Joe Biden is officially the 21st candidate to enter the Democratic primary depending on the count (Gravel and Williamson are often excluded but sometimes included).
I like Joe for his blue collar appeal, but I also agree with Bernie and Warren on more of the issues. As a millennial I like Mayor Pete, but I also think Harris and Booker have potential. Or maybe I want to send a message about climate by picking Inslee? Or foreign policy by picking Gabbard? Or #MeToo by picking Gillibrand? Wouldn’t it be better to rank my priorities rather than arbitrarily settle for one?
Under ranked choice voting I don’t have to. I can vote for all of these candidates and rank them in order of preference. This means they all have an incentive to not only attract my vote but also attract one another’s voters. It makes it far less likely our primary is decided by trivial gaffes (Biden’s handsy! Warren is not a real Cherokee! As a prosecutor, Harris prosecuted people! Bernie wants convicts to vote!) and more likely actual substance plays the decisive role. It makes candidates focused on the climate vote, on the woke vote, or on the skateboarder vote can use their narrower appeals to get concessions from the wider party and the eventual nominee. It means we all end up with someone we live with without having to bang the nominee up like Hillary.
Another 2020 choice is whether Massachusetts should switch to this method. I think we should. I think it makes for more democratic and more civil primaries making it harder for people to say the process is ‘rigged’ and easier for the nominee to say she or he has the full support of the party. Let’s choose choice for 2020!