Dana Milbank had it backward in bemoaning the fact that substantial financial support for a large number of Republican candidates now makes it possible that “the eventual nominee need not win in either Iowa or New Hampshire ” [“Citizens disenfranchised,” Washington Sketch, April 28]. He wrote that “there’s a real chance voters, particularly in early primary states, will lose their traditional ability to shape the field.”
Is that really a bad result? Is it preordained that voters in Iowa or New Hampshire must be empowered to determine which candidates are to be treated seriously? I would have thought that proponents of democratic self-government would applaud when more voters in more states have more opportunity to affect the decision of their party of whom to nominate.
Mr. Milbank blamed the Citizens United case for this supposedly untoward result, citing as an example Newt Gingrich’s financial support, which allowed him to remain in the Republican primary contest in 2012 “long after he was a viable candidate (if he ever was).” But Mr. Gingrich, the former House speaker, won the Georgia and South Carolina Republican primaries in 2012. While that was insufficient to lead to his nomination, the notion that democratic principles would somehow have been better served if Mr. Gingrich had been forced to leave the fray earlier for lack of funds is bizarre.
Floyd Abrams, New York
The writer represented Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as amicus curiae before the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.