By: Josh Raines
Like it or not the Republicans will be trying to nominate a person in 2012 who can beat President Obama. I am sure we can all agree that depending on a variety of circumstances this may or may not be possible. But regardless of who wins the Presidency in four years from now, who will the Republicans nominate?
I believe I can accurately narrow the list of Candidates who will have a shot at taking on President Obama in four years. I will use mainly historical analysis to narrow the list of possible contenders and make an accurate prediction.
If we take a look at the most recent Presidential Republican primary in 2008, we find that John McCain was the Republican’s choice over all the rest. But was John McCain just lucky, was it hard work or was it fate? I would argue that is was all of the above, however we will look at fate.
My hypothesis is that Republicans rarely, if ever nominate a Candidate they are not familiar with or someone who is new on the scene. Democrats on the other hand I would argue throw their support behind just about anybody no matter what.
If we look at John McCain we must ask our selves, was he new to the scene? The Answer is no, he is a long time Republican Senator from the state of Arizona. He has been a leader in the party and the Senate. More importantly however is the fact that he ran against George W. Bush in 2000. This gave him I believe his shot at being nominated this year.
If we go back four years ago there were no primaries due to the fact that George W. Bush was already the President running for re-election.
If we go back to the 2000 Primaries we have the winner as George W. Bush as the Republican nominee. I would argue that Bush had great name recognition from his father which allowed him to circumvent my hypothesis. I guess in a way he can be my exception to the rule however he was still known by the party through his dad.
Let’s now travel back to the 1996 primaries. We have the winner Bob Dole taking the stage, however not for the first time. If we look back in history we will find that not only had Dole like McCain been a Republican leader in the Senate but he also ran on the ticket with President Ford in 1976 which I believe helped him get his shot at taking on President Clinton.
If we travel back further to the 1992 primaries we find the winner of the Republican nomination as none other than George H. W. Bush. Now Bush the First was certainly no newbie to politics, he was Vice-President to Ronald Reagan and had been a congressman, Ambassador and director CIA. While all of these things are good, I believe what gave him his shot was the fact that he ran in 1980 and lost to the Great Communicator.
The 1984 primaries did not exist due to the fact the Gipper was already the President and he was running for re-election.
Going back to the 1980 Republican primaries we find the victor, Ronald Reagan clinching the nomination. While Ronald Reagan may be one of my favorite Presidents I still believe that the only reason he got his shot was due to my hypothesis. While Reagan had great experience running the biggest state in our country this would have been meaningless if he had not ran against Ford in 1976, which gave him the familiarity needed to prevail in 1980.
1976 is a very strange election to analyze because I have never really considered Ford to be an actual President (Constitution stipulates Presidents must be elected by college electors). Never the less Ford won the nomination not because of his years of service in the house or as Vice-President but mainly because he was the “President” technically running for re-election.
The 1972 primaries were not needed due to the fact that Dick Nixon was being kicked around, and he was the current Republican president running for Re-election.
This brings us to our final example of the 1968 Republican primaries. We find our victor Richard Milhous Nixon. The main reason for his success was due to his prior success in winning the Republican nomination eight years earlier in 1960. Having already won a nomination one can argue that he would have familiarity just under being the President already.
So now for the fun stuff, predicting who the nominee for the Republicans will be in 2012. Based on our historical analysis we can accurately predict that the next Republican nominee will be a person who the party is already familiar with. In my opinion this will leave only two possible people who could clinch the nomination. I believe the first and most obvious is of course Sarah Palin current governor of Alaska and the Vice-Presidential nominee in 2008. The other person who I can see winning the nomination is former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. Huckabee did fairly well in the 2008 primary despite starting out as a second tier candidate. Huckabee currently has a show on Fox News which I believe will continue to help with his familiarity and name recognition, not only with the Republicans but with the nation as a whole.
Other names that have been mentioned are former Governor Mit Romney and current Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Governor Romney would be a perfect candidate for my hypothesis and I do believe he could win, however he has already stated he will not run in 2012. Bobby Jindal would be great if he can win, however as my historical analysis has shown he may be to new to the scene in order to win the Republican nomination.
I really look forward to hearing some of everyone’s thoughts and opinions. I think this is a very good hypothesis and perhaps even a theory? You guys be the judge, but I do believe there is some sort of pattern!