As it stands now, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire are the first three states to weigh in on the presidential races next January, on the 14th, 19th and 22nd respectively. South Carolina Republicans are already looking at jumping up to 1/19/08, and now both parties in Michigan are eying 1/15/08. The front-loaded primary schedule is already clogged up, particularly by so-called Super Duper Tuesday on 2/5/08, which may feature as many as 22 states on the electoral calendar, Michigan being one of them. The possible Michigan move, said to be a pet project of Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who has long objected to what he sees as the undue influence of Iowa and New Hampshire on US politics, would make even earlier electoral events in Iowa and New Hampshire a virtual lock. New Hampshire state law dictates that it holds the first primary, and its current 1/22/08 date is only penciled in at this point. Nonetheless, AdAge.com notes that the frontloading has not had any affect whatsoever on presidential advertising expenditures, at least in terms of where the money’s being spent. In the face of so much contested territory, the campaigns that are simply concentrating on Iowa and New Hampshire anyway, regardless of what other states have done or are considering. AdAge.com says 7.9M has already been spent, well ahead of 2004 when only the Democratic nomination was in play. So far, 3.1M of that has gone to Iowa and 1.9M to New Hampshire.
RBR observation: Imagine if no one candidate is able to score a knockout punch by the first week of February. If legitimate contests continue into May, there will be only five places left to gain support. On 5/6/08, Indiana and North Carolina have primaries. Two weeks later, on 5/20/08, there are primaries in Kentucky and Oregon. The last scheduled event is South Dakota on 6/3/07 on the tentative schedule. Can you imagine the media circus that is going to envelop these states?