Primaries and Democracy

Iowa and New Hampshire skew primary process –

GOP Drop-Out Race –

How few Americans have voted, in charts –

Following the announcement this week that Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina are suspending their campaigns, students should be looking to evaluate the democratic nature of primaries in the USA. Often touted as a way to sort distinguished candidates from naive hopefuls, the winner ultimate has to have stamina, charisma…and a massive war chest. The democratic nature of this alone could be questioned – money and politics (see – Citizens United/McCutcheon v FEC).

In addition however, five GOP candidates have dropped out of the race since the beginning of the primary season – i.e. after just Iowa and New Hampshire. This means that after two states, ranked 43rd and 31st in terms of the size of their population, have voted, the rest of the USA will not get a say on these candidates. his could be used to explain why primaries are in need of reform or looking to the potential benefits of ‘front-loading’. The Spectator article above is excellent and explores all the statistical ways that NH and IA are not good representatives of the USA as a whole – in terms of population, minority representation, unemployment rates etc.

As a much thinner field advances on towards the next primary, Americans will have much less choice…seemingly an anti-democratic feature of these elections.