Is it too late for Al Gore to enter this year’s presidential race?
For those of us who are political junkies and are fervent supporters of our candidates (declared or not), we probably don’t have the ability to see the forest from the trees. As for the majority of voters out there in this massive country of ours, the longevity of Campaign 2008 seems to be getting on their nerves by a 2:1 margin
While political junkies have enjoyed the extended pre-season for Election 2008, most voters say that the debates and other campaign activities so far have been annoying and a waste of time. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 56% of Likely Voters hold that view while only 29% say the campaign so far has been interesting and informative.
Read below the fold as to why there may be hope for late entrants to this ‘War and Peace’ long of a presidential campaign.
These are the results of a survey (via the Chicago Tribune‘s ‘The Swamp’) released by the Pew Research Center a few days ago and here’s who thinks that presidential campaigns are too long: Most Americans – 52%; Men – 55%; People 65+ – 56%; Whites – 56%; College grads – 64%; People living in the Midwest – 57%; Suburbanites – 57%; Registered voters – 55%; Republicans – 61%; and Conservatives – 56%.
In the Rasmussen Reports survey released today, almost 3 in 4 voters favor a campaign not to last more than one year
In fact, 72% of voters would favor a proposal to shorten the Presidential campaign season so that no one could begin campaigning more than a year before election day. Just 14% of Likely Voters are opposed and another 14% are not sure.
Consistent with this view, just 25% of voters nationwide believe that Fred Thompson hurt his campaign by skipping a New Hampshire debate and appearing on the Tonight Show to formally announce his candidacy.
What are some of the other findings in this survey?
* 77% of New Hampshire voters would not penalize Fred Thompson for entering the race too late.
* A solid majority (58%) think the “debates are boring.”
* Given that they are optimistic about their chances of winning in 2008, 37% of Democrats are happy with campaign events as they are “interesting and informative.”
* Only 19% of Republicans agree with the above assertion as the political climate favors the Democratic Party.
Earlier this year, Kos wrote a front page post in which he asserted that Al Gore could wait until late in the year to declare his candidacy. To refresh your memory
One reason I’m not jumping aboard any 2008 bandwagons is that I’ll wait as long as necessary to see if Gore will jump in. That’s ultimately my guy this cycle. And even though I don’t think he’ll run, he’s really got all the time in the world to make a final decision.
The (Nobel) prize will be announced in mid-October. So say Gore scores an Oscar and Nobel in the same year, he can announce in November and still become THE story in the primaries. It’s not as if he’ll need the full year to get his name recognition up or make the case for his candidacy. He would instantly raise gobs of cash (I’d bet on tens of millions in the first 24 hours) and become the media sensation of the winter. He would instantly make hundreds of millions spent by his primary opponents obsolete. Talent would flock to him, decimating the staffs of his opponents.
Heck, if done right, a serious “Draft Gore” movement could have the shell of an infrastructure in place for him to adopt.
But if the stars align properly, you never know.
So, what about those “stars” that Kos alluded to in February 2007? Is there any alignment pattern that we can discern? I’m no rocket scientist but I read a bit every now and then.
What About the Oscars? You guessed it: a Gore Win!
And, how’d Gore Do at the Emmys? Yep, another Win!
Is the Draft Gore movement making any headway? You bet. Well over 100,000 people have signed the online petition and there are chapters all over the country. See here and here. America For Gore was recently launched by our very own MakeChessNotWar to coordinate online efforts by these various Gore Groups. If there was no enthusiasm for Gore, how come he is leading all candidates in ‘The 2008 Bumper Sticker Primary?’ This is an unconventional method of keeping track of all campaign gear (bumper stickers, tshirts, buttons) sold for each candidate by an organization which is the largest online. Earlier today, in what may be the first test of this movement, DKos diarist kimberlyweldon wrote this diary in which she states that 12,396 Sigs (Are Needed) by OCT 23 to get AL GORE on Michigan Ballot. And unlike 2002, Gore hasn’t shut down these efforts in 2007.
As everyone here knows, politics is not a static phenomenon; rather, change is the rule than the exception. I’m not sure what Kos’ thinking is today. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t endorsed any candidate as yet whereas by Fall 2003, he’d already decided that either Howard Dean or Wes Clark would be the nominee. Neither do I have any first-hand knowledge that Gore’s planning a late entry. All I know is that Gore refuses to make a Shermanesque Statement. And, for all the reasons Kos outlined above — almost 100% name recognition, ability to raise lots of money very quickly, attract quality campaign staff, create enormous buzz by winning an Oscar and an Emmy, and the like — I certainly think that given these two surveys in the past month where voters (by healthy margins) express their disdain for a long political campaign, it is conceivable that it would not be too late for Gore to declare his candidacy.
A “fresh face” — whose prescience about the Iraq Invasion many have not forgotten — in to reinvigorate interest in the 2008 Campaign? I suspect a majority of voters would be receptive to exactly such a move by Al Gore.