is early..then perhaps the Southwest or southeast...a state like North Carolina or Arkansas..maybe? That sounds good.
      Or one of we Middle Atlantic states like PA or Maryland?

      America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

      by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:01:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd go with Arkansas (none)
        small and winnable in November.
        •  Arkansas 2008 Primary is Tuesday Feb 5 2008 (none)
          Arkansas: Passed 3 March 2005 - SB235 moves the Presidential Primary from May to the the first Tuesday in February (5 February 2008).

          New Jersey: A30 (SB1297 / S2402). The New Jersey State Senate voted 36-1 on Thursday 23 June 2005 to move the <b<New Jersey Presidential Primary up to the last Tuesday in February (26 February 2008) beginning with the 2008 Presidential Election.</b> The General Assembly approved the measure on Monday 20 June 2005 and the Governor signed A30 into law on 7 July 2005.

          Montana: HB376 would move the June Presidential Primary to a February or March date chosen by the Secretary of State.

          North Carolina: SB18 would move the May Presidential Primary to the first Tuesday in February (5 February 2008). North Carolina held caucuses in 2004.

          http://www.thegreenpapers.com/...

          In Jan 2009 it will be the "Wes Wing"

          by Best in Show on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:56:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  South Carolina (none)
        may put too much of a conservative bent on things in the south.  We should at least have a state that the Dems have won in the recent past, such as Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, or gasp Florida.
        •  Florida's too big (none)
          Can't do retail campaigning there, and the large media markets are VERY expensive.  It'd tilt things toward the big-money candidates.  

          Tennessee and Arkansas, however, sound like excellent ideas.

          "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
          -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

          by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:11:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Leggy Starlitz... (none)
            you're right about how Fla. would play out (certainly 9 times out of 10). I think any couple of small southern states to have New Hampshire style campaigns in would be great for Dems. It would help put an end to the demonizing and false rhetoric of the right. Show them what a party of values looks like.

            I've read the thread and I think kos's point needs reiterating, Anything that lessens the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire in the nomination of our presidential candidate is a good thing. Anything that increases the influence of the West in the process is a good thing.

            Everybody know the drill? We all write together to the Dems and let them in on this bit o'common sense! Yes?

            •  Kos has it completely bass-ackward (4.00)
              Anything that lessens the influence of Iowa and New Hampshire in the nomination of our presidential candidate is a good thing.

              That's easy to do: for example, a one-day national primary. The result is likely to be the nomination of the Washington insider who can attract the most special-interest money and who woos the pundits best. That would certainly reduce the influence of Iowa, New Hampshire, and voters in general.

              The goal should be increasing the influence of under-represented groups and the issues they care about: Westerners and their brand of conservation, labor unions, blacks, Hispanics.

              That's harder to accomplish, and when you get serious about it you find the problem lies more with media and pundits that with Iowa and NH.

              I've got blisters on my fingers!

              by Elwood Dowd on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:00:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes, exactly (none)
                I don't object to lessening the influence of IA/NH, but not if the price is lessening the one-on-one contact between candidates and citizens, or the ability to run a serious campaign on shoe leather and hope!  We need SMALL states with inexpensive media markets and decent population distributions.  

                That's why I like New Mexico better than Nevada, and I think either Arkansas or Tennessee would be great. It gets us early representation in the South and West, in swing states (or potential swing states), but doesn't undermine retail campaigning.

                "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
                -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

                by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:04:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  NM and NV (none)
                  have basically the same-sized populations, though at the rate Nevada is growing, it is likely to be considerably bigger soon.
                  •  Yes, but (none)
                    I think he meant that NV has Las Vegas, which includes the most of the state's population. Retail politics wouldn't really get a good chance.

                    I don't mind if it is NV or NM, just either one. Arkansas or Tennessee gets my votes as Southern early primary states. FL is far too big, as well as are TX and NC. SC could be too tough for more liberal candidates.

                    The Chimperor has no popularity, but he has Turd Blossom.

                    by Jonesyboy on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 01:51:08 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  South Carolina Democrats (none)
          Are more liberal on some issues and more conservative on others.  This Democracy Corps Poll of the Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina Primary electorates shows that South Carolina voters are more likely to consider issues like education, corporate governance, affirmative action, and fair trade as very important than voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.  It's only more conservative on sex, abortion, crime, and the military.
          •  Interesting (none)
            I do support economic populism over social issues as a strategy, and I think South Carolina is winnable on that basis if we put up a Dem nominee opposed to CAFTA and globalization.

            That said, South Carolinians are way too suburban and anti-union to elect the kind of populist progressive who could ultimately carry the state. They're going to tilt towards "national security" Democrats, which is a code word for Democrats who supported the Iraq War and the Patriot Act.

            A much better Southern state (I know it's a stretch of the region) would be West Virginia. Or maybe Louisiana.

            20 years of Bush-Clinton is 20 years too many.

            by mildewmaximilian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 01:35:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  South Carolina (none)
            last time went against trend and went  for their native son, Edwards.
            Oklahoma also went against the grain and Clark won.
            So those states must not be just like some of the others and I admire they went against the grain.
            I knew North Carolina ..very late primary would go Edwards which it did in honor to him even after Kerry won nomination, same for Vermont for Dean..
            But I especially admired OK for going Clark and SC for going Edwards after Iowa and NH.

            America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

            by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 01:56:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Louisiana & West Virginia (none)
          LA & WV are the Southern states that are going to favor the most progressive/populist candidate.

          Virginia is DLC country. Heavily dominated by big D.C. corporate players.

          I'm not crazy about Tennessee, but I'd consider it better than Virginia for an early primary.

          20 years of Bush-Clinton is 20 years too many.

          by mildewmaximilian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 01:45:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ummm (none)
            not sure about West Virgina...Democrats mostly seem quite moderate to conservative there...but I could be wrong.

            America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

            by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 01:58:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Robert Byrd! (none)
              Plus, WV voters might appear more conservative than they really are, simply because big money Democrats don't emphasize economic populism, which would totally flip the state Blue.

              20 years of Bush-Clinton is 20 years too many.

              by mildewmaximilian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 02:12:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  JFK in West Virginia (none)
                IIRC, the claim was that Kennedy was deeply affected by the primary campaign in West Virginia. It brought issues of poverty and class to the surface that hadn't appeared elsewhere.

                One other factor in the primary calendar is the education of the candidates.

                I've got blisters on my fingers!

                by Elwood Dowd on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 02:59:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Not Arkansas. (none)
        It's only slightly less white than New Hampshire and Iowa.  The real purpose of a Southern Primary should be to ensure that black voters have a real say in the outcome - which is why South Carolina is a good choice.
        •  How about Louisiana, then? (none)
          I didn't realize Arkansas was so, well, white.  I agree we should aim for a racially integrated southern state, but it shouldn't be too conservative or too big.

          "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
          -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

          by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:05:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  where is the black representation ? (none)
          All of these states (Iowa, NH, and Nevada) are weak because none have a significant black population - who are the most loyal and generally most progressive voting block the Dems have.

          There basically wouldn't been a viable Dem party nationwide without the black vote. So why are they being ignored and given the shaft ?

        •  SC vs. LA (none)
          I agree that black voters should figure high into the primary equation, but South Carolina will skew to the right. Louisiana is a much better state for a Southern primary. Also, consider West Virginia.

          20 years of Bush-Clinton is 20 years too many.

          by mildewmaximilian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 01:40:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  black population in WV? (none)
            I think West Virginia is under the national average for black population. IIRC, the black population percentage in West Virginia is lower than in any of the ex-confederate states.

            "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion." Treaty of Tripoli, 1797.

            by liberal atheist on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 04:11:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  There has been some talk (3.50)
    of some other states in there too. This will be interesting to follow.

    I know Gov Rendell wants to move up our primary and I would be thrilled. Right now our primary is the third Tuesday in May I believe. The way the system is set up currently, our primary choice does not matter. As the nominee is decided by the time we vote. We never get to see primary candidates for President in this commonwealth..same for many of you. I would be happy her for a March primary.

    America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

    by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 09:58:14 AM PST

    •  Indiana also has a May primary (none)
      and the race for President is often over as you said, before we vote.  I still favor three primary days nationally, with demographic and geographic distribution factored in.  
      It would be more representative and give more power to each primary vote.

