Sunday, August 16, 2015

Who Will Be The First Republican(s) To Bow Out?


Is Darwinism at work inside the Republican Party? Beltway journalists have a new game-- speculating on who the first presidential contender to head for the exit will be. Yesterday, Politico, always a fount of Beltway conventional wisdom, was predicting it would be Rick Perry. They've finally stopped laughing about when Trump would bow out. Christie will certainly want to wait until after he fails in New Hampshire. And Rand Paul probably wishes he had never tossed his hat into the ring in the first place and is probably trying to figure out how to do this gracefully, without looking like Trump drove him out. 

Perry, points out Politico "spent the last year and a half seeking to rehabilitate his image. It's too late." They revealed that a survey of "top strategists" reveals that 40% of early-state Republicans and nearly half of early-state Democrats believe Perry will be the first candidate to drop out of the presidential race.
“No money and cannot gain traction, even though he has the best record and a superb message,” lamented an Iowa Republican. “Best retail politician I have ever seen, yet not able to pick up interest against a strong field. Where was this guy last time around?”

Less charitably, another Iowa Republican said, “When you’ve suspended all staff pay, the writing is on the wall. His team suggests he’ll have a memorable debate moment. Unfortunately for Rick Perry, that moment happened in 2011, oops.”

Those responses come following a rough week for the former Texas governor: News broke Monday that he is no longer paying his staff amid fundraising woes, a major setback for any candidate-- but particularly for Perry, who after a disastrous presidential run in 2012, spent the last year and a half seeking to rehabilitate his image and emerge as a more serious contender. It’s too late, insiders said.

“He is out of money and out of time,” a New Hampshire Republican said.

“Perry’s just not getting the second look from voters he hoped for,” agreed another GOP Granite Stater. “He’s rehabilitated his reputation to some extent by being serious and competent this time, and he needs to consider that success.”

Jim Gilmore, the former governor of Virginia, was the runner-up for the first to drop out among Republicans.

“Jim who?” said one New Hampshire Republican.

“Does anybody know he’s in the race? He’s the only one not included in the Reagan Library debate. What is his base?” pondered another.
Jonathan Allen, writing for Vox, went even deeper, speculating that several contenders are on the verge of getting out and that their departures will help Trump because Trump will pick up their supporters.
Until recently, I was certain that a winnowing of the field would be a good thing for the Republican frontrunners not named Donald Trump-- Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio. That's because it seemed like Trump was bound to be locked into a certain percentage of the GOP electorate, somewhere between 20 percent and 25 percent, and the removal of any candidate would reapportion his or her support to a non-Trump candidate. But after some careful thought — and conversations with Republicans-- I'm not so sure that's true. Because Perry already has bled support after taking on Trump, he may be the exception to a new rule: Early exits are almost certainly a good thing for Trump.

There are three scenarios in which Trump benefits from the departure of a lesser candidate.
1- Trump actually collects the majority or plurality of a losing candidate's supporters and increases his lead in the primary.

2- That candidate's backers reshuffle into the camps of other lower-tier candidates, revealing that Bush, Walker, and Rubio aren't popular alternatives to Trump.

3- The candidate's supporters divide among Bush, Walker, and Rubio, bolstering their campaigns but keeping Trump in the driver's seat. Think about it this way: What if a bunch of candidates quit and Bush, Walker, and Rubio can't break out of low double digits in national polling?
...[U]nless Trump gets bored or self-destructs-- which it appears he's incapable of doing-- he'll be a factor not just before the Iowa caucuses but well into the primary season. Even if he doesn't win the Republican nomination, he's positioned to be influential in the outcome and, again with the boredom or self-destruction caveat, he's likely to have a prominent role at the Republican National Convention next year.

Labels: , ,


At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump is to the USA as Schwarzenegger was to California. A popular destroyer of worlds, and not for the better, except that perhaps it led to Californians realizing it needed to elect a sane Democrat for a couple of terms at least. The USA economy and infrastructure has been destroyed enough over the last 30-some years that it can't afford for Trump the Destroyer to do his thing. The USA needs a better Democrat than Hillary, if possible, and now.

At 7:00 AM, Blogger Daro said...

The Rick Perry photoshop had me really laughing... Somebody spent waaay too much time thinking that one up.

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wmxdesign did not make the Perry psd. Although, he wishes he had...


Post a Comment

<< Home