The GOP’s Diminishing Choices

by on September 20th, 2010
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The grassroots activists of the Republican Party are facing a dilemma. Barack Obama is eminently beatable in 2012. This is obviously pleasing to republicans. The dilemma arises from the choice they face in the nominating process. Who should challenge the president in the fall?

Mitt Romney has a small base of support. However, the majority of the party, and most certainly conservatives within the party, are looking for the not-Mitt candidate. Their choices as of this moment are: Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman. While Gingrich is leading in recent polls, many conservatives are not enamoured of the former Speaker. Ron Paul definitely has a vocal group of supporters but the broader party is wary of his unique views on foreign policy (among other subjects). Jon Huntsman is simply unpalatable to the conservative base. Herman Cain is currently evaluating his campaign in light of recent accusations of infidelity. This severely limits the choices of conservative republicans.

Let’s get one thing straight. My perfect presidential candidate is me. I’m the only one which I agree with all the time. I’m also the only one that would support me for president! So I, and most other conservatives, need to find the best candidate possible. This would preclude anyone that is not currently in the race (Ronald Reagan is not walking through that door). It would also preclude a third party candidate. Given the brief discussion previously, it may be down to three candidates for conservative voters: Bachmann, Perry and Santorum.

Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry have both had their turn at or near the front of the Republican field. Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll. Then Rick Perry entered the race and went straight to the top of the polls before falling back. Most voters probably think that they have some idea of the views of these two candidates. However, what about Rick Santorum? Have republican voters actually given Santorum a look? The answer is probably no.

This is not an endorsement for Mr. Santorum. Rather it is an admonition that conservatives should evaluate all of their choices this year prior to casting their ballots. To that end, it is in the best interest of conservatives in Iowa, New Hampshire and across the nation to take a second (or even a first) look at Santorum prior to dismissing him as a third tier candidate. Look at his record from his years in Congress. Peruse his campaign website (here) and check out some of his positions on the issues. Maybe even watch one of his appearances on television. It just might be that you will like what you discover.

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