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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2007
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EDITORIAL

Democratic primary will have competition

State Democrats have cause to be worried about the prospects of not drawing a crowd for their Feb. 5, 2008, presidential primary.

There was good reason for Democrats to move their primary. Candidates had no incentive to come to Alabama to campaign in a June primary after other states had decided the nominee.

Unfortunately other states had the same idea.

Under the new lineup, New Hampshire will lead off Jan. 22, followed by South Carolina on Jan 29. Then the avalanche hits the first Tuesday in February.

If California, Florida, New Jersey and Illinois join the nine or so states already committed to Feb. 5, the primaries will lose their intimacy. The proliferation of primaries will force candidates to campaign by sound bites and make the races more expensive.

Alabama should be fertile ground for Democratic presidential candidates because the state’s Democrats are hungry for national attention. But so are Democrats in some of the other states that moved up their primary.

Alabama would find it tough competing against Florida, California and Illinois. Perhaps, this will become a case of a little bit of wooing is better than none.

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