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February 5th wasn't good enough for Florida.

The Florida House of Representatives upped the ante yesterday, voting 115-1 to move the state’s presidential primary to Jan. 29.

That would outdo California, which recently set its nominating vote for Feb. 5, and New York, where a bill also setting a Feb. 5 primary date is likely to become law. Florida’s move into January also would threaten to overshadow the traditional kick-off contests earlier that month in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Anything that diminishes the importance of New Hampshire and Iowa is good in my book. The DNC and RNC can threaten to not seat the delegates, but no state is taking those threats seriously. No presidential nominee would tell a state that their input at the convention isn't wanted.

For the Democrats, the dates are as listed below, though New Hampshire will likely leapfrog ahead of Iowa to put distance between itself and the rest of the states breathing down its neck. Granite Staters have an insufferable feeling of entitlement when it comes to the primary calendar. South Carolina can't be happy that Florida is stealing its thunder.

(Number of delegates in parenthesis. There are a total of 3,056 delegates.)

January 14, 2008 - Iowa (39)
January 19, 2008 - Nevada (22)
January 22, 2008 - New Hampshire (19)
January 29, 2008 - South Carolina (39), Florida (161)
February 5, 2008 - Alabama (45), Arizona (49), Arkansas (30), California (322), Delaware (13), Missouri (63), New Mexico (23), New York (202), New Jersey (93), North Carolina (79), Texas (168), Utah (20)
February 12, 2008 - District of Columbia (13), Tennessee (59), Virginia (72)
February 19, 2008 - Wisconsin (64)

For the Republicans:

January 21, 2008 - Iowa
January 28, 2008 - New Hampshire
January 29, 2008 - Florida
February 5, 2008 - Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, New York North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia
February 12, 2008 - Tennessee

States are still jostling for position (for example, Pennsylvania is looking at that Feb 5 date as well), so 1) this calendar isn't set, and 2) I may have missed some maneuverings making it not entirely accurate.

Update: Illinois is also close to moving its primary to Feb 5.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:37 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A candidate by the first week of February... (5+ / 0-)

    Means 9 months of general election.  This isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.

    •  The hell with that! (15+ / 0-)

      Why don't we just annoint someone tomorrow!

      This is all ridiculous, and the only people it rewards are a) high paid consultants and media folk (paid media is even more important than it was used to be able to shake every hand in an important primary, but that will surely no longer be the case) and b) Hillary Clinton--front-loaded contests don't reward the good candidates; rather, they reward name recognition.

      This is insane...

      •  This is Beyond Ridiculous... (4+ / 0-)

        I had a feeling this was coming as soon as other states started moving their primaries up.

        Having so much time between determining the nominee and the general election means that whatever is going on at the two times can be very different, in many ways. The nominee may be obviously the wrong choice by the election.

        And I agree that this helps the candidates with the most money and the most name recognition going in.

        This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

        by Mr X on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:13:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Super Tuesday (0+ / 0-)

        That was always in the first week in March for the most part.

        By then the nominee was chosen for all intents and purposes. So now they will be chosen one month earlier. That's not the big deal you are trying to make of it.

        As for consultants they are making money in both the primaries and the general as candidates advertise in both. So the money aspect you complain about is a bit overblown IMO.

        I agree that shaking hands will be diluted. All the more reason that televised debates are important. All the more reason that the now canceled Nevada debate was a dumb move by some activists here. Eventually people will come to realize that.

        "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

        by talex on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:23:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is another big winner (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PoliMorf, cosbo

        Iowa and NH.

        There is NO WAY NH is going to let Florida go the day after it.  This schedule is toast.

        What the other states don't realize is that the closer they get to NH, the more important NH will become.  
        Here is what is going to happen (based on the current Dem schedule.

        Jan 22nd - News coverage dominated by NH primary
        Jan 23rd - The news media will pick two stories from the NH results, and highlight it.  It is not possible for the press to follow more than two - which means the winner of NH in each party will get all of the press attention.
        Jan 24th - Continued fallout from NH - at least two candidates will drop out.  
        Jan 25th - The first post-NH polls come out, and will show at least a 10 point bounce in the Jan 29th states for the NH winners.
        Jan 26th - More poll driven coverage.  The NH winner's national numbers will jump.
        Jan 27th - The focus actually, and finally turns on the races in SC and Fl.  But the race is already remade.  There is no time for the other candidates to mount a cameback against the NH winner given the blact in publicity the NH winner has received.  In the 5 days since NH - something profoundly horrible has aqhppened to them - they have been ignored.

        Jan 29th: SC and Florida hold elections.  But unlike NH, which will have had over a year to judge the candidates, the voters in FL and SC will simply be pulling the lever for the candidate with the most press covererage.

        There is a natural cycle in the coverage of Presidential politics.  At first, the winners in Iowa and NH get a honeymoon period with almost uniformally positive press.  This press simply swamps anything that paid advertising can buy.  

        I have seen this myself first hand.  When I worked for Gary Hart, we won in places where we had no campaign after winning NH. In fact, if we had had this schedule in 1984, I have little doubt Hart would have won the nomination.

        Eventually, a reaction sets in, and the tone in coverage changes.  Perhaps in the age of the blog the honeymoon will not last as long.  But I doubt it.  

        •  I have also heard that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          despite the crush of state primaries in the last week of January, first week of February, the NH will still have an outsized impact because, from a regional point of view, any candidate who wins in NH will have far greater impact on its own region as opposed to some of the geographical larger western states who are rather isolated from their neighbors media-wise. The state that comes to mind here is Nevada.  The upshot, candidates are still pouring beaucoup bucks and spending beacoup time in NH.

          •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

            But I don't buy it.

            Take '84.  After Hart won NH, we (actually HE) won Washington two weeks later dispite having no organization and little to no advertising.

            But everything changes, and you might be right.  It is easier, for example, for the California Press to cover Nevada than NH.

      •  Not to mention... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCFD Rudi

        ...we basically will have to select a candidate without a through vetting- no one apart from people like us pay attention to this until a few months before the general election, anyway. We're just going to turn people off and not necessarily choose the best candidate. Also, it won't matter so much this year, but in 2012, whoever is the non-incumbent party will have a rough time with the new primary calendar. They'll have a nominee annointed early on and then they'll be vulnerable to attack for months until they pick a running mate.

      •  It truly is ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

        that I, a loyal democrat in the third biggest reliably democratic state in the nation, would want to have some say in who our nominee.
        It does reward lots of money, but lots of money no longer has to be "Big Money". I'd rather our candidate was adept at using the media and raising money than being a skillfull glad-hander of three farmers in a Des Moines diner.

        "Quidquid dicendum est, libere dicam." -Cicero

        by BennyAbelard on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 12:02:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No candidate will have any money left after (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


    •  9 months to make a fool out of yourself (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi, wishingwell

      It certainly gives the opposition time to dig up all the dirt, doesn't it?

      •  Too bad there won't be nine months of... (0+ / 0-)

        Dialog.  You know, like -- debates?  Actually engage the voters instead of running around and shouting catch phrases, inuendo and talking points over and over again like a broken record.

        Baseball and Democrats have something in common: they're just getting started.

        by jpfdeuce on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:39:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  OR.. +time to debunk dirt, let Dem issues sink in (0+ / 0-)

        I will argue the opposite: more time means it's easier to counter that dirt. Allowing people more time to think could only help those Democrats who have the facts/truth/best-interests-of-the-people on their side.

        It could also be helpful to use the extra time to start early and help people think for themselves first, decide later -- which seems to be the opposite of what many Republican campaigns do -- and consider what their own stands on the issues are and try and stick with a candidate who most closely matches those positions.

        So says this guy with perhaps a rose-colored tint to his world.

        ~~This is Aaron G. Stock~~ (My Public Email is altered. Swap "g-ma-il" and "ace-pumpk-in", then remove dashes to email me.)

        by Ace Pumpkin on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:56:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mind, I don't like the early primaries either.... (0+ / 0-)

          And upon further consideration, it might be better to have the primary season last longer while the Democratic field has many stronger/popular positions, and while the Republicans each have glaring weaknesses.

          (An aside: I think dKos readers know, however, to never underestimate the ability of Republicans and many major news organizations to gloss over such weaknesses and turn them against Democrats!)

          The nigh-tautological point is to adapt to either situation and thrive!

          ~~This is Aaron G. Stock~~ (My Public Email is altered. Swap "g-ma-il" and "ace-pumpk-in", then remove dashes to email me.)

          by Ace Pumpkin on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:07:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  On the bright side... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Luetta, jpfdeuce

      We have less then a year until we start replacing Bush.  I'll take that.

    •  It Is Only Moving (0+ / 0-)

      things up effectively by one month. not much of a change really.

      "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

      by talex on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:15:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But it's a huge change (0+ / 0-)

        Florida didn't play an integral part in the primary process with how late they held their primary.  The entire primary process is winning voters over, state by state.  By the time they reached Florida, one candidate usually held the advantage over other challengers in crowded fields.

        Now?  A large number of delegates will bu up for grabs much sooner and Florida becomes a key primary state.  

        This benefits Hillary or Obama the most -- more prominent NATIONAL campaigns.

        Baseball and Democrats have something in common: they're just getting started.

        by jpfdeuce on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:43:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So What Is The Problem With Forida? (0+ / 0-)

          They are not exactly a conservative state like NH or Iowa. Florida was pretty evenly divided as of the last elections in 2004 and 2000.

          "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

          by talex on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:05:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually (0+ / 0-)
          It gives the small candidates hope.  

          As I have written above, the conventional wisdom is completely wrong. If Richardson, for example, were to win NH, he would explode.   People just don't understand how the media reports the early primaries.  

          If you aren't in the top two in NH, you literlly fall off the earth.

    •  A call for a shorter primary season (0+ / 0-)

      A longer primary season means more cash, which means the candidates need to whore themselves out even more.
        I would like to see all the primaries done in October. Otherwise the primaries will keep getting moved up until we'll be having them more than a year before the general election.

      "PC Load Letter"? What the fuck does that mean?

      by gjohnsit on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 11:25:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's just have 'em all this coming Monday. n/t (9+ / 0-)

    "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

    by machopicasso on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:38:44 AM PDT

    •  I'm having mine next Tuesday. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ThirstyGator, Elise, Mr X

      That's right - the turnover primary (# of delegates: um...0) will be next Tuesday. Every damn candidate better show up. And they damn well better bring beer. Or else.

