Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Q Day 1: The 2016 Nomination Process

An anonymous commenter asks:
Do you foresee any meaningful rules changes occurring for the 2016 primaries and what impact on the nomination process do you think they would have?
I doubt that anything significant will happen with the formal rules. Republicans, I suspect, will follow up on tightening the link between votes and delegates, making them a bit more like the Democrats in that regard; this part of the process has always been a bit murky to me, so I don't want to predict much about how successful the change will be. And it's not likely to matter a whole lot to nomination outcomes, although if we do ever get a seriously close nomination fight, it certainly could matter how it's resolved.

Beyond that, the most important changes will probably be within the current rules. One is that there are always shifts in the calendar, and they may have some effect; that's more or less impossible to predict at this stage. I think Democrats especially will fight hard to retain their four early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina), but whether they'll be successful is hard to know. The other "change" of note is that it will be the second cycle run under the current (almost) anything goes campaign finance regime, and the first for the Democrats. How will that affect things? Hard to say! But it's safe to guess that the folks who do that stuff will have another round of innovative practices, assuming that there are still areas in the current law available to exploit. My guess is that it won't be a very big deal, but that's just a guess.

As always, while I do pay a fair amount of attention to these issues, all those interested in it should be reading Josh Putnam.

3 comments:

  1. I hadn't thought about it before you point out that Dems are going to have to deal with the same superPAC bullsh*t that created Gingrich and Santorum. And it actually seems kind of awesome (even though it would be a disaster)... maybe Dennis Kucinich and Cindy Sheenan can find some billionaire backers and f*ck shit up?

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  2. There may (/will) be some discussion on the Democratic side in terms of the the positions Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina occupy on the calendar, but since the RNC has already codified for 2016 the continued protection of the "carve out" states, the Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee is unlikely to make any changes. The RBC members I've spoken with have given every indication that they are playing wait and see with the Republican rules, and barring any unforeseen alterations by the GOP, the Dems won't make any wholesale changes to their delegate selection rules.

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    Replies
    1. FWIW...I was thinking more about keeping Iowa et al. safe from Michigan, Florida, or whoever tries to bust through this time. I agree that the rules are going to keep the First Four in place.

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