Florida Muscles Ahead

Florida gets ready to rumble as the biggest early primary in the race.

Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill Monday moving Florida’s 2008 presidential primary up to Jan. 29, leapfrogging several other states in a change that could dramatically alter the Republican and Democratic presidential nominating campaigns.

The move will put Florida’s primary behind only the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire primary and on the same day as South Carolina’s Democratic primary.

Florida’s early election could have huge implications in the Feb. 5 primaries scheduled in a dozen other states, including New York and California.

A win in Florida is such a big prize because the state is seen as a microcosm of the nation with its diverse population, so it shows how a candidate might do in other states. Florida’s electoral votes decided the disputed 2000 presidential election.

“The candidates who finish first in Florida would presumably be the strongest candidates the party could put up in the November election,” said Merle Black, a politics professor at Emory University. “And in building momentum for a campaign, the candidates that do well in Florida would get intense media coverage leading into the next week’s events in early February.”

It’s a little ironic; the Florida primary used to be weeks after Super Tuesday and it never mattered in determining the candidates. This time we’re going to be one of the first, and one of the strongest.

But I suspect an ulterior motive: January is the middle of tourist season when all the hotels are charging their highest rates — Ka-ching! — and besides, given the choice — LeMars, Iowa or Miami Beach — who doesn’t want to come down here and hang out with all the hotties on South Beach?

Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.

Advertisements

24 Comments

Filed under 06_bobby

24 responses to “Florida Muscles Ahead

  1. Bobby, your link takes us to a Google account sign-in page, not an article.

    There’s even more to it than this according to the news report I heard on the way home. I think it was local NPR reporting. Mind you, these comments are coming from memory; I don’t have time to look it up right now.

    The Democratic party is pissed and says this violates an agreement that Florida has with it.

    The Republican party is pissed and says this violates an agreement that Florida has with it.

    Both parties plan to go after Crist/the state, as in, I suppose, sue.

    In other words, elections don’t belong to the people; they belong to the political parties.

  2. Brenda Helverson

    I neither like nor trust Florida, but I am in favor of anything that challenges the Iowa/New Hampshire stranglehold. We should always remember that Kerry was #4 going into Iowa and #1 coming out, and we know how well that worked out. I still think that we were the victims of a dirty trick.

  3. Bobby, your link takes us to a Google account sign-in page, not an article.

    Thanks, Bitty; I fixed it.

    I heard the comments on NPR, too. But by the time the parties get around to suing, the candidate will have enough momentum regardless of the delegate count down here, and the parties will back off.

    Oh, and you thought we had people deciding elections down here? [chuckles cynically]

  4. MAJeff

    LeMars, Iowa

    i have relatives there.

  5. Oh, and you thought we had people deciding elections down here? [chuckles cynically]

    I live here. I know better.

  6. oddjob

    I neither like nor trust Florida, but I am in favor of anything that challenges the Iowa/New Hampshire stranglehold. We should always remember that Kerry was #4 going into Iowa and #1 coming out, and we know how well that worked out. I still think that we were the victims of a dirty trick.

    Ah, but for similar reasons that’s exactly how I feel, not about Iowa/New Hampshire which don’t bother me in the slightest, but rather the South.

    McCain was #1 coming out of New Hampshire – and then there was South Carolina………………

  7. oddjob

    (Letting ANY part of Jesusland have that much influence harms the country!)

  8. (Letting ANY part of Jesusland have that much influence harms the country!)

    I resent the implication that Florida is part of Jesusland. Come down to Fort Lauderdale and say that–the Jewish community will chase you out of here in a second. Nothing south of Orlando can reasonably be called Jesusland–Tallahassee? Fine. Gainesville? Sure. But don’t condemn the entire state.

    And the primary tradeoff was that we’d get rid of our goddamned electronic voting machines in the bargain. That’s a hell of a deal.

  9. oddjob

    I resent the implication that Florida is part of Jesusland.

    I know what you’re saying. I do hear you. Unfortunately, the clout you refer (and which is legitimately there for sure) is counter-balanced by the Cubano Republicans in Dade Co., no? (They’re not really “Jesusland” members, but their collective voting pattern comes out so similarly the difference ends up not mattering that much, or such is my impression.)

    I applaud your loss of those damn machines!

