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Democracy Lost: the Iowa Caucus, the New Hampshire Primary, and the Shortchanging of American Presidential Politics

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Republicans in 2012: Bachmann, Huntsman, and Pawlenty

Already, Michele Bachmann has dropped out after her poor finish in the January 3 caucus, while Rick Perry's campaign--though it marches on, for now--is apparently on life support. Meanwhile, Jon Huntsman, who has staked everything on New Hampshire, will likely withdraw absent a top two result. Tim Pawlenty, once considered a leading alternative to Romney, exited the stage in August after a third-place result in the Iowa straw poll.

Whatever one may think of these aforementioned candidacies, in a democratic system, so few individuals should not have the authority to foreclose choices before an entire nation. After all, candidates handed a certificate of defeat by the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire were not running for each state's respective governorship; they were striving to become president of the United States. When dealing with national offices, should not all Americans have the right to weigh in?

A far better way to structure nominations would be the American Plan, a significant reform to our nation's primary process that preserves the tradition of having a staggered primary calendar--thereby maintaining the benefits of not having every state contest on a super "primary day," which unfairly advantages candidates with money and name recognition--but employs a graduated system, with clear breaks that increase the likelihood that other voters will cast meaningful votes. Iowa and New Hampshire have had decades in the spotlight; it is time for other states to have their moment too.

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In Iowa in 2004, it was Howard Dean, who had the e... by kpc on Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 11:58:46 AM
Being from large states I have never been asked or... by Judith Stevens on Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 12:40:07 PM