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March 09, 2011 08:12 PM UTC

Who Will be the Republican Presidential Nominee?

  • 60 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

On Monday our friends at “The Fix” had an interesting story about the lack of a frontrunner in the Republican field for President is an historic anomaly:

In the ten contested Republican presidential primary races between 1952 and 2008 — nine open seat fights and the 1976 face-off between President Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan — Gallup polling has always shown a clear frontrunner by this time.

And, in eight of those ten contests, the polling frontrunner at that moment went on to be the party’s presidential nominee. (The exceptions: Barry Goldwater trailed Richard Nixon at this point in the 1964 election and John McCain trailed Rudy Giuliani at this point in the 2008 election.)

Of the eight frontrunners in Gallup polling who went on to win the nomination, none took less than 31 percent in Gallup’s hypothetical primary ballots. (That was Reagan, again, in 1980.) The average for the eight frontrunners was just over 40 percent of the vote — well more than double the amount of support that Huckabee, Romney or Palin each received in the latest Gallup numbers on the race.

With that in mind, it’s time for another Colorado Pols poll! As always, we want to know what you think will happen — not your preference. If you had to bet the deed to your house, how would you bet on the GOP Presidential field?

Click after the jump to vote…

Who Will be the Republican Nominee for President in 2012?

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60 thoughts on “Who Will be the Republican Presidential Nominee?

  1. that a perfect storm of mediocre candidates and tea party/freeper fervor can push Sarah Palin to the nomination.

    A year and a half of Sarah Palin campaigning would be one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. The landslide Obama reelection would just be the icing on the cake.

    Seriously people, I’m willing to risk a Sarah Palin presidency just for the comedy.

    Does that make me a bad person? Probably.

      1. If being Governor took up way too much of her valuable money earning time, think what the presidency would do? And the pay is chump change.

  2. For some reason, many Republicans seem to believe he could have beaten Obama in ’08.

    Also, I really want to see what happens when the fundies have to decided between a Mormon and someone they think is a Muslim.

    “Betty, should we vote for the terrist or the blasphemer?”

    “I don’t know, Jimmy, is Dole running? I always did like that Bobe Dole.”

    1. and just not appealing to the red meat base. I went for Pawlenty because he has better solid conservative cred and no prohibitive negatives.

        1. I don’t think Romney’s going to pull it off. I don’t think it will be a Tea Party favorite ( I wish – a wing nut candidate would save Dems a lot of money to put into other races) but I think the GOP is at a point where it will have to be somebody acceptable to the Tea Party.  I think Pawlenty has a better chance to be acceptable to the Tea Party and the religious right while not being a joke candidate in general election terms. The rest of the field is loaded with a combination of joke, serious problem and low name recognition candidates.

          I am related by marriage to some staunch fundamentalist righties who would never vote for a Mormon. It’s one thing listening to a Mormon ranter like Glen Beck but quite another having one in the White House. They have different standards for King and Court Jester.

          1. And he seemed to be hamstrung more by health care than Mormonism with primary voters–but I wonder if the Bible Belt will just stay home if he’s on the general ticket. It could be a great election if so!

            1. Plenty of people claimed it was Obama’s  policies they were against.  Nothing to do with race, ydayadayda. Plenty will say it’s the RomneyCare, nothing to do with his belonging to that cult. At least that’s what my married-in fundamentalist relatives call it. And have you detected an iota of love for Romney from the Tea Party?  He didn’t do anywhere near well enough in 2008 in the end, either.  We’ll see, I guess.

          2. If you’re going to force me to write out a whole point, free of sarcasm no less, I guess it helps that we agree.

            The question, imo, is whether or not the GOP has learned anything. My guess is no. They’re going to take the last swing, ignore everyone who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and learn that McCain’s too old for TV.

            Their problem is that they think Palin type people excite the base. And they do. But they chase off everyone else. No one sitting on the edge of Obamaville said, “Yea! A dumbass Caribou Barbie to vote for!” Plenty in McCaintropolis said, “Yeah, that’s about it. I’m just going to stand in Obamaville now.”

            Worst case is they did learn and will nominate someone we wouldn’t seriously think of leaving the country over. To your point about Mormons, any woman would have the same problem. It’s one thing to hold a sign in public. Very different to mark the box in private. What happens after the other side, the middle, and the most devout of your own side are disenfranchised?

            To my comment; common sense need not be applied. We’re here discussing strategery and the GOP is looking for the loudest person (because loudest is rightest).

            1. The most likely candidates are Romeny, Pawlenty, Daniels or maybe Huck, in that order. That assumes the latter two will run. Everyone else who’s thinking about running really is thinking about book and TV contracts.

              I pretty much agree that Romney’s religion is his biggest problem. The big unknown is whether it is impossible for a Mormon to be elected president. It’s sad that so many are so viciously intolerant of others’ opinions and religious beliefs, but that’s reality. And it’s not pretty.

              Romney can dodge the RomneyCare issue by making a strong health deform proposal that fixes Medicare, Medicaid, pre-existing conditions, free riding and the problems of the 6 million who are citizens, unemployable and not covered by other government programs without using mandates.

