• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Invisible Primaries, USA.

Extracts from this document...


A. How important is the invisible primary in the presidential election campaign? The invisible primary is the period in between where candidates first announce their intentions to stand for presidency and when the first primary ballots are cast. The invisible primary generally consists of heavy fund raising (in excess of $100 million) as well as opinion polls, used by the media, to gauge who the front runners for the election are. Generally speaking, those who are able to raise the most money are going to appear as the strongest candidates and as a result, will be able to command greater donation power from those who are reserved until they have a clearer idea of who may win. The creation of informal and semi formal networks is crucial. Democrat, Hillary Clinton didn't announce her 2008 presidential intentions until after the 2006 mid-term elections, but her team had already begun to build a national fundraising committee to rival the Democratic National Committee, which was perceived to be unpredictable. The front loading of the primaries and caucuses means that candidates need to build up a significant amount of capital during the invisible primary 'process'. ...read more.


Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi, both the Republicans and Democrats allow any citizen of the state to vote, irrespective of their political affiliation, and so, achieving 'grass roots democracy'. This large scale participation has been seen to achieve a quasi-pure democracy since 1972 with the eradication of party hierarchical selection. The USA has always had a low level of voter turnout for general presidential elections. But, as exemplified with the Democrat primaries in the Clinton vs. Obama, younger voters in greater numbers are partaking in the political process. In New Hampshire (D), turnout accelerated to 52.5%. The primaries are there to give the 'backbenchers' in the party, the opportunity to make their opinion known in the process of selecting a presidential candidate. Since the wide scale development of the 24/7 media culture, the candidates in the primaries receive their share of public scrutiny, with the free media giving their view on the proceedings. Internal party debates are of paramount importance, and indeed, Obama was allowed, through the debates of the 2008 campaign, to rise ahead of Clinton. This draws parallels with the 2004 presidential campaign, where Kerry was seen to be the "most elect able" candidate. ...read more.


This is less favourable for the lesser known candidates, who lack the support base and resources of the more prominent candidates. The political calendar in the US is becoming more limited and the time frames are becoming more intense. To conclude, the disadvantages of the primaries far outweigh the benefits that they bring to American politics. They are just plainly ludicrous; there is massive apathy towards voting in the USA, and even in the more significant elections such as the Iowa caucus, there is a mere 6%. Even British local government elections poll more with turnout at about 35% on average. There is also the completely ignored factor that people from the Republicans may turn out and vote for the weakest Democratic candidate and vice versa. Front loading is also a very crucial factor as to why the primary elections are essentially, a complete shamble. Minor candidates are able to get ahead of the 'big wigs' and a complete lack of investigation, scrutiny and examination for such a significant public roll all contribute to the weakness of the primaries as a democratic electoral process in American politics. It is quite likely that the electoral process in Mugabe's Zimbabwe is more meaningful. The primaries are not democratic, and the process does not yield balanced and meaningful results. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United States essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Consider the view that the arguments for having an electoral college to elect the ...

    5 star(s)

    However, what the future will hold is uncertain. If the original arguments for the Electoral College are now no longer valid, or at least not as valid, what possible reforms can be made to the system? One such suggested reform is to get rid of electors entirely and operate ECVs on a purely automatic system.

  2. Explain the significance of the New Hampshire Primary and the Iowa Caucus in the ...

    That test comes from 'average' voters. The level of support a candidate receives in Iowa gives a reasonable indication of how they will perform with the rest of American voters. If middle-American Iowans support a candidate, then that candidate has a chance with the rest of the nation.

  1. Consider whether the activities of pressure groups help or hinder the operation of a ...

    Understandably, groups representing the poor and vulnerable do not have a support who can afford to pay for such tools and often find themselves fighting from the lower ground. Politicians need donations to fund their re-election and are usually not willing to work for little or nothing.

  2. The 1820 Missouri Compromise.

    This conciliated legislation was named the Thomas Proviso, and is primarily referred to as the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The provisions were as follows: (1) 'Admit Missouri as a slave state in accordance with the initial request for statehood'. (2)

  1. Consider whether the growth of primary elections in the Presidential nomination process has reduced ...

    However, that could be deemed as the main, modern role of these events: to officially confirm the party's candidate. These are clearly big media events and can lead to a number of effects within the party. During the campaign, it is understandable that the party will become somewhat disunited with the leading candidates fighting it out for their party's nomination.

  2. Discuss the view that the presidency is not a powerful office

    This demonstrates that although Congress has the power to formulate legislation and play a huge part in the success, the president seems to exploit these inherent powers to great success in numerous examples. This leads onto the inherent power of ?the power of persuasion? ,which does include several others such

  1. Consider the importance of invisible primaries in US Presidential elections.

    By the 31st December he had raised over 56 million dollars of the total 85 million by the Republican Party candidates. Finally Invisible primaries are important as they enable candidates to endorse party support and to gain momentum for their campaign before the gruelling campaign to come.

  2. The advantages of primary elections far outweigh their disadvantages in the selection of each ...

    It distinguishes a candidate with potential to succeed nationally from one who may be only popular in some areas. Some liberal Northern Democrat politicians may not translate well in the more conservative south and vice versa. This national popularity can make or break a candidate.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work