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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Republicans Should Think Twice About Nominating A ‘True Conservative’ In 2016

Republicans Should Think Twice About Nominating A ‘True Conservative’ In 2016

For years, GOP activists have insisted that their party can only return to the White House by anointing a “true conservative” as the party’s standard bearer.

But a new Bloomberg Politics Poll turns that Republican precept, and a few other pieces of conventional wisdom, on its head.

The poll, released Monday, tested former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chances against five Republicans — former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Texas senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky senator Rand Paul, and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney — in hypothetical 2016 presidential matchups. It found that Clinton holds solid leads over all five, which is hardly a surprise considering her overwhelming name recogntion advantage (94 percent of voters have formed an opinion of Clinton — 52 percent view her favorably and 42 percent view her unfavorably — while less than 80 percent have an opinion on each of the Republicans aside from the well-known Romney).

But the underlying data should give Republicans pause as they consider their options in what is sure to be a contentious presidential primary. Although the right constantly preaches that only one of their own can win the White House, the poll finds the more moderate Republicans running much closer to Clinton than the Tea Party-aligned candidates. Clinton leads Bush, Christie, and Romney by 6 percent each in head-to-head matchups. Meanwhile, she holds an 8 percent lead over Paul, and a 13 percent edge over Cruz.

Cruz and Paul’s right-wing reputations appear to be hurting them with voters. When asked which candidate better shares their values, Clinton leads Bush and Romney by just 6 and 3 percentage points, respectively. By contrast, she leads Paul on that measure by 13 points, and Cruz by 15. Christie lags behind Clinton by 14 points on this measure, perhaps illustrating some residual damage from his George Washington Bridge scandal. In any case, it seems clear that voters are not identifying with the most conservative Republicans in the field.

The Bloomberg poll also counters some popular conservative myths about Clinton’s presidential hopes. Although Republicans have made it clear that they will use Clinton’s tenure at the helm of the State Department as a centerpiece of their argument against her, the poll suggests that voters see the experience as one of her strongest selling points. An overwhelming 77 percent said they see her four-year term as the highest-ranking member of the president’s cabinet as an asset, while just 22 percent see it as a disadvantage.

Similarly, despite suggestions that Clinton will suffer from “Obama fatigue,” voters agree 59 to 39 percent that her having been a member of the Obama administration is an asset. Voters also agree 78 to 20 percent that Clinton’s having lived in Washington and worked in the federal government is an asset — raising a potential red flag for much of the Republican field, who are positioning themselves as political outsiders.

The Bloomberg poll sampled 1,001 U.S. adults ages 18 or older, and has a margin-of-error of +/- 3.1 percent. The full results can be seen here.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • ericlipps

    Right-wingers will doubtless say “Screw the polls!” and accuse the pollsters of left-wing bias, as they always do to anyone who tells them anything they don’t want to hear.

    • TZToronto

      Those on the far-far right don’t understand why a candidate who’s further to the right than they are can’t win. They assume that since they find such a candidate to be ideal, then everyone else obviously feels the same way. They have a lack of empathy and can’t comprehend different attitudes. It’s NO GUB’MINT, PERIOD for them–but don’t touch my guns, Social Security, or Medicare. How they think that electing a “true” conservative to the Presidency along with a solid far-right majority in the House and Senate will become “no government” is a major incongruity that they don’t want to deal with.

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        NO GUB’MINT loonies are anarchists. They would love nothing more than turning the rest of us into their personal free slave laborers. They are almost there when you consider what they’ve done to the average American incomes.

        They really are not thinking too clearly. Who but the rich will afford their price gouging? Who but the rich will be able to afford housing, food and other necessities?

        • TZToronto

          Reserve your spot at the Interstate off-ramp. I’ve already submitted my application.

        • Allan Richardson

          The “true Bible believers” would produce a Biblical economy and government: just like Judea in the time of Jesus, but with more advanced “toys” in the hands of the “Roman legions.”

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            The GOP has a nasty habit of cutting that ends up hurting their own states most. Their latest diatribe of conservatism? Get rid of the food stamp program. First child to die in the streets due to starvation and the GOP rednecks will rue the day.

            The way I view it? The GOP now has it all. The government, all the billions they’ll ever need to expand their control and all the power they have EVER amassed. So..what’s missing?

            The ability to control the minds of the rest of us. What the GOP is really doing is obvious…they are setting themselves up for a major battle between the Middle Class and poor and themselves and the rich voices who hand them their “dictates.” And you just know how a battle like that ends.

            When Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski stood on the floor of the House this past week and started the whine about how the western and southwestern states have an unfair disadvantage due to the vast federal lands, you just know what the GOP is after…setting up their states to be little countries that will do battle with other states for rights for pipelines, fracking and a host of other major pollutions we, not they, will end up paying heavily for.

            If Murkowski and the GOP want all that federal land, fine. Then, they will owe our grandparents and great grandparents who paid federal taxes for that land. To red state whiners…you want it? You better pay up or shut up!

