opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Daily Editorials
7 Oct 2015
Mysteries, Microbes, and Mars

After scientists announced this week they had confirmed liquid water is flowing on the surface of Mars, the … Read More.

6 Oct 2015
Do the Democrats Have Debate Envy?

We know it seems way early, but people are talking presidential politics like it's January 2016 rather than … Read More.

6 Oct 2015
Pope's Visit Special for Many Reasons

Pope Francis' first trip to America is over, and he must regard it as a triumph. American media warmed to his … Read More.

GOP Race May Turn Into Sunshine Duel


A month ago 17 Republicans were vying to be the next president of the United States. Political Darwinism, however, is beginning to thin the herd.

Former Texas governor Rick Perry became the first to wither, dropping out three weeks ago. Then last week it was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Now that CNBC, which will moderate the next GOP debate in Colorado on Oct. 28, has announced its criteria for being on the dais, the pundit death-watch is eyeing those at a standstill at the bottom of public opinions polls.

Since participation in that event will hinge on reaching an average of 3 percent in national polls from mid-September to Oct. 21, speculation as to who will be next to go will focus most likely on former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, former New York governor George Pataki, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Which means for the near future Florida's two contenders, former governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, will remain in the hunt and on stage. And that is creating an interesting dynamic.

As the field is winnowed, the former allies seem to be approaching having a race within a race. And polls are indicating that GOP voters might be witnessing a reversal of fortune.

Even before he formally announced in June, Bush, despite the family baggage he had to tote, was judged the most formidable candidate in the contest. He had name recognition, of course, as well as the backing of powerful forces within the Republican establishment, a successful record as the governor of a large and diverse state that could likely decide the election and had quickly raised $100 million.

Such factors showed up in voter surveys, as Bush consistently polled in double digits, and hovered around 20 percent by some measures in mid-June.

Rubio polled well after he declared, then faded to the middle of the pack. Yet the most recent national polls show Rubio surpassing Bush, or right on his heels.

Bush, once tormented mostly by Trump, now is beginning to reflect Rubio's rise by shifting his attention toward him. In interviews in recent days Bush has contrasted his experience as governor to Rubio's background in the Florida House, which Rubio led as speaker when he departed because of term limits. "Marco ... followed my lead," Bush noted to MSNBC when discussing that both served in Tallahassee "And I'm proud of that."

Bush also has likened Rubio to President Barack Obama, pointing out that Florida's junior senator, like the current president, was midway through his first term when he decided to run for president. "Look, we had a president who came in and said the same kind of thing — new and improved, hope and change - and he didn't have the leadership skills to fix things," said Bush on CNN. "What we need is someone with proven leadership."

One anonymous Bush backer told Politico, which reported that both will woo Wall Street donors later this month, that the guest list to Bush's event was "the varsity squad," adding that "I'm not sure Rubio's would even qualify as the junior varsity."

The media and, by extension, the public become too fixated on the ebb and flow of campaign pools, and so a contest to decide the fate of our country for the near term, which should be a battle of ideas and policies, can devolve into the equivalent of picking the homecoming king, or queen.

But only if we let it.




0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Newspaper Contributors
Oct. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
About the author About the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Star ParkerUpdated 7 Oct 2015
Michelle Malkin
Michelle MalkinUpdated 7 Oct 2015
Jacob Sullum
Jacob SullumUpdated 7 Oct 2015

13 May 2015 Election lessons learned from the British

18 Sep 2015 Republicans Once Again Paint Themselves Into a No-Win Corner

22 Mar 2010 Let the Sunshine In