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Primary Problem

Scrolling through Facebook the other day, I came across a friends post talking about primary elections. This friend is much more fluent in the language of politics, but even this simple gym teacher agreed with his assertion.

Political primary elections are something that for us common folk, only come up every 4 years. It is the election before the election. Where both parties select their candidates for the Presidency of the United States. Makes sense right? But what my friend had to say was very interesting.

A lot of these primaries are on different days. New Hampshire is the first one, and then others are sprinkled in the ensuing months. Complicating matters even further are the caucuses in Iowa and Nevada. This extends the whole process over a few months and the process very difficult and tedious.

The simple question my friend posed is why don’t all of the primaries happen on the same day?

That question appeals to the part of my brain that loves simplifying situations.

It’s not like running 50 state primaries on the same day isn’t impossible, we do it every 4 years with the general election. That seems to work. It seems a lot easier to just put them all on the same day. Now I know the government is known for their efficiency, but this is a no brainer.

No disrespect to the great people of New Hampshire, but why do they have to be the 1st primary? It’s a cool thing to say I guess, but it really doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme. If they really want to be first, start the primary at 2am or something.

That brings us to the caucuses. These may be the most inefficient way to elect anyone ever created. It involves a bunch of people moving around in a big room and standing in the group for their candidate. Totally obnoxious. The only good thing about caucuses is saying the word caucus. That and the amount of Freudian slips that newscasters make that give us all cheap laughs.

Efficiency is the answer as to why we should have all the primaries on the same day. The realest in me realizes that this will never happen. Not only does the government love inefficiency, but the real reason is incredibly simple.


It makes the world go around. The states that have early primaries and caucuses would never go for the streamlining of the primaries because they’d lose their cash cow. The amount of people that pour into Iowa when it’s caucus season is wild. All of the businesses of the state make oodles of cash from the news people and political junkies that flock there. Venues hold rallies, town halls and other political events that bring cash to the very rural state. The same goes for New Hampshire. It is a small state that doesn’t see that much tourism. Having the first primary brings a ton of people to the Granite State, and boosts their economy. Even if it’s just for a few weeks, it’s worth it.

News media outlets love the different timing of the primaries. It gives them weeks of content that they wouldn’t have if it was all on one day.

There’s an old phrase that my former chemistry teacher taught me. Keep it simple stupid. That needs to be applied here. Let’s not overcomplicate a very simple process. We could have Super Duper Tuesday if this were to happen! And who doesn’t love something that is Super Duper?

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