              What are needed are pork-free reforms, not ObamaCare’s almost 40 new agencies and its huge tax increases. The solutions are there, but most politicians have personal agendas that don’t include real health insurance and health care market reforms. They’re more interested in their personal powers than in doing anything constructive.

              1. Although I follow GOP politics pretty closely, I really don’t know who Pawlenty is. So far, all I know about him is that he’s a former governor of MN with a quirky sense of humor and a strong desire to be president. He’s not projecting strength as an executive, politician or even as a fund raiser or candidate.

                Daniels is the opposite. Most Republicans know that he’s been a strong governor of Indiana. He has extensive experience in the Federal government and in the WH where he was director of the OMB before becoming a governor. He’s even less appealing as a political candidate  than John McCain. And his wife doesn’t want him to run.

                Huck is strong in the polls, but it’s very likely that he is seen as a very likely loser in a general election. He’s a Big Government Republican who has strong religious views. His competence and intellectual integrity are questionable. Therefore, the big money in the GOP is likely to go for someone who can beat Obama rather than for Huck.

                Palin’s not even strong in the polls. And she’s as weak as Huck in every other regard. She’s toxic.

                Newt’s just toxic.

                Barbour’s from Mississippi, has been a powerful lobbyist, has made some unfortunate comments about the Civil Rights movement and doesn’t look or sound at all presidential. He’s good at raising money for the party and for other candidates. It’s not proven that he could raise $1 billion for his presidential race.

                Santorum is a Big Government Republican who probably couldn’t raise the cash needed for a credible run. He has delusions of grandeur.

                Huntsman is a total unknown and probably won’t be able to get out of that box in this election cycle.

                1. Huntsman isn’t a complete unknown, but the fact that he’s seen as a somewhat moderate who left to join the Obama Administration as Ambassador to China is probably not the credential set he wants going in to the Republican primary.

                  I doubt anyone will dispute that Santorum has delusions of some sort, anyway, and grandeur is probably among the list.  But I wouldn’t consider him “Big Government”.  He voted against not only this stimulus, but also others during his career.  He’s got impeccable pro-life credentials.  Hell, Sarah Palin called him a “Neanderthal”.  That might even be a good thing.  But he’s not in the big leagues.

                  I think you’ve summed up Barbour’s problems pretty well.  There’s an outside chance he’ll win the nomination, but only if the sane wing of the party goes on a complete vacation.  Put him in charge of someone’s fundraising – quietly.

                  Newt – well, if he wasn’t done before, today’s gem will seal it.

                  The danger with Palin is that she has a solid core of supporters that will get her past the initial stages of the campaign and give her cash and people on the ground.  Sure, her support keeps dropping, but she’ll be around long enough to pick up from someone falling over – if she’s not the one doing the falling.

                  Huckabee has moved right since last campaign, ditching some of his Big Government support.  Whether he can throw off memories of his statements during the last campaign or not remains to be seen; in a Republican primary, his social stands will be a plus.  But that’s all dependent on if he even enters the race.

                  Daniels has a record, which isn’t always a good thing.  He also is on tape recently in his state’s battle against the unions saying he’s not sure that battle is a good thing.  Not sure whether that helps him or hurts him.  Didn’t know about the wife…

                  Pawlenty’s name was tossed about during the 2008 season, but it fell off for a number of reasons, including that he’s supposedly about as stimulating as a piece of wallboard.  And then there’s the bridge.  But still, he’s got conservative creds, small government creds, and he couldn’t really be that bad of a speaker and have been governor.  He is, for the most part, acceptable, and it may come down to that.

                  I still believe that Romney cannot win given the current focus on “ObamaCare”.  You can wrap it up however you like (and Romney, political chameleon extraordinaire, will definitely try), but he advocated for – even during the “ObamaCare” debates – the Massachusetts health care plan.  He also ran Massachusetts as a moderate, and then there’s the pretty much automatic 5% “discount” he’s going to get on Republican votes because of his religion.  But he can raise money, and he can get endorsements.

                  And having gone through all of that analysis, I guess it just proves the original point of the article.  There’s no clear frontrunner in the race, nor any candidate who appears inspiring enough to leap ahead of the pack.  Indeed, I think this race will be defined more by who gets cast to the wayside than who pulls ahead.

                  1. That’d be news to the people of Pennsylvania, who threw him out on his ass in the 2006 election.

                    He’s the most intrusive, big-government Republican imaginable, though it will be in your bedroom and not your business.

                    1. That would be why he wasn’t in the list of supporters.  🙂

                      He did vote against an early Clinton-era stimulus; it was a major theme of his campaign.

  3. Because he’ll do or say absolutely anything if he thinks it will get him the nomination. It’s pretty clear to me the 2012 GOP nominee will be the lowest common denominator, so he fits the bill perfectly.  

  4. Reagan lost a Primary to Ford

    Bush Sr. lost a Primary to Reagan

    Dole lost to Bush Sr.

    McCain lost to Bush Jr.