      I'm geeting mine, y'all. I'm getting mine.

      Just like Florida, NY, et al.

      "It's all here before your eyes / safety is a big disguise / that hides among the other lies / they divide, conquer." - Husker Du, 1985

      by turnover on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:49:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For 2008, or 2012? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DWCG, Buckeye Terry

      May as well get them both out of the way.

      "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, FORMER Chief of Staff to FORMER Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, serving FORMER President Cheney.

      by bejammin075 on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:18:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IIRC, the 1836 Democratic convention (0+ / 0-)
      was held in the spring of 1835.  And the Whigs nominated William Henry Harrison and John Tyler for the 1840 election (Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!) at their convention held in December of 1839!  So, there is precedent!

      "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

      by Buckeye Terry on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 03:43:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is getting nuts (16+ / 0-)

    I'm all for minimizing New Hampshire and Iowa, but isn't this getting kind of crazy?  Next thing you know the primaries will be in June of the year before.

    •  As much as people bitch and moan (26+ / 0-)

      about IA and NH, this is going to be 1000% times worse.

      This is the national primary people have been wanting, but it's going to come down to television adds and money money money.  This is a DC insider's dream schedule, where the front runners with all the money are swept in with no opportunity for someone from the pack to catch up.

      We will have a nominee on Feb 6, with over 9 months to go until the general election.  Why is that desirable?

      "Why don't newscasters cry when they read about people who die? At least they could be decent enough to put just a tear in their eye" - Jack Johnson

      by bawbie on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:42:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree, Dean should do whatever (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Terry

        he can, even if it's just the bully pulpit.  This is silly, now each state will get fly-by air wars for a day or two.  Stupid, get this thing organized or Dean should instruct all candidates to ignore a state and they should all sign pledges.

        •  Ignore a state? That would be political (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Luetta, MO Blue


        •  A different strategy. (0+ / 0-)

          Telling candidates to ignore a particular state isn't going to work. Hell, we had a hard enough time trying to tear the candidates away from a FOX-sponsored debate, despite the fact there were other Nevada debates already scheduled.

          A better strategy, I think, is to make a convincing argument as to why the voters in an early primary state  are at a disadvantage. And there are a number of reasons why this could be the case: 1) forced to make a premature decision before a thorough vetting of the candidates has occurred; 2) the possibility that something might disqualify the apparent front-runner (e.g. spouse's battle with cancer takes a turn for the worse); etc.

          In short, a convincing argument as to why the voters in an early primary state are put at a disadvantage would be good reason for their state legislature to reconsider the early date.

          "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

          by machopicasso on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:22:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a tough sell (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Because everyone knows that the states that go first are the most important. That's why everyone is trying to move their state's primary date earlier.

            The only arguement that is going to work is convincing Democrats as a whole that we all need to adopt a strategy that is best for America, and best for the party.

            Kos once suggested a rotating schedule - States A, B, and C go first one year, then states D, E, F go first the next election. It's reduculous to ALWAYS have the same states go first.

            In general, it should be some small states, one at a time for several weeks, then larger states. But Christ, we should have it spread out a little bit.

            Let's all congratulate Hillary on the nomination.

            "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, FORMER Chief of Staff to FORMER Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, serving FORMER President Cheney.

            by bejammin075 on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:30:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I remember the 1976 campaign (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          where Jimmy Carter concentrated on Iowa and NH in Feb and March, then a march through a variety of states such as Florida, Michigan, and Maryland.  In the meantime, other candidates such as Udall, Church and Brown rose up to challenge Carter.  This sharpened Carter and prepared him for the general.  But until the end of the primary season in JUNE, with the Ohio, NJ and California primaries, the winner was not selected. The "Marathon", the title of Jules Whitcover's book, allowed the party and the country time to get to know Jimmy Carter and Carter to get to know the country.  The party got a chance to try out other candidates, such as Frank Church, Morris Udall and Jerry Brown before deciding Carter was the man. In 2008, we will have about 2 weeks to get to know the front-runner.  I think that if the 2004 primary season had been more like 1976, we wouldn't have ended up with a weak Kerry.  If the party had more time to get to know Kerry, and his weaknesses, maybe Democrats would have chosen someone else.  Someone who would not have allowed himself to be SwiftBoated.

          "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

          by Buckeye Terry on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 03:54:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I actually like Iowa and new Hampshire being... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, De Waarheid

        ...important.  They are both small, with cheap TV time, allowing underdog canidates to make an impact.  The only thing that's really annoying is forcing everybody to be gung-ho on ethanol to win support in Iowa.

        Now, the main argument against them is there are few minorities in either state.  Now, while this sucks, for picking a canidate that has a higher chance to win in the general election, this is actually a good thing.  As Bulworth said, what are blacks going to do, vote Republican?  White voters are still the vast majority of the electorate, and are a group that still leans Republican.  Picking a canidate that whites like is much more likely to result in a general election win than picking one blacks (or any other minority) likes.  And that is one of the main points of the primary-picking somebody that can win.

        I know people are going to call me racist for the above statements, as they have when I've pointed this out in the past.  I'm not racist-I'm a realist.  Sometimes (often, under the Bush administration), the real world sucks.

        I am against a national primary or something close, because that sort of thing means the canidate with the most money is sure to win.  Although one could argue the canidate that has the best fund raising is also the most likely to win in the general as well, I suppose.

        •  Main argument? (0+ / 0-)

          I always thought that the main argument for not having IA and NH first every cycle was that it wasn't fair to all of the other states.  Solutions include various rotational schemes that to allow other states the opportunity to go first every so often.

          I've heard the race/diversity argument before, but it's usually only a supporting argument.

        •  New Hampshire (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Is the Boston media market.

          Not cheap.

          Horrifically expensive, actually.

          •  And one unnoticed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            change from 2004 is that the campaigns no longer have to abide by the spending limits that were previously enforced.

            I am all for making a couple of small/midsize states go first, but it should NOT always be the same states.

            New Mexico, for example, would be far more diverse and far cheaper.

        •  I couldn't disagree more (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And to me it isn't just the whiteness of the electorate in Iowa and New Hampshire. Although I do think that's an issue - I don't think catering to Republican leaning white folks is the solution for building a strong movement OR for winning now. In any case, it's also that the issues that resonate in Iowa and New Hampshire aren't a good cross-section of issues facing our country.

        •  No, you are forgetting (0+ / 0-)

          that the Democratic Party cannot win without a significant turnout from the African-American Community.  Pick a candidate that has no appeal to them and you are destined for defeat due to low turnout.  It happened in Maryland in 2002 and we had a GOP Governor for 4 years who wreaked havoc on us.

          •  I agree strongly (0+ / 0-)

            Just because African-American voters are generally disinclined to vote for Republicans doesn't mean they're going to be enthusiastic about supporting a Democrat who shits all over them. Remember, turnout is just as important as percentage of the vote.

          •  On a local level, yes (0+ / 0-)

            But for a presidential election, there has never been (AFAIK) that would have flipped one way or another due to increased or decreased minority turnout.  If anybody has an example, I would be interested to hear it.

            •  Simply (0+ / 0-)

              because it may not have happened as of yet on the Presidential level (don't know, haven't really looked and we have only recently started to have nail-biter Presidential elections ('00 and '04)) does not mean similar electoral dynamics could not happen on the Presidential level.  Why couldn't depressed black turnout impact a close state like Ohio?  Florida?  

              If you look at the CNN exit polls, Bush had significant increases in his black support over his 2000 numbers in Ohio. The same is true with the increases in his black support in Florida in 2004 over his 2000 performance.  



              Admittedly, not overwhelming evidence (particularly with the inaccuracies of the 2000 election night calls), but warning signals nonetheless.

              •  Wasn't Shrub's increased percentage of the black (0+ / 0-)
                vote in 2004 really a return to normal.  IIRC, Gore got something like 92% of the black vote, whereas the norm since LBJ has been around 86%. Now, did the supression of the black vote in Florida cost Gore the state in 2000?  Absolutely.

                "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

                by Buckeye Terry on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 04:03:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  There's nothing wrong with a national primary (0+ / 0-)

          in my mind.  Look, this country decides the president on a national basis, why can't we choose our nominee on a national basis?  I can't see any reasonable reason why we should depend on Iowa or New Hampshire to choose our nominees.

          Your statements totally take advantage of minorities too.

          what are the blacks going to do, vote Republican?

          Actually yea.  Guess what?  More and more black Americans are making their way up the economic ladder and that along with their religious roots leads more of them to vote Republican.  Not only that, but when you take advantage of any demographic, that demographic doesn't vote for you, they just stay home.  So respectfully, your logic is flawed.

          My only objection to all this moving of primaries is that it keeps pushing the calendar back and back and back. The DNC needs to sit down with state parties and come to an agreement to shift everyone's calendars forward by 4-6 months.  Then either create a national primary or create a rotating, compact primary calendar so that all states get a chance at first-primary-day status while keeping the calendar reasonable.

          Feingold is my hero

          by Marc in CA on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:52:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nah (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Buckeye Terry

            After Katrina, the Republican Party has lost African Americans for at least a generation.  Not that they were making any significant gains prior to that in any case.

            •  Yea (0+ / 0-)

              so let's take advantage of the fact that they were victimized by the Republican party and victimize them again by ignoring their importance within the party.

              Come on ... I can't stand it when people suggest we just ignore a core constituency for the sake of political expediency, whether its African Americans, GLBT's or women.

              You continue to ignore the fact that when you ignore a constituency, its not defections to the other party you have to worry about.  When you ignore a constituency, they have a tendency to just ignore the election and not vote at all.

              Feingold is my hero

              by Marc in CA on Sat Mar 24, 2007 at 12:16:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buckeye Terry

          While admittedly I am from NH., I agree with Geotpf'  arguments. I think the whole thing about NH not being representative of the nation is just a red hering. The fact is that NH voters would vote much more for those candidates who represent the interests of minority voters (we are a blue state). Also, without NH the republican and democratic establishments would have a clear path to having their preferred candidate nominated, than otherwise would be the case. The  establishment of both parties hate NH and Iowa for that reason. Also, it is a fact that because the small size of NH and Iowa, retail politics is still possible. The other states are too big for retail politics to be effective. Thus we would be left to the mercy of large corporate influence and dominance than is already the case.
          Be aware what you wish for (those who complain about NH primary status), you will have MUCH more to complain of than under the current system.

