Monday, September 5, 2011

Republican Primary Concerns: Which Candidate Will Come Out on Top

Candidates in presidential primaries tend to swing to their respective ideological extremes in order to galvanize their party base and garner enough support for the coming general election. The GOP presidential primary has been characterized by candidates that have attempted to solidify the support of the Tea Party movement by taking a strict stance on taxes, government spending, and spending cuts. The race is shaping up to be a binary choice between Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The article I linked highlights how the Republican primary is starting to shape up as "a choice between one candidate who looks electable and another who might be inevitable". Mitt Romney's more moderate political stances may make him a more appealing candidate to independent voters which any presidential candidate needs in order to win a general election. Perry's lack of financial resources due to his late announcement and his more extreme political views may resonate with Tea Party activists and die-hard spending hawks but come general election time may be seen as a political weakness rather than strength, especially when one considers the enormous financial war-chest President Obama has at his disposal. This is especially interesting when one considers the importance of coalition building and compromise in a modern democracy. Both Adams in Democracy and Smith in The Power Game emphasis the importance of coalition building to governing. A more extremist Republican candidate like Perry in my opinion would jeopardize the ability of Congress to compromise on a myriad of vital issues and make progress much more difficult, especially given the lack of a political mandate for how to proceed. Will the Republican Party choose to nominate a more moderate candidate with a greater appeal for the general election or will the more extreme fringes of the GOP prevail and nominate Governor Perry for the Republican ticket? Thoughts class?

1 comment:

TJE said...

GOP establishment may soon weigh in: