If I were Howard Dean for a few months late this year/early next, here is what I would do to fix the primary system.
1. Get rid of caucuses. These are by their very nature undemocratic and not worthy of a party that calls itself democratic. These are like huge Amway conventions, where you go in, and you've got to sell the candidate you support. Then they take a PUBLIC vote.
Where's the democracy in that? A public vote? Whatever happened to voting in secret?
2. Make it winner take all. No more of this proportional representation crap. If we had proportional representation in 2000, Al Gore would have been President. We don't do things that way in the general election, and the primaries are like the preseason. The NFL doesn't change the rules in the preseason so that having one foot down with possession of the ball counts as a catch. So why should we change the rules for our equivalent of the preseason? Play the game like you're going to play it when it's for real.
3. If you don't have a vote for the President in the general election, you don't get a vote for the President in the primary. Yes, I realize as a Clinton supporter that this would have hurt my candidate. So be it. Puerto Rico should not get any delegates until they get electoral votes in the general election. Why? Because they don't count when it's time to play for real.
4. Set the primary season up based on how close the race was during the last election and break ties by population. I'd group the states into nine groups of five and one group of six (DC has electoral votes). I'd rank them in order of ascending spread between the two candidates in the last election. And I'd break any ties by population.
Let's face it, this election, and any other election, will be decided by about a dozen states. If you're a democrat and you've got to even think about spending money on ad buys in Massachusetts, you're finished. And if you're a republican and you've got to think about a media strategy in South Dakota, it's over.
Under my system, we'd get to find out which candidate can win those swing states with large populations first. That's what's going to be critical anyway come the fall.
5. No more superdelegates. You win it on the field or you don't win it at all.