April 1st, 2008
04:21 PM ET

Will all voters get a chance to choose a president?

It’s pretty funny to see Democrats full of angst because the party has yet to decide on its nominee.


Roland S. Martin is a nationally syndicated columnist, Chicago-based radio host, and frequent contributor to the AC360° Blog.

We’ve got 10 states yet to go to the polls, and folks act as if the world is going to end if we don’t wait until June to allow everyone vote for either Sens. Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
This notion that only a handful of states should decide the presidency has always been ludicrous, and shuts the rest of the country out of the process (all the folks in Florida and Michigan, give it a rest. Had your bozo politicians just followed the rules, all would be well).
Imagine the Republicans in the remaining states that have yet to go to the polls? Maybe Mitt Romney was their choice. Or even Mike Huckabee. Such a prolonged process doesn’t give the nation the opportunity to weigh in. They are simply left with the choice of voters elsewhere.
Once this election year has concluded, maybe both parties should look to make changes to how they choose a nominee. A national primary day may not be the choice, but having primaries from January to April will allow us to cover to 12 states each month, thereby offering a balanced way of making a decision.
All Republicans and Democrats should get the chance to choose their nominee. Letting voters in just a few states to do the choosing just doesn’t cut it.

– Roland S. Martin, 360° Contributor

Comments to the 360° blog are moderated. What does that mean?

Filed under: Raw Politics • Roland S. Martin
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Rodger Willing

    It seems like the television pundits are afraid to honestly analyze the recent aggressive tactics of Hillary Clinton. From the beginning of the campaign, I said the biggest problem with Hillary Clinton is that she is a divisive force in everything she does, basically, she is a democratic version of George W. Bush. Until recently, the Democratic primary was an outstanding exchange of ideas and programs.
    However in the last 4-6 weeks the personal attacks eminating from Hillary Clinton have brought the democratic primary down into the gutter. This is exactly what I was afraid she was capable of. Her actions prove out my fears and are indicative of the true tuype of person she is and what type of administration she would run. Again, another GW Bush. Above all other people, Anderson could objectively point this out.

    April 2, 2008 at 9:59 pm |
  2. Relle Boston

    I agree with Demi. They knew the rules including Clinton, but she wanted to change the rules because she is loosing. That is FACT, but because people like her so much they look apst her lies. The rules are the rules. They should be equally split or else they should let Edwards and the other candidates back in the race they should have been on the ballot also. People chose to believe what they want, but the truth is they all agreed and the only thing that should be done is splitting the vote equeally so not to favor anyone.

    April 2, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  3. ron

    A national primary day will not work. The entire purpose of spreading primaries out is to give candidates a chance to go to the individual states and address the issues that are pertinent to each area of the country. This cannot be accomplished if all primaries are on the same day. Without this, candidates will only speak in generalities and not take on the more selective geographic and demographic issues.
    We do need to revamp the way primaries are scheduled. Perhaps a rotational system or even a party lottery to determine order of primaries. The way it is now simply doesn't work. To always allow certain states to set the trend in voting is not right. But a single primary day is not an answer either.

    April 2, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  4. Rick from PA

    Just seat the delegates in Florida and do a revote in Michigan.
    Obama was on the ticket so leave it in florida. Neither one campaigned in Florida so they both were in the same boat.
    Leave it and do a revote in Michigan.

    I am sure that Floridians didn't know that there vote wouldn't count.

    Obama is stopping any of the choices because he loses in all cases.

    April 2, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  5. Angela Green

    As I Canadian, I have been watching this presidential race closer than any in the past, trying to understand what passes for this "process" of yours. And I have to tell you, it makes virtually no sense. It is way too complicated, way to intense and WAY TOO LONG! I have election exhaution, and I don't have to vote. I always hated that in Canada we vote for the political party, and once elected, their leader became the prime minister; no direct vote the way americans have. After watching this circus, I am grateful for our process now. A couple of months, and it is over, and the government moves on with business of running the country.

    April 2, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  6. Gerard

    I think everyone should get a chance to vote. I don't support Clinton, but I feel she has every right to stay in the race till the last vote is counted. The super delegate thing is a total disrespect to the voters. If the super delegates decide the out come, why waste time and money on the general public vote. If Clinton wins the nomination by the popular and delegate vote I will support her in November. If the super delegates just give it to her, I will stay home as I know many other people will do the same.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:54 am |
  7. Lillian

    The media needs to stop the hype and report the news on the issues that are of real concern – not all the trash you hear over and over.
    We have known definately the last two presidental campaigns and prior to that the election process is outdated and turned off the majority of eligible voters yet nothing has been done to really change the system. There was a real purpose for the electoral college but that need is no longer here. If we as a democratic society want to evolve and flourish then we need to address this process honestly and quickly!!!! We have elections of some kind for congress, senate every year. People want to be involved and will be if they BELIEVE they will be listened to. It is well past the time to have a true democracy where each voter has a true voice. We live in a transient society, companies are no longer loyal to their employees, the populations are in constant change. Do away with all the super delegates, electoral college. It is simple – Popular Vote – One vote for each person is well past its due. How can we tell other countries to run elections when ours are so fouled up?

