GOP Faces Dilemma with Presidential Field

Wednesday, 01 Jun 2011 11:30 AM

By Dan Weil

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It’s almost always difficult to beat an incumbent. And the Republican Party is discovering that with its presidential campaign roster, The Hill reports.

gop dilemma, candidates, presidentSome of the candidates with the most pizzazz – hardcore conservatives – have little chance to beat President Barack Obama, who has moved toward the center on policy this year. And some of the ones who are less dynamic now appear most likely to gain the nomination.

Meanwhile, some of the strongest potential candidates are staying out of the race in fear that nobody can best Obama next year.

Those with the wow factor who are seen as major underdogs against Obama include Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and successful businessman Herman Cain. Those seen lacking in charisma but likely to win the nomination include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

And potentially strong candidates who have vowed to stay out of the race include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“The most surprising is the fact that the party’s woes are largely self-inflicted, and a result of the party buying the narrative from a source it so often distrusts — the media,” according to The Hill.

Rep. Mike Pence, Ind., is a case in point. Last December, he considered running. Conservative heavyweight Erick Erickson of and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey supported him.

But early this year, Obama’s popularity started to rebound, and Pence decided to stay out. That pattern was repeated by Sen. John Thune, S.D., and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. So now the GOP is in a pickle.

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