Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Oklahoma should not move Presidential Primary back

On March 3rd, the Oklahoma State Senate passed SB233 by a vote of 39-2. The measure would move Oklahoma's presidential primary from the first Tuesday in March to the fourth Tuesday in March. This would move the 2016 primary from March 1st to March 22nd, 2016.

Moving the primary back to March 22nd would allow - under RNC rules - for the state's delegates to be awarded in a winner-take-all format, like they were in 2008, as opposed to the proportional method used in 2012. The argument is that by moving our election date back to allow for winner-take-all, Oklahoma will have more influence on the primary. I disagree.

Moving from March 1st to March 22nd would put 15-20 additional states ahead of us in the schedule. As things stand right now, with a March 1st date for Oklahoma, only about five or six states are ahead of us (IA/NH/SC/NV plus maybe CO/NC). On March 1st, around 10-15 states are likely to vote, including large states like Texas and Florida.

If we move our primary to March 22nd, about half of the states will have already voted, and the nominee will likely be decided. Staying at March 1st allows us to have some relevance in the race.

I urge the State House to vote SB233 down. Contact your legislators here and ask them to vote against SB233, and keep a March 1st presidential primary.

2 comments:

David Van Risseghem said...

I have yet to hear a single active Iowa voter ever say;
"I don't like our state having this much influence in picking the next president!".
No, if Oklahoma was the first state contest in the primary season, the other states would have a better-honed menu of choices. Because at least in this state, we don't lest democrats and independents select Republican nominees. South Carolina and New Hampshire should NOT be allowed to be early states because they don't protect the integrity of the Republican process.

David Oldham said...

Also, in reading all the pro SB233 comments, I notice that all agree that moving the date will mean that Oklahomans will have fewer candidate choices at the later date. How does this not disenfranchise Oklahomans who might support a lower tier candidate? How does this not mean that we will have to settle for voting for who is left?