Skip to comments.The Incredible Vanishing GOP Presidential Front-Runner
Posted on 06/05/2013 1:13:35 PM PDT by nickcarraway
GOP presidential contenders wave to the crowd in Manchester, N.H., in 1980, before a debate. From left" Philip Crane, John Connelly, John Anderson, Howard Baker, Robert Dole, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
It's ridiculously, absurdly early to talk about 2016 presidential politics. Only a fool would try to predict who will be the next Republican nominee just seven months after the last election for the White House.
Still, in most election cycles, the GOP would already have an obvious front-runner by now, one who would more than likely prevail as the party's pick.
Not this time.
"This will be the most open Republican nomination in 50 years," says Tom Rath, a former GOP attorney general of New Hampshire and a veteran of early state presidential politics.
Plenty of Republicans had their doubts about the early front-runners in 2008 and 2012 John McCain and Mitt Romney, respectively but each ended up as the nominee.
This time, no one appears to be anointed. There are lots of likely candidates (Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie), question marks (former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, South Dakota Sen. John Thune), possibilities (Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker) and potential holdovers (former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry).
People in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina fully expect to see something in the neighborhood of 20 serious candidates stopping by to take soundings.
"There's no formidable candidate who's going to scare people out of the race," says Dave Carney, a GOP consultant and longtime Perry strategist. "There's no heir apparent."
Usually, there is. Republicans have given their candidates credit for time served, offering preference to the "next in line" vice president, veteran senator or candidate who paid his dues and knows the ropes from running the last time around.
For decades, the party has drawn from a small pool. There was a Bush or a Dole on every national ticket from 1976 through 2004. For 20 years before that, Richard Nixon was on the ballot in every election but one.
That type of dynamic is playing out this time around on the Democratic side. If presumptive favorite Hillary Clinton decides not to run, Vice President Joe Biden will have a leg up over lesser-known hopefuls such as Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Martin O'Malley of Maryland.
"It's been a long time since there really hasn't been an obvious front-runner [among Republicans]," says Lewis Gould, a historian who wrote Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans. "It's hard to see somebody becoming a juggernaut in the next eight or 12 months, so that by summer of 2014 people are saying, 'It's X's to lose.' We're a long way from that."
The result is likely to be a long nominating season. In contrast to the usual fashion, in which there's a king and a group of individuals aspiring to dethrone the king, a wide-open field means more candidates can linger in hopes of getting hot later in the game.
"When you get past New Hampshire, the field is usually down to two or three candidates," Rath says. "I'm not sure that will happen this time."
The lack of a clear front-runner reflects the number of competing factions in the party just now, says Chip Felkel, a Republican consultant based in South Carolina. It also gives candidates more of a chance to test-market ideas that might appeal to a broad constituency.
"The party needs to get through a serious bit of soul-searching," he says. "If you had a front-runner, you'd have all these people out there saying why that front-runner is no good."
Consultants like Carney also think it's good news that the candidates getting the most attention early on are mostly still in their 40s young enough to be the children of Romney or McCain (or, in the case of Paul, actually being the child of ex-perennial hopeful Ron Paul).
"It's good for the brand to have young guys who are peers of the generation that the Republican Party is supposedly not doing well with," says Matt Reisetter, a GOP consultant in Iowa.
New faces, younger and non-Anglo candidates, and a longer nominating season may reconfigure the party's ultimate chances.
But people in the party are convinced they can't be any worse than the traditional formula, which has helped Republicans lose the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.
"Historically, Republican Party politics have all been about whose turn it was," Felkel says, "and that hasn't worked too well for us."
We have a much deeper and diverse bench than the Dems. That’s for damn sure.
On the Dem side: Two retread 70 year olds.
I’m not certain I can think of a good reason for a Conservative to try to buck the RNC and the Carl Roves and Bill Kristols that are out there. They team up with the Leftist press to literally destroy good candidates before they can get off the drawing board.
And then you have Democrats voting in Republican primaries.
Gee, I wonder why we have no candidates. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...
from my home page
Heres how I think primaries should be organized:
My suggestion is basically to hold the first primary in the state that has the highest percentage of GOP votes in the last election, the 2nd primary in the 2nd highest, and so on. 2 primaries a week for 25 weeks, with the last primaries being the suckup-to-the-democrats. And the democrats could easily have their primary schedule the same way, if they wanted.
This way, if a state is 60% republican, there is still incentive for them to get out the vote for 61% republican so they can bump up their state in the primary schedule.
Also: Rotate all the states (even the big ones) through an early schedule so that everyone gets access at some point to the front line.
Let each state bid when they want their primary to take place. The earlier the primary, the fewer the delegates they control according to some logarithmic or steep curve formula.
18 posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 9:55:08 AM by Kevmo (We need to get rid of the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party. ~Duncan Hunter) http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1962610/posts?page=18#18
Second thing is the order of the primaries should be determined by the percentage of republicans in the last vote. The higher the %pubbie, the sooner the state appears on the primary schedule, with a mix of big & little states and our staunchest republican states get to go FIRST. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1965735/posts?page=862#862
24 posted on Friday, September 04, 2009 8:52:29 PM by Kevmo (So America gets what America deserves - the destruction of its Constitution. ~Leo Donofrio, 6/1/09)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies | Report Abuse] http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/2332420/posts?page=24#24
Greenblatt can’t be honest as to why Obama won a 2nd term. He and his thug administration shut down the Tea Party with their IRS terrorism.
The Tea Party cleaned house and WON the House back in the mid-term elections of Obama’s 1st term and they had to be stopped. To come to any other conclusion is flat out ignorant.
This is what was said about the Liberals, before “O” (Mr. Nobody from Nowhere) fell out of the sky!
” Im not certain I can think of a good reason for a Conservative to try to buck the RNC and the Carl Roves and Bill Kristols that are out there. They team up with the Leftist press to literally destroy good candidates before they can get off the drawing board.”
Post of the day!
The Republican Party needs a civil war all its own!
At least we will know which faction wins, and deal with it accordingly.
Every Primary should be held the same day.
The First primary should not be in a state where either party can vote and it should not be in a little yankee state that is filled with liberal RINO dingleberry’s.
Put my marker down for Cruz.
It will take a miracle for Hillary! to not win the election no matter who runs against her. Mostly because of voter fraud, but also because the ebt crowd will vote dem no matter who is the nom, unlike conservatives who will only vote repub if the nom is a conservative (which we saw happen in ‘12).
In 2006 Romney sent out word that he would tap his personal fortune, and he also had a couple of huge insider fundraisers to make clear that no serious challengers should even try.
The strategy worked and he was the 800 pound gorilla for 2008, (except that he lost anyway), in 2011 he was naturally the 800 pound gorilla, and lost again of course.
I wonder if Jeb Bush or Rubio will be the next assigned candidate.
4. Paul Ryan
5. Rand Paul
6. Allan West
I’ll take any one of these over the socialist thugs we have in power now!
President Trey Gowdy. Enough said.
Doesn’t it though...
I would take Rubio over anyone else suggested so far.
Cruz isn’t eligible, is he? I know 0bama isn’t either but Cruz is too white-looking to get away with it.
No way. Please
You might want to rethink that. Rubio is a bit on the lefty side when it comes to debate on foreign invaders.
Any GOP “front runner” who comes out now will be savaged by everybody, inluding some of the pundits on FRee Republic, until they are nothing more than a bloody pulp. Better to wait a while.
She emerged clean as a whistle from Benghazi, women love her, the press loves her, and anyone who utters a discouraging word will be painted as a misogynist and a hater.
Please pardon my cynicism.
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