Just a few months before voting begins, the race for the Republican presidential nomination is wide open.
If you look at the daily tracking numbers from Rasmussen Reports, it appears we are trending toward a five-way dead heat.
Rudy Guiliani is still considered the front-runner, but his numbers have been stagnant or declining for months and his opposition to core Republican platform issues like gun rights, marriage and the sanctity of life make him the last choice among many conservatives. Yet today, Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson — who got into politics out of a desire to see values like the sanctity of life at the forefront of the Republican Party — endorsed the pro-abortion Guiliani.
The other four candidates — John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney — are in a virtual tie in national polls. Thompson and Romney have been stagnant or falling, while Huckabee and McCain have been rising. But Romney remains ahead in the early states.
To further confuse things, libertarian Ron Paul has generated enough populist support and funding from the Pat Buchanan isolationist wing of the Republican Party that he is likely to consider a third-party or independent run after he is eliminated from the Republican primary.
In 2000 evangelicals largely coalesced around George W. Bush. Today, evangelicals are completely splintered. Some leaders have said they could never support Guiliani; but Robertson just endorsed him. For a while it seemed Huckabee could unite social and religious conservatives, but today his closest ideological ally, Sen. Sam Brownback, endorsed Sen. McCain. Other evangelical leaders are behind Romney or Thompson.
With many conservatives already feeling dispirited and disappointed by the Republican Party, this lack of a consensus conservative candidate is only adding to discouragement among the rank and file.
Our only chance to win in 2008 is to begin now to re-unite around our core conservative beliefs and values. For those who have chosen a candidate, please make a positive case for why your candidate best represents the Reaganesque principles we stand for and how your candidate can win. But if supporters of any of the five front-runners conclude that ONLY their candidate can win and ONLY their candidate is worthy of support, we might as well let Hillary start measuring the drapes in the Oval Office.
OLD-FASHIONED HORSE RACE
Just a few months before voting begins, the race for the Republican presidential nomination is wide open.
As a newly registered “Non-affiliated”, I am really having a struggle creating any motivation to even bother myself with politics any longer. Trust me, I’ve heard all the hand wringing admonitions about “dropping out” and as with most highly charged social issues, each point has some small merit at it’s core.
But at age 65, I am more inclined to view the entire American political process from a personal, practical experience position. If one truly puts a value on their individual privilage to vote, and I do, then they must be frustrated with the prospect of continually casting that valued vote for the “lesser of two evils”. From the practical experience viewpoint, akin to continually warning a child not to touch a hot stove or it will burn, they (American electorate) often have to learn the lesson the hard way. Many Americans I fear are of the same mindset. They must actually experience the “pain” personally before they truly appreciate the wisdom behind the warning they recieved. I see that type of scenario developing in this election cycle.
I do hope you were not implying in your final paragraph that one should , as is often the case in political circles, compromise their basic principles, and vote for an unworthy candidate simply to avoid the election of an even more unworthy candidate. To continue on this course only dilutes the integrity that the process was supposed to reflect.
“For those who have chosen a candidate, please make a positive case for why your candidate best represents the Reaganesque principles we stand for and how your candidate can win. But if supporters of any of the five front-runners conclude that ONLY their candidate can win and ONLY their candidate is worthy of support, we might as well let Hillary start measuring the drapes in the Oval Office.”
I definitely agree. Republicans need to stop harpooning the candidates they don’t support and their supporters. If not, it will come back to bite the Republicans in the general election. Instead, I encourage all to make the case for why his or her candidate should be supported. Certainly, I can make the case for the top-tier candidates, even though there may be questionable issues surrounding all of them.
John McCain has hurt conservatives many times, most recently on the immigration issue, but at the same time he is one I would trust whole-heartedly on what I consider to be the most important issue of our time – national security and continuing the battle against Islamic extremism. He has the ability to look at foreign policy in a holistic manner and see the interrelatedness of current world events. Now, if we could just convince him to secure the border.
