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Americans – at least the media and the political partisans – are infatuated with the presidential election. Check any news source and you’re likely to get copious coverage of the latest poll results, some alleged indiscretion from a candidate’s past or detailed analysis of policy positions that will almost certainly never become law.
More timely matters get ignored. Saturation coverage has been going on since the last election ended. The buzz around 2020 was already heating up when Rep. John Delaney of Maryland announced his candidacy in July 2017 — 1,194 days before the election. The “breaking news alerts,” endless panel discussions and campaign ads have been omnipresent ever since.
Other democracies have more reasonable timelines. France allows only two weeks of campaigning before the first round of voting. In Japan, campaigns last just 12 days by law, while in the UK, campaigns generally take five to six weeks. Australia’s longest campaign ever was 11 weeks long; Canada’s was 74 days.