One, people were pretty tired of hearing the candidates name by the time the election cycle got heated up.
Two, the early start kept the election "out there" leading to more opponents cropping up than possibly would have happened if they'd waited.
Three, that candidate usually lost as they'd given their opponents plenty of time to research and come up with opposing views, and they'd given their opponents plenty of ammunition to shoot at them.
It usually worked better to prepare "behind the scenes". Candidates joined organizations, started making sure they were at the right place at the right time, they found good ways to get their names in the media, etc.
Timing may not be everything in an election, but it's important. Announce too soon and all of the aforementioned things might happen, too late and there's not enough time, etc., etc. You want to announce early enough to scare off any potential candidate who's on the fence about running (if you're a strong enough candidate).
There are so many ins and outs, rights and wrongs, involved in running a campaign it would make most crazy trying to keep up! I could go into more analysis and discuss this long enough to put you to bed early, primed for a long sleep, but I'm leading to a short news story I just read so will quit and post the article
Sarah Palin already has an announced opponent on the Democratic side if she decides to run for Governor in Alaska again. I don't expect her to run again. I think she'll either run for President or she'll head to the Senate. In fact, because I believe she's going to run for President, part of what I'm doing in my "spare" time is trying to start now getting people on board to help her in the 2012 election.
So, knowing she's probably not going to run for Governor again anyway, here's the article from Anchorage Daily News (quite a lot of build up for this little ditty, wasn't it?):
First candidate begins campaign for governor
NAME RECOGNITION: He has almost none, so he's starting early.
By SEAN COCKERHAM
Published: January 7th, 2009 10:19 PM
Last Modified: January 7th, 2009 10:20 PM
Bob Poe says he is running for governor as a Democrat, and he's starting his campaign nearly two years before voters go to the polls.