Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Political Parties

The Republican Invisible Primary

...has begun. And Sabato says a few choice words about each of the candidates. He's right to say the field is underwhelming. Clearly none of those guys could have beaten Obama last time. New blood and longshots are needed now more than ever. (Link now fixed, thanks to Matt.)
Categories > Political Parties

Discussions - 21 Comments

Clearly none of those guys could have been Obama last time.

It think it would have been easy to be Obama last time as long as you had a D after your name. People were inclined to vote for whoever the Democrats put up, as long as he did not make a complete fool of himself on stage.

That works for us also. If the Dems continue to screw up as they have been doing then it won't matter that much who we nominate in four years, as long as he can speak in complete sentences. (And as long as his last name is not Bush.)

Palin! Palin! Palin!

And the link doesn't work.

On Intrade the likelyhood that the republican wins in 2012 is 29.1%.

In order of percentage popularity on Intrade for the Republican nomination.(the invisible hand of the invisible primary)

1) Mitt Romney 30%

2) Mike Huckabee 13.9%

3) Bobby Jindal 12.1%

4) Sarah Palin 11.5%

5) Mark Sanford 11%

That is the top 5 in terms of early percentage...almost more important perhaps is volume/interest

1)Sarah Palin 2237

2)Mitt Romney 484

3) Bobby Jindal 374

4)Mike Huckabee 264

5)Newt Gingrich 105

In fact Sarah Palin has higher volume than the rest of the field(21) combined 2237 vs. 1678...but she is 4th so she has opposition and also the support of provocateurs like Matt.

What I am curious about is if the existence of Jeb Bush shifts the so called "argument" as long as his name isn't X away from Romney...I suspect it might.

This isn't very bold but I actually kind of like the Intrade front runner Mitt Romney.

John M, it's still early in O's presidency, but you have to have pretty strong partisan lenses (which I wholly expect here) to believe that the Dems are "screwing up." This is the only strategic avenue available to the Reps - to argue that O will fail, so they will be able to say "I told you so" come election time - but it's a wager not only that he WILL fail, but that people will BELIEVE he has failed. Amity Shlaes shows in her book "The Forgotten Man" that for much of FDR's early presidency he was actually "screwing up," but that didn't matter so much as the belief he was able to inculcate that he was doing something to HELP. Current polls indicate that O. has much the same high levels of support - it matters at this point less if the economy is actually improving than that he's Doing Something to Help.

That said - there is some evidence that things may in fact be improving, or at least getting less bad. Those data (unemployment, housing, etc.) could turn back down in a hurry, but confidence goes a long way in the confidence game that is our economy, and at the moment it seems confidence is on the rise (along with the Dow and - take good note, Hayward - the price of oil). So, as to the categorical view that O. is "screwing up," that important group - the electorate - isn't really with you yet. And, if in 3+ years there's at least the perception of improvement, it may not matter who's running against O. Peter's right - if the Reps. are to have a chance, they are going to need to begin thinking outside their narrow and undercrowded box. They may even have to try being FOR something.

I think we either have to get Palin out of the mix or she has to get a lot more Presidential fast. I agree that she has as much relevant experience as President Obama had when he ascended to the presidency, but I don't count that an argument in her favor. She'd have to demonstrate a lot of professional growth over the next four years and pick an experienced (foreign policy, the economy) Republican or moderate to run with her before I could ever vote for her at the top of the ticket. I think many people feel the same way. Of course, not many of the others are too inspiring either...

As far as I can tell, the problem with the link is with Larry's site, and it'll probably resolve itself. When I gave Obama the allegedly grade inflated B, it was because he really has restored confidence to some extent. I'm not endorsing the massive expansion of the side of government, but I am agreeing with Pat (with more skepticism) that things are a big better. They may be worse in 2012, but let's hope not. The analogy with the 30s is something like that no matter what govt. does, they'll be some improvement, but not a return to the pre-crisis level. That'll probably be good enough to sustain Barack, as it was good enough to sustain FDR. BUT: FDR had the advantage of facing the uninspiring Landon, the Republicans could come up with a real, fresh alternative. That's tough, to be sure, because the two thumpins has prevented the infusion of much new blood in the ranks of the officeholders. I would, for one, like someone to emerge who really understood and could take on Obama's cultural despotism, which includes certain facts Pat tends to ignore.

