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California moves up primary, confirming front-loading trend

 
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 10:42 am
I think neither party is so impoverished now because the system changed right around then. The public financing system started after Watergate, and is voluntarily financed by taxpayers (you check a box on your tax return). Fewer and fewer people are choosing to do so, though.

This year is the first year since the public financing system was implemented where candidates are rejecting it -- and its limits -- in favor of raising funds privately. Obama and McCain have pledged that if they each get their party's nomination they will stick to the public financing system (limiting how much money that can have, total). The limits for the public financing system are 100 some million I think, at any rate much less than candidates can expect to raise privately.

(I've only skimmed this topic, so apologies if I'm repeating things that have already been said.)
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 10:46 am
I didn't use the word "party" in my search criterion.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 10:55 am
We got onto the financing issue as a result of Fishin's claim that a national primary would prevent less well-known candidates from getting into the running due to a lack of funds.

I disagree with one thing you've written, though, Soz, about matching funds and spending limits. I believe i am correct in saying that the Shrub rejected matching funds at the outset of his 2000 campaign, to avoid the spending limits.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 10:58 am
No, not matching funds, public financing. Different things, I'm pretty sure.

Quote:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York became the first candidate since the program began in 1976 to forgo public financing for both the primary and the general election because of the spending limits that come with the federal money. By declaring her confidence that she could raise far more than the roughly $150 million the system would provide for the 2008 presidential primaries and general election, Mrs. Clinton makes it difficult for other serious candidates to participate in the system without putting themselves at a significant disadvantage.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/23/us/politics/23donate.html
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 10:59 am
National primaries could be assisted by mandated television campaign times for anyone who garners enough supporters.

I can think of a national debate process leading up to a national primary - which can be pushed back a whole 5 or 6 months from where they are headed - which could provide great support for a third-party candidate.

Cycloptichorn
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 11:20 am
joefromchicago wrote:
fishin wrote:
First off, you are mixing systems here and they aren't compatible. If we went to non-partisan primaries as LA runs their elections then there wouldn't be any conventions to hold the run-off in. The convention concept would go away - conventions are, by their nature, entirely partisan.

Secondly, I disagee with your assesment of how well an LA style system would work nationally. To run for Gov. of LA for example, you shell out your $1,125 and gather 5,000 signatures on a petition. It also requires that 500 of those signatures must come from each of the 7 congressional districts within the state. To apply that nationally the candidate would need to cough up $50,000+ in fees and gather a minimum of just under 220,000 signatures on petitions spread out from all congressional distrcts nationally. In effect it would be creating a national pre-primary. Gathering 5,000 signatures in 7 congressional districts is one thing. It would cost candidates significantly more to collect them from all 435 districts. And all of that is just to file the paperwork to run. They'd have to do that before they can even start soliciting campaign contributions.

Not only have you missed the point, you have quite possibly missed the point by a larger margin than anyone has ever missed any point before.

I did not mention the Louisiana electoral system in order to advocate its use in place of the current system -- I have no idea how you could have made that error. Rather, I simply mentioned it (along with the French method of electing presidents) as an example of an electoral system that employs a runoff.


I thinik I got the point just fine. I expanded on it to demonstrate that such systems have their own flaws that would still require huge up-front costs - money that minor candidates don't have - when scaled to the national level.

Quote:
fishin wrote:
A minor candidate right now can focus all of their funds and energy on one or two states and try to increase the funds that come in to their campaign as time goes on. Buying ad time/space in New Hampshire or Iowa is significantly cheaper than buying time on the national networks. Under a national system they wouldn't be able to do that. They'd have to have all the funds up front.

Under a nationwide primary they could also focus all of their funds and energy on one or two states. Dodd could focus on Connecticut, Richardson on New Mexico, Huckabee on Arkansas, etc. The difference is that they could all focus on states that they had the potential to win, rather than on Iowa, which they probably can't. Furthermore, these minor candidates would give voters who support them a chance to vote for them, rather than having the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire knock them out of the race first.


Even Dodd wins CT (47 delegates), Huckabee wins AR (6 delegates), Richardson wins NM (28 delegates). That leaves all 3 of them with less than 1% of the total delegates and, in any reasonable system, out of any future consideration for that cycle. And that assumes that they win every delegate from each of those states.

You haven't convinced me that, knowing that sort of result is going to some up in the end, candidates are going to jump into the race to begin with. Instead of the voters of New Hampshire of Iowa knocking them out of the race, "the system" discourages them from ever entering the race. I just don't see where anything is being gained here.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 11:56 am
fishin wrote:
I thinik I got the point just fine.