          All people are interdependent.

          by De Waarheid on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:03:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It isn't desirable (0+ / 0-)

        Not in any way. It certainly doesn't help the parties or their candidates. And it doesn't really do much for the states moving up their primaries. It may mean some more political money is spent there, but that's not an entirely good thing -- and it isn't all net gain. It does come at the expense of other spending. Those ads displace other ads. Most importantly,  it's poisonous to the body politic -- it just makes money that much more important.

        "The Lord loves a working Man; Don't trust Whitey; See a doctor, and get rid of it."

        by FischFry on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:34:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's not just the calendar that's nuts. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DelRPCV, FischFry

      I'm sick and tired of these phoney parochial interests of states that want to "have a say." there are no more state interests.

      When this country began, states were concerned about relinquishing sovereignty in a world where there were real differences in geographical lifestyles and economies. Today all of that has been diluted by advances in travel, construction and technology. Kansas and Wyoming have auto manufacturers and computer makers. Massachusettes and Washington have agriculture. And the population is so mobile that there is no state that has any kind of homogeneous identity.

      This inane rooting for fake state "teams" has got to stop. The sports metaphore works perfectly where fans from the Lakers or the Hornets cheer for teams whose players are not from their cities at all.

      Stop the madness. Let the parties establish a calendar that is in the interest of the party's members and voters. Make it as nearly national as possible. And level the playing field financially.

      • Blog This: News Corpse
      • The Internet's Chronicle of Media Decay.

      by KingOneEye on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:53:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the problem has been (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OLinda, berith, MO Blue

        -- and I'm not saying this a better solution -- that the states with the biggest pull (NH and IA) are not even remotely representative of the rest of the country.

        It's time for a president to to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war -- John Edwards

        by ThirstyGator on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:07:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Explain This (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The nominee was always chosen by Super Tuesday anyway which is in early March.

        Now they will be chosen ONE MONTH earlier - in February.

        How does one month change things drastically?

        I'm reading all the posts here and you think the sky has fallen. It's only ONE MONTH. Why the hysteria?

        "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

        by talex on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:29:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps because the schedule has been stable (0+ / 0-)

          And now everyone is leap-frogging. The dates aren't settled yet. They might still keep getting earlier before the dust settles.

          I wish the schedule didn't have the Super Tuesday. The schedule should be more spread out.

          "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, FORMER Chief of Staff to FORMER Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, serving FORMER President Cheney.

          by bejammin075 on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:34:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Don't See Where Florida (0+ / 0-)

            moving a date up by one week is any big deal. It will affect the candidates a little but not a lot. I'm sure they have already built in some flexibility into their schedules already anyway.

            Bottomline is that the Party itself wanted to front load the primaries to diminish the impact of NH and Iowa. For us progressives that is a good thing.

            "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

            by talex on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:50:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem is that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Buckeye Terry

              we're moving in a direction that favors the Big Money people. As imperfect as the system is, we're going in the wrong direction.

              "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, FORMER Chief of Staff to Alberto Gonzales

              by bejammin075 on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:10:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Big Money People (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                By that I'm guessing you mean the candidates with the most money right?

                If so what is the difference? The candidates with the most money usually wins anyway even in a longer race because they have staying power.

                I get you sentiments I really do. But I think the answer to your dilemma is campaign finance reform not a longer primary season.

                And truth be told spending on presidential races has got so out of hand and given that money is free speech I don't know that we can ever have meaningful campaign finance reform sad to say.

                Yeah there still is public financing that is available now but it just is not enough money to compete.

                "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

                by talex on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:19:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  It's the money (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AnneElizabeth, Buckeye Terry

          Even the Super Tuesday thing wasn't the greatest innovation, In 1988, the nomination wasn't sewn up before the New York primary in April. Gore and Jackson were still in the race. The ever-increasing front-loading that has occured then, has made the later primaries irrelevant, to be sure. The solution isn't to move them all up -- it's to go back to a more reasonably spaced system. To try and campaign in Florida one week, and New York. California and Texas the next? That means $$$$ wins. There's no chance for someoneone to break through with less money in the early primaries, and then compete in the big ones. If a midget surprises in one or more of the early primaries, s/he is likely to get crushed by the big boys and galson Feb. 5. That's the problem -- it means once again politics becomes more and more a game for the rich to play.

          "The Lord loves a working Man; Don't trust Whitey; See a doctor, and get rid of it."

          by FischFry on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:41:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Points Taken (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but the Party itself wanted to front load them.

            yeah spacing might help in theory but conservative NH and Iowa have always had an undue influence on who got chosen. Front loading changes that dynamic.

            I believe in a way the front loading could actually help someone who didn't win NH or Iowa to make a comeback in another state or states and make a horse race of this.

            Certainly there are stares who are holding early primaries who have voters who do not think like NH and Iowa voters. That gives more Liberal states a chance to have a say in who are candidate is.

            "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

            by talex on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:56:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Iowa has elected Tom Harkin to what (0+ / 0-)
              3, 4 terms to the Senate?  This is a conservative state?   Actually, one the complaints about Iowa Democrats has been that they are too liberal, especially the ones who actually show up at the caucus.

              "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

              by Buckeye Terry on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 04:11:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Everybody knew Gore would win over Jackson, (0+ / 0-)

            he just didn't get all the delegates until April. So it's not that good an example of a late race.

            I keep thinking the race will run longer, but evidence points to a winner by February if not early March, at least narrowed down to a frontrunner pursued by one last gasper.

            "Children in the U.S. are not only detained, but often... in facilities that routinely fail ... international and domestic standards." --Amnesty International

            by doinaheckuvanutjob on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:41:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I see it (0+ / 0-)

          as that month giving someone who may have come in better than expected in an early primary, but not necessarily as a clear "front runner," to capitalize that and build a case for themselves. Now, as many have said above, there is a clear advantage for the recognized "front runner" (ie whomever the media wants to declare as such) going in, which is exacerbated by the fact that the primaries are now all squished together. It's not the fact that they're chronologically early that worries me; it's the fact that the period of voting is a month shorter.

          •  Front Loading (0+ / 0-)

            could mean the opposite happens also from what you are saying. Read this post of mine above yours.


            As of now no one really knows how it will impact the primaries. This is all new and like anything new it must run it's course to see the actual results of how it affects the nomination process.

            "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

            by talex on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:59:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  When the sky changes, some think it's falling. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm reading all the posts here and you think the sky has fallen. It's only ONE MONTH. Why the hysteria?

          Kind of a human nature thing to adjust to change.

          "Children in the U.S. are not only detained, but often... in facilities that routinely fail ... international and domestic standards." --Amnesty International

          by doinaheckuvanutjob on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:38:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm waiting for some state to ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OLinda, nightsweat, Mr X

      ... simply schedule their primary for "one week before the earliest of everybody else's.  (So there, nyah-nyah.)"

      "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

      by Bearpaw on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:57:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are not minimizing (0+ / 0-)

      Iowa and NH's role, they are greatly maximizing it.

      The problem is that they don't understand how primaries work.

  •  So who does it help? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geotpf, mik, wishingwell, Elise, Magnifico

    That's the big question for me in all this. It seems like HRC gets a big boost as she has the money and a machine. Especially with Florida she has a large amount of support to draw upon. Where the news early could be about upsets stopping the "Hillary is inevitable" narrative, Florida could be a big boost for her.

    •  That's my view, too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But Edwards has considerable strength in the 'Southern' part of Florida, and Obama should be able to gather in a big part of the Black vote.  It won't be a blow-out by any means.  We could end up with an open convention yet.

      •  To me it will be (0+ / 0-)

        who the S. Florida democractic community breaks for. And in my mind that's currently HRC.

        •  because that's where the people are (0+ / 0-)

          The "southern" part of FL (north of Orlando) has about 20% of the population ... and probably 10% of the registered Dems.

          (Yes, those numbers are off the top of my head - but I'll bet they're fairly close)

          It's time for a president to to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war -- John Edwards

          by ThirstyGator on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:09:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually it's over 30% (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Broward County has 12.0% of the registered Dems (as of 12/31/2006), Miami-Dade 10.8% and Palm Beach County 8.0%.

            Hillsborough and Pinellas over in the Tampa Bay account for 10.6%.

            Duval (Jacksonville) is the next largest county at 5.4%, but they have so many registered Dixiecrats that you have no idea how they are going to vote!

    •  Hillary (0+ / 0-)

      She dominates among retirees.  Also, SC was to be the show down between Obama and Edwards that would slow the Hillary inevitability theme.  Florida will completely upstage SC.

      Of course, with FL and CA going so early, it will also be much easier for a faux moderate Republican to make it through the primaries.  McCain would have won in 2000 with this schedule.

      Support your neighborhood bats.

      by DelRPCV on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:26:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Answer us (0+ / 0-)

      This way the MSM will not have that much chance to pick someone fore us

      We seen a lady from Massachusetts, an'she said'em differentest of all. J. Steinbeck

      by Luetta on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:38:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, Elise, chicago minx, brklyngrl

    And I really, really hope PA ups the primary so we have some kind of say from this large, blue-leaning swing state.

    Cue the whining from the NH crowd....

    "When people show you who they really are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

    by Pennsylvanian on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:39:49 AM PDT

  •  this is getting out of hand (9+ / 0-)

    When will the escalation stop? This needs to get solved with a system that moves things back towards the spring, rather than the first month of the year. 9 months of general election is far, far too long.

    •  What about weather? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      As the Midwestern and northern states move in Jan and Feb, as anyone considered the weather. It would seem to me that candidates will need a really strong organization in places like Michigan, Illinois and New York in order to get out the vote in cold, snowy weather.  This should also help the candidates with the most devoted followers.  One must really be committed to go out in zero weather, with a 20 mile an hour wind and blowing and drifting snow to vote for a candidate. BTW, some of our leaders in Ohio have also talked about moving Ohio up as well. (Currently, we're in early March, moved up from early May, moved up from early June.)

