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Split GOPoposaur
Looks like we're going to be seeing some changes in Republican strategy for the 2016 presidential race. Hmm.
Most significantly, the party is considering holding a “Midwestern primary” featuring Great Lakes states such as Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin that would come immediately after the votes in the traditional early primary states. Also being weighed and thought likely to be approved when the Republican National Committee meets in early 2014 is a plan to shorten the primary season considerably by holding the party’s convention in July, almost as soon as the last primary ballots are cast.
"Shortening the primary season considerably" is code for "the less the public is exposed to the horrific gaggle of nutcases that we expect to comprise the 2016 Republican presidential lineup, the better." But what's the "Midwestern primary" bit about?
The move toward a “Midwestern Super Tuesday” after the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida appears aimed in part at wresting control of the nominating process from social conservatives in the South in an effort to produce a nominee more likely to carry the election in November.
Ah, an attempt to pry back the nomination from the hands of The Crazies. That would only work if primaries in those other states were not similarly decided by The Crazies, which seems optimistic. It also relies on southern states going along with the plan, and there would seem to be little stomach for that. Every state wants their primary to be among the first, hence the ongoing creep towards earlier and earlier dates. Also at issue: Republicans assume that the Democratic nomination process will be a short and simple affair ending with the inevitable nomination of Hillary Clinton. The early-as-conceivably-possible July convention date is meant as a means for getting their own, presumably more battered candidate out the door and onto the anti-Hillary campaign trail as soon as possible.

The (correct) lesson the GOP took from the 2012 primary season was that the more Americans heard from the Republican candidates, the less they liked them. Since putting up more moderate and/or less incompetent candidates is not in the cards, the party is currently obsessed with the notion of shortening the process (fewer debates, a tighter primary schedule) so that voters are exposed to them as little as possible. It's a good plan. It's exactly not a plan that will bring a tear to your eye as you contemplate the noble majesty of the American democratic process and our efforts to govern ourselves via an informed electorate debating things informedly, mind you, but it's a good plan. If the public doesn't like your ideas and finds many of your candidates absolutely terrifying, a plan aimed conspicuously at getting those candidates to Shut The Hell Up Already is probably going to be one of your better options.

Originally posted to Hunter on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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