In July of 2006, USA Today reported:
Mich., N.H. spar over primary schedule changeLast May, the Washington Post had this quote:
For decades, New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary has played an unusually influential role in choosing which presidential candidates win their parties' nomination.
Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan thinks it's time to change that. He wants to give other states — such as his own — an earlier voice in the presidential selection process.
Levin and others who favor change say small, largely white New Hampshire isn't representative enough of the Democratic Party or the nation as a whole to rate the enormous attention it gets from candidates. For example, blacks make up 12.3% of the nation's population but only 0.8% of New Hampshire's population, Census Bureau data show.
Levin's crusade, a source of deep irritation for New Hampshire Democrats, is gaining traction this year as the Democratic National Committee mulls a proposal to add a state caucus between Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus in mid-January 2008 and the New Hampshire primary in late January.
"The parties have lost control of the calendar" said John Weaver, the chief strategist for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). "And not necessarily to the benefit of the American people."And it's true. Why should certain states always be the ones that "matter"? Look at how much attention is payed to the voters of Iowa and Hampshire. I mean no disrespect to them, but do these states represent the diversity of the American people? Other states have cried out for attention from presidential candidates for years, but if the those states' primaries are not one of the first, what incentive do the candidates have to spend their precious time and money traveling across the country to spend time there?
This is an issue that Howard Dean and the DNC knew about. It is unconscionable that they now penalize the voters of Michigan and Florida for the national party's lack of action to fix a broken system. In 1998, the New York Times ran an editorial entitled "A Primary Political Problem," and closed with this statement:
[I]t is obvious that only a guarantee that all states will get a decent chance to influence the nominating process is going to end the present destructive trend.But instead the trend continues ....