# Suggestion for Changes to Primaries

## How to insure we don't end up with the weakest candidate again

Okay, we all know Romney managed to win the primary was because we weren’t able to consolidate behind a particular candidate.  The conservative vote was split so many different ways that Romney with the unlimited resources managed to win things by default.  I think something needs to be done in the primaries to help make sure something like that doesn’t happen again.

Okay in the advent of having 8 or 9 candidates again I thought of a way we could start taking the splits into account without the worst possible individual being able to slip by.

In the advent of only 2 primary candidates we do this by a vote for either candidate as usual.

If we have 3 or 4 candidates in the primary we cast our vote by favorability.

Most Preferred candidate which one would place a 1 by their name, would get vote value of n where n = the total number of candidates.

2nd choice would get n – 1 vote value where n = total number of candidates.

3rd choice would get either a 1 or 0 vote value depending on whether there were 4 candidates or 3 candidates.

When there are 6 candidates or more we start giving the bottom 2 candidate a 0 vote value in our rating system.

While the one candidate that most people don’t like may pick up a fair total, the vote split wouldn’t allow that candidate to sneak by.

So if someone chose:

Gingrich, Cain, Perry, Romney

Someone else chose

Romney, Gingrich, Cain, Perry

Someone else chose:

Cain, Gingrich, Perry, Romney

and someone else chose

Perry, Cain, Gingrich, Romney

That would mean Gingrich has a vote value of 11, Cain has a vote value of 11, Perry has a vote value of 6, and Romney has a vote value of 4.

Under the old method we would be looking at a 4 way split, but the new way would indicate that this looks more like a neck and neck race between Gingrich and Cain, with Perry trailing, and Romney is dead last.

I think this would be a good way for us to narrow the field to the best candidates, rather than let the media just have it so we have the worst candidate get the nomination cause we can’t get behind a good candidate cause we are split so many different ways it’s not funny.

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# COMMENTS

• JKnight

An interesting proposal for primaries. Variations of this system are used in many countries throughout the world. One could argue it would also change the impact of media-driven momentum. The result in 2012 certainly would have been different (though it would be interesting to see what the result of 2008 would have been), though I still do not believe we had strong enough candidates. That’s a separate issue, though.

• garfieldjl

I don’t think 2008 would have turned out much different, Huckabee’s supporters were more apt to go to McCain and vice versa.
I do think McCain could have won against Obama in 2012 though.

• revtm

i think McCain would have beaten hillary

• garfieldjl

Not sure, it would have been an interesting race, that’s for sure.

• Dave_A

08 was lost for us by the wonderful timing of the credit-crash….

• commonsenseobserver

If people thought he was “old” then…

• Dave_A

I would suggest something similar:

Ban the back-benchers from the primary completely.

No media coverage
No debate airtime

Black them out.

If you can’t pull 10% in a GOP-trusted poll average, you might as well not exist…

We do not need to let the fringe snipe at the top-talent in debates, or let them destroy the party brand by using the primary debates free-airtime to get their nuttiness on national TV.

We do not need to allow the GOP primary to be used as a free book-tour (Gingirch, Cain) either….

• garfieldjl

Look I know you are a Perry supporter, but he destroyed his own campaign without any help from anyone else. Perry raised expectations too high, and then really underperformed in the first debate that he was in.

• Dave_A

This isn’t about Perry, entirely.

This is about letting Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Michelle Bachmann on the debate stage with the legitimate candidates.

This is about our brand being torn down by a bunch of loons who cannot hope to become President, and are using the debate as free publicity for their lunacy….

This is about people turning book tours into Presidential campaigns…

About someone who has never held an office of trust under the United States – not even the rank of 2nd Lt, let alone been elected Governor or Senator – being treated as a Presidential contender…

If you want to keep getting milquetoast nominees, then keep letting the fringe on the stage…

That’s all it gets you….

• garfieldjl

I’ll agree with you somewhat on Paul, but Michelle Bachman and Herman Cain were fairly decent candidates.

• Dave_A

An individual who believes that vaccines – esp gaurdasil – cause autisim has no place on our presidential ticket…

Neither does a person who has never held a public office in his life.

At least Obama pretended to gain political experience – Cain had ZIP-O.

• garfieldjl

I’m not sure Herman Cain said that, and even if he did, the nomination was for President; not the Surgeon General.

• Dave_A

That was Bachmann, garfield.

Cain is the ‘never held public office’ one…

• garfieldjl

Which means he can’t be accused of being a career politician, there are perfectly good counters to the “not having held public office.” He managed businesses successfully, the Presidency is a management job.

• Dave_A

We do not allow privates to command armored divisions…

And we should not allow a political ‘private’ to be POTUS.

