You don’t always need years to campaign

Most journalists look forward to election time. The excitement of watching as the poll numbers come in, to challenge of tracking down candidates for comments, it all keeps us on our toes.

With a 24-hour news cycle, it makes it even more of a rush as we run around posting numbers to websites and social media accounts.

But, while those election night thrills can be great, covering the campaigns, quite frankly, can be more than a little monotonous, especially for those campaigns that seem to get started well before the filing period.

The next presidential election won’t be for two years. We have another three months before this year’s general election, considered the “mid-term” for many of our national lawmakers. Yet, for much of the last year we’ve been hearing speculation about possible presidential candidates from both sides.

Of course, we’ve seen how well some of that speculation has gone, with a few rumored candidates already falling out of favor within their own home states, let alone across the country.

Even some municipal elections can be this way. Weirton will hold its election next spring. We’ve already seen one announcement of candidacy, and I’m hearing more could be coming soon.

I’ve had state legislators tell me that, because of the way state elections are established for certain offices, they no sooner take their seats in Charleston than they have to start campaigning for the next election.

It makes you wonder how much work they are actually able to get done if they are spending so much time on the campaign trail.

Such long campaigns might have their good points. By getting a candidate’s name out early, they ensure there will be more exposure before the field becomes too crowded.

Unfortunately, I think it also creates a situation where people spend so much time hearing about who is running for which office, and listening to the campaign rhetoric, they eventually lose interest.

When that happens, they lose track of what is being said and what is taking place, and no longer care enough to vote.

We get election overload before the election even comes around, and that is a big problem.

For any election in this nation, the voters need to be informed of what candidates are seeking which office, their thoughts on the issues, their plans for if they get elected and much more.

But, I think, the voters read and listen to so many reports from the trail, they ignore this information.

I realize, of course, it takes time to fundraise for an election, set up a team, establish a platform, plan stops, etc.

Sometimes, though, it can just be a little too much.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)