      "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

      by Buckeye Terry on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 04:33:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BREAKING (13+ / 0-)
    New Hampshire primary moved to tomorrow.  More later.

    What would Hume do? What ought he to have done?

    by aztecraingod on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:40:28 AM PDT

  •  New Hampshire responds (9+ / 0-)

    Fuck it, we're having our primary today!  That's right - get your asses to the polls RIGHT NOW!

    First in the nation, biazzatches!

    A fanatic is a man who does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case.

    by nightsweat on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:40:47 AM PDT

  •  BREAKING: Maine announces March 24th primary date (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously, this is getting crazy. So many dates, so far ahead of the actually election. How about having them all on one day, a month before the convention?

    Thank you, Howard Dean.

    by thinkdouble on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:40:53 AM PDT

  •  I'd still rather have a national primary day. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    berith, Cali Techie

    This is just plain stupid.

    Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth. -- Henrik Ibsen

    by mik on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:41:24 AM PDT

    •  That's even worse! (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geotpf, mik, joemcginnissjr, Mr X, Blue South

      We need a slow, deliberate vetting of all the's the only way to ensure we have the BEST for November...

      •  That would be nice (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But that isn't exactly the way our current system is working.

      •  And yet (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mik, bejammin075, jrooth

        we don't do that for a single solitary candidate for any other offices.

        I would support, however, rotating regional primaries spaced about two months apart:

        Region 1 at the end of January
        Region 2 at the end of March
        Region 3 at the end of May
        Region 4 at the end of July

        End of July/August - National Convention

      •  Worse than what? (0+ / 0-)

        worse than the constant one-upsmanship as each state tries to shrilly claim that they represent the will of the entire country best?

        worse than primary candidates pandering exclusively to each upcoming primary state and then the survivor(s) backpedaling/restating their positions for each successive primary?

        worse than having a handful of states having extraordinary yet totally arbitrary influence over presidential elections?

        The region-by-region concept is interesting, but I don't see that a national primary day would be worse than this mess, which only guarantees somewhat arbitrary culling of candidates before their national viability has been measured.

        Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth. -- Henrik Ibsen

        by mik on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:57:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  But we have a candidate sooner... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, nightsweat

    ...maybe we should move up the Presidential election to the 4th of July? ;)

    D.I.E.B.O.L.D.: Decisive In Elections By Ousting Liberal Democrats.

    by Archangel on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:41:43 AM PDT

  •  Nebraska (31 delegates) on Feb. 9 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Randall Sherman, evh

    Caucus on February 9 for Democrats.

  •  Spread 'em out... (10+ / 0-)

    I'm in favor of a string of primaries in smaller states.

    Large state primaries and clusters of primaries require huge TV budgets.  And they demand a mature campaign.

    I'd rather see "dress rehearsals" in smaller venues where the candidates can run largely via personal appearance.  Give candidates an opportunity to tune their messages through face to face campaigning.

    If we move all the primaries to the same date then only well established candidates will have a chance.  There will be no opportunity for a less well known (those not backed by big money) candidate to establish themselves.

    As they hammer down the straightaway and sweep into the final turn, Georgie Boy pulls ahead of the pack for the "Worst President Ever" Commemorative Cup.

    by BobTrips on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:42:26 AM PDT

    •  Disagree (0+ / 0-)

      Putting them early is going to put a huge premium on the ground game, because candidates won't be able to tap the big money until it becomes clear they are going to be winners.  This is good for netroots.

      •  They're tapping the big money NOW (3+ / 0-)

        anyone who isn't already wired into the power elite won't be able to afford the commercial expenditures necessary to win in a big state. I think people are down on Iowa and NH because Dean lost big there, and we're assuming therefore they're not "netroots friendly"...but the fact is, Dean's losses were because of weaknesses in his campaign organization, not because of the small states.

        If it goes straight to the big states, it's gonna be Hillary, period. She doesn't need to break of the pack to get money--she's already got it.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:02:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hillary has got the Big Money (0+ / 0-)

          Not only can she be bought, but she already is bought. I congratualte her on the nomination.

          "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, FORMER Chief of Staff to FORMER Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, serving FORMER President Cheney.

          by bejammin075 on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:41:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think this is naive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There always was a premium on the ground game. That doesn't change, except that you need to field a ground game in lots of states. And you need a huge media budget, because campainging in New York, Florida is wholesale, rather than the retail politicking of Iowa and New Hampshire. How will Bill Richardson bust through in time to give New Yorkers a chance to discover him? If he came in second or third in Iowa, New Hampshire, or first or second in Nevada, he'd have a chance. But not if the big primaries are a week later. Netroots won't have a chance. It's going to be the big boys and gals all the way.

        "The Lord loves a working Man; Don't trust Whitey; See a doctor, and get rid of it."

        by FischFry on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:29:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is (0+ / 0-)

      that you cannot swing a dead cat in NH during primary season without a candidate getting a mouthful of fur... and then you get states where maybe one candidate spends a half hour at the airport and calls it a campaign visit...

      While it is convenient (for me personally) that NH gets a vast amount of attention, I'm not convinced that the best national candidate has anything at all to do with the NH primary winner.

      Never wear your best trousers when you go out to fight for freedom and truth. -- Henrik Ibsen

      by mik on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:07:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If this keeps up we will need a time machine.... (7+ / 0-)

    to vote in the primaries

    Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

    by landrew on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:42:56 AM PDT

  •  What's the downside for a state (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    scheduling the primary earlier and earlier?

    Why aren't they all aiming for January 1st?

    Let there be sharks - TracieLynn

    by GussieFN on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:43:13 AM PDT

  •  Oh, look! There's Oregon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr X, Randall Sherman

    out there practically mid-summer somewhere, as usual.  It's sort of liberating not to make a damned bit of difference.  One can get fairly creative with one's vote. :)

    It's official, James Inhofe is a dumbass.

    by CJB on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:43:28 AM PDT

  •  moving on up (0+ / 0-)

    I'm all for this. Believe it or not, this empowers grassroots activists to take charge of their preferred candidates' campaign at the local level, because ***no*** offical campaign will have enough money or staff to manage it all. Necessarily, they will have to depend on grassrooters.

    Still, watch New Hampshire. The only remaining question is whether they leap to the first week in Jan '08 or to December '07. Michigan has also threatened to leap to the same date as New Hampshire if New Hampshire leapfrogs Iowa.

    Fun. Fun. Fun.

  •  We can't have a national primary? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    berith, aggressiveprogressive

    Of course not, or else the Small States won't get their say. Boo Hoo Hoo. Get a bigger state. ;P

  •  Kos, when you wrote this post... (12+ / 0-)

    Ohio just held its primary for the 2012 election.

    You gota stay alert man.

  •  You know what I hate? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thinkdouble, Yoshimi, OLinda, berith, Elise

    By the time the primary comes around in my state, everything is already decided.  I don't have a voice at all.

  •  Reminds of the Onion (6+ / 0-)

    They had a story on Gillette going to five blades as a joke -

    And then it happened -

    So don't be surprised when New Hampshire and Iowa really do move their primaries to January 2nd or December 15th or whatever is the earliest allowed by law.

    A fanatic is a man who does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case.

    by nightsweat on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:44:05 AM PDT

    •  The 5-blade razor lasts a long time (0+ / 0-)

      I've been using the free sample for about 2 months. They won't sell many of those things.

      7 blades is probably the limit.

      "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, FORMER Chief of Staff to FORMER Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, serving FORMER President Cheney.

      by bejammin075 on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:49:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome... (0+ / 0-)

    knew there was a reason to hold on to my california registration...

    "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model which makes the existing model obsolete."-Buckminster Fuller

    by georg on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:44:11 AM PDT

  •  Florida needs to start extra early (15+ / 0-)

    because it takes them forever to count the votes.

    Memo to James Carville: sit down and shut up! You too Begala!

    by Radiowalla on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:44:43 AM PDT

  •  This going to get EXPENSIVE (0+ / 0-)

    The campaigns have to be scrambling.

  •  Liveblogging House Iraq spending debate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Randall Sherman

    It's about to run off the recent diary list.

  •  This... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is going to make the fundraising numbers that come out early next month for Q1 2006 even more important.  If Edwards isn't within 10-15% of Clinton and Obama's numbers, he falls back into tier 2.  I also expect we'll see some folks (Biden? Dodd?) drop after showing no fundraising spark, and someone (Richardson?) will show unexpected fundraising vigor.

    •  But Edwards is in first place in Iowa (0+ / 0-)

      Can't he just bet the bank on Iowa and hope for momentum after that?

      •  Not really... (0+ / 0-)

        because there ain't a whole lot of time to start picking up stuff, especially where TV time in those tons of states will be seriously pricey.  Also, he's got to keep the momentum, which is difficult with Florida so close in particular.

        I stand by my prediction that Edwards is out of the race by year-end.  His "fresh face" angle has been taken away from him by Obama, and while his "sharp elbows" approach is winning him friends in the netroots, I think it's pushing away other potential voters.

        •  Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Are all within a week and a half = basically the same news cycle.  I think the person who does well in Iowa will be a contender and the fact that Hillary just picked up Vilisack support means that Iowa is critical.

          •  The proximity... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mr X

            arguably HURTS momentum.  You need time for the meme to soak into the media, and a week and a half isn't going to be that.  You need about a week and a half of downtime where "X wins/does better than expected!" is the story, rather than 2-3 days and on to the next one.

      •  Clinton lost Iowa and New Hampshire in 1992 (0+ / 0-)

        ... and still won the nomination. You've still got to have money and organization to compete in the subsequent primaries; free media isn't enough.

        "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" - J. Madison

        by berith on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:25:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          it's an expectations game.  IA was treated as a non-compete because Harkin (even now a hugely popular figure in IA) was on the ballot, and he won with ease.  While Clinton didn't "win" NH, he did better than was expected.

          To borrow an example from fiction--on "West Wing," the staff made the point that Bartlet couldn't "win" the NH primary no matter what.  Because he was the native son, anything less than complete domination (basically impossible) would turn the story into "2nd Place Does Better Than Expected."  Hence, they focused elsewhere.

          Winning (or even finishing 2nd/3rd) doesn't matter as much as if results and percentages are in line with "expectations."  For instance, right now, if Clinton got less than about 30-35% in the NH primary, the story would not be "Clinton wins!" but "Clinton's support soft."

