Friday, March 2, 2012

Elsewhere: Super Tuesday, Veepstakes, and a Question

Sorry for the relatively slow posting this week; for some reason every time I turned around something was keeping me away from writing. Should be back to a normal pace next week. Can't wait to be working with spring training games on in the background.

Meanwhile, over at PostPartisan today I talked Veepstakes, and at Greg's place today, I talked about the Washington caucuss and Super Tuesday. Might as well add one I never linked yesterday -- I went through the ACA numbers in the latest Kaiser poll yesterday at Plum Line.

OK, now, the question. I need to think of a name for the period of the nomination/general election period in which the nomination is decided, but one or more losing candidate is still contesting primaries. It's over...but it's not quite over. In my view, we've been there since Florida (or South Carolina) in this cycle; I think we got there after Iowa for Republican in 2000, and after, I don't know, New Hampshire for Democrats in 1992. I'm not talking about the point at which only the nominee, or the nominee and one or more fringe candidates, remain; I'm talking about the stage before that. The challenge is still serious enough that the presumed nominee has to really contest the primaries, but not serious enough that there's any real doubt about the long-term outcome (the last candidate may stay in because she miscalculates her chances, or because she figures that even a .01% chance is worth sticking around for).

We know that the pre-primary period is the "invisible primary," which works really nicely. Then we have the primaries and caucuses. And I've seen a few different names for the period after which the nomination is totally wrapped up but everyone is waiting for the convention, whether or not there are still primaries on the schedule. But what about the stage we're in now? I'm working on it, but I'm open to suggestions, and if anyone has something they've been using please pass it along.

42 comments:

  1. The "Hey, His Plane MIght Crash" phase?

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  2. The "But I still have leftover bumper stickers" phase. Or the "Pre-wrapup" phase. Or the "Nothing to lose" phase.

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  3. To use a football analogy, garbage time? The prevent defense phase?

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  4. Perhaps the "I still need to sell more books" phase?

    Seriously, though:

    1. Lame Duck Primary
    2. Lost Cause Primary
    or (drumroll, please)
    3. Off the Island Primary.

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    1. Hmmmm...Lame Duck Primary is promising. Keep 'em coming!

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    2. Recovering from the flu, which I likely spread to many friends. This act of unkindness inspires the notion of 'incubation primary,' where the winner is set, like a virus invading, but the body politic doesn't yet know. the inevitable outcome.

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  5. Twilight Primary? (this would work better after the associations with the book have died down.)

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    1. Something along the lines of "consolidation phase" or "pivot phase" or "pre-general phase" the point being the nominee is decided and the main point is to bring the party together. This can go well and be good for the nominee (the Dems in 2004,) go not so well but probably but not have much of a big effect on the general (Dems 2008), or go poorly and cause problems what will happen if the mittster does poorly on tues or dems in 88 maybe (there was a lot of talk about this going poorly for the Dem's after Dukakis lost IL and MI in a row after he won big on super tuesday. )

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    2. The Twilight Zone?

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  6. The Grinder
    The Diminishing

    Or from Dr. Seuss:

    The waiting place. Where everyone is just waiting. (From his last book, "Oh the places you'll go!" He has a nice long list of stuff to wait for, including "a better break."

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  7. After the main phase of determinative primaries, comes "the supplement" or "the supplementary".

    Provides a nice double meaning: it's something that can be viewed either as necessary for completion or as merely additional and secondary. (FWIW, made a resonant term in academia by Derrida.)

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  8. Didn't you ask this before?

    Didn't I say 'denouement' last time?

    Its the falling action of a narrative structure before its final completion.

    That's the meaning you're trying to express. Denouement is the word that means that.

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    1. Don't think I did, but might have. It's not bad.

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  9. For *this primary, I'm going with:

    "The Bonfire of the Vanities"

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  10. It Ain't Over When It's Over

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  11. Primatory (n.): The phase of the Presidential election cycle after the first month, or the first several contests, in which the front-runner has been blessed by a significant chunk of party actors (which can include a portion of the base), but has yet to prove to the majority of the base that he or she is "pure" enough to ascend to the nomination.

