Burnout and turnoutIt doesn't take a genius to figure out that I enjoy politics. I've been involved in some fashion with things political since I was 16. Growing up, my parents would take me to the polling place with them on Primary Day and for General Elections. My Mama and Daddy would always take the time to show me who they voted for, though it was left to my maternal Grandfather to explain in that country wisdom that only he could articulate how to vote ("vote straight Republican or go straight to Hell"). I've worked on all kinds of campaigns-though I have come to enjoy local and State politics the most over the years. The only things I haven't done are to be paid for my efforts as some are, or to run for office myself. At least one of those things may change in the near future.
After an exhausting 2006 campaign where all but one of the candidates I was personally supporting actually won, I was really hoping for a breather. A few months away from the political hub-bub while I rested up for a long Presidential slog. It wasn't to happen, largely because the Primary season isn't just starting earlier than ever before, the major contests are so closely packed that there is to be little rest. The nominees of both political parties could be decided as early as February 5th, which essentially means that the General Election campaign could last from February to November.
In talking to a few political contacts, friends, and associates in recent days I'm hearing the same thing: All agree that they are sure that there will be plenty of moments in the coming year worth remembering in years to come. Certainly, we'll all have a quite a bit of fun during the process, as people who like politics tend to do during an election cycle. Nearly everyone I talked to also said they were already worn out. One close friend who is by now a political veteran told me the other night "I'm tired of it already."
With the Iowa Caucus set to take place on January 3rd, and the New Hampshire Primary set to occur at its earliest date in history on January 8th, the 2008 campaign is already well underway. If the General Election campaign really does begin on February 6th, it is very easy to see that burnout is going to be a major factor in all political camps.
If political hacks who enjoy this sort of thing are already tired and feeling strained, think of how Joe Sixpack-the average voter-is feeling. Think of how Joe and Jane will feel come November.
How could this impact voter turnout?
Labels: Presidential Election