A Fix to the Primary System

With the current structure of the primary process, so many states attempting to move, and the “unfair” influence of Iowa and New Hampshire on the process, many have called for a new primary system. One of these is the Delaware Plan.

The Delaware Plan calls for 4 rounds of primary elections divided up according to state population. The 12 smallest states in March, 13 next smallest in April, the next 13 in May, and the largest 12 in June. The theory is that more states would have an influence and there is a decent chance that no one candidate will have the nomination locked up until June. This is how it would break out:

March: Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska , North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Idaho

April: Nebraska, West Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Iowa, Connecticut, Oregon, Oklahoma, South Carolina

May: Kentucky, Colorado, Alabama, Louisiana, Minnesota, Arizona, Maryland, Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, Washington, Indiana, Massachusetts

June: Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, New York, Texas, California

I really like this plan, I think it is generally fair and equitable and everyone knows where they stand. That is, I really liked it until I mapped it, now I only like it:

Delaware Plan

Orange: March Yellow: April Blue: May Red: June

The problem with this plan is that the first round of primaries, which is the most influential, does not have any representation from the South and most of the mid-West. The bulk of influence is concentrated in the Northeast and in the unpopulated northern states.

To fix this problem I came up with a fair and equitable plan for the primary system. It involves both geography and population. First, divide the country up into 5 regions of 10 states each: Pacific, West, Midwest, South, Northeast

Regional Map

Now divide up each region by population to determine when they will hold their primary. The two smallest from each will be in February, the next two smallest in March, and so on until the two largest of each hold their primaries in June.

New Plan

What this plan does is allow all regions of people to be represented equitably throughout the primary system, keeps the smaller states relevant, and, hopefully, keeps the nominee from being determined until all of the states have held their primaries. It is a win-win for all involved, except for the candidates who would have to spend more money to campaign longer and in more states; but that is their problem, not ours!

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