Posts Tagged ‘primary’

The 2016 GOP Contenders in 60 Seconds

July 18th, 2015 No comments

Many friends have approached me, saying, “I’d like to know what to expect from the ridiculous number of Republicans running for president, but without having to listen to any of them or think about them for too long. Don’t you have a blog where you could post something like that?”

Yes, many friends. Yes indeed.

Here are all the major Republican candidates that have announced or are expected to announce, plus my opinion of their chances of winning, and one strength and one weakness for each one.


Jeb BushJeb Bush
Chances: Slim
Strength: Last Name
Weakness: Last Name (Also: Boring)

Marco RubioMarco Rubio
Chances: Slim
Strength: Young Charismatic Latino
Weakness: Inexperience

Mike HuckabeeMike Huckabee
Chances: Slim
Strength: Culture Warrior
Weakness: Non-Culture Issues

Scott WalkerScott Walker
Chances: Slim
Strength: Koch Brothers’ Chosen Boy
Weakness: Campaigning

Rand PaulRand Paul
Chances: Very Slim
Strength: Cult Following
Weakness: Pro-Marijuana, Pro-Civil Liberties

Rick SantorumRick Santorum
Chances: Very Slim
Strength: Homophobia
Weakness: Being a Smug Prick

Rick PerryRick Perry
Chances: Very Slim
Strength: Looks Smarter in Glasses
Weakness: Still Dumb as a Boot

Chris ChristieChris Christie
Chances: Very Slim
Strength: Loud and Blunt
Weakness: Well-Publicized Scandal

Lindsey GrahamLindsey Graham
Chances: Nope
Strength: Foreign Policy Experience
Weakness: Girl’s Name

Ted CruzTed Cruz
Chances: No
Strength: Occasionally Taken Seriously
Weakness: Always Looks Like a Muppet About to Cry

Donald TrumpDonald Trump
Chances: Dear God No No No
Strength: Name Recognition
Weakness: Everything Else

Ben CarsonBen Carson
Chances: No
Strength: Black Political Outsider
Weakness: Black Political Outsider

Bobby JindalBobby Jindal
Chances: Nope
Strength: Nope
Weakness: Nope

John KasichJohn Kasich
Chances: Nope
Strength: From Ohio
Weakness: Who?

George PatakiGeorge Pataki
Chances: No Sir
Strength: He Used to be a Governor?
Weakness: He Wasn’t Even That Good

Carly FiorinaCarly Fiorina
Chances: Haha, No
Strength: Only Woman
Weakness: Spotty Business Record, No Political Record


Is it over yet?

No. Donald Trump is still a real person.


I Was Wrong: The Far Right Throws a Hail Mary

February 14th, 2012 1 comment
Rick Santorum official photo

Rick Santorum, hoping no gays are looking at his beautiful face.

Well, it was bound to happen: I got one wrong. Last week, Rick Santorum blew the lid off the polls, my predictions, and the GOP primary race in general by winning all three contests held last Tuesday. I thought that Rick would slowly fade away after disappointing performances in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, left with only campaign debt and distant dreams of corn-fed Iowan crowds. I thought that the rest of this primary would just be Mitt Romney staggering to the finish line with Gingrich clawing at his ankles.

But no! It appears the far right has thrown a Hail Mary and put all their chips in on Santorum (how’s that for mixed metaphors?). Before, the gay-bashing, Muslim-fearing, Obama’s birth-questioning, hardcore conservatives that made up a majority in many Republican primary battles were split between numerous candidates. They had to choose between Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry for who they thought was most qualified to drop-kick an undocumented worker through a Planned Parenthood. Romney was left to scoop up the Rockefeller, patrician, business wing of the GOP and the lukewarm supporters that just wanted the most electable candidate to run against Obama. With the Gingrich campaign falling apart (again), the far right seems to have finally found an Anti-Romney to coalesce around. Coming off last weeks wins, Rick Santorum has shot to the top of the national polls, and I’m sad that I may have to start taking him seriously. Jokes with his last name don’t even seem as funny anymore.

