On Frontloading and Rubber Stamps
During the past year, there has been a great deal of consternation over the potential impact of a frontloaded primary schedule on the presidential selection process. But concerns that a crowded nomination calendar would prematurely anoint the parties’ nominees, subjecting us to an interminably long general election campaign, have not come to pass. Instead, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina carried out their traditional roles in fine fashion last month, and many other states experienced a quasi-national primary day with record voter participation yesterday. It may still be a few more months before we know the Democratic nominee, and while the Republican race is significantly closer to a resolution, it is not yet over, either.
This suggests to me that campaign momentum is not driven by scheduling alone. Multiple candidates representing diverse (and somewhat distinct) political interests, and an unusually engaged and mobilized electorate with pressing concerns about war and the economy, have combined to produce a palpable unwillingness to let timing dictate winners and losers. The remaining campaigns have responded to this reality with remarkable grassroots organizing and relentless retail politicking virtually nationwide, in a frantic attempt to secure every last available delegate. They realize that, despite the frontloaded schedule, this time voters have decided to leave their rubber stamps at home.
Posted On: 02-07-2008 15:01:02 by JK from NY
Posted On: 02-08-2008 12:57:28 by Dean
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