Rudy Giuliani is no friend to social conservatives, or those who value the 2nd amendment for that matter. However, he has a record as a crime fighter in New York. As a conservative, I can definitely get behind that. He also probably has the highest name identification of all the Republican candidates, which will be a plus when it comes to the general election. He would likely be the candidate who would be most competitive out of the Republicans in garnering the independent vote.
Mike Huckabee is the vanguard of social conservative values – something I hold very dear. He is also able to talk about the issues in a clever, down-to-earth way that is sure to attract independents and those fed up with politics as usual. Frankly, he is just plain likable! Moreover, he could certainly cut into Hillary’s southern vote very well. Nevertheless, recent revelations cause many to wonder whether he would be a true fiscal conservative or just another big spender.
Fred Thompson is another candidate with great name id, and he has successfully presented an image of experience and a longing to clean up DC. At the same time, many wonder whether he has the necessary drive to get the job done and do hand-to-hand combat with the Democrats should he receive the nomination. The fact that he was a lobbyist when so many are wary of that very thing is also sure to hurt him.
Off all the candidates, Mitt Romney definitely looks the most presidential and knows the right things to say. He also certainly has great fund-raising ability, which is a must. However, many wonder whether his conservative stances are simply based on political expediency in a Republican primary or whether he has truly undergone a Reagan conversion since his time as governor of Massachusetts.
The bottom line is that there is no such thing as a perfect candidate in this race, but there are many good candidates who I believe would make good presidents – much better presidents than any of the Democrats! For that reason, we need to be careful about the way in which we discuss the candidates who we are not supporting. If there is a bloodbath now, how can we expect to unify around the nominee? I, for one, am committed to discussing the issues in a decent manner, advocating for my candidates, and am further committed to supporting the Republican nominee, whoever that might be.
To me, Congressman Ron Paul is the candidate that comes across as being the most Reagan-esqe. Dr. Paul has the same vision for an America where we focus on commonalities rather than our
differences. Dr. Paul is well-versed in the Austrian school of economic thought. He is strong on gun ownership, private property rights, states’ rights, school choice, the US Constitution, and he is solidly pro-life. He gets, and I’m sure will continue to get lambasted over his foreign policy, although I fail to see why, since the Constitution grants the power to declare war to the Congress. If the concern is national defense, Congress has the authority to engage, even if the President is reluctant to do so. Dr. Paul certainly has his shortcomings, but I don’t see them as anything that can’t be addressed by the checks and balances of the Constitution, particularly since Paul himself is a champion of governmental decentralization. With respect to the election, I think Paul has a better chance of pulling voters from the Clinton camp than any other Republican candidate. I hope the party gives him careful consideration in the coming months, and I encourage readers to go check out his website, Google, and YouTube for more information.
Pastor Chuck Baldwin has a few things to say on how easy it is to deceive the ‘religious right. I have a hard time with Pat R endorsing a cross dresser who is n longer well received in NY City.
Here is the good Pastor on Ron Paul, the only real choice we have IF we want the Constitution back.
Here he is on Rudy Julie Annie-
Thanks for your time.
Len, please do a bit more research before calling Ron Paul an isolationist. He is no more that than the Founding Fathers. He wants to do as they advised regarding trade & relationships. That is not isolationist, it is common sense. Using the term shows you may be a bit influenced by the MSM as when they did the same smear on Pat Buchanan. Why is protecting the USA & following the Constitution & Founder’s advice isolationist?
Also you may find that Ron Paul is gaining consensus daily. He just took in over 4 mil. in one day. From little guy we the people, not big donors & PACs that support the media’s anointed like Rudy, Fred T or Hillary.
I hope you run for Gov. again. I will still support you. I am just a bit take back by your seeming lack of knowledge regarding Ron Paul, based on your comments about him.
Thank you & god bless!