It’s not the sort of thing you can ‘learn as you go’. See Obama…

• garfieldjl

Least Cain wasn’t a Chicago Politician, in all honesty I wanted Cain to be the VP role, not the top of the ticket.

• norris

Gardasil may not cause autism , but vaccines and medicines do have side effects. Political experience always owes debts to lobbyist and other groups that have backed them. Obama still believes in man made global warming , and has political record of voting present or not voting at all.

• Viet71

The question should be, who can win Texas, Iowa, Florida, and Ohio?

Answer: No one wishy washy. No one without principles. No one who, for political reasons, writes off a certain group of voters.

• Cynthia

I like this. Also, why can’t the RNC change which states have their primaries first? States could be selected based on their previous % of GOP vote in the previous Pres. election. In Jan. 2015, for instance, Utah would be first followed by WY, OK, WV & so on. This way a state would try to get it’s GOP vote turnout as high as possible to compete for the first few primary slots. An example is where I live, AL. We are around 5th on the list of highest % of GOP vote for 2012. I hear many people here say they know AL will go GOP, so they don’t need to worry about voting. Maybe this would motivate people to go vote & help in downballot elections. I realize this presents logistical challenges, but wouldn’t this be much better for the party? I’m not sure what happens if the GOP did this & the Dems had a completely different schedule. I guess all states would have to have closed primaries.

• garfieldjl

I don’t mind the current state order for primaries, quite frankly I don’t think Romney could have won a single state in the primaries using this model.

• Cynthia

It just seems to me it’s a disadvantage to the GOP that the first 2 primaries are in blue states where there is a strong likelihood that dems vote in our primary when they have an incumbent. Voting in our strongest GOP states first would give a more “real” look at who conservatives want as their candidate. I’m not really concerned with how it would have turned out had we done this in 2012, I’m just trying to increase GOTV efforts & reward solid red states!

• revtm

NH and Iowa are swing states not “blue states”

• Cynthia

I misunderstood you at first. I see that you’re saying Romney wouldn’t have won under your proposed change. That’s a good thing if true and why I like the idea! I’m not sure how much changing the order of the states would change the outcome, but it seems logical that it would. We need both ideas.

• commonsenseobserver

There’d be an overwhelming bias towards Southern candidates.

• Dave_A

So far, only Southern and Western candidates WIN.

• garfieldjl

I agree with Dave on this, Romney’s record was rather mixed, the fact he was compared to an etch-a-sketch is a prime example of the problem we had with Romney.
I don’t want to nail it down to a region but I really didn’t see Romney winning this, I had hope after the first debate, but it looks like my initial assessment was correct.
Romney also hired the same blithering idiots that advised McCain on his failed 2008 Presidential race, I highly doubt Gingrich, Cain, or even Perry would have hired them.

• commonsenseobserver

I don’t know, we haven’t tried nominating a Mid Westerner since Gerald Ford.

• garfieldjl

Gerald Ford was the one President that got into office without being elected as either President or Vice President.
A midwestern candidate could work in theory, but one place I wouldn’t recommend is a candidate from the northeast.

• revtm

oh god no thats an awful idea.

Look the Primary is set up regionally, and its not a bad idea, if we were to change the primary states we should let Ohio, Iowa, Florida, and Colorado pick the president, not Wyoming, Oklahoma, WV, and Mississippi

• Cynthia

Correction: Jan 2016 ;>)

• revtm

I dont really like that at all… theres something caucusey about that…

What we need to do is limit the primary debates to 3. No more than 3 debates in the primary season. Period.

• garfieldjl

Except that would simply allow someone like Romney whom is backed by the Establishment and possibly democrats to simply flood the airwaves with attack ads and then win by default.

• revtm

better than creating fatigue on the process AND allowing good candidates to self destruct

• garfieldjl

So we should just roll over and let the establishment pick candidates that are Democrat-lite and will probably lose in the general election?
Really if we hadn’t had the debates Romney would be the nominee by default.

• commonsenseobserver

And he would have lost by a much bigger margin without the debate practice.

• revtm

actually no, if we’d had 3 debates we probably would have had Gov. Perry. Romney never had traction, the debates never hurt him, or elevated someone else.

The debates this year ONLY HURT the folks running against romney. Romney never won a debate, nor did he ever shoot himself in the foot in a debate, he skated through the debates. Perry killed himself the debates, gingrich, while fiery, alienated older and more passive primary voters with his debates, santorum tacked so far right in the debates he lost ohio, and lost the primaries because of his Ohio loss.

anyone who thinks having 40 debates helped this year is just plain wrong.

• commonsenseobserver

Perhaps they should all be run by Conservative outlets, leaders, and think tanks.

