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Gallup Checks out the '08 field

November 14, 2006 09:31 AM

Here's the result of a poll of Republicans, and self-identified Republican leaners,

Giuliani            28
McCain            26
Rice                13
Gingrich             7
Romney            5
Frist                  4
Allen                 2
Pataki               1
Huckabee          1
Hagel                1
Brownback         1

My take is that Republican leaners are not Republican primary voters, and that Gallup has the whole premise of the poll wrong.  Giuliani, McCain and Rice are all unacceptable to conservatives, and will not be nominated.  There is an intense dislike (if not outright hatred) of John McCain among Republicans I know.  McCain is the problem--not the solution.  Guilini is at least funny and solid on defense, but is way too liberal on social issues.  He's most likely to be someone's VP pick.  Condoleezza Rice is wonderful on national security, but is not pro-life.  The Republican Party will not--and should not--nominate anyone who is not pro-life.  The big battle over the next year will be over the conservative base, as we see different candidates try to claim it.  My guess at this point is that the nominee will either be Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney.  Sam Brownback would be great too, if he can raise his profile.

As for the Democrats and Democrat leaners, no surprises there:

Clinton            31
Obama            19
Edwards           10
Gore                 9
Kerry                7
Biden               4
Clark                3
Richardson        2
Bayh                2
Feingold           1
Daschle            1
Dodd                1
Vilsack             2

They'd be fools if they nominate John Kerry again, so naturally, he's our guy for the Dems.  If they want to win, they'll nominate Evan Bayh.  But they'll never nominate Evan Bayh.


NBS is correct on this, Conservatives like me will never support McCain, Rudy, or Rice. However, Rice is the most palatable of the group. The Senator and the Mayor are both pro-abortion and anti-self defense. Neither will go very far.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot   ·  November 14, 2006 09:08 PM

You must not be talking to many Republicans if all of the people you know hate McCain and think he's part of the problem. I'd say this doesn't bode very well for putting together a big tent in 2008, but maybe it's more a problem of echo-chamber politics than anything else.

Also, I shudder to think what will become of the GOP's presidential shot if there is a litmus test on abortion. Granted, these polls are meaningless this early in the game - but it might count for something that four of the top five are either pro-choice or something close (Romney – who may have waffled early enough that he gets a pass).

But what concerns me is the reflex: This party has a tendency to elevate the most average, safe white dude - the VP of the firm who has stuck around for a few years and has done a decent job - and reassuringly hasn't shaken anything up very much. Bob Dole, Dennis Hastert, Bill Frist. Honorable men - honest men, but always a safe bet. The press slams them around with ease and the public is vaguely interested, but the charisma is lacking, and with a closely divided electorate, the chances to win a majority may very well dwindle.

And I'll admit - I'm on the other side of the tent. I don't care much about social issues and I think fundamentalist Christians have had a little too much power. I’m a churchgoing Catholic, but I’m not going to make abortion the only issue. I see way too much ‘hell yeah’ agreement all over the Right blogs, especially here in Ohio. I think it’s important to engage the debate now - there are some problems with the GOP leadership and it won’t work to try the same old Southern Tier tactics in the election – especially without the Hispanics vote. With a lame duck president and no heir apparent it’s going to take some fresh thinking.

Brendan   ·  November 14, 2006 09:58 PM

Yes, it's true that I don't know any Republicans who would vote for McCain in the primary. And I know a whole lot of Republicans, of all stripes. In fact, all the Republicans I know would have a very difficult time even volunteering for him in the general election. The social conservatives can't stand him, and the economic conservatives don't like him because of campaign finance "reform." To support him, Republicans would have to be really scared of the Democratic candidate. And fear of the alternative is not going to get someone elected. People need a reason to vote for someone--not fear of the alternative.

As for the litmus test on abortion for Republican presidential candidates, that would be nothing new. Republican presidential candidates are always pro-life (except maybe Ford, I don't know about him). If the Republican party does not remain the party of life, it will have no future, and there would be no reason why people won't just vote for the Dems. Economic conservatism just won't carry the day, especially when Republicans don't act like economic conservatives (e.g. Taft, Voinovich).

NBS   ·  November 15, 2006 09:35 AM

If the Republican party doesn't support the pro-life policy, then all of the other basics of conservatism don't matter? National defense, smaller government, spending restraint, pro-growth policy - abortion trumps all of them?

Then why wasn't abortion even mentioned in the Contract With America? That was the largest electoral victory for Republicans in generations, and they didn't bother to include it.

The map looks very bad for the GOP right now. The northeast is now gone. Both of the coasts and increasingly even the Midwest is going blue. And still I'm hearing that nothing but the same old hardline, religious conservative strategy is going to keep winning elections.

Brendan   ·  November 15, 2006 10:36 AM

Pro life, 2nd amendment and the promise of conservative nominations to the judiciary are issues that would call me out to volunteer, BUT the biggie now is that I can not forgive McCain for the torpedo he shot at our judicial nominees when he organized the gang of 14. That gang of 14 was what put the final nail in DeWine's coffin! Frist and Hagel have no charisma

ollie   ·  November 15, 2006 02:16 PM

Ollie is absolutely right about the gang of 14. In a fillibuster someone TALKS- and I saw no one talking- just heard people talking about talking. How many of the Gang of 14 were up for re-election and how many of them lost?
How about Ken Blackwell for Voinovich's seat?

AKL   ·  November 15, 2006 08:16 PM

If you want to hear something truly disturbing, it is that the Republican blogosphere is chattering away about the rumors that DeWine plans to challenge Strickland in 4 years. The buzz I've seen thus far has been uniformly negative.

Can we all agree that a DeWine for Governor campaign would be a disaster? Who'd line up to do lit drops for that campaign?

NBS   ·  November 15, 2006 09:51 PM