Home General Democratic Commission on Presidential Selection Process Recommends No Primaries Before March
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Democratic Commission on Presidential Selection Process Recommends No Primaries Before March

Published on December 31, 2009, by in General.

On December 30, the Democratic Party’s Change Commission finished its report on suggestions for improving the party’s presidential selection process. See this description from the party’s blog. The Commission’s ideas now go before the party’s national bylaws committee for approval.

The Commission recommends (1) no presidential primaries before the 2nd Tuesday in March; (2) no presidential caucuses until February 1; (3) no more super delegates with voting discretion. There would still be super delegates, but they would be required to vote for the presidential candidate that the super delegate’s state was supporting.

In 2008, the New Hampshire primary was on January 8.

10 Responses

  1. Phil Sawyer

    Those seem like logical positions to me. If the first primary election was not held until the 2nd Tuesday in March, it would give the various campaign organizations more time to organize (and recover from any party caucus losses in January and February). Furthermore, the idea of binding the super delegates (until released by the candidate, I am guessing) to the will of the voters is a very good one.

  2. Michael

    Two good steps, however let’s get rid of the superdels. It’s just to reward the party bosses. Also, lower the number needed to get delegates in a caucus or primary down to 5 or 10 percent instead of 15 percent.

  3. Jim Riley

    A large State should simply hold a direct primary for choosing which presidential candidates appear on the November ballot.

  4. Demo Rep

    Which gang of party hacks will again try to subvert the Electoral College gerrymander system ??? — as rotten EVIL as it is.

    See the super-stupid EVIL Michigan Donkey MORONS in 2007-2008, for example — subverting the rule of LAW — even within the party hack Donkey primary / convention system.

    P.R. and A.V. — NO extremist party hack caucuses, primaries and conventions are needed.

  5. Juan Jose Nolla

    The calendar for primaries and caucuses in 2008 was just crazy. Iowa was caucasing on January 3rd; NH on the 8th of January. The Republican presidential nomination was effectively decided on Super Tuesday (early February) and that party’s convention was in September. The Democratic party’s primary was a more interesting and it was decided on the last day of balloting, but with the threat hanging over their heads that the superdelegates could have chosen someone who was not favored by the voters.
    I have always (since I heard of them) supported the various plans for regional primaries, in one form or another. Actually, the “Delaware plan” that was approved initially by a GOP commission (or something like that) in 2000 made perfect sense, joining groups of states according to their electoral size, with the mega states voting last (that way everyone would have a chance to vote at least in theory — because a candidate could — also in theory — gain enough momentum to win the nomination before every state had voted).
    About the Electoral College, I think that it would be a good idea to have 435 electors chosen by Congressional District and the other 100 by state. Of course, I would increase that number by giving the territories and DC electors (1 for each congressional district each would have if it were a state and 2 for the two senators each would have, just like with the 50 states). If candidates could win electoral votes by CD, they would be encouraged to campaign in every state. Every party could have a chance of winning electoral votes in states where it usually loses by large margins.

  6. Demo Rep

    # 5 One more EVIL minority rule gerrymander scheme — even a bit worse than the current E.C. gerrymander scheme.

    Uniform definition of Elector-Voter in ALL of the U.S.A.

    P.R. and nonpartisan A.V.

    The Sun will continue to rise if ALL of the People of the U.S.A. elect a NONPARTISAN U.S.A. President — to have NONPARTISAN enforcement of the U.S.A. Constitution, laws and treaties — likewise for ALL elected executive officers and ALL judges.

    What exactly is the FIXATION with the Electoral College AREA stuff ???

    The E.C. was one more EVIL scheme by the EVIL small State party hacks and even more EVIL slave State party hacks in the 1787 top secret elitist Federal Convention.

  7. Rob Richie

    Richard — It’s not clear to me that the superdelegates would be required to vote for a state’s popular vote winner on a winner-take-all basis — rather, it could seemingly be based on proportional representation, as all other Democratic Party convention delegates are elected.

  8. mvymvy

    Juan – Dividing a state’s electoral votes by congressional district would magnify the worst features of our antiquated Electoral College system of electing the President. What the country needs is a national popular vote to make every person’s vote equally important to presidential campaigns.

    If the district approach were used nationally, it would less be less fair and accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country’s congressional districts.

    The district approach would not cause presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates’ attention to issues of concern to the state. Under the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all laws (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In North Carolina, for example, there are only 2 districts the 13th with a 5% spread and the 2nd with an 8% spread) where the presidential race is competitive. In California, the presidential race is competitive in only 3 of the state’s 53 districts. Nationwide, there are only 55 “battleground” districts that are competitive in presidential elections. Under the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, two-thirds of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, seven-eighths of the nation’s congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

    A national popular vote is the way to make every person’s vote equal and guarantee that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states becomes President. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The National Popular Vote bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill is enacted in a group of states possessing 270 or more electoral votes, all of the electoral votes from those states would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). This would guarantee the White House to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 29 state legislative chambers in 19 states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes — 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  9. Demo Rep

    Sorry – NPV is a super blatant violation of the EQUAL PROTECTION clause in the 14th Amdt, Sec. 1.

    i.e. having election results IN A State being determined by election results OUTSIDE of the State.

    I.E. NPV is yet again one more MORON statutory type *fix*.

    See # 6 for the constitutional amendment remedy.

    See the 1787-1788 stuff — the 1777 Articles of Confederation were blown away by events.

    I.E. the small State stuff in the Constitution has been INTOLERABLE since day 1 — akin to the old slavery stuff — wiped out by the Civil War and the 13th Amdt.

    P.R. and A.V. — NO above average voting power for ANY body.

  10. mvymvy

    The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment says:
    “no state [shall] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”

    It has been argued by some that it is not permissible, under the Equal Protection clause, for some states to close their polls at 6 PM while others close at 9 PM ; for some states to conduct their election entirely by mail while other states conduct their (non-absentee) voting at the polls; and for some states to permit violent felons to vote while others prohibit it (absent a pardon). However, the U.S. Constitution does not require that the election laws of all 50 states are identical in virtually every respect. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment only restricts a given state in the manner it treats persons “within its jurisdiction.” The Equal Protection Clause imposes no obligation on a given state concerning a “person” in another state who is not “within its [the first state’s] jurisdiction.” State election laws are not identical now nor is there anything in the National Popular Vote compact that would force them to become identical. Indeed, the U.S. Constitution specifically permits diversity of election laws among the states because it explicitly gives the states control over the conduct of presidential elections (article II) as well as congressional elections (article I). The fact is that the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution permits states to conduct elections in varied ways.

    The National Popular Vote bill does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

    It is important to note that neither the current system nor the National Popular Vote compact permits any state to get involved in judging the election returns of other states. Existing federal law (the “safe harbor” provision in section 5 of title 3 of the United States Code) specifies that a state’s “final determination” of its presidential election returns is “conclusive”(if done in a timely manner and in accordance with laws that existed prior to Election Day).

    The National Popular Vote compact is patterned directly after existing federal law and requires each state to treat as “conclusive” each other state’s “final determination” of its vote for President. No state has any power to examine or judge the presidential election returns of any other state under the National Popular Vote compact.

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