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Reader Poll: Should PA Move Its Primary Date?

Questions about the first two states placement in the primary calendar have lingered for a number of reasons, but after the debacle that was the 2020 Democratic Iowa caucuses, more states are looking to move up earlier in the process. Should Pennsylvania follow suit? 

While Illinois’s Gov. J.B. Pritzker told Politico that he believes his state should go first in the next presidential election, the Pennsylvania state Senate unanimously approved a bill to move up PA’s primary elections in presidential election years by five weeks, starting in 2024. 

State Sen. John Gordner (R-Columbia), who is Senate Bill’s 779 sponsor, said that he believes this would provide Pennsylvania voters to play a bigger role in selecting their party’s nominee. 

“For many years, the selection of the Presidential nominee has already been determined by the time Pennsylvania voters have gotten the opportunity to cast their ballot,” said Gordner, according to the PA Senate GOP’s website.  “My bill will allow our citizens to play a much larger role in determining the outcome of these critical elections.”

Pennsylvania’s primary date is currently the fourth Tuesday in April, while Gordner’s bill would move up the primary election to the third Tuesday in March in all presidential election years. The state House still has to approve the legislation.

While the case can be made that Pennsylvania could be a good fit to be first in the nation, should the state’s primary date be moved up in the next presidential election, stay the same, or move back later in the calendar? 

So we ask the PoliticsPA readers, Should Pennsylvania move up its primary date? 

This poll will expire on Feb. 17 at 4:30 PM. 

Reader Poll: Should PA Move Its Primary Date?

  • Yes, Third Tuesday in March (40%)
  • Yes, Even Earlier Than the Third Tuesday in March (34%)
  • No, Keep it as is. (21%)
  • Yes, Between the Third Tuesday in March and the Current Date (6%)

Total Voters: 394

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14 Responses

  1. So my understanding is that people want to move the date so they can be more relevant? The primary is for what the people of this state decide, not a Me too movement

  2. Since PA is such a monumental part of the presidential process, I don’t understand why it isn’t more of an integral part of that process. Holding the primary so late makes no sense, unless it is of course all about the money. I vote for earlier than the late March suggestion.

  3. Even moving up the primary this year; petitions are still only out now (February) & due Monday/Tuesday. no reason, why petitions can’t be done earlier in years mid Jan – Feb.

  4. As an independent who isn’t permitted to vote in the primaries, but still is forced to pay for them with my tax dollars, it doesn’t much matter to me if I’m robbed early in the year, or later.

    1. By your own choice, you disenfranchise yourself from the primaries. Primaries are for political parties and those registered to them. Don’t blame the system for your stupidity.

  5. As a large electoral state, Pennsylvania is far more important to the presidential elections than a spec of pig farm dirt in the middle of the country that can’t organize its caucus, or some tiny mountain state in New England that is a socialist haven. Let the big states determine presidential candidates. Vote early in PA!

  6. Moving the primary election up as early as proposed would require candidates for any office on the ballot that year (because the presidential primary is always held concurrently with primaries for every other office) to begin circulating ballot petitions as early as late December. A separate presidential primary would be expensive for the taxpayers. Political parties should conduct their own primaries or pay the Commonwealth to conduct it for them.

    1. Omigosh. Gimme a break. That would affect fewer than 1,000 people in a state of nearly 13 million, whereas making Pennsylvania’s primary meaningful would improve relevance for more than 7 MILLION voters. Elections are for VOTERS, not for the political hacks who make up the majority of candidates.

      1. I understand the benefits of an early primary for PA and was not necessarily arguing against it, but just wanted to point out all the ramifications and to suggest perhaps it is a good reason to split off the presidential primary or leave the decision to the parties, instead of the Commonwealth having to conduct the choice.

      2. The point I am making about candidates for all the down-ballot offices having to circulate ballot petitions earlier was not about their convenience, but that an early primary advantages incumbents even more than the ballot petition process already does or wealthier candidates because candidates have to decide earlier to run and start organizing and it would be more difficult for challengers or minority party candidates to get onto the ballot.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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