03/16/07 — Primarily nothing: Battle to be early presidential knight-makers is interesting

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Primarily nothing: Battle to be early presidential knight-makers is interesting

With all the interest in moving up primaries, there seems to be a rush to be among the first to weigh in on who should run for president in 2008.

California moved its date up to February this week, with several other states destined to follow.

So, what does that mean to the average voter — especially someone in one of the non-early bird states?

The answer: Larger states will get their two cents in before others have even gotten a visit from the hopefuls.

Have you ever wondered why Iowa’s caucuses are so important? Iowa does not have the largest number of electoral votes and there is no magical anointing of candidates that goes on while they are there.

The truth is that the reason Iowa gets so much attention is that its vote is early. Since it is among the first states in the union to cast its ballots for its pick for the presidential race, it is believed to be a bit of a bellwether for picks to come.

And if you really believe that, then you have not noticed that what Iowa says does not always end up being what the final outcome is.

Primaries are an interesting beast. They say something, but in no way reveal anything definitive about who will be the next president of the United States. They only set a direction for the parties to follow as they make their final choice.

It will be interesting to see what will happen if the primary system becomes front-loaded with several of the bigger states getting their votes in before the others have even had the chance to think about a nominee.

Getting it over with earlier seems like a positive. We will have to wait and see if it means a better election.

Published in Editorials on March 16, 2007 11:19 AM