Primary elections misrepresent America


Maria Grenyo, Staff Columnist

Since the first caucus in Iowa on Feb. 3, the field of Democratic candidates has been rapidly shrinking. By the time Washington, D.C., Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota get to vote on June 2, the number of candidates still in the race will have dwindled to just a couple viable prospects. 

Ever since the New Hampshire primary, candidates have been suspending their campaigns. Andrew Yang and Sen. Michael Bennet dropped out after New Hampshire. Tom Steyer, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar dropped out after South Carolina. Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren dropped out after Super Tuesday. This leaves other states with frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. 

As a resident of Wisconsin, I will not vote until April 7, and many other states also have primaries close to that date. To avoid candidates dropping out too soon and not allowing voters to choose who they really want to be the candidate, every state should have the primary on the same day to find someone who truly represents the Democratic party – not a small section of it. 

Because Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and the Super Tuesday states vote so early, they choose who the Democratic nominee will be. These states shape who the frontrunners are in other states – many of which might have voted for someone else entirely. For example, Klobuchar dropped out before Super Tuesday, even though Minnesota, her home state, would be voting on that day. Similarly, the Indiana primary isn’t until May 5, which Buttigieg may have won had he stayed in the race. If all states voted in primaries on the same day, it would have been possible for these candidates to gain a larger percentage of the votes and continue to compete until the Democratic National Convention. 

Some of the most important states are not considered in these primaries. In the 2020 election, the states predicted to be the deciding swing states are Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The Michigan primary was on March 10, but the rest of these states will not have primaries for at least another week. These states have the most important voices because they will decide if a Democrat or Republican wins in November. If these states are given a choice between President Trump and a Democrat decided by other states, it is possible Trump will be re-elected. These swing states want a Democratic candidate they love, and by having other states choose the Democratic nominee, some swing voters in these states will swing back to Trump.

Besides these two problems with the primaries, an established primary date for all states would be easier to remember for voters. Instead of having to research what the primary date is, everyone would know. One solution that seems feasible is making Presidents Day the day for primary elections. Since Presidents Day is already a federal holiday, it would be easy to remember because of its connection to the election. Additionally, everyone’s voices would be heard at the same time. Because some states get more sway in elections due to early voting, some Americans do not get heard. By the time I get to vote, many candidates I would have considered will have suspended their campaigns. If all states vote at the same time, the equality that is guaranteed in the Constitution will be properly honored, instead of some states being more powerful than others.