Simon Review Paper #9


The 2007‐2008 presidential nominations season will go down in the record books as the longest, the most expensive, the most frontloaded, the most debated, the most unpredictable and the most contentious presidential nominations contest in American history. Part of the reason for the scope and depth of the highly public conflict was the fact that this was the first time since 1952 when a sitting president or vice president was not a serious contender for the nomination of one of the two major parties. Thus, it is an open seat contest for both major parties, and both parties have attracted from eight to ten potential early contenders for the nomination. After several trial balloons and early drop‐ outs by officially announced candidates, the fall of 2007 pre‐primary season produced eight officially announced candidates for both parties. A lot of contenders meant a lot of traffic, and lot of coming and going into the early primary and caucus states, like Iowa and New Hampshire, and crowded stages when both parties held their seemingly innumerable pre‐nomination presidential debates in the 2007 warm up season. It also meant that the mass media were very active, especially early in trying to handicap the frontrunners and dark‐horses, and in trying to keep up with all the press releases and political machinations from all the candidates and their camps. It also meant that the paid media, especially television, came up in the early contest states much more extensively and earlier than it had in the past. The campaign was on in full force in the early months of 2007 and as that year wore on the intensity of the media’s coverage of campaign 2008 increased with each month. By the end of 2007 it seemed like the race for 2008 had already been underway for a very long time. Many observers were saying that the campaign season was just too long, a complaint which had been heard in previous races, but perhaps never heard quite this early.