          •  Good point. The problem with Iowa-only strategy (0+ / 0-)

            ... is that it raises expectations for the candidate in that state so high that the press discounts a win there and waits to see what the candidate can do elsewhere.

            "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" - J. Madison

            by berith on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:42:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Matt, bet ya $50 (6+ / 0-)

      that your prediction Edwards will be out by Thanksgiving is wrong?  To any charity or candidate.

      Edwards just has to be in a credible position to get his message out, not 10% within Clinton or Obama.

      But, whatever, I can do the same BS.  If Obama isn't within 10% of HRC, he falls back to a tier 2 candidate!

      •  I'm not... (0+ / 0-)

        a betting man.

        Edwards isn't interested in running for anything other than the top spot (he doesn't want VP or a cabiney position and he's not running solely for the purpose of promoting "his issues" a la Gravel, Kuicinch).  Especially with his wife's health, I just don't see him staying in the game if he's not a plausible winner.  Unless he can keep up fundraising-wise and in national polls, he's not.

        (Had you asked me in 2005 who my top choice would be in 2008, I probably would have said "Edwards."  However, his attempts to be Howard Dean have utterly alienated me.)

        •  what? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cosbo, philgoblue

          How did Edwards attempt to be Howard Dean? Explain more. Speaking of Dean, in Elizabeth's book, there is a section where Dean has a meeting with the Edwards before the Wisconsin Primary. He tells them he does not John Kerry to be the nominee and that he would prefer Edwards be the nominee since things were looking bleak for Dean. I was pleased to see Dean and Edwards had a good relationship, rapport, and mutual respect going.

          Next to the word, "Unselfish" and the word, " Courageous" in the Dictionary are two Words: Elizabeth Edwards.

          by wishingwell on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:41:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The... (0+ / 0-)

            idea of:

            1.  "I'm angry with how things are going!" (rather than "I want to fix/change how things are going," a somewhat subtle, but crucially important difference)
            1.  "I'm the truly anti-war person!"

            It's precisely the things that are making much of the netroots happy with him (just as they were with Dean), while at the same time, not helping with the broader Democratic primary electorate.

            •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Because we know

              1.  Edwards doesn't have position that want to fix change things.  Are you at all paying attention.  Universal Healthcare Plan, Energy Plan, Poverty in America Plan, Global Poverty Plan.

              Your statement makes no sense.

              1.  Who again is the pro-war person?  And what makes you think that the broader Democratic primary electorate doesn't want a gradual withdrawal from Iraq.

              Wierd thinking.  No wonder you don't want to bet.

              •  It's his... (0+ / 0-)

                rhetoric.  Not his positions.  He's moving toward "throwing sharp elbows and being angry."  That excites portions of the netroots.  It has the effect of pushing away voters who weren't already with him, generally.  (See, e.g., the Dean campaign, which failed in no small part because of the "get on board, we're the best!" rhetoric.)

                Edwards has near universal namerec already among the Democratic primary electorate and can't seem to get traction beyond his firm 10-12% in national polls.  That's a serious problem for him.  Unlike say, Richardson, it's not "people don't know who I am," which is an overcomable problem--it's "people know who I am, but like someone else better"--that's a much harder problem to overcome.

          •  If only Dean had done so (0+ / 0-)

            We could have staved off the inevitable Kerry defeat, but the polls in WI weren't accurate as to what would happen.

  •  This race is going to come down to (0+ / 0-)

    each candidate getting as many absentee voters as possible - The absentee vote trumps em all because you can vote before Iowa.

  •  One more thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi, wishingwell, Elise

    The reason Florida is moving up is because the Florida GOP establishment is backing Mitt Romney to the hilt. Not because Dems had anything to do with it.

    •  And the reason Illinois is moving its primary up (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nightsweat, berith, Elise, ReEnergizer

      to 2/5 is because of Obama.

      •  That is the "official" reason if IL moves up. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yoshimi, Elise

        Unlike most of these other states, Illinois will be holding a full primary, not just a Presidential vote.

        If you move Illinois' Presidential Primary six weeks earlier, you move everything and every office up six weeks as well.  That means petition filing for candidates running for the Illinois General Assembly (and for Democratic Ward Committeeman in Chicago) would take place from October 25 thru November 5 of this year.  

        Among other things, this would insure that legislators would know before they return to Springfield for the fall veto session whether or not they had a primary challenger in 2008.  It also means that would-be challengers would have to start circulating petitions as early as August 7, which means they have to decide on running (and being willing to give up a year and a half of their lives) by July.  I'm afraid this will allow a lot of jerks in the legislature to get a free pass to another term in 2008.

        •  the bar ain't raised (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Anybody who's rising to challenge seriously already knows they're going in. Circulating petitions in the late summer is far easier.

          You're placing a whole lot of faith in the importance of a legislator's actions in the veto session. You'd be hard-pressed, though, to cite any circumstance where that made a whit of difference in elections in the following year.

          •  It allows them to defer a tough vote. (0+ / 0-)

            Bad legislation, like a bill that would help AT & T get dominance in cable TV in Illinois while legislatively destroying public access television (HR 1500), could be adopted in the fall session, when it is too late to field a candidate against a double-crossing legislator.  It is already extremely difficult for challengers to oust incumbent legislators in Illinois.  Moving the primary to February 5 just stacks the deck even more against reform candidates.

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      I am thinking that too

      Next to the word, "Unselfish" and the word, " Courageous" in the Dictionary are two Words: Elizabeth Edwards.

      by wishingwell on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:42:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NorthEast Primary on February 5 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is going to be Clinton territory.  All she needs to do is capture the media market in NY and PA and she can pick up NJ, DE, NY (and possibly PA.) That would balance whoever picks up California.  
    I really, REALLY hope Clinton doesn't settle this thing too early.  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:47:27 AM PDT

  •  Why not have them all on the same day? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Expo, Pegasus, inertiac

    Maybe I'm being simplistic, but this jockeying for relevancy is crazy. Next thing we know we'll be seeing primaries 2 years out.

    If we want true campaign finance and election reform, all Presidential primaries/caucuses should be held on the same day - the first Tuesday in November a year before the general. Doing it this way will only make campaigns more expensive and whomever gets elected more beholden to his/her corporate contributors.

    So many impeachable offenses, so little time...

    by Cali Techie on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:48:12 AM PDT

    •  Or better yet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Have it the first Tuesday in May.. 6 months out.

      So many impeachable offenses, so little time...

      by Cali Techie on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:49:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why not just let the party leaders decide, then (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Are you saying that you support a national primary, even though it will make campaigns more expensive and the winning candidates more beholden to their corporate contributors?

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:08:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no matter what else ... (0+ / 0-)

        fact remains that the system is woeful as it has existed, with Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina having primacy for the broadcasting blatherers to shape the genpop's opinions.

        Any way those three states' collective opinion, which are hardly representative of the nation as a whole, can be devalued is a marked improvement.

        You can sit and wish for something so wildly different that the problem - too much money - might be resolved, but meanwhile, any improvement that might change in the near term (i.e., leading to the next general election) sure looks good to me.

        •  It's a step in the right direction (0+ / 0-)

          Kinda. I agree anything that decreases the stature of Iowa, New Hampsire and South Carolina is a positive thing, but upping the ante in this way only serves to lengthen the election cycle in that campaigns have to start earlier in order to raise the money they need for super duper Tuesday, which pretty much cancels out any benefit derived from this jockeying.

          It's already to the point candidates are working on their campaigns 3 years out...

          So many impeachable offenses, so little time...

          by Cali Techie on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:47:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I support a national primary (0+ / 0-)

        For the opposite reasons. It levels the playing field so nominees are not picked before the primaries are completed and it decreases the amount of money campaigns could raise and spend by shortening the election cycle. Under the current system people can start running and raising/spending money years before the election. So I don't see  your argument that it would be more expensive, although it may be that I was unclear when I said:

        Doing it this way will only make campaigns more expensive and whomever gets elected more beholden to his/her corporate contributors.

        What I meant to say was doing it the way we are now with primaries moving earlier and earlier makes campaigns more expensive because it lengthens the election cycle.

        If we were truly interested in campaign and finance reform, we'd make it so there would be a limited window for people to declare their candidacy and submit their paperwork. Say, the month of October in the year before the general. Candidates would not be allowed to raise money before they declare and file their paperwork. Six months after the close of filing, the first Tuesday in May hold the national primary and six months later on the first Tuesday in April hold the general.

        Some people will decry that scheme as a possible free speech violation, but I say not at all. The Constitution requires the content of speech not be regulated but it says nothing about giving unlimited time or even that a platform and audience must be provided for it. I think a year is plenty of time for a candidate to make his or her case for election.

        Party leaders more or less decide anyway because they control much of the money and the message. I can't recall when a non-establishment candidate for president didn't win his party's primary.

        So many impeachable offenses, so little time...

        by Cali Techie on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:43:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Watch those double negatives (0+ / 0-)

          "I can't recall when a non-establishment candidate for president didn't win his party's primary." You just said that the non-establishment candidate always wins--is that what you meant?

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 12:45:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So in 30 years, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Elise

    we'll pretty much be looking at primaries starting the month after the general, and the general starting the morning after the midterms?  Sheesh.

    If we're going to walk into walls, I want us running into them at full speed.

    by Pegasus on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:48:20 AM PDT

    •  a truly serious challenge ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... to an incumbent congresscritter really does start a couple years out. In fact, in most cases, it requires a two-cycle commitment: the first to soften the incumbent, and the second to finish the job.

      Don't let 2006 make you believe that earth-shaking changes can come about every two years.

  •  *sigh* (7+ / 0-)

    If you ask me, there should be a law that says you can't have a primary or a caucus prior to August 1.  Then the conventions occur over Labor Day weekend, and the surviving candidates have 60 days to make their case.  It'd be a lot cheaper, and a lot easier on all of our nerves.

  •  Maine Caucus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is on February 10th, Kos.

    I support John Edwards for President.
    -8.13, -4.15

    by Eddie in ME on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:52:39 AM PDT

  •  Why Don't They Just Make it Tomorrow So Hillary (5+ / 0-)

    Can be immediately coronated without any messy debates or discussion of issues?

