On Frontloading and Rubber Stamps
02-06-2008
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.

Comments:


Posted On: 02-07-2008 15:01:02 by JK from NY
Given Romney's withdrawal from the race, are there any conservative Republicans out there (e.g., Newt Gingrich) who might jump in at this stage? And would they have any chance of wresting the nomination from McCain?


Posted On: 02-08-2008 12:57:28 by Dean
At this point, I think it is unlikely that we would see some other conservative jump into the Republican race to challenge John McCain in any meaningful way. The Republican Party likes to rally around its nominee early in the election cycle, and although movement conservatives are unhappy with the choice of McCain, the Republican establishment already appears to be closing ranks around him, even with Mike Huckabee continuing to compete in upcoming contests.


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