Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

October 1997


Published in Great Plains Research 7:2 (Fall 1997). Copyright © 1997 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


This paper examines the feasibility of establishing a regional presidential primary for the Great Plains States. It reviews the introduction of primaries for selecting national convention delegates, and the slowness of these states to adopt this method. Further, it surveys the use of the primary in the region, noting the independence of Great Plains voters in both the prereform and post-reform periods. Finally, the paper recommends that Great Plains States adopt a regional primary; suggests they select the earliest possible date in order to enhance their influence on the selection of presidential nominees; and offers several alternative proposals, depending upon whether the states of Texas and, possibly, Oklahoma are retained as part of such a regional primary.