How many of us were dissatisfied with the choices in 2008 & 2012? The GOP has some superstars and far too often they stay on the sidelines for the nation’s top job. What if we could handpick five and only five candidates to run for the GOP nomination? What if only one person from each major voting bloc or demographic had only one representative and nobody siphoned votes from anyone else?
I’ve divided the pool into five segments based on divisions in the GOP and dynamic demographics in the general voting population.
1. Chris Christie – The Mainstream Establishment Candidate: This happens every cycle. The establishment pools around a candidate they think is the most stable and “winnable”. They have the ability to raise loads of money as well as the least propensity to embarrass the party. This generally makes them less risky. Honorable Mention: Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, & Bobby Jindal? (question mark intended)
2. Rand Paul – The Fringe Libertarian Leaning Candidate. We could have labeled this the Ron Paul Candidate. This candidate usually draws from the civil libertarian part of the base. They usually poll just well enough to get invited to the debates. Their followers are generally the most passionate, but the candidate usually struggles to gain any type of traction. Things could change with Paul this time around. He’s wildly popular and doing significantly more than any other candidate in this mold has ever done to expand the “fringe” base and win over establishment groups as well.
3. John Kasich – The Popular Conservative Midwest Governor Candidate. This is the candidate who has used their executive abilities to help turn their state around (bonus points if it previously run by Democrats or purplish). They have the extremely coveted “executive experience” and usually come across as Presidential or ready to lead on day one. Sometimes they can also carry the establishment banner as well. But it doesn’t go over quite as well if they are too heavily associated with the Tea Party or Religious Right (looking at you Huckabee). There are several this cycle who would fit this mold well. It ultimately came down to Kasich and Daniels for me. Being popular and successful in Ohio can’t be overlooked. Honorable Mention: Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, & Susanna Martinez (more Southwestern than Midwestern but fits the mold)
4. Rick Perry – The Tea Party Candidate. Obviously this candidate draws it’s support from the Tea Party. They are overtly supportive of the Constitution, repealing Obamacare, the NRA, and the Military. In this case, having a connection to the Religious Right isn’t necessarily a negative as the candidate can sometimes pull from both camps. Perry fits this mold quite well and his reputation is repairing itself a little better than everyone anticipated. He’s going to run and this is his best path. I don’t want to sell short his experience as Governor of Texas, but he ran that in 2012 and because of that one debate performance it didn’t work. Once again, Mitch Daniels and Bobby Jindal are tempting choices for this category. But Perry is definitely running and his base is readily identifiable with this group. Honorable Mention: Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal & Ben Carson
5. Ben Caron – The Religious Right Candidate. This candidate is usually a former pastor or has some ties to religious activities. They takes strong stances on abortion, traditional marriage, and importance of family values. This candidate was Huckabee in 2008 and Santorum in 2012. They’re base is large enough to keep them in the race as long as they reasonably can but are never big enough or have deep enough pockets to push them over the top. The GOP establishment could possible tolerate a solid Tea Party candidate, but probably not a Religious Right candidate. Ben Carson doesn’t comfortably fit this role, but because of a lack of excitement around others (including Huckabee and Santorum), it’s not difficult to imagine support coalescing around Carson.
Those would be some pretty solid debates. Like I said a few times already, Mitch Daniels and Booby Jindal could easily replace Perry or Kasich and not much, if anything, would be lost. Let me know your thoughts.
Keep in mind that these are bold and may not seem logical, hence the boldness.
1. Both big races in Georgia (Governor & US Senate) will go to a runoff and the Democrats will win one of them. This is still a red state with a growing population that flashes shades pf purple every now and then. The incumbent Republican Governor is not that popular and the Democrats found a big name in Michelle Nunn to run for Senate. Republicans should be up by a good margin, but the Democrats have a good ground game here. It might be close enough that the third party candidates take enough votes to force runoffs in both races.
2. Mitch McConnell will win reelection comfortably. Too many rookie mistakes from Grimes.
3. One of these three Senate races with Democrat incumbents will be “too close to call” until Wednesday: New Hampshire, Minnesota, & Oregon. Democrats will win all three, but at least one (I’m guessing New Hampshire, then Minnesota, & Oregon in that order of likelihood) will not be called Tuesday.
4. Conservative Republicans will put up a serious challenger to John Boehner for Speaker of the House. Perhaps Justin Amash
5. Democrats will have a net gain in the governorships. It’s a bad time to be an incumbent. Too many GOP governors are in tight races (i.e. Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida).
Let me know your thoughts.