This past week in Washington saw the meeting of conservatives from all around the nation to campaign, give speeches, and enjoy Republican camaraderie during CPAC. CPAC, being the Conservative Political Action Committee, provides the ability and forum for Republican activists to meet with one another and discuss politics.
It was founded in 1973 and has been running up to the present day. Beginning with a relatively modest number of attendees around 2,000 to 3,000 the conference has grown to incorporate upwards of 10,000 to 15,000 individuals. It is one of the largest group events of conservatives outside of rallies and elections.
Several speakers who have attended CPAC in the past were Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Glen Beck, and George W. Bush, just to name a few. This past year however had Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Tim Pawlenty, etc. During daily events these individuals spoke of bolstering American Conservatism and building up passion for Republican candidates planning to run for nomination.
Going along with the issue of Republican nomination, there is a straw poll election that is held at each conference. The straw poll vote is essentially an indicator which tells the current mood and feeling of the party while also indicating which candidates seemed to be favored going into the primaries. The straw poll is useful and exciting for information on the current mood of the party, but understand by no means is it a set prediction of a likely candidate.
Currently, Ron Paul has won the past two straw poll votes for 2010 and 2011. It has been inferred though that within the current climate of Republican leadership it is unlikely Ron Paul will lead in upcoming months. Ron Paul himself seems to doubt his future by pronouncing in reference to the Tea Party backing, “They don’t want you to touch social security. They don’t want you to touch anything but Obamacare.” His platform is one of government overhaul not simply meeting problems as they arise. Sadly, most Americans support the status quo.
His popularity as a libertarian Republican is well known and may be a reason why recently he gained favor, but as reactionary feelings to the current problems in Washington wear off this writer believes that individuals will look toward a more feasible nominee. Not to degrade Ron Paul, but in all likelihood Americans will vote down a base party line that will favor a conservative Republican over a libertarian Republican. The question we now face is who seems to be the candidate who is likely to actually win in an election against President Obama in the next two years?
It seems the results of the straw poll that Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are going to be the best contenders. Other nominations included 6% to 2% of the vote including, Gary Johnson, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Bachmann. Out of all the polling it seems feasible that Mitt Romney will most likely take the nomination in the future. Ron Paul is too extreme and will be shunned by voters when time comes to vote. Mitt Romney is a more amicable candidate, but sadly, I predict, will lose to President Obama.
I make this prediction on the fact that the majority of Americans, regardless of our apparent current progressive shifts, will not elect an individual of the Mormon faith. To this day 43 Presidents out of 44 Presidents are of the Protestant faith. The exception was John F. Kennedy, which should not even be included because he was not able to finish a term due to the assassination. It may seem blunt but I do not believe the American Public will trust a Mormon President, much like there was distrust for a Catholic President. Simply, the circumstances are there for an upheaval of big government, but unless voters are willing to come out in droves, victory is near impossible.
I still have faith that the Republican Party has a chance to unseat President Obama, but if they continue to propose weak candidates to lead this party I do not see the presidency in the foreseeable future.