Re: question about hand-heldstatisticaldevices in the field

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Dec 21 2007 - 17:05:56 CST

From: "Douglas W. Jones" <jones@cs.uiowa.edu>

> .... I don't want a candidate selection system where these
> marginal types are excluded from the national stage.
>
[...]

> ... but each of us probably can identify some region
> they really don't want to see get first crack at the issue.
>
[...]
>
> Right now, I think that the pendulum has swung towards
> too many primaries.
>
[...]
>
> In my opinion, at the current time, too many states have binding
> primaries too early in the game. I'd rather see a system where the
> majority of the delegates to the national nominating conventions are
> selected late in the game, to allow campaigns to snowball from small
> tests in states like Iowa and New Hamshire to big tests like
> California and New York. I want there to be time for front runners
> to emerge for long enough before the nomination is locked up that
> the media (and their opponents) have time to research their darker
> sides. The story of Gary Hart is very instructive in this regard.
>
[...]

> I also think there's reason to consider rotate the initial tests
> between small states.
>
Thanks for the explanation. I appreciate your concerns -- and even share
them for the most part. However, I have heard proposals for primary system
reform that could address these issues. Your argument as it stands, could
be interpreted as pro status quo.

For the sake of example, let's say we identify 5 regions which would have 10
states each -- roughly the East, North East, South, West, and Midwest.

1) Five primaries, a month or two apart.

2) For each primary, two states from each region are selected (this number,
two per region per primary may not need to be fixed ... perhaps increasing
in number over time). This way, no region gets "first crack."

3) The selections would need to be made and announced early enough in
advance to allow the campaigns to plan.

4) For the first primary, two of the smaller states are selected from each
region. These could be fixed as the smallest two states in the region, or
could be randomly chosen from, say, the 5 smaller states. The second to
fifth primaries would include larger and larger states. To assuage the
largest states (e.g., CA, NY, FL, TX) there should be a chance they would
not always be in the last primary -- perhaps give them a chance to be in the
3rd primary, but never the first or second.

5) To accommodate the idea of a small number of small test states (and
reduce the difficultly of lesser-known candidates getting started), perhaps
make it so the first primary involves only 5 or so small states, and
increase the number of states in subsequent primaries.

Alan D.

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Received on Mon Dec 31 23:17:09 2007

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