Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Super-Duper Tuesday

New York today became the tenth state to schedule its presidential primary next February 5th , joining California, New Jersey, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas. Delaware, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah in what is being called “Super-Duper Tuesday.”

Iowa and New Hampshire, which have always enjoyed the national attention, to say nothing of the income generated by visiting politicians and media, are now thinking of possibly moving up their January dates.

How about the week between Christmas and New Year or before Thanksgiving or just after Labor Day? For most Americans, it apparently can never be too soon to start thinking of someone in the White House other than George Bush.

But there will be a price for this compression of primaries. One outcome will be to favor the best-financed, best-organized candidates over the relatively unknown who, in the past, had some hope of gaining support and momentum by winning one or two early states to show their viability over a period of months.

Retail, whistle-stop, door-to-door campaigning will give way more than ever to TV-commercial blitzes that will determine the two candidates to face each other in November, 2008.

The only possible good news in all this is that, with nine months of head-to-head campaigning, the major candidates will be pressured into substantive debates if only because voters will otherwise tune out of such a long stretch of negative ads and sound bites.

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