      But anything will improve simply having Iowa and New Hampshire as the power brokers, with all due respect to my friends in New Hampshire and Iowa.

      Barry Welsh IN-06
      Campaign Site

      Indiana 6th District Congressional Candidate a campaign of three simple words "People Before Profits."

      by Barry Welsh on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:14:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  three days? (none)
        What an AWFUL idea!  You're basically REQUIRING candidates to run a national campaign, tilting the field toward big money, name recognition, and urban concentration.  It would completely kill retail campaigning, and I wonder how much those outside of Iowa and New Hampshire recognize just how important that is.

        Look, SOMEONE has to go first.  And the rest of us have to trust their judgement.  We had a concentrated primary in 2004, and look what it got us... the lowest common denominator candidate.

        "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
        -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

        by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:14:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No no no (none)
          Not three consecutive days.  One day at the end of February, One day at the end of March, One day at the end of April.

          Three days.  Three Geographic Divisions, East, West Mid.  Three population groups.  Small Medium Large. Each Primary day has an equal representation of each geographic area and sized state.  

          My apologies, for not being clear.

          Thanks.

          Indiana 6th District Congressional Candidate a campaign of three simple words "People Before Profits."

          by Barry Welsh on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:24:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's still a problem (none)
            Iowa has a population of about three million.  A third of the US is 100 million.  It'd make campaigning DRASTICALLY more expensive and difficult.  It would kill the shoe-leather campaigns that make the race actually interesting.

            "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
            -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

            by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:00:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's not a bad idea, BUT... (none)
            The only way this could really work in a way that will give insurgent candidates a legitimate chance would be if the government requires the broadcast networks to give political candidates free t.v. time.

            Otherwise, I'm afraid that the media costs will be so prohibitive as to make it impossible for the small candidates to win. As others have said, that's the one good thing about the Iowa and New Hampshire votes.

            "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

            by AustinCynic on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 03:32:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  three days for a few small states (none)
        We need a few small states to start the primary season so lesser known candidates have a chance against the bigger money big names.

        Then we need bigger states to see how those winners can do in a larger market campaign that more closely matches the national election.

        I like the idea of adding to Iowa and New Hampshire with a small state from the west and another from the south adding different cultural/geographic mixes and more ethnic diversity.  

    •  Primaries, Not Caucuses (none)
      Will the DNC Further Insulate the Establishment?

      I did not realize until reading David Sirota's blog tonight that several of the states being considered for early primaries, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado, hold caucuses instead of primaries. No! No! No! We do not need any more influence granted to the party machinery of any state, no matter how promising that state is in the general election.

      Let's go with small, diverse states that are open to an authentic progressive message and hold democratic PRIMARY ELECTIONS!

      MIDWEST
      Wisconsin

      NORTHEAST
      Vermont
      Rhode Island

      WEST
      Oregon
      Montana

      SOUTH
      Louisiana
      West Virginia

      20 years of Bush-Clinton is 20 years too many.

      by mildewmaximilian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 08:18:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why caucuses? (4.00)
    They're undemocratic and incredibly vulnerable to instiutional or interest-group pressure.  They're also incredibly time consuming, which ensures that the only people who show up are either being recompensed somehow or are complete zealots.  What's so wrong with holding elections?

    "The youth smoke grass in grassless jungles"-- Kanye West

    by ChicagoDem on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:00:18 AM PST

    •  i agree (none)
      straight open voting is the way to go. period.
      frankly, i don't see what's wrong with the idea of letting a heavily populated, diverse state be the first, if we have to stagger them at all. which i don't think we should.

      same day primary voting in all 50 states, just a couple of months before the election. that seems 'most fair' to me.

      •  Yes (none)
        As Democrats for the primary do not manipulate votes and mess around with Diebold machines or voter intimidation.

        Now the Republican primary, I wonder if they would screw with their own candidates and do a Diebold manipulation. Now that is almost funny to think about.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:10:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I could not resist (none)
          with the Diebold thing. Question: Will Republican primary voters face voter intimidation..now that would be interesting to watch..LOL

          America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

          by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:15:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If anyone named "Bush" is running (none)
          Then they would not hesitate to Diebold any of their Rethug counterparts

          Hey Kids! Today's budget deficits are brought to you by the letter "W"

          by Cleveland Dem on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:19:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Did Diebold pick Kerry? (none)
          Some of us still wonder how Kerry won the primaries when he wasnt that popular.

          If the machines are rigged, they are picking our candidates as well!

        •  I wouldn't doubt it... (none)
          I mean you look what Bush and the GOP leadership did to McCain in 2000, and it's hard to see them standing on principle now.  If the "wrong" candidate looks like he's going to win, they'll find a way to kneecap him.  Either through closet racist innuendo as with McCain, a Kerryesque Swift Boating, or implications of being too soft on us damn Satan-worshipping libuhrals...

          "The youth smoke grass in grassless jungles"-- Kanye West

          by ChicagoDem on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:34:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  on the flip side (none)
      primaries are much more expensive to campaign for. It might make sense to have caucuses early to allow small money candidates to have a chance or at least have their position heard.
      •  yeah (none)
        The Ads running on TV would really mean candidates would have to have some big money for primaries to be competitive in more states early.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:12:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  well... (none)
        The problem is that media treats the caucuses exactly the same as an election, when in fact they mean very different things.  Caucuses measure a totally different style and quality of organization than elections do.  They're designed to pit organizations against each other publicly, and they fly in the face of the secret ballot.  If, as in 2004, the most powerful political organization in the state isn't on your side, you're pretty much screwed.  That's unfair and undemocratic.

        But with our 24 hour news cycle, winning the Iowa primary suddenly means you have the Will of the People behind you-- even when it really means no such thing.

        "The youth smoke grass in grassless jungles"-- Kanye West

        by ChicagoDem on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:37:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  In agreement overall (none)
      The only point where I disagree is that the people who show up are not ALL being recompensed or complete zealots.  That said, it is indeed undemocratic.  It takes hours, and if you have kids and can't afford a babysitter, you can't participate.  Or maybe only one parent can, the other can't.  If you are old and can't get out of the house to sit around the school gym for hours, you can't participate.  Etc., etc.

      Plus it's weirdly like a popularity contest.  Are you afraid to go with the small group so you venture over to the one that looks popular?  Plus the rules are so complex that they are continually being broken, often unknowingly, by those purportedly in charge of the process.

      OTOH, it was also quite fun.  But I'm willing to forego fun in order to allow the greatest number of people to participate.  I'm all for a nationwide primary.

      •  Yup (none)
        Peer Pressure
        Jumping on the Bandwagon
        Wanting to be on the Winning Side
        Asking people from groups who do not have enough members to join their side.
        It becomes what caucus members are the most convincing in their persuasion.

        America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

        by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:17:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  And Iowa and NH will just accept this ? (none)
    Who has the final say ?
    •  I am sure (none)
      Many in those states will do everything in their power to block this.I am so envious of Iowa and NH. For instance, most primary candidates last  year campaigned in every county of Iowa and NH.
      Those of us with late primaries see no candidates until the General Election campaign starts. And some of you whose states are not competitive..never see a Presidential candidate and that seems so unfair. At least during General Election, they flock here to a swing state. But i would love to be in Iowa or NH to see primary candidates campaign.

      America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

      by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:04:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I greatly enjoyed being in Iowa in 2003 and 2004 (none)
        I met all the candidates I wanted to.  Up close and personal.  Several times in some cases.

        But I would give it all up in a heartbeat in order to avoid what happened last time, because the system produced the wrong nominee.

        Party officials will not be so quick to give it up.  They're going to hang on like crazy.  I mean, what else does Iowa have going for it?  Like everyone else in the country, Iowans want to feel special about something, and this is about all they have.  Still, as I said, I'd give it up.

        •  here's where the system broke down (3.50)
          Remember the ads morphing Dean into Osama bin Laden? At that point, the DNC chair should have been calling people's asses onto the carpet and forcing public apologies.  Kerry and Gephardt ran those ads, through cutouts and fronts, and it was utterly disgusting.  What we need is for the DNC chair to declare to all the candidates up front that it will be a clean fight - smears like that will not be tolerated.

          That being said, Dean has taken personal responsibility for the crash of his campaign in Iowa, and he's right.  He lost control of the campaign and lost sight of what he was doing.  And the timing of the Saddam capture was just plain bad luck.  But oh well.

