Friday, March 25, 2011

The Republicans Are Pretty Much Playing Russian Roulette in 2012

Sort of building on my Bachmann post earlier, the Republican Party had better hope all the statistics that say "Campaigning and candidates don't matter -- it's the economy, stupid" are correct. Because it looks like their primary ballot is going to be absolutely loaded with trainwreck candidates -- Bachmann, Gingrich, Huckabee, Palin? -- and I don't think anyone can really count on the party that nominated Christine O'Donnell and Sharon Angle to make a non-crazy choice like Pawlenty or Romney. There's honestly like a 50-50 chance the Republicans are going to be stuck with some degree of widely despised nutcase nominee, and not only does that risk losing them the presidency, but it'll have an even larger effect on downballot races where margins actually matter and small swings among independent voters can spell the difference between success and disaster.

4 comments:

  1. Consider, when is the last time either major party nominated anyone who was not either a sitting President, Vice-President, or Senator, or a current or former governor. There go half of the trainwrecks right there.

    Consider also, when was the last time the Republican party nominated anyone other than 1) the guy whose paid his dues, or 2) the guy with the same name as the former president.

    The question is not whether an unexciting white guy with the title "governor" will be nominated, the question is which one, and how many stupid things will he be goaded into saying along the way.

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  2. I'm inclined to think you're right (and hope so for the sake of, you know, America), but on the other hand, I remember prior to 2008 when everyone was all "When's the last time a senator won an election?" So I think there's a serious limit to how predictive history is.

    I think mostly my point is that primaries are pretty chaotic even under the best of circumstances, and if the ballot is packed with a lot of crazy candidates with sizable followings, there's a non-negligible chance that one might actually get the nomination through some quirk of the process.

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  3. im still waiting for the inaugural 417am Stancil v. Morrison comment war. "Where 1000 word replies, snarky retorts and accusations of intellectual dishonesty abound"

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  4. Well, crazy candidates require a sweet spot. Too few, and things go normally. Too many and all the energy gets dispersed and you give it to the old man who independents in New Hampshire (but no one else) like.

    And with regard to Senators ("many are called, few are chosen") I am pretty sure the answer to "when was the last time won" is "the last time both candidates were Senators. So yes, the rule "only major party candidates can win" trumps the rule "Senators never win" but it's the only rule that does.

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