Handicapping 2016 yet?

By Dean L

It's early.  2016 is a political lifetime away.  But there are already some indications of what might happen in the next presidential election.  True, these indicators should be taken with a block of salt, but it sure looks like certain things will come to pass.  Other things are less clear, and of course nothing is certain this far out from the election. But the 2016 election already has me thinking and so far I'm not feeling warm and fuzzy.

Not my numbers - click for source odds.
In a series of recent polling and news items it looks like it's a fait accompli that Hillary Clinton will be the next Democrat presidential candidate. Others in the race who may have a chance to contend - Cuomo, Biden and Kerry - will all have their work cut out for them. As CNN noted, she's lapping the field. She probably has already locked up New Hampshire. She hasn't said she'll run, she's busy making gobs of cash in different ways. The sort of cash one might need for say a presidential run. She's going to run. I'm not suggesting she has an impressive list of accomplishments but that doesn't matter - the press was able to make a threadbare Obama resume into the greatest guy EVER for audiences. Clinton has no business answering the 3 a.m. call (Benghazi or Bosnia ring a bell?), but it just doesn't matter.  She's the next liberal superstar heir apparent.  She's going to run, and she's going to be the Democratic party's nominee.  She's going to be the press' nominee.


She's going to have to be beaten.  Unfortunately things on the Republican side seem muddled for the time being.  In the same poll extolling Clinton's extended lead, the Republican field is understandably unclear.  There are some apparent front runners - Rubio, Christie and yet another Bush among them.

As CNN noted,
While the race for the Democratic nomination is basically frozen until Clinton makes a decision, the hunt for the Republican nomination remains wide open. The new poll, as with past surveys, indicates that there's no front runner on the GOP side.

Eighteen percent of self-identified Republicans or those who lean towards the GOP say they support Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, with 16% backing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and 14% supporting New Jersey Gov. Christie. Nine percent back former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate who battled eventual nominee Mitt Romney deep into the primary calendar, with 21% preferring someone else and one in five unsure.

"Republican uncertainty mirrors the identity crisis the party is facing as it redefines its message in the aftermath of the 2012 presidential loss. Republican voters seem to be saying they remain on the lookout for their party's Mr. or Mrs. Right," says Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of FDU's PublicMind.
While the identity crisis may be an over-the-top misnomer gleefully perpetuated by the left-leaning mainstream media, it is not entirely without merit.  The 2012 primaries proved there was a rift between conservatives in trying to achieve what William F. Buckley advised - nominate the most conservative candidate in the field who can win the election.  No one clearly, has a solid understanding of what that actually means in the real world. Electability is an amorphous concept.  Was Sharon Angle electable before she lost her election bid? Was Pat Toomey before he won?  Similarly "most conservative" may mean entirely different things to different types of conservatives - social conservatives, libertarians, defense hawks, economic conservatives and other conservatives constituencies will have differing definitions.  Hence the confusion.

Another problem on the Republican side is timing.  Clinton will likely lead the Democrats wire-to-wire.  But for conservatives, is it better to decide the primary early in order to focus fundraising on the general election as early as possible?  That didn't work for Mitt Romney. But he also didn't spend effectively and clearly was not the technocrat, economic whiz he presented himself to be.  On the other hand, is it better to have a nominee determined as late as possible in order to avoid the slings and arrows of the left and media yet foregoing name recognition building opportunities at the same time?  I'm not sure but I'd lean towards doing the opposite of what both Romney and prior to him McCain did against Obama.

That means come out fast, furiously and unrelentingly as early as possible and sustain the message, and sustain the attacks on Clinton.  Not attacking Obama did not work for either GOP nominee.  Both were attacked and yet wanted to come across as above the fray and empathetic.  It worked for Bill Clinton and even more so for Obama. because they had the media on their side.

Getting back to the Republican field for 2016, I think that the party that wants to internally debate ideas may shift gears in the run-up to 2016.  It may come down to who they think is the best fighter and who can best undress Clinton (politically and rhetorically only please). Conservatives are not only sick of losing, they are sick of losing because their nominees aren't fighting tooth and nail for victory at every turn.  We are going to need a battler. Conservatives would do well to modify the Buckley rule to look for the most (effectively) combative conservative in the field.  At least that takes electable to a more granular level, right or wrong.

So who does that mean in the GOP contender field right now? Jeb Bush isn't made of that sterner stuff, but he will still poll well. He may win but I don't think he will at this point.  He's still too Bush, in an era when Bush 43 memories have not faded.  Marco Rubio on the other hand is very intelligent, and a likable conservative. But he may be too nice to dig in for a battle.  We haven't seen if he can win a street fight yet.  If my presumption is right, then the likely nominee will be electable, but not the most conservative candidate in the field - Chris Christie.  He wouldn't be my choice, but this early on, unless someone else better positions themselves as a fighter, he's the likely nominee.

There's my worthless way-too-early prediction.  Modifications will undoubtedly follow.

26 comments:

  1. .

    "Conservatives are not only sick of losing, they are sick of losing because their nominees aren't fighting tooth and nail for victory at every turn. We are going to need a battler. Conservatives would do well to modify the Buckley rule to look for the most (effectively) combative conservative in the field."

    There is no conservative national party. Conservatives, to become a national party have to have a message. Hatred may play well for the Murdoch Media/Fox Networks (i.e. Old White Men) 2016 Presidential Primaries but it is not a message for the multicultural voters in USA.

    Conservatives are not only sick of losing; so what? Telling people of USA "conservative" are against anything the President is for - is not going to work. Voters looked at what "conservatives" were selling ('lies, fear and hatred') and voted for the Democratic Party nominee, President Obama.

