The Power of the Invisible Primary

It is only 2013 and many Democratic and Republican Party leaders are already testing the waters for a Presidential run in 2016.  Many of those who enter into the Presidential fray will drop out before they even officially run.  The others, who do make it to the 2016 primaries and caucuses, can thank the “invisible primary” for their ability to compete in an electoral format.  The invisible primary or the “money primary” does not involve any voting at the ballot box.  Candidates, however, who want to be considered as viable candidates must do well in the invisible primary.

In the months and years before the first votes are cast, candidates try to woo financial backers into supporting their campaigns.  Monetary contributions separate potential candidates from pretenders.  With more financial backing, a candidate can make the early campaign rounds in states like Iowa and New Hampshire.  Those two states hold the first caucus and first primary respectively every Presidential election season.

The added campaign stops then increases the public’s awareness about that candidate.  The increased public awareness subsequently inflates the candidate’s poll numbers.  Positive polling results also separates the top-tier from the second-tier.  This increases the candidate’s chances on Election Day.

Paul Laxalt
Paul Laxalt

The invisible primary can also eliminate good candidates who may have great ideas, but lack the prowess to raise large amounts of money.  An example of this happening would be the failed 1988 Presidential run of US Senator Paul Laxalt (R-NV).  Considered to be an heir to the Ronald Reagan legacy, Laxalt, who was dubbed, “The First Friend”, entered his name into the Presidential race too late, and dropped his bid in 1987 due to a lackluster four months of fundraising.

What are your thoughts on the invisible primary? Do you see any positives or negatives with the invisible primary?

23 responses to “The Power of the Invisible Primary

  1. I think that the invisible primary can be very beneficial for those wishing to run in the presidential election. I consider myself a proactive person who is always trying to get things done ahead of time and always be prepared. The invisible primary sounds like a proactive way to prepare for the upcoming elections and to make one’s name known. The negative that I see with the inivisible primary is that money is a key factor in doing well. Ideally, I would want the best candidates to come out on top. However, if those who have the most financial backing end up on top, that might not necessarily mean that they are the best candidates. I see the financial part of it as being a hinderance to those who may be best fit for the job but lacking the money to get there.

  2. I believe that invisible primary can be a good thing. I say this because if a person who is running for president is saying things that he stands for and shows ways he/she is going to get those promised things done, then why not? I believe you should in the presidental campain, people who are running should say what they mean, they shouldnt say what they think will get them into office, especially in today’s economy, we need all the help we can get.If the candidates with the most money always have the most votes, I don’t think that is right, they are basically buying their way in. The president should not be someone who bought their way in, it should be someone who is willing to run a country, stands for what they say and more things. regardless if they have a lot of money or not.

  3. Everything seems to depend on the amount of money a group can pull together. Those with more money can make their name better known and have higher chances of winning. It feels like campaigning as soon as a president has just been elected is too soon, but it makes sense why it is done. It is good for the politicians who start early, having the most time to attract funding and support.

    Unfortunately, those whose ideas may be good may also not appeal to the interests of corporations and others who donate. Because democrats tend to want more federal regulations, they probably receive less funding from large oil companies. Republican candidates on the other hand, may receive more corporate funding and donations.

    The invisible primary is just a way for people with one-size-fits-all ideas to get a strong start. It cripples other political parties who have highly specific ideas, but it must work well for the two main parties.

  4. Katelyn Kelley

    I think an invisible primary is good for those who want to run for president, but they have to get on the invisible primary early to be successful. That being said, I can only imagine it’s difficult for people who might not be well known or for those who have little power to get corportations to donate to their campaign to get them going. The fact that some people might not be able to get any money or very little money at all also limits those people who want their name out there in the very beginning. We could be missing out on a lot of good people who want to run for us just because they were unable to raise the money they needed. The more positive side of it is that for those who don’t have a problem getting out there in the beginning, there’s always going to be some corportation or someone to back someone up regardless of what political party they’re in. It definitely has positives and negatives to the situation.

  5. I don’t like how those with good ideas get shot down because of they don’t have the proper amount of money to pull through with the election. I do like how they get aditional support with the campaign, the more support the better campaign. It is kind of unique there is no ballot box. Invisble Primary is something to think about, I am unsure how I feel about it for every election.

  6. I think the invisible primary is unfair. I understand that each representative will need to raise money for compaigning but it is not fair when a great leader like Laxalt had to drop out because he couldn’t raise enough money. We shouldnt be looking at the money but the ideas they have.

  7. Getting yourself recognized does take a lot of time, especially when competing with other potential candidates. I don’t see anything wrong with starting to make appearances in states that really do matter in the primaries; however, getting your name out there really requires a lot of money. The chances aren’t fair between candidates, and it stinks that it comes down to the money, not the person.

