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The idea of a Western States Primary during presidential election years has surfaced again.
As in the past, KSL believes it ought to be pursued with vigor.
To validate the value of such an exercise in the candidate selection process, reflect on the last couple of presidential elections. How much attention did western issues receive? How many candidates came to the region in search of support? What clout, if any, did citizens in the West have with those who sought the nation’s highest elected office?
On the other hand, to hold a regional presidential primary election, say after New Hampshire and before Super Tuesday, consider what would likely happen.
Candidates for the presidency would, of necessity, visit the region and become familiar with local issues. Through media coverage, the rest of the nation would learn more about western concerns. Instead of being out of the game, as is now the case, Utah and neighboring states would collectively become key players in the presidential sweepstakes.
In KSL’s view, either western states with their exploding populations and unique challenges can hold a strategically positioned regional primary election, or they can sit back passively as western issues get overlooked in the quadrennial exercise of selecting America’s leader.