Social Question

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Is there anyone in the GOP capable of beating Obama in 2012?

Asked by JeanPaulSartre (5779points) April 29th, 2010

The GOP has been whittling itself into a smaller and smaller sliver of society since at least the 90s. Continually saying “if you disagree with us on X then you’re too liberal” will do this… For example, my father, a life long republican, is no longer, because he is pro-choice. Is there anyone left in this dwindling party with the ability to beat a sitting president, particularly one with the draw and war chest of Obama?

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53 Answers

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Zombie Reagan.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Zombie Eisenhower. No, wait, he’d probably be too left-leaning today.

Yup, Zombie Reagan.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Hell, I’d vote for Zombie Ike @aprilsimnel!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I will say no, for now but am cautious ‘cause hell, you never know what can crawl out by that time.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Honestly, if anyone has gained a whole truckload of momentum in recent years, it’s been Sarah Palin. I don’t see any other notable standouts in the GOP.
The only other republicans making any noise right now are the ones getting busting for soliciting gay sex.

Guy123123's avatar

I am a democrat, but if they changed the constitution so people who werent born in America could run for president, i would vote (if i could) for Arnold shwarzenneger

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Dude, Schwarzenegger is running my state and my state is broke.

chyna's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy Let’s hope Ms. Palin doesn’t run and isn’t elected. How long into the presidency would she just quit as she did at being the Governor of Alaska?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I still wouldn’t vote for her but lots will.

WestRiverrat's avatar

As long as the Rupublicans keep trying to run Democrat Lite candidates, they will lose.
Democrats do what they do so much better than Republicans can.

If a republican candidate wants to win, (s)he has to run, not as just less of the same but as something completely different.

janbb's avatar

Time will tell.

Zen_Again's avatar

Besides Palin?

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

@CaptainHarley West is awfully obscure though.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

I don’t think Palin could do it – too far to the right.

Guy123123's avatar

I know that arnold isnt the best fiscally, but i really support his green movement actions, I think global warming should be the first issue the united states should adress, and i think other countries like china will follow

Zen_Again's avatar

Zombie Arnold?

lynfromnm's avatar

Obama basically came out of nowhere when most people thought Clinton would get the nomination. Maybe there’s a Republican hovering on the edge of national notice too.
And there’s always the wild card, Ron Paul.

primigravida's avatar

Huckabee might give it a go again, or even Newt Gingrich. Still got lots of time for other people to pop out of the woodwork, though.

Blackberry's avatar

I think we will have to wait for some decent, rational republican to pop up. A lot of GOPers seem to right-wing and make themselves look bad. If someone can project republican views without seeming fundamentalist or ‘my way or the highway’ then they could have a chance. Or, like someone else said: Ron Paul FTW.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m sure there are a number of Republican state governors that could make a decent go at it.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

Huckabee and Gingrich would both be nightmare candidates. Huckabee is much too religious and right-leaning and Gingrich is a right-wing, racist nutjob. Sarah Palin has proven to be comical at best, but there ARE a lot of extremist Teabaggers that willingly eat up anything she has to say whether it’s the truth or not. Although, what she has to say usually bears no resemblance at all to actual truth. She just likes to stir the shit, then hope she floats to the top. Honestly, I think Obama really hasn’t done too badly so far. The Republicans just can’t get past being beaten so badly in 2008 and now they’re posturing and acting up like a spoiled-rotten little kids. I really do try very hard to not align myself with any one party, but I think that if the Republicans are going to have even a ghost of a chance at winning in 2012, Ron Paul would be their best bet.

CaptainHarley's avatar


I’m really beginning to wonder if Fluther is the best place for me to hang out. When I read this sort of radical, mindless, left-wing bullshit, I dispair for the US. How can you believe that one party is composed of saints, and the other party composed of “right-wing, racist nutjobs?” I can quote you chapter and verse of left-wing, racist BS from BOTH parties. Are you blind or just too much of a left-wing nutcase yourself??

jerv's avatar

@CaptainHarley It’s a backlash really. A few years of W, then dealing with Palin and Glen Beck can cause a lot of outrage and actually push people to the Left.

