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Priebus: No more August conventions

by: Matt

Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 16:38:19 PM EDT

Some drastic talk from RNC Chairman Reice Priebus on today's Face the Nation:

One of the reasons why Mitt Romney was a sitting duck for two months over the summer is under the campaign finance law, he couldn't use money he had already raised until after he received nomination for president in August. I believe that our primary process is way too long. I think our calendar needs to be looked at ... and I think they had to wait too long to get to the convention. I'm calling for a convention in June or July. We're going to set up a commission that's going to make that decision. I'm going to be a part of that. I'm going to chair that commission, but no more August conventions."

Back in '96 the Dole campaign was in trouble because it couldn't access it's general election public financing money. In 2004, the Kerry campaign discussed officially accepting the nomination weeks before the Boston convention in order to access his general election funds. Then, as candidates had a fixed amount of money for the general, a late convention made more sense. But now, with no more public financing, it will be interesting to see if the two parties come to the same conclusion on the timing of the 2016 conventions.

Update: Here are the official recommendations from the RNC (p. 72)"

1. The Republican Convention should be held earlier in the summer. It should be moved
to late June or sometime in July, allowing our nominee more time to begin the general election phase. (Note: The 2016 Olympics will be held August 5–21.)

2. Because the nominee will still need an estimated 60–90 days to prepare for the Convention, changes will need to be made to the primary calendar. If the Convention were to be held in July, the last primary would need to be held no later than May 15. If the Convention were to be held in late June, the final primary would need to be held no later than April 30. Moving primaries up will require states and state parties to cooperate

Update from Doc Jess:

There's a ton more fun in the Republican Autopsy Report. Nice graphics, no substance. Read it all below.


Matt :: Priebus: No more August conventions

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It's hard to know what to enjoy most (0.00 / 0)
The data Matt called out about the primary dates is hysterical. One giant jungle primary. There's enough trouble with the various "Super Tuesdays". Plus, there are limitations to when states would be willing to hold primaries. In Pennsylvania, for example (and remember - the Republicans are really trying here...even looking for ways to cheat) the primary is held in May because there are school initiatives that affect that year's school budgets and other items. The primary is late to give the school districts the time to get their ducks in a row before the ballot initiatives need to get voted on. Making the primary earlier would mean that the data isn't yet available, and there might be a need to hold an additional election just for the ballot initiatives.

But there's SO MUCH MORE in the document. They want all sorts of outreach to minorities (especially Latinos), the young, and women. They admit that the can't win the youth vote without changing their stance on gay marriage, but they have no intention of doing so. They can't win Latinos on economic or other issues so long as Latinos believe Republicans want them to all self-deport, even if they're citizens, and there's no epic movement on that, either. Let's not even talk about trying to get college-educated women to vote for misogynists.  

Fun, fun, fun, and dammit, I'm out of popcorn...

questions (0.00 / 0)
This need for early access to general election funds only really matters if you are relying on a small number of people giving $2600-$5200.  And since most of the money is spent September-November anyway, this would seem an even smaller problem unless you are really having trouble fundraising.  In which case...  Or am I missing something?

Related question, once you are officially the nominee, does that mean you can't raise any more money for the primary?  If so it seems like this could backfire.  Though somehow I doubt this is the case.

Funding (0.00 / 0)
Remember that there has been a sea change in funding since the 2008 Obama campaign and the Citizens United decision.

But first - Matt will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that you can only spend primary money on primaries, so that once primary season is over, you can't spend that money.

I think that the GOP won't have any trouble raising money so long as Citizens United stays in place, and I think that if Hillary runs in 2016, she won't have any trouble raising huge amounts of small donations.

My guess is that the problem the GOP is trying to solve has less to do with money and more to do with certainty. Their problem is having a legitimate candidate as soon as possible. And I think they're wrong.

It's only been the past couple decades that presidential candidates ran for years. It used to be that the WHOLE season was less than a year from candidate announcement through general election. Priebus and company want more time to introduce a presidential candidate in lieu of a primary candidate. That means the 60 - 90 days they want to "prepare" for the convention actually means "more time to move off the far right cliff and into the middle." Speeches and events...

