I’ve spent most of the last 12 hours listening to various pundits predict this protracted Democrat campaign will weaken the eventual nominee in the fall. Some sort of voter fatigue will befall the electorate who will then be less inclined to vote for the Democrats in November. The Democrats, fractured by the race, will fail to coalesce around the nominee and help McCain win.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say for the record I think this is a bunch of crap.
First, people in this country have incredibly short attention spans. Any fatigue present in June is unlikely to carry until November. It’s just not like us to carry that baggage for five months. This whole notion stems from the fact that nobody has seen a race like this in generations. People are used to these fire-and-forget campaigns. The argument assumes that people prefer that and don’t want something more. I think there is ample evidence, just in the water cooler conversations, that people are engaged in this, have picked a candidate to back (regardless of their party) and want to see who wins.
That’s significantly different from an election plagued by fatigue.
Second, the Democrats will end up with a huge advantage coming out of this. Having been forced to compete in all 50 states, they will have a ground game in all 50 states. They will have built the machinery to compete in places the GOP has ignored for decades either because it was “safe” red territory or because the states simply weren’t on the radar.
Voters in these states will be intimately aware of the Democrat, will have seen countless ads for them, will have seen them in their state. The GOP, by comparison, will have no exposure, name ID solely based on their name, not their message, and no organizers. That’s going to make more states competitive.
I think hopes for Democrat burnout are overstated. I think pundits underestimate the people and the race. Hopefully, the GOP apparatus doesn’t make the same mistake.