• Dave_A

We need to limit who is on the stage, based on poll support…

Otherwise the debates become a circus for back-benchers to ruin the brand and snipe at the good candidates….

• actionsspeaklouderthanwords

I think we should just do what the party establishment tells us to do and not question them. Apparently, if we have a free, open and public debate about a candidate the establishment has chosen, it will damage their chances of winning. Or we could just make a sham of the whole primary process so people don’t have to waste their time with it, and then people can just decide on election day of it is worth going to the polls (or not) to vote for the RNC’s candidate. Oh wait, we already tried that…………

• norris

I live in Ohio usually more than half of the candidates have been eliminated before I have a chance vote. With television ,radio and internet coverage we can decide on a candidate without having him visit each state ,hold all primaries in the same week . Announce the results after all states have voted.

• commonsenseobserver

What do you propose we do if someone like Herman Cain gets nominated?
And there’d be no chance of a Santorum-style Conservative insurgent surge.

• garfieldjl

If the Chicago style smear had failed to take down Herman Cain, he would have picked a running mate with Foreign Policy experience, I suspect his choice of a running mate would have been Newt Gingrich. (Though Newtzilla would have beaten Biden so badly Obama would get a sympathy vote from that).

• Dave_A

He would still be completely unqualified to be President, and Obama would have EASILY taken him down in the General with negative ads…

It’s not a smear when it’s very likely true, and there is evidence of hush-money paid…

Think John Edwards, but on our side…

• garfieldjl

Herman Cain wouldn’t have been as easy if those initial smears hadn’t worked. For starters, his background as growing up in a low-middle class household at best, and working his way up from that would have wrecked the class warfare attacks.
He ran businesses that made a product, including making pizzas; there was no “Bain Capital” to use against Herman Cain. Obama wanted Romney to be the nominee so he could demonize the Republican using class warfare; if Herman Cain had been the nominee, all of that would have gone out the window.

• Dave_A

And instead they would go after the exact-same sex-harassment issues that got him crushed in the primary, and his total lack of experience at anything beyond CEO of a fast-food chain….

• garfieldjl

Which Herman could fire right back that at least he knows how to run businesses so that they are successful rather than simply running them into the ground like Obama’s failed policies.
The Democrats routinely use that “sex-harassment” tactic on Republican candidates with a minority background because they want to keep the narrative that “Republicans are Racist.”

• norris

We could have the opinion of the whole country voting not just the first ten states. If Newt , Rick or Herman were the nominee would we be worse off now.

• commonsenseobserver

Probably for the last, given that he never cleared things up.

Newt, really?

Perry imploded even before the primaries.

• revtm

newt would have gotten destroyed by Obama, conservatives love newt, everyone else HATES him. his unfavorables are through the roof. women especially hate him.

• garfieldjl

Liberal women hate Newt, not all women are liberals. I seem to recall women voting for Clinton in droves even with sex scandals going on, and unlike Gingrich, Clinton was being accused of sexual harassment, not simply having an affair…

• revtm

women period hate newt. Period. his approval among unaffiliated and even republican women is low.

It has nothing to do with the sex scandals, women hate newt gingrich. you think the gender gap with romney was bad it would have been even worse under gingrich. hes incredibly unpopular with unaffiliated especially women. Just has hillary clinton is incredibly unpopular with men

• revtm

newt gingrich had the highest unfavorable rating of any politician in america last year. might be the highest of any politician since the Blagojevich scandal.

He was 66% unfavorable among women and 20 percent favorable. So according to you 66% of women are liberals?

• garfieldjl

I think it wouldn’t have been hard for Newt to make up lost ground fairly quickly. See how Romney managed to upend things in the 1st Debate, Newt would have been able to do the same thing.
Fact of the matter is that unlike Romney, Newt would have kept up the pressure, Candy Crowley’s ride to Obama’s rescue would have backfired due to Newt’s incredible memory, and he wouldn’t have rolled over and played dead in the 3rd Debate.

• revtm

Newt’s hubris doesn’t win people over. he wasnt coming back from those poll numbers, yes the republicans who hated him would have come back over simply because they had no choice, but he would have lost far worse than romney and wouldn’t have been close. It is clear you are a newt fan, I don’t really like him (hes a phony on gun rights and i find him scummy and off putting) I would have voted for him in the general election but wouldn’t have been psyched about it anymore than i was about Romney. clearly looking at those numbers Gingrich is DOA in the eyes of the political general public

And yeah going after Candy Crowley thats a way to win over the women.

• garfieldjl

Depends revtm, Newt Gingrich has an incredible memory, something that he has used with great results in the primary debates. He wouldn’t have had to directly accuse Candy Crowley of anything, he could have then turned it around and asked: “Then why the hell did his UN Ambassador go on X number of Sunday shows and claim it was some stupid video that? If he’s now saying he knew from the beginning it was a terror attack and claims that he said on 9/12 that it was a terrorist attack, as you and he are claiming, then why the false narrative?”

I know how the press would try to cover it, but Newt probably would have handled his criticism in a way that would demolish her defense of Obama fairly quickly.

• http://redmerrimack.blogspot.com/ charliebravoNH

These are my thoughts being a Republican State Committee Member from NH.
I hope you all take this into consideration when you narrow down your
choices.

First of all NH has secured its first in the nation
primary spot for 2016. I know some people won’t like that, but that was a
decision made by the RNC and the Rules Committee at the Republican
Convention. If you want to change the RNC you can visit this website
where “Coldwarrior ” will show you what you need to do to become a
voting member of the Republican Party.
http://theprecinctproject.wordpress.com/

A serious candidate is a
candidate who can win a State wide election. Why is that? A
Presidential Election is 50 State wide elections. If you can’t win your
own State who
says you can win a combination of them. A
conservative candidate who can win a State wide election is ideal. The
good news is we have a far deeper bench of conservatives who have won
state wide elections in recent years. The prospects for 2016 look a lot
brighter.

Serous candidates for President visit the early States
early and set up their organizations.No candidate has won the White
House from either party in recent years without winning in Iowa or New
Hampshire. The guys who get in late NEVER win NEVER. You are running for
President of the US ,not dog catcher.

I used to laugh when the
media had Herman Cain as the front runner. When they were saying all
this he had no campaign office in NH. He used to tell the media that his
campaign was about his “message”,until the message changed to the women
in his life.

We all could narrow our focus around a few
candidates without all that type of vote Splitting if we all don’t get
emotionally invested in unserious candidates like Herman Cain.

• garfieldjl

Herman Cain was a serious candidate, the fact that the David Axelrod could be tied to the woman making the allegations, leads me to believe that it may have just been a Chicago style smear.

Fact of the matter is that Romney was given the “win” in Iowa, but the reality was that Rick Santorum had beaten Romney. The establishment had decided that their guy Mitt Romney would be the nominee from the very beginning and pulled out all the stops and Romney still had problems winning in the primaries. That should have set off warning bells.

People let the media lead them from one person to the next in order to keep us from picking a candidate and sticking with said candidate, you need to face the fact that the person Obama wanted to run against was Mitt Romney.

The candidates that the media was scared of were Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. While they managed to take out Herman Cain fairly early, the continually had problems with their attacks on Gingrich because he turned tables on the media.

Let’s face it the Establishment didn’t want a primary, they wanted a coronation and people were soundly rejecting the person that the Establishment had chosen.
If Herman Cain was the nominee, the mainstream media would look like complete idiots when they tried to use the race card and they knew it. They tried to smear Justice Clarence Thomas with a phony sex scandal too, it’s a common tactic pulled by the Democrats because they don’t want Republicans to have candidates from minorities so they can accuse us of being racist.

• Dave_A

Herman Cain was not a serious candidate….

He had nothing except a very bad-idea tax-plan, and the ability to grab some free publicity. NO experience, AT ALL.

Completely unfit for the office.

And while some folks here love conspiracy theories, I’ll remind you that he paid off his accusers long before there was any HINT that he’d be running for office. That indicates that he was guilty, regardless of how many degrees-of-separation there were between his accuser and some Dem hack….

• garfieldjl

I don’t know about you but there are some people that give money to friends (that they aren’t having an affair with) when they need help out with some bills or something… It could be argued that Herman Cain thought these people were friends and they weren’t…

• Dave_A

That is ‘willing suspension of disbelief’….

• garfieldjl

You pointed out earlier that Herman Cain hadn’t ever held political office, it’s not a suspension of disbelief to think that someone might not behave like a politician because they aren’t a politician.

• Dave_A

It’s a suspension of disbelief to believe that an obvious payoff is a gift…

You don’t have to be a politician to pay off a POed ex-employee…

• garfieldjl

It also wouldn’t be the first time someone was bribed to make phony allegations directed towards someone in order to knock said individual out of the race, in fact it’s a common Chicago political tactic.

• revtm

Occam’s razor my friend.

• commonsenseobserver

I think this a regional turn-based primary system would be interesting.

It’d save a lot of travel time, for sure, and reduce the length of primaries without unfairly impacting certain candidates. The Midwest should go first, then the South, the Northeast, and ending with the West. Caucuses should be abolished, and Iowa should go with the rest of the Midwest, but New Hampshire should retain its place, and Florida, and Ohio and Colorado should be moved upwards.