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The incognitos of the American electoral process
The author observes how, in the United States, the November 2008 presidential election campaign has begun exceptionally early, not that this deprives it of traditional imponderables. Yet again, two incognitos of the electoral process will lie dormant until the day of the vote itself. The first is the turnout of voters, which is usually low (the 60 percent threshold has only been exceeded in five elections); the second is the possible emergence of ‘unwanted third parties’, namely the birth of one or more minor parties as spoilers for the candidates of the two major parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. One ‘unwanted third party’, the ‘Bloomberg for President’ movement, is going ahead, thus electrifying an election campaign in which everything really does seem to be based on ‘being first to the ball’.