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Super Tuesday was not so Super
Yesterday, March 6th, was Super Tuesday. The day that is supposed to be the biggest of the primary season. The day that is supposed to tell us who the clear front-runner is for the presidential election. The day that had over 400 delegates up for grabs. The only super thing about Tuesday is the fact that I, as an Ohio resident, won’t receive any more election calls for a few more months.
While Mitt Romney did have the best showing on Tuesday, the Republican presidential nomination was not set in stone. Romney reigned victorious in six states, Rick Santorum won three, and Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia. While Gingrich may have won one state, he is essentially already eliminated, and the race is simply between Santorum and Romney. Romney definitely strengthened his push to be the front runner, and helped his cause by winning Ohio, which was said to be the big state of the night. However, it was essentially a tie with Santorum for Ohio, so the win was not as monumental. Romney still leads the delegate race over Santorum 415-176.
There is a distinct problem with the primary system in the United States. It does not give all the candidates a chance at victory. Before Super Tuesday, several states had already held their primaries and caucuses. Because of the outcomes in these other states, some candidates have already dropped out of the race, and others are still running for the nomination even though it is virtually impossible for them to win. Because of the first set of primaries, Americans were convinced that the race was between Santorum and Romney.
When a lot of people went to vote on Tuesday, they figured they had to vote for one of these two men. While they might have believed Ron Paul was the best choice and their views aligned most closely with his, they had to choose between Romney and Santorum because they figured Paul does not have a chance. Essentially, their candidate was already eliminated, and they felt as if they were throwing away their vote by voting for who they really wanted. I personally heard people complaining about this at the polling place.
So what can be done to eradicate this situation? We need to move to having all primaries and caucuses on one day. There needs to be an actual Super Tuesday where all 50 states hold their primaries. We can’t have the primary season spread across five months and expect the candidates to get accurate representation. If there were five or six candidates running, all states would vote on the same day as to who they want the nomination to go to. This way, everyone could truly vote for who they want. Even if we had to, we could take the top two in the voting, and have a separate day to narrow it down to a single nominee a month or so later.
Would this system change the outcome? No one knows for sure. It might have still come down to Romney and Santorum being the top two. Maybe Gingrich or Paul would have made more of a push. As the system stands now though, it doesn’t give each candidate a fair chance. The initial states to hold their primaries set the precedent; they determine who the top candidates will be.
The system is also hurtful for the party fighting for the nomination. The Republican candidates have been belittling one another and beating each other up. They are smearing each other and hurting the Republican Party. All the while, Obama can sit back and not have to do anything. That doesn’t make much sense, considering the Republicans should all have the same goal in mind, to remove Obama from office. Clearly, the system could use a little help to make it more efficient and accurate.