Sorry for the relatively slow posting this week; for some reason every time I turned around something was keeping me away from writing. Should be back to a normal pace next week. Can't wait to be working with spring training games on in the background.
Meanwhile, over at PostPartisan today I talked Veepstakes, and at Greg's place today, I talked about the Washington caucuss and Super Tuesday. Might as well add one I never linked yesterday -- I went through the ACA numbers in the latest Kaiser poll yesterday at Plum Line.
OK, now, the question. I need to think of a name for the period of the nomination/general election period in which the nomination is decided, but one or more losing candidate is still contesting primaries. It's over...but it's not quite over. In my view, we've been there since Florida (or South Carolina) in this cycle; I think we got there after Iowa for Republican in 2000, and after, I don't know, New Hampshire for Democrats in 1992. I'm not talking about the point at which only the nominee, or the nominee and one or more fringe candidates, remain; I'm talking about the stage before that. The challenge is still serious enough that the presumed nominee has to really contest the primaries, but not serious enough that there's any real doubt about the long-term outcome (the last candidate may stay in because she miscalculates her chances, or because she figures that even a .01% chance is worth sticking around for).
We know that the pre-primary period is the "invisible primary," which works really nicely. Then we have the primaries and caucuses. And I've seen a few different names for the period after which the nomination is totally wrapped up but everyone is waiting for the convention, whether or not there are still primaries on the schedule. But what about the stage we're in now? I'm working on it, but I'm open to suggestions, and if anyone has something they've been using please pass it along.