Monday, June 13, 2011

Crowded Conservative GOP Field Bodes Well for Moderates

For the record, I do still fear that my two favorite candidates for the 2012 GOP Presidential Nomination (Herman Cain and Ron Paul) may hurt each other's candidacies by splitting the Tea Party vote and thus diluting each of their chances to capture statewide races, which in turn could potentially result in another moderate winning the nomination - not because he or she is the most popular candidate, but because the other cluster of candidates were too similar on the issues for any one of them to distinguish themselves enough to outshine the rest.

For example, if four in every five of Republican voters want a strong conservative to win the nomination, and there are eight strong conservatives and one moderate in the race, the moderate could end up winning the party nod by virtue of the other candidates destroying each other's chances by splitting up the conservative and Tea Party votes such that a moderate with 20% of the vote would defeat eight candidates who average 10% each, with none of them eclipsing the 20% held by the moderate.

We all saw how well the moderate Republican fared against Obama in 2008. I hope the the candidates do not allow their personal ambitions to work counterproductive to each of their stated goals by dividing up the conservative vote in such a way that the least desirable candidate gets in thanks to the crowded field of hard-right candidates.

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