Q&A of the Day –Should we go to a national primary?

Q&A of the Day –Should we go to a national primary?

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s entry: Your story about people asking for new ballots because they voted for candidates that aren’t even still in the race got me to thinking about a national primary.Democrats are already talking about ending caucuses after the mess in Iowa this year. Why not just go to a national primary that’s held like the presidential election? 

Bottom Line: In case you missed the story referenced in today’s note...after Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race numerous election’s supervisor’s across Florida reported increased demand for reissued ballots. The demand was highest in Orange county- which has a large homosexual population and many would-have-been Buttigieg voters who want to make sure their vote counts in our primary March 17th. On that note, there are sixteen Democrats who qualified for Florida’s ballot, yet two weeks out from our primary only four viable candidates remain. Will even four viable candidates remain by the time Florida votes? 

People have been voting absentee for weeks already and with early voting underway across the state – its likely many votes have gone and will go to candidates that won’t be in the race on March 17th. The reissuing of ballots is a pain, inefficient and costs additional money.In other words, there are many inefficiencies in our existing process in Florida and across the country. Your question about a national primary is one that’s been floated for a long time. It was first proposed in 1911 in Congress and has been introduced a total of 125 times. Clearly failing each time. One of the issues against this are legal questions about whether passing a law would do the trick or if there would need to be a Constitutional amendment required (taking this out of purview of the states and political parties in lieu of a national primary). 

The pros for a national primary: 

  • Continuity between elections – elimination of caucuses
  • Efficiency of the process
  • Assurance that candidates on ballot will still be active presidential candidates
  • Every state relevant (often party nominees wrap up the delegates needed before several states have voted)

The cons for a national primary:

  • Tradition – states like Iowa and New Hampshire reveal in their opportunity to be so relevant every four years. There’s also a refreshing component in candidates having to make their case in two states that are lightly populated and geographically different than the country’s most populous states and cities. 
  • Legal issues? If the change were made there would likely be legal challenges and the courts would have to decide. That’s perhaps not the best way to reform our presidential voting process. 

If it were up to me. I’d be all about a national primary. At a minimum, it looks like 2020 marked the end of caucuses. If that proves to be the case, that’s progress.Incremental steps...

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