Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator (ludickid) wrote,
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
ludickid

I love our awesome two-party system

The way that everyone goes on about the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, you'd think they were in the least bit predictive. In fact, in their entire histories, they attain precisely the level of predictive ability when it comes to picking a political party's eventual presidential candidate as would flipping a coin.

In each year since the inception of the modern primary system, each party vote in each state (when not faced with an incumbent or other candidate with no real opposition) has resulted in a 50% success rate in choosing the party's eventual candidate: Iowa Democrats picked Carter in '76, Mondale in '84 and Kerry in '04, but they also chose Muskie in '72, Gephardt in '88 and Harkin in '92. Iowa Republicans chose Dole in '96 and Bush in '00, but they also picked Bush in '80 (over Reagan) and Dole in '88 (over Bush). New Hampshire fares no better despite their longer history: their Democratic voters picked right in '60, '76, '88, '00 and '04 (Kennedy, Carter, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry), but picked wrong in '52, '56, '72, '84 and '92 (Kefauver twice, Muskie, Hart and Tsongas). Their G.O.P. chose correctly in '52, '68, '80 and '88 (Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and Bush) but chose wrongly in '48, '64, '96, and '00 (Stassen, Lodge, Buchanan & McCain).

fengi has already done a fine job in explaining why the primary system, like so much of our American democracy, is unfair, distorted and undemocratic, but you'd think that at least its unfairness would get results. But no: it's a completely fucked system, and it only works half the time for all that. God bless Vespucciland.
Subscribe

  • The Party of What People?

    This will be my last entry of 2016.  Next year will begin, barring some unexpected act of fate, with the ascension to the presidency of Donald…

  • America the Impossible

    Today is the Fourth of July, America’s national holiday.  Longtime readers of this site will know that every day on this year, I post a little…

  • Deep Reads #6: Forces in the Field

    From  The Trouble with Principle by Stanley Fish: “Many bad things are now being done in the name of neutral principles, and I hope it is…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 8 comments