  10. Unfortunately, the clout you refer (and which is legitimately there for sure) is counter-balanced by the Cubano Republicans in Dade Co., no?

    Actually, oddjob, Miami-Dade County went for Kerry in 2004 and for Gore in 2000, and I’m pretty sure Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale) did too. But it’s the counties upstate, as Incertus noted, that tip the scales ever so slightly to the red.

    And amen to the ditching of the touch-screens.

  11. oddjob

    I stand corrected!

  12. Well, we’ve had our share of shitty statewide candidates in recent years, but we picked up two House seats in 2006 and were within a hairs breadth (and a crappy voting machine) of a third, so there’s life in the party. And we’ve been lucky in that Crist has actually governed from the middle instead of just mouthing it like his predecessor did.

  13. oddjob

    Actually, considering you’re now scheduled to vote at the same time as South Carolina (the epitomy of toxic Jesusland), this may actually be a serious benefit to the country. Given the presence of Florida, something tells me news coverage of Republicans scurrying to curry the favor of Bob Jones University isn’t going to happen so much, and that can only be a blessing!

  14. Not too happy about this myself. Chris Bowers, who’s usually more earnest than snarky, had the ultimate takedown a while back:

    Florida is doing this, I guess, because they feel they don’t already have enough say who becomes the next president. No state has suffered more than Florida from the indifference of presidential nominees to non-swing states. If Florida didn’t have an early primary, it is highly doubtful that the presidential nominee of either party would ever spend a dime in the state, much less visit. It has been decades since Florida was the deciding state in a presidential election. This is truly a shame, because the air-tight voting systems in Florida fuel more confidence in the hearts of voters than those of any other state in the nation. While in other states, there really isn’t a way to ever know who won an election, when people take office in Florida, you know that that person truly has the will of the electorate behind him or her. If more of our elections were like Florida’s, then there wouldn’t be any need for further election reform in the United States.

  15. christine

    I read somewhere that should Florida move up its primary, South Carolina will move up theirs. This would result in Iowa having thiers in late December.

    This ^$##$%&^*()&^%$ is way, way too early with today’s technology.

  16. oddjob

    It would move up New Hampshire’s too, I believe.

  17. Constant Comment

    Why don’t we just get it over with and declare a national primary, for god’s sake??!!! It’s not right that ANY state has to settle for less than a full slate of candidates from which to choose….

  18. Feh. The thing should have said “A win in FL is either a miracle or a fix, due to the prevalence of Diebolt’s Patented Joke Machines and corrupt officials.”

  19. Arkades

    Why don’t we just get it over with and declare a national primary, for god’s sake??!!! It’s not right that ANY state has to settle for less than a full slate of candidates from which to choose….

    I’ll second that, heartily. I can’t remember the last time we had a presidential primary that mattered, here, because by the time our state’s (May) primaries roll around, both big parties have already developed an ‘heir apparent’ and the best one can manage is a protest vote in favor of one of the other candidates on the ballot (who has, in all likelihood, probably already dropped out).

    We don’t stagger the national election state-by-state. Why on Earth do we stagger the primaries? It’s not as if the states who traditionally lead things off are any more deserving of that self-proclaimed privilege than any other state.

  20. And the thing I find most Ironic is that in all probibility, Great Britian will have a new Prime minister long before we ever get to vote in a primary!

  21. nightshift66

    If we both have a national primary and keep the proportional assignment of delegates we currently have (rather than winner take the whole state’s slate as in most states with the Electoral College), there will never be a winner decided by the conventions. There are 10 candidates in each primary! The top 3 in each party would get no more than 30% of the vote each, everyone would be cutting backroom deals for delegates… in other words, the same situation that USED to exist that they found so corrupt they put in the current system.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are improvements to be made in the current set-up, but a single day national primary isn’t it.

  22. Arkades

    There are 10 candidates in each primary! The top 3 in each party would get no more than 30% of the vote each, everyone would be cutting backroom deals for delegates…

    …or, adoption of an ‘instant runoff’ style ballot (in which candidates are ranked in order of preference by each voter) would solve this problem handily.

  23. oddjob

    Someday maybe we’ll actually force the legislators to behave like grown-ups and we’ll make them use instant runoffs all the time!

    I can dream, can’t I?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s