As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Early Primary

The LA Times is reporting that California wants to move their Presidential primary to February 5. And it looks like there's a lot of momentum in the Legislature to make it happen. Why wouldn't there be? It's a financial windfall for the state (particularly political constulants and TV stations who get to raise their ad rates). And it gives the state with the most people a say in who the Presidential nominee will be in each party. This seems reasonable.

But you have to recognize that California is largely uncampaignable. The state is so vast, and the media markets so prohibitively expensive, that all but the most well-financed candidates have no shot at competing. This will make the money primary more important, and make the voices of the people less, paradoxically.

There are some important things to keep in mind for how this would affect state politics. According to the Times article, ONLY the Presidential primary would move to February. The other state primaries would stay put in June. This means they would have an unbelievably low turnout, especially without any statewide races on the ballot. Something to keep in mind (particularly re: Tauscher).

In addition, the Governor is talking about attaching redistricting and term limits initiatives to the Presidential primaries as well. I do not support redistricting in 2008 with data from 2000. It would be patently unfair.