          "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
          -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

          by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:19:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah yes (none)
            I recall.  Bottom line, I always liked Dean but was not fond of Kerry or Edwards.

            If Democrats are going to play smear tactics, they are no better than Rethugs.

            •  But (none)
              I have to say this for Edwards, he did not run ads like that ..in fact, he did not go negative at all. Some of his supporters thought that was very admirable but maybe not so smart, either.
              But it was Gephardt in particular who ran a very smear, mudslinging campaign against Dean as though Dean was the only opponent. Ol Dick G got bit in the ass as he never saw Kerry and Edwards coming while he was obsessing over Howard. Therefore, Dick finishes a very distant fourth.

              America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

              by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 01:50:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I meant to say (none)
                Kerry or GEPHARDT.  My mistake.  While I never thought Edwards could win as prez, I did respect his clean campaign tactics.  Maybe too clean in the general election - when the VP candidate is supposed to be an attack dog - but what can one do?  Edwards isn't the one who killed that candidacy anyway.
    •  I don't think (none)
      it's their birthright. Thy messed things up badly last year and besides, other states represent America's population better than those two.

      Hey Kids! Today's budget deficits are brought to you by the letter "W"

      by Cleveland Dem on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:04:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excuse me (none)
        Please lay off the 'they screwed it up last time' talk.  It's not becoming.

        We (NH) were voting for whom we wanted.  It was the candidates and the media (mostly the media, it seems) that decide that what NH thinks is what everyone in the country thinks.

        Can you enumerate for me exactly how we screwed the country?  Kerry got 39% of the vote and 13 delegates.  Dean got 23% of the vote and 9 delegates.  Nobody else got enough to get any delegates.  Iowa just talked a lot about it, they didn't even vote.

        Dean only got 4 less delegates than Kerry.  And Iowa didn't even vote.  Should we have withheld our votes in order to protest being asked/mandated to vote first?

        I should also remind you that NH is the only state to change from red to blue in 2004.

        The whole process is screwed up, I agree, but it's not NH's fault, ok?

        "You're either with us or against us in the war on terror." - George W. Bush
        "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." - Obi Wan Kenobi

        by Stymnus on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:14:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are right, but (none)
          As we all saw, many states simply followed your lead and voted for Kerry. I am not sayinhg that was a bad thing in of itself, but it sure did not represent the way Dems in all parts of the country would have voted had NH and IA not had the "lead"

          Hey Kids! Today's budget deficits are brought to you by the letter "W"

          by Cleveland Dem on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:22:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Na unhh (none)
        I'm assuming you say they "messed up" because they picked Kerry.  Well, so did every other state except SC, OK and VT, and they were under no obligation to.  I wouldn't be whining that they messed up if Dean had won IA, NH and the nomination only to lose the general, and I'm a Kerry fan.

        I also see little value in getting the best cross-section of "America's people", as if we can be pigeonholed so easily by race, ethnicity and geography.  The most deverse states don't deserve disproportional influence in the primaries any more than IA and NH do.

        Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

        by Cream Puff on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:18:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not a Kerry basher (none)
          I actually admire him a lot and we sure would have been much better off with him as president. My point is that NH and IA pretty much influenced the way many other states voted. Kerry will not have won the nomination had a Southern state and a Western state voted in place of NH and IA, that's all.

          Hey Kids! Today's budget deficits are brought to you by the letter "W"

          by Cleveland Dem on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:26:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe... (none)
            Clark sure blew it by skipping Iowa, and he probably would've done better in the South and West.  But Kerry was certainly the most well-rounded candidate on paper.  His long pre-primary slide in the polls was probably due to Dean hammering him in New Hampshire, so a different calender might have actually helped him.  Had the first two states been, say, SC and NV, the whole ball game would have changed.

            Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

            by Cream Puff on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:32:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Who really Cares! (4.00)
      Seriuosly, dont mean to insult those states but they arent really major states and are hardly significant in any regard.  Its like letting Andorra and Liechenstein decide who will be president of the EU.
    •  Why do the rest of the states (none)
      accept being disenfranchised? Tradition? Who thinks it's a good idea to vote when there's already a presumptive winner and your vote is accepted to pretty much not matter, because of course you're just going to vote to reaffirm the presumptive winner?

      Breaking the stranglehold of IA and NH is good.

      Keep pushing for a rankings/ratings ballot for all of us at once.

  •  Amen to that! (4.00)
    The only thing worse than Iowa and New Hampshire dominating the nomination process is the "but it's a tradition" argument for keeping it that way.

    The Detroit "Lions" playing a home game on Thanksgiving is a tradition. Iowa and New Hampshire having disproportionate influence is a disenfranchisement.

    •  It's not a disenfranchisement (none)
      unless other states allow it to be.  IA and NH can't force other states to follow their lead.  It's the media, the donors and the voters fault if the early winner can run away with the race so easily.

      IA and NH do it by holding candidates hostage, by the way.  They have to pledge to support the same calender 4 years down the road in order to pick up support.

      P.S. I'm assuming you'll change your handle to Dump Howard Dean now?

      Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

      by Cream Puff on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:23:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: my handle (none)
        If I gave it up, I'd lose my UID and mojo. Besides, it will take years to undo the damage caused by McAuliffe (Norm Coleman, Saxby Chambliss, and Jim Talent, just to mention a few examples of the destruction he wrought).
        •  I was just kidding (none)
          but that'll teach ya to pick a handle with an expiry date.  Should've gone for something timeless, like a cream puff.

          As for good 'ol Terry, I'm wondering how he's responsible for Norm Coleman.  Wellstone's death wasn't actually his fault.  Is it because he recruited Mondale?  Same thing with Carnahan, actually.  Isn't the DSCC chair ultimately responsible for recruiting Senate prospects?  I don't even remember who that was in 2002.

          Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

          by Cream Puff on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:33:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  African American and SC (none)
    I would vote for a South Carolina (since they go early anyway) caucus or primary to go with IA, NH and NV for one reason-- African American representation.  

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:02:18 AM PST

  •  We need a heavily (none)
    populated state to vote early.  It's crazy that NH and IA determine the presidential candidate.  I went to the IA caucus last year and it is the most undemocratic operation I've ever seen.
    •  Yes! (none)
      A state where the candidates can't meet every likely voter in person seems like a much more realistic test of electability. We need a state with at least one major city e.g. Denver or Atlanta.
    •  that will favor the well funded candidate (none)
      A large state early will favor the candidate with a lot of money to pay for the ad war.  

      This means the first primary is for money - caucus attendees may be a small group compared with a primary electorate, but big party donors are even fewer.  Do you want donors and fundraisers to have more power than they do now?

    •  caucuses (none)
      If you think the Iowa caucuses are undemocratic, then you shouldn't like this plan, because the nominee will be decided by these early caucuses.  Read David Sirota's blog on this, he thinks that this plan will help promote an establishment candidate.
  •  Colorado and Virginia (none)
    Would make sense as early primary states.

    Hey Kids! Today's budget deficits are brought to you by the letter "W"

    by Cleveland Dem on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:02:56 AM PST

  •  I like this too. (none)
    In particular, what I like is that it gives the Dems a mix of urban and rural states, or at least a state with urban regions (and one representative of fast-growing urban regions).

    That is one of the shortfalls of the Iowa/New Hampshire thing.  When the first primaries carry so much weight, why don't we have them in places that acknowledge that a large part of our base is urban?  

    As for Southern states, would Florida be too big for a primary?  I suppose it would... but it's too bad, because it has precisely that mix of liberal and conservative voter, and urban and rural voter, that I would like to see in the early primaries.  Maybe Virginia would work?

    Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought. -- Milan Kundera

    by Dale on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:03:14 AM PST

  •  Yay for them (none)
    What about the big urban states, core Democratic supporters and vote-rich areas? Are New York, California, Illinois, or Michigan under consideration? Or must we allow unrepresentative areas to choose or candidates for us? Nevada I can live with, but I still cannot abide Iowa or New Hampshire. I cannot think of a single southern state that should be involved in this save for Florida (which may or may not be "southern"). It's not that their Democrats don't matter, they do, but they don't matter so much that they should be given the keys to the nomination.

    I think it's a real shame the DNC was unwilling to take on the Iowa and New Hampshire sacred cows. They REALLY should not be involved in this. At all.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:03:50 AM PST

    •  Michigan votes early, but... (none)
      Iowa and New Hamphsire have such a stranglehold that candidates spent little time or money in the state. There was talk of the state party defying the DNC and holding a caucus ahead of Iowa, but party rules would have stripped Michigan of half its delegates if the state did so.
    •  Yes (none)
      I would go for one of the more heavily populated states. But then I wonder if candidates would also oppose this as some of those large urban areas, air time to run ads is very expensive.

      America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand-Harry S. Truman

      by wishingwell on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:19:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  every state (none)
      where there is a big city there is also a large rural population. Oregon would be great. But blues really deserve a shot at naming the candidates.
  •  Need a southern state (none)
    I Like NV, but CO may be marginally better for the west.

    Adding florida would be great as it is winnable in the GE, but it is too large which discourages challenger campaigns.

    TN, AR are winnable.

    And AR is small (6 EVs), and so my pick for a southern state is Arkansas.

  •  Excellent (none)
    The Democratic party must try to lessen the impact of any one caucus. I would be happier if there were several regionally-distributed caucus states all happening in the same week. Even better--hold them all on the same day.
    This would be a true test of candidates  grass roots support, and they couldn't pour all their resources into a single state in attempt to gain Joe-mentum.  
    With all the hype and media surrounding Iowa, it was like watching a slow-moving trainwreck in which there are only one or two survivors. Better to keep the field alive at least until April.

    NYT: "All the news that's fit to pimp."

    by Exclamation Point Brian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:05:39 AM PST

  •  Great news - I was hoping Dean would (none)
    push this somehow.  I think the first ones should be on a raffle basis or at least rotating.  There is no good reason why those states should have priority - every single time.  Let's shake it up.
  •  DC (none)
    should be on that list.  At lest one state that is Bluer than Blue.  I don't want a "vetted" candidate that comes out only from states that don't have a strong Dem background.  Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada are still "swing" states.

    How about adding a Bluer than Blue one and make candidates actually get their asses in here to convince us they deserve our votes.

    •  Exactly (none)
      The solid blue Democratic states deserve a voice in this as well. The DNC is idiotic to take these solid states for granted - California's "solid" status is only 13 years old, for example - prior to 1992 it regularly voted Republican in national elections.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:09:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blue or Red- Doesn't Make a Difference... (none)
      ...in the primary process since only Democrats are voting in most states.   One could argue that if the focus is on certain issues like trade and the environment, it's likely that a more liberal candidate would come out of Democratic caucuses/primaries in red states like Montana or Arizona than in blue states like Michigan or Illinois.
      •  I'd buy this argument (none)
        for say a California or a New York, however, DC is a small urban area.

        It has voted for the Dem candidate.  Last election, over 90%.  DC is a special case and deserves the primary early.  An early primary with actual candidates in the District campaigning for our votes (for once) means that the 60% African-American population would be heard; that urban dwellers would be heard; that unions would be heard; that the 90% of this district that votes for the Dem would be heard.  Isn't that worth DC being the first primary?  As long as New Hampshire and Iowa go first, no other voices will be heard.  

        •  D.C. is Special Case, ... (none)
          ...true enough, for all the reasons you mention.  In 2004, D.C. had an early (non binding) primary, followed by a caucus, but it didn't seem to get much notice from media.  I don't know if that's because the candidates ignored D.C. or whether the calendar was too crowded, or both.
          •  because (none)
            they didn't campaign here and the candidates ignored it.  It was very frustrating.  We caucus, so it made the f separate times you come out and vote terribly painful...each time you went to vote.  I hated it.

            But enough of a personal thing about it.  DC should be on that list because we are Democrats.  At sometime, being the most Dem EVs should account for soemthing from the party.

  •  I was in Iowa for the 2004 Caucus (none)
    It is a lousy way to choose a candidate and far removed from a Democratic process. It creates a situation easily gamed by insiders and consultants.

    Anything that moves away from Iowa and NH can only be good for the Country.

  •  Great! (none)
    Can I vote NOW!?!!?!?!?!?!
  •  SIlver State (none)
    I like the choice of Nevada. We were so f'ing close last time to tipping this one blue. And I read today that 5,000 people are moving to Las Vegas every MONTH. You can bet a lot of them are from New York, Philly and Chicago. Good Democrats moving to Nevada by the plane load. Only 21,000 votes cost Kerry those 5 Electoral votes last time around. Getting them involved in the nomination process would really light some fires and build some grass roots. I hate the hegeomony of IA and NH but it does make sense to front-load the process with battleground states. I don't think a Democratic primary in South Carolina would do us much good in picking a candidate that can win the general election.

    "They don't think it be like it is, but it do." Oscar Gamble, 1980.

    by Spider Stumbled on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:08:50 AM PST

  •  As a resident of New Hampshire... (none)
    I think moving westward is great.  I think we need to give up some influence over the nominating process.  But seeing as how my fellow New Hampshirites can be quite finicky, I feel like if we don't at least have our primary on the same day as the republicans, Democrats who worked so hard to turn NH blue will lose the state in the presidential race.  Yeah its only 2 EVs but keeping New England solid blue is important.

    The few, the proud, the literate.

    by Cathan on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:09:21 AM PST

  •  Who controls DNC Central Committee? (none)
    Dean?

    If Dean and Reid have influence over the Committee, then this would appear to be a done deal.  And thank God.

    Too bad Nevada can't go BEFORE Iowa.  How about the same night?  Let Nevada caucuses start at 10pm CST, after Iowa has finished voting!  Why not?

  •  I don't mind... (none)
    Having Iowa and New Hampshire in an honored position, since they do seem representative of the Midwest and New England, as well as slightly representative of the country as a whole.

    Why not have other states from other regions serve the same function?

    I see the country as 7 regions:
    New England
    the Mid-Atlantic States
    the South East
    the Midwest
    the Southwest
    the Northwest
    and
    the West Coast

    Let Iowa and NH hold their events on ONE day, along with 5 other primaries from 5 other states that represent their respective regions.

    "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

    by Jonathan4Dean on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:10:26 AM PST

    •  what I want (none)
      is 1 state from each region holding simulataneos primaries every 2 weeks.

      that way we'd get a good mix and prevent a regional candidate form gaining early becuase his state happend to be early

      Bush - He's their guy. He's their hero, and he represents their vision. And he sucks

      by PoliMorf on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:37:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How about 1 state every other day? (none)
        Do it in 100 days. State to be drawn by lot.
      •  I worry... (none)
        about the Kerry effect.

        Kerry had suprising wins in Iowa and New Hampshire and parlayed that into nearly a sweep of all other primaries.

        Our two recently winning non-incumbent candidates (Clinton and Carter) were darkhorses that only developed after a few weeks.

        And if not for a little craziness, Dean would probably have been another darkhorse candidate.

        On one hand, simultaneously occuring primaries prevent one primary from influencing another.

        On the other hand, if too many primaries occur (like a single, national primary), then darkhorses can't succeed.

        We have to construct the primaries in such a way that balances candidate momentum with region, without letting millions of Democrats feeling their votes are a "rubber stamp."

        "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

        by Jonathan4Dean on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:22:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah (none)
          but he wouldnt  have been able to win Nevada, SC, Washngton Iowa and NH if all were on the same day.

          Bush - He's their guy. He's their hero, and he represents their vision. And he sucks

          by PoliMorf on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 03:26:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly... (none)
            Seven or eight simultaneous primaries on one day to start the season.

            You probably can't win them all (unless you're the party's true consensus favorite), and the seperate primaries can't influence each other.

            "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

            by Jonathan4Dean on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 07:08:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I like your idea (none)
      I like your idea, and would split the country into the same 7 regions.  However, I dont like having all 7 on the same day, since this would probably lead to each person picking his/her region to campaign in for the first primary day, and each of the serious candidates winning the states in his/her region only.

      Change it to having the 7 over a month, followed by a 2 week break before going to the next stage.

      •  I hear what you're saying... (none)
        But here's a question: why would you campaign in your own region?

        If you're from Massachusetts, and the New Hampshire primary is tomorrow, you should place no worse than 2nd automatically.

        Instead, I think you'd see candidates focusing on other regions on that initial 7-primary contest day.

