We have been told that the GOP primary is a two-man race. We have been told that a political outsider could never win. And we have been told that only a moderate could seize enough votes to defeat Obama in 2012.
That all adds up to what I call a bunch of nonsense. So let’s break down the truth.
The GOP primary has never been a two-man race. Candidates’ approval numbers have risen and fallen as they have successfully — or unsuccessfully — articulated their vision for America’s future. That pattern will continue straight through to Election Day, as voters delve more deeply into candidates’ records and candidates succeed, stumble, hold each other accountable, and showcase their ability — or lack thereof — to resonate with voters.
Media hype about a two-man race or anything of the sort is just that — hype. It’s also an attempt to control the narrative, which voters are far too smart to let happen.
When it comes to the notion of political outsiders, Americans from across the political spectrum share a clear and profound dissatisfaction with politics as usual.
A recent Rasmussen survey found that "just 9 percent of likely U.S. voters rate the job Congress is doing as good or excellent." A Gallup poll recently revealed that “Americans are more than twice as likely to blame the federal government in Washington (64%) for the economic problems facing the United States as they are the financial institutions on Wall Street (30%).”
Many Americans have had it with Democrats and Republicans who practice self-serving, you-do-for-me-I-do-for-you, you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours political games. Those games, and the phony deals that often emerge from them, do absolutely nothing to serve the needs of the voters who gave those politicians authority.
Americans distrust politicians, and if there was ever a time when a political outsider could have a shot at the highest-ranking office in the land, this is it.
And now for my favorite talking point — that only a moderate could defeat Obama in 2012. It is utterly ridiculous, especially if you were paying attention in 2008.
John McCain received a much-needed boost in the polls in September of 2008. The reason? Two words — Sarah Palin. As revealed in USA Today on September 8 of 2008, “The Republican National Convention has given John McCain and his party a significant boost, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend shows, as running mate Sarah Palin helps close an ‘enthusiasm gap’ that has dogged the GOP all year.
"McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by 50%-46% among registered voters, the Republican's biggest advantage since January and a turnaround from the USA TODAY poll taken just before the convention opened in St. Paul.”
Conservatives finally had a reason to pay attention and get involved. Hence the $7 million immediate bump in contributions to the McCain camp.
Of course McCain’s decision to suspend his campaign over the bailout was the beginning of the end. But the more important issue to keep in mind as we approach 2012 is that without Sarah Palin, McCain’s campaign would have received no bump whatsoever. Without voter enthusiasm from conservatives, McCain would have been consistently destroyed in the polls by a man who summoned a wealth of voter enthusiasm from his left-wing base.
McCain didn’t lose the race because of Palin; he was kept alive in the race because of her. He lost because of a market crash that was blamed on Republicans and because of his own preposterous decisions.
The fire that a strong conservative brought to the ticket in 2008 will be needed in 2012. It will be needed to keep the conservative base active, involved, committed, and ready to take on Obama, his left-wing cohorts, and his media allies.
Another important point: Barack Obama is losing Independents by the day. A September McClatchy-Marist poll found that 53 percent of independents plan on voting against Obama.
A July Pew Research poll revealed that 54 percent of independents disapproved of Obama’s job performance. If independents are disheartened with Obama’s policies, why would they embrace a big-government Republican? Wouldn’t they be more likely to take a good look at someone who represents our president’s opposite?
Bottom line: This president’s record is a disaster. Americans are out of work and they’re hungry for practical, commonsense solutions. If we want to defeat Obama in 2012, we need a candidate who can keep the conservative base inspired and involved, while presenting an alternate vision and alternate record to our campaigner-in-chief.
The best candidate to defeat Obama is the strongest conservative we can spot on the stage. Hands down.
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