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Reflecting on the primary race

Before many states finally got their opportunity today to make their voice heard in the GOP primary battles, a small number of states managed to whittle what was a nine-person field down to five, with three of them now in what’s referred to as “longshot” status and one clear favorite, already annointed by the Fourth Estate wing of the Republican Party.

It was in this spirit that I came across an article on Human Events by writer Brett Winterble. Called “Who Hijacked the Primaries?“, Winterble points out that:

Over the past month a new Axis of Evil has emerged — not one based in Damascus, Tehran or Pyongyang — but instead in Cedar Rapids, Charleston, South Carolina, Derry, New Hampshire and Boca Raton, Florida. It is the liberal and “independent” voters in these 4 states that have nearly completed a deed that makes Kim Jong Il envious — the near crippling of the American Electoral System. These four states have combined their native liberal populism with an imported liberal electorate and have forced the GOP to accept a nominee so distasteful that in more than one poll — the numbers of voters choosing not to vote and those choosing to vote third party actually exceed those who will hold their nose and vote for Maverick, War Hero, Amnesty Supporter, John McCain.

Yeah, Winterble isn’t what you’d call squarely in the McCain camp. But I happen to agree with him to a point. While he suggests front-loading the primaries to one large national Super-Duper-Astoundingly Tremendous Tuesday, my thinking runs along the line of a reasonable number of regional primaries much like the one we’ll have next Tuesday as we share the date with DC and Virginia. But I’d also like to add my two cents to his article based on something else that was suggested and is already occurring in this year’s race.

Some states were penalized by the GOP (and separately by the Democrat Party) for holding their primaries prior to an agreed date, losing some or all of their delegates to the respective national conventions. Perhaps instead of the full extent of Winterble’s idea, what the national GOP could do is similarly reward states which hold “closed” primaries and punish the ones who have primaries where independents and Democrats can cross over on the day of the election.

I think this is one instance where Maryland has it right since switching party registration was closed back in November for next week’s primary. (We’ll see how strictly the polling places hold to the party system and reject the independents who want to vote in either primary.) With this action, it increases the chances that actual loyal Republican voters choose the party’s nominee, which is something I favor.

In the meantime, here’s hoping that the GOP nomination remains in the balance through tonight as the focus will shift to our area of the country. Will the Straight Talk Express make a stop in Salisbury, or maybe we’ll be in luck with Huck? Only time will tell, apparently Mitt Romney is satisfied with one Maryland stop on Thursday. It’s doubtful any of the Democrats will make it over here as the huge majority of their votes will come from the I-95 corridor.

Crossposted on monoblogue.






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