        Kerry in Iowa.
        Dean in Washington State.
        Edwards in New Hampshire.
        Clark in Colorado.

        "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

        by Jonathan4Dean on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 07:12:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  burdens the candidates (none)
    I worry about the expense this creates for candidates.  More travel, hiring more staff earlier, stretching thin resources across several states over a compressed amount of time.  Seems this could help the candidates with the biggest war chests at the outset of the nominating process at the expense of less cash-flush contenders.

    And it could eat up the eventual nominee's money vis-a-vis the republican nominee, who won't have the same expenses associated with the spread-out, early contests.

    I know it's the same number of primaries in the end, but isn't the schedule more compressed?  And a lot of candidates can pump precious resources into Iowa and/or NH hoping to eek out a strong showing to bring in fresh cash afterwards heading into future primaries.

    Not arguing for the status quo, just an honest concern.  Could be way off-base.

  •   I vote for Georgia (none)
     to be the southern representative. It is more diverse than SC, TN, or NC. The demographic transformation of some of the outer suburbs, I think, should make the state more purple than one would think.

     If I read the census projections correctly, Georgia will become the first majority-minority state within "Dixie". I think it is insane that the Dems have essentially abandoned the state since 96.

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."

    by sebastianguy99 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:14:16 AM PST

    •  Seconded! (none)
      It is populous (about 10th largest, last count) as well as diverse (economically as well as racially).
    •  Disagree (none)
      I'm from Georgia, but it would be among the worst choices for an early Democratic primary. It's an anti-union state dominated politically by the white people who live in the segregated suburbs of Atlanta.

      It is winnable in the GE -- absolutely -- but the Georgia effect will be a rightward tilt towards a "national security" Democrat, which is a code word for Iraq War supporter.

      20 years of Bush-Clinton is 20 years too many.

      by mildewmaximilian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 02:03:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is not true about the suburbs (none)
         Have you looked at what is happening in Gwinnet, Fayette, Clayton and other suburbs? The AJC had an article about "white flight" from the suburbs, you might find it interesting.

         As I said before, according to the Census projections, Georgia will become a majority-minority state in the not to distant future. This is hardly a state that will continue to be, "dominated politically by the white people who live in the segregated suburbs of Atlanta" for very muchh longer. Unless it is ignored by the Dems.

        "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."

        by sebastianguy99 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 04:26:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  level the playing field (none)
    this is long overdue, and Nevada IS turning blue,FINALLY.
  •  OK. Keep pushing for Better. (none)
    A small step in the right direction is good. Breaking the stranglehold of IA and NH is good. We should keep pushing for better.

    I still think the best thing is:
     * everyone at once
     * ratings/rankings ballot

  •  What a disaster. (none)
    (Full disclosure - I'm in NH).

    The problem is less the role of Iowa and NH, and morethe front-loading of the process. Some state will go 30th regardless of who goes first: one of our goals should be to ensure that there is still a contest at that point.

    The proposal is bad for two fundamental reasons:

    • It further frontloads the process. That puts a premium on endorsements and big campaign chests, and it leads to a long dull summer.
    • It encourages caucuses rather than primaries. Caucuses seem to be more complex and subject to muchh lower voter turnout.

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:28:17 AM PST

    •  Front-loading is a big problem (none)
      Both parties are playing with fire by holding primaries and caucuses so early. The earlier they're held, the more likely it is that hard-core activists will dominate the process.

      Some day, a major party will be stuck with a candidate who so far from the center he or she can't possibly win. Imagine this: in a crowded GOP field, Sam Brownback wins Iowa with 27 percent of the vote then wins New Hampshire with 32 percent.

    •  I would love to see regional primaries (none)
      I'd love to see the country broken up into 4-5 regions where every state in the region votes in their primaries on the same day.  Base it on rough population distributions, and set the primaries a couple of weeks apart with rotating schedules per election cycle and you'd have something fair and probably a lot more representative than what we have.

      The argument against is that it would take a lot of money to run in a primary in 5 states instead of just one at a time, but its already not cheap to run a campaign in primary season, so I'm not sure how much of a problem this would turn out to be in practice.

      •  Regional Primaries (none)
        Yes, but not 4-5 regions, more like 10-12 with primaries every 1-2 weeks.

        But you'd still start with Iowa, NH, and maybe SC and Nevada.  Retail politics is important and we need to encourage our nomination of charismatic people.

        That being said, NH has totally screwed us into thinking New Englanders can win, so we've GOT to give the South an early primary/caucus.

        Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

        by philgoblue on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:27:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not really (none)
          New Hampshire's results get discounted when there's a New Englander running. Example: Clinton came in second to Tsongas of Massachusetts in 1992. Last year the race for first place had already narrowed to neighbors Dean and Kerry -- you can't blame us for that.

          So much of what is wrong with the process lies in the hands of the media and pundits, rather than the voters of whatever states go first.

          I've got blisters on my fingers!

          by Elwood Dowd on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:32:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The problem is the focus on one or two states (none)
            The media loves to simplify the message and heighten the conflict. If we just serve up one state, the results will get overblown.  No one state will have a prefect representation of everything we want, so picking four small states for early retail politics gives more balance and gives lesser known candidates with less money a chance to show success and raise money before going to the more expensive primaries in bigger states.
          •  Don't Want to Blame Voters (none)
            I don't want to make any bad remarks about the people of Iowa and NH who clearly take their job very seriously and give a much closer look at candidates than the rest of us.

            New Hampshierites (?) just honestly believed that Tsongas had a better chance to be elected than Clinton.  Thank goodness the rest of the Democratic primary voters disagreed.

            Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

            by philgoblue on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 03:26:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No. (none)
              New Hampshire Democrats believed that Tsongas would make a better President. They believed (I think) that the issues he was raising deserved greater attention.

              One of the luxuries of voting early, if the system works and the media doesn't treat the results as deciding the nomination, is you get to discount 'electability' and choose a candidate based on your view of the best interests of the nation.

              Hell, if primaries are going to become a 'Family Feud' game where we try to guess what other voters will say, rather than the 'right answer,' I don't care how we structure them.

              I've got blisters on my fingers!

              by Elwood Dowd on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 04:35:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's easy to denigrate (none)
                voting in part on electability, but the only way that one can govern is if one gets elected.

                Tsongas' austerity plan was never going to go anywhere.

                Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

                by philgoblue on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 04:49:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I mostly agree... (none)
                  ...but again, our system needs to give ideas and candidates a little exposure before we judge their electability. If the voters in the very first primary were rejecting 80% of the candidates on the assumption that -- good as they are -- they wouldn't play in NYC or Chicago, that would be a very stale system.

                  I've got blisters on my fingers!

                  by Elwood Dowd on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 04:55:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Questions (none)
    1. Won't this make the primary process incredibly more expensive? Set aside the fact you're adding more states, geographically large states at that, if you add Nevada or Colorado you're adding a large market (Vegas or Denver), meaning it is terribly expensive to buy air time. Anyone that doesn't raise a ton of money early is going to be at a serious disadvantage.

    2. What ever happened to Colorado's proposal to split their electoral college votes proportionally?
    •  Answers (none)
      1.  Yes.  Adding any state will make it more expensive, especially when they are far ranging.

      2.  Went down in defeat- turned out the people of Colorado didn't want to throw away their electoral votes.

      A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

      by JakeC on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:19:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No more Conservative states (2.50)
    All the early primaries/caucauses are in reactionary states that look more like america in the 1900's then in the present century. Nevada and Colorado would not help. Jack Mormons and culist fundies would seriously warp any true progressive choices.

    Add to this that by eliminating progressives by having them lose early in conservative states the D's are losing the interest of progressive voters who don't see anyone talking to thier issues.

    Lets have the early ones in Progressive states that will eliminate the Liebermans, Bidens and Kerry's early while promoting the Kucinich's, Dean's and ? to the front of the line.

    How about Hawaii for first state out of the box. It looks like America of today and the future, It is progressive, it is small, it has the media/travel infrastructure plus where would you rather be in December, January, Febuary? No one would get shut down by a blizzard.

    No mush mouth states. To narrow minded and parochial. This should not be a race for the bottom. When Georgia supports a NorthEast Liberal I will think about it but otherwise if I want a mush mouths opinion I will give it to them. If they are so stupid as to elect reactionaries like Thurmond, Helms, lott and other scum why do we want to hear from them?