Their real problem, though, is that their party is filled with activists who pull far right. The debates are bad for them because all the idiots on stage raise their hands when asked "how many of you believe in creationism?" "How many of you want to ban abortion?" "How many of you believe the earth is only 10,000 years old?" "How many of you believe climate change is not caused by humans?" Stuff like that.

Face it, in 2012, they had millions on millions of dollars to spend AND THEY STILL LOST. Their problems are their candidates and their party platform. Their problem is their positions. All the money in the world won't help them.

I'd personally like to see the Republican Party return to where it was prior to Reagan, who kowtowed publicly to the religious right (despite demeaning it in private.) The party ceded its commitment to small government (which was negotiable, and for which the GOP saw a need for taxes to pay for any government they had)and instead embraced the rich with the far right to do its bidding. What we have now is the logical outgrowth of that.

If they don't get their act in gear, and that means POSITIONS not rhetoric, they'll end up a weak third party, and I'm not clear who becomes the second party. But we have serious problems that need negotiation from all sides to be solved, and they're nothing but a stumbling block, and their new "plan" doesn't help them.  

[ Parent ]
absolutely.. (0.00 / 0)
Their problems are their candidates and their party platform. Their problem is their positions. All the money in the world won't help them.

It's amazing watching them keep doubling down on the same failed ideas trying to rationalize why they lose blaming everything and everyone and insisting that they are right and everyone is too stupid to see that, i really hope so called Independents stop voting for them soon because they really don't agree with the crap they are peddling.

One thing that would help is if the Dems started owning that government is important and needed and get their messaging clear and stop running from the fact that they want to help everyone and make the country better, and they republicans don't want to do anything.

But most important how can the dems overcome the republican gerrymandering that gave them the house even though they got less votes. I saw Realtime with Bill Maher and Tom Davis used that the Republicans won the House as an argument in favor of the crazies, I was glad Bill brought up gerrymandering,

If they think they have a true majority they aren't going to change.

[ Parent ]
Honestly (0.00 / 0)
the rules keep changing. But I think the basic rule is that, for contributions from people, you can raise a set amount of money ($2300?) for the primary, and the same amount for the general, and you can't mix the funds.

Pretzalz - you're not officially the nominee until the convention, and there is no more primary at that point.

[ Parent ]
Carryover (0.00 / 0)

Campaign Finance Laws essentially allow you to carry over money from election cycle to election cycle (the primary and the general are considered separate cycles).  The sole exception being if you accept public financing for the general for President.

So if you have cash on hand in your primary fund on the last day of the prmary cycle (i.e. when you are officially nominated) that money is still available.  As noted, the only real problem is if you are getting most of your money from large donors who are maxed out and want to spend a lot in July and August. 

[ Parent ]
Never have liked our Primary system (0.00 / 0)
It's too long and in most cases the candidates are already determined prior to the end, so some States really have no decision, thus the fight every time for which States can hold a primary first and so forth.

I think the British system is too short, but I think we could shorten the Primary voting to 1 or 2 months, then allow 30-45 day period for all the verification and recounts that States might need to do, then hold the Conventions, then give 2 months for the General campaigns. And limit the amount of campaigning and fund raising.

So using those numbers:
- File/Declare that you are running by December 1st.
- Allow Campaigning, Debates for Primaries, and Fund Raising to begin January 1st.
- Hold Primaries on Super Tuesdays and Saturdays (or whatever day) starting no earlier than May 1st and no later than Jun 30th.
- Hold both conventions the last 2 weeks of August.
- Start the General Election Campaigning September 1st.
- Vote in November like we do now.

That puts the election cycle into a 1 year calendar, gives time for people to know the candidates, and vote.

prefer a modification, partially a "triple jeopardy style" and partially a slow start, quick finish (0.00 / 0)
maybe space the first 3-4 primaries in small states a few weeks apart, to give candidates who have a message but not a big bankroll to get the public and the donors attention, then close up the end in regional voting rounds that double each round, so if a candidate stumbles, the challengers can catch and take over in the next round.

say have a caucus in late jan,

a small state primary in mid feb,

a medium state primary in early march,
then in about two weeks, start a good size diverse primary block,

then first weekend in april have a large block,

third weekend have the super states, done in three months.

sat-sun voting on elections gen and primary would also be good in that it open the process to more less extreme voters

[ Parent ]




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