Saturday, November 17, 2007

Primary Maneuvers

A state judge recently declared unconstitutional the law that created Michigan's January 15 presidential primary. The rationale for this decision was suspect. It had something to do with who would have access to the list of who voted in the election. But the result is probably good for conservatives.

The national democratic party punished Michigan for moving the primary up so far, leading many of the candidates to withdraw and refuse to campaign in Michigan. It also appears that Hillary Clinton will have a fairly easy time securing the democratic nomination (though this could change).

This means that democrats would see less reason to vote in their own primary. Thus they will be free to cause mischief in the Republican primary. This is hardly a theoretical concern, as a widespread campaign amongst democrats succeeded in winning Michigan for John McCain in 2000. Democrat involvement in the 2008 primary would likely benefit Rudy Giuliani.

The Republican back-up plan is a state convention. This would benefit candidates who have strong grassroots support and eliminate the possibility of democrats interfering in the Republican nomination campaign.

The judge's decision has been met with complaints that the decision will harm Michigan. But an early primary mainly benefits the political class, not the state at large.

Previous: Primary Obsession

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