One of the most entertaining moments in the (too) many debates was addressed to Ron Paul – “Let’s talk about electability …. do you have any?” (Answer: no) But at this point in the process, both Democrats and Republicans turn to one issue – who can win in November? It’s useless to nominate someone who can’t win; at this point in the primaries one issue usually comes to the front – electability.
For Democrats, Clinton is a Republican fund-raisers dream; her polarizing figure makes her an easier person to defeat and would stimulate the Republican base, while most Republicans believe Obama is a tougher candidate to handle, even though he lacks the machine of the Clintons. It’s close, but give the edge to Obama in the electability department. Clinton’s machine and rabid base can’t make up for all the baggage she’s carrying around.
For Republicans, the situation is clearer – Huckabee and McCain can win, Romney can’t. According to Rasmussen polls in potential match-ups the Rasmussen Poll says McCain leads Clinton by eight, and Obama by six, while a similar poll with Romney has Hillary beating Romney by 5%, and Obama beating Romney by 9%.
You can argue selecting a candidate based on electability isn’t wise, but why put forth a candidate who you know can’t win? If you’re trying to make a statement to change the political system, it’s way too late by the time the primaries come around. You might as well write-in Mickey Mouse – it has the same impact.
If you want to change the political process, you’ve got to be involved before the primary season. It’s too late now to be idealistic – you’ve only got two Democrats and three Republicans to choose from. None of them are perfect (some would say not even good), but the bottom line is one of those five will be the next President. And in potential match-ups between the five, some fare better than others.
On the question of electability, Romney isn’t the answer. Is there a point to nominating someone who can’t win the big race?