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OUR OPINION: Don't look for a lull in politics in August

Our view: The Republican response to Barack Obama's aggressive presidential campaign will be an interesting feature of the election season. Election Day is 14 weeks away. In other words, it's less than 100 days until the morning after. This might...

Our view: The Republican response to Barack Obama's aggressive presidential campaign will be an interesting feature of the election season.

Election Day is 14 weeks away.

In other words, it's less than 100 days until the morning after.

This might be greeted with consternation, resignation or anticipation, depending on one's point of view.

The one thing that should be plain to everyone, however, is that we are not in the home stretch yet.

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Not by a long time.

In North Dakota, the State Fair is an important political event. It brings something like 40 percent of the state's population to one spot in a nine-day period.

The fair ended Saturday -- but that didn't end the political fallout from the fair. That comes on Wednesday of next week, when petitions are due to bring initiated measures and constitutional amendments to the November ballot.

Based on news reports from the fair, several measures will make the ballot, although several others may fall short of the required number of signatures -- about 13,500 for initiated measures and twice that number for constitutional amendments.

There might be a lull in political activity later in August -- but not for the whole month. The Democratic national convention takes place late in the month, and Republicans hold their convention early in September.

Then, the real contest begins.

Except that it appears to have already begun.

Democrats, especially, are early out of the chute. Some of their candidates have begun extensive advertising campaigns both in print and online.

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And it's hard to avoid Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Obama's campaign was at the state fair, and the campaign reportedly has assigned staff or volunteers to every legislative district.

So far, Republicans have been less active. John McCain's presidential campaign has an office in the Twin Cities that's looking out for his interests in North Dakota.

Of course, North Dakota has been considered solidly Republican in presidential elections for more than 40 years, since Lyndon Johnson carried the state in 1964, the last Democrat to do so.

Exactly how Republicans will respond to Obama's aggressive campaign will be one of the most interesting developments in the election campaign in North Dakota.

That's evidently in the future, however, since the Republican campaign is pretty much invisible so far.

But then, politics is all about the future.

And there are 14 weeks of future between now and Election Day.

-- Mike Jacobs for the Herald

Related Topics: MIKE JACOBS
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