I appreciate the opportunity to respond to this question. My hunch is that primaries are set up this way because the DNC and RNC think this delegate selection method makes it easier for their presidential nomination conventions to go the way the want them to. If my speculation is accurate, this would be an example of making organizational convenience more important than collective highest good. This approach seems out of integrity with the principles of participatory democracy.
Conventions would probably be messier if the delegate more accurately reflected the popular vote in each state. They would also perhaps be more real and this might encourage more citizens to become more politically active. Of course, in the end, greater activism on the part of more citizens might not be a comfortable thing for the RNC and DNC to contend with.
My hunch about why the electoral college uses a winner-take-all method for the elections themselves goes all the way back to the founding of this country. Guaranteeing states rights to participate in federal decision-making was just about as important to the founders of this country as individual liberty and representation. This is part of why Congress has two houses. The House is supposed to be a voice for the citizens’ interests and the Senate is supposed to represent each states’ interests. I don’t think enough people realize just how sophisticated a system of government the founders of our country created.
That said, the question of how to compose the electoral college boils down to whether you think that the interests of each state should be paramount in presidential elections or the collective voice of the citizens should be paramount. I don’t think there is an absolute right or wrong answer to this. On balance, though, especially because of the ways citizens in today’s world have the ability to be far better informed than they were able to be when this country was founded, I lean toward making the collective voice of the citizens the top priority.
For more about how to understand what integrity really is, and how to better evaluate what serves collective highest good, read my book, The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World.