Monday, January 19, 2015


You know the narrative of many Republican primary contests in the tea party era: establishment candidate who's the favorite of the party bosses but is hated by rank-and-file voters faces off against the True Conservative choice of the people. Something like that seems to be happening in the contest for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, according to a new CBS poll -- but the candidate who's being rejected by party insiders and embraced by ordinary voters isn't exactly an insurgent:
Just last week, the 2012 GOP nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, told a room of donors in New York City that he's seriously entertaining a 2016 bid.

Fifty-nine percent of Republicans would like to see Romney jump into the 2016 race, while only 26 percent believe he should stay out, according to the CBS News poll.
Wait -- I thought Republicans were begging Romney not to get in. What happened? How did he manage the highest positive score, and the top positive-to-negative ratio? Jazz Shaw at Hot Air has the numbers in table form:

Some of it is name recognition, obviously -- but that's not helping Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, or Rand Paul, all of whom have more haters than fans (and more haters than Romney has).

You have to remember that even though rank-and-file voters don't regard Mitt Romney as a true conservative, they actually liked the things Romney did that the party bosses now believe made him a terrible candidate in 2012. They agree with Romney that much of the American population -- maybe 47%, maybe more -- consists of "takers." They agree that "corporations are people." (Remember that the tea party cheered the Citizens United decision, and remember also that the Hobby Lobby decision is premised on the notion that corporations are people.) They're Randians, so they believe a "wealth creator" is entitled to keep his tax returns secret, and to have as many car elevators as he wants.

Unlike the party bosses, a lot of them don't think Romney ineptly blew a winnable race -- they think Obama stole it, through outright voter fraud, IRS trickery, giveaways to "takers," and (probably) the intervention of ACORN (which didn't exist in 2012, but never mind).

In 2014, the party bosses became very good at freezing out candidates they deemed unelectable. They may need that skill in 2016, in order to freeze out the guy they considered their most electable candidate in 2012.


Victor said...

The Republican primaries should also be a lot of fun and very entertaining in the run-up to the 2016 election.

It's too bad that Rinses N. Repeatus decided to go with less televised debates!

A lot of comedy writers are also very, very depressed about that.

Joseph Nobles said...

I find Scott Walker's numbers interesting. He's a big unknown to the GOP electorate, apparently, and if his legal problems aren't real problems, then he stands a good chance of pulling an Obama on the primary.

Ten Bears said...

It would behoove us to recall it was just about at this point in the last election cycle that the corporate media began referring to Willard as the "presumptive candidate", much as it now does Hillary. Choice is an illusion.

Yastreblyansky said...

@Joseph: Walker doesn't resemble Obama too much, can't give a decent speech and has some hard to explain baggage. I don't think he can get anywhere outside Wisconsin.

Ken_L said...

Still 30% support for Sarah Palin? Jesus H Christ.