A PAC-12 primary could be a PROG-12 primary

Yesterday Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson proposed in a letter to Democratic, Republican and Independent political leadership that Oregon move its 2020 Presidential primary to May.  The reason, he said, was that other western States were likewise considering moving their primaries to March, and if Oregon were to do likewise it could create what they are calling a PAC-12 primary. Secretary Richardson explained his reasoning:

“Several Western Secretaries of State have discussed a possible  PAC-12 or western regional primary early in 2020 that would bring more attention and influence to our states’ voters while also increasing more voter engagement. Both California and Washington are considering legislation to move their presidential primaries to March.”

But it could be more like a PROG-12 Democratic primary. Because while Hilary Clinton rather handily won the Democratic nomination (it wasn’t as close as some would want to think),  PROG-12 state delegates won were 432 (53%)  for Mr. Sanders and 379 (47%) for Ms. Clinton.

STATEClinton Popular (%)Clinton DelegatesSanders Popular (%)Sanders Delegates
Arizona56%4241%33
Colorado40%2559%41
California53%25446%221
Oregon42%2556%36
Utah20%679%27
Washington27%2773%74
TOTAL DELEGATES379432

A similar analysis of the Republican 2016 primary isn’t informative since Donald Trump had already wrapped up the nomination before any PAC-12 state even held a primary (with the possible exception of Arizona’s March 22 primary). But there is a good argument based on polling that more moderate candidates such as John Kasich or Jeb Bush would have won more  delegates in a March PAC-12 primary than candidates such as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

A PAC-12 super tuesday in March would change he trajectory of our Presidential elections. Boosting the chances of the more progressive Democrats and the more moderate Republicans.

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