U.S. Presidential Primaries and the Caucus-Convention System: A Sourcebook

By James W. Davis | Go to book overview

on. A national primary would mean that one and only one set of rules would govern the selection process across the nation. Uniformity seems too high a price to pay for the replacement of a confederate political system that has operated with only limited failings in selecting presidential candidates over the past 150 years.

Because so many objections have been raised against the traditional caucus-convention system, against the existing crazy-quilt presidential primary structure, and against the proposed national direct primary, Senator Robert Packwood (R-OR) in March 1972 came up with a compromise proposal, regional primaries, the subject of the next chapter.


NOTES
1.
Austin Ranney, The Federalization of Presidential Primaries ( Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1978), p. 4.
2.
James W. Davis, Presidential Primaries: Road to the White House ( New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1967), p. 27.
3.
Ranney, "The Federalization of Presidential Primarie"s, p. 7.
4.
U.S. Congress, Senate, Senate Journal, 92nd Cong., 2nd sess., 1972, 118, pt. 7, pp. 8014-8016.
5.
Ranney, The Federalization of Presidential Primaries, pp. 7-8.
6.
Michael Nelson, "Two Cheers for the National Primary," in Rethinking the Presidency, ed. Thomas E. Cronin ( Boston: Little, Brown: 1982), pp. 57-58.
7.
James W. Ceaser, Presidential Selection: Theory and Development ( Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), p. 351.
8.
Stephen J. Wayne, The Road to the White House, 1992, 4th ed. ( New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992), p. 282.
9.
Nelson, "Two Cheers for the National Primary," p. 59.
10.
Ranney, The Federalization of Presidential Primaries, pp. 39-40.
11.
Paul T. David, Malcolm Moos, and Ralph M. Goldman, Presidential Nominating Politics in 1952 ( Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1954), 1: 218- 219.
12.
Voter turnout in the 1992 presidential election was 55.1 percent of the voting age population. In 1988, the turnout was 50.1 percent--the second-lowest turnout recorded for a presidential election in the twentieth century. Joseph A. Pika, Zelma Mosley , and Richard A. Watson, The Presidential Contest, 4th ed. ( Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1992), pp. 120-121.
13.
Thomas E. Patterson, Out of Order ( New York: Random House, 1994), pp. 207-242.
14.
V. O. Key Jr., Southern Politics ( New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949), especially chaps. 18-22.
15.
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Dismantling the Parties: Reflections of Party Reform and Party Decomposition ( Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1978), p. 27.
16.
Ranney, The Federalization of Presidential Primaries, p. 38.

-205-

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