Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Go Arizona and Florida!

For too long, the presidents of our country have been selected by three very small and rather insignificant states; Iowa, New Hamphire and South Carolina. These three states have a monopoly on power when it comes to selecting the next president of the United States, and they are intent on keeping it that way. We must ask ourselves, 'Why these three states?' and 'What makes them so special?' And the answer is NOTHING! 

These states reap huge benefits by being the first in the nation to vote for the president. First, they get tens of millions of dollars in revenue from the massive spending each presidential campaign requires in each state. (Consider the hotels, office space, straw polls, radio and television advertising, etc, that each campaign must do).  Second, the candidates have to modify their policies to fit the unique desires of that state. For example, corn and ethanol subsidies in Iowa are hugely popular in the state, but not in the nation overall. Imagine the power a state possesses when it has the ability to modify a presidential candidate's policies, (especially if that state's needs are contrary to the needs of the nation overall). It is simply not fair that three small states have essentially all the power to select the next president.

But the winds of change are blowing. In 2008, we witnessed several states break ranks and vote earlier than they were "allowed" by the Republican National Committee in order to have greater influence over the presidential selection process. States like Michigan, Florida, and Arizona all "broke" the rules and held voting contests before they were supposed to. It looks like this voting cycle will be no different, and hurray for that!

Traditionally, the West has been left out of the presidential selection process. Recently, however, Nevada was allowed by the RNC to move its primary earlier, and now votes right after New Hampshire which is a step in the right direction, but simply not enough.

Arizona has to decide by this Saturday when it will hold its primary and Gov. Jan Brewer is leaning toward Jan. 31 which is a couple weeks before it is supposed to vote. Florida and Michigan are also considering similar moves.

Romney polls very well in the West and in states like Michigan, Florida and Arizona. I wholeheartedly support these states moving up their primary voting time in order to break the monopoly that IA, NH and SC have traditionally had. Probably the only fair voting schedule is a rotating schedule where each state alternates as one of the first three.

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