I stumbled on this National Conference of State Legislatures report while looking for other information:

In the face of budget woes, ten states are considering eliminating their presidential primaries to save money. So far, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, and North Dakota have passed measures eliminating their presidential primaries. Utah passed a measure that could result in elimination of their presidential primary if the legislature declines to appropriate funds for it in 2004. New Mexico passed a bill allowing the two major parties to hold a convention instead of a primary if they so choose. The Arizona legislature also passed a presidential primary elimination bill, but the governor vetoed it.

Fourteen states are considering changing the date of their presidential primary. Just six states have passed bills so far–Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. If Utah holds a presidential primary in 2004, it will be held on the last Friday in February instead of on the first Friday after the first Monday in March. Virginia’s presidential primary has been moved up from the last Tuesday in February to the second Tuesday in February. SB 3 would hold Oklahoma’s presidential primary on the first Tuesday after New Hampshire’s primary. Under current law, Oklahoma’s presidential primary is held on the second Tuesday in March.

Interesting. I had some inkling that a couple states were thinking of this, but didn’t realize it was a fifth of the country.

I’ve thought for quite some time–stemming from a debacle in the 1986 Democratic primaries in Alabama–that the parties, rather than the taxpayers, should fund primaries. My rationale then and now is that primaries are strictly party affairs. Further, having the parties pay would give them more control over the rules and encourage the use of closed primaries (only those registered or otherwise affiliated with a party could vote in its primary), which I favor for a variety of reasons I won’t go into here.

Politics1 has the primary calendar as it now stands, along with other useful info, including this list of the massive number of candidates who are actively running for president–the vast majority of whom no one has ever heard–and a brief description of the third parties.

Among the more amusing tidbits that I had completely forgotten, someone has filed papers formalizing the campaign of former Congressman Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) for president. He’s currently in prison. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that he will not win.

Electric Venom:The Letter Of The Day Is D“>D is for Dinosaur.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Josh says:

    Since Drupal doesn’t have a trackback option w/ MT, consider this your trackback.

  2. Bah, smoke-filled rooms or bust. Heck, that’s basically what the Dem establishment wants anyway (and if my primary slate was nearly a dozen strong yet had this high a quotient of nitwits in the field, I’d rather not have the decision in the hands of people whose common denominator is that they’ve got time to kill on Super Tuesday).