Feature

Florida takes lumps over primary change

Both political parties plan to punish Florida for moving its presidential primary earlier. The state should get in line, said the Los Angeles Times. Voting early will give Florida voters more power, said The Chicago Tribune, even if they don't get to wear

The Republican Party is planning to punish Florida for moving up its political primaries. The Democrats earlier this week said Florida would not be able to send delegates to the party’s presidential nominating convention because the state’s Legislature scheduled its primary for Jan. 29, even though the Democratic National Committee only allows Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada to hold votes before Feb. 5.

Thank goodness the parties are imposing some discipline, said the Los Angeles Times (free registration required) in an editorial. The states clearly won’t do it. They’re falling over themselves to vote first so their voters will make the bliggest splash. “Why don’t we just vote for president tomorrow and be done with it?”

The primary system is clearly “broken,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) in USA Today, “but the answer isn’t to deny people the right to have their vote counted.” In the future, the parties can avoid the competition to be first by holding rotating, regional primaries.

What are Floridians crying about? said The Chicago Tribune (free registration) in an editorial. “Florida Democratic leaders now have a choice: They can kowtow to the DNC and wear silly hats to an irrelevant convention next summer—long after Democrats in other states will have selected the party's nominee. Or they can stick with the Jan. 29 primary, attract oodles of attention from presidential candidates, and—by giving voters in such a populous state an early voice—play a much more influential role in winnowing the Democratic candidates.”

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