Q&A Friday #82: How Does The GOP Presidential Field This Time Stack Up To The 2008 Field?

Question: “The Republican candidates for President in 2000 consisted of George W. Bush, John McCain, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, Lamar Alexander, Orrin Hatch, and Elizabeth Dole. How does that field stack up in relation to this one?” — maledicta

Answer: This field is better overall. There are several reasons why people are so dissatisfied with this field including,

#1) This is the first election where the net has been a big factor and having bloggers pour through the records of all these candidates makes it extremely difficult for them to get anything over on the public. Put another way, every flaw these candidates have is being put in front of the public in a way that it never has before in a presidential race — at least on the Republican side. The Democrats got a taste of it in 2004.

#2) The weird dynamics of a 5 person race has kept conservatives from coalescing around one candidate and has led to particularly savage infighting.

#3) Conservatives are generally cranky, unhappy with the Republican Party, and not inclined to compromise right now.

#4) This batch of candidates is impressive in many ways, but also, with a couple of exceptions, they’re significantly to the left of the average conservative in the party.

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