The sprawling nominating process is the critical first step every four years in the election of the president. It is where the field of contenders is narrowed from a plethora of aspirants to the two finalists that carry the banners of the Democratic and Republican parties into the fall campaign. In a democracy such as ours, the voters should be major players in this process. Yet while 100 million or more Americans regularly participate in the election of the president, rarely does more than a third that number vote in the presidential primaries and caucuses that nominate the candidates. And only a small percentage of these voters have a truly meaningful voice - the fortunate few in Iowa, New Hampshire and a handful of other early voting states that for all practical purposes decide for the rest of the nation who the nominees will be. The thrust of this book is to discuss how we as a nation got to this point, how the nominating process currently works, how that compares to other countries, and how our process might be changed to give a more meaningful voice to a much larger number of voters.
Rhodes Cook has covered presidential and congressional elections for more than a quarter century - as a political writer for Congressional Quarterly from 1975 through 1997; since then as author of 'The Rhodes Cook Letter,' the host of a political website, and as a contributing editor for 'Public Perspective.' Since 1996, he has been the author of 'America Votes' (a biennial compilation of nationwide election data) and has written several books on the presidential nominating process, most recently 'United States Presidential Primary Elections 1968-1996: A Handbook of Election Statistics' and 'Race for the Presidency: Winning the 2000 Nomination.' He lives in Annandale, Virginia, with his wife, Memrie.
Chapter 1 I Is There a Place for Us? Chapter 2 A Process in Evolution: From the Founding Fathers to 1968 Chapter 3 Evolution Speeds Up: The Modern Era of Nominating Presidents Chapter 4 The Lay of the Land: 2004 Chapter 5 Looking to the World: How Other Countries Select Their Leaders Chapter 6 Can We Do Better Than This?