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Is GOP 2016 becoming a two-man race?

Republican Presidential Contenders

All of a sudden the establishment media, such as The Washington Post’s alleged Republican columnist Jennifer Rubin, are making the 2016 Republican presidential nomination a two-man between former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Never mind that Walker has barely begun to form an exploratory effort and several other potential contenders, such as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, have yet to even get as far as Walker’s toe-in-the-water effort.

But Rubin, and plenty of others who share her nominal Republican mindset, are looking at the polls and making this claim:

As we have suggested before, actual GOP voters are much more flexible than (sic) in accepting ideological deviations from conservative orthodoxy. In Iowa, for example 57 percent of Republicans find Common Core acceptable while 49 percent favor a path to citizenship. In New Hampshire, the numbers are 47 and 43 percent, respectively. In South Carolina, the figures are 47 percent and 46 percent. Those two issues may therefore not be nearly as determinative as right-wing media portray them. (Bush, it should be noted, in his book ruled out citizenship although during the Senate debate seemed open to it; Walker has been cagey in spelling out his exact position.)

Rubin further looks at the polls and sees “In early states Bush is dominating among moderates (27 percent in Iowa vs. 7 percent for Walker) while among conservatives the numbers are reverse (Walker draws 20 percent to Bush’s 7 percent). In New Hampshire and South Carolina Bush crushes Walker among moderates, but comes within a few points of Walker among conservatives.”

Rubin concludes her analysis with this clinker: “What we do know is that a lot of the punditocracy so far has been clueless. Contrary to their pronouncements, as of now Rand Paul is not the frontrunner (!) and Ted Cruz is not popular at all.”

Translation – only a Republican “moderate” like Jeb Bush or a candidate whose views on many issues are unknown, like Scott Walker, can win because “extremists” like Jindal, Cruz and Paul are “toxic” to large portions of Republican primary voters.

We give Rubin the out she gave herself when she noted that “It is dicey, if  not impossible, to predict where the 2016 GOP race will be 12 weeks from now, let alone 12 months from now when the early primary season will be in full swing,” but as we see it the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is wide open.

What’s more, by focusing on three states, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Rubin has chosen to analyze the three states where the Bush family legacy is most advantageous (at least at this point) for Jeb.

South Carolina’s Republican establishment, and their readiness to use slime ball politics, has been a Bush “firewall” since the days when our late friend Lee Atwater was George H.W. Bush’s political consiglieri and the 1988 presidential primary cycle.

Those associations saved George W. Bush in his contest with John McCain in 2000 through an astonishingly vile race-baiting campaign appealing for racist votes through the use of anonymous fliers picturing McCain and his alleged illegitimate “black” child (actually an adopted daughter from Bangladesh).

New Hampshire saved George H.W. Bush in 1988, and who can forget that Bush 41 won the Iowa caucuses in 1980, defeating Ronald Reagan in an allegedly conservative state.

Much as we like what we see of Scott Walker, and dislike what we know for fact about Jeb Bush’s tenure as Governor of Florida, what he has said and done since he left the governor’s mansion and the associations he brings with him, there’s not been a campaign yet.

Campaigns are what educate voters about the candidates, and much as Rubin and other establishment Republicans would like to dismiss grassroots concerns about Jeb Bush's views on Common Core, amnesty for illegal aliens and his as yet unknown strategy for winning the war radical Islam has declared on us, voters haven't been educated about who stands for what on those and many other important issues. And when Republican primary voters are educated about Jeb Bush’s views and record we believe this will be anything but a two-man race.

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Voters vote for who they like best.

Go back to FDR, if you want. However, I'ii go back to Truman. Dewey came off as a stiff, and Truman won. Dwight "I like Ike" Eisenhower beat Stevenson twice. The photogenic Kennedy beat Nixon. LBJ was well liked against Goldwater, if not less feared. Nixon vs. Humphrey/McGovern, the dweebs lost. Ford lost to Jimmy "Big Smile" Carter. Reagan was smiling more thatn Carter in 1980 (There you go again). Of course, Reagan was the more genial person compared to Mondale. Just about anybody was more likeable than Dukakis. Clinton, was not as stiff as Bush, or Dole. Bush was not as stiff as Gore. Obama was not as stiff as McCain/Romney. My point?

If the Republicans are to beat the Democrats, they have only one choice. Find the candidate(s) that come off more likeable than the Democrat. The party that nominates the more comfortable in their skin candidate, and the most affable person, will win this thing again. Let's face it. People vote for the most comforting, best looking, or better liked nominee into office.


Dr. Ben Carson for President .