  • FireBaron

    They keep running further to the right every time a candidate loses. Their theory is they are not running “Conservative enough” candidates. If any of these guys ran further to the right, they would make Michelle Bachmann and Ted Cruz look like Liberals!

    • Elliot J. Stamler

      Watch as Chris Christie lumbers down Romney Road not realizing that the builder and namesake of the road never got the trust and enthusiasm of the fascist crazies that now are the “conservative” base of the GOP.

  • FT66

    GOP deserves to lose again come 2016. What did they learn or change since they lost in 2008 and again 2012. Totally nothing. And why didn’t they promote one person after losing in 2012? A total of number now (24) who expect to jump in and be contesters? Are we going to see again every week flavor, as it was in 2012? It is not the way to win election.

    • clcman

      It may not be the way to win an election, but it sure is entertaining for the rest of us to watch.

      • WhutHeSaid

        All the GOP needs now is a ventriloquist and a carnival barker, and the circus will be in full swing!

    • jointerjohn

      They can’t get behind one candidate because they are scattered to the philosophical wind. The democrat party is spread from middle-right to left, but with little animosity from edge to edge. The republican party runs from middle-right to complete fascism, and their own extremes despise each other even more than they despise democrats. Their primary process will again yield them a candidate who cannot win the general election.

      • Elliot J. Stamler

        Yours is a sagacious statement for which I congratulate you. We Democrats have “wings” but the difference is that amongst the strong liberals there is not the fanaticism, hatred, psychotic fantasizing that distinguishes the Tea Party/Social Conservatives who are the majority, don’t forget, of Republicans today, from the minority of more-or-less “moderates.” I have always said that the minority within a minority in our own party, the true “leftists” should be shunned by all the rest of us not only because of their terrible views but because they if they ever took command would turn our Democratic Party into a leftist version of what the Republicans are now. If mainline Democratic positions are too moderate for the leftists, they should properly be in the Green, Socialist, Socialist Workers, or Communist Parties.

  • Bren Frowick

    Cruz isn’t really a candidate, he’s just a cynical poser gleefully milking the wing nuts for all they’re worth by feeding them the kind of conspiracy-theory-driven nonsense they live and breathe for. And the “name recognition” argument is a tad weak, given that Mitt Romney couldn’t possibly be better known after running last time, while Bush…. really? Bush isn’t a well-known name? The GOP best dig deeper: this Clown Car is stalled.

    • clcman

      JEB Bush is not a well-known name. Obviously everyone has heard of his dad and brother, but not that many people outside of Florida know Jeb. Certainly not people who were born/grew up/first started learning about politics after 1992.

      • midway54

        Millions around the Country saw then Governor Bush in action during the farcical controversy over the Florida election returns in 2000 that ended in Junior’s appointment/coronation.

        • Bren Frowick

          But it is the infamous Terri Schiavo affair that will sink his ship before it leaves the dock.

          • midway54

            I hope you are right about that but the public has a traditional political amnesia despite the fairly often outrageous performances by plutocrats and their shills Many of us remember that incredible circus that involved the Senate majority leader, a surgeon himself, diagnosing her condition via looking at her on a television screen, Delay’s usual rants, and Junior Bush being rousted from his semi-conscious mental state to join the fun (even flew back to DC as I recall). Worse the judiciary was moved into emergency action in the matter. It resembled the kind of skits seen on Saturday Night Live.

          • Bren Frowick

            Hah! You prove my point with your vivid and accurate recollections. Jeb was highly culpable in that fiasco, and there is no question that it will be back front and center in the news should he decide to run. The wing nuts rammed that despicable affair down America’s throat, in the delusional belief that they have the majority on their side, and were bewildered beyond belief when the whole thing blew up in their faces. Jeb will try to ignore it, but won’t be allowed to do so, and as that is brought back to people’s awareness, his candidacy will collapse. He was the one who aggressively pushed government interference to an unprecedented degree in foisting the “principles” of the extremist religious right into a private family decision that was supported by law, by signing the “Terri’s Law” bill that gave him authority to FORCE doctors to continue force feeding her brain-dead body, After she finally was allowed to die, he then aggressively pursued investigations into her husband, trying to find a way to charge him with murder. Bush will be toast before he makes his first campaign stop.

      • Bren Frowick

        You are, of course, correct. But it doesn’t matter. Unfortunately, the average American voter is so thoroughly disconnected from the political process that many of those who voted for W… TWICE… likely believed they were voting for his father. And the name “Bush” will be enough for them to think they are doing so again…

      • Whittier5

        Let’s keep in mind that this Tory family also produced Grandpappy Bush, Sen Prescott, who led the effort to launch the Whitehouse Coup in 1933 before FDR had even warmed his chair in the Oval Office. The companies founded by many of the other Plutocrats involved still feed us today.

  • Whittier5

    Please, let’s not give the wingnuts any tips. Let them run over the edge of the cliff by themselves!!
    Correct thinking is supported by general populace roughly 65% to 35%, but somehow the Democratic Party runs such a poor campaign that even in 2008, Dark Thought propagandists managed to close the gap with their Big Lie Specials.
    Don’t count the Big Liars out too easily.