Election year is upon us, and to quote the eminent Greek philosopher Heraclitus: “The only constant is change.” Consultant Richard Murray has studied political changes for more than thirty years, and his upcoming class “The Republicans Decide & Democrats Prepare for a Tough Campaign” offers a comprehensive and multi-faceted analysis of all the factors affecting this election. We recently caught up with Murray on his way back home from giving testimony in the recent Texas redistricting trial before a three-judge panel.
WIH Reporter: What are the unique factors in this election cycle?
Murray: Every presidential election cycle is different, and this one is certainly bearing this out. We are seeing unprecedented spending by Super Pacs – first for Romney, now Gingrich. This spending has clearly altered the race. We are seeing the continuing impact of the Tea Party movement, which did not exist until 2009. In addition, we are witnessing the enormously important role of television debates in the GOP contest. We are also seeing the continuing decline of traditional media, and the much greater role now being played by social media, such as Facebook.
WIH Reporter: What are the “knowns” and “unknowns” that will drive the 2012 election?
Murray: The main known things that will drive the 2012 presidential election are the following two issues: Who will the Republicans nominate? What will be the state of the economy in the summer/fall of 2012?
The big unknowns are events that include unexpected foreign crises (Iran, Pakistan, etc.) or natural disasters – we have another hurricane season before we vote in November.
WIH Reporter: Every few weeks in the news we hear about turnarounds and changes, especially in the GOP contest.
Murray: Things change very quickly in multi-candidate primary contests because it is easy for voters to move from one horse to another. The reason for this is that they do not have to cross party lines. Don’t take anything to the bank in these contests until voters actually go to the polls. Look at the recent South Carolina results.
WIH Reporter: What are your thoughts about the growing polarization that we are seeing between the political parties in America?
Murray: Polarization is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, although many voters are turned off by it. However, these folks are not very important in party primaries, so they have little impact until you get to general elections.
All in all, it promises to be an exciting “horse race,” and Murray’s class is the place to be to get an ongoing, in-depth political analysis of this year’s election.
For more information about Richard Murray’s classes that start on February 6th and February 8th at 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., click here.