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Column: Stop the nonsense. Moving up the California primary was a dumb idea. Push it back

California's early primary elections need to change. March 5th is too late to influence the presidential election, and too early for non-presidential races.

In fact, the entire presidential nominating process begins too early this year with hyped caucuses and primaries in the Pipsqueak states of Iowa and New Hampshire, which have failed.

After all votes have been counted in the premature Super Tuesday mega-elections in 15 states, including high-profile California, there are still months left until the Democratic and Republican national conventions, but neither party There is no sign of a nomination contest.

President Biden and President Donald Trump will effectively lock in their nominees, but a showdown in November will galvanize almost no one.

Indeed, this is a special election year.

An 81-year-old president who shouldn't be running is running. It's not like Biden is too old for the job. In fact, that's what millions of people think of him. Many may hold off on voting in November and anoint despicable Trump.

Trump has legions of admirers, even though he is the most pathetic loser in American history, the man who motivated the deadly ransack of the Capitol to overturn an honest election. Not to mention, he is a habitual liar who was found to have committed financial fraud and was charged with 91 felonies. That's the short list.

A delay in the nomination process would have given Biden more time to consider whether he would step down and serve as the “bridge to the next generation” he promised four years ago.

And the ensuing primaries would have given President Trump additional time to get the dirt on his head and give Republican voters a chance to come to their senses.

Well, that may be an illusion. But California's early primaries are a nightmare.

At least for Congressional and state elections, we should go back to the traditional, comfortable June primary.

Under California's latest plan, primaries would be held in early March in years other than the presidential term, such as 2026, when a new governor will be elected. Elections will be held for all statewide offices, as well as for legislative and legislative seats, similar to this year.

This means there are eight months between the primary election and the November runoff, which is far too long for a general election campaign. And the initial period is too short.

“If candidates in low-turnout races had more time, [in the primary] “If we can evolve our message, voters will have a clearer picture,” said Marty Wilson, chief political strategist at the California Chamber of Commerce. He supports returning to the June primary.

Democratic strategist Steve Mabilio calls the argument “bullshit.” If you want to know what's going on, you have plenty of time. ”

But most voters think otherwise. It seems like just yesterday they took down the Christmas tree. They are now worried about their income tax reports due next month.

Early primaries would require candidates for Congress and legislative offices to begin campaigning after Halloween.

“Voters are celebrating over the holidays. They're less receptive to being hit over the head with campaign ads,” says Democratic strategist Garry South.

Context background:

Before World War II, California had a clever two-primary system: a presidential primary in May and a state primary in late August. But during the war, it was difficult to send ballots to troops around the world, so they switched to “integrated” primaries. This soon became the traditional June primary election that had lasted for 50 years.

It went very well. California was sometimes an influential state for the president in the early stages of the election campaign.

In June 1964, Barry Goldwater won the Republican nomination in a landmark primary, permanently shifting the California Republican Party from a centrist to a conservative wing. In June 1972, George McGovern won the hard-fought California primary and won the Democratic nomination.

But then political parties, especially the Democratic Party, reveled in the “reform” and abolished California's winner-take-all primary, reducing its importance. Delegates to the convention were basically distributed in proportion to candidates' votes. As a result, unless candidates could win the largest number of delegates in the nation, there was little incentive for candidates to wage an all-out campaign here at great expense.

The Republican Party has returned to winner-take-all primaries this year, bowing to front-runner Trump. Candidates who receive 50% or more of the votes will collect all 169 delegates. The California primary is less interesting than expected, with Trump expected to swallow it all without any real opposition.

Democrats are fixated on a complex delegate allocation system. Democratic strategist Bill Carrick thinks we should go back to winner-take-all.

“It will be more attractive to candidates and it will give the state more influence,” Carrick said.

California, hungry for influence and envious of the influential Pee Wee states, has tried various initial backup plans since 1996. Initially, I was rooting for this idea. I'm booing right now. The coveted influence remains elusive.

“California gets caught up in Super Tuesday and we become nothing, we become non-existent,” says political analyst Tony Quinn. “It makes the most sense to have two primaries.”

That's a logical system. That means the “early” presidential primaries (on Super Tuesday in April or May) and state primaries are in June.

Democrats argue that holding two primaries would be too expensive. But they never object to their favorite expenditures. What Democrats are really concerned about is the low turnout in June, when there is no presidential term. Low turnout generally hurts Democrats.

Now let's bring the whole shebang back to June. March is the worst month for state primaries.

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