    In fact, let's just call whoever has the most money on either side the winner.  What could be more American than that?

    "They are trying to steal our minds." - Buddhist monk upon arriving in Times Square and seeing all the billboards

    by Near Vanna on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:53:54 AM PDT

  •  This is such a HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE mistake (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, strobusguy

    The biggest mistake in recent times, was the compacting of primary schedule in 2004.  McAuliffe and the other establishment types wanted the nominee decided by late spring, so they'd have all year to campaign.  I still don't know what they were thinking.

    But that mean many states, who have late primaries were not involved in the decision.  By the time they had their primaries, someone was already the heir to the throne.  So they've responded by moving their primaries up... Now, by the end of February we'll know who is the nominee.

    Meanwhile sometime in September they have this thing called the Democratic National Convention.  The time when all your brightest stars get up there on stage and give eloquent speeches about the future of America.

    And nobody is going to watch it.  Nobody is going to care.  The Television networks likely won't cover more than an hour a day.


    Because we already know who the nominee is, so what's the point?

    THIS IS SO WRONG!  Instead of further compacting the primary calendar, we need to be going the other direction.  We need to make it longer.

    The whole process has to be such that we do not know who the nominee is until the 14th ballot at the Convention, when all the delegates for Representative Smith decide that they will throw their weight behind Governor Jones!

    Why?  Because it creates excitement!  It creates news!  And it makes all the states important!  Participative Democracy!

  •  And how does this benefit the voter? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Blue South

    lost in the discussion is how all this "rush" to be first benefits the average citizen.   it won't lead to more discussion of the issues, that's for sure ... and will just lead to a year of the government doing nothing.

    •  If you are a voter in Florida... (0+ / 0-) benefit.

      •  unless (0+ / 0-)

        you want to meet the candidates instead of just hearing about it on tv.

        •  Well ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Blue South

          I've voted in every Florida election since 1980, and I've only had the cahnce to "meet" three candidates (and only one of them for any meaningful time.)  Furthermore, I have never had the opportunity to vote in a primary where the nominee was not already a fail accompli.

          I'm as disturbed by this rush to the front as anyone, but something needs to be done to give other states a fair opportunity to participate in the primary process.

          "When watchdogs, bird dogs, and bull dogs morph into lap dogs, lazy dogs, or yellow dogs, the nation is in trouble." - Ted Stannard

          by jrooth on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:54:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ack .. preview is my friend (0+ / 0-)

            "chance" and "fait accompli"

            "When watchdogs, bird dogs, and bull dogs morph into lap dogs, lazy dogs, or yellow dogs, the nation is in trouble." - Ted Stannard

            by jrooth on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:56:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  i agree (0+ / 0-)

            with the idea that every person should have a chance to meet the president.  i also agree that iowa and nh shouldnt be the only states where retail politics goes on.

            but to put 25 states in the first 3 weeks is a gurantee that no one in any state will actually meet a candidate unless that person hands the candidate a big check.

    •  benefit the *voter*? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blue South

      I'm sorry, what makes you think this has anything to do with benefiting voters?

      "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

      by Bearpaw on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:02:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  February 5 is my birthday! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What an interesting night that's going to be.

    1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora.

    by noweasels on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:58:26 AM PDT

  •  Here's what I'd like to see... (4+ / 0-)

    1/4 of the states have their primary on each of 4 primary dates. One primary date in March, the next in April, the next in May, and the last in June. Each group would be comprised of a combination of large and small states (by population).

    Each election the order rotates, so that Group A goes first in 2008, second in 2012, third in 2016, last in 2020, then first again in 2024, etc.

    I know, it's a radical idea (because it makes too much sense).

    •  i like it lw (0+ / 0-)

      Next to the word, "Unselfish" and the word, " Courageous" in the Dictionary are two Words: Elizabeth Edwards.

      by wishingwell on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:45:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good idea. One modification: (0+ / 0-)

      The group of states that goes first should have elections within that group spread out, with the little states going first. And perhaps an overall longer amount of time to get through the first group, to spread out the voting dates.

      That way, the grass roots have more impact relative to the big money.

      A longer primary means our candidate will be more tested and prepared for the generral election.

      "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, FORMER Chief of Staff to FORMER Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, serving FORMER President Cheney.

      by bejammin075 on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:56:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It won't work (0+ / 0-)

      The early states will still determine the winner. They will ALWAYS determine the winner.

  •  Absurd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    how anyone thinks it's a good thing to compact the primary calendar 9 months out (unless you are a paid political consultant that is).

    This is going to lead to more candidates ignoring more states, because they can't possibly cover them all- except for those that have all the money to spend on ads.

    If there is anything I have learned from Scooby Doo, it is that the only thing to fear is crooked real estate developers.

    by JakeC on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 08:58:49 AM PDT

  •  I know Kos hates the NH primary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, DemocraticLuntz, Blue South

    But thinking that it's a step forward to have a state that regularly screws up ballots and vote counting, and  allows the Secretary of State to work on election campaigns, become more powerful is pretty darn foolish.

  •  Dumbest idea ever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why appeal to people when you can appeal to fundraisers.  Thanks kos, for applauding the destruction of the peoples voice in choosing the president.  glad to see all that talk about people powered politics wasnt hype.  oh wait.

    This whole thing is disgusting

  •  Indiana will still be first week of May (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    which means it will REALLY be meaningless by the time all of this happens.

    "You know, I'm sure I've taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was."-John McCain

    by TheJohnny on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:01:19 AM PDT

  •  I believe you're wrong, Kos.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PoliMorf, cosbo, leberquesgue

    This doesn't make Iowa and New Hampshire less important.  At all.

    If anything, it makes them MORE dominant -- because these early dates mean less and less reaction time for the electorate.  This cycle won't at all be dispassionate or considered, and the bandwagon will be much more powerful.  The clarion call of the frontrunner will blare loudly after Iowa and NH, and there won't be time for the echoes to subside before everyone else has a chance really to consider whether or not they want to jump on.

    The only thing that would diminish the stature of Iowa and NH would be for some state to entirely jump the gun and hold their primary/caucus before either one of them.

    •  bull (0+ / 0-)

      given the early turnaround, campaigns will actually be able to choose to ignore at least two of the first three (IA, NH & SC) ...

      •  They'll ignore them... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        at their peril.

        Wes Clark -- unfortunately -- learned that lesson the hard way.

      •  You're wrong... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PoliMorf, doinaheckuvanutjob

        check out this article from Salon. It's a little long but very interesting. Some exerpts are below, but read the entire artcle at:

        Iowa and New Hampshire (whose primary is currently scheduled for Jan. 22) are likely to be more influential than ever, though those states will share their kingmaker role with South Carolina (Jan. 29). On the Democratic side, the Jan. 19 Nevada caucuses may play a role as well, but it is still hard to decipher where that state will ultimately fit in the Big Casino of presidential politics.

        And in 2004, with the primaries more clustered together, Mellman notes that "Kerry picked up about 20 points nationally from his Iowa win, and another 13 from New Hampshire."

        A major reason why national voters passively accept the verdicts from the early states is that they find it difficult to sort out the candidates since they all hail from the same party. Winning Iowa or New Hampshire all but guarantees that a would-be president will be bathed in laudatory media coverage, so voters in the later states have more positive information to shape their choice. A losing candidate (think of Howard Dean in 2004) has to spend most of his time explaining what went wrong.

        But in 2008 -- with the drama of the caucuses and primaries probably limited to a three-week run -- not even a candidate blessed with the name Clinton would probably have enough time to recover if the news is dire from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Instead local newscasters in a place like Tampa would be saying something like this on the eve of the Feb. 5 primary:

        "With her campaign in disarray after a series of stinging defeats, Hillary Clinton arrived in the Sunshine State Monday pleading with voters to ignore the pundits and to join her in 'making history.' Bill Clinton, who waved to the crowd at the airport but didn't speak, said earlier in the day in an interview in San Antonio, 'It's a tough race, but Hillary's a great closer.' The New York senator, who is looking for her first primary victory, will have to be a great closer, since she is down by 9 percentage points in the latest statewide poll."

        •  believe it ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... at your peril

          it's really a bit soon to suggest i'm wrong, no? based on what? a pundit's opinion and fictitious predicted scenario?

          it's the lag time between contests that allow broadcast blatherers to impress upon the yet-to-vote masses how important the Iowa and NH and SC results were ... show me a candidate who made up the deficit by running strong late on the old calendar in recent years (i.e., with the current broadcast parameters being what they are)

          show me a winner who didn't win one of those three on a schedule as constituted ...

          •  ummm (0+ / 0-)

            show me a candidate who made up the deficit by running strong late on the old calendar in recent years (i.e., with the current broadcast parameters being what they are)

            show me a winner who didn't win one of those three on a schedule as constituted

            that's precisely the point

            with only days to combat the negative effect of losing the winners of the first 3 states will have the big mo. anyonewho didnt do well will be ignored.

            what's needed is MORe time between states to allow for the campaigns to combat te negative publicity , for new stories to pop up and for people to get all contrarian.

            Cicero : If you're going to back an unpopular policy do it wholeheartedly. You'll win no points for timidity.

            by PoliMorf on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 11:40:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  with only days ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... the results won't be so strongly imprinted

              with so many more delegates contested in a matter of a week, finishing on top won't matter so much

              you are welcome to assert as you choose ... i'll exercise my right to do likewise ...

              we're both doing little more than guessing at outcomes

  •  We need a constitutional amendment. (0+ / 0-)

    We need to enact a constitutional amendment that says Iowa can have their caucus the third Monday of January, then New Hampshire can have their primary the fourth Tuesday of January and set up a fixed schedule as to when specific states can hold their primaries and caucuses starting with the first Tuesday of February until the first Tuesday of June.

    In my opinion, the ten biggest states in the country should be the last states to hold primaries on the first Tuesday of June.

    Putting Nevada between Iowa and New Hampshire was a stupid idea.

  •  As of now, (0+ / 0-)

    there seems to be a sunbelt tilt to the early votes--not necessarily a bad thing, but it does show that the South did rise again.

  •  Last time I checked... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    there were 50 states, all with voters who deserve a chance to determine who their party's candidate for national election will be. Having IA and NH be so more significant to the delegates than any other state is an affront to the democratic process.

