Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: What Effect Will The Busload Of GOP Candidates Have On 2016?
Ask Marion: I’d say the biggest immediate issue with nearly 20 Republican presidential primary candidates is logistics. Where do you put them all for the first couple of debates, before the numbers thin? How do you fit them all on one stage in the first debate set for August? Do you leave some out, including current and former governors and senators? Or do you hold two different debates in one night — with nine or ten candidates in one hour, and another nine or ten the next? And would either of those approaches be fair? Those were all questions after an earlier suggestion that Republicans might cap the first debate to nine… to twelve participants, which would mean that some prominent names might be excluded. The National Journal reports that the Republican National Committee (RNC) is now walking back the talk about a cap.
On the flip side, the Republican bench is deep and wide giving America some real choices while the Democrat Party has Hillary… yesterday’s politician, equally old and problematic Elizabeth Warren, old self-avowed socialist Bernie Sanders and a couple stragglers.
I say the greater issues for the GOP are:
The Republicans’ lack cohesiveness and a strategy, plus they have let the Dems get far ahead of them in the use of technology, however often underhanded, in getting out the vote!
Plus the Republican Establishment, who runs the RNC, favors the moderates and ignores some of the candidates that would be the true answers to America’s problems and just might be the dark horse winners. They along with the progressive media have even convinced some staunch conservatives not to follow their heart out of fear.
In today’s climate, the 2016 elections, especially after the GOP’s landslide in 2014, should be theirs, if those obstacles can be surmounted and if the base gets out to vote.
Virginia Right!: We have a massive field of candidates already ranging from very good to very bad (in my not so humble opinion).
Having such a large number of candidates can be cumbersome, but it is good to get the ideas out all across the party spectrum. As Jeb Bush struggles in every category but money, it lets the Republicans who watch these things closely know that money may not be the deciding factor.
After 8 years of national devastation by Democrats, the last thing voters are clamoring for is another dynasty. Especially a Bush dynasty.
One of the most dramatic effects of the large field is the effect on the polls. The liberal press is positively awash in glory as Hillary tops pretty much every Republican in their “head to head” polling. But remember, these are the same pollsters that called the UK elections too close to call and completely missed the blowout for the Conservative party and let’s not forget the abysmal results of the last US election where the polls showed Democrats doing much better than they actually did.
Now toss in the huge Republican field and there is absolutely no way any “head to head” polling will produce any meaningful results. Few people are really paying attention at this point, and the responses cannot be trusted. Many Republicans will pick Hillary in a poll over a Republican candidate that is not to their liking. I’d probably pick Hillary in a poll over Lindsey Graham or Chris Christie. But I wouldn’t vote for her on election day.
And we now have O’Malley entering the race along with elderly Socialist kook Bernie Sanders. So far, the Democrats have only had Hillery to pick from. If nothing else, O’Malley will provide some of the Democrat on Democrat mud slinging that has been the mainstay of the GOP so far.
It is much too early to get too worked up on the large field. We are still 18 months away. The cannibalism has just begun. And the dialog will be interesting and enlightening as time goes by.
JoshuaPundit: Ah hah hah hah!!! The Stupid Party strikes again. This is absolutely the Left’s dream come true.
20 or so candidates, all kissing up to the legacy media for space, all fighting tooth and nail like a pack of wild dogs for the same donor money, all saying things it will be impossible for the average low information voter to keep track of,, and ultimately boring quite a few of them. The Democrats will appear focused and centered by comparison, especially with the media helping them,
And of course, all providing oppo research, nasty quotes and video loops free of charge to the Democrats on whomever survives the massacre. Since most of them label themselves as conservatives, one beneficiary will likely Jeb Bush. This is exactly how we would up with John McCain and Mitt Romney.
There are really only two possible bright spots I see. Hopefully we’ll be down to 3 or so serious candidates by the end of 2015. And two, if this many clowns are vying to be ringmaster of the circus, the real polls they’ve commissioned as opposed to the propaganda fed to the peasants by the media must be a lot more favorable to a Republican in the White House than we’re being lead to believe.
