Front-Loading Democracy

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photoThe front-loaded primary season has the feel of a cross-country tour bus where candidates stop in states just long enough to wave and then move on to another contest.

Supporters of front-loading the primaries say it's important to pick a nominee early, and get ready to take on President Bush. Opponents, say there isn't enough time to get to know the candidates, and that that more than momentum should factor into who gets the nod for the Democratic nomination.

Do you feel marginalized by the primary process? Or liberated from a drawn-out affair? Is picking a nominee early-on the best strategy for taking on President Bush? Do you worry that a rush to judgment could prove costly in the long-run?


Chuck Quirmbach, reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio with the latest exit polls and news from today's Wisconsin Primary

William Mayer, professor of political science at Northeastern University, author of "The Front-Loading Problem in Presidential Nominations"

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Institute of Politics

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst, senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly magazine

Richard Wolffe, reporter covering the Kerry campaign for Newsweek.

This program aired on February 17, 2004.


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