Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Further Wrangling Over Primary Dates

CHAOS IS ERUPTING OVER the 2008 presidential primaries, as the New York Times's Caucus blog indicates:

The first lawsuits have been filed over the Democratic National Committee's decision not to seat Florida's delegates at the convention, over its shift of the primary date. Disenfranchisement is the hook for this suit, in a state already sensitive about making every vote count and seeing elections decided by the judiciary. The Democratic candidates are still avoiding campaigning there, as per their pledge, although they haven't surrendered their right to shake down the Sunshine State for cash. Toeing the DNC line is one thing; socking in enough dough to outlast one's rivals and still have enough under the couch cushions to take on whichever Republican emerges from Thunderdome is another matter entirely.

South Carolina Democrats may try to match Republicans in moving their own primaries to January 19. If they stay on January 29, they fear, they'll be drowned out by the media storm over Florida's primary, which also would be on the 29th. This would make the January Democratic calendar look like this:

IA 1/5

NH 1/8

NV 1/12

MI 1/15

SC 1/19

FL 1/29

Democratic worries over having two states voting on the same day might ask Delaware Democrats how they feel about opening their polls on February 5, the same day as California, New York, and 17 other states to commit a total of 1,943 delegates to one clown or another.

Now comes Iowa, whose Republicans began itching late last week to move the caucus to January 3 — 2 days before the Dems trudge to the polls under frozen prairie skies. No word yet on how the Democratic party bigwigs feel about this not-unprecedented move.

Further insanity surely awaits. The field could drop off sharply, both for Dems and Repubs, by the All-Star Game if things continue in this vein. I will not venture to predict the two contenders, but I will predict that by April or so, we shall be aggressively sick of the whole process.

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