March 16, 2007

A "Super Duper Tuesday" For Colorado?

And a great opportunity to showcase Colorado's nine electoral votes, widely believed to be up-for-grabs in 2008:
Rep. Michael Garcia told 7NEWS he will sponsor legislation to move Colorado's primary from March to Feb. 5. At least 20 other states are considering a similar move.

On Thursday California Gov. Arnold Schwarznegger signed legislation moving that state's primary from June to February.

Political analysts say that for years, candidates have thought of Colorado and California in terms of campaign dollars and not western issues.

Backers of an earlier caucus or primary hope the candidates will spend more time in the region.
. . .
California joins a handful of other states that have already scheduled Feb. 5 primaries. But 15 other states -- including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas -- are considering moving their contests to the same day.
Some are skeptical of the actual amount of candidate attention Colorado will receive from the moved-up primary. At the very least, candidate visits are likely to escalate. Democrats like John Edwards and Bill Richardson have already come calling.

With many states ready to push up their primaries (or caucuses), the ultimate result will simply be a longer campaign schedule for the eventual winner. Anyone who comes in lower than third in such a mega-primary would be unlikely to continue campaigning, as funding shifts to the frontrunners. Only those angling for a shot at VP or with large personal warchests will persist through spring 2008. At this point, late summer conventions appear to be entirely unnecessary for anything more than a televised rally, with each party's candidate predetermined for months.

Modern presidential campaigns costing hundreds of millions of dollars practically necessitate a longer election cycle, complete with earlier candidate announcements, more vigorous jockeying for early fundraising support, and wrangling the all-important endorsements. California, and potentially Colorado, are only now awakening to this reality.

In Colorado, each party's goal will no doubt be to secure volunteer and campaign networks and infrastructure that will lead to victory a very long nine months after the primary. Expect blogs to do a good deal of heavy lifting, both with the partys' overt support and on their own initiative. Bloggers will undoubtedly help shape the pre-primary campaign tone, rallying their fellow voters and party faithful at a time when most Americans will be thinking about the holiday season and tax preparation.

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