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The Only Republican Beating Obama


By John Martin - Posted on 19 June 2011

There hasn’t been a drop of good economic news in months, yet miraculously, only one Republican candidate leads Obama in the polls.

According to Gallup, “Generic Republican” leads the President by 5 points. That’s about 10 points better than Romney, and over 20 points better than Pawlenty, Bachman or Cain. People are more jazzed about what they think a Republican candidate is or should be than they are by the actual candidates.

There are two types of Republicans in this race, neither of whom satisfies all segments of the party. On one hand, you have the fairly-competent, nuanced, former Governor or Congressional leader, who brings with him a long track record of trying to do the right thing. Inevitably, this candidate’s record doesn’t jive with what the loudest Republicans in 2011 believe. Romney is pro-choice  (despite what he says),  Pawlenty believes humans cause climate change, and Newt thinks forcing Americans to buy health insurance is a smart idea. No matter how well these Republicans stack up against the President, the right fringe would much rather support the Reagan figment of their imagination than any one of them.

On the other side are the newcomers, or those who never actually believed they had a shot at the Presidency. They’re making careers of out of playing to the fringe, comfortable knowing they’ll never have to put their uninformed or unrealistic plans to the test. Their supporters love their purity, but let’s be honest-- they scare tons of voters, including a lot of Republicans. These scared Republicans long for a generic Ford, Bush or Dole Republican who could drown out  Bachman, Cain and Ron Pauls of the world.

In 2008, the rightwing fringe eventually fell in line around their candidate, but really only after Palin got added to the ticket. They insist they’re not willing to nominate another plain vanilla Republican this time, but if they’re going to stand a shot at beating Obama, they might just have to hold their noses. The fringe needs to understand that you don’t need to agree with everything your candidate says or does to make him or her worthy of your support.

According to Gallup, “Generic Republican” leads the President by 5 points. That’s about 10 points better than Romney, and over 20 points better than Pawlenty, Bachman or Cain. People are more jazzed about what they think a Republican candidate is or should be than they are by the actual candidates.

That is pretty telling. What a horrible bunch of contenders. Obama just needs to stay on message and let the GOP candidate try to wiggle him/herself out of all they said to win over the Tea Party, including embracing the Ryan plan, signing onto an extreme balanced budget amendment (in which taxes may not be raised and programs like Social Security are axed!) and tax plans like Pawlenty's which lower taxes on the rich to insane levels...and he should be fine.

I am surprised that there are not more attacks on Mitt Romney by the other contenders. They are handling him with kid gloves for reasons which escape me. Sure, it's fine to go after Obama, but if they can't destroy Romney first, they are done.

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