The big states are switching to a February or even January, primary election during the 2008 billion dollar race to the White House.
Although the Golden State is facing big deficits, runaway gangs, and urban crowding, California switched its primary from June to February at a cost of 60-90 million dollars.....Let them eat votes.
Most of the delegates from the big states will be chosen early, thus ruining the vetting system of Iowa and New Hampshire (and now, Nevada and South Carolina).
I'm a long time Democrat, so let me speak to the problems from my grass roots level of observation:
Within small states, the Democratic candidates have to shake hands and really get to know the people. The potential voters have the opportunity to size up the person on a first hand basis. If the candidate doesn't answer the tough questions in a town hall forum....word gets around, like the notice of a bad movie.
Everyone else in the country may get a 10-second sound bite on the national news, and eventually make their decision on who has the best television commercials, when going into the voting booth.
Let me give you an example of why a longer primary season is necessary:
If Senator Hillary Clinton has a majority of delegates in her pocket by the end of February, and thus is assured of the nomination by virtue of name recognition and the most impressive television spots, what happens if she falters in March?
The conservative news media will concentrate on her faults for an extra 3-months, before she even gets to the non-union convention site in Denver.
Just for arguments sake, let's say that Bill Clinton is caught with his "pants down" again in March or April.....we are screwed, unless, of course, the GOP candidate is worse. However with the former First Lady and her high negative rating, we are almost assuring ourselves of another Republican President.
Also, a guy like Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, even if he does better than expected in Iowa and New Hampshire, without winning, will not have the time to put together a national campaign.
This cheats us out of getting to really know who would be the best candidate in the long run.
Thanks for reading: