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CQ has an interesting story…

The 14 smallest states and six U.S. territories “pod” would always vote first, but no earlier than the third week of February in presidential election years.

The other three pods — comprising nine, 16 and seven states — would rotate their voting positions every four years. The ordering of the pods for the 2012 election would be determined by lottery; the pod that voted before the other two rotating pods would move to the end of the line in 2016 and the other two pods would move up one position.

A rotating system would enable each grouping of states to have a chance to wield substantial clout in the presidential selection process.

Finally, somebody is talking some sense about the dysfunctional primary systems on both sides. Of course, this is a Republican plan, but it would make sense for the Dems too.

Here are how the states and territories are organized:

Small States and Territories: Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Northern Mariana Islands

Rotating Pod X: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin, Utah, and Washington

Rotating Pod Y: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia

Rotating Pod Z: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

Obviously this is going to have a TON of opposition, not the least of which will come from states like Iowa and New Hampshire. They covet their first-in-the-nation status and it’s doubtful they’ll agree to ANY of this. Still, if the rest of the states put pressure on them it would be hard to stay put.

In any event, here’s the PDF of the plan. Check it out.

4 COMMENTS

  1. This is really cool. I’ve often thought that we need some states to go early to make it possible for lesser known and less rich candidates to compete; but our current system is just stupid. I think this “pod” plan would be a nice balance.

    Plus, according to this plan, Iowa and New Hampshire still get to be first! There are 4 states missing from these pods, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Point 3 right after the lottery states they get to go in the first and second weeks right before the small-states pod. So really, everybody wins.

  2. I think it’s absurd. The last point made in the PDF was….

    (4) Any state or territory may choose to opt out of their respective pod and hold its primary, caucus or convention later in the cycle. That decision must be made no later than July 1st of the odd numbered year preceding a Presidential election year.

    No where does it say anything about the fact that political parties are nothing more than “clubs” – or that the federal election “season” is too long – or that the only beneficiaries of this process are the media outlets who make tons of advertising dollars.

    In my opinion – shorten the primary season to 6 months, make it illegal to run any adds, primaries, or caucuses prior to the 6 month date. Breaking up the primaries into “bite” size engagements is a good idea, as is the round-robin nature of voting – I think these are good ideas. Freedom of speech is important – it’s in the Constitution. However, national elections are too important to not have much more strict rules regarding involvement, financing, and timing.

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