GOP Candidates Go Double Digits – A Problem or a Blessing in Disguise?

By Sabrina Völz

electionsBefore we get to our top­ic at hand, let’s get out that Karaoke mic and get ready to sing a song to the tune of “Ten Lit­tle Indi­ans.” One lit­tle, two lit­tle, three lit­tle can­di­dates, four lit­tle, five lit­tle, six lit­tle can­di­dates, sev­en lit­tle, eight lit­tle, nine lit­tle can­di­dates, ten lit­tle Repub­li­can can­di­dates. For Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States, that is, if you haven’t yet heard. Well, not exact­ly ten. Jeb Bush, for­mer Gov­er­nor of Flori­da, just joined the race last Mon­day, and Don­ald Trump, a real estate tycoon, made his deci­sion pub­lic on Tues­day. And there are still a few poten­tial can­di­dates think­ing about throw­ing their hat in the race. So stay tuned. Now if you are seri­ous find­ing out who may make it to the Oval Office in the 2016 U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, then you’ll have some work to do. It won’t be easy, but there is no bet­ter time than the present to begin.

To be fair, I am going to intro­duce the oth­er can­di­dates in alpha­bet­i­cal order and in a blog-friend­ly way:

  • Ben Car­son, for­mer Head of Pedi­atric Neu­ro­surgery at John Hopkins
  • Ted Cruz, Sen­a­tor from Texas
  • Car­ly Fio­r­i­na, for­mer CEO of Hewlett-Packard
  • Lind­sey Gra­ham, Sen­a­tor from South­ern Carolina
  • Mike Huck­abee, for­mer Gov­er­nor of Arkansas and ordained minister
  • George Pata­ki, for­mer Gov­er­nor of New York
  • Rand Paul, Oph­thal­mol­o­gist and Sen­a­tor of Kentucky
  • Rick Per­ry, for­mer Gov­er­nor of Texas
  • Mario Rubio, sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Cuban Amer­i­can and Sen­a­tor from Florida
  • Rick San­to­rum, for­mer Sen­a­tor of Pennsylvania

As you can imag­ine, hav­ing so many GOP can­di­dates in the U.S. pres­i­den­tial race does pose a few challenges.

Imag­ine you are one of the can­di­dates men­tioned above. How will you get enough media atten­tion, and even more impor­tant­ly, how will you raise mon­ey, mon­ey, mon­ey with so many fel­low Repub­li­cans in the field? Will you go for flashy sound bites or will you focus on the issues? Will you build a bot­tom-up cam­paign like Barack Oba­ma did? Or go with the tried-and-true forms of tra­di­tion­al campaigning?

Imag­ine you are a jour­nal­ist try­ing to cov­er so many can­di­dates or stage a debate between them on tele­vi­sion. Now imag­ine the out­rage of those Repub­li­can can­di­dates who won’t get a spot in the first tele­vised debate because they are num­ber 11 or 12 on the list accord­ing to “the top 10 polling aver­age” – what­ev­er that is. Fox News has tried to solve this prob­lem by adding a “can­di­date forum” dur­ing after­noon pro­gram­ming pri­or to the air­ing of their first Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial debate on August 6, 2015. CNN will have two Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial debates. Only time will tell if real­ly all the GOP can­di­dates will get their 15 min­utes of fame.

Imag­ine try­ing to seri­ous­ly fig­ure out who these can­di­dates are, what they stand for, and who to actu­al­ly vote for. It’s cer­tain­ly hair-rais­ing. Imag­ine the plight of every Repub­li­can, well every per­son in Amer­i­ca and beyond. After all, even if we don’t intend to or can­not vote in the upcom­ing cau­cus­es or pri­maries, we should inform our­selves about who might poten­tial­ly become one of the most pow­er­ful polit­i­cal lead­ers in the world. On the New York Times’ webpage
Who Is Run­ning for Pres­i­dent (and Who’s Not)?, you can read an analy­sis about what each can­di­date has to do to win.

And per­haps hav­ing ten or more Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial hope­fuls is not much of a prob­lem after all. It cer­tain­ly is get­ting peo­ple talk­ing and mak­ing many peo­ple all over the world curi­ous about Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. And that is cer­tain­ly worth some­thing. After all, in the words of Per­i­cles, “because you do not take an inter­est in pol­i­tics doesn’t mean pol­i­tics won’t take an inter­est in you.”

Oh, and did I men­tion that the real fun begins in Iowa? Yes, Iowa – the state with the first elec­toral event of the pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nat­ing process. After that, it is time for … ten lit­tle, nine lit­tle, eight lit­tle hope­fuls, sev­en lit­tle, six lit­tle, five lit­tle hope­fuls, four lit­tle, three lit­tle, two lit­tle hope­fuls, one major GOP hopeful.
And may the best per­son win.

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