Majority support for a national primary day

March 05, 2015, 9:08 PM GMT+0

Most Americans support having a single, national primary day for the presidential elections

The 2016 presidential election is a year and a half away but politicians have already begun to declare their interest in running. Running for president is an arduous, drawn out task made all the more difficult by the need to win a party's nomination before the difficult work of winning over the entire public even begins. In order to become the candidate for either the Democratic or Republican party a candidate must win the endorsement of ordinary Democrats and Republicans in primary elections and caucuses across the entire country.

YouGov's latest research shows that most Americans (54%) think that presidential campaigns are too long and drawn out. Only 23% of Americans say that they prefer a long campaign which gives them a better chance of getting to know the candidates.

Currently the primary and caucus season stretches out over months, with the first Iowa caucuses scheduled to take place in January 2016. This has been criticized for giving small states such as Iowa and New Hampshire undue influence as well as prolonging the already lengthy presidential election campaign. Most Americans (54%) want the primaries to all take place on the same day in May or early June. Only 22% of Americans want the current system to continue.

A single national primary day is particularly popular in the Northeast, where 64% of people want to consolidate all the days. The midwest has the highest proportion of people (25%) wanting to continue with the current system where primaries and caucuses are spread out over several months.

Despite support for altering the timing of primaries, voters still want a say in selecting each party's candidates. Only 14% of Americans think that party delegates should select a party's candidates, while 64% think that primary elections and caucuses are the best way to make nominations.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.