GOP Primary Race – Making a List, Checking it Twice

7 September 2015 AD/23 Elul 5775

Donald Trump fans tout polls saying he can beat Hillary. King-maker Bob Perry of Houston bets on Scott Walker to the tune of over $500,000. Supporters of Carly Fiorina slam CNN for disqualifying her for its debate.

Let’s stop for a minute, draw a deep breath and ask ourselves, “What’s going on?”

For those who never vote (you know who you are), the present contests are not between the presumed Democrat and the presumed Republican candidates for president. No, these are political races within parties to select presidential candidates for each of the two parties. This is not a political contest between The Donald and “Whitewater” Hillary. For us Republicans, this is a contest between Trump, Fiorina, Walker, Carson, Perry, Rubio and Cruz who all contend for the top spot on our primary ballot, not the general election in November 2016.

Here’s how it works. Immediately following primary elections in the various states at various times, as shown in map below, each party holds a precinct caucus where primary voters introduce “planks” to their party platform. Following these precinct caucuses, there will be a county convention where registered voters who voted in the primary race choose which planks go forward for consideration by a state convention. At the state convention, planks are chosen for consideration by the national convention for inclusion in the respective party’s national platform.

Josh Putnam is lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Georgia who specializes in campaigns and elections. - Click on map for details
Josh Putnam is lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Georgia who specializes in campaigns and elections. – Click on map for details.

Between now and MARCH, my fellow Texans, compare your favorite to state GOP platform available in PDF format for free download via this link.

“Talking heads” will not influence me on my choice. Are you going to ignore the platform? Do you care about your favorite guy’s or gal’s track record? Please, do just a little homework. One little secret exposed. One misstatement of fact. One politically incorrect slam. Just one little thing can cause a candidate’s campaign to be flushed down the political toilet. What do you do then?

Primaries are for comparing “apples to apples”. November 2016 general election is where we compare “apples to bananas”.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

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