The Glittering Eye: The large Republican field tells us several things. Keep in mind that every U.S. senator at least at some point imagines him or herself a president-in-waiting. One of the things that the large field tells us is that there are a lot of youngish but very senior Republican senator and governors or ex-governors. That’s sometimes referred to as a “deep bench” but I think that’s overly kind.
The other thing that it tells us is that today’s Republican Party, although much more ideological than it used to be, still brings together some pretty disparate elements. Social conservatives, libertarians, and the “Republican establishment” (to the extent that there is a Republican establishment any more). That would yield a minimum of three candidates if each candidate represented only one of those elements. But they don’t. They represent combinations of those elements plus a few others so it shouldn’t be surprising that there are a lot of candidates.
As an outsider the advice I’d offer is to heed Reagan’s old Eleventh Commandment: thou shalt not speak ill of they fellow Republican. They should keep their sights trained on the president, Hillary Clinton, and the Democrats. Speaking ill of Republicans is the press’s job.
Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: What is a Republican? Looking at the cast of candidates and potential candidates running for president on the GOP ticket, very few can be considered true Republicans. Traditionally, a Republican is someone who supports free market capitalism, limited federal government, conservative social values, a strong military, and above all respects the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.
Who among the current candidates can be counted as a true Republican? I believe this is what is hurting the party, and not necessarily the number of candidates. The big government progressives who call themselves Republicans are hurting the base and the party platform. Libertarian Rand Paul has the Young Republicans’ support for all the wrong reasons. It is becoming more and more difficult for the average voter to know where a candidate stands and that they can be trusted to keep their campaign promises once elected.
Sadly, I expect the number of candidates will hurt the party leading up to the presidential election in 2016, dividing Republican voters based on the issues most important to them. I also believe this will help propel Jeb Bush to the top of the list as the candidates drop out and throw their support, and money, behind him.
Wolf Howling: What a deep bench the Republicans are fielding this year, with sixteen people declared or expected to declare soon. It is an embarrassment of riches, and the amazing thing is that most of them are serious candidates who could in fact gain the nomination. There are just a few – Donald Trump, Chris Christie and Lindsey Graham – who, in my view, likely stand no chance. This deep field stands in direct contrast to the Democrat field of one tired old scandal ridden lady.
The problem for Republicans will be to quickly winnow the field. Inevitably, some who are worthy of consideration are going to get shafted because of limitations on who will be able to appear at the initial debates. But still, by the time the later rounds of the primaries arrive, we should have several strong candidates who have distinguished themselves from the pack. I think this is good for the party. It adds a real element of drama to the race, and that should capture national attention and most of the headlines as the primary season unfolds.
Bookworm Room: Considering how often the mainstream media cuts conservative voices out of the debate, there’s something to be said for having a wide variety of conservatives advocating their particular brand of conservativism, from Rand Paul’s loopy libertarianism (I prefer the Charles Murray variety myself) to Mike Huckabee’s old-fashioned southern Democrat demagoguery dressed up as conservativism, each of them adds something.
My fear, of course, is that Americans, rather than listening to the candidates, will tune out the tumult of voices — especially after the mainstream media gets done pillorying them as racists, homophobes, misogynists, warmongers, wacko birds, and whatever other labels it can stick on people who believe in the Constitution and believe in a constitutional America. My hope is that the most articulate voices among the crowd, such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Carly Fiorina, even if they don’t prevail in the primaries, are able to turn voters on to the virtues of a true constitutional republic.
My other fear is that the big money in politics (including Left-wing groups intent upon making mischief), will keep Jeb’s candidacy afloat long enough for disaffected, confused, or disgusted voters to go for a familiar name.
Bottom line: Win or lose, these candidates have the potential to be good. They also create an irresistible target for the MSM, which will treat the Republican primary like a turkey shoot — and unfortunately, the establishment Republicans, like the pledges in Animal House, will bend over and show the target on their craven backsides:
GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Most likely solidify the message.
Also put an especial emphasis on Nat’l Security and Foreign Policy. Iowa will tell the tale – a culling if ye will – getting the top tier cats on the top tier. For now – the more the merrier!
Well, there you have it!
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