I believe when the dust settles on the 2012 campaign, one resounding lesson will be to ditch proportional delegate primaries.
While Republicans spent tons of money beating each other up in campaign ads month after month after month, just to wind up with the same nominee we would’ve had anyway, Obama spent the summer blasting negative ads against Romney, too.
September conventions tied up Romney’s general election spending until after the summer, when the race was probably already lost.
I know the complaints about winner-take-all primaries. States that don’t go first basically have show primaries that occur after all but one candidate has dropped out.
The point is to nominate a candidate and put him in the best position to win. That means spending money trying to defeat Democrats, rather than trying to bash other Republicans or defend against other Republican attacks.
Mitt Romney won 9 of the first 13 primaries before Super Tuesday. He won 6 Super Tuesday states in March. He won 7 of 11 states later that month.
Was it over? Heck no. Romney still won every April primary and still didn’t have enough delegates to be considered the nominee. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul held out until May.
By the end, Romney had amassed over 1400 delegates, and the closet person to him was Santorum with under 240.
Really? We dragged out our circular firing squad until May to nominate the guy who won New Hampshire and Super Tuesday.
Stop! Although it’s great drama and fodder for politicos, it’s horrible to spend literally half of the Presidential campaign year fighting ourselves.
Proportional delegate awarding was a disaster. Romney spent the entire year fending off negative attacks: Half by our own candidates, and the other half by Obama when Romney was low on funds due to our long, protracted primaries that wound up with the same nominee we would’ve had anyway.
Go back to winner take all.