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Yipes! Dozens of Republicans are thinking of running for president!

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OK, folks. Let’s have a show of hands here.

How many of you have thoughts or running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016?

Whoa!

That could be a problem, as we see HERE:

GOP strategists are starting to worry that the sheer number of potential candidates for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination could give an advantage to Democrats.

More than two dozen Republicans are eyeing the GOP presidential nomination, while on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton looks like she could coast to the crown.

Only a handful of Democrats are even circling Clinton, while the potential GOP field just continues to grow.

“To beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, you need a strong candidate,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said of his party’s 2016 contenders. “A crowded field has the potential to give Hillary a bigger leg up than she currently has.”

The contrast poses opportunities and threats for the GOP.

A winning candidate could emerge from a crowded primary stronger and battle tested, much as President Obama was strengthened from a 2008 primary fight with Clinton.

But a crowded primary could also weaken a GOP nominee by extending the fight and exhausting the eventual winner physically and financially.

Or, it could muddle things enough to allow a weaker nominee to emerge.

What’s clear right now is that Democrats and Republicans are looking at very different fields in 2016.

The GOP side is filled with well-known political names.

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) has repeatedly said he’s considering the race. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected by many to run, while Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) has sent signals that he’ll be a candidate just four years after his election to the Senate.

Many think former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will run, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) had been seen as a strong contender before his image was bruised with the GOP base over immigration reform.

Three 2012 also-rans — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — are thought to be mulling the race.

Iowa Rep. Steve King sparked rumors this week of a possible White House bid by announcing a visit to early-primary state South Carolina, while Rep. Pete King (N.Y.) made news last month when he made public his own presidential ambitions.

Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) was his party’s vice presidential candidate in 2012, a spot that is usually a springboard to becoming a presidential candidate. Govs. John Kasich (Ohio) and Scott Walker (Wis.) also have their supporters.

Then there are long shots like Donald Trump, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.).

(Snip)

Some see an advantage for the GOP in having a tougher primary field.

The advantage of a wide-open field is a “healthy” discussion of the future of the party, said GOP strategist John Feehery, a columnist for The Hill.

“It’s a fight for the soul of the party,” Feehery said. “It’s going to be a hell of a primary.”

Others argue that the more splintered the GOP field, the more likely a candidate will be pulled to the right, weakening them for the general election.

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3 Comments

  1. Neftali

    Palin and Bachmann won’t be running. Let’s stop that nonsense right now.

    No one outside of New York has heard of Rep. Pete King. He’s a non-factor.

    Hard to gauge anything Trump does. He has no chance of winning the nomination, but has a real good chance of being an annoying distraction that eats up valuable press time from more worthy candidates.

    Kasich has zero chance. He is essentially Walker-lite. Walker won on unions reforms, Kasich didn’t. I love Walker, but lack of a college degree will hurt him in national fund raising efforts. You need a boat load of money to win. Walker won’t get it.

    Perry? Oh please. He’s a joke. Santorum is an even bigger joke. Amazingly, Iowa Rep. Steve King is the biggest joke of them all.

    Huntsman is a good candidate, but the far right crazies will never give him the time of day. So he’s out. Jeb Bush? His own mother doesn’t want him to run. And regardless of the fact that Jeb would actually make a good President, the general public would never elect another Bush, and the smarter establishment types know this.

    Rubio? I’ve never seen a popular person plunge so fast. Unfortunately, Rubio is correct about needing immigration reform, and the Senate bill is a good one, but most Republicans are too stupid to know better. They are still calling it amnesty when 99% have no idea what’s actually in the bill. So Rubio won’t run.

    I said it before about Cruz, but I still don’t think he wants to make a run at the White House. He would rather have Harry Reid’s chair, or at least some day become President pro tempore of the Senate, which would put him 4th in Presidential Succession.

    So it comes down to Rand Paul vs. Chris Christie. Both are good candidates. Both have serious flaws. The point being that the GOP race is not as congested as the author is trying to project.

    On the other side, Hillary is no sure thing. Sometimes I think even she doesn’t know 100% if she wants to run or not. The last several months are the first time in decades she’s had any real time off. And it’s well known that her extensive traveling really took a toll on her health. Will the time off give her time to re-charge?

    There are other Democrats who aren’t waiting around to find out. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Vice President Joe Biden, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have all made, or have plans, to speak at Iowa soon. Details here:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/08/14/democrats_test_2016_waters_even_as_clinton_looms_119594.html

    So the Democratic side might be just as crowded as the GOP side.

  2. Steverino

    The large GOP field is an indication of how divisive the party has become over the past two elections. All things being considered the Democrats never had it so good.

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