The Presidential Election Cycle is Speeding Up

It’s not your imagination. The presidential campaign season is starting earlier and earlier.

National Journal looked at how many articles have mentioned the 2016 election so far this year. Their count comes in at 520, which is triple the number from the first part of 2006 that mentioned the 2008 election.

To make sure this wasn’t a fluke, we looked at month-by-month data going back all the way to the month before the preceding presidential election. The early coverage of 2016 easily outstripped the early coverage of 2008 in all but three months, and overall about doubled the number of stories written from October 2004 through March 2006.

Add it all up from the month before the preceding presidential election through March of the midterm year (the same point we’re at now), and the 2016 presidential race made it on the air almost twice as frequently as the 2008 race, and nearly eight times as often as the 2000 race. (To be fair, cable news was still relatively young in 2000.)