Letters to the editor for Saturday, May 30, 2015

Get rid of caucus system

Republican voters in Nevada desperately need a presidential primary in 2016. The existing presidential caucus system failed miserably in both 2008 and 2012 — participation was low (10 percent of GOP voters in 2008 and 7 percent in 2012). More concerning is the fact that the caucus process in both years was undemocratically hijacked by a small group of ardent Ron Paul supporters.

To recall, Mitt Romney actually “won” the Nevada caucus votes in both 2008 and 2012, with 51 percent and 50 percent of the vote, respectively. Ron Paul finished far behind in both years, winning 13 percent in 2008 (6,089 votes) and 18 percent in 2012 (6,175 votes). Yet Paul supporters flooded county and state party caucus proceedings in both years and controlled the national delegate selection process (Romney received only 5 of 28 Nevada delegate votes in 2012).

In effect, the “tiny band” of 6,000 Ron Paul loyalists “spoke” for Nevada’s 472,927 registered Republican voters (1.2 percent of the total). The Nevada Republican Party has shown no competence to conduct a credible caucus process — and has no financial resources. To leave the caucus system in place is a prescription for disaster. The current anti-democratic outrage will only be perpetuated in 2016 without the legislature adopting a presidential primary.

Jim Hartman



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