Sick of hearing about Iowa? Texas legislator proposes states adopt rotating primary dates | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sick of hearing about Iowa? Texas legislator proposes states adopt rotating primary dates

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 12:14 PM

image002.jpg

Here's an inventive proposal from a Texas state legislator who wants to overhaul how the nation holds presidential primary elections.

Rep. Lyle Larson, a Republican from San Antonio, is tired of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina getting all the attention in every four years. He wants states to rotate the order of their primary dates in order "to ensure that no one state has undue influence on the nominating process," as he put it in an op-ed in the San Antonio Express-News.

His office forwarded us a letter he recently sent to Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb, hoping to enlist support for the proposal. (They sent the sunglasses above, too.) Larson's spokesperson said he also sent letters to the chair of the Democratic Party of Arkansas and Gov. Asa Hutchinson's office.

It's a decent point. There's no rational reason why a few early states should mold the shape of the presidential race, and it's certainly undemocratic. Why shouldn't there be a rotation?

On the other hand, if large states were first in line, they'd have an even more disproportionate effect on the outcome of the race. If a candidate won a hypothetical first-in-the-nation primary in Texas or California in February, it would be much harder for their rivals to make up that overwhelming early lead.

And the order of states' primaries isn't necessarily the most undemocratic thing about how the system is set up. Why not a national primary? Why not a popular vote, for that matter?

It's all an academic argument. Radically shaking up the electoral process in some inventive ways would be welcome, at least in my book, but both parties' apparatuses have evolved around the unwieldy, nonsensical system we have, and neither would be eager to change unless they stood to gain a clear advantage ... in which case the opposition party would fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo. Or, maybe, given this freakish election season thus far, both parties are headed towards some sort of wholesale realignment or collapse. But probably not.

Dear Chairman Webb,

Shouldn't Arkansas have its day to be one of the top three states to select the presidential nominee for each party? What if instead of caucusing in Iowa, the presidential candidates were currently courting voters in Little Rock, and having a discourse on the issues that affect your state? We are proposing a rotation in the order of the states' primary election dates that would achieve just that.

Enclosed is a copy of an op-ed recently published in the San Antonio Express-News which advocates for a more fair system that will allow the rest of the states to engage in a meaningful discussion with presidential candidates before the primary is all but decided.

Thank you for your consideration of this proposal. We look forward to continuing a meaningful national discussion and working with party leaders to review the process by which our parties select presidential candidates.

Best,

Lyle Larson

Cc: State Republican Executive Committee Chairs
State Democratic Executive Committee Chairs
U.S. Governors

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Benjamin Hardy

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Speaking of the Clinton Foundation: Returns in maize and beans

    A reporter for Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization, sent a reporter to Africa to see where money given to the Clinton Foundation has been put to work. He found tangible results.
    • Sep 6, 2016
  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas-linked Charlottesville marcher identified, apologizes to those misidentified

    A man who says he's a former University of Arkansas student now living in New England has identified himself as the person wearing an "Arkansas Engineering" T-shirt in the Friday white supremacist march in Fayetteville. He apologized for involving UA in the story and to the professor misidentified as being the person wearing the shirt.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation