Monday, March 14, 2011
Only 603 days til Election day!
Should we care?
It doesn't just seem like election seasons are starting earlier than they used to. They start earlier now. Back in 1968, Robert Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey weren't even declared until after New Hampshire and the first person to declare against L.B.J. was Gene McCarthy in November 1967. I was looking back at more recent polls from about 20 months before the general election and most years, the front runners from February or March a year before were the nominees. In 1995, it was assumed Bob Dole was the standard bearer and he was beating Clinton in head to head match-ups. Bush was the assumed front runner in 1999. The biggest recent error was in 2007, when the polls showed Rudy Guiliani the person hardest to catch and ahead of Hillary Clinton (or Barack Obama) in important battleground states.
The thing is, in most recent elections, there would be several people declared to be running by now. No one has actually declared yet, so we get nonsensical speculation that puts former reality TV star Sarah Palin as something akin to a "front runner". We also have Newt Gingrich, who is at least fifteen years past his freshness date, Mitt Romney, who is almost exactly what the Tea Party doesn't want, and Rick Santorum, who has the problem that Googling his name brings up an unsavory sex act. Donald Trump seems to be completely blissfully unaware that people don't like him very much.
As for Michele Bachmann, she's like the anti-matter version of Dennis Kucinich, but without the good looking wife.
It's my best guess that none of the above will be the party's nominee come the summer of 2012, and if any of them are, the Republicans will be hard pressed to win the White House.
But again, it's 603 days until the votes are counted. Maybe it's best if we don't care about it just yet and get down to the business of how to get out of this mess that started on the Republican watch, largely due to the Republican idea that wide scale theft by the rich helps everybody and that markets can regulate themselves.