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CPAC didn’t pick a 2016 winner

March 10, 2014

For all of the hype about the meeting of the most conservative wing of the Republican party, it is interesting that adding together the totals for the three most talked about 2016 presidential hopefuls didn’t clear the 50% threshold needed to win in 2016.

Senators Rand Paul (31%) and Ted Cruz (19%) together polled 42% with Gov. Chris Christie, who is hardly the farthest right of all of them, adding another 8%. That’s not going to win the 2016 election.

If the most far right poster children can’t poll a winning percentage among their most ardent supporters, it’s highly unlikely that they have a prayer of winning any more than a plank in the Republican platform.

Interestingly, a man who has never held public office, and says he has no interest in doing so at the moment , Dr. Ben Carson, could have carried the first two over the 50% mark, with a message of finding common ground on both sides and moving the country forward. That pretty much shows that even the very far right doesn’t know what their message is, or maybe they just don’t care.

Just because you aren’t a card-carrying main-stream Republican doesn’t mean that you agree completely with the far right, or even that you will vote. It just means that you are a non-Democrat.

The Democrats on the other hand have lately been very good at getting behind one philosophy, i.e. government largesse for, and control of, everything and everyone, picking a candidate who can sell that message and single-mindedly forging ahead.

It’s hardly news that most Americans are pretty damned tired of our government. The Democrats seem to be finding out that just because a big government approach to something like health care polls well, and makes a beautiful dream, the actual result is pretty much of a mess. The strategy of trying to buy off each separate interest group is leaving all of them feeling a bit short-changed.

While Harry Reid pulls the tired old “everything bad the other side points out is a lie” routine, you have the large public sector service workers union Unite Here waking up to the stark reality of the actual effect of the law. Is Harry going to call them liars too?  It’s kind of hard to have a lot of sympathy for their leaders, who jumped on the Obamacare bandwagon early and loudly, in return for who knows what, but you have to feel bad for the rank-and-file who have to live with the results of  the law.

Maybe the Republicans can run on just being against Obamacare in 2014 , but it’s unlikely to work in 2016. In fact if you want to talk about polls, the polls that have the best (or worst, if you’re a politician) and clearest numbers are the ones that shows Americans want to can all the members of Congress. When 60 to 80% of all Americans have decided this whole Washington thing isn’t working, you have a problem. The reason they mostly cite is that neither side can forget about their political lives long enough to care about American lives.

Governing America isn’t a game where the vote total determines the winners. America doesn’t seem to be looking for another political zealot even from the right. Like it or not, there is either going to be a Republican candidate that can relate to the things that the man the street cares about and can make the voters believe he or she can get them out of the middle of these never-ending turf wars, or we can just put a permanent (D) behind the word President. I didn’t see that person even near the top of the CPAC straw poll.

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