Frontloading in American Elections

Topics: United States presidential primary, Primary election, United States presidential election Pages: 2 (563 words) Published: November 26, 2012
When our founding fathers wrote the constitution, I do not think they expected the presidential election process to develop into what it has become today. The key in securing the presidential nomination relies on the primaries. Political parties and their candidates know that a good start in the primaries is very important and can ultimately affect the whole outcome of the election. Thus the existence of frontloading was formed. Frontloading is the “unseemly scramble among states to move their presidential primaries or caucuses earlier and earlier in election year, in the hope of exerting greater influence over the national result” (Economist). Frontloading has both positive and negative effects on the political nomination process. The plus side: it gives candidates sufficient media coverage, a greater chance of political endorsements from important and influential people, increased campaign donations and a publicly recognized name. The downside: frontloading increases the cost of elections, prolongs the electoral cycle, disenfranchises voters in later-voting states, and deflects the focus and resources to what seems like a never-ending campaign rather than governance. The frontloading process helps candidates gain momentum, which gives you a greater chance of ultimately winning the nomination. It is clear that the first few primaries are pivotal and has a huge effect on the entire election, which is why states fight for the earliest primary dates. Candidates and state leaders know that good timing of their state’s primary is very important. Early states have a higher influence over who wins the nomination and the candidates tend to campaign more heavily in these early-voting states which leads to increased candidate spending and thus greater economic advantages for that specific state. In 1992, California held its presidential primary on June 2nd. Like every other state, California wanted their voters to have more of an influence on who essentially wins the...
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