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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Is the Primary System Making it Harder For Republicans to Choose an Electable Candidate?

I remember the United States Political Conventions from when I was a kid.  They were held every four years in the summer, just before Presidential Elections to choose the party's candidate.  You didn't have primaries then; I think that a few states had a party caucus for party members to vote/choose.  The delegates from each state were generally instructed which candidate would get their vote.  There was some suspense, because political "wheeler dealers" made the big decisions.

Put simply, the elite of the party activists chose the candidates.  They had their criteria, favors owed, ideology and electability. 

The general public would get their choice later.  They would vote for either the Republican or Democratic candidate. Today some states don't require party membership to vote in the primaries, which means that the results may be distorted.

One of the advantages of the old system was that for the most part it kept out extremists.  They looked for someone who had a chance to be elected.  I don't think that a Ron Paul would have a chance.  Actually, this present system in which most states hold primaries is working against the Republicans.  They still have too many candidates and could find themselves post-primaries with a candidate who hasn't a chance to win.  There's only room for two on the ticket, a President and a Vice-President.  So Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum must stop fighting each other.

If the party really wants to get into the White House, they ought to find a way to solidify the ticket and start marketing it.

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