Articles

How to Stop 2024 From Looking Like 2016

March 16, 2023
276d91e2b7474d5765e97979c7485232

Many Republicans wonder of 2024: Will they see a repeat of 2016, when a vast field of contenders allowed Donald Trump to win a majority of delegates with a plurality of votes in early contests?

It could happen—if too many candidates without a realistic chance of winning stay in the race too long. And because of the complexities of the primary schedule, candidates may not have much time to decide if they should exit.

The primary season can be broken into three periods, the first of which takes place in states that vote before March 1. These are Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, which have roughly 137 delegates to the Republican National Convention (final allocations will be set after this November’s off-year elections). GOP rules discourage other states from voting this early by slashing their number of convention delegates by as much as 90% if they do.

Though these states represent less than 6% of the roughly 2,440 delegates, they are where the GOP field must start consolidating. Candidates who do poorly in these aren’t likely to get better at raising money or building support later. And in 2024 they may have to make that call particularly early. 

We don’t yet know exactly when these contests—Iowa is a caucus, the others are primaries—will be held. Iowa Democrats want to allow mail-in ballots in addition to in-person voting. New Hampshire believes this would make Iowa a primary, which would mean New Hampshire’s contest would have to move ahead of Iowa’s because it holds the nation’s first primary by law. Hawkeye State Republicans want to stop mail-in ballots so Iowa remains first as a caucus. 

Even if that’s worked out, South Carolina may force the schedule earlier. Democrats are trying to shift the primary there from Feb. 24 to Feb. 3. The state GOP likes the later date, which is far enough into the calendar that South Carolina often settles the presidential nomination—as it did in 2000 for Republicans and 2020 for Democrats. Still, if South Carolina Democrats vote Feb. 3, New Hampshire could move its primary for both parties earlier. Then Iowa Republicans, and maybe Iowa Democrats, will move their caucuses ahead of New Hampshire’s primaries.

There’s trouble brewing elsewhere. The Democratic National Committee wants to move Georgia’s primary forward to Feb. 13, though Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger must approve any changes and he says there will be none until 2028. In Michigan, Democrats moved their primary from March 12 to Feb. 27 by law. To avoid having their delegates slashed, the GOP will instead select them at a convention after March 1.

The earlier these contests are held, the more tempting it will be for flagging candidates to stick it out past these contests. But the principal effect would likely be to hold on to votes that would otherwise (mostly) go to a better-performing candidate whose last name isn’t Trump.

The second period of primary season begins on March 5, when 13 contests and around 736 delegates are at stake. These include the GOP’s largest delegations—California with around 172 and Texas with at least 155. The day’s haul represents 30% of all the delegates, or 60% of a majority.

Many Republicans wonder of 2024: Will they see a repeat of 2016, when a vast field of contenders allowed Donald Trump to win a majority of delegates with a plurality of votes in early contests?

It could happen—if too many candidates without a realistic chance of winning stay in the race too long. And because of the complexities of the primary schedule, candidates may not have much time to decide if they should exit.

The primary season can be broken into three periods, the first of which takes place in states that vote before March 1. These are Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, which have roughly 137 delegates to the Republican National Convention (final allocations will be set after this November’s off-year elections). GOP rules discourage other states from voting this early by slashing their number of convention delegates by as much as 90% if they do.

Read More at the WSJ

Related Article

1a859b23c26673fdd445f2931ea3c399
June 20, 2024 |
Article
Joe Biden and Donald Trump will enter CNN’s Atlanta studio next Thursday for the most important 90 minutes of this election season.  ...
8ef2efdabc96ea3dd8fe7d1886087dc6
June 13, 2024 |
Article
A presidential campaign never stops, but there are lulls.  ...
E71dd4fb117e544e4cd3ccba0fee15de
June 06, 2024 |
Article
Both the Trump and Biden campaigns seem to believe the former president’s conviction Thursday helped them. ...
68029acabfbedf5c59459ca472cf868a
May 30, 2024 |
Article
I loved Robert De Niro in “The Untouchables,” “Taxi Driver,” “Casino” and “Goodfellas.”  ...
Button karlsbooks
Button readinglist
Button nextapperance