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viewpoint

Hoping for GOP dropouts

| Friday, September 25, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did something Monday evening that is increasingly uncommon in today’s political environment: He realized when he lost, and accepted it.

His campaign was in debt, with little chance of recovering in the coming months, and unlike another unnamed GOP candidate, self-funding really wasn’t an option for Walker. He spoke for less than nine minutes in the three-hour-plus debate last week. In a CNN/ORC poll released last weekend, he polled at less than one percent as a first choice and only two percent as a second choice.

I applaud him for realizing and admitting his defeat for the greater good of his party and country.

During his press conference in which he announced his withdrawal from the race, he said, “I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive, conservative message can rise to the top of the field. … I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates …”

I agree with Walker: Many others need to drop out of the Republican presidential contest, and do so quickly. More specifically, I think the following should drop out (excuse the brevity with which I discuss each candidate, there’s simply not enough room here to perform a detailed analysis on each one, so I have summarized):

Rick Santorum doesn’t have any financial support, nor does he have the backing of his 2012 supporters, or at least not near the same numbers as in 2012; Santorum should drop out.

Jim Gilmore was governor of Virginia over a decade ago and thus far hasn’t been able to overcome the “Who’s Jim Gilmore?” factor; Gilmore should drop out.

Lindsey Graham has a place in the Senate and has no need to pursue the presidency, he has failed to garner broad support as a presidential candidate; Graham should drop out.

George Pataki, as much as I personally like him as a candidate, has the same “Who?” problem as Gilmore, and hasn’t received any noticeable support; Pataki should drop out.

Bobby Jindal, current governor of Louisiana, has failed to garner any substantial support and hasn’t yet been endorsed by any congressman, senator or governor (according to FiveThirtyEight Blog), this is a particularly dismal performance given the fact that he is a current governor; Jindal should drop out.

None of those candidates have made it to the “real” Republican primary debates, instead being left for the junior varsity debate or, in Gilmore’s case, nothing at all. These candidates dropping out would at least make things simpler and more focused and allow the approximately four percent of their collective support to go elsewhere.

Then, we get to the varsity candidates that should still drop out:

Ted Cruz should drop out because his far-right agenda fails to win the support of moderates, would fail to convince independents and, contrary to his made-up math released around his announcement, there’s no large group of silent, ultra-conservatives who are going to appear out of nowhere to deliver a majority and catapult him to the presidency. He’s arrogant, condescending and obstructionist in his approach to politics, and people (outside Texas and pockets of the American South) simply don’t like him.

Mike Huckabee has nothing new to offer in 2016 that he didn’t bring to the table in 2008. Strategically he doesn’t deliver anyone new that would be vital to winning the presidency. All he brings is the religious right, which would back the Republican nominee with or without Huckabee. Huckabee should drop out.

Rand Paul has been hanging on, but unless he’s able to secure Scott Walker’s endorsement, poll position improvement or a significant defining moment in the upcoming debate, he should consider dropping out and remaining a figure of Libertarian-Republicanism in the Senate.

Trump should drop out because he’s destructive to the party and would do permanent damage to the party by alienating women and Latino voting blocs with his patronizing or outright offensive comments, and by pushing Independents and millennials to the Democrats with his rhetoric of intolerance. I don’t think for a second that he’ll drop out by choice — his ego is far too inflated for that — but it’s my opinion he should. (For those angry with my opinion here, feel free to write a letter to the editor and I will read your arguments.)

The remaining candidates, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich and Marco Rubio, all have at least one of the following: establishment backing, financial resources, popularity or high poll numbers. Like it or not, those factors are what lead to longevity, and ultimately victory, in a campaign. Some of those I listed as “should drop out” have one of these factors, but have some disqualifying factor(s) to cancel out the positive factors’ effect.

Everyone in the 2016 Republican presidential campaign should consider following Walker’s example so that the Republican Party can be better positioned to be elected to the White House come Nov. 8, 2016.

Kyle Palmer is a senior from Dillon Hall studying accountancy, he welcomes any challenges to his opinions. He can be reached at kpalmer6@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Kyle Palmer

Kyle Palmer is a senior from Dillon Hall studying accountancy. He welcomes any challenges to his opinions. He can be reached at kpalmer6@nd.edu

Contact Kyle
  • Nathan

    Trump will drop when he loses or gets bored, not sooner. I agree with you that he’s toxic to the GOP brand, but frankly he has never given a rat’s about the GOP brand. That’s why the part leaders despise him so much: they still have to deal with the party’s image going forward. Trump doesn’t and will sail off into the sunset no matter how this whole affair turns out

  • Johnny Whichard

    I think Cruz should stick it out. With Boehner gone….Cruz has a chance to really rally the Constitutional troops.

  • JD101

    Trump will drop out only if Rand Paul drops out. His only purpose is to ensure Paul isn’t the R-Candidate and of course, to get Hillary his buddy elected.