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Is Anyone Not Running For The Republican Presidential Nomination?

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Is Anyone Not Running For The Republican Presidential Nomination?

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GOP, Presidential Race, 2016, Nominee, Candidates, Debates, Politcs, Top News, Swing State, Primaries

By Phil Mattingly, Bloomberg News (TNS)

Everyone, it seems, is in.

The multi-year “will they or won’t they” game that political reporters, operatives, and junkies have been playing was all for naught. Just about every Republican whose name was floated as a potential 2016 candidate — and a few who never even entered the conversation — have taken a look at the political landscape and decided to enter the race or have given clear signals that a campaign launch is imminent. While there are clear benefits to the diverse field, it is also already creating headaches for party leaders looking toward a major general election fight.

Six candidates already are officially in the hunt for the Republican nomination. Over the next ten days four more candidates may join the field. That group still won’t include expected players Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker; or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Or Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Or Ohio Governor John Kasich.

“The field is larger and deeper than in previous cycles,” says Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, a non-partisan analysis of campaigns and elections. And that, without question “makes things more complicated.”

Republican donors and operatives have for weeks been weighing the benefits (real debate over the issues; the type of race that excites all corners of the party; an unlimited number of attacks from all sides directed at Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton) and negatives (no control of aforementioned debates; no unified message; donors spread thin; a primary process that, like the one in 2012, may suck resources, energy, and some of the sheen off the eventual candidate) of such a deep field. But the hypothetical exercise turned real last week when it was reported that Fox News would limit participation in its August debate to the top ten candidates based on the average of the five most recent national polls.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who will announce his decision on the race Wednesday, criticized the “arbitrary” nature of the debate metrics in an interview with National Journal. He pointed to the 11 states he carried in the 2012 campaign as Exhibit A of why using early national polls is a poor plan.

He also noted the possibility of excluding candidates with major government or business bona fides — like Jindal, or former technology executive Carly Fiorina, or South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is expected to announce his entrance into the field on June first — as other examples of why the threshold was flawed.

That’s not to say there aren’t clear positives to the size of the group. The diversity, both in viewpoints and in backgrounds, the group brings to the table is something Republicans gleefully point out as a contrast to the current Democratic field of two (and dominated by one.)

“The quality of the candidates is just higher,” says Gonzales, something the party’s likely voters seem to agree with. A May 19 Pew Research Center poll found that 57 percent of Republican or Republican-leaning registered voters had a positive impression of the current field. That early enthusiasm, even with a looming hard-fought primary process, is certainly a step up from past years. The same poll found 50 percent of the same group had an excellent or good impression of the GOP field in September 2007. Last cycle was even worse: Only 44 percent had a positive impression of the field in May 2011.

Gonzales also points out a key, and too often ignored, point at this stage in the race: It’s really, really early. No, it sure wouldn’t look good to have the governor of Ohio, the premier swing state, left off the stage of the first Republican debate, which just so happens to be held in Ohio. But early debates aside, gaming out an elongated primary process with a sizable field of financially viable candidates ignores a key data point: the voters. Nothing whittles a field down quite like a couple of eighth or ninth place finishes, he says.

Photo: Teresa via Flickr

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10 Comments

  1. Bosda May 26, 2015

    The Republicans simply have no traditions, nor mindsets, about dealing with a deeply divided Party.
    The Democrats do.

    Reply
  2. Dominick Vila May 27, 2015

    I can’t wait to watch the GOP nomination debates. In addition to a strict focus on negativism and attacks, it can easily become a 3-ring circus with a couple of dozen candidates choosing ideological camps and trying to appeal to the party faithful by portraying themselves as the most conservative of all. Well, in all fairness, I believe the media is already addressing this issue. FOX plans to limit the first debate to the top 10 GOP candidates, and CNN is considering two debates with 10 candidates in each one.

    Reply
  3. Eleanore Whitaker May 27, 2015

    And the Billionaire pimps stable of political prostitutes of the GOP keeps growing. Wonder how much each GOP hooker is making from all that campaign donation street walking they are doing? roflmao

    Reply
  4. geraldhoey May 27, 2015

    The clown car is getting so crowded they will need a clown bus. I can hardly wait for the debates. It will be such fun.

    Reply
    1. jamesowens May 28, 2015

      and then a clown caravan

  5. bobnstuff May 27, 2015

    The problem the republicans are having is that no one in the party has a record that they can run on. Most have done little good in the world. With no great leader in the party
    the children will take things over and do even more damage to the party then the republicans in congress has done so far.

    Reply
    1. Eleanore Whitaker May 28, 2015

      Though I agree with our post about not having a political record, I also know as a former Republican of 33 years that the GOP billionaires are putting out as many candidates as they can to raise campaign donations. In effect, the Koch boys and Adelson are aware they can’t hand over their entire fortune to buy the president they want. That would be too close to violating our Constitution voting rights. So, they are doing the next best thing: Turning these GOP candidates into political prostitutes street walking for campaign donations like all political billionaire pimps do. They overload their hooker stables and the money rolls in.

  6. charleo1 May 28, 2015

    First, where’s the diversity? A large field does not guarantee diversity, no more than a really small government guards against incompetency, bloated budgets, or tyranny. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is a very large group, but diverse they are not. In fact, the field of GOP presidential hopefuls more resembles something on the order of an annual who’s who get together, than a serious presidential bid by a major political party. More like a NASCAR event I would say. A highly controlled competitive event, where all the cars are intentionally constrained, pretty much equal in capabilities, and the contestants hope to win, not so much by their skill, but by taking advantage of the other contestant’s mistakes. So around and around they will go, knowing the field will eventually dwindle thru multi-car pile ups, mechanical failures, and mistakes in the pits. But the exposure and advertising benefits of being in the race will pay it’s dividends. In the form of name recognition, big funders, book deals, and speaking fees. So it’s win-win for all concerned in this respect. And who knows? What they are putting a lot of money on, is hoping to find some unexpected lightening in a bottle from some unexpected someone, somehow, somewhere. Otherwise, Hilary Clinton takes them apart. So who’s next? Step up!

    Reply
    1. jamesowens May 28, 2015

      great anology

  7. Eleanore Whitaker May 28, 2015

    The biggest flaw of the control freak billionaires who are putting hundreds of millions into the GOP campaign is this: They are so out of touch with any area of the US but the south and midwest. They just don’t get it. No one in the Northeast buys their evangelism in campaigns because it is out of touch with the way we live. No one in the Northeast wants to be converted by religion, culture or billionaire dictates. This is why these Koch boys, Rove and Adelson will fail miserably and life up north will go on as it has since the Colonials fought for freedom from King George.

    Reply

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