Voters aren’t waiting until after the conventions to make up their minds anymore
The screens are everywhere. There’s no place to hide from presidential candidates anymore. For a solid year they follow you from the TV monitor in the airport to the one in the taxi; you check your smartphone and they’re in the inbox telling you their plans and asking for money. You get home, turn on the TV, fire up the computer, and they’re there.
No one can hide anymore: politics will find you. And you wind up having an impression of a candidate sooner than you meant to, and it hardens into an opinion earlier than it used to. People don’t make the decision after Labor Day anymore.
They’re making their decisions now. They’ve been making them for months.
It’s showing in the polls. A NYT/CBS swing-state survey that came out this week reflects the dynamic: In the three states they polled, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, when respondents were asked who they were voting for, only 4% of them said they didn’t know. The number who said they might change their mind was in the low double digits…
Old-school thought says we’re waiting for the campaign to begin. But we’re in the campaign. We’re kind of getting close to the end.