Monday, September 18, 2023

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: A Neglected Factor?

Although the national and presidential elections

are more than a year away, the political calendar,

particularly its filing deadlines, are now coming

up very soon. So is the window of time for

recruiting candidates, organizing crucial Senate 

and House campaigns, fundraising, opposition

research, and so much of the preparation for 

contemporary politics prior to a major election.

The 2024 cycle is unusual in many ways, not the

least of which are likely significant third party 

candidates running for president. Activity is now 

underway nationally for the No Labels Party,  

Popular Party, and the return of the Green Party

and Libertarian Party. These third parties not

only field presidential candidates who might

drain vital votes from major party presidential

nominees, but often also put forward their own

candidates down ballot for Senate, House and 

governor. They can also affect election outcomes.

Filing and qualification deadlines for third party 

ballot access are not the only upcoming dates to 

be considered. Every political contest has a filing 

cut-off date, and these vary from state to state. 

Filing dates for candidates for 2024 state 

primaries occur in some cases as early as 

October, 2023, and most of them are in 

December and January. There are numerous 

competitive or battleground Senate and House

races likely this cycle, but not all probable

nominees to challenge incumbents are yet in

place. Only this week, David McCormick, the

likely Republican nominee, is finally announcing 

his candidacy in the battleground Pennsylvania 

U.S. Senate race. Other likely competitive 2024

Senate and House races do not yet have major

challengers declared running.

[I work with and frequently go to Ballotpedia

( ) for authoritative local, state, and

national election information, including state filing

dates. Readers going to this site can obtain 

individual 2024 filing deadlines as they are made 

available from each state — as well as 

exhaustive details about candidates, polls,

fundraising, ballot history and endorsements.]

Also, several incumbents of both parties

are only now announcing their decisions to

retire. An example of this was Utah Senator

Mitt Romney a few days ago revealing he will 

not run for re-election next year. In his case, his 

successor will almost certainly be a Republican, 

but in other instances, especially certain House 

races, late decisions, usually for health reasons,

could lead to now unanticipated pick-ups by the 

other party.

A national effort by some Democrats to prevent

Donald Trump’s name from appearing on 

individual state ballots next November, assuming 

that he would be the Republican Party presidential 

nominee, is underway through legal actions to some

secretaries of state. These unprecedented suits 

contend that ambiguous Constitutional language 

disqualifies Trump from the federal ballot. So far, 

courts have rejected these efforts, and some 

secretaries of state have declined to deny Trump

ballot access unless ordered to do so by appropriate 

courts, but the issue remains for now unresolved.

The timing of major political campaigns has

changed dramatically in recent years. Many factors

have caused this to happen. Campaign financing is

certainly a major factor, and organizing, media

buying, voter identification, and get-out-the-vote

strategies also are factors.

But the political calendar is now often overlooked for

its importance. Pundits frequently utter cliches about

voter decisions being made late, inaccurate early polls

and that much can happen late in any cycle, but the 

influence of the political calendar, imposing earlier 

and earlier campaign decisions, is a factor of no 

little consequence.


Copyright (c) 2023 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved


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