At what point do you succumb to the dark side?? The only Contender that has constantly talked the positive, visionary message about the greatness of America has been Governor Huckabee. He alone seems to want to keep the values and inspire others to what we can achieve. I do not trust John McCain anymore after the immigation issue , Thompson is just a “me too wanna be” and Rudy G. should be a conservative Democrat. Ron Paul does not motivate me beyond his stance and outspokenness on a few issues. We need the vision that R. Reagan gave us with the “city on the hill”, some home spun truth and basic core values. I wuld not give up hope on the race even in Mr Brownback has and I would encourage all to rally behind Gov H. let us send him some $$ so that he can get out of the second tier and start being noticed more on the national level. Look, the guy is running second in Iowa and the southern states. The pathetic press will keep him in the dark as long as they can. It is up to us to stand and raise our voices. I would hate to find that our disdain for the Rep party gives America to socialism and betrayal in 2008 if we do not unite. This is to dangerous of a time and freedom needs your voice and a few dollars.
Len, I know that Duncan Hunter is not very high up in the polls, but he is my choice for POTUS. He is anti abortion and stem cell research, he is anti trade with China, and he is pro fence on the border. He is prior military and his son is in the middle east right now. I don’t know why more people are not on board with him.
Thanks for your time.
Len, I agree with you that the Republican party needs to unite and be energized if we are to win the next presidential election.
When the presidential race began, I wasn’t excited about any of the candidates. I believe that the center of the party and it’s strength can best be reflected in the model led by President Ronald Reagan. None of the candidates seemed to be close to Ronald Reagan in relation to the Republican Party.
After carefully weighing out the candidates, I came to the conclusion that Gov. Huckabee would be the most capable in unifying the party and appealing to voters outside of the Republican based on a conservative message.
Gov. Huckabee is the best communicator of all the candidates. In the debates, he gives the best answers. He is the only candidate that didn’t sling mud in the Oct. 21st debate. He is likeable and appealing. He sends a message that anybody can succeed from humble beginnings. He also has the most excutive expierance. Gov. Huckabee has made huge efforts to improve health care in his state and is the only candidate talking about improving the bridges, roads, sewer systems, and air traffic control.
Are there areas that concern me in relation to Gov. Huckabee. Sure there are. I don’t like the Fair Tax, but I do believe we need a Flat Tax. He doesn’t have a lot of foreign policy expierance, but he does seem knowledgeable about world affairs and is committed to supporting are troops and national interest in the war on terror in Iraq.
Ultimately in the end, I think Gov. Huckabee sends a positive message that appeals to voters. I think his ability to communicate is essential to winning the next election. Finally, the republican party needs the social conservative base and for them to be energized. Gov. Huckabee is who the social conservatives want.
For the record, Rudy has claimed that he would nominate strict constructionist judges–this is the realized front in the war on antidemocratic abortion support.
Ron Paul appears to be taking votes away from the (young) Democrats. When he runs as an Independent, he just might take enough votes away from the libs to ensure their defeat.
Pat Robertson likely is recognizing Rudy’s military strength, but it would be naive to not assume that Romney’s Mormonism plays a large part in Robertson’s lack of support. Wrong or right–a Mormon will not win an election in today’s America even if he was a genetic clone of Reagan. If Romney wins the primary, we can say goodbye to a Republican presidency in ’08.
I’ve been leaning toward Romney because he personifies the wholesome, moral, educated image necessary for our President. He has execuive experience needed for the office. However, I’m considering Huckabee for the same reasons, but he is so refreshing.
I also saw more of Hunter last night on the Glenn Beck show, & his views are right in line with mine. We esp. need to listen to him about the danger from China, which holds so much of our debt, & the continued disaster re. our Mexican border. We just can’t allow the Dems to re-take the White House, or we will be joining the “Global Downfall”
May God Help us!
Interesting and for the most part, thoughtful analysis. However, I believe your animosity towards Ron Paul trumped your logic.
You begin by tagging him with the “libertarian” label which contains some truth, but that doesn’t make the Congressman less Conservative. Check his voting record and compare it to the track records of Rudy and Mitt!
Then we’re advised that his fund raising success is due to the Pat Buchanan “wing” of the party, i.e “paleo-cons”. Now :ibertarians and Trads are two different species. Ludwig Von Mises and Russell Kirk don’t exist on the same philosophical planet.
