[POLITICS] According to the Times
, the Democrats are discussing holding some presidential primaries between Iowa and New Hampshire.
The problem, of course, is that Iowa is a caucus, so party hacks like Kerry win instead of rabble rousers like Dean; and New Hampshire is an odd, small, rich state with lots of rocks and few minorities. Then we go to states like South Carolina and Massachusetts, which are irrelevant to Democratic political calculus because they're hard red or hard blue. Long before New York goes Republican, the election is already lost. Long before South Carolina goes Democrat, the election is already won. Unfortunately, a candidate can pick up big momentum by sweeping New York and Massachusetts; but the candidate that plays well there may be a lousy candidate nationally.
Seems to me the most important primaries are the three states that decided the last election: Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. These are the big swing states. Win two out of three and you've clinched the election. Win one out of three, and you've lost.
The three first primaries should be Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. The candidates should be judged according to how well they play there. Any candidate that sweeps these states has a good shot at winning the country.