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Friday, June 15, 2007

iPol: Town hall envy

Excerpted from this post at iPol

It no doubt sounded good at the beginning: "We'll move our state's
primary up closer to January, and we'll have the same influence in
picking a nominee as Iowa and New Hampshire. Candidates will spend
time here, meet voters here, and will have to pay attention to our
issues, just like they do in Iowa and New Hampshire. Yeah, that's the
ticket!" However, with the bandwagon creaking under the load of so
many states moving their primaries ever earlier in the calendar, the
flaws in this line of thinking are making themselves increasingly
plain. The unintended consequence of all this year's political
leapfrogging is that as more states move up their primaries the
traditional campaign dynamics that were originally meant to be
overthrown are becoming only more entrenched. The definitive case in
point: California. According to an article in today's Los Angeles
Times, rather than producing a string of meet and greet town
hall-style events, or resulting in candidates spending oodles more
time out west, the change in California's primary date has turned out
to reinforce the importance of media, rather than personal appearances
by candidates at town halls or even large rallies, in reaching voters.
Campaigning via television and radio has increased, not decreased. And
the main thing that candidates are looking for in the Golden State?

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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