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October 18, 2014

Saturday Politics Thread: Candidates on the Issues [Y-not]

Welcome to a somewhat abbreviated version of your Saturday Politics Thread. We've be spending the past several weeks reviewing and discussing some prospective candidates for the 2016 election. Although there are probably others we may want to cover at some point, for example Governor Pence in Indiana is starting to garner attention, I'd like to start burrowing in on the top candidates' (as judged by the esteemed Horde) positions on issues that matter most.

The goal of this is not to persuade you. I have my favorites at the moment, but I really am not wedded to anyone yet. The goal is really to just try to be as rational as we can about deciding who each of us might want to support early in the primary (and pre-primary) process. I think we can all agree that it would behoove conservatives to weed out non-starters as early in the process as possible to avoid some of the foolishness we saw in the 2012 primary.

Of course, a lot of us rely on our guts to choose a candidate and, frankly, I'm ok with that. I don't think there's any way to be 100% "rational" about this sort of decision. But if we can identify fatal flaws with candidates, or find that we've misjudged other GOP prospects based on sketchy information, I think it'll help us have a good pool of acceptable candidates from which to work.

If there is one thing I do want to persuade you of, it's that this potential field of candidates is much better than the last one. There's no reason for conservatives to give up and assume that Jeb Bush or Name-Your-RINO-Here has to be the nominee.

So with that in mind, these were the top issues identified by the horde two weeks ago as being important to them in choosing a Presidential candidate:

Reducing the size of the Federal bureaucracy and regulation 16.1% (1,295 votes)
Reining in Federal spending 14.13% (1,137 votes)
Repealing Obamacare 12.01% (966 votes)
Solving the illegal immigration problem 11.41% (918 votes)
Strengthening national security and global alliances 8.09% (651 votes)
Reforming or eliminating entitlement programs 5.79% (466 votes)
Addressing problems with the Federal tax code 5.64% (454 votes)
Promoting energy independence 5.62% (452 votes)
Protecting the U.S. from terrorism 5.57% (448 votes)

I've started to research the candidates, but before rolling out the first installment in this series I thought I'd solicit some input from the Horde on what things to factor into my research.

Most of the candidates we'll be examining in depth are governors, so how do we assess a how a candidate would behave if s/he was elected President? For example, if someone is governor of a blue (or purple) state, how do we assess if that person would govern as a conservative President? Likewise, if a governor is from a red state, how much "credit" do we give him or her for conservative policies enacted there?

I'd like to hear from you on how you make this "calculation" when assessing candidates. I'll try to incorporate some of the suggestions you make into future posts.

Finally, these are the candidates I plan to evaluate in upcoming weeks, based on the moron poll results and, in one case, my own personal interest:

Gov. Scott Walker 15.71% (1,811 votes)
Sen. Ted Cruz 14.49% (1,671 votes)
Gov. Rick Perry 13.53% (1,560 votes)
Gov. Bobby Jindal 11.1% (1,280 votes)
Rep. Trey Gowdy 8.51% (981 votes)
Gov. Nikki Haley 6.33% (730 votes)
Gov. Susana Martinez (coblogger privilege)

Links to the prior threads:
Walker, Perry, Jindal thread
Kasich, Haley, Martinez thread
Rubio, Rand Paul, Cruz thread
Gowdy, Carson, Sessions, Lee thread
Romney, Ryan, Huckabee, Palin thread

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