    April 2, 2008 at 10:28 am |
  8. Demi

    Let's be real people–DEMOCRACY means FOLLOW THE RULES. Instead of chopping at wilted weeds, people in the Democratic Party should be questioning Clinton. She conspired with those folks in Fl and MI and jumped on the ballot, when the candidates had already agreed not to. Americans do not condone CHEATING! Fact is, if you are in a race by yourself, you will win. It doesn't take a donkey to figure this one out, folks. Bill says, "Chill out." I say, "Put a lid on it, Bill, you are not running for president, and we don't need another "War of the Roses" situation in the White House.

    April 2, 2008 at 10:06 am |
  9. KC, Texas

    Why wouldn't this work???? We vote for President in one election, why not presidential nominees? Then narrow it down to the top 2 of each party and let them duke it out nationally! I like the idea! Then there would be NO way to change the voting date. You either do it on THAT day or not at all until the presidential general election.

    Go Ro! I like it!

    April 2, 2008 at 9:55 am |
  10. Demi

    Roland –
    Simple. Florida and Michigan are out! No questions asked, and the voters can deal with their representatives on their own time. No one is being disenfranchised because the process normally does not go past Super Tuesday, which means in remaining states Republicans and Democrats are left out anyway. As proven from the 2000 and 2004 elections, Black voters across this country were grossly disenfranchised. There were "rigged" machines, broken machines, a lack of machines, hanging "chads", provisional ballots, long lines, missing ballots, ballots left in boxes and bags uncounted, voters sent to wrong polling areas–the list goes on. If the Clintons, or anyone else for that matter, were truly concerned about "disenfranchised voters", they would have fought like "Rocky" for the Black Vote to be counted, and Bush would not be president today. As it has always been in this country, matters involving African Americans are always viewed and addressed on a less-of-importance level, or in the case of Jeremiah Wright, overly publicized. All Americans will never be proud of their country–until the country shows pride in All Americans, equal rights/equal justice. OBAMA 08!

    April 2, 2008 at 9:51 am |
  11. Ariane

    It is ironic that the year in which Democratic voters from more states than usual are having a chance to have a greater influence on the process, there also seems to be much more bitter complaining than usual about late voting states being disenfranchised if a candidate is chosen before they vote. People have got their hopes up that this year for a change, there won't be a definite nominee by the time they vote. And now that their hopes were raised, they're angry at possibly having them snatched away at the last minute.

    Not that they're wrong. I've thought for some time this was a screwy system. And trying to explain it to people in other countries feels like being in the old "Who's on First?" comedy routine. The good part in it is that the candidates can spend time actually campaigning in the different states so more people get a chance to see them in person, even meet them, attend Town Halls etc. and have their local media cover it. That would have been very important at a time before television and Internet . It still does retain some value now. But not enough to offset so many voters not having an influence. The downside to a National Primary would likely be that the candidates would not campaign in small states. So I don't really know what is the answer.

    But I do want everyone in this very heated primary season to feel like their vote counts for something. I don't want people thinking they didn't have a chance and perhaps being so upset as to vote for McCain out of spite – – no matter how far his positions are from their own beliefs.
    Not everyone is trying to force Clinton to quit, though if one does the math , one sees that it is extremely unlikely that she could win – -even with Fla. and Mich. But I don't want people to feel like she was pushed out. What I DO want is for the Democratic candidates to concentrate on McCain.

    Re Fla and Mich , what the legislators did was NOT the regular peoples fault so I wish they could somehow MAKE them have revotes – – but then strip the states of their superdelegates so there would be some consequences to discourage others from breaking other rules.
    There is so much misunderstanding I keep hearing repeated – it's pretty lame to blame the Republican majority in the Florida legislature for moving the primary against the rules when it was a unanimous decision. It's also wrong (logically and morally) for Clinton to blame Obama for there not being re-votes when it is the state legislatures who voted not to have them, still playing chicken with the DNC.

    April 2, 2008 at 7:55 am |
  12. linda hemmingsen canada

    i think the whole race for the nomination has been a flawed one. The media has negatively, daily slammed hillary, even when there is good news. Why they are giving obama a free ride is disturbing. When obama users the race card people back off and are so nice o him. florida and michigan should be counted , why not just vote on one day across the whole country for a nominee and not have caucuses because they are too easy to intiminate voters rights. I find it amazing no one is looking into all obamas friends and what he did in the senate in chicago and how he helped his donors get favors. why can't you americans do what you do around the world, go in and get free elections and make sure everyones vote is freely given with out blackmail and threats.

    April 2, 2008 at 3:12 am |
  13. shar

    All of the primaries should be held on the same day. This, however, is not a probable outcome as the petty politicians and power brokers could not play their games.

    April 2, 2008 at 2:56 am |
  14. Brian

    Mary Ellen,

    Clearly you started watching the news a week too late.

    April 2, 2008 at 1:50 am |
  15. Andy NY expat voting from Santo Domingo

    Roland – How is it that Amy Holmes and Candy Crowly are reporting that Harold Ickes and other Clinton surragates are pushing superDs on Obama's viability in association with Rev. Wright, when Obama's answered every Q with frankness and dignity, yet HRC gets a Free Pass on Iraq, "Shame on you", NAFTA, 3 a.m. call, only she and McCain have the 'experience', media coddling, superD pandering, MI and FL fear-mongering/scapegoating/demonizing of Obama???

    April 2, 2008 at 1:39 am |
  16. Rob, Arvada, CO

    Fifty states, 10 states a month starting in January. No super-delegates for either party and 5 months left to campaign in the General Election. Clear, simple, easy.

    April 2, 2008 at 12:49 am |
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