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Old 01-03-2012, 02:35 PM
 
3,271 posts, read 734,959 times
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Default Why NC should host the first in the nation primary.

As anyone following politics knows today is the date of the Iowa Caucus, famous as the first stop along the seemingly endless death march known as the presidential primary process. Lately there's been some criticism over Iowa's status as first in the nation, focusing primarily on the fact it's a low-population, mainly rural, and homogeneous electorate which is wildly unrepresentative of the nation as a whole. However, the low-cost media market in Iowa allows candidates without much initial financial support to gain a foothold through more traditional retail politics. But enough is enough! Time to end the monopoly the Hawkeye state holds on the electoral process. Now obviously this has almost zero chance of happening; Iowa's got their spot for the foreseeable future barring something genuinely wacky happening such as a successful write-in campaign nominating the ghost of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

What follows isn't a political discussion per se rather a potential source of state pride: I feel that NC is uniquely positioned to hold the first primary election in the nation, for a number of reasons.
  1. NC is slightly smaller than Iowa (53,819 vs. 56,272 sq mi), meaning an equivalent amount of resources necessary to cover the state fully
  2. Following from that, NC is the 10th largest state by population (9,656,401 as of 2011 census estimate) compared to just over 3 million in Iowa. Therefore a much larger number of people will cast the first votes deciding a nominee, and likewise any potential nominee would have to appeal to a larger cross-section of the populace. For comparison, over 2 million people voted in the 2008 NC primaries alone. Five times as many people voted in the Republican primary even though McCain had already secured the nomination by that point.
  3. Following from item #2, NC has a far more diverse population, more in line with the overall population of the US. While this matters less in a Republican primary where the electorate is largely consistent from state to state, the Democratic electorate in NC is more accurately representative of the nationwide party. However, for Republicans there is the added advantage of support coming from several ideological groups- old Dixie types, conservative Northern transplants, military, evangelicals, the business/finance/banking sector, none of which is dominant over the other, ensuring any potential candidate must play equally well to a plurality of ideological subgroups.
  4. NC is also far more geographically and economically diverse. From West to East, a candidate would essentially be campaigning in West Virginia, New Jersey, and Mississippi all at once. From service and tourism-based resorts in the mountains and beaches, to military installations the size of a small city, to high tech and financial hubs with world-class universities, to deindustrialized former manufacturing towns struggling with how to rebuild, to vast swaths of farm communities, NC has almost every conceivable type of socioeconomic scenario a candidate would face when meeting the public.
  5. Media markets in NC are relatively inexpensive. According to Time Warner, Charlotte's the largest (and therefore most expensive) in the state, and it still ranks only at #23. Raleigh's at #25, and the dropoff from there is steep.
  6. We've got a better track record of picking winners. Granted that's largely a result of going so late in the process, but in the modern primary era post-1972 we're 10/14 in total elected contests among both major parties, compared to 8/14 for Iowa. That's 71% versus 57% accuracy. And keep in mind we essentially sealed the 2008 Democratic primary.
  7. From that, we're currently the last major state in terms of delegate count on the primary calender. In 2012 NC will provide 55 out of 1145 total needed to win the nomination for Republicans, which is five more than Florida under current rules. In 2008 we had 134 out of 2117 needed delegates in the Democratic primary. Any way you slice it, a win in either primary would provide a major boost to a long shot candidate while not overshadowing subsequent contests.
  8. The food's better. Imagine you're a candidate, running on 3 hours of sleep if you're lucky, struggling to remember which farm town in the back of beyond you're currently in, choking down yet another corn dog or fried pork cutlet sandwich, wishing for some variety in your diet before your organs stage a mass revolt. Now, imagine every day trying something new, from the familiar staples of Southern cuisine to curiosities like fried pickles and Cheerwine ice cream, to outstanding seafood. You even learn there's regional forms of barbecue with its own set of rituals and rivalries, which itself is taken as seriously as politics and college basketball. No contest.
  9. And who would turn down the opportunity to watch some pandering Washington jerk sweat under the spotlight as they're grilled on Face the Nation or Meet the Press to finish the following phrase "Duke is puke, Wake is fake, and the team I hate is _____"

So, is this crazy or is this just crazy enough to make sense? I think we all know the answer.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
7,593 posts, read 9,639,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by box_of_zip_disks View Post
[list=1][*]NC is slightly smaller than Iowa (53,819 vs. 56,272 sq mi), meaning an equivalent amount of resources necessary to cover the state fully
Actually since NC's population is hevily concentrated in 3 large and a couple of smaller metro areas, NC would be MORE efficient to cover.

Quote:
[*]Following from item #2, NC has a far more diverse population, more in line with the overall population of the US.
That may be so, but Iowa is just as much a swing state as NC: Iowa has flip-flopped back and forth in the past 3 elections. So while I agree that it is ridiculous to put such high stakes on one state that doesn't even have any really large cities, they are ultimately just as competitive as NC is.

