April 10, 2014

IT'S THE PARTY OF GROWN-UPS:

Jeb Bush Has as Good a Shot as Anybody (HARRY ENTEN, 4/10/14, 538)

In the GOP, establishment support has usually foretold who will win the party's nod. When a Republican candidate has won the majority of endorsements from GOP public officials, he has also won the nomination, as discussed in the book "The Party Decides." Romney, for instance, took the most endorsements in 2012.

It may be true, as Emory University political science professor Alan Abramowitz pointed out, that the tea party is the "most politically active segment of the GOP electoral base." But since Barry Goldwater took the Republican nomination in 1964, politicians who have challenged the establishment candidate from the right have always lost: Rick Santorum in 2012, Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Pat Buchanan in 1996 are some examples; Ronald Reagan won the nomination in 1980 after gathering establishment support, but not in 1976 when he challenged Gerald Ford.

Bush's overall policy positions look like those of previous GOP nominees over the past 50 years. In an analysis of different ideological rating systems by FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver, Bush's ideology was similar on a left-right scale to Romney's and John McCain's.

Voters who support less extreme candidates can still swing Republican nominations, according to Henry Olsen of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative advocacy group. (Just ask Romney and McCain.) And even very conservative Republicans are concerned about winning the White House: The ability to defeat Obama was the No. 1 most important quality for a candidate in 2012. The GOP insiders that Rucker and Costa cite have deemed Bush an electable candidate (for now).
Posted by at April 10, 2014 6:30 PM
  
blog comments powered by Disqus
« HOW ABOUT A MASTERS CONTEST?: | Main | JUST BECAUSE AN ARGUMENT IS OVER DOESN'T STOP THE ARGUERS: »