Skip to comments.In GOP contest, anything could happen
Posted on 10/01/2011 6:50:14 PM PDT by thecodont
Barely three months before the first votes are cast, the Republican race for president is up for grabs, complicated by the absence of a clear front-runner and the rules that have guided the GOP's selection process for the past several decades.
The rise of the "tea party" movement, with its contempt for convention, has undermined the tradition of bestowing the nomination on the candidate presumed next in line, who usually paid their dues through long service or a previous White House try.
At the same time, a new way of awarding delegates has largely eliminated the winner-take-all system that hastened selection of a nominee and forced the party to quickly close ranks.
The rise of so-called super PACs, independent political financing organizations unfettered by spending limits, also means that a candidate can stay competitive long after their campaign's donor base taps out, potentially extending the race beyond the first few contests.
The upshot is a GOP nominating race that is at least as unsettled as the competition four years ago, when Sen. John McCain of Arizona rose from the political graveyard and rallied to claim the nomination.
"We knew from the beginning this was going to be one of the most competitive nominating fights we've had," said Dick Wadhams, a Republican strategist who is neutral in the race. "We thought we had one back in 2008, but this one has already taken on more twists and turns than anything that happened in '08."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Ignoring him will not make Cain go away LA Slimes
I think Cain is going to surprise everyone; if he can motivate the Black churches in Iowa and New Hampshire. Oops.... wait a minute.... Does New Hampshire have any Black people?
Run Herman Run!
We support Herman Cain!
the la times could go broke.
Does New Hampshire have any churches?
CAIN will be your worst nightmare. How could they go against an authentic black American without being called racist. Shoe is about to be put on the other foot. Im for CAIN!
This wide-open race meme is for fools and rookies. In this situation, predictions are easy. Neither party has done anything off the wall with it's nomination since Wendell Wilke. By this stage in the process it is almost always possible to pick the ultimate winner of any “open” race with a high degree of certainty.
The only genuine, down to the wire race we've seen in the modern era was Clinton v. Obama in ‘08. Reagan v. Ford in ‘76 came close, but it was pretty clear even after Regan started winning primaries that he didn't quite have the firepower to knock off an incumbent President. Dukakis/Hart might have been an epic battle in ‘88 if Gary Hart hadn't imploded as a result of Donna Rice and “Monkey Business.”
But even where it's been close, a long list of candidates was easily winnowed down at the outset to two serious contenders in every case. Most of the time there's only one and the race isn't even close.
Jimmy Carter, for example, surprised many people in ‘76 but only because they failed to notice that he was running for the Democrat nomination unopposed. There were a lot of other candidates but they were all nonstarters. Birch Bayh never put together a serious campaign due to health issues (his own and his wife's). Lloyd Bentsen and Terry Sanford never tried to put together a national campaign. Fred Harris was a nobody. Mo Udall was a Congressman. Sargent Shriver had never held elective office (and had been McGovern's compainion in electoral disaster). Scoop Jackson was ideologically disqualified as a believer in a strong national defense. The term-limited Governor of a major state who started early and built a national campaign organization was destined to win and everyone with a shred of sense knew it even before the primary season started when Carter was at 4 per cent in the polls.
Once again there's a nomination fight with a lot of candidates. Once again, nearly all of them are nonstarters. They either lack the requisite stature (the Cain train just doesn't have enough track) or they lack the requisite ideology (the GOP is not going to nominate the father of Rombamaneycare). Only Perry has a shot and when only one guy has a shot, he's the guy who scores.
This isn't rocket science.
One name is conspicuous by its absence in the article.
Actually more than one name. I didn’t see Sanatorum, Paul nor Cain.
Ref. Your Post #7: Good one!!!
I've been involved in campaigns since 1968 when I was a child in NH. I managed two congressional campaigns in my youth and managed a district for a presidential primary campaign twice. I've been around enough to know how the real professionals understand the electoral process. The only people who think debates matter are ignorant amateurs.
Most primary voters will go to the polls without ever seeing a debate. Those who saw one or more will, for the most part react based on considerations that seem bizarre to anyone who follows politics carefully. They won't care about who “wins” and who “loses.” They won't see what you see. Wit, coherence and erudition typically hinder a candidate. Warmth and confidence are what most people are looking for.
And if you truly believe Obama can come off looking good in a debate with anyone, even a department store mannequin, you're the one on crack. He can't even help himself when he's alone at the podium before a joint session of Congress speaking from a prepared text.
Obama is the dimmest, most inarticulate person ever elected to any major office. He is a miserable failure with nothing to say in his own defense and no talent for saying it. Forrest Gump would mop the floor with him in debate, which is a good thing, because Rick Perry will be his opponent and Perry is more than just a bit Gumpish.
I appreciated your Post #15. Very insightful. It was common knowledge, I thought, that the Kennedy/Nixon Debate was what cost Nixon the election. He looked tired and worn and was not as sharp as the handsome, fresh-looking Kennedy who had sharp answers because he was much better prepared. That Debate was the death knell for Nixon.
1960 was always close, as you would expect a race to be where there is no major ideological distinction between the candidates and no incumbent running. In the wake of Eisenhower's 8 years the parties were ideologically indistinguishable and at very nearly equal strength in a national election. The result reflected that. Debates were, as always, nearly irrelevant. They make great fodder for media mythmakers, but they don't have much impact on voters.
Remember that the Dems had to commit massive vote fraud in Cook Couny and in Texas to win in 1960. It was hardly a case of an attractive candidate sweeping to victory on the strength of his debating skill.
You can spend a lifetime hunting and you won't find an example of electoral victory resulting from prowess in debate. It just doesn't happen.