An Ideal Primary Electoral 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.

(((Note:  This is a re-post of an article I wrote in the first week of the blog.  As I am on vacation for the week, I will be re-posting some of the early columns that were not seen by many people.)))

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3 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Congress, Conservative, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, Liberal, Liberalism, Mitt Romney, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback, Senate

3 responses to “An Ideal Primary Electoral System

  1. Shawn

    I have allways thought the primary system was out of wack and that it should be the smallest states to largest populated states last. Also get rid of caucasus’s.

    The bigest objection will be from New Hampshire. Since they have allways had the braging rights to be the first state primary.

    The way I think I would have it revamped is as follows. Let NH have the first primary in Janurary , followed every two weeks by the five least populated states, ending up with the four largest states last. You might try that on the map and see how it looks. I also like your idea.

    Now how does one bring these types of idea to the forfront so that come the next primarys if not possible for this coming primary season?

  2. Shawn

    Just another comment on primaries, I would also say that hey should do away with the winner take all with regards to the electorial votes (specially the states with ten or more.). These should be distributed as close as posible to the percentage of votes they recieved in the primary.

  3. Matt

    I don’t know if anyone has ever looked at doing this but wouldn’t it make sense to base the timing of when states have their caucus and primaries on the previous general election years voter turnout percentage? ties can be held like super tuesday. wouldn’t this motivate the parties to increase voter turnout?

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