Candidates starting campigns too early

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

If I'm not incorrect, my calendar reads July 2007. But you would think it's 2008 because the election season is already in full swing.

This week Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt began running radio commercials touting his pro life position in contrast to likely candidate Attorney General Jay Nixon who is pro choice. Or so the commercials explain.

I'm certain there are some highly paid political consultants who are telling Blunt to get his message out early and often. But political consultants often live in another world dominated by polls and numbers and flawed reasoning. Few political consultants are worth their paycheck in my opinion though there are exceptions.

If anyone is making the important decision on Missouri Governor's race based on radio commercials a full year ahead of the election, then something is drastically wrong. Maybe Blunt's think tank team hopes to establish a difference between the candidates early. But maybe their definition of early is a tad bit premature.

There will be ample time to explain the differences between Blunt and Nixon next year. Who knows, a wild card may emerge in this contest and all of these early discussions may be moot.

I've said it before - voter apathy is not because of a lack of information, it's because of an avalanche of information that is simply too much to absorb. Voters hear, see and read so much information they become either confused or frustrated. They throw up their hands and decide to sit on the sidelines. But you won't find one political consultant who would agree with that opinion.

As things now stand, Matt Blunt and Jay Nixon will likely face each other for the office of governor of Missouri. But I'll bet my very last dollar that not one single voter - not one - will say the reason they supported one candidate over another is because of a radio commercial 16 months before the election.

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