The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Dems To Add More Early Primaries

Anywhere from two to four additional primaries will be added alongside the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. With there being, minimum, one in the southwest and one in the west:

Democrats trying to change their presidential primaries for 2008 agreed Saturday to recommend that at least two other states join Iowa and New Hampshire in voting during the opening days of the nominating campaign.


The additional states, expected to be named later, were likely to include a smaller state from the South and a smaller state from the Southwest or West.

"We have decided to add at least two and perhaps as many as four contests in addition to Iowa and New Hampshire," said Rep. David Price (news, bio, voting record) of North Carolina, a co-chair of the commission. The exact order of the early contests was not specified "but there's a lot of sentiment on the commission to honor the role that Iowa and New Hampshire have played," Price said.

Democrats agreed that it is critical that the early part of the voting be dominated by the personal, door-to-door politics that allows candidates to compete without a huge amount of money.

If we're talking small(ish), southwest states, we're probably then talking about Arizona or New Mexico. Small southern states would have to include Lousiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama or South Carolina. It'll be interesting to see if potential '08 candidates also influence the commission's selection of these states. If so, then New Mexico and Arkansas would be hard pressed to justify themselves as early primary states.

I agree that these states have to be small. The amount of money it would take to run an early presidential primary in one of the ten largest states would be prohibitive. The emphasis would also move away
from shoe soles meeting road to media consultants making ad buys.

Of course, the problem with this commission is that state legislatures set presidential primary dates, no one else. There's nothing to say that a rogue state moves up their their date to screw with all this planning. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.