Monday, January 30, 2012

Final Word (I Hope!) on Late Entrant

The final word, I hope, on the impossibility of a late entrant into the GOP nomination battle at this point goes to Josh Putnam, who has a data-filled post detailing all the filing deadlines and other technical problems with a new candidacy at this point.

The only think I want to add to this, other than you should definitely use his info and not the stuff that I've been citing in previous posts, is that there's a danger here of getting too caught up in the technicalities of all of this. I know -- I've been contributing to this a bit. And it's worth knowing the technical stuff, to be sure.

But step back, and you'll realize that it's been too late for months. When I was talking about this in 2010 and 2011, I speculated that the real window closed for most candidates in spring 2011, and for the most well-positioned candidate on the sideline -- presumably Jeb Bush -- sometime in the summer or late summer. Oh, a candidate certainly could have technically entered the race in September 2011. But a true new entrant at that point would be starting with an enormous disadvantage in resources, whether we're talking money, or organization, or candidate experience on the campaign trail. We saw some of that with Rick Perry, who wasn't really a complete new entrant (remember, he had already published a campaign book before he got in, and certainly had been prepping for the race for some time). It would have been that much worse for a real new entrant.

One of the reasons Mitt Romney has done so well this cycle is precisely because he's been running for president nonstop for about seven years. You don't have to do it that way; Barack Obama really did enter fairly late in the process, as far as I know. It sure helps, though.


  1. I'd hate to see Perry when he hasn't been prepping.

  2. Fat chance that this won't come up again! It no doubt shouldn't, for the reasons you give. But it will, because a) a lot of Republican pundit types are un-thrilled by Mitt, and b) the media will grab any excuse to keep us tuned in.

  3. Filing dates and organization are real obstacles to a late entry. But money? When Newt Gingrich can find billionaires to drop millions of dollars on his hopeless campaign, I don't imagine Jeb Bush would have any difficulty financially competing with Mitt Romney if he jumped in.

  4. By the way, on a prospective basis, this might be an area where there should be some reform. We have computers now and it should be possible to put a name on the ballot, say, 2 weeks or less before an election. And there could be good reasons for a new entrant.

    So there's a good argument that states should put the filing deadlines as close to the elections as possible.

  5. Is _Fed Up!_ really a Presidential campaign book? That seems hard to square with the facts that a) it's full of crazy lunacy he had trouble defending once he jumped into the race, and b) no one thought to print any copies for his announcement so immediately it sold out nationwide the day he jumped in (presumably on reporters' sales alone).

    I mean, both aren't wildly inconsistent with the rest of the train wreck that was the Perry candidacy, but they do make me wonder. I mean, who donates the proceeds of their presidential campaign book to the Restoring the Tenth Amendment Foundation?

    1. Yeah, a lot of people were saying that, and I have no particular inside information here, but it seems totally obvious to me that it's a campaign book. The "crazy lunacy" policies in the book weren't his problem when he ran, other than with liberals who certainly weren't voting in the GOP...that he had trouble defending those policies was more about him having trouble defending anything than about those policies hurting him. In my opinion, at least.


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