If anything can possibly be said about the 2016 presidential race, it’s been entertaining from both sides of the political spectrum.
On the left, there’s almost a dramatic angst waiting for Hillary’s final implosion (consider 2008), while Bernie Sanders keeps packing stadiums with supporters interested in his old ideas reaching newly-receptive ears.
On the right, the sheer number of Republican candidates is still making for a carnival side-show atmosphere, complete with the warm-up act from the under-card debates.
And the sponsoring networks have to be loving it, both for ratings and daily media ammunition from the campaign trail.
With almost 7-in-10 people watching at least some of the debates, this ranks as one of the most engaged races in modern politics.
But there’s a twist, and a really sad one.
The same people polled were also keenly aware that the campaigning so far has had more of an entertainment quality than one of actually discussing and debating the political issues.
Could this be the the first modern presidential election won on the merits of entertainment value?
We should hope not, but there’s bad news for independents and Democrats if it is — Republicans are winning the interest battle among their ilk, with more than a three-fold increase over Democrats and independents.
There’s little wonder from the independent standpoint. With no viable independent candidates, the 2016 election will likely come down to the lesser of two evils–and the independent-minded just have to patiently wait for the dust to settle to see which two less-than-hopeful candidates make it through the primary season.
The Democrats, on the other hand, will have to find some way to energize the base — as they historically thrive in higher turnout elections.
But for now, the Republicans get to enjoy some momentum in voter interest going into 2016, something they haven’t had in the past two election cycles.
While the GOP party bosses are getting fed up with the campaigning antics, they are getting the best kind of media coverage they could possibly hope for — free public interest.