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I have some readers who are way too cool to be named in this blog. One of them sent a great analysis of what I’ve been talking about these days: whether California will again try to bump up its presidential primary in 2008 and what effect it will have on local elections.
One thought that’s out there, of course, is that California may try to split it up — move a presidential primary to March and keep the regular state primary election in June.
A reader — one of the cooler ones — says that’s not a good idea.
If the state splits the state primary next year, it forces local taxpayers to pick up the tab for two elections. I am not sure local governments would look kindly on doing such a thing and hopefully cooler heads will prevail and whenever the primary is held — it will include everything.
Then he goes on to point out why the whole 2008 primary election should be moved up to March as it was in 2004. He said, contrary to my assertions, that California really could influence presidential politics.
This is a historical year, he writes:
It will be the first wide open primary season in either party since 1952. Think about it: Every presidential election year since even before that has had at least one sitting president or one sitting vice president running in the primary. This time, the country will be able to choose from a wide list on both sides of the aisle.
’52 wide-open primary season as Truman did not run for reelection
’56 Ike ran again
’60 VP Nixon ran
’64 LBJ ran as incumbent
’68 VP Humphrey ran
’72 Nixon ran as incumbent
’76 Ford ran as incumbent
’80 Carter ran as incumbent
’84 Reagan ran as incumbent
’88 VP Bush ran
’92 Bush ran as incumbent
’96 Clinton ran as incumbent
’00 VP Gore ran
’04 Bush ran as incumbent
’08? No sitting VP or President running in either primary cycle. California could be king maker — finally!
Why is this relevant? We should move our presidential primary up because California could finally be a player in one or both nomination battles because there are so many candidates from all over. It is doubtful one candidate will emerge as the lead until much later in the season.
Here is why. … Iowa Democratic caucus will go to their governor, Tom Vilsack. New Hampshire Republican primary will go to neighboring son: Mitt Romney; (South) Carolina Democratic primary to John Edwards; Arizona Republican Primary to John McCain; New Mexico Democratic primary to their governor, Bill Richardson; New York’s primaries to Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton; Super Tuesday in the south: a mixture with no one candidate coming out a clear winner — especially with Al Gore in the race cleaning up the south from Hillary.
By the time California’s presidential primary comes up in March, you could have three legitimate candidates in the GOP race still alive and in the Dem field: Richardson, Hillary, Edwards and Gore will likely still be in it.
Since my reader friend won’t put his name on this conjecture, I’ll put mine! It sounds great. You heard it here first.
But back to why we’re even talking about this. As you know, I’m all about staying local. If they do decide to split the primary election, it will cost us a little bit.
And everyone locally who is interested in spending money on referendums — Wal-Mart, Steve Francis — will have a couple of choices to make. Also, if the powers that be took my reader’s advice and moved the whole state’s primary up to March, this city will have a mayoral race starting again in less than a year.
Yippee! Another mayoral race!