The Party Still Decides…continued
Jonathan Bernstein probably doesn’t read my blog, but I was happy to see him repeat some of my recent arguments in his New Republic piece.
The key to grasping the place of Ames in the Republican nomination process is that it occurs right in the middle of the invisible primary—that portion of the process that takes place before voters are involved. During this period, candidates aren’t seeking the support of rank-and-file Republicans; they are appealing to party insiders of various kinds: party-aligned interest groups and media; governing and campaign professionals; formal party officials; and activists. From the point of view of those actors, the invisible primary is a time to sort out conflicts and coordinate action.
Read Bernstein’s piece (and his great blog!) and mine. Horse race narratives are generally not important, but elite signaling is. What’s happening now in Iowa is actually extremely important.