The Field Closes

The first Republican presidential debate is set for Thursday. I will probably not be able to watch or will watch on a delay (my wife is working late that night, so I have the Betas). But the most significant thing is that Fox has narrowed the 17 — I shit you not — 17 candidates down to 10 so that they will all fit on stage. Those 10 are Donald Trump (currently leading the field), Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich.

That means that seven candidates are out. And I have to say that it’s like those seven are finished. Not because they aren’t in the debate but because they are currently polling so low, it’s unlikely they can bring themselves back into the picture barring an amazing debate performance, which they won’t get a chance at. Those seven are Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

And that’s a pity. Trump isn’t going away any time soon, but his negatives are sky high (which you would expect, given that his campaign has zero policy proposals. In mock polling, he loses to Bernie Sanders by twenty points. In taking over the stage, he’s bumping Perry — who is likely doomed from his 2012 gaffe but actually strikes me as a reasonable candidate. He’s also bumping Santorum, who is intensely disliked in some quarters but is one of the few candidates to grasp the pinch many middle class people are feeling. The rest are mainly vanity candidates although Fiorina has some charisma.

Looking at the ten remaining, I’m not terribly high on anyone in the current field. I’ve warmed up to Rubio lately but I think this race is going to quickly narrow to Walker vs. Bush. And if Trumpism spooks enough of the GOP establishment, they will go to Bush, barring some catastrophic gaffe.

So, right now, I’m thinking we’re seeing a 2016 showdown of Bush v. Clinton. Didn’t we already do this?

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    “Intensely dislike” = “hate with the power of a thousand suns”…..

    I may be understating my distaste for the individual….

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  2. Xetrov

    Considering I hate all politicians, I would like to hear more from Jindal.  He’s done some impressive things as a conservative in a very tough state.

    I’d vote for Trump simply for the fact that he’s not a politician.

    I can’t believe we are headed for Bush v. Clinton.  Does anyone anywhere think either of those two idiots are the best option to run this country?  Those two getting the nominations will only prove how far this country has fallen, and how broken the electoral system has become.

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  3. Screamin

    One day, historians will look back on this time in American politics with both puzzlement and amusement.  It’s a vicious circle:

    As a society, we rejected the concept of a monarchy in charge of the country
    Bush and Clinton are being pushed to the head of their parties not because of their policy ideas, charisma or any particular skill, but because of their names
    A person who has no business in politics (Trump) is actually getting interest because of the intense dislike of “typical politicians”
    One of those two clowns will probably get elected because we are more interested in the Real Housewives of Wherever than we are in the future direction of this country

    We are the 8-year olds of world history.  We throw a tantrum to get what we want and then when we get it we want the opposite.  Repeat ad nauseum.

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