    Washington State or Oregon would be good swing state tilted towards D states. Theser are states that if taken for granted for to long we could lose. Espiacially washington which has inept state party leadership.

    •  What kind of standard is that? (none)
      "No mush mouth states. To narrow minded and parochial. This should not be a race for the bottom. When Georgia supports a NorthEast Liberal I will think about it but otherwise if I want a mush mouths opinion I will give it to them."

       Using this type of rationale, there would only be a few states, such as CA, NY, MA, that are not "mushy mouth". The point of revamping the process is to find a candidate that can appeal across the Democratic spectrum, and hopefully, the broad political spectrum is the general campaign.

       I want to see a progressive nominee, no doubt, but I understand that the nimonation process cannot become some purity test.

       Like it or not, the Dems must speak to the entire country, including the South.Remember also that there is more than just the presidency at stake, we must have gains at the local and state level as well. This is why it is important to campaign hard in , at a minimum, a few southern states that are winnable. I suggest that there be no suurender of states such as Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisisna, and Texas. They are electoral vote-rich, and they have demogrpahic trends that make them winnable.

       It is high time that progressives heed the call of their southern counterparts. Stop assuming that what is being called for are Biden's, Lieberman's and that ilk. Remember that the South has a history that suggests it will respond to authentic candiadtes that don't equivicate about their positions.

      "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."

      by sebastianguy99 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:02:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Speak to the South ... (none)
        ... but make it the right state. To hold an early primary in South Carolina is madness. Even John McCain was too liberal for SC. If we're going to hold an early primary there, why not Utah?

        I understand the value of giving voice to emerging swing states and states trending "blue." However, it's also important not to confuse the goal of winning a state in the general election with the perceived value in giving that state extra influence in the primary process.

        20 years of Bush-Clinton is 20 years too many.

        by mildewmaximilian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:54:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  huh? (none)
      Have you ever been to Nevada or Colorado? There are diehard true blue Democrats in both states. Its not like Rev. James Dobson's followers are going to be voting in a Democratic caucus.

      If we're going to engage in stupid stereotypes, I don't want California or Vermont nominating some hippie, tree-hugging, anti-war activist for President either.

    •  Nevada/Colorado (none)
      Nevada and Colorado are two states that will be vital in future presidential elections. Both states are also trending our way.

      Giving either or both a say in who the Democrats pick will really help us in the general election.

  •  REVAMP! (none)
    I like the idea of  revamp, and more to the point, i like THIS idea for a revamp.

    Alternatively, i've always thought that the first 5 states to hold primaries should be NH, IA, and the top 3 toss up states.  this would help ensure we get a candidate with broad appeal.

    I'd say:

    NH
    IA
    OH
    FL
    PA

    but i DO like the idea of a southern and Western state gettin in the mix.  that would give a better pulse-read on red states we can win (heck, look at the Clinton '92 map!)

    •  Better (none)
      Your ideas are better than many others I've seen here. The success of the Democratic Party depends on the Rust Belt and the Great Lakes: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota.

      The South and the West should have their voice heard early on as well, but we should focus on states where a progressive/populist message will resonate. Think West Virginia instead of South Carolina, New Mexico instead of Utah.

      20 years of Bush-Clinton is 20 years too many.

      by mildewmaximilian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 01:02:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I actually like the IA/NH system (none)
    That being said, I think Nevada is an excellent addition to the early primaries (I think I've also suggested New Mexico for this).  I worry that Colorado is too big and too heavily populated.

    "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
    -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

    by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:44:07 AM PST

    •  Vegas? (none)
      Would there be any reason to campaign outside of Vegas and Reno?
      •  Obligatory stop in Searchlight (none)
        Harry Reid's hometown.
      •  that's a problem (none)
        The population of NV is quite concentrated.  One nice thing about Iowa and New Hampshire is the preponderance of small towns and mid-sized cities.  It leads to a highly personal retail campaigning form that puts candidates in direct conversation with citizens (if they're at all competent, that is).  That's why I don't like states with large urban centers in general - you get big rallies, not small conversations.  

        That's also why I think New Mexico would be a better choice than Nevada - more small towns and cities, less population concentration.

        Of course, you'll still get the idjits here calling for Ohio and Florida and California and other states far too densely populated for retail campaigning to work at all.  Which will lead to candidates even more alienated from, well, ordinary Americans than the political/media system has already made them.

        "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
        -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

        by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:10:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lazy voters (none)
    That is a problem with the system, and would be the same no matter WHAT state is first (and I don't feel we have to be first, but it's nice to have a voice, makes the state probably more political than it might otherwise be -- though that's not necessarily a blessing!)

    There are far too many voters that will vote for the first guy in the list (seriously, there is a proven advantage for the first to be listed, which is why they are randomly ordered on different ballots in many places), or the guy whose name they saw on a sign coming into the polling place.  Or the guy that their party leaders are leaning to.  Or a union.  Or the newspaper.  Or the guy that won in New Hampshire, whatever.

    The fact that the system is so warped that people don't bother to find out who they're really voting for, what he or she stands for, their record, and still get just as much of a vote as someone who takes it seriously, needs to be fixed before the primaries are fixed.  What state at the end of January can you say would have voted for Dean over Kerry despite his being torpedoed by the media?

    That people don't learn about the candidates needs to be fixed.  So does the balloting systems.  What we DON'T need is to have the first primary moved to a state Diebold and company runs.  I voted with a check mark on a piece of paper, both for the primary and the regular election, and am confident my vote was counted as cast.

    Honestly, I voted for Kerry in the 2004 NH primary (and for McCain in 2000 btw!  Not a republican, just an independant horrified at the prospect of Bush Jr.) but thought Dean was almost there, he just needed some experience at the national level.  I got to know Edwards through the 2004 campaign, and liked what I saw.  If both were to run this time out, I'm not entirely sure who I'd go for but they'd both be in the running in my mind.  Both are far more seasoned this time out.

    Kerry?  Fine and from what I can tell decent man, but he does need to learn to communicate to the common citizen before he's going to have a chance.

    "You're either with us or against us in the war on terror." - George W. Bush
    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." - Obi Wan Kenobi

    by Stymnus on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 10:44:09 AM PST

  •  The whole system is ridiculous (none)
    Candidates genuflecting in Nashua coffee shops or Des Moines supermarkets has to be one of the most absurd parts of our democracy.

    Personally, I wouldn't mind the return of the smoke-filled (or smoke-free, these days) room.  But since that ain't gonna happen, the best thing would be to have a series of regional primaries: South, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, Northwest and West.  Why should single states exert such disproportionate influence on so important a decision.  The advantage of the regional primary is that it would encourage more campaigning in states that right now see very little of it.  It would also more rapidly narrow the field down to two or three serious candidates.

    •  Under the smoke filled room (none)
      Howard Dean would have never gotten a chance and Hillary would be the 2008 nominee for sure.
      •  Nah... (none)
        It's an oversimplification to be sure, but one of the many systemic advantages that Republicans have is that their primary seasons are usually a lot less contentious.  In the 2000 race, to take the latest example, George W. Bush became the anointed candidate of the GOP establishment by the end of 1999.  He lined up the support of the state party chairs, the various elected officials and built a huge fundraising advantage over any other candidate very early.  It wasn't a smoke-filled room, but the result was the same:  an early consensus about who was going to be the standard-bearer and a strong desire to get behind that candidate early.

        Now sure this sort of thing makes it a lot less likely that an "outsider" will capture the nomination.  But with few exceptions, outsiders generally don't win anyway.  In both parties, the "establishment" candidate usually wins the nomination, despite the media hype about horseraces etc.  McCain was never going to defeat Bush.  Dean was highly unlikely to win against Kerry or Edwards.  I predict that in 2008 it will be the same.  The media will do its best to hype the outsiders, but in both parties an establishment candidate will prevail.  The Republican establishment will probably reach a consensus earlier and in a cleaner manner however.

        •  Outsiders (none)
          Outsiders are the good guys, Brad. You're forgetting that George W. Bush is evil. Of course his undemocratic election strategy worked -- he was running for the nomination of the evil corporate party. Endorsements and fundraising were all that mattered. The Democratic Party is different. We put a premium on the people.

