California’s televised primary debates miss many voters

Many of California’s voters will have already mailed in their votes when the televised presidential primary debates air this year. From local candidate forums, to FOX, ABC, NBC, the Vote-By Mail trend is forcing candidates, campaigns and networks to start the campaign season earlier.

GOTV (Get out the Vote) efforts in the United States Democratic Presidential primary in California started a month earlier in this year.  And only the candidates with a big enough war chest could sustain month long GOTV efforts in California in 2008. What this means to the common person is longer election cycles, longer sustained phone calls, mailers, and TV News coverage in that state. Higher spending on radio and television ads, and overall more political advertising. What it means to the candidates is only monied campaigns had a chance in California.

Even TV coverage means less. Unless the networks move their debates a month earlier to accomodate the earlier voting cycle in predominantly Vote-By Mail States, moving to Vote-By Mail will cause earlier local candidate forums well as the current precinct system has kept a regular debate schedule for years.

In a way, Vote-By Mail could threaten the very nature of the party system by eliminating precincts, and then the precinct system. How do you then maintain the Precinct Captain System?


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