Can Republicans Field a Formidable Candidate?
By Spencer Stukey
The current field for Republican candidates seeking the party’s nomination for president of the United States is certainly mind boggling. Fourteen potential nominees have been featured in major polls thus far leading up to the 2016 nomination. An attempt to follow the news trail the fourteen are leaving behind is exhausting and leads to the question as to why there are so many seeking the nomination. Without a clear leader thus far in the election cycle, it seems every Republican with even slight name recognition has thrown their name into the pool, even billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump has thrown in his own bid. Many political commentators such as Gail Collins of The New York Times, Bill O'Reily of Fox news, and Chris Mathews of CNBC have delved into deciphering who the presidential nominee will be. Without a clear leader and within a fractioned and broken party. Can they even present a formidable candidate to Democratic Challengers? It’s time to find out, here we
The modern Republican Party had a very muddled foundation that led to the nomination, and eventual election, of a relatively unknown: Abraham Lincoln. The formation of the party was based off of former Whigs, Free Soilers, and modernizers amongst abolitionist. Similar to the current situation the party was a varied mix of individuals that had one common unifying factor: to oppose the Democrats and those who favored slavery. In 1854 Republicans were finding common grounds on opposing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, today we see unification on the grounds of moving the economy forward in a positive direction though the means of taxes, job growth, and federal spending/debt ceiling.
When the Republican Party was founded it was not clear what the most important issue was for the American electorate. Important issues included western expansion, states’ rights, ( those not granted to congress by the constitution) and slavery/free labor. Under a variety of candidates focusing on different topics, the electorate was able to voice what was most important to them whilst they were voting for a candidate. Slavery was the most important issue, and Abraham Lincoln was selected as the nominee becuase of his focus on the topic. The fast growing western states held the power in the election, and voiced their opinion on the topic of slavery, and Abraham Lincoln. Similarly, an implication such a large field will allow the American voters to have their say in what issue is most important via selection of candidates. This is important because it has the potential to steer the direction of the country for the next several years if a Republican is the next President of the United States.
As the current election progresses, we see candidates withdrawing their bids for the nomination including Rick Perry and his stance on national security and special interest groups. Also, Bobby Jindal suspending his campaign focused partly on immigration and tax reform. Delving into these two former contenders’ campaigns it is notable that the points of taxes and immigration are not important to the voters, just that their respective viewpoints are currently not in favor with the voters. Slowly, we are seeing what viewpoints are important to the voters as the Republican field is narrowing. This should create a candidate who is interested in topics that voters care about, and thus should create a popular candidate. According to the past, we may be witnessing the building of the next President.
So when asked “who cares who the Republican nominee is?” the answer should be YOU. The voters will are making evident what issues are most important by whittling down the pool of potential Republican contenders. By examining a historical election with a variety of candidate it becomes clear that mess of potential candidates can, and may very likely, be host to the next President of the United Sates.