Open primaries & presidential politics

History may be on the side of New Hampshire and South Carolina, but have you ever wondered why the first states to hold REPUBLICAN presidential primaries and give the winner almost insurmountable momentum allow independents to vote for the nominee?

This is an issue I would like to see SD GOP Chairman Tim Rave, National Committeeman Dana Randall and National Committeewoman Mary Jean Jensen raise with other RNC voting members from across this country. In my opinion, if New Hampshire wants to have the influence a first in the nation primary carries, then they should hold their primary exclusively with members of Republican party.

Why do we allow independent voters who may or may not hold Republican view points to have so much influence in our party’s early primaries? Why don’t we say to New Hampshire and South Carolina “you can be first, but then you have to hold a closed primary.” Otherwise as a party, let’s take offers from states with a closed primary to go first. Currently we’re penalizing states like Florida and Nevada with closed primaries for moving their primary up, while we reward early states with open primaries by protecting the traditional sequence.

Nothing would please me more than to know the Republican party nominee was chosen by Republicans in the earliest stages of the primary.

22 Replies to “Open primaries & presidential politics”

  1. DC Resident

    Can’t stand New Hampshire going first with all of the indies voting in the primary. Two words – “JOHN MCCAIN!”

    The establishment has this puppy rigged so real conservatives have a hard time getting through.

  2. duggersd

    I agree it makes little sense for a Republican or Democrat primary to allow people from other parties to vote in their primaries. I would also favor changing the system to a series of several regional primary dates so states like SD do not wind up with little or no say in who the nominee will be.

  3. Anonymous

    What we really ought to do is tell independents we don’t want their votes in a primary because they are likely to choose more reasonable people who might be able to work across the aisle – and we certainly wouldn’t want that. The way to fix America is for parties to pick the most extreme and strident partisans in their primaries.

    1. Anonymous

      The indies can always register as a Rep or Dem to vote in a primary for someone they like. And I welcome them to do so.

      1. Jim

        Kind of defeats the purpose of being independent. Independents should be able to vote in whichever primary they want. If the candidate I want is a republican I should be able to vote in that primary, that or there should just be a general primary for all candidates. That way I could vote for the candidates I want from whichever party they may belong.
        Obviously that won’t work, since you can only be one way or the other, you can’t hold your own ideals and vote for who you want without declaring to be R or D.

  4. 605

    I would like to see our delegation to the RNC push for this. Let’s do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Is Mary Jean Jensen running again? I hear she is not.

  5. Anonymous

    Go Tim Rave stop the liberal Noem who wants farmsubsidies and the invasion of the bettles to west river.Go Tim beat Noem then Varliek

  6. JWH@Aberdeen

    If independents want to vote in a primary then start their own party and pick their own canidate, but quit letting them pick ours. I am tired of voting for Democrat light.

  7. Anonymous

    The process is more important so that the chosen few can control. Why else would everything take place in secret…….. Dictators rule from the secret side of the rule. Are we entering the world of dictators in the parties of the people? Maybe we have entered. Control seems to be the goal of so many people in power.

    1. Stace Nelson

      Not a big fan of the secret stuff. It is not about control, it is about doing the best one can for the people of SD. Let’s see if we can’t bring a couple bills to make the process a little more light of day?

      1. Luther


        Any thoughts on broadening the strength of the Governor’s office?

        One thing that has always bothered me is how strong the Governor’s office is in comparison to the legislature.

        Also I would like for us to look at maybe removing some of the powers the Governor’s appointed secretaries have and slide it over to the constitutionals.

        We are too centrally focused in SD.

  8. Bruce Whalen

    Don’t let State Republican leadership off the hook. They need to persuade Independent voter support of “Republican view points” or better yet register Republican then vote conservative. There are more Republicans registered in South Dakota yet Republican candidates squeak out wins or flat out lose federal seats and conservative initiatives. This suggests we have little room to talk.

    1. Anonymous

      If I’m to take advice on the pulse of the SD GOP I will ask Randall or Jensen because the other GOP officers are appointed. Those two need to run at convention and seek support from the activist base.

  9. Susan

    According to voter registration info, there are 279,987 people who are not registered Republicans, 90,851 of those are registered Independent. And yet, we are predominantly governed by the GOP in this state. One can understand why the GOP guards the closed primary system. If we truly want the best candidates for the people of SD, why not open the primaries and have more South Dakotans represented? Let the best ideas win support in an honest and open process!


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