Now that we've had one event, an incredibly turbulent week in the polls, and are about to go into our second event, how do you feel about the front-loaded primaries?
I wonder if it isn't going to benefit the party the way they thought it might.
First of all, as some have suggested here, having all 4-7 candidates in the race actively attacking Bush's record (some more stridently than others),has helped to erode his support. After all, Bush's SOTU "bump" actually ended up being a slide. If we continued that for a while, he might end up in a (spider) hole that he couldn't get out of. But if we lose the more strident candidates, we may lose our voice of opposition.
Second, I wonder whether we're getting an adequate opportunity to really vet the not-Dean candidates. There are revelations about Kerry's AOL/TW support and more attention paid his voting record. There's the question of Edwards' fundraisers. There's been more attention to Clark's Acxiom lobbying. I'm not saying any of these are, or should be big deals. But I am saying we might want a little more time to investigate them now that we've got the scrutiny of the media to shine a light on them.
The downside to a more drawn-out primary would be the money. Even Dean has blown through much of his cash. Edwards has likely spent more than half of what he can spend under the cap; Clark is probably in better shape, but it's not clear how much better. The candidates have already spent an obscene amount of cash (although, with the exception of Dean, presumably still less than the $30M Bush had spent by the New Year). So it's clear, particularly for the capped candidates, a longer primary would just be a money sinkhole.
Anyway, take the poll. What do you think?