Nope, you didn't, and you still don't.

fishin wrote:
Even Dodd wins CT (47 delegates), Huckabee wins AR (6 delegates), Richardson wins NM (28 delegates). That leaves all 3 of them with less than 1% of the total delegates and, in any reasonable system, out of any future consideration for that cycle. And that assumes that they win every delegate from each of those states.

First of all, I don't know where you got the delegate totals from. As far as I know, the Democratic party hasn't figured out how many delegates each state will get. The reason for that is that the party will award bonus delegates to states that decide to hold their primaries later in the season and punish any state (other than IA, NH, NV, and SC) that holds its primary before Feb. 5. Also, the party has "super-delegates" who are not elected in the primaries but who sit with their states' delegations at the convention. As far as I can determine, Connecticut will have 61 delegates to the Democratic convention, and New Mexico will have 38 (source -- .pdf). I don't know about the GOP so I won't consider Huckabee and Arkansas here.

Secondly, according to the same source, there will be 4,367 delegate votes at the Democratic convention. The total votes of Connecticut and New Mexico, combined, would therefore equal slightly over two percent of the total. But then they equal over four percent of the total needed for a majority of the votes, which is by far the more important number from the point of view of the candidates.

That may still appear to be a tiny number, but it's more than minor candidates usually take with them to the convention. Typically, minor candidates who drop out of the race release whatever delegates they win to vote for somebody else -- and that always turns out to be the frontrunner. Under the current system, then, the people who vote for Dodd are, in effect, casting their votes for the eventual nominee, even if they despise that candidate.

fishin wrote:
You haven't convinced me that, knowing that sort of result is going to some up in the end, candidates are going to jump into the race to begin with. Instead of the voters of New Hampshire of Iowa knocking them out of the race, "the system" discourages them from ever entering the race. I just don't see where anything is being gained here.

That's fine, I won't attempt to convince you.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 02:58 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
First of all, I don't know where you got the delegate totals from.


I used the delegate apportions from the 2004 cycle since, as you stated, the Democrats haven't decided how they are going to apportion delegates for 2008 yet.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 03:23 pm
The figures Joe has used yield 99 delegates out of more than 4300--so that is still an insignificant number, and still supports the sense of Fishin's contention.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 03:37 pm
Setanta wrote:
The figures Joe has used yield 99 delegates out of more than 4300--so that is still an insignificant number, and still supports the sense of Fishin's contention.

And my point is that 99 is still bigger than 0, which is the number of delegates that minor candidates typically bring with them to the conventions under the current system.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2007 08:37 pm
Crossposting this from the McCain, Giuliani and the Republicans thread:

Picked this up through TNR - Blogger "Marginal revolution" predicts a Giuliani victory in '08 - well, I hadnt even heard of this blog so I dont care - but he includes an interesting observation on process: "Speeding up the primaries will make it harder for the Christian Right to sabotage him."

Makes sense to me. If instead of primary after primary, almost all the primaries will take place right at the beginning, there wont be as much of an opportunity to tear the candidate down like how they did with McCain in '00, after his initial good showing in NH. The initial good showing will pretty much be the end result.

Interestingly, some in the Christian Right agree, apparently. This is from Focus on the Family:

Quote:
California has moved its presidential primary ahead four months, from June to Feb. 5. Twenty other states may follow suit, creating what some pundits have dubbed Super-Duper Tuesday. If that happens, experts predict money would rule and pro-family issues would be the victim.

Meredith McGehee of the Alliance for Better Campaigns told Family News in Focus that the wealthiest contenders will control the elections. [..]

Brad Miller, director of the family policy council department for Focus on the Family, said the new primary schedule limits campaign stops in smaller states.

"It would be an unfortunate thing for South Dakota, North Dakota, Indiana, Colorado," he said, "to not get visits from these candidates to hear in person what they believe about the key issues that are important to those folks who live in the heartland."

Less attention to these issues might leaving conservative voters apathetic, Miller warned:

"That will equate in a failure of conservatives to win substantial gains in the next election cycle."
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2007 08:44 pm
In the conversation between Joe and Fishin' I sympathise with Fishin's argument, and that's even without taking Joe's unwarranted condescension into account.

However, Jonathan Cohn in TNR also doesn't think the new front-loaded primary schedule is a bad thing, and speculates about possible consequences partly along the lines Joe set out here:

Quote:
The more interesting scenario to contemplate is the one getting no attention: What if all the early nominating contests prolong the race, rather than settle it? To win the Democratic nomination, you need a simple majority of its roughly 4,300 voting delegates--that is, you need the support of around 2,150. But that's easier said than done, because not all delegates are actually awarded during the caucuses and primaries. Almost one fifth of them are superdelegates--party insiders and leaders who are free to support whomever they choose. That reduces the number of delegates actually at stake during the caucuses and primaries. And, if you do the math, you'll see that a successful candidate must win about 60 percent of those in order to lock up the nomination without superdelegates.