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    1. Like the word. The definition isn't quite there.

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    2. +1. The obvious purgatory connotation pretty accurately describes what the period feels like.

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  12. How about the 'epilogue'?
    Or the 'Kabuki primary'?

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  13. It's The Doldrums. Hot, with little wind, but patchy storms that can dump a lot of rain on you.
    - GWC

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  14. At what point do you think we reached this stage in the Democratic primaries in 2008?

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    1. Really good question. To myself, I called it over after Obama's sweep of MD/VA/DC. I thought it was in the 95% range at that point. But I'm not certain that I was right about that.

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    2. Yeah, I remember the Potomac Primary being the point where it started to become clear that the delegate math was impossible for Clinton. Could it have been earlier or later than that? I think that even after Super Tuesday, the math was already pretty difficult for Clinton. But one could also go later and say the Ohio/Texas contests (good for Clinton, but not good enough) were the point of no return.

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  15. The Subprimary -- as in "subprime," i.e. products that appear to have more value than they do, and could still cause everything to crash.

    Other suggestions here are good too. "Lame Duck Primary" nicely makes use of an existing term of political commentary, but the problem with it is that it's the leftover candidates who are the lame ducks, not the nominee-apparent. He's an Agile Duck.

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  16. Or: the leftover primaries. (They're the ones left over, plus, sometimes they get reheated.)

    And further to Greg's suggestion, I saw someone refer the other day to the "long, twilight struggle" in which Romney is currently engaged (and struggling).

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  17. The Zombie primary.

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  18. The Presumptive Phase. Bam.

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  19. The Sisyphus Phase. The primary keeps going on but nothing changes.

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  20. I support "Twilight Primary". But I think Santorum is still in the game, just less so than Hillary four years ago.

    (Although you can also call the Republican race the "Pinkie Pie Primary" because crazy stuff just keeps happening)

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  21. A few more:

    The Davis Cup (for playing the entire series after its been decided)

    Don't Mess With Texas (by acknowledging that their late primary is irrelevant)

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  22. The Visible Non-Primary?

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  23. The hazing phase (or haze phase), when the presumptive nominee has to prove he can fricassee fatally wounded-but-dangerous rivals.

    This year, though, this zombie phase may be doing real damage to the nominee -- is that unusual? Or illusory?

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  24. Could be the Monopoly Primary, after the board game. There's usually a point at which one person is obviously going to win, based on cash and properties owned, but the other poor schmucks are supposed to keep playing until they actually run out of money. A sure loser may get a reprieve from time to time (advance to Go/win Connecticut primary), but it doesn't change the ultimate outcome. In the end, the candidate with Mediterranean and Baltic Aves. is not going to beat the one with Park Place and Boardwalk.

    There's probably a Risk analogy too.

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    1. There's actually a number of board games that can sometimes suffer this problem (Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride come to mind), but I don't think any do it as consistently as Monopoly or Risk do, where it's practically required.

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  25. I think "Garbage time" would fit better for the phase when one candidate has clearly won, but there are still primaries remaining. "Denouement" would also fit better for that phase. And "Lame Duck" would suggest the main candidate's strength is waning.

    "Consolidation phase" might work, though. (But I think the idea that Romney has won rests a lot on projection from the delegate counts which in turn have an assumption that he got all of Florida's 50 delegates - so IMHO it's still a two-person race rather than Romney being the clear winner)

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  26. The "I'm not dead yet" primary. He's mostly dead... I FEEL HAPPY!!!

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  27. The Inhalation Phase, which is what the fat lady does just before she starts singing!

    I like zombies, too, though.

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  28. How about "the Walk of Shamelessness"?

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  29. Just chiming in to express surprise that after forty comments no one has suggested either "all over but the shoutin'" or any kind of twist on it ("all over but the votin'" ... ?)!

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