Is There A Better Way To Pick The Nominee? Consider The Rotating Regional Primary System
Many individuals across the country are already exhausted with this year’s presidential primary process. And we’re only two states into the whole thing!
Several problems abound with the present way the political parties pick their nominees. For starters, it’s a long, drawn-out process. While a number of states WILL vote on Super Tuesday, that won’t come until the slow, arduous votes in four other states happen first, and even then there will be other states that have to vote afterward.
What’s more, there’s no rhyme or reason for why certain states vote first — and it comes at the detriment of other voters. Iowa going first means that state has a high amount of influence, even though voters there do not represent the same demographics of the rest of the country.
So what’s a party to do? Both Democrats and Republicans ought to consider the Rotating Regional Primary — a bipartisan proposal suggested by the National Association of Secretaries of State.
Under this plan, the country would be separated into four separate regions: the West, the Midwest, the South, and the Northeast. Each region would rotate to become first (or last) for different presidential election years, allowing different areas of the country to vote first instead of having the same places go first all of the time.
Scheller BP RD5: This house supports the Rotating Regional Primary System for the U.S. presidential election.
— NorthwestU Debate (@NU_Debate) January 26, 2020
The model put forward by NASS still proposes putting Iowa and New Hampshire first, but there’s no reason to stick with this idea. Another option, for instance, could allow the four states that go first — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada — to hold their elections the weekend prior to the main regional date.
Elections could be spread out, allowing candidates to try and make their cases for several weeks at a time, in a single region of the country, rather than travel to the far reaches of the country every week or so, as they do under the current system. A candidate could, for instance, put focus in Nevada, but also travel to Washington State to do a campaign rally or visit California to speak at a town hall meeting, all within the same weekend.
And elections could be spaced out, once per month, between the months of March, April, May, and June.
There are, of course, pros and cons for going to any new system. But this idea has merits, and should be considered by the two major political parties going forward, on how they can select their nominees.
It certainly would be less dramatic than a calendar of confusing dates — but perhaps that’s one of the biggest draws toward it, too.