By Scott Tibbs, September 12, 2011
As we get closer to primary season, we will hear the typical complaints about Iowa and New Hampshire having such a disproportionate impact in the race, while other late-voting states, such as Indiana, rarely have any voice in the process. The 2008 campaign was an anomaly, as the nominations are usually decided by that point.
It is far too late to change the process for 2012, but changes can be made in the future to ensure that smaller states have more of a voice in the process and that the best sample of voters is used to determine the nominees.
I propose splitting the nomination process into six separate "super Tuesdays" three weeks apart. The ten smallest states would vote first, followed by the next batch of ten until the ten largest states are left. The final two "super Tuesdays" would consist of the sixth through tenth largest states by population, with the five largest states voting last.
A national primary day is a possibility, but that it would give a heavy advantage to the most well-financed candidates and prevent lower-tier candidates from potentially catching fire at the grassroots. In addition, the smallest states would be ignored as candidates concentrate on the largest states. Spreading the nomination process out over fifteen weeks with the most populated states voting last would allow voters the opportunity to compare the candidates over a longer period of time. The nomination would still be decided by the largest states.
This would be a radical change and would meet stiff resistance, but I think it would be a significant improvement over the tangled and confusing mess we have now.