    Romney lost to McCain

      1. With all the fervor over ‘sharia law’ I don’t see how he can defend that Momrins do the exact same thing in Utah.

        Also, where is my Trump option?? :tapfoot. I picked Newt, but I still thin that egomanical hairpiece is going to go all out this time.  

          1. Hadn’t thought of that one. If he does get the nod that would be something for  the blogoshpere to put out there.  Many fundamentalist, evangelical Christians already think of the Mormons as a cult.  Pointing out that they have largely imposed their cult’s views on the laws of Utah (they could even call it Mormon Sharia law).  Definitely could  be something for the political underside to work with. Bwa-ha-ha-ha…  

            Of course, it isn’t just the underside that keeps pushing the Obama/ Evil Muslim connection on the R side. While R pols refuse to call out the pushers of that crap for fear of riling their base, Obama could benefit from anti-Mormon attacks while having no problem freely condemning and denouncing and looking as presidential as hell.  But I don’t think Romney will be the one. Still, you’re a genius, Shrub!

            1. Personally, it’s always something that has just astounded me having friends and family who are close to the Mormon religion. And if you have ever known someone who has just ‘passed through’ that state and had the misfortune of being pulled over by the state patrol…yikes.  

  5. But McChrystal gives the GOP the same shock and awe effect Palin did immediately during and after the ’08 convention in Minnesota.

    He’s terribly flawed but if rolled out late enough, with enough vitriol, and with the “patriotic” grift attached to his brand, he could energize the goober, golf club, birther, and teabag base. That makes up enough of the red party to nominate him.

    If rolled out too early, his Afghanistan disaster and his disrespectful overseas speeches, as well as the Pat Tillman hit will sink him.      

  6. The man that can’t seem to keep his dick in his pants? This horndog is going to appeal to family-value Conservative voters?


    Newt Gingrich says his “not appropriate” behavior tied to his passion for America

    Former House speaker and likely GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who has been married three times and has acknowledged an extramarital affair, said in an interview this week that his past indiscretions were driven in part by “how passionately I felt about this country.”

    “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and that things happened in my life that were not appropriate,” Gingrich told CBN News Chief Political Correspondent David Brody. “And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing it. I found that I felt compelled to seek God’s forgiveness.”

    Gingrich, whose personal history could hamper his efforts to win over social conservatives in a GOP primary, converted to Catholicism in March, 2009. In the interview, he went on to say that he believes “in a forgiving God.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50

    Huh, it seems that his passion is for where ever he can stick his cock….

    1. What’s this site coming to? First anuses, now I’ll have to watch every member who leaves right after a debate or vote. Just how passionate did they get?

      Thanks a bloody lot.

      1. After her anal education lecture we just can’t help ourselves. Somebody ought to lock that grandma up before she does any more damage with her unfortunate influence on the tender, impressionable contributors to this blog.  

    2. He’s had a serious religious conversion since his hound dog days, don’t ya know?  And there’s nothing evangelicals like better than a reformed, repentant sinner. Of course we’re all sinners, born that way, blah blah blah, but they seem to prefer really big splashy sinners, repenting and offering themselves up to Jesus in dramatic fashion over plain old well behaved people who have always tried to lead decent lives. No pop there. No sizzle. Elmer Gantry still floats the boat.

      1. and don’t much care that he was unfaithful, particularly if he has seen the light, so to speak. Fine by me. I’ve done some shitty things in my life and hope to hell there is some measure of grace granted for seeing the error of my ways and trying to get it right.

        I just don’t like him. I think he’d be as damaging as they come to the future of this country.  

        1. Fortunately, I’ve never ever ever done anything at all shitty, so I’ll never need it.  

          That said, Newt’s marital betrayals were especially cruel, and he’s been such self-righteous s.o.b. Redemption takes a certain amount of humility and making amends. I don’t see it there. If he really wants to redeem himself, he can STFU the rest of his phony life.

        2. I see this as complete hypocrisy and opportunism, that’s all. So I’d advise him to go all out. He’d really score with his target audience if he completely admitted  what a son of a bitch he’s been and managed some real tears.

  7. It will be between Romney, Gingrich and one other (either Daniels or T-Paw, maybe Huntsman if he makes headway). I also expect Herman Cain to do decent, at least Alan Keyes numbers of 2000, maybe even become the next Huckabee.

  8. All the rest have too many known negatives. He may have some too, but I don’t know them, or anything else about him. So in my ignorance I’m giving him the edge.

    I have to admit, though, that, not being able to understand the Repub mind, I haven’t the slightest idea what they consider a negative in one of their candidates. The Repub brain these days is a mystery. Not so their souls. Ooooo, their souls are dark but revealing chambers.

  9. Huckabee is favored by more religious and more conservative voters (including Tea party voters) over Palin, despite the fact that as far as I can tell, he is considerably more liberal than Palin on a variety of issues from crime to wealth redistribution to the poor.

    1. the xenophobic, racist Obama bashing, the surest way to the heart in that wing of the party. I don’t think Palin has spent enough time specifically connecting Obama with the slaughter of white folks. Not sure she’s even mentioned Obama and Mau Mau in the same sentence.

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