Quote:
[*] NC is also far more geographically and economically diverse. From West to East, a candidate would essentially be campaigning in West Virginia, New Jersey, and Mississippi all at once.
Boy is THAT a generalization.

The fact is, NC could change its primary any time it wanted to. Frankly I wish that the state primaries were clustered closer together so that IA, NH, and SC didn't have so much power, but the state itself chooses when to have its primary. It certainly would make it more interesting for NC voters to have a few more "viable" candidates in primary elections at the national level, but the powers that be have not seen fit to move our date up even to Super Tuesday, let alone earlier. I suggest you start a letter-writing campaign to advance our primaries, as others share your frustration, though I don't exactly agree with your reasoning.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:57 PM
 
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I'd hate for NC to be first. As it is, by the time NC's primary occurs half of the candidates have already been weeded out. If we were first, we'd have to listen to the BS from twice as many morons.
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:21 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
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1) Iowa is a caucus state & New Hampshire has the 1st primary. I don't want to deal with the weirdness of a caucus.

2) South Carolina is the 3rd contest (2nd primary). That would put NC in front of them. Their ancestors already started a civil war. Could we please leave sleeping dogs lie?

3) Those 3 states bumped up their primaries because somone moved theirs. If you scheduled the NC primary for January of 2015, they'd all move theirs to December of 2014, for the 2016 election.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:40 PM
 
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I like the fact that a state with a smaller population goes first. It gives us a chance to get a better look at the candidates (from afar, but with the internet, what difference does that make?) before giving them a bunch of delegates.

My friend in Iowa was getting recorded calls from Newt Gingrich all day today. She will be glad when this is over. (I don't know who she's for, but it isn't Newt!)
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:57 PM
 
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It would be good to vote along with South Carolina. Our demographics are very different, but we would get some of that primary cash!
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:06 AM
 
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Personally, I think hosting a major political convention is more important. Out of the 10 largest states in the Nation, NC is the only one that has not yet hosted such an event. In 9 months, that will change.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbancharlotte View Post
Personally, I think hosting a major political convention is more important. Out of the 10 largest states in the Nation, NC is the only one that has not yet hosted such an event. In 9 months, that will change.
I agree. It is no where near the Olympics, but the Olympics put Atlanta on the map. Hopefully the DNC will do the same, on a smaller scale, for Charlotte and NC.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:22 AM
LLN
Status: "If you keep looking back, you can't move forward" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Upstairs closet
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Bad idea. NC does not need the expense, and we certainly don't need endless tv commercials by the lying scoundrels that try to buy the presidency.

No offense, but this might be the worst idea ever surfaced on City-Data.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:12 AM
 
3,458 posts, read 1,360,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by box_of_zip_disks View Post
[list=1][*]NC is slightly smaller than Iowa (53,819 vs. 56,272 sq mi), meaning an equivalent amount of resources necessary to cover the state fully
Geographic size isn't the only issue; Iowa has about 3 million people vs. North Carolina's 10 million.

Plus, North Carolina is shaped in a way that is unfavorable for covering the entire state. It takes forever to get from the western mountains to the OBX.

Quote:
[*]Following from that, NC is the 10th largest state by population (9,656,401 as of 2011 census estimate) compared to just over 3 million in Iowa. Therefore a much larger number of people will cast the first votes deciding a nominee, and likewise any potential nominee would have to appeal to a larger cross-section of the populace. For comparison, over 2 million people voted in the 2008 NC primaries alone. Five times as many people voted in the Republican primary even though McCain had already secured the nomination by that point.
That is considered a bad thing, not a good thing. The larger the population, the smaller the chance that a voter can "Get to know" a candidate personally. That's a major reason why NH, IA, and SC are early.

Quote:
[*]Following from item #2, NC has a far more diverse population, more in line with the overall population of the US.
This is also a bad thing, because the national popular vote is a poor indicator of who will be president.

Quote:
[*]Media markets in NC are relatively inexpensive. According to Time Warner, Charlotte's the largest (and therefore most expensive) in the state, and it still ranks only at #23. Raleigh's at #25, and the dropoff from there is steep.
That's more expensive than South Carolina.

Quote:
[*]The food's better. Imagine you're a candidate, running on 3 hours of sleep if you're lucky, struggling to remember which farm town in the back of beyond you're currently in, choking down yet another corn dog or fried pork cutlet sandwich, wishing for some variety in your diet before your organs stage a mass revolt. Now, imagine every day trying something new, from the familiar staples of Southern cuisine to curiosities like fried pickles and Cheerwine ice cream, to outstanding seafood. You even learn there's regional forms of barbecue with its own set of rituals and rivalries, which itself is taken as seriously as politics and college basketball. No contest.
Huh? You can get all that in South Carolina.

Quote:
So, is this crazy or is this just crazy enough to make sense? I think we all know the answer.
A. North Carolina is too urban. The point is to have primary states without major cities. That's another major reason why NH, IA, and SC are early.

B. North Carolina is next door to South Carolina, which has an early primary that represents the south.
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