Sabato: GOP Presidential Field 'Nearly Set'

Monday, 23 May 2011 05:01 PM

By Dan Weil

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The field of Republican presidential candidates that you see now will be pretty much what you get for the duration of the campaign, says University of Virginia politics professor Larry Sabato.

“If the history of presidential politics teaches us anything, it is that you cannot bludgeon someone into running for president,” he writes on Politico. “They either want it badly enough to endure the daily indignities of the campaign trail, or they don’t.”

Those who aren’t sure almost never run. “The probability is that the GOP field is nearly set,” Sabato maintains. “A draft of a reluctant candidate — if such a thing was ever truly genuine — has been relegated to the history books.”

But that doesn’t mean Republicans should despair, he says. “One of the alleged dwarfs will grow into a giant . . . If he is a mainstream candidate, he’ll have a real chance to defeat President Obama, should economic conditions be bad enough.”

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