Electing the President

April 20, 2007 • Volume 17, Issue 15
Will the early start be good for the campaign?
By Kenneth Jost

Introduction

Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton offer the possibility that an African-American or a woman could be at the top of a major party's presidential ticket for the first time.  (AFP/Getty Images/Tim Sloan)
Democratic Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton offer the possibility that an African-American or a woman could be at the top of a major party's presidential ticket for the first time. (AFP/Getty Images/Tim Sloan)

With the presidential election still more than a year away, the campaign for the White House is well under way with 15 declared candidates and a dozen other potential contenders. The early start is due in part to the so-called “front-loading” of party primaries and caucuses in early 2008 — dramatized by California's decision to move the presidential primary in the nation's biggest state to Feb. 5, nine months before the Nov. 4 balloting. With more states voting earlier, candidates have to move sooner to gain public support and raise funds. Critics fear the longer schedule tires candidates and voters alike and increases instead of decreases the importance of campaign fundraising. In both parties, the contests for the nomination appear wide open at this early stage. But with Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama leading the Democratic field, the race inevitably poses the question of whether voters are ready to elect a woman or an African-American to the nation's highest office.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Presidential Candidates and Campaigns
Jan. 06, 2017  Trump Presidency
Mar. 06, 2015  Presidential Power
Feb. 03, 2012  Presidential Election
Jan. 30, 2009  The Obama Presidency
Aug. 08, 2008  Political Conventions
Jul. 18, 2008  Race and Politics
Apr. 20, 2007  Electing the President
Dec. 30, 1988  Promises vs. Problems
Jul. 10, 1987  Presidential Nomination Process
Feb. 03, 1984  Choosing Presidential Nominees
Jun. 06, 1980  Choosing Presidential Candidates
Apr. 09, 1976  Presidential Campaign Coverage
Feb. 23, 1972  Political Conventions
May 27, 1964  Foreign Policy Issues in Election Campaigns
Sep. 21, 1960  Voting in 1960
Jan. 06, 1960  Presidential Primaries, 1960
Jan. 04, 1956  Campaign Smearing
Nov. 30, 1955  Presidential Possibilities, 1956
May 09, 1952  Open Conventions
Jan. 16, 1952  Presidential Primaries, 1952
Oct. 12, 1949  Modernization of the Presidential Election
Jan. 14, 1948  Presidential Primaries
May 01, 1944  Foreign Policy in National Elections
Jan. 01, 1944  Choice of Candidates for the Presidency
Apr. 08, 1940  Republican Candidates for the Presidency, 1940
Apr. 01, 1940  Democratic Candidates for the Presidency, 1940
Jun. 19, 1939  Selection of Nominees for the Presidency
Aug. 19, 1938  Nomination by Primary
Mar. 11, 1936  Voting in Presidential Elections
Feb. 18, 1936  Presidential Candidates, 1936
Mar. 03, 1932  Decline of the Presidential Primary
Aug. 25, 1931  Presidential Candidates, 1932
May 05, 1928  National Nominating Conventions
Sep. 03, 1927  Presidential Candidates—1928
Jun. 14, 1927  Patronage Influence in Nominating Conventions
Sep. 11, 1926  The Future of the Direct Primary
Jul. 02, 1924  Proposed Reforms of Presidential Nominating Methods
Jun. 04, 1924  The Machinery of the Political Conventions
Mar. 15, 1924  Presidential Candidates and the Issues
Sep. 05, 1923  The Passing of the Second Term
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Campaign Finance
Campaigns and Elections
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