Wednesday, September 16, 2015

GOP 2016: And Then One Won

With the second GOP debate taking center stage  at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, committed and interested conservatives are taking stock of which candidates can make it, and which ones will fake have a chance, or those who will take a quick exit out of the race altogether.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has dropped out.

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore never should have dropped in in the first place, and we will likely see him no more.

After September 16, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will drop out, because his "nuclear option" rhetorical tactics will not work. He has copied up too close with the Big Government Establishment, and despite his record on cutting taxes and protecting life, his otherwise divisive and more-Democratic leaning views have colored him Democrat-lite.

 Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal will also disappear within the next month, because of their two-time "Are You Kidding?" table status. Jindal will outlast the other three, however, because as a governor in a red state, he can stay in the headlines longer and gather some strong stream of support from fellow Red State conservatives. National Review will buoying his flagging Presidential prospects, as well, because unlike the other candidates, he is a current elected official with a record of accomplishments and no failures.

Now, looking at the Top Tier of candidates, the ones who achieved Prime Time debate status. . .

Donald Trump is looking more liberal every day. Evangelical voters who liked "The Donald's" honesty will find his comments disconnected from his past rhetoric and accomplishments of self-promotion. He has been a laugh riot, but conservative voters are not the Obama-maniacs who drank the kool-aid and believed "We are the change we have been waiting for."

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush
(Gage Skidmore)

Trump will flame out, and Dr. Ben Carson, his current outsider-replacement in coming, will turn off serious consensus conservatives when they learn about his views on abortion, gun control, race, and his penchant for not answering questions directly. Mike Huckabee's all too limited appeal to Southern evangelicals will not compete with the stronger outreach of other candidates. John Kasich's Democratic leanings will come home to roost, and cook his goose.

Carly Fiorina will turn more heads, but she will succumb to more attacks against her career as a failed CEO and US Senate candidate. Outsiders will find that standing outside the workings of government does not necessarily prepare for national campaigns or accomplishing major reforms.

 US Senator Marco Rubio is going to fall flat on his face. He is too close to Jeb Bush on key issues, and the GOP scion has more money and ground game than the Speaker of the Florida House. Rubio the one-term US Senator cannot run away from his chronic back-and-forth on immigration "reform". He may have apologized and regretted the decision, but the fact remains that he betrayed his Tea Party base in Florida to score sometime points with Washington insiders. That poor move cost him dearly.

After Rubio, expect Rand Paul to drop out next. The Young Guns like Rand, who ran without the widespread national attention fostered early on, have underestimated the necessity of keeping a latent ground-game ready and growing. Ted Cruz was the only hard-line conservative US Senator to prepare for his campaign ahead of time.

Ted Cruz
In the major primary fights to come, starting in January, the only three candidates to survive as viable will be Scott Walker, Jeb Bush (only because of money, and even then campaign funding has diminishing, hit-and-miss returns), Ted Cruz, and maybe Ben Carson. Perhaps Carly Fiorina will stay on too, or replace Dr. Ben as the one major "outsider."

The Election 2016 Republican Presidential slate has been clear and convincing, entertaining and engaging, complete and compelling. Regardless of the excessive media narratives hovering over one or two candidates, I expect the more mainstream and experienced conservatives to hold out into major primary state voting.

1 comment:

  1. I can find no fault with what you wrote about the contenders. As you note, Jeb is in it to the bitter end, not because of grassroots support, but because of his war chest. That won't make it in this race. I'm hoping for a big Cruz win in the end.