This should feel even sadder to Mitt Romney, though, who must be experiencing some depressing déjà vu right now. Take a look at these results compiled by from Iowa and New Hampshire in 2008:

Line graph of polls from 2008 Iowa Caucus

Line graph of polls from 2008 New Hampshire Primary

It might be a little hard to read, but basically you can see that Mitt Romney is the yellow line, with a sizable lead in both states until the last few weeks when first Mike Huckabee (black line) and then John McCain (brown line) came out of respective nowheres to just edge him out.

This time, Santorum may be the one streaking a brown line from the bottom. (Ok, the jokes are still kind of funny).

Anyway, the point is that Mitt Romney is in trouble. He made it this far by having the far right vote split, but polls have shown that he would lose in a head to head battle with either Gingrich or Santorum if one of them dropped out. So expect a lot more negative ads from the Romney camp. My money’s still on Mitt, since he still has major strengths and potentially better organization if this comes to a long, drawn-out state by state fight for delegates. Regardless, this thing likely will not wrap up as quickly as everyone had thought.

However, Romney still has one last wild card in the game: Newt Gingrich, the man no one can get to just f-ing go away. If he somehow makes (another) completely improbable resurgence, Mitt will be tipping his hat to the Newt in his convention acceptance speech. Even if Gingrich can just leave enough proverbial claw marks in Santorum’s back to slow him down, it might be enough for Romney to stay ahead. My bet is that Gingrich fades pretty quickly at this point, but as long as he stays in the race, he will be sapping voters that would probably prefer Santorum over Romney if they had to choose.

So have Republicans really decided to make Rick Santorum their Valentine this year? Stay tuned.

Gingrich Next Flavor of the Week?

November 7th, 2011 No comments

While I would love to really get my hands dirty with a more substantive topic, the “Dumb and Dumber”-inspired GOP nomination race is really the least depressing thing to pay attention to in politics right now. So I’d like to bring to your attention a theory for what might be the next piece of news the media will be obsessively caressing and calling its “precious.”

If you’ve been following the Republican presidential nomination circus or following my blog, you might have noticed a pattern. In the beginning there was the Candidate, and the Candidate was Romney. He led the field with a whopping… less than 23% support in the polls. Then Michele Bachmann appeared! Out of nowhere she rose to 2nd place and was a major challenger and was going to win Iowa and… then her support collapsed. But then there was Rick Perry! Out of nowhere he rose to 1st place in the polls and was the new front runner and was going to beat Romney and… then he sucked at debating. Now Herman Cain has appeared!

I think you see where this is going. Herman Cain is currently in the lead, but a few gaffes (like appearing to be pro-choice), and now the revelation that there were multiple sexual harassment charges filed against him in the 90’s, are likely to take a toll. I’m wondering how long it is before the new golden boy is abandoned in search of another.

Now I know you probably read the title of this post and thought, “Gingrich? Is he even still around?” But hear me out. Even though Newt Gingrich sounds like a Dr. Seuss villain and mostly seems like an awful human being, he has a number of things going for him. He’s a good debater and can create soundbites. He has name recognition and a little bit of insider clout left. He has past experience and leadership credentials. Perhaps most importantly, he was actually the early 2nd place contender before the race heated up, which means there is already a decent base of people who would consider supporting him.

There has been a very slight uptick in media talk about Newt Gingrich lately, and his poll numbers have recovered a bit from their single-digit lows. He’s barely third now, behind Cain and Romney. Which has gotten me thinking… next flavor of the week?

Now, there’s also a ton of reasons not to expect Gingrich to catch on fire. Not the least of which include poor campaign management, desertion of campaign staff, that time he shut down the government in 1995, and that time he had an affair and divorced his first wife so that he could have an affair and divorce his second wife.

Still, I wouldn’t count him out. Oh wait, let me rephrase that. Newt Gingrich isn’t going to win the nomination. But he stands a chance to catapult into the media limelight for a little bit while the Republicans consider another candidate who warrants considering because HE ISN”T MITT ROMNEY. The upshot of all this is you might get to spend a little more time seeing this around:

Newt Gingrich's head next to a Lego version of Newt Gingrich's head

You heard it here first.

Categories: Primaries Tags: , , , ,