Is an “acceptable” candidate electable in a general election for President?
A recent Gallup Poll, found that a majority of Republicans polled found only two candidates currently in the running, Romney and Gingrich, to be acceptable to them. That is, more than 50% found them that way. All the other candidates – Bachmann, Perry, Cain (who recently “suspended” his campaign), Paul, Huntsman and Santorum – fell on the other side of 50%. The un-acceptable side.
In poll after poll, conducted by groups like Red State, Gallup, Politico and Rasmussen, all are finding that the rank and field voter are not very happy with who they have to choose from from the GOP field. Some only include Republicans, others add in Independents. But all are finding the same thing.
Voters are not interested who the party establishment wants as President. Even if one candidate “wins” the GOP nomination, it will not be as the undisputed choice of the people. It will simply be a matter of attrition. Either the candidates will winnow themselves out by, as Cain did, suspending their bid. Or they will simply not get many votes in the Primary elections and call it quits.
This bodes ill for anyone interested in toppling Obama in the November 2012 Presidential elections, as is the message of so many GOP and conservative groups such as the Tea Party Express and Freedom Works. The resultant GOP nominee, not being the true choice of the voters, will not be able to pull anything together in order to beat a popular Democratic choice such as the sitting President in a face to face duel at the polls.
Some speculate that a candidate will come in – possible Gov. Chris Christie of NJ or US Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) – at either the last minute or post-convention and excite the GOP ranks. But the liklihood of that is very low due in part to finances of mounting such a last minute campaign successfully.
More likely is that “none of the above” will prove to be the most popular choice among GOP voters and cause them to stay at home during the Primaries and the General Election.
There is an outside chance that someone will emerge from the internet as a write-in candidate, backed by some big money to capture this ambiguity. But even that is highly improbable.
The resultant disconnect between the party machine and the voters is that Barack Obama will win a second term as President.