by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
With this cycle’s plethora, at long last, of potentially strong Republican candidates for president, those of us on the right should be hopeful — right?
Sorry, but I’m in grump mode. On multiple fronts, I don’t like what I see. Granted, some of the frustrating developments are mere satellite issues, not central to the campaign’s ultimate result. Still, they rankle.
Let’s start with the much-discussed decision by Fox News and the Republican National Committee to limit the first debate to the top ten competitors as ascertained via an average of recent polls. Limiting the participants to ten is not just a mistake; it’s asinine. RNC chairman Reince Priebus should be ashamed for embracing this set-up.
When the margin between candidates at the bottom is likely to be mere tenths of a percentage point, it’s crazy to let those polling averages determine participation. Or hasn’t anybody noticed that polls are increasingly unreliable? (See: victories by Netanyahu and Cameron.) And hasn’t anyone noticed that early poll results in presidential races tend to be evanescent? (See: Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain topped the polls in 2011, while Rick Santorum was an afterthought.)
Hillyer goes on to share his unfiltered thoughts about Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, and electoral arithmetic.