Forward Planning and the 2024 U.S Election




In the run-up to the 2024 U.S. election, it is vital that communications professionals understand the media landscape surrounding the candidates, the issues and the events happening across the country. This is where AP Planner is an invaluable tool. The forward planning database includes information about upcoming candidate events and organized debates. Along with events that can have an influence on the main issues that impact the electorate.  

Events on the AP Planner are searchable by candidate, topic, and state, allowing users to be on top of the information they need. The listings are presented factually, with no bias or agenda. And, information is checked and verified from source.  

Examples of events listed on AP Planner include: 


AP Planner lists primary and caucus dates, including this event marking the beginning of nominating season. This is increasingly significant this cycle because of the Democratic National Committee decision to re-order their primary calendar. This shifts the traditional lead states of Iowa and New Hampshire back. And, pushes states like South Carolina, Nevada and Georgia forward. This results in a jumbled primary season as states and state parties attempt to comply with new rules. Many of the dates are still not confirmed but are constantly being monitored by our team of researchers. So, customers can always stay informed about when these contests are happening.

The date of ‘Super Tuesday’ (when 14 statewide contests are happening on the same day) is essential knowledge as it helps customers to schedule their own events and campaigns, avoiding this date and the possibility of getting crowded out of the news agenda.

Forward planning to gather specific candidate information

The Planner also includes candidate filing deadlines and campaign finance report filing deadlines. These tend to make news as an indicator of a candidate’s support, alongside voter registration and early voting dates.

The National Conventions are always important dates on the election calendar and are listed on AP Planner well in advance. For example, the dates for the Democratic National Convention were confirmed and listed on the website 16 months ahead of the event, allowing customers plenty of time to prepare.


The team follow each candidate’s schedule, with announcements of events usually coming around a week in advance. Although this lead time can vary based on a variety of factors, including security reasons, last-minute changes and the productivity of the candidate’s media team. Most of the campaigning is currently split between Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Information is gathered from press releases, campaign websites, local party websites and social media pages. AP Planner is the place where customers can find everything in one place, clearly categorized and easily searchable.


Gathering AP Planner insights on party events

The Republican Party candidates are all looking to increase their profile. The AP Planner lists conferences and summits where they are due to speak, including this example:

We are also listing upcoming debates and television appearances:

While there are still a lot of Republican candidates in the race, they have a significant presence on AP Planner. However, we are also following President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, and events attended by Democratic challenger Marianne Williamson and independent candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West.


Forward planning to identify impactful events

In addition to direct candidate events, the AP Planner covers other events that may impact campaigns. For example, abortion is set to dominate the campaign given the salience of the issue in many elections since last year’s Supreme Court decision. An event like March for Life in Washington, DC, could be a key platform for candidates looking to appeal to the Republican grassroots.

Our team are constantly looking out for events like this, which could become significant during the year.


Forward planning for the big day

When it comes to Election Day itself on November 5, 2024, the AP Planner lists the presidential election itself:

However, the service will also include information on the 435 House seats, 33 Senate seats, one Senate special election. Plus, 51 state (each state plus Washington, DC) listings for the presidential vote. Giving information on a total of 521 federal election events, along with gubernatorial elections, city races and state ballot measures for every state holding them.

The information from AP Planner included in the Election Report allows readers to know what is coming up ahead of time and ensure they are fully prepared for the year to come.

Select information regarding the election is included in each of the quarterly US Election reports.

During presidential and mid-term election cycles, AP Planner customers have access to all election related events tracked as part of their subscription at no additional cost.

Find out more about our Forward Planner in partnership with the Associated Press here. You’ll gain access the complete news agenda over the next 12 months with our rich database of 120,000+ news items and events.