  8. I believe that the invisible primary is very good for those who can make it work for themselves. It allows them to get their name out to the public thus increasing the potential number of votes they could recieve. But i think a large negitive to the invisible primary is the fact that there are many people out there who have great ideas but cannot get them out because they cant recieve the funding. So with an invisible primary we have the risk of losing great people that have even greater ideas.

  9. I believe there are both positive and negative side effects of the invisible primary. It can benefit those who are really passionate about running in a campaign, however with passion must come money in this situation. That can be the negative side. As mentioned in the post, Laxalt didn’t have the funds as other candidates may not as well. Although they may have a strong voice, the money isn’t in there corner so they can’t completely go forward.

  10. I think the invisible primary is good for the US. This can weed the people who are weak and could not survive the presidential race and concurrently not win the election. The one pitfall that I see is the money. If you have enough money, you could buy the primary election.

  11. I think like any other thing, there are both positives and negatives to the “invisible primary”. I think that it does a good job of eliminating the non-serious canidates. However, the example given about Laxalt makes me think that the invisible primaries just keep the corrupt politicians with money and connections. Overall, if I had to choose, I would say that the invisible primaries are a good thing because I’m sure that several of people want to run for presidency but only the extremely serious ones deserve a spot in the running.

  12. Antonio Rubino

    I think an invisible primary has both positive and negative effects. A positive effect to an invisible primary is that the possible candidate can decide early on if he/she has the capability to raise support and money. A negative effect to an invisible primary is that a good candidate can be easily overlooked because of the lack of support.

  13. I believe that an invisible primary is good to the candidates running to prove themselves. If they make a promise in the beginning of the primary and contine to follow through with those promises it proves to the voters and investors that they are trustworthy. By the voters and investors thinking that it helps the candidates make it to the election. So all in all I believe that the invisible primary is a good and helpful idea to find out which candidates are true and worthy of voting for.

  14. Emerald Stanley

    Using the invisible primary as a way to make a head start in the election process for the 2016, only proves that these candidates have money and may not even have real issues to discuss with the country or even how to solve them. To stay ahead of your opponent, candidates must take drastic measures, starting with paying big money, The only positive coming out of the invisible primary is it shows that the candidate has determination.

  15. I believe that the invisible primary is a good way to start campaigning for candidates. It gives them the chance to get used to how the election will be once voting season nears, and prepares them for what to expect and how to handle situations. I think that it is a positive in that aspect. I think it is a good idea that the candidate has to raise money in order to support their campaign because this will show how many people liked the candidate and how dedicated they are to achieve their dream.

  16. I believe that The Invisible primary is really beneficial for creative candidate, who wants to prove himself. Although that everything seems to depend on money, I think that more powerful is to know how to stand for your beliefs and ideas. And also the invisible primary helps the candidate to be unique and to stands out of the crowd.

  17. I feel that the invisible party is kind of crazy. There are actually good candidates who don’t even be considered due to this ability. If there wasn’t this allowed in politics then everybody could vote for alll the candidates in general.

  18. I feel that the invisible party can be beneficial to those running for the presidential election. I can give the the financial status that is needed for them to run their campaign. It also gives them a opportunity to get started earlier and stabilize the campaign. The invisible party can help those running by giving them the support financially to follow through on what the candidate is promising. Making the candidate looking promising to the voters and showing the voters that they are reliable and will continue to follow through on their promises.

  19. I think the invisible primary is a good thing because it keeps candidates on their toes and gives them a good idea of what they need to change in order to become a more appealing candidate to the voters when the more serious voting starts. The invisible Primaries are a good way for voters to see what a candidate was originally campaigning for and what they felt was okay to change in order to win.

  20. I think the invisible primary is a bad thing because if someone start too early for a presidential election they will eventually become exhausted when the actual election day come. It is better to prepared a year before the actual event then three years people will forget about your name they only remember abut president Barrack Obama for right now.

  21. Well, first off, it is only 2013 and we are worrying about 2016 elections. I know that for a fact political parties should be more concerned with what is going on in congress and the U.S. I find many negatives with this but one in particular is that people/ candidates that are trying to get elected are more worried about funding than issues.

  22. Michaela Sheeran

    I think the invisible party is unfair. People are judged for the amount of money they have and are not listened to because of it. It’s all about money and that is how people are picked . It’s unjust. People should be judged by their beliefs and values.

  23. The invisible primary is negatively affecting the government on the whole. The primary has politicians preparing for an elections that are years away when they should be worried about issues happening in the present. This only proves that politicians are worried more about their job security than the jobs they are supposed to be carrying out. Invisible primaries are having a hand in crippling the political process.

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