Will GOP voters, with no clear favorite and no designated successor, choose with their hearts or their heads? Will Democrats be able to settle and fall in love with the overwhelming front-runner?–Mark Shields
Mark Shields, in a column in the local Gannett papers today, argues that Republicans often take turns running for President. The runner-up in the last election is likely to be the nominee in the next. Shields writes:
Reagan, who was runner-up to Gerald Ford in 1976, became the 1980 nominee; George H.W. Bush, runner-up to Reagan in 1980, was nominated in 1988; Dole, runner-up to Bush in ’88, won the next open nomination, in ’96. Plausible nominee-in-waiting George W. Bush in 2000 made it “his turn.” And McCain, who finished second in 2000, went on to win the nomination in 2008, when Romney, the eventual 2012 standard-bearer, finished second to the senator from Arizona.
But this time, as there is no clear Republican favorite, a second rule may take precedence– nominate someone named Bush; it worked twice.
Shields goes on to observe that Democrats often reject the front-runner for a beloved, lesser-known favorite. This should bode well for Elizabeth Warren, but maybe not for the chance that a Democrat will prevail.
© William Hungerford – December 2014