What makes this all particularly interesting is that the primaries don't award their delegates on a winner-take-all basis. Many are assigned by congressional district, with delegates awarded proportionally--so most states will award delegates to more than one candidate. If the result of the early primaries is to divide votes in roughly equal before a consensus emerges, getting to that magic 2,150 threshold could be difficult--because, by the time a frontrunner emerges, there wouldn't be enough delegates still at stake to hit that total.

In a larger field of candidates, each with an independent financial base, a front-loaded contest could conceivably push the nomination decision all the way to the convention itself--producing a brokered convention, just like in the old days. Candidates would start wooing superdelegates and the supporters of other, more marginal candidates. (Under convention rules, delegates selected in primaries are bound to vote for their candidate on the first ballot; after that, they can choose anybody they want.) It'd be a full-employment act for campaign consultants and operatives, not to mention pundits.

It seems less probable in a race likely to be dominated by two candidates. Instead, the more likely outcome of a split decision on February 5 would be to increase the importance of later contests--places like Oregon and West Virginia. Talk about unintended consequences! As Salon's Walter Shapiro, a veteran campaign observer, notes, "It would be splendid irony if the White House dreamers devoted April (a month without a single scheduled delegate contest) and May to shuttling from Portland to Charleston to Indianapolis, as those places proved that voters who laugh last laugh best."
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2007 01:33 am
Oh, look, someone agreed with me it's ok to move the CA primary forward.

Even Cyclo and Joefromchi apparently didn't vote re that, at least up until now, days on end of windblown skies. Leaving me as an island.... all all alone.
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2007 10:13 am
No longer, friend.

Cycloptichorn
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2007 01:07 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
Setanta wrote:
The figures Joe has used yield 99 delegates out of more than 4300--so that is still an insignificant number, and still supports the sense of Fishin's contention.

And my point is that 99 is still bigger than 0, which is the number of delegates that minor candidates typically bring with them to the conventions under the current system.


It creeps me out to see General Ripper every time i read one of your posts . . . perhaps that's not an accident.

Fishin's point referred to candidates who could expect to get at the least "favorite son" support in the way of delegates. I don't know to whom you refer when you mention "minor candidates," but Fishin's original contention was based on the performance of candidates who would at the least get those "favorite son" delegates, and who might, without a single national primary, have the opportunity to gain other delegates by performing well in the primary process.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2007 01:14 pm
nimh''s source wrote:
California has moved its presidential primary ahead four months, from June to Feb. 5. Twenty other states may follow suit, creating what some pundits have dubbed Super-Duper Tuesday. If that happens, experts predict money would rule and pro-family issues would be the victim.

Meredith McGehee of the Alliance for Better Campaigns told Family News in Focus that the wealthiest contenders will control the elections.


This is the point which i believe Fishin' had in mind--and it is certainly what i had in mind. The process is already dominated by the big bucks, but candidates who bring some delegates to conventions might still have some influence in the platform--which is what it appears Miss (Mr?) McGehee is saying here.

Probably the biggest issue in national electoral politics in the United States is the incredibly inflated cost of running a national campaign, and how long campaigns now last--people "explore" the possibility of running for the November, 2008 election early in 2007 because of the amount of money needed to campaign, and how long it will take to raise that money.

I think that the christian right is alarmed for exactly the same reasons that anyone else ought to be alarmed.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 08:19 am
nimh wrote:
In the conversation between Joe and Fishin' I sympathise with Fishin's argument, and that's even without taking Joe's unwarranted condescension into account.

Blow it out your ear, nimh.

How's that for condescension?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 08:25 am
Setanta wrote:
Fishin's point referred to candidates who could expect to get at the least "favorite son" support in the way of delegates. I don't know to whom you refer when you mention "minor candidates," but Fishin's original contention was based on the performance of candidates who would at the least get those "favorite son" delegates, and who might, without a single national primary, have the opportunity to gain other delegates by performing well in the primary process.

My point is that the minor candidates (those with less money and name recognition than the commonly perceived "major" contenders -- in the Democratic race that means everybody but Clinton, Obama, and Edwards) don't win any "favorite son" primaries because they are knocked out of the race long before they can participate in those primaries. As I pointed out before, Chris Dodd might have a shot at winning the Connecticut primary, but he won't under the current system because he will drop out of the race long before that primary is held (March 4). It is the purest fantasy, then, to think that the current system provides greater encouragement to these minor candidates to run as favorite-son candidates than would a national primary.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 11:13 am
OK, fine, Joe . . . but why Jack Ripper?
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Mar, 2007 11:32 am
Setanta wrote:
OK, fine, Joe . . . but why Jack Ripper?

Figured I could use a change. And I'm a big fan of precious bodily fluids.
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