The U.S must fix its primary system.


Stephen C. Leverton II, Opinion Writer

With the Iowa caucuses less than two weeks away, Democratic presidential candidates are making mad dashes across the state. Former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and businessman Tom Steyer led bus tours over the last few months and traveled across Iowa, holding rallies, town halls and other events. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also hosted town hall meetings and rallies across Iowa.

In mid-November, Politico reported that former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro criticized the Iowa Caucus because the state’s population does not represent the national average. This means that electoral power remains in the hands of white people. 

Castro, who dropped out on January 2nd, 2020, argued that a more diverse state should vote first, which is an idea that should be analyzed. Instead of having one state determine the candidate, all 50 states should vote on one day before the Democratic National Convention, like how all 50 states vote on Election Day in November. This tests candidates seeking presidential nominations; seeing if they can withstand the pressure of running a national campaign. 

Another issue with states voting on different dates is that it causes candidates to focus on key states rather than the whole nation. The Super Tuesday primaries include multiple states on one day. Candidates focus their attention on states with higher electoral power, rather than the American’s as a whole. 

Castro’s critics say that Iowa vets candidates and shrinks the size of the race from a few dozen candidates to a small group. Many see individual primaries and caucuses as a way for candidates to connect with Americans about their policies. 

It’s ultimately unfair to have a handful of states determine the presidential candidate, especially those that are not representative of the whole nation. Everyone has a voice in America when they cast their votes; our primary system needs to reflect that.