Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Primary troubles?

Here's a nicely contrarian piece by Jonathan Cohn in the New Republic Online. Everybody is fretting about all the big states that are scheduling their presidential primaries next year for Feb. 5 or thereabouts. The fear is that with California, New York, Michigan, Illinois and Florida holding primaries on Super-Super-Tuesday, the race will be decided right then and there. Democrats fear that will be too hasty, that somebody with weaknesses (like Kerry) will be anointed before the faithful have the time to figure out that he (or she) is a disaster who can't win.

Cohn argues that this is hardly inevitable. He suggests it is possible that these early primaries will prolong the race rather than settle it. In California, at least, delegates will be assigned congressional district by congressional district rather than winner-takes-all statewide, and I think this is the case in some other states. The early results could be quite divided. Cohn even speculates that "In a larger field of candidates, each with an independent financial base, a front-loaded contest could conceivably push the nomination decision all the way to the convention itself -- producing a brokered convention, just like in the old days.

Well, it's possible

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