The Importance of Florida: Romney, McCain

As an amateur (simpleton) political commentator, this has been a fantastic presidential race to see how the nation as a whole responds to events external to itself. What I mean, is that we are a nation that loves frontrunners. We don’t vote for candidates that we simply believe in; we vote for a candidate that we sort of like and that has the best chance of winning.

With Romney and McCain establishing themselves as frontrunners, the Salt Lake Tribune wrote a price on the importance of Florida to the Republican race. They commented that:

“Tuesday's primary, coming only a week before the tsunami of states voting Feb. 5, could give a major boost to either John McCain or Mitt Romney, who appear to be the duo battling it out for their party's nomination….The Sunshine State's primary offers the best opportunity for either McCain or Romney to take the spotlight going into the 22-state contest on Feb. 5, a day with more than 1,000 Republican delegates at stake in a contest where 1,191 are needed to get the nomination.”

What this is implying is simple: 22 states vote on Super Tuesday. Right now, there are still tons of votes scattered around for Rudy Giuliani, Ron Paul, and Mike Huckabee. So instead of those voters continuing to vote first their “first choice”, many of them will switch their vote to either McCain or Romney. The reason is simple: Don’t throw your vote away. Vote for the best remaining candidate that shares most of your views on the issues. This drives me crazy. Why should we do this?

For example, in early November the leading candidates in the Tennessee Republican primary were Fred Thompson and Giuliani. Well, you know what happened there. Thompson is out and Giuliani appears to have “strategized” himself completely out of the race. (Somebody needs to write a book about that decision by the way). So we as Tennesseans have been limited to who we can/should vote for by a number of states, some that have vast different concerns then we do. Let’s assume for a minute that Tennessee’s primary was earlier in the year. If Thompson could have won this state, that would have propelled his national status and contributions to his campaign.

Hopefully somebody smarter than me can explain a simple question I have. Why aren’t all primaries held on the same day? Wouldn’t this be a fairer representation of the nation’s true opinions? Like I mentioned earlier, Giuliani was leading national polls early in the race. What changed about his policies? Nothing. Romney or McCain haven’t been THAT impressive. The reason he is losing is because he’s been out of the spotlight for 3 months.
Our next president shouldn’t be decided by strategies or budget allocation. All candidates should run national campaigns until March, then let us all vote at the same time.


William Sawyer said...

By having a national primary you marginalize smaller states. If it was a national race...much like the general election...small states are not paid attention to at all. This primary setup was setup by state parties so that their states would at least get some attention from the next president. The primaries are not a federal election deal...they are run independently by the state and national parties. There should be a better way...but probably won't change for a while.

Eric Adams said...

Makes sense William. Seems like they over compensate by giving New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, etc. a little TOO much influence.