However, I think it safe to say that there are actually quite a few people here that agree with you and I that neither party is particularly great. If I were not nearly certain that it’s been asked before, I’d ask how many people want a viable third-party candidate.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

I never said that any of the parties were saints. What answer were you reading? Radical left-wing bullshit, huh? Why because I think for myself and don’t let the major parties or the Teabaggers provide my narrative? Understand that I am treading lightly, because I know people like you are going to piss and moan if I say anything bad about the Republicans, but the truth is, the democrats are just as bad, but they’re behaving a lot more like adults than the Republicans and some their constituents at this point. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some real whackos in that party as well. You can quote all the right-wing BS you want to, but I’m not so blind that I can’t see the good that’s been done so far. Maybe if the Republicans worried more about what ALL of America wants than worrying about serving big business and the upcoming elections, they’d all be able work together as a cohesive unit and actually make some f**king progress. That you ultimately resorted to name-calling without having all your facts straight was not completely unexpected.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Do you have any idea why the Democrats won’t address the immigration issue? And what’s your idea of “progress?” And what do you mean by “people like me?”

Nullo's avatar

There’s a more-than-decent chance that ol’ Barry will beat himself.

jerv's avatar

@CaptainHarley I thought it had to do with the fact that we have so many other problems going on here and that they were trying to cut through the GOP obstructionism since the current crop of Republicans would filibuster roll call if they could just to be a pain in the Dem’s necks. Hell, just the latter task occupies so much time that I don’t think we’ll get to immigration until one party or the other manages a filibuster-proof super-majority.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@CaptainHarley – No, I don’t except that it’s another one of those issues where people tend to lose their fucking minds if they’re not the ones calling all the shots and nobody in their right mind wants to open that can of worms when the populace is so bitterly divided in thought. I don’t really give a crap what the major parties stand for. It always seems to be the exact opposite of what the people need and want.

My idea or progress would be to get the greed out of the system, fix what’s already broken, make improvements on the rest and ultimately let everyone get back to a normal life where everyone can be healthy and happy, have enough to eat and not have to worry that corporations are continually trying to sell us down the river or control what we eat, think, say and believe. We need to make the government work for us, not against us without cutting our own throats. That’s what I would call progress.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@CaptainHarley – It would also be nice if the parties could concentrate on their similar interests rather than always arguing about the differences, which are probably much smaller than people and politicians want to believe. That approach is well worn and, so far, has gotten us absolutely nowhere.

Kraigmo's avatar

The Republican party is full of loyalists, business cronies, military industrialists, and religious hacks, and everyone knows it now. But… if they quit sidelining their own Ron Paul and give him some support… that is the one man they have who can pose a very strong threat to President Obama’s re-election.

dalepetrie's avatar

Don’t forget that Bush Jr. was President for two terms…given the right circumstances, which we can’t even imagine what they will be, any Republican could beat Obama. Fortunes can turn incredibly fast in politics. If you followed the 538 blog during the election season in 2008, you would have seen that Obama had a lead over McCain in the projections (which turned out to be eerily accurate), and even though he won handily (by like 10 million votes and almost 200 electoral votes), within a couple days after the Republican convention, after Republicans were “electrified” by McCain’s choice of Palin for VP, McCain took the lead in projections. For over a week it looked like McCain would have won if the election had been held right then. We’re talking about 2 or 3 weeks before the election, McCain would have won, even though ultimately he was deemed by far the worse choice by a fairly large majority.

Basically, what you have in politics is a situation where something like 40–50% of the people who are eligible to vote just plain don’t. One thing Obama had going for him was that he inspired people who wouldn’t have normally voted at all. It’s going to be a function of whether he can energize enough people who might not otherwise vote to come out in support of him again, plus how many of the people in the middle either side can sway. Basically, both sides have a core of support that is about the same size, it’s really almost ⅓ of the people who vote are going to vote for the Republicans and ⅓ are going to vote for the Democrats no matter what….it’s about who can get the majority of that last ⅓. And really, since that ⅓ is also broken down into thirds…people who lean left, people who lean right and those truly in the middle, you’re really only looking at about 1/9th of the people who vote even being up for grabs. And since only about 3/5 of people vote in a good year, you’re talking about 1/15th of the people, you have to convince just over half of these people that you’re better, so basically about 3% of the population…if you can reach that 3%, the election is yours.

This means essentially that you have two pools to draw from when running for President…you try to get more of that 3%, or try to supplement what you don’t get of that 3% by getting even a few of that 40% of non voters to come out in support of you. Obama managed both things in 2008, whether he can do it again is going to be a function of how he is perceived by what essentially amounts to the 3% of the people in this country who vote, but whose opinions shift with the slightest political winds. The right event (or even lie) placed at just the right moment could do him in and make any Republican. If Republicans want to win, they’ll probably have to pick someone who has the ability to excite the electorate. This was what McCain sensed, he knew he wasn’t going to win without playing personality politics and picking someone who was a gamble, which is why he picked Palin, because she had the shock value to make this a game changer. It was a race against time at that point, if he’d been able to wait maybe 2 or 3 more weeks before picking a running mate, he could have won it. What Republicans need to do is to find someone who can excite people along a broad spectrum, but who won’t be made to look too foolish along the way, while casting a bad light on Obama’s tenure.

