The race for the 2008 Presidential election, as if ya didn't know, is underway NOW. Why is it here 16 months before the actual November election day?
It's because the nominees of the current two party system will be locked into place within the next 7 to 8 months. Yesterday the state of Georgia moved their primary date to Feb. 5th, the same as Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, California. Delaware, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York , Oklahoma and Utah. Even earlier, on Jan. 29th, primaries are to be held in Florida and South Carolina and before then, election primaries will be held in Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire. Even more changes are ahead as another 12 state legislatures have pending bills to move their primaries - which means nearly 40 states would have their primaries by Feb 5th.
The candidates who win primaries then - about 8 months from now - will be the two who battle it out between February and November. So the campaign is in full tilt mode today. And I think John H. pegged another reason for the push "most of America is ready to get rid of the current bunch."
Given the more immediate nature of media today, with instant news and instant web reports, a candidate with deep pockets of quick cash could easily wait until December to announce and still gain the edge by February. In fact, the less time a candidate has to endure the daily grind of media and public grilling, the better their chances. And given the current timeline of primaries, it will be that grind over the next 7 months which will lead to the two nominees. And all the smart money today, approaching the first of June, says the race is wide open and anyone of the announced and unannounced candidates could be their party's winner. That has to churn the insides of campaign organizers and candidates.
This summer and early fall will make or break a campaign.
That's why the debates are taking place now and the heat of summer has not yet begun, and it will be getting hotter than seven hells for all of the Seekers for the next seven months. The web will roil with riotous upheaval -- and I think there's a reason for that too: no candidate or party has a really solid idea on what to do next to resolve the issues of the Bush administration, though all of the voters know there is a hell of a mess to clean up.