The Future of the Direct Primary

Archive Report

A leading argument against the direct primary, dating from its first appearance in the United States as a substitute for the convention system, is founded upon the encouragement it affords to the excessive use of money in political campaigns. By largely increasing the expense of nomination to important offices, it is argued, the primary system has operated to exclude worthy candidates of small financial resources and to bring about the selection of less desirable types, thus lowering the standard of ability throughout public life.

Point has recently been given to this line of argument by the Senate investigating committee's disclosure of the large amounts expended in the primary campaigns resulting in the nomination of Col. Frank L. Smith and Rep. William S. Vare as the ...

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