    While I don't think that states should keep moving up their primaries (it DOES benefit those with more money and influence), forcing candidates to campaign in more states and come in contact with more people will serve to make the people's voices better heard.

    "Make no small plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood." - Daniel Burnham

    by runningag on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:06:54 AM PDT

  •  States shouldn't be allowed to pick dates. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I say we take away the states' rights to decide when they can hold their presidential primaries and caucuses and enact a federal constitutional amendment that will decide for them when to hold such contests.

    With Iowa and New Hampshire first during the last two weeks of January, then the rest of the states stretching from the first Tuesday of February to the first Tuesday of June with the ten biggest states holding theirs last on the first Tuesday of June.

  •  Amazing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geotpf, wishingwell

    When John F. Kennedy decided to run for President, he didn't even announce until after the start of 1960.

    I can't imagine where this process is going to be in another generation.

    Both parties will essentially have a nominee on February 5. That leaves a very long time until November.

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:09:13 AM PDT

  •  Just how early can a primary BE??? (0+ / 0-) what I asked in response to the Florida news in my diary last night:

    The response so far has been that, basically, there is nothing legally preventing a state from moving their primary back as early as they want, into the preceding year if they wanted to.

    Theoretically, a state could hold their 2008 primary NEXT WEEK.

    Good grief.

  •  Making Nevada second a stupid idea. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't like the idea of Nevada holding a caucus after Iowa and before New Hampshire.  I support keeping the tradition of allowing Iowa and New Hampshire first dibs at choosing presidential candidates.

    •  and i find ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... your support more than mildly confusing

      neither state is representative of the nation as a whole

    •  Screw tradition (0+ / 0-)

      I think California so go first...and you can just ignore the fact that I live in California.

      Let's just call Iowa and New Hampshire a Wambulance, they got no right to insist on a disproportionate share in picking candidates.  Small states already have far too much power in this country.

      Either some sort of random selection or rotation for early polling dates needs to be set at the federal level.  Or we should just have a national primary day - like in May, which is what I'd opt for.  The damn campaign season was already too long and it has now become ridiculous.  

      •  California isn't representative of the country. (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think California should be the first state to hold a primary, for the same reason that none of the ten biggest states in the country should be allowed to hold a primary first.

        I support making the ten biggest states the last to hold a primary on the first Tuesday of June.

  •  Vilsack to Endorse Clinton (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    From AP, reproduced on Yahoo:

    DLC sticks together! Big effing shocker!

  •  I think this will actually SLOW DOWN the process (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wystler, Randall Sherman

    None of these states are "winner-take-all" as far as delegates go, right?  I think finding a clear mathematical winner is going to take longer than any of us project.  

    It's time for a president to to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war -- John Edwards

    by ThirstyGator on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:12:41 AM PDT

    •  Hopefully, you will be proven correct. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ThirstyGator, wishingwell

      Short of borrowing the Bush Administration's waterboarding gear, the only way this trend gets reversed is to have the votes (and delegates) from those big states split among multiple candidates.  If florida, California, New York and Texas produce split outcomes, the candidates may not be able to produce a knockout blow before the conventon.

      •  you think ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... that a brokered convention is a GOOD idea?

        i want some o'whatever it is you've been smokin' ...

        •  at least it would be interesting (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think it'll go that far.  But I don think the mathematical inevitability of the final nominee will take longer to develop than it has in the past.  Hell, last time it was over in a couple of weeks.

          It's time for a president to to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war -- John Edwards

          by ThirstyGator on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:59:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  given the pace (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            i'd suspect it might be a bit MORE interesting ...

            i suspect that the mass of voters are susceptible to the bandwagon effect that was created from the Iowa caucus and NH and SC primaries over the course of several weeks ... add the polling, and the broadcast blathering that seems far more like the announcer's call at Churchill Downs than it should, and ...

            well, let's just say that I think the model as it existed really led to a result that sucked

            •  Brokered convention gauranteed to please no one (0+ / 0-)

              One faction will feel screwed and angry, another unsatisfied with the final pick, and the final pick can be a weakened 'compromise candidate'. Imagine the pummelling a brokered candidate would get from the MSM-- Dems can't decide, pick weakling, etc.

              Not good.

              "Children in the U.S. are not only detained, but often... in facilities that routinely fail ... international and domestic standards." --Amnesty International

              by doinaheckuvanutjob on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 11:05:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  This is almost enough to make one long (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Expo, wishingwell, Randall Sherman

    for the good ol' days of smoke-filled rooms and party bosses making the pick...after all, Franklin Roosevelt got the nomination under that system...(of course, we'd have to do it without the smoke.)

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:13:37 AM PDT

  •  when will December not be taboo? (0+ / 0-)

    will that be the straw that breaks the camels back and push the states to adopt regional primaries? or will December push into November then October

    shit, pretty soon we'll have the primary a few months after the mid-terms

    and at what point will more and more states opt out of Feb5th because it'll become so diluted that "their" state isn't getting the decisive participation that they thought they'd get?

  •  Michigan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Michigan's Democratic caucuses are currently scheduled for Saturday February 9th, 2008.

    The "open" primary (which Republicans have used to choose delegates, but the Democrats don't) is scheduled for February 26th.

    Posted on their website:

    "Date of Michigan Democratic Caucus
    Saturday, February 9, 2008 unless another state violates DNC scheduling rules in which case Michigan will hold its Caucus earlier, possibly on or before the date of the offending state."

    Frankly, I wouldn't agree with any step to move the date here, I like the spot: just after the first big block of primaries, but ALONE on its date.  For a few days, we'll get more attention from the candidates than any of those Feb. 5th states.

    These states all rushing to Feb. 5 or other dates with other states are engaged in a fool's errand: joining a pack of other states gives their own state LESS influence, and less news coverage, not more (except for perhaps California, which dwarfs all the others).

    The national party needs to set rules to spread out this mess.  The American Plan is looking better and better to me all the time.

  •  Texas (4+ / 0-)

    Any chance we can get them to vote to secede?  

  •  Looks like they want to get those campaign $$ (0+ / 0-)

    more than California does...doesn't matter, it all goes to the networks and ClearChannel anyway, regardless of what states the candidates spend their money in during the race.

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

    by darthstar on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:17:06 AM PDT

  •  Great, this way Hillary can buy the nomination (3+ / 0-)

    The thing that really concerns me about all these states, and big states, moving up the primary dates is that the Annointed Frontrunner (Hillary) will get to buy her nomination before the others get a chance to make their case to the public.

    Hillary's incredible fund raising (without grassroots support) tells me that not only can she be bought by the Big Money People, but she already is bought.

    "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, FORMER Chief of Staff to FORMER Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, serving FORMER President Cheney.

    by bejammin075 on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:17:21 AM PDT

    •  I'm sure the Hillary camp has been working this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for months, if not years.  I'm beyond tired of Clintons at this point.

      •  amen trinite (0+ / 0-)

        I am suffering from CFS ( Clinton Fatigue Syndrome) to go along with my actual diagnosis of CFS ( chronic fatigue syndrome) I have Double the Fatigue

        Next to the word, "Unselfish" and the word, " Courageous" in the Dictionary are two Words: Elizabeth Edwards.

        by wishingwell on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:50:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  $ advantage vs. earning the votes. (0+ / 0-)

      Hillary (and the others) still have to earn their votes. Sure, she can buy endless TV time, and that's huge.

      But she has to sell her (cough cough) position on Iraq (squeak), her 2nd term (!?!) health care proposal (barf), and all the rest...

      I don't think Iowa & Florida is going to buy it.

      "Children in the U.S. are not only detained, but often... in facilities that routinely fail ... international and domestic standards." --Amnesty International

      by doinaheckuvanutjob on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 11:08:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maneuvering destroys the concept of equality. (0+ / 0-)

    I guess equality is only an illusion, and maybe there is no such thing as democracy. I don't have the answer, I just know that it's not democracy when some people have a bigger voice than others in selecting who runs for President.  Aren't we all equal parts of this great nation?

  •  I did a diary on this Oct. 2005... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Democrats were considering ideas.  No one did much then, and now it's just worse.

    Take a peek if you like.  It's a topic that's important if we want an open process.

  •  Just ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

    I agree with the comments above about the escalating madness of this.  The whole process is in the hands of party regulars and insider consultants and competing state-level officials, none of whom seems to be even remotely interested in what is good for the whole of our democracy:  a sane, healthy, vigorous campaign that promotes fairness, balanced representation, open debate, and participation.

    At this point we'd have nothing at all to lose by shifting all of the dates, en masse, four months ahead.  At minimum that would keep us all from going nuts with all the empty campaign propaganda.

    I'd like to see the Kos community come up with a unified, consensus reform position.

    My own two-cents-worth plan would entail:

    1. Push the entire schedule back.  No primaries before April 15 (appropriately enough!).
    1. Have a few smaller state caucuses/primaries first, to take advantage of the retail, local-scale politics that we do like about IA and NH.  But include a couple others early on to allow for better, broader representation.  (Rhode Island?  New Mexico?  West Virginia?).  Weeds out the weaker vanity candidates, but allows them still to soldier on if they think they can still make a stand.  Because the money demands are still not so great, it also allows fresh underdog faces a chance to break through.
    1. Go on to a next phase that would include a more diverse, national coverage of many states.  Do away with the regional "Super Tuesdays."  Over two months, say, have a series of primary days that mxi up several smaller and middle-size states, and one big state.  Imagine, say, a sequence of six dates, a regional and size mix of seven states each time.  (Example:  New York (big state); Georgia, Wisconsin, Missouri, Oregon, Alabama, Montana).  This would allow suviving candidates to play to their strengths while forcing them to reach out.  It would balance one big state against several sizable states.  It would diversify the slate of convention delegates, and allow for -- gosh! -- unpredictable conventions to return.
    1.  Finish the primaries by the end of June.  Gives a month before the conventions for debate, discussion, vying for undecided delegates, etc.  Wow -- imagine real live thinking in the process!

    Ah well.  Just thinking aloud here.  What's your proposal?

