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As I See It

New ideas for choosing presidential candidates

Scott Robert Shaw



The consensus is nearly unanimous. Iowa screwed up the process of determining the democratic nominee for President so badly, it no longer deserves its first in the nation status. Iowa has been the first state to cast votes in the presidential contest for decades, and has had an over sized impact on the race. Many candidates who do poorly in Iowa choose to drop out soon after, even though Iowa only has a minuscule 41 delegates to award. And its not like Iowa goes first because it is so good at determining the best candidate. Since 1972, Iowa has only had a 55% success rate at predicting which democrat, and a 43% success rate which republican will go on to win their party’s nomination. There has to be a better way. Here are some ideas. If Iowa is still going to be the first to vote, pair another state, perhaps one more representative of voter demographics, hold their contest that day too. Another idea is to have whichever state saw the closest margin in the most previous presidential contest vote first. That would put Wisconsin near the top of the list to vote first. Or why not have each state hold its contests all on the same day, so what happens in Iowa doesn’t have such influence on the future of the race. Or let every state hold a vote when they want, but don’t release the results of the vote until each state casts its ballots. None of these ideas may be perfect, but it seems any of them are better than the current system, which as we saw too clearly this week, really doesn’t work any more.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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