Monday, April 2, 2018

60 vs 70 percent threashold Are we really going to debate this again

60/40 vs 70% threashold - are we really going to debate this again?
For years, the SCC and State Delegates debated the threshold for convention to primary elections. I was and I am still a supporter of the 60/40 threshold we currently have, despite the fact that I lost getting 40%+ by 2 or 3 votes out of 70 delegates (100% voting) in 2016 and didn't make it to a primary.

This State Convention there is again a proposal to change the party constitution to 70%. If it passes, it would not effect the 2018 races  Do we still want to continue this fight? 

The 60/40 allowed a challenger to eliminate an incumbent in 2016 for at least 2 Utah House races, including me. I am running again this year and I am not getting signatures. I am willing to take the risk with the 60/40 again as I did in 2014 and 2016. I won in 2014 at convention and also won in the general election. If the threshold had been changed to 70/30, it is likely that a democrat would have won that year.

Remember that CMV in 2013 always had more than one demand. It was never just the threshold. Even though adjusting the threshold would not have helped Gov. Walker in 2004 or Sen. Bennett in 2010, CMV using Y2 polled the delegates in 2012 and found that the Sen. Bennett would still not have received 40%+ with the delegates that year either. (Information released by Quin Monson at the Young Republican Convention)

I wrote this in May 2013. It is still true.

The threshold to avoid a primary is a two way sword. An 85/15 would make it easier for a weak challenger to get to a primary, but impossible to eliminate the incumbent without large amounts of money or fame. That was the Count My Vote / Buy My Vote request originally. Added to that the eliminating of any kind of multiple round and you could have 6 candidates in the primary, one of which would always be the incumbent.

They couldn't get 85/15, so they next tried 75/25. Almost impossible for an incumbent not to get 25% and make it to a primary. Yes, the incumbent is going to have a harder time getting 75%, but if the goal is more primaries that cost more money, it is one step closer to Buy My Vote or Buy My Ads. Add the elimination of the multiple round and you could get 3 or 4 candidates going to the primary. 70/30 allows up to 3 and again makes it harder to eliminate an incumbent.

Yes, the goal of 60/40 may have been to help the incumbents, but after Jason Chaffetz almost won in convention and Bennett and Gov. Walker lost, those that wanted to protect the incumbents realized they made a mistake with the 60/40 and many for years have wanted to switch it back. Two legislators were eliminated at convention this year. And yes, we still have some primaries, but not as many as we get with 2/3 or 70%.

In 2012 Utah, we have primaries: Hatch/Liljenquist, Dougall/Johnson, Swallow/Reyes, McCartney/Valdez, Okerlund/Painter, Vickers/Anderson, Perry/Galvez, Redd/Butterfield, Anderegg/Moore, Handy/Crowder, Macdonald/Bagley, Sagers/McCoy, Kennedy/Nitta, Muniz/Hendrickson, Stratton/Murray, Christofferson/Kane, Greene/Stevens, Layton/Daw, Nelson/Wright, Westwood/Carling, and Crockett/Winder, to name a few. Not every race had a primary nor should it. Most of those were GOP primaries.

Since 2000, 1/2 of all state wide and congressional contested GOP races  have gone to primary. 44 races, 30 were contested and 15 went to primary.

Yes a 2/3 threshold would have made a few more primaries, but the risk of an incumbent losing, or someone rich or famous losing would also go down.

Some that spoke for the 2/3 or 70% may believe what they have said, but I totally disagree and many in the SCC and also many of the delegates disagree as well. 

I have always said, The 60% threshold to avoid a primary works, allowing a shot of a challenger to eliminate an incumbent and yet requires a challenger to be a strong candidate. 

The current system does not protect the incumbent, wealthy or famous. I think that is a good thing.  
Finely tuned balance. It won today.

(originally posted 18 May 2013)

Fred C. Cox