I concur with 74, at least in most cases. I doubt Ron Paul’s candidacy as a 3rd party presidential candidate in 1988 was calculated to help the Democrats, but generally I’d agree that it’s no accident. Similarly, I believe some of the candidates still in the race (including O’Malley) that clearly have zero chance of winning the nomination, could well be there by direction – in order for the RNC or DNC to use their delegates as bargaining chips at the conventions as needed. Politics is VERY scientific, and researched to the nth degree. Almost nothing at the national level, and generally even at the state level of any significance, is by accident.
One must always remember that, particularly now days, it’s all political theater. But the consequences are anything but entertaining.