The big wild cards here are also a) what happens this year in the mid-terms, b) what Obama accomplishes between now and then and perhaps more importantly, what he seems to have accomplished, c) and perhaps most importantly, the economy, and d) Republicans’ being able to pull together as a national party enough so that they’re not being torn in 4 different directions.

Roby's avatar

Hope so!!!

mattbrowne's avatar

Someone younger with a Colin Powell mindset. They must be out there somewhere.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@dalepetrie – Agreed, although I really can’t see the Republicans becoming cohesive enough group to pull a win out of the hat. They need to distance themselves from the various extremist factions within their own party and maybe show a little solidarity in terms other than their irrational dislike of liberals and Democrats.

jerv's avatar

@dalepetrie Bread and circuses?

@Rufus_T_Firefly I don’t know about that. It seems to me that extremism is working pretty well for them so far. Sure, the more intelligent swing-voters may be turned off, but never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. Yahoos can vote too.
That said, the Democrats have been factionalized since… well, since inception and they aren’t doing too badly.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think a moderate Republican could win the Republican primary without moving far to the right.

@CaptainHarley Your characterization of left-wingers on fluther as “mindless nut jobs” is both insulting and mindless in its own right. In my experience, liberals here are on top of the data and their analysis makes sense while the conservatives operate almost purely on ideology. Facts don’t seem to make a difference to many conservatives.

Your critique about immigration policy is obsolete now, since the Democrats have introduced something, if I am to believe the morning news. Although, I’m sure we have very different understandings of how we should handle this problem. That’s for another question, though.

For whatever reason, these days, I tend to avoid the political questions. They never seem to get anywhere. Everyone is preaching to the choir. I might dip in once in a while, but I find most of the debate rather tiresome. @dalepetrie can do the honors since he generally says things I agree with, and does so at even greater length than I do.

lynfromnm's avatar

I think this discussion illustrates beautifully that a two-party system doesn’t produce or reward the best candidates, and that a two party system merely exacerbates whatever divisive hot buttons are currently around to push. The two party system tends to thwart rather than facilitate problem solving. We’ve been so married to it for so long that we can’t conceive of any other kind of election process or governing. A candidate who isn’t a member of either major party – Bob Barr, for example, appeals to me just because he has the guts not to belong to either.

softtop67's avatar

I am surprised no one mentioned Mitt Romney, seems to me he is a strong candidate and can beat Obama depending on the economics come election time. 10% Unemployment or worse will make it tough for an incumbant President. Plus it takes the Health Card off the table since Mass had Universal Healthcare under Romney

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

@softtop67 – That’s a very scary thought.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Excellent answer. The two-party system is so entrenched now that it would take an event of massive proportions to shake it loose.

DocteurAville's avatar

I pray for a Cheney-Palin ticket.


jerv's avatar

@DocteurAville Yeah, that would either break the two-party system as the intelligent Conservatives clamored for someone else or get them both assassinated. Of course, then they’d be martyrs…

DocteurAville's avatar


Yes. Then there would be ninety days mourning period —which would thereafter become national holidays— where fifty percent would solemnly dress only in red; even when in the shower.

CaptainHarley's avatar

LMAO! Y’all ain’t right! : P

jerv's avatar

@CaptainHarley You don’t have to be crazy to live in 21st-century America, but it helps ;)

CaptainHarley's avatar


Hey! OMG! Something ELSE we agree on! This has GOT to cease! : D

mattbrowne's avatar

I think @DocteurAville is joking.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I agree with you about Mitt Romney. I dont agree with much of what he says, but he does own Clear Channel Communications, which is the largest owner of full-power AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations and twelve radio channels on XM Satellite Radio, and is also the largest pure-play radio station owner and operator.
Im pretty sure come election time, he is gonna be allll over the place.

Remember this movie?
“This tube can make or break Presidents” Howard Beale

DocteurAville's avatar

Rufus & Matt Brownie,

Nice avatar Rufus. Ah the days I could afford good cigars.

Look, just look around and tell me if such a thing is implausible. That is not a joke, that actually could go down before you incredulous eyes. I tell you…

To more accuracy it doesn’t matter who. Mitt Romney come up with a similar plan Obama did in his state. Actually some media folks are after him for that.

I think the whole thing is the usual mambo-jambo to a state that what matters is to be and act contrary to the opposing platform. No ideas. No idealism. Why these folks don’t regulate themselves in a way so that, if one of them is caught on wrong doing they go in like everyone else. There is where WE should focus on.

By the way, the goldies will walk free. Once more.

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