Showing posts with label next in line. Show all posts
Showing posts with label next in line. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Invisible Primary: Visible -- New Hampshire's Primary Asterisks

Thoughts on the invisible primary and links to the goings on of the moment as 2024 approaches...

There is not exactly a who's who lining up to try their hand at challenging President Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination. Yes, Marianne Williamson is in (as noted a day ago in Invisible Primary: Visible). And Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed on the Politics and Eggs circuit in New Hampshire that he, too, is considering a run. These are not names that are going to capture the imaginations of Democratic primary voters in 2024, but it is no mistake that both have stopped in the Granite state early on in their considerations. They may not capture imaginations, but they may draw some protest votes their way in a rogue New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary next January

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley earlier this year before the DNC finalized the calendar rules for 2024 told Politico that Biden losing to a "mechanic from Arkansas or Oklahoma" (or whoever files to gain access to the New Hampshire primary ballot) would be a potential early embarrassment for the president. Maybe. But if New Hampshire goes rogue, then the president will not be on the ballot there. Candidates stand to lose delegates if they campaign in states that break the rules. And no president is going to break the rules of the party that he or she leads. 

That means that either Biden cannot lose (a contest that will not mean much during primary season) or that a write-in effort (not organized by the reelection campaign) might fall short of protest votes against a president who attempted take first-in-the-nation status away from New Hampshire. But if Williamson or Kennedy stand to gain in that scenario, it may not be Biden who loses. It may be New Hampshire that loses even more clout with the national party for 2028.

Speaking of New Hampshire, the AP went looking for Biden resistance among Democrats and found some in of all places, New Hampshire. 

Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is back home in Tallahassee today to deliver the State of the State address as the legislature in the Sunshine state revs up for a quick 2023 session.

Harry Enten had a nice look at Trump's position in the 2024 Republican presidential nomination race relative to history. He called Trump a frontrunner (which he is) but also added:
It would be easy to dismiss Trump’s numbers as merely the product of high name recognition, but history suggests something different. The eventual nominees from this group include, among others, President Gerald Ford for 1976, Vice President George H.W. Bush for 1988 and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole for 1996.
Likening Trump to Bush and Dole in particular gave off real next-in-line vibes; a flashback to a whole different era Republican nomination races. Trump is not so much next in line as he reluctant to give up his spot in line. But it remains unusual in the post-reform era for former presidents to seek their party's nomination after they have lost a general election. 

On this date...

... in 2000, it was Super Tuesday. And it was a crowded Super Tuesday at that. Nearly 50 percent of the total number of delegates were on the line in the Democratic process that day. Only the Titanic Tuesday of 2008 has eclipsed that 2000 Super Tuesday in the percentage of delegates allocated on one date.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Links 3/8/11

Charlie Cook asks "next in line" or "no one's in line" for the GOP nomination.

Chris Cillizza has his own take on the "frontrunner-less" GOP field.

Whether a frontrunner emerges may determine whether Alabama is irrelevant in next year's primaries.

Ohio's still concerned about how redistricting might affect the March primary next year.

Huckabee briefly passed Palin in Google searches last week. I don't know what it says about the metric that Kenya/Portman triggered more searches than Gingrich's "bobbled" announcement last Thursday. Huckabee's jump was the first past Palin since Bobby Jindal in the lead up to and aftermath of his State of the Union response in 2009.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Is Next in Line a Myth?

...or has FiveThirtyEight's Ed Kilgore taken what he calls an oversimplification and applied a very narrow definition to it as means of mythbusting?

The concept in question -- the myth regarding the GOP selection of presidential nominees based on who is next in line -- certainly is a simplification, but the best theories are parsimonious: simple while being powerfully explanatory or predictive. The best way to disprove any theory is to narrowly define its concepts. All this just seems like a measurement issue to me. If you narrowly define someone's next-in-line status as simply having run before (and done reasonably well), then sure, you'll be able to find instances where that "was trumped" by having been a vice presidential candidate or having name recognition or money or grassroots support.

But this is where I differ with Kilgore. All those other factors are part of this. The theory isn't next-in-line (as I supposed it has sadly been dubbed and poorly described) so much as it is heir apparent; someone who has been there (whether as a vice president, vice presidential candidate or presidential nomination candidate), and has some name recognition, money and grassroots support because of it. And this is how I've approached this concept when I've brought it up in this space in the past; as something more broadly defined.

And I bet you're saying to yourself, "This heir apparent sounds an awful lot like a frontrunner." That's because it is. It's the same thing. And as William Mayer has pointed out time and time again, frontrunners usually win in the post-reform period (the McGovern-Fraser reforms that served as the impetus for the system of presidential nominations our country's two major parties employ). [Yes, there are exceptions to that rule as perhaps you were able to glean from the title to Mayer's article.]

Fine, but what does this have to do with the so-called next-in-line theory? Well, much of this has to do with the choices given voters when the primaries and caucuses begin anew every four years. Kilgore alludes to this in his post, referring to the "psychological assertions about the nature of Republicans as opposed to Democrats." But this next-in-line, or heir apparent or frontrunner or whatever you want to call it theory incorporates (or should) what's happening in the invisible primary period between presidential elections because a lot this has to do with what the party establishment is doing behind the scenes before the first ballot is cast in Iowa. This isn't about voters so much is it is about the rules and/or actions of the parties' elites (see Cohen, et al. -- The Party Decides -- for more on the latter).

The thing that separates Republicans from Democrats in this area is the combination of a more homogeneous base of elites and the winner-take-all rules in the delegate selection events. The Republicans just haven't had as much of a "big tent" issue among the various factions of their party as the Democrats have over the last nearly four decades. Have there been divisions at the elite level around particular candidates vying for any given Republican nomination? Yes, but they have been more muted than on the Democratic side. [Again, there are exceptions. 2008 comes to mind.] But Republican candidates who "have been there" have just been better able to take advantage of their greater number of connections to those elites (and the elites vice versa), their endorsements and the attendant financial windfall. Republican elites simply line up behind those they know, whether that means a consensus behind George W. Bush (that's how the former president fits into this) or a slim plurality for John McCain. There's a relationship there. The candidate knows he or she needs the elite level support to win the nomination and the establishment within the party needs a candidate who can get elected and push the agenda of the party.

So this isn't a question of narrowly defining "next-in-line" so much as it is about how that status works in concert (and overlaps) with other factors (like electability in McCain's case) to make Republican's who are "next-in-line" more likely to emerge as presidential nominees than Democrats in the same situation. That status, though, is the tie that binds the contested nominations of the post-reform era together on the GOP side.

What does that portend for 2012? Both Romney and Huckabee (and even a lagging Palin) have a leg up on others that will contend (or are already quietly contending) for the nomination. All three are logical heirs to the next-in-line label. If, however, the party decides, as it did in 2000, that Romney and Huckabee and Palin are dispensable in the way that Alexander and Forbes and Quayle were, the party is likely to gather around someone who has some institutional strength within the party (Dare I say Haley Barbour? Not without repercussions, I guess.).

As of right now, though, those who are next in line have the best shot at the nomination in 2012.


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