Tag Archives: New Hampshire

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?

Looking Ahead to 2016

It’s not even the end of 2012 and names are already being thrown about for the 2016 Presidential contest.  President Barack Obama is term-limited, so that leaves the Democratic nomination wide open.  Governor Mitt Romney will more than likely not be running for the Republican nomination in 2016.  Since neither 2012 candidate is eligible nor likely to run, both political parties will have their work cut out for them in deciding who their Presidential nominees will be.  Voters, of course, will be the ultimate deciding factor in choosing the party nominees.  On the Democratic side, Vice President Joe Biden, newly elected US Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are most frequently mentioned.  Outgoing Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and current Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper are also discussed as possible candidates for President.  The Republican side, after two straight Presidential defeats, also has a strong list of possible candidates.  Among them are former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.  Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney’s chief conservative opponent in 2012, has also made overtures about running for President in 2016.  Former US Senator Scott Brown, who lost to Elizabeth Warren in his re-election bid this November, is also seen as a dark horse candidate for the White House.  What should we be watching out for when trying to determine who will run for President in 2016?  Pay attention to those who visit Iowa and New Hampshire in 2013.  Those two states conduct the first caucuses and primaries respectively.  Historically, Iowa and New Hampshire help narrow the field of candidates from the serious and not-so-serious.  Since they are first, it is understandable as to why those with Presidential aspirations visit them.  With that in mind, who do you think will run for President in 2016?