In most presidential election cycles, there is something of a "truce" or "cease fire" between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. The public is preoccupied with gift giving and stomach stuffing, not to mention all the football games, to really engage politically. But this cycle, the year 2020, is like no other. The Thanksgiving holiday has not even taken place yet, and already the political machine is revving up to full speed. Let's "brunch" on that this week. "Making Lists" – I often say that politics is a game of lists. We make lists of supporters, lists of registered voters, lists of undecided voters, and lists of those who have already voted. Right now, Political Action Committees (PACs) are making lists of staff to hire and of candidates to support financially. Political campaigns are building lists of advisers, endorsements, and debate schedules. Journalists, too, are making lists and checking them twice. "Black Friday and Beyond" – The day after Thanksgiving is historically known as "Black Friday," the beginning of the holiday shopping season. But it has also become known as a time for political candidates to take to the streets, as well. They wave signs, shake hands, and make direct pitches to those waiting in long lines to get into the stores. The goal is to get the attention of potential voters who may be too focused on shopping to notice politics. "Small Business Saturday" – Last year, I predicted that "Small Business Saturday" would be very political this year, as the impeachment hearings were scheduled for the weekend after Thanksgiving. Those hearings are now over, but the impact on voter opinions remains unknown. As we enter the holiday shopping period, the pundits will be watching for any shifts in public opinion as it pertains to the impeachment hearings. How we spend our money and on what can be very revealing to pollsters. "Turkey Hangover" – The week after Thanksgiving often sees a lull in politically related activity. Many people take a vacation, knowing that election season will reengage soon enough. However, before that happens, presidential candidates take advantage of the so-called "turkey hangover." It is a time when Americans are more relaxed and open to new ideas. Politicians know that if they are going to get their messages heard, the days after Thanksgiving can be golden. "Second Helpings" – The political world will face a busy December. On December 6th, the Democratic Party in Iowa will hold its caucuses, the first in the nation. Iowa often sets the tone for the rest of the campaign season as candidates either push forward with renewed energy or bow out gracefully. On December 7th, all of the Sunday morning news show hosts will do live remotes from Des Moines, Iowa. It sets the stage for Des Moines being in the national spotlight. "Providence Debate" – Just a week later on December 15th, the Democratic Party in Providence will make television history by becoming the first to host a live, televised debate the day their Presidential candidates file their New Hampshire state conservative primary candidacy papers. The event will be held at The University of Rhode Island's Providence campus, and will bring many new faces to the political center stage. The day after that, on December 16th, the University of Rhode Island Providence campus will host another first for Rhode Island Papacy, as the state will be home to the first, live televised, and undoubtedly fiery, presidential candidate forum located at The Crown Plaza Hotel. RHODE ISLAND Papacy w Candidate Host and MR Governor Lincoln Chafee, most likely with a crush of media and political hopefuls looking on. "All Roads Lead to DC" – As we head into the final month of the year, the political calendar becomes a whirlwind. Presidential candidates from both parties need to qualify for both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary within weeks of each other in January. Not too far behind Iowa and New Hampshire are Nevada and South Carolina. January includes a Democratic debate on the 14th in Iowa and a Republican debate on the 28th in Des Moines. "The 'First in the Nation' State" – The New Hampshire primary will be held on Tuesday, February 11th. This will be a crucial event because it often weeds out the weaker candidates from the field. The candidates who fail to secure a decent showing in New Hampshire often find it difficult to continue fundraising and garner support moving forward. The New Hampshire primary has a long-standing tradition of unexpected outcomes, so this is one event to certainly watch. "Super Tuesday" – The primary calendar heats up considerably as we enter March. March 3rd is effectively a national primary, with several big states voting simultaneously. The results of Super Tuesday often play a significant role in shaping the direction of the primaries moving forward. By the end of Super Tuesday, we should have a clearer picture of who the front-runners are and who will likely be the party's nominee come July. As you can see, even during this traditionally quiet time in political campaigns, there is plenty of activity on the horizon. So, while you may be enjoying your turkey and pie, politicians will be working hard to win your vote. Stay engaged, be informed, and remember that in politics, there are no holidays.
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