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.
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?