- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

More than half of American voters believe that the system U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is “rigged” and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday.

“The results echo complaints from Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Sen. Bernard Sanders that the system is stacked against them in favor of candidates with close ties to their parties — a critique that has triggered a nationwide debate over whether the process is fair,” noted Reuters analyst Charles Mostoller.

The survey found that 51 percent of likely voters said they believed the primary system was “rigged” against some candidates. Another 71 percent would prefer to pick their party’s nominee with a direct vote, eliminating the use of delegates as intermediaries.

There is confusion among the voters as well. The poll also revealed that 27 percent of likely voters did not understand how the primary process works, and 44 percent did not understand why delegates were involved in the first place. The responses were about the same for Republicans and Democrats. 

“One quirk of the U.S. system — and the area where the parties get to flex their muscle — is the use of delegates, party members who are assigned to support contenders at their respective conventions, usually based on voting results. The parties decide how delegates are awarded in each state, with the Republicans and Democrats having different rules,” Mr. Mostoller wrote.

It also appears that many voters disapprove of the endless campaign. The poll also found that nearly half of the respondents said they would also prefer a single primary day in which all states held their nominating contests together — as opposed to the current system of spreading them out for months.

The poll of 1,582 likely U.S. voters was conducted April 21-26.

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