Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Michigan's primary appears to be irrelevent

Mitt Romney won the Michigan primary, which gives his presidential campaign a much needed boost. But history has not been friendly to republican candidates who have won Michigan.

On the Democratic side, well, there will be no delegates out of Michigan because that state is being punished for changing the date of the primary. I'll never figure that one out no matter how many times I read about it. Why would you punish your own party?

I read about how in 2000 the Michigan primary went to John McCain, and that 75% of Michigan residents voting for him were independents and democrats. Likewise, in 2004, since George Bush was a shoe in to get the nomination, republican voters were crossing the lines and casting their votes for the democrat of their choice.

It was expected that the same percentage of independents voting in the 2008 Michigan republican primary election would be the same as it was in 2000, and democrats were hoping this; but fortunately for republicans this did not happen. I think, 60% of those voting republican were, ahem, republican , which is how it should be in my humble opinion.

In California they have a similar situation, and Republicans this year decided to make sure that democrats and independents do not get to vote for the republican nominees. The democrats are not going to do this, as one expert said, (paraphrasing), "The fastest growing electorate in the state is independent voters, and we do not want to ignore them."

Why not ignore them? If they wanted to vote for the democratic nominee, then they can register as a democrat, and if they want to vote for the republican nominee, they can register as a republican. Why should they be rewarded for avoiding one of the major parties? I don't think they should.

I think Californian republicans got it right on this one.

If the democratic voters in Michigan believe a conservative is the candidate they want, they shouldn't have their choice impeded by non-republicans. The same holds true on the democratic side. And the same holds true in California, or any other state for that matter.

I can't remember the exact number, and I'll post it here when I do, but I think it's been quite a number of years since a republican candidate who won a Michigan primary has been nominated, and if 2008 is a continuation of that trend, there seems to be little relevance to the Michigan vote.

Anyway, I think that before we vote in a primary we should register as either a republican, democrat or independent. And, when it's time to vote in the primary, one should only vote for the candidates of the party one is registered.

That, I think, would be the fairest system.

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