    Conservatives are going to need a battler. - Good luck with that. A battler for what?! Victory/freedom/liberty are meaningless Madison Avenue advertizing slogans. So come up with something concrete (Hint: avoid talking about sending people of color back to where they came from).

    Prediction; RepublicanT Party will nominate a national candidate who does not spew open hatred, and that the "Conservatives" will not want. The "Conservatives" will not vote for the RepublicanT Party candidate.

    Ema Nymton
    ~@:o?
    .

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    1. Ema, your view of what conservatives are and what we stand for is repulsive and insulting. They are bigoted and hateful and not worthy of a response.

      That said, you actually do make a good point elsewhere. While we are not selling fear/lies and hatred, we have most certainly not effectively explained what our solutions for problems facing the country are, and how they would work. If we had done so, we would have fared better in the last election.

      By the way, freedom/liberty are not meaningless slogans. They tie back directly to the Bill of Rights (among other things). Perhaps that's a big part of where we failed in conveying our message - how those things are concrete and what they mean in terms of policy decisions.

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    3. .

      "... , we have most certainly not effectively explained what our solutions for problems facing the country are, and how they would work."

      One could not get any more clear in explaining "conservative" RepublicanT Party ideas and solutions for problems facing the country, and how they would work - than Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Tom Tancredo, Rand Paul, Michell Malkin, Allen West, Glenn Beck, Trash Limbaughski (i.e. Limbaugh), Ann Coulter, Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney, and Dick Cheney.

      "... we failed in conveying our message ..."

      Noooo.

      The RepublicanT Party message of, "I got mine, forget you" comes through LOUD and clear. The "Conservative" message of, "Take back the country from "them"" is crystal clear.

      Government is not the enemy. People carry government within them. USA government is the of the people, by the people and for the people, - the people are the USA government. Government protects freedom and liberty in a civil society through law and order.

      "Conservative" RepublicanT Party campaigns to run against the law and order of the land will always turn off voters; and lose.

      _____~

      "... your view of what conservatives are and what we stand for is repulsive and insulting. They are bigoted and hateful ..."

      "Conservatives" (at the national political level) are repulsive and insulting and they are bigoted and hateful.


      Ema Nymton
      ~@:o?
      .

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    4. I thought you said freedom and liberty were meaningless advertising slogans, Ema. Which is it for you?

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  2. Liberals, like children, will do anything to get attention.

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    1. .

      "Liberals, like children, will do anything to get attention."

      Such deep thoughtful insight. How does one do it? Nyuk nyuk nyuk.

      Did Grant Davies lose his way? The original post is about "conservatives."

      Ema Nymton
      ~@:o?
      .

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  3. Freedom and Liberty are worthless slogans eh Ema?

    Are you ever ripe for the picking.

    Sad, very sad indeed.

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  4. .

    "Freedom and Liberty are worthless slogans eh Ema?"

    English not your first language? Back into the closet with this one.

    Ema Nymton
    ~@:o?
    .

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    1. Oops Ema, I guess paraphrasing your exact words, so as to cut to your REAL meaning hit a nerve eh?

      You have a fine freedom and liberty free day now ya hear. Your statist utopian desires come true no doubt.

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    2. .

      One paraphrases when one lies.

      "Freedom and Liberty are worthless slogans ..." Not worthless, if it keeps the Rubes/Yokels/Hicks voting RepublicanT Party and against their own best self-interests. Meaningless slogans yes; worthless? Never.

      Ema Nymton
      ~@:o?
      .

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    3. When ya ain't got squat is when you call somebody a liar Ema my dear. And you ain't got squat that's for sure.

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  5. .

    Rational Nation - "And you ain't got squat that's for sure."

    Guess RN sees himself as one of the Rubes/Yokels/Hicks who vote RepublicanT Party and against his your own best self-interests.

    Not at all surprised to see this.

    Ema Nymton
    ~@:o>
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    1. Coming from the Queen of Squat your remarks are duly taken under advisement for what they are worth

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    2. That's why I let her dung trail(s) stand here. A teachable moment, you might say.

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    3. How delusional that she thinks we are republicans, too. Ha!

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    4. .

      "... she thinks we are republicans ..."

      No. Rubes/Yokels/Hicks who vote RepublicanT Party and against his your own best self-interests. Too easy.

      Ema Nymton
      ~@:o>
      .

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    5. With all due respect to an over stuffed half wit Ema, you don't know what you are talking about. Hint, neither LCR or I voted rEpublican. But of course anyone who doesn't blindly welcome your progressive ways and babble are Rubes/Yokels/Hicks.

      Now you have a great evening.

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    6. Embrace the duopoly and illusion of choice!!

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  6. So many comments and none of them address the elephant in the room!
    Not to mention that Rubio isn't even eligible for the same reason Obama isn't!
    Killary may be in jail for her involvement with Benghazi...
    Even Democrats aren't dumb enough to consider Biden the buffoon.
    And Paul 'Flip flop' Ryan the guy that couldn't push Rmoney over the top...
    Looks like another episode of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result 2.0!
    INSANITY!

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    1. .

      "Benghazi.."

      Didn't he have a TV series in 1965-1968?

      Ema Nymton
      ~@:o?
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    2. '

      Run For Your Life - 1965-1968 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058844/?ref_=sr_5)

      Ema Nymton
      ~@:o?
      .

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  7. Ben Gazarro, great series, decent actor.

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    1. Great recall Rational - both you and Ema. At least we all have trivia in common...

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  8. Fiftyeight, Excuse my skeptism. But your Comments are boilerplate and therefor lack substance, are every bit as driven by blind partisanship as Ema's and IMO are part of the broader problem.

    Visit FreeThinke, his blog has a most interesting experiment in progress this week. I think you and Ema might enjoy it. Might even pick up a few pointers.

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