  •  This silliness needs to stop - Fanciful reasons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The logic seems to be that Iowa gets too much attention -- the only noticeable evidence of that has been the endless subisidies for corn-based ethanol, through years in which there was hardly any market for it. If that's the evidence that Iowa and New Hampshire benefit inordinately from the scheme, then I'm not too concerned. Otherwise, there's just resentment that the primary campaign is already decided by the time some states get to vote. I grew up in New York, and understand that feeling all too well.

    This current madness, hoewever, is doing no one any good. New York and California complain that they are used as ATMs for primaries elsewhere. The current frontloading means that money will be even more important -- and more will be needed. The states wil not gain any additional influence, but their richest residents will be called upon to give ever more money to the campaigns. Any change that makes campaigning more expensive is, by definition, a bad thing. Moreover, the result may be a lengthy general election campaign -- one that will start long before the conventions -- which means even more money.

    There is a logic in having smaller states be the early focus. The candidates can reach out to the voters on a personal basis, without having to spend vast sums on hugely expensive advertising blitzes for big city media. I don't believe that Iowa represents me, but I don't believe that this newly compressed schedule is a beneficial change.

    "The Lord loves a working Man; Don't trust Whitey; See a doctor, and get rid of it."

    by FischFry on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:22:50 AM PDT

  •  There's talk of Illinois moving up to 2/5 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as well...Madigan wants to help Obama.

  •  You can add Michigan to Feb. 5th (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that's almost official as far as word within the Party goes.

    But considering Florida's move, the word is that Michigan could move up if any of the other states try to jump ahead.

  •  Washington & Michigan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't see Washington and Michigan on the list which holds their caucuses on February 7th.

  •  THIS IS JUST STUPID (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Congress needs to set a schedule.  There's no reason for this, and a rational schedule would space them out over  afew months - like it used to be, so that a campaign has time to develop.

    Now, we might have a nominee in February, then a ridiculously long general election in which our candidate has time to self-destruct, but without the ability to fix the problem.

    Think about it.  This would have nominated Paul Tsongas.  This would have nominated Senator Hart, before the Donna Rice scandal had a chance to break.

    This is idiotic, race to the bottom behavior that is typical of state government.  Just like business incentives.  Could someone please look out for the good of the country when they vote on these things?  Do the legislators of Florida think this would actually be good for the people of Florida?  Or are they just hoping to become really important for three days next February?

    JRE 2008
    "We should ask the American people to be patriotic about something other than war."
    -John Edwards

    by DrFrankLives on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:27:29 AM PDT

  •  And now that we have replace one silliness (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrooth, Elise

    with another will someone please start talking about a sensible alternative?  How about the following:

    1. Regional primaries with perhaps 5 defined regions of 8-12 states with related regional interests.  
    1. The sequence of the Regional primaries would rotate in an orderly manner with each region going first every 5th election season.  (IA and NH get to go first just as often as NY and CA.)
    1. Each regional primary would be seperated by about two weeks, maybe a little less.  Make the whole process fit into about 25 weeks.  
    1. Within regions the states would hold their primaries in groups of about three geographically contiguous blocks with the sequence to be determined by drawing lots. So each regional primary is not one big bang, but a quick sequence of elections allowing enough time for campaign adjustments, endorsements, and alliances.

    The system I described allows for each region of the country to play an equal role.  By having an orderly rotation there might occassionally be a special advantage at any sequence position.  By having the within-region primaries run in quick succession, costs and travel time would be contained while allowing voters lots of time to learn about the candidates.  The system would encourage public financing (or quasi-public financing) within each region for purely self-serving reasons.  

    What are the chances of adopting a sensible system of primaries?

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:28:15 AM PDT

    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

      Something like this would be far superior to the mess we have.

      I sure would like to have the chance to vote in a meaningful primary some time in my life.

      "When watchdogs, bird dogs, and bull dogs morph into lap dogs, lazy dogs, or yellow dogs, the nation is in trouble." - Ted Stannard

      by jrooth on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:04:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Hillary doesn't get her way. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Can you imagine the fit?  This crowd is entitled and don't you forget it and get in their way.

  •  what a shock hillary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Elise, trinite

    is trying to steamroll the nomination, her goal is to win the states she should do better in while having Obama and Edwards split the ant-war vote. she thinks if she wins 35-40% of the vote she wins while Edwards is still in this race. Edwards while I like him, has no way of winning this thing, even talking Iowa won't do it, HRC or Obama is going to win and I sure hope anyone that doesn't want Hillary being the face of the dems in 08 realizes that. Hillary for a 9 month general election won't
    wear well and we know it.

    this is your mission: TERMINATE the Bush presidency

    by nevadadem on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:30:48 AM PDT

  •  do it alphabetically (0+ / 0-)

    then move that first three states to the back of the line for the next vote.

    Everyone will get a chance to be first in the nation by 2208.

    A fanatic is a man who does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case.

    by nightsweat on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:39:15 AM PDT

  •  I hope PA changes to... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...Feb 5th too.

    I don't know where I'll be living by 2008.  However, if I'm still in PA, having my vote count in a presidential primary would be much appreciated.

  •  Time for a single country wide (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    primary day.

    Too damn bad about "travelling the country"

    -6.5, -7.59. All good that a person does to another returns three fold in this life; harm is also returned three fold.

    by DrWolfy on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:41:28 AM PDT

  •  This could lead to a brokered convention (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as Democratic rules mandate apportioned allocation of delegates.

    You folks are talking here like the delegates from each primary goes to the winner.  Well they don't!  Each gets delegates according to an allocation.  If you make 10% of the total vote, you get a share!

    Those 20% of the vote victories claimed by the Iowa and NH campaigns will be less than victories, as we see the less than 50% allocation of hugh blocks of Jan & Feb delegates spreading out amongst multiple candidates.

    Brings into play the other quirky Democratic party rule about "Super" delegates.  Party elected officials and state party leaders that get an automatic seat at the convention.

    Popcorn anyone?  You may win in the field and lose in the smoke filled rooms of Denver or Not-Denver, where ever the convention is held.

    I kinda like Howard Dean, it's those wild eye crazies that came with him I wonder about!

    by redlief on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 09:42:20 AM PDT

  •  maryland (0+ / 0-)

    is looking at Feb 5 I believe.

  •  Baby Charlie for President! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I went to the future yesterday in my time machine. It was Tuesday, December 2, 2014 in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire primary had begun. Excitement was in the air as a replacement for Barack Obama was about to begin.

    Then I noticed a couple of mothers holding their babies in the air. One of them shouted "vote for Charlie!"

    I replied, "Wait a minute, whose Charlie?"

    "Where have you've been!" snapped the mother. "Haven't you read the papers? My baby Charlie is running for president!"

    "For heavens sake," I replied, "Babies can't become president."

    "You idiot," replied the mother. "Have you been sleeping over the last decade? Today, we are voting for the Presidential candidates in 2062. VOTE FOR BABY CHARLIE!"

  •  218-212 it's a start n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Screw the primaries (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lets just see who gets the most money by April 2007, and give them the nomination.  That should yield the same results of this national primary, and we can avoid all this stupid campaigning.  Maybe the VP bid can go to whoever can contribute most to the nominee between April'07 and the convention.

  •  CORRECTION: NEW HAMPSHIRE 1/28? (0+ / 0-)

    Can't possibly have two seperate primary dates. I'm sure the GOP is also on 1/22, not 1/28 as indicated by Kos. Can anybody confirm?

    11/07/06 11/04/08 Go Blue

    by Jesse Laymon on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:00:33 AM PDT

  •  Why are states in this business, anyway? (0+ / 0-)

    What business is it of the states to dictate to the political parties how those parties choose their delegates to nominating conventions? Do all parties participate in this? Doesn't the Green Party pick its candidates the old-fashioned way, in a non-smoke-filled room?

    What would happen if a party set a rule that it would not recognize any delegates to its national convention who were picked via caucus or primary before a specific date?

    Part of the problem here is that we have fixed election days. Other countries don't know when their next election is coming, and they have a short election season to pick slates, run campaigns, and decide. Combine our early primaries (= long general election season) with the speed of modern communications, and you have the worst possible system.

    But, then, I strongly advocate other statewide electoral mischief that once had a reason but now only causes trouble: recall and referendum.

  •  you wrote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Anything that diminishes the importance of New Hampshire and Iowa is good in my book."

    Good thing this doesn't do that, then!

    By the time this fully shakes out, the winner of Iowa will be guaranteed the winner of the whole shebang.  The only way to diminish IA and NH's importance is by having them not go first.  Anything else just strengthens them as they can ride the momentum and nobody can catch up because the next primary is too close.

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 10:09:02 AM PDT

  •  Anything? I think not. (0+ / 0-)

    Anything that diminishes the importance of New Hampshire and Iowa is good in my book.

    In your book, perhaps.  In my book, having Florida become disproportionately important in the primary races is even worse than having New Hampshire disproportionately important.

    Even though in this race, I think there's a good chance that a candidate I like (Edwards) would do well in Florida, I fear that increasing the importance of Florida might just bring back the Yellow Dog Democrats that we've worked so hard to get rid of.

    Ideally, we'd all compromise on a single primary day and be done with it.  However, if some states insist on arguing "Me First! Me First!", I don't want the state to win to be a southern state until the Zell Millers no longer have power in their state conventions.

    I mean, until very recently, the State Chair of the Florida DNC was Scott Maddox (former mayor of Tallahassee, a very conservative city), who I hear was a corrupt, incompetent fiasco of a leader.

    The new Chair, Karen Thurman, strikes me as a sign that saner Florida Democrats are taking the reigns, but it will take more than two years for me to be comfortable that the state party has gotten better in a deep and meaningful way.

  •  Is Florida ready for an early primary? They can't (0+ / 0-)

    seem to get the whole general election process down

  •  Georgia is eyeing Feb. 5 as well (0+ / 0-)

    I believe the state house already passed the bill...

    "Even a little dog can piss on a big building" ---Jim Hightower

    by peaceandprogress on Fri Mar 23, 2007 at 11:00:57 AM PDT

  •  My home state of Iowa will launch Edwards.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elizabeth and John Edwards as a team will sweep the Iowa caucuses and do very well in the following contests for the Dem nomination for president. You heard it here!!
  •  North Carolina (0+ / 0-)
    North Carolina is still in May, both parties. Legislation has been introduced to move it to February, but no action yet

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