I love presidential election years.
Maybe that makes me weird, but once the campaigns get underway in earnest, once Iowa and New Hampshire begin the electoral free-for-all, I get excited.
American presidential politics is one of the all-time great spectator sports. There is so much conjecture and analysis, speculation and prediction. Then it all plays out in the polling places, and we stand back and attempt to infer what it means.
It’s Super Tuesday today. Thirteen states and territories are holding primaries and caucuses. The results are critical to every candidate’s path to their party’s nomination.
That means there are many exciting things to argue over and wonder about.
Can Ted Cruz win his home state of Texas, and if he can’t, is he finished? How many states will Donald Trump win, and will it matter since Republicans are still apportioning delegates based on results instead of the winner-take-all format that begins next week? Marco Rubio and John Kasich have yet to win a contest. Can they continue that trend and still realistically stay in the race?
How many states will Hillary Clinton win and by what margin? Can Bernie Sanders upset her in key states? Can he seize the momentum coming out of Super Tuesday, even if he doesn’t outright win many of the contests?
Maybe it’s the fact that I am a strategy game enthusiast and designed them professionally for eight years, but I love this stuff! An American presidential election is compelling theater. It’s like the NFL Draft or the NCAA Basketball Tournament. We spend weeks speculating on what will happen. Experts of every stripe are trotted out, and they sagely proclaim the outcome and what it will mean.
Then we get to watch what actually plays out and dissect who did well, who messed up, and what it means going forward.
Will the Browns pick a quarterback in the first round again? Will Xavier get a #1 seed? Will Trump have enough momentum coming out of Super Tuesday to put a chokehold on the Republican nomination?
It’s exhilarating. Speculate during the buildup, watch it play out in real time, then listen to the experts pontificate about it while the rest of us rush to social media to complain or celebrate.
What’s not to love?
Mind you, I take it all seriously. I listen to the candidates, trying to get a feel for whom I should support. I am inspired by some and disgusted by others. I make certain to vote in the primary, and I root for the candidate I select.
But it’s hard not to appreciate it for the entertainment that it is. Presidential politics is a rough sport that I have no desire to play.
But I do love to watch. Especially on Super Tuesday, when the races are still up for grabs.