The invisible primary seems to have been growing longer and longer in recent years. Despite the November mid-terms being weeks away, people are already, and have been for a while, touting 2016 candidates. This ties in very strongly with the idea of a lame duck presidency – traditionally viewed as often occurring at the 6 year mark of a presidency, does the lengthening of the invisible primary further reduce a president’s chance to actually govern in his second term? In Obama’s case, recent polls suggest he is unpopular and is being somewhat ignored by his party, suggesting a lame duck; equally, while he has launched air strikes in Syria, this is with congressional approval which he did not have last year when he wanted to do the same. This would suggest that his power has certainly diminished.

This kind of synoptic view – looking at the impact of the invisible primaries (Unit 3 – Elections) on the power of the President (Unit 4 Constitution/President) is exactly the kind of high level analysis needed to achieve A02S marks in the 45 mark questions.