I'm not sure I buy the FDR analogy. Today's voters (including this writer!) are much more the cossetted products of an instant-gratification, high-expectations society than were Depression-era Americans. And even then, it was the scary international climate in what we now know was the leadup period to WWII that saved FDR, who was bold enough in foreign affairs to unilaterally start an undeclared naval war with Nazi Germany. If we limp along with double-digit unemployment plus high inflation, and even if growth returns but is anemic and creates few new jobs (hello, Japan!), there's no way that won't put Barry and the Dems in hot water, especially given the "no excuses" lock they now have over the Federal government. Of course the MSM (or what is left of it) would do its darnedest to spin all this away, but I'm skeptical that will work.

Still, you can't beat something with nothing, and I must agree that the GOP presidential field right now looks rather weak. But what was Obama in May 2001? An obscure backbencher in the IL state legislature, IIRC. Could there be somebody out there whom none of us have heard of yet who will rocket to prominence in GOP ranks amid the crash and burn of failed Democratic policies? Interesting times!

The problem with the link is that there is a quotation mark at the end of it. Delete that and you get to the site fine.

you have to have pretty strong partisan lenses (which I wholly expect here) to believe that the Dems are "screwing up."

There are two million more Americans unemployed today than when Obama took offce. If that is not "screwing up" then what in Gods name is? Really, I'd like to know. What would the Democrats have to do before you would consider them a failure?

Current polls indicate that O. has much the same high levels of support -

Current polls indicate that Obama has the same approval level as Geore W Bush did at the same stage in his Presidency. I think you're letting the medias fawning headlines skew your judgement.

What would the Democrats have to do before you would consider them a failure?

Be in the driver's seat for more than 100 days, maybe?

Matt- it should be noted that Democrats have been in control of Congress (with a lame duck president) for more than 2 years.

Ah, another classy liberal wows us with his biting sarcasm. Matt will be so proud.

Eloquently phrased.

I basically agree with Deneen except that I am more conditionaly more pessimistic about the short term. If things are perceived as even a litte better in Fall 2012 than they are at present, I don't think even a great Republican candidate with a boatload of great ideas, that are well expressed (good luck getting even one out of three) is favored to win. And it gets worse. If there is a recovery (however feeble), the credit will not go to the flexibility and resilience of the American economy but to Obama's stimulus and Obama's tax increase and Obama's healthcare plan and... The public argument over taxes will, for a time, shift even further Left. Until events shift and people are ready to listen to conservatives again. If the economy is stagnant then Republicans have a shot, but given Obama's political skill, demographic changes, and the media environment, it will still take a good Republican effort to win in 2012.

Anyway, there are more imprtant things for Republicans to do than hope to be saved by the right candidate in 2012. Republicans need to start making the longterm investments that will put them in the position to win and govern from their principles whether the oppurtunity comes 2012 or later. Some suggestions:

1. Find and stick to a language and media strategy for appealing to African Americans and Latinos based on free market and socially conservative principles. This effort will probably take years to show results and Republicans have not even started implementing any effective strategies but it is absulutely necessary given demographic changes.

2. Become more ideological and less about social identity politics. I know this is counter intuitive. Republican appeals should be more about whether you think partial birth abortion should be illegal than whether you like hunting.

3. Recognize that conservatives are in a position closer to 1965 than 1994 or 2000. There is no latent center-right majority that can be activated by a set of appeals that have worked in recent presidential elections. This is not a 48/48 country that can be won over by outmobilizing among friendly social groups and winning over tiny groups of swing voters. The challenge is evangelical. It isn't so much about mobilizing conservative voters (though it is about that too) than it is about creating conservatives among people who are not yet conservative. Many of those people belong to groups that are suspicious of the Republican party. That is okay. so were Southern Whites and Northern Catholics once upon a time.

