Argument: Iowa and New Hampshire are not socially or culturally representative of the U.S.

Issue Report: Primaries in US elections

Supporting Evidence

  • New Hampshire has less than ½ of 1% of the population

U-Wire, November 30, 2007 “Sure, having candidates flitting on and off the Dartmouth campus for debates and town hall meetings every four years is fun and rewarding for students (especially us political junkies), but the attention we receive is ludicrous. If you did not already know, New Hampshire has less than half of one percentage point of the total U.S. population. Just 0.43 percent of a country of over 300 million individuals. Yet somehow, the Granite State holds a huge amount of influence in choosing the man (or woman) who gets to sit in the Oval Office. Think about it. While every candidate from Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., to Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, pretends to hang on our every complaint and runs from stump speech to photo opportunity, the other 99.56 percent of the population can only wait and watch their two presidential candidates be determined before they have any say. If our Student Assembly elections worked that way, 18 lucky people would get the chance to reduce the field into just two or three candidates before the rest of us got more than a newspaper article on them.”

  • Iowa and New Hampshire do not reflect the rest of the country

McClatchy Newspapers, September 25, 2007“The problems of the current primary-and-caucus nomination game are well documented: It’s too fast, too expensive and each election cycle is accelerating the absurdity. Plus, Iowa and New Hampshire, two idiosyncratic early-voting powerhouses that barely reflect the rest of the country, play an outsized role in this electoral “Survivor.”

  • New Hampshire and Iowa are not microcosms of America

Lancaster New Era/Intelligencer Journal/Sunday News, January 8, 2008, p. B4 “The primary system is screwed up. States such as Ohio or Virginia, which are better microcosms of America than white-bread Iowa and Podunk New Hampshire, should be the yardsticks of the presidential elections. By the time Ohio’s primary rolls around, both parties’ picks are more or less already in place, and many people feel that their vote doesn’t count. Shouldn’t the system encourage enthusiasm, instead of inevitability?”