How significant are invisible primaries? (15) (Momentum (Longer…
How significant are invisible primaries? (15)
What is the Invisible Primary?
Time between first announcing run for presidency and first primary - a time to get name recognition and support
Candidates who raise the most money will appear the strongest = more money from donors who seek to engage in 'pork barrelling' (utilizing government funds for projects designed to win votes),
aura of inevitability
Longer significant primary = more time to appear presidential and gain support! Serious candidates should start early
eg. Clinton and Sanders both formally announced their runs in April 2015 - almost a year before the first primary! - Other candidates, such as Webb announced runs in July - 1st Iowa caucus 49.9% and 46.6% Clinton and Sanders!
By March 2015, almost 60% Democrat Senators already endorsed Clinton
Consider: Clinton had been potential nominee since 2008 after loss to Obama! Tenure as Sec of State ended in 2013, 'campaign in waiting' began - eg. large donor network, Ready for Hillary superPAC, suggests anticipation = more chance of success!
2016: Trump made lots of controversial statements = more media coverage despite lower polling averages than opponents!
eg. June 2015, said Mexico bringing 'rapists' etc. - at this point Bush ahead of polls (19% vs 12%) BUT Trump got lots of attention = can share platform, gain support
Establishes the front runners of the race
eg. 2016 Trump - spent $67 million! Only outspent by Ted Cruz, who spent $85 million
Consider: Ben Carson spent $60 million by the end of February! Suspended his campaign in March - Trump had only spent $33 million at this point = shows spending more money does not necessarily mean success?
Similar thing happened in 2007 with Clinton/Obama
IMPACT: YES significant! More money = generally, taken more seriously/more to spend on ads! Not always the case, just need to have significant war chest to be considered a contender (this is why third parties are not successful?)
More time for scrutiny - move onto media point
Being a clear frontrunner = immense scrutiny! eg. Clinton 2016, Benghazi hearings in October, 8 hours public hearing! Can be said to have been largely politicised
Also consider: Benghazi hearings seemed to generate positive momentum for Clinton! "
Marathon Benghazi hearing leaves Hillary Clinton largely unscathed
" (CNN) - received several new donors after the hearings
Target for scrutiny since 2012/people considering her candidacy