I happen to love Dijon mustard, especially Bertman's the stuff you can get at Jacobs park. Obama put that in his audacity of hope book, as an example of spurning the so called machiavellian campaign mannager types who had done some kind of market research and discovered that folks in the country just don't like folks who get upity and like spicy mustard.

You have got to be bloody kidding me! Sometimes when I watch Fox News, I don't know that it isn't a joke. But frankly I don't trust any news source at face value period. That is what I think folks are trying to say when they go for the Onion, the Daily Show, or Colbert, or hoofy and boo(my market favorites over at Minyanville)

In some sense the joke is on folks playing with statistics with no skills...that is what this damn AIG problem is about, it is also again what the stress test is about. It is what I parody with the Intrade data. I swear we have data about data about data. Nevertheless at the end of the day prediction markets are great.

But Fox News says rediculous things in part to shore up its audience(the most loyal of whom are liberals, needing youtube clips).

My guess is that Dr. Lawler haunts the transhumanists with greater interest and that the transhumanists reciprocate. That a main body of the folks who read what Now says are members of the pro-life movement, and that folks interested in NOW haunt NRL.

The it and hate it...but love it most when we can trade it...which is why I am still paying attention to the Deenen/Hayward Oil wager. I will follow it and arbitrate. I liked Deenen's position even when Oil was at $35...the question is inflation...but the bond market isn't as wild as some think....Nevertheless I like Oil to hit the $140 level before the Dow hits 14k. Any takers on the updated wager, also make it a touch contract? (which is the spirit I think Hayward should have made the bet instead of being so generous as to extend that far into the future.)

But Dr. Deenen remmember that on some level all of this is involves levels of artificiality/abstraction, John M is a realist which is like being a fundamentalist in the market. The fundamentals count, but perceptions(and the best guesses as to those perceptions) as to what the fundamentals are are also the fundamentals.

On some level the republican party might be in trouble because libertarians and social conservatives are ticked off at them for not being purist enough...they abuse us as to possibilities by virtue of exploiting the institutional weight of the two party system.

In other words it is the weight of immage crafting and statistical manipulation of "moderate" front runners come back to roost.

A purist like Ron Paul(who voices the reality you create as an immage of what Republicans are about as readily as Bastiat best explains free markets but doesn't correspond to the reality) isn't possible, Huckabee can't work, and by twists and turns you get the inevitable victory of McCain(for the nomination).

In other words the creation of something seen as inevitable tyranizes the base.

On this theory you run a Ron Paul/Huckabee Combo.

Of course sadly I don't think it will win...but give it a try...we might just beat the synthetic/deterministic market research immage manipulators.

Strange, I don't see Matt or ren or Scanlon here to appleaud their performance artist as he rolls around in excrement. Don't tell me you guys are actually embarrassed of your fellow troll?


That's all you have to say, Matt? You're not the least bit embarrassed at the sort of people playing on your team?

Nope. I don't play teams.

I've been reading about Marco Rubio, the young (37) Cuban-American speaker of the Florida House, who's now looking into a Senate run (which would probably set up a primary matchup against Charlie Crist). I don't know all that much about Mr. Rubio yet, but on the face of things there are reasons to think he would be promising entry in the presidential field, tho' probably in 2016 (unless BHO really does screw up as royally as some of us fear he may, in which case all bets could be off). Rubio is from an electorally significant state, he's Latino, he's Catholic, he's telegenic, seems on good terms with the party base--all advantages for a GOP candidate as best I can tell. Someone to watch, for sure.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL:

Warning: include(/srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/sd/nlt-blog/_includes/promo-main.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/2009/05/the-republican-invisible-primary.php on line 949

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/sd/nlt-blog/_includes/promo-main.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/opt/sp/php7.2/lib/php') in /srv/users/prod-php-nltashbrook/apps/prod-php-nltashbrook/public/2009/05/the-republican-invisible-primary.php on line 949