A new report questions if the Republican Party is done choosing the establishment candidate to represent it in presidential elections.
The party's history of picking establishment candidates is the subject of a Roll Call story
by Stuart Rothenberg.
The GOP, writes Rothenberg, has been going with the establishment candidate for decades — but is that practice over, with a wide-open (and very deep) field jostling for position as the Republican front-runner in the 2016 campaign?
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is expected to announce his candidacy for president
on June 15, would most likely be the establishment choice for the GOP nominee in next year's election. After all, his father and brother both served as president, and most of his beliefs and policies align nicely with the Republican Party line.
But Bush, writes Rothenberg, "has more political baggage than normally associated with that support." Further, he faces a handful of strong Republican candidates that cannot be considered part of the establishment.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
, for example, is seen as a rising star in the GOP. He joined the presidential race in April and although he has somewhat a limited amount of funds
— at least compared to Bush
— to spend on the primary season, his views could sway voters in his direction.
There's also Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
, who leads in many national polls before he has even joined the race. He's expected to announce his 2016 plans
after his state's budget is put together by the end of June.
Walker "came out of nowhere," according to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh,
to take the early lead in GOP polls. Whether his momentum slows down remains to be seen, but Walker has not yet earned the title "establishment candidate for president" in his political life.
Rothenberg argues that GOP voters are tired of the same old happenings in Washington.
"The Republican Party continues to change," Rothenberg writes. "Rank-and-file GOP voters are angrier and more frustrated after eight years of Barack Obama's presidency, and they are looking for new voices that reflect their frustration and desire to roll back the Obama years."
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