Besides, I rather doubt that Pat could mobilize over 35000 people to fork over four and quarter million in a 24 hr. period anymore!
What does unite them is the belief that U.S. foreign policy should be rational, realistic and as a priority, representative of U.S.interests in the Mideast as well as the rest of the world.
This is NOT the party of Woodrow Wilson or FDR.
You’ve been spending too much time courting Neo-Cons Len!
It’s about time you got de0Hannitized and returned home!
I believe that 10 term Texas Congressman Dr. Ron Paul is the candidate who best represents Reagan-esqe principles, and definitely the Jefferson-esqe principles of Liberty and limited government powers.
Dr. Ron Paul is a military veteran, having served as an Air Force flight surgeon. He is a devout Christian and pro-life, and in his career as an obstetrician, Dr. Paul has delivered over 4,000 babies.
Concerning Dr. Ron Paul’s Jefferson-esqe principles of Liberty and limited government powers, the Ten Commandments are all about Human Rights, after a reverence for the Creator. It was Thomas Jefferson who authored the Declaration of Independence. “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed,…”. The idea that all power rests within the body of the people, and that the primary purpose of government is as a servant of the people to secure and protect the rights of the individual is also expressed in the Preamble to The Bill of Rights (yes, The Bill of Rights has its own preamble, but it is usually omitted in copies). “(The)Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declatory and restrictive measures should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficient ends of its institution:…” This means that The Bill of Rights are the “further declaratory and restrictive measures” on the Constitution, and is preeminent in importance to the Constitution, and that the Constitution is subordinate to and interpreted within the context of the Bill of Rights.
Anyone who has read the most significant passages of Thomas Jefferson’s voluminous writings will recognize the Jeffersonian origins of the ideas of Dr. Ron Paul. Dr. Ron Paul wants to restore America’s Free Republic with its Bill of Rights and Constitution, putting our statist government back within the Constitutional limits that our founding fathers set for it. The unintentional omission by our founders of a Constitutional ammendment chaining our judiciary from mischief and putting checks and balances upon it to bring it into submission to the Constitution, which was pointed out by Thomas Jefferson, can also be easily remedied.
In Freedom and Liberty,
I am supporting Gov. Huckabee.
The misinformation being spread about regarding his views of taxation have been repudiated over and over again.
I think he is the only person who can attract a following which beat the Dems.
The Guv is the only consistent pro-life candidate in the group. He is the only one whose lifestyle epitomizes the values that conservatives hold dear. His experience as a govenor qualifies him to run the country.
He is his own person and not another Bush.
I am supporting Gov. Huckabee.
I appreciate your thoughtful post, but Ron Paul does not in the least live up to Reagan’s views of foreign policy. In fact, Reagan was more Jeffersonian in that he believed that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” were truly universal and not only applicable in the United States. There are millions around the world – specifically in Eastern Europe – who are today gratefully free because of the foreign policy of Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan understood that as more people around the world are free, the better it is not only for them but for the United States as well. I am certainly not advocating meddling in the affairs of everyone around the world, but Ronnie understood that at times it becomes necessary to act.
In regards to your statement about our Founding Fathers’ view of “power rest[ing] within the body of the people,” that is true to a certain degree. However, our Founding Fathers had a very leery view of the masses, and thus our system has a series of filters to refine public opinion. This is the hallmark of a republican (not Republican) form of government. The people’s views are filtered through their representatives, and in turn the opinions of our representatives are filtered through the bi-cameral nature of our Congress as well as the through the executive oversight of Congress (i.e. VP is the President of the Senate). It is a very brilliant design, and while many or our representatives have strayed from our ideals as the people, the solution is to vote them out of office. The solution is not to give more power to the masses (not that you were suggesting that)…pure democracy does not work, as can be evidenced in ancient history. Not that your post advocated for a direct democracy system, but too often libertarian rhetoric has undertones of a revolutionary, “more power to the people” philosophy without really considering what that statement means or understanding the intent of our Founding Fathers.