          20 years of Bush-Clinton is 20 years too many.

          by mildewmaximilian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 02:08:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Gimme a break... (none)
            Name a Democratic "outsider" who won the party's nomination for president.  Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Dukakis, Mondale - they were all cosummate insiders who raised gobs of money and secured most of the major endorsements.

            The fact is that both parties nominate insiders.  Sure they like to portray themselves as not creatures of Washington.  That's been going on since Andrew Jackson at least.  But at the end of the day, the nominee is almost always the candidate who has the most institutional support from the party bosses and has raised the most money.  The Dean phenomenon was interesting only in that he was able, for a time, to bypass the traditional funding channels in the early stages.  But when push came to shove, Kerry became the anointed one and squashed Dean like a bug. Furthermore, Kos's notion that the netroots is going to take over the party is total nonsense.  All candidates will cultivate the netroots in addition to their usual outreach efforts and the netroots support will end up being split more or less the same way the regular support will be split.  It might add a bit of extra money in the till that otherwise would be hard to reach.  But in most ways, the fundraising, politicking and endorsement game will be more or less the same as it has been.  The effect of technology is almost ALWAYS overestimated at first.

            The chances of a true outsider capturing either party's nomination is pretty low.

    •  Genuflecting ? (none)
      I guess that's your dismissive term for candidates speaking to actual voters about their concerns, and answering questions directly without the intervention of some news anchor?

      I've got blisters on my fingers!

      by Elwood Dowd on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:06:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed! (none)
        The beauty of Iowa and New Hampshire is the low populations and good distribution lead candidates to one-on-one conversations with ordinary citizens - not Q/A, but a chance for candidates to hear concerns.  It's as much about citizens schooling the candidates as the candidates schooling the citizens.  I'm basically opposed to anything that would detract from that close working relationship - i.e., ANY large state.

        "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
        -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

        by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:30:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Except (none)
          What are they schooling them on?  Aren't they being confronted with a series of local issues and parochial concerns that will matter not a bit if elected president?

          Plus, isn't that why we have ethanol subsidies?

          A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

          by JakeC on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:37:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can't speak for Iowa and ethanol (none)
            but no, in NH the campaigns are focused on national issues.

            I've got blisters on my fingers!

            by Elwood Dowd on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:42:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Iowans aren't monolithic (none)
            Somehow, I doubt that every single Iowan shook every candidate's hand and said "ETHANOL!", and didn't mention, say, the problems with health care costs, or student loans, or any of the other issues that face ordinary Americans EVERYWHERE, including Iowa.  And THAT is where the talking comes in.

            "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
            -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

            by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:57:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Can we... (4.00)
    please, please, please, Please, Please, PLEASE use this as an opportunity to move the first primaries back to March and April too? I believe both IA and NH have laws mandating their primaries be pushed back if any other state sets an earlier date. If this keeps up, we will be having the 2016 primaries in December... of 2012!!! IIRC, there was a time when a candidate could still announce his candidacy in March and still run a decent nomination race. It would also hopefully cut down the expense of winning the nomination as well as sparing potential voters of a couple of months of needless irritation.
  •  If anyone knows the answer (none)
    Wouldn't the Republicans have to agree to the same thing?

    Or, are there states that have separate primaries for each party?

    If the Republican party does hold it's primaries on the same day, does anyone know if Nevada (or Colorado) have open primaries, where even those not registered to a party can vote in the primary?

    A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

    by JakeC on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:14:36 AM PST

    •  Good questions (none)
      Here's my understanding.

      1. There are some states that have a separate primary or caucus for each party, but that is much more expensive and most states avoid it.
      2. So yes, changes to the primary / caucus schedule generally must be negotiated among both major parties and the legislatures of the states involved.
      3. The proposal is for caucuses only. Holding an early primary triggers New Hampshire law that requires the SecState to schedule the primary ahead of any other.
      4. The question would be 'open caucuses' rather than 'open primaries.' I hope someone can answer the question, because the trend to open nominating processes is more interesting than which states go first.

      I've got blisters on my fingers!

      by Elwood Dowd on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:21:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't get the caucus part (none)
        In that case, put me on record as being against this whole thing.  I don't consider the caucus' to be shining examples of Democracy in action.

        A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

        by JakeC on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:23:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Does anyone know... (none)
        ... what would happen if another state passed the exact same law that New Hampshire has?  I.e., what if two states both had a law stating that their primaries had to be the first in the nation?  Who has oversight on this?  I mean, we can't possibly require the state of Utah to abide by New Hampshire laws.
        •  The parties would become involved (none)
          The parties have very little influence on the scheduling of state primaries -- but they can refuse to seat delegates if a state schedules a primary contrary to the national party schedule.

          New Hampshire would probably hold its early primary anyway, knowing that it's handful of delegates at the convention would not be seated. And candidates would probably campaign here anyway -- they're not after delegates, they're after the coverage.

          I've got blisters on my fingers!

          by Elwood Dowd on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:37:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Get over it (none)
    Iowa and New Hampshire largely dominate in terms of media attention.  But it doesn't matter because the candidates message is still broadcast to the rest of the country.  The winners of Iowa and New Hampshire are often different, and do not necessarily go on to win the primary.

    Iowa's "influence" didn't give Bob Dole or Pat Robertson the Republican nomination in 1988, and it didn't give Dick Gephardt the Democratic nomination.  It didn't give Tom Harkin, Jerry Brown, or Paul Tsongas the Democratic nomination in 1992.

    New Hampshire's "influence" didn't give Gary Hart the Democratic nomination in 1984, or Paul Tsongas the nomination in 1992.  It did not give Pat Buchanan the Republican nomination in 1996 or John McCain the nomination in 2000.

    There was a lot of media hype and attention on Howard Dean.  It was just that, media hype and attention.  I don't think he was a bad candidate.  But I don't think he was unfairly done in by the evil voters of Iowa and New Hampshire simply because they bucked the conventional wisdom that had Dean winning the nomination in a rout.

    Iowa and New Hampshire are somewhat anachronistic, but not particularly harmful.  But some people just can't accept that Howard Dean was not the choice of the democratic voters throughout the country.  Get over it.

  •  I really don't like this. (none)
    The biggest problem about Iowa as the first caucus is ethanol; there is no room for dissent on this one issue.  If you oppose ethanol, you're screwed from the get-go, unless you skip and go to New Hampshire.

    The biggest problem about New Hampshire is the vehement Libertarian streak of the population.  Anything that sounds like more taxes or more government regulation is a no-no; candidates have to water down policy preferences that call for reining in corporate irresponsibility or wealth inequality.

    The biggest problem about Nevada is Yucca Mountain.  Any candidate who thinks it's a good idea is an immediate write-off.  Moreover, if you don't have the gaming industry behind you, you're an immediate write-off.

    Now, taken individually, any of these is not a bad thing.  And maybe some people are looking at these and saying, "Yeah, but I agree with all of that."  That's fine, but it really misses a larger issue.  Those issues are disproportionately important to those states.  Take a strong, outspoken, inspiring candidate who is pro-choice, pro-civil rights, pro-environment, pro-government accountability, pro-veterans, anti-debt, anti-corporate welfare.  Now let's say he or she opposes ethanol subsidies, wants to raise taxes on the wealthy to cover the Republican deficit, and favors expanded nuclear power.  No dice on a presidential run.  It's over before it ever had a chance.

    The key to good primaries, primaries that will produce good candidates, is good demographics (which Nevada has) without fringe issues.  Colorado and New Mexico seem like better Western states for this.

    Of course, every state has its pet issues (immigration would be more important to New Mexico than to most), but most of these issues are closer to the center of national debate.  I hate to see the primary season get hijacked by candidates with the right stances on a few select issues, and the more states like this that we add, the more likely that is to happen.

    •  NH Dems are not Libertarian (none)
      Republicans and independents might be, but the Democratic Party in New Hampshire is as liberal as the rest of the Northeast.  I've been in NH since 1990; it's been trending liberal since 1996 or so.  Much is being made in this thread of diversity, but you've really got to come to New Hampshire and see retail politics at the Presidential level to understand its value.  The national press covers the primary here for six months; where else in the country would that happen?

