What if the date had not been changed? (Alabama edition)

Steven Taylor, writing in the Press-Register, asks whether it was, in retrospect, a mistake for the Alabama legislature to have advanced the date of this year’s presidential primary. His conclusion is similar to mine with respect to California (and he kindly cites a planting here on that question).

Steven’s argument in favor of the ‘Super Tuesday’ primary points out that the Republican race was still very much in flux at the time, whereas mine concerned only the Democratic race, where proportional representation really meant every vote counted, and even more so (I argued) when cast early to help shape the race.

Republicans, on the other hand, are quite content to simply throw out a lot of votes. Alabama was quite a case in point, with Hucakbee getting nearly all the delegates despite beating McCain only 41%-37%. Republicans had a number of such early outcomes (South Carolina and Missouri, both ‘won’ narrowly by McCain, were even more egregious). If you would rather have your vote thrown out in February than in June, if you happened not to side with the one-third (or so) minority of your state that favored the candidate with the most votes, then, yes, it was also good for Republicans to vote early.

0 thoughts on “What if the date had not been changed? (Alabama edition)

  1. The funny (and not in an amusing way) thing about the attitudes of many (I have heard numerous commentators as well as fellow citizens) in regards to the winner-take-all rules is that they think that it is either fairer or more democratic, when, in fact, it is neither. Of course, part of the problem is that the conflate the rather undemocratic superdelegates element into the mix.

    At any rate: one suspects that the GOP won’t be changing anything any time soon and that a cadre of Hillary supporters will be calling for winner-take-all for the Democrats as well, since many of them are clearly fixated on how many “wins” that Hillary had and feel that the proportional aspect of the process was somehow unfair.

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