Hunstman out. Bachmann out. Ron Paul won’t admit that he is also out. Maybe because he hears South Carolina calling. Rick Santorum just keeps bobbling around and getting odd support here and there (like Iowa’s Secretary of State, Matt Shultz, conservative activist Richard Viguerie, and evangelicals). Just enough to make him stick around a little longer. And now Rick Perry is slated to drop out and endorse Newt.
Slowly the GOP field is winnowing itself down to the core candidates. Romney and Gingrich both see themselves as the next GOP candidate for President in the general elections come November. (Paul may not be out, but only because he is stubborn.) Which is why both Romney and Gingrich are pulling out all the stops. Videos, stump speeches, radio interviews.
We all know the Democrat nominee will be the sitting President. Despite the calls form various groups for Hillary, or anyone else, to run. In New Hampshire, despite being the sitting President and having only the odd rival (Vermin Supreme and Craig “Tax Freeze” Freis, among others), along with the usual write-in ballots, Obama only took a little over 82% of the Democrat only Primary votes. (Obama = 48,970 votes, Rivals = 4,806 votes, write-ins = 5908.) One has to wonder how many votes a Hillary Clinton would have garnered.
Amidst calls from a growing number of Party members to go with a candidate who is unacceptable to them, the idea of having to accept a re-election of President Obama, is causing more and more GOP voters to swing in the direction of Mitt Romney. In recent polls, the former MA governor is finding more and more people leaning his way.
No matter how many debates the candidates ‘perform’ in, the voters are stuck with the inevitable question – who can defeat President Obama?
And the answers are not coming any time soon. With the evangelical endorsements influencing the church goers of the Southland toward Santorum, Northern states’ choice of the lesser evil of Romney, the fiery speech of Perry, Ron Paul’s odd relationship with tea party loyalists and the national popularity of Gingrich is muddying the waters determining who the GOP candidate will be.
The Primary schedule holds little clues as to when a true front runner will be determined. Even the fabled Super Tuesday of March 6th will not reveal it. (Ten states are slated to hold their caucuses or primaries that day – Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.) Other big states that may hold clues are later. Pennsylvania and New York (April 24th), Texas (April 3rd), and California (June 5th) carry the largest block of delegates. Utah will hold the final Primary on June 26th. The ‘winner’ may not be decided upon until then. Or it may even be some odd political catastrophe will rear its unintended head at the National Convention in Tampa, FL on August 27th. (Just a mere 220 days, 9 hours, 56 minutes and 20 seconds – as of my visit to their website during the writing of this piece.)
With all the candidates, including the President, focusing their energies on the election, it is a difficult time for voters to know just who the best candidate is to vote for come this November. Only the loyalist who listen to and believe all the spin are certain. Everyone else is having a hard time. Many are just ignoring the Primary season and dealing with the everyday troubles of real life.
Voters who continually hear about lobbyists, big-time donors and loaded campaign war chests,” writes freelance journalist Laura Scott (1961 – 2011). “Feel less and less of a connection to candidates.”