- "Debates are now the first primary," said Glen Bolger, a Republican pollster sitting out the 2012 race (Bolger's firm, Public Opinion Strategies, is Mitt Romney's lead pollster).
- "The echo chamber has been exponentially heightened and strengthened by social media," said Rich Killion, a New Hampshire Republican strategist who worked for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. "The water cooler is not at work and you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to share your opinions; it's at your fingertips and you can do it in your pajamas in the middle of night or in the back of a cab racing to the airport.
- Meanwhile, the 2012 contest has been marked by the emergence of candidates who have used presidential campaigns as a way to sell books and make a profit. Donald Trump and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin never went beyond flirting with bids in the media, though cable news networks hungry for ratings covered their every move.
- Other states have long coveted the attention (not to mention the tens of millions of dollars in economic activity) an early slot on the primary calendar guarantees. Florida's refusal to move its primary in compliance with Republican National Committee rules earlier this year forced Iowa and New Hampshire to move up; Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, and other states have put similar pressure on the nominating calendar, despite warnings of RNC-levied penalties.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Changing Rules of the Game
At National Journal, Reid Wilson notes several ways in which the 2012 contest is changing presidential campaigns: