While the number of candidates running for president in 2020 may be unprecedented, a crowded debate stage is unlikely to be a strange sight in the future. The divisions within parties and the availability of money and media coverage outside of the traditional party network mean that potential candidates will continue to see – and take – opportunities where previously they did not.
In particular, relative to independent candidates, political parties are even more polarized but yield more efficient elections since the majority party is more likely to win due to vote coordination of its supporters.
Despite the potential gains and minimized costs, not all state-based policymakers should pursue constitutional amendments as legislative goals. Constitutional amendments require significant time and political capital to ensure success. Policymakers that do not expect reelection, therefore should avoid this process. Instead these legislators should use what little political capital they have to quickly enact general legislation in an attempt to codify their own policy preference rather than be subject to the preferences of those that will replace them.