The 538 podcasters say Iowa and New Hampshire should go to hell, at least insofar as their place in selecting each party’s presidential nominees is concerned. And, sure enough, this is first time in the post-1968 world where a party’s nominee – overwhelmingly likely to be Joe Biden – has won while falling flat in the first two states. But is this a good thing? Has the nominating process worked better this year by allowing a nationally popular candidate like Biden to survive despite his poor showing in the first two states or is this a fail?
Since this is a 2-4 page essay, you’ll have to use this space to back up your opinion. It can’t be as simple as I love/hate Biden so this is great/horrible or Bernie was robbed, because I’m not asking you to judge 2020’s result but to use its oddity to think about the system as a whole. So, you need to dig a little deeper to think about what a party ought to be seeking in its nominee (e.g. ability to enthuse, electability, experience, ability to govern effectively) and potentially consider what sort of process can narrow the choices to help voters select the “best” candidate. Up until this year, Iowa and New Hampshire filled that role…which is why the 538ers were so eager to consign them to the netherworld. Is it better these states didn’t fill that role this year?
Once again, there’s no right answer here and no perfect nominating system. This is about your views and how you back them up.