June 26th, 2009
04:53 PM ET
5 years ago

Work on 2012 primary calendars already underway

WASHINGTON (CNN) – It may be the last thing anyone wants to talk about, thanks to lasting memories from the very long, historic and contentious 2008 presidential campaign, but committees from both the Democratic and Republican parties already looking into revamping the way they pick their presidential nominees.

2012 may be years away, but the Democratic National Committee's Democratic Change Commission holds its first meeting this Saturday. The commission's looking at three issues that dogged last year's marathon primary battle between then-Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Their goals: changing the window of time during which primaries and caucuses may be held, reducing the number of unpledged delegates, and improving the caucus system.

A number of states moved up their contest dates and two of them, Florida and Michigan, were penalized by the national parties. There was also a controversy over the clout of superdelegates in the Democratic nomination battle between Obama and Clinton. Obama won a majority of pledged delegates, but needed the support of superdelegates to clinch the nomination. Superdelegates are party officials, members of Congress and state office holders. They are unpledged delegates who are free to support the candidate of their choice

Work on the Republican side is already underway. The Republican National Committee's primary committee met on Monday, beginning a fact-finding process that could result in some alterations to the primary calendar in the next presidential campaign.

Democrats have always been able to make changes to party rules between conventions, a luxury now afforded to Republicans, thanks to a rule change that was approved at last year's Republican Party convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Among the issues the Republicans are dealing with is the front-loading of the primary calendar. Between the two parties, contests were held in 24 states on Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008.


Filed under: DNC • RNC
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. arjay

    i kind of can't wait to see how some of the more intelligent republican candidates are going to handle alaska barbie and her total lack of any semblance of intelligence. it ought to prove entertaining.

    June 26, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. Ann

    artigiano "Republicans would do well to study Obama 2008. But frankly they aren't that bright, and probably will run Dole 1996 all over again."

    Voters would do well to open their eyes and not be fooled again. To have the option of a Hillary Clinton and not take it, was beyond the stupidity of voting twice for President Bush.

    June 26, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. Michele

    Ooohh, it's a big political meeting! Can Sarah come and speak? Pretty please? She has a PAC now to pay for her travel. (Just who are the dopes giving money to her anyway? I want to see a list!)

    June 26, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. Alfred E. Neumann

    Make it a regional primary system held on four dates – East, South, Midwest and West. Enough of this emphasis on Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Eliminate the caucuses – kick em to the curb!

    Eliminate the "superdelegates".

    Keep the debates open to those managing at least 15% in the polls.

    And finally – winner take all!

    June 26, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  5. Blue Tiger

    I'm glad to see that both parties are attempting to reform the (greatly flawed) primary system. However, the proof will be in the pudding.

    June 27, 2009 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
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