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INVISIBLE PRIMARY “traction with voters, campaign momentum, candidate legitimacy”

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Presentation on theme: "INVISIBLE PRIMARY “traction with voters, campaign momentum, candidate legitimacy”"— Presentation transcript:

1 INVISIBLE PRIMARY “traction with voters, campaign momentum, candidate legitimacy”

2 Invisible Primary “traction with voters, campaign momentum, candidate legitimacy” Pre-voting stage of the presidential nomination and election process---an extension of the nomination process---important to develop and accumulate strength Nothing official really takes place but success prior to the official start of the nomination phase usually translates into success in the official events

3 Invisible Primary Who? What? Where? Why? – Term coined by journalist Arthur Hadley in 1976 to describe the creation and development of credibility, stature and momentum by those running presidential election campaigns – Candidates must gain traction and legitimacy with party acivists, media and voters before the official nomination process begins early in the election year – Very important for candidates to develop an identity as a “frontrunner” – Candidates must begin to “look presidential” and one that voters identify as a person with the necessary presidential tools

4 Invisible Primaries and Frontloading This relatively recent phenomenon is linked very closely to “frontloading” “frontloading” describes the states scramble to move the official events (primaries and caucuses) of the nomination process to earlier and earlier dates in the election year, attempting to maximize their influence and impact on the eventual determination of the party nominees official delegate determination events are earlier and earlier so the necessary actions required by the campaign to do well in these events must be organized and conducted months and even years in advance of the presidential election year---creates a permanent campaign to be president

5 Invisible Primary-Elements Some of the key elements that must be developed and nurtured to become a serious candidate: – name ID – money/fundraising – Momentum – media relationship – a vision for the country – a plan for implementing the vision – professional staff and campaign organization (craft a strategy to win)

6 Invisible Primary-Media and Money Professional staff and campaign organization needs to have a presence in as many states as the money available makes possible Media use the invisible primary to create political stories in a time when there aren’t many—it sells newspapers Political junkies need it to survive

7 Invisible Primaries-2008 The invisible primary may be different in the future than it was in 2008— – The scope and duration may not be as wide and long especially with the Democrats – Obama and Hillary Clinton were two high profile candidates that captured the imagination and attention of scores of voters, especially Democrats – voter fatigue and disatisfaction with “lame duck” President Bush jump started this election earlier than in previous years as voters were ready for change – Look for the Republicans to become consumed with the search for a candidate that can match the star quality of President Obama--this may take a while

8 “Invisible Primaries” Larry Sabato UVA Center for Politics University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato and his staff created the following clever categories to handicap the candidates as they navigated the 2008 invisible primary It was posted as the “Magnificent Seven in 07” on Sabato’s Crystal Ball website, one of the most popular and well known in politics www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball

9 “THE MONEY CHASE ” fundraising /money is the oil of politics campaigns mine for the big donors Big donors then cast a wide net among many of their rich friends to raise the unimaginable dollars necessary to run a presidential campaign Hollywood and Wall Sreet are good places to start

10 “THE HORSE RACE” incessant polling; both scientific and unscientific--- everyone loves a horse race and tracking who is ahead and who is behind---helps media sell newspapers winning leads to more winning in an environment of “group think”--- it is important to do well in polls---look like a winner

11 “TALENT BASE” serious contenders hire as many paid professional staff as their money allows these campaign “consultants” provide the energy, vision and expertise necessary for a winning campaign most candidates don’t know all the things needed to run a campaign of this magnitude and duration pollsters, media consultants, field directors, Internet and technology gurus, etc--- pay as many of the best people you can get, send them out into as many states as you can, as early as possible

12 “CATTLE CALL” hundreds of campaign appearances with and in competition with other candidates voters are sizing you up compared to the others--- appearances tend to distinguish and separate the “frontrunners” from the “also rans” highest profile of these are the debates and forums that seemed to appear weekly

13 “face book” Internet contacts and networking increasingly important especially to attract younger voters communication and fundraising are especially enhanced Obama’s campaign was masterful and was a key element to his victory in both the primaries and general election

14 “YOU TUBE” every thing gets put on video; especially the screw ups campaign must elevate the good stuff and do damage control on the bad stuff a key axiom of any campaign is that, “you can’t control every thing your candidate does or says” today it all gets on the Internet and as they say, “gets legs” and becomes impossible to contain

15 “BANDWAGON” “Bandwagon”---high profile endorsements have potential to influence---some are limited to specific states or regions while others have more universal impact Obama got an early endorsement from Oprah and a later one from the Kennedy’s---these were vitally important to both his nomination and general election victory


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