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Fix The Primaries represents a bipartisan group of reformers who recognize that our presidential nomination process is breaking down. We believe Congress and the parties should act immediately to create a bipartisan commission to examine far-reaching reform options.

The Problem

"This is shaping up to be an ugly presidential primary season, and the candidates have not even started getting ugly yet. [...] The presidential primary system is broken."

The New York Times, September 2, 2007

Voters Cut Out

With so few states in possession of a meaningful vote during the primaries, much of the country's voters never get to participate in a way that can affect the outcome. The issues of concern to politically important states are elevated on the agendas of presidential candidates at the expense of other issues important to the nation.


"Front-loading" refers to the phenomenon of states pushing their primaries earlier and earlier, so that the election is decided too quickly. The process has begun earlier every election for about two decades. This year, almost half the states will have moved to the earliest date allowed by the parties, on February 5th ("Tsunami Tuesday.")

A Rush to Judgement

In addition to a campaign season that begins ludicrously early, the primary elections can be over all too quickly. Candidates who do well, or better than expected, in first two states of Iowa and New Hampshire coast forward on a surge of momentum and a coushin of free media, into a rapid-fire series of primaries to follow. This slingshot effect removes all opportunity for deliberation and reconsideration.

Chaos and Political Consequences

With every state party, in conjunction with the legislature, free to schedule their own contests, any semblance of a cohesive national schedule rapidly falls into disarray. This year, the DNC and RNC found themselves in a battle with their own state parties. In fact the Democrats were caught in a fight with two swing states. Scheduling changes can also be made by lawmakers to help or hurt certain candidates.

See the our list of reform solutions.

Fix the Primaries:

Senator Bill Brock
Former US Senator
(R - Tennessee)
Damian Carroll
San Fernando Valley Young Democrats
David Phelps
Executive Board Member
California Democratic Party
Rob Richie
Executive Director
Tom Sansonetti
Former Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice
Prof. Larry Sabato
Center for Politics
University of Virginia
Tova Wang
Vice President of Research
Common Cause
Professor Marilyn Dudley-Flores
CEO, OPS-Alaska
Sonoma State University
California Democratic State Central Committee
(301) 270-4616
6930 Carroll Ave
Suite 610
Takoma Park, MD 20912