      I used to live in Pennsylvania, where the state races were 90% advertising and giant rallies in Pittsburgh and Philly.  Ain't no way a second-tier candidate will break through in a state where major money for advertising is necessary.  I'm not plumping for New Hampshire per se, but you've got to put a place where retail campaigning is possible up front -- unless you simply want the best-funded candidate to win the primaries; and in that case, why have primaries at all?

  •  California first. It would have been (none)
    most beneficial to our country if asshole bush had had to compete against McCain and the others in California before hitting the flatlands in the midwest...He would have been road-kill, we never would have had him as president, Gore likely would have won and if he didn't, McCain would have focused only on Afghanistan after 911 (if 911 even happened...McCain would have READ the PDBs).

    Anyway, that's my somewhat biased .02.

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

    by darthstar on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:42:54 AM PST

  •  I hate frontloading the calendar (4.00)
    The problem of frontloading just continues under the guise of diminishing the import of NH and IA.  All this does is to ensure that the best financed candidates are the only ones who are competitive.  If you want nominees beholden to big money, you should love frontloading.

    2004, which was the most frontloaded primary season ever, should have taught us something about the dangers of having too early a process.  How many people think in hindsight that we got the best possible nominee in 2004?  What we wound up with was an early nominee that had to struggle for media coverage between wrapping it up and the convention and who wound up being savaged by the GOP in the meantime.  This type of process is not healthy for the party or for the nation.

    The idea of putting big states up front is the worst possible outcome.  Ohio or Florida would require raising huge sums of money up front in order for a candidate to be perceived as credible; the race would be decided on the basis of whose pockets are deeper and who has the best media consultants.  

    What I'd like to see is a return to a more evenly spaced calendar that gives dark horse candidates a real shot at getting their message out without having to raise tens of millions up front to do so.  What I'd like to see is a return to a process starting in February leading up to additional contests in March with the bulk of the delegates being selected in April, May and June.  The party has the power to set the calendar and the DNC should use it.

    One further point:  the deadlines for filing delegate slates and getting on the ballot are getting ridiculous.  In 2004, a number of states had January 2 deadlines, which are very difficult to meet given the holiday season.  No candidate should be forced to slate delegates before late January at the earliest.

    •  But That Is Where The Votes Are (none)
       Those big states are crucial to electoral success.It doesn't have to be Texas or California. It could be Georgia or North Carolina. The area of those states are smaller, and a candidate would have the option of spending money in states that will yield more electoral votes than Iowa and New Hampshire combined.

       This seems to be an implicit point to this discussion, that candidates will decide to allocate the money they would traditionally have to spend in Iowa and New Hampshire to a more vote-rich state, and thus further eroding the influence of those two states because the money will flow elsewhere.

       So there is no reason that these changes will necessairly lead to an insurmountable increase in expenses, just a reallocation if the correct states are choosen.

      "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."

      by sebastianguy99 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:07:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Georgia (none)
        I'm from Georgia, but I have to say it would be a bad move for Democrats to go there for an early primary. First of all, it's not a small state. It's actually a fairly large one, which means expensive media buys, which means only well-funded corporate candidates would get to play. Second, the entire state is dominated politically by the suburban white folks living in a ring around Atlanta. These are SUV people who listen to a LOT of right wing talk radio.

        20 years of Bush-Clinton is 20 years too many.

        by mildewmaximilian on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 01:28:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I grew up there too (none)
           While it is true that the current political domination is horrible, it is not absolute, nor will it last. Again, look at history of state party success(the Dems), look at demogrpahic trends,look at the number of bases that will close and hurt economically, look at Bush's current approval ratings.

           As far as media buys are concerned, Georgia is still cheaper than Texas, California, or New York. You have multiple large markets within each of those states, that is not the case in Georgia.

           That Georgia is anti-union does not make for a rational reason not to move it's primary, in fact, it's an opportunity.We cannot bemoan the current political situation in Georgia and then respond by ignoring the state. You can't punish people because you happen to dislike what has happened recently politically.

           If the party wants to do well in the South, then nominating a candidate that can do well in Georgia would be more beneficial and economical than in any other southern state.

          "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."

          by sebastianguy99 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 04:37:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  How about a liberal state in the first wave? (none)
    If the first wave only includes conservative and medieval (I mean, middle of the road-kill) states, candidates with heart will be picked off year after year, and we'll never have a Dean or Dean-equivalent.  
  •  No! (none)
    C'mon, I just moved to NH, and I want the candidates to come to me...I vote for the first time in January 2008.  

    Well, actually, the realy reason I want it, is because it's tradition.  Frankly, I think we should all just vote on the same day.

    oy.

    Please visit my blog at http://www.benjamingoodman.com

    by bdgoodman08 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 12:32:25 PM PST

  •  All Wrong (none)
    This will diminish the influence of New Hampshire, but barring some sort of craziness will increase the importance of Iowa.  If you want a better analysis, I wrote a bunch here.
  •  KOS HAS IT WRONG (none)
    Kos really has it wrong.  Why do you think that a commission dominated by Washington insiders appointed by Terry McAuliffe wants to have a few caucuses dominate the process? A bunch of caucuses really takes the grassroots out of the picture, and allows the party insiders in a handful of states to deide who the nominee is.  That is not democratic or Democratic.    
  •  hold onto your delegates (none)
    One issue no one seems to have raised - NV's precinct caucuses are non-binding, so that the presidential preference is a "beauty show". This could be and presumably would be changed but if not I wouldn't expect either the media or, as a consequence, campaigns, to divert attention or resources from the more traditional early primary states for a non-binding caucus.

    Also, the spending cap for NV would be very low, below the level for IA.

    •  The caucus would be binding (none)
      The Timing Commission is contemplating an exemption to Rule 10 for Nevada to allow a binding caucus to take place.  In 2004, the first stage caucuses on Feb 14 were binding as to the allocation of district delegates by presidential preference.  The precinct caucuses elected delegates to the county conventions, which in turn elected delegates to the state convention where congressional district caucuses thereof actually selected the delegates.

      The precinct caucuses were non-binding with respect to at-large and PLEO delegates; those allocations were made on the basis of presidential preference at the state convention.

  •  Another NH voice (none)
    I think Kos is right and wrong at the same time. Nh and Iowa are actually very good tests of candidates' viability. They have to be able to get their message across in a retail environment--if they depend on big money, ad buys, machine politics, as they do in larger states, then they can die by those things later in the general election. We have to be sure that the candidates have what it takes early on.

    So small states are the ticket. Where Kos is right is in saying that we need to add some geographical/racial/political diversity to the mix we already have.

    But this automatic denigration of NH and Iowa is ridiculous. We in these 2 states have always taken the responsibility very seriously. I don't mind letting other kids into the sandbox to play but I think some of you kids just want to take the toys away to your own sandbox.

    I don't know what you guys think would have happened differently if the first primary was in NY, NV, GA, CA, or on the moon.... Kerry would still have taken it and he still would have lost to Bush, sad to say.

    •   That misses the point (none)
      "I don't know what you guys think would have happened differently if the first primary was in NY, NV, GA, CA, or on the moon...."

       First of all, we don't know that until one of those such states is moved up early enough to have influence. That is the point to the idea of adding states.

       Let's get some real experience from such a move, and then we can better make a judgment. This in no way a denigration of Iowa or New Hampshire because no one is really arguing that those states can't still go first.

       I find the notion that those two states, and they alone, are sufficent to pick a nominee to be illogical, though that is where we find ourselves.

       There is nothing wrong with candidates visting some small towns in Nevada, or Colorado or Georgia as they do in Iowa or New Hampshire. We're all wanting the same thing to result.

      "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so."

      by sebastianguy99 on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 04:52:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  balance, balance (none)
    I like the general idea of having a few smaller states, but the four states (IA, NH, NV, southern) are not representative enough:
    • IA: the only purple state in the list
    • NV: At this point, still pink.  Although I have argued for NM in the past, I think NV might be a better choice since its population is urban.
    • NH: still pink.  NH voted blue for the first time in ages in 2004 by only a small amount despite Kerry being from next door.  I suspect that NH wont be blue if 08 is another close election and Kerry isnt the nominee.  It is geographically in the northeast, but its voters are very libertarian and un-northeastern.
    • Southern state: crimson red

    So, thats 1 red, 2 pink, and 1 purple state.  For balance, we need at least one small blue 'state', and my choice is DC for all the obvious reasons.

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