Polls and Electability in the GOP

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

A NBC poll showed Marco Rubio is most capable of beating Hillary Clinton in a general election, with Clinton beating Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and losing to Ben Carson by 1 percent. Once-notable candidates like Jeb Bush and Rand Paul were not even mentioned in the poll: The media is picking their winners and losers now. So, what is Rubio about?

PBS reports Rubio’s stances: Rubio wants a balanced federal budget (except with military spending); believes in non-manmade climate change; wants to replace Obamacare with less regulation and more tax credits; opposes net neutrality; wants immigration reform (meaning “amnesty”?); wants to cap corporate tax at 25 percent; and opposes same-sex marriage (and “will appoint” justices to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decision).

Rubio recently advocated possible war with Russia over the Turkey-Russia conflict. Rubio also shows ignorance on the need for criminal justice reform. War and police: two issues that affect our national security and domestic liberty more than any other issue. Like Rubio, many conservatives are too eager to increase war internationally and increase police power domestically.

All of Rubio’s domestic policies notwithstanding, I predict Rubio would get America into more military conflict and embolden police tactics that undermine our constitutional rights. Do Americans want this from a president?


By Joe Carbonari

Consider this possibility. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz split the Tea Party-Evangelical votes and Marco Rubio bests Jeb Bush with the old-line, establishment Republicans. Rubio is young, but he is also smart, energetic, and well spoken. He served as speaker of the Florida Legislature and is currently a sitting senator from that state. He is not innocent. He has been playing hardball for a number of years.

John Kasich, governor of Ohio, is less charismatic, but has age and experience on his side. He’s served in the U.S. House. He is well-informed, thoughtful, speaks directly, and inspires confidence. He has successfully guided Ohio, a diverse industrial state, through a tough economic recovery. He is a realist, a pragmatist.

Kasich, however, lacks Rubio’s spark, and Rubio lacks Kasich’s seasoning. Factor in that if Kasich wins his state’s own primary, he’ll carry a lot delegates into a brokered convention. The same could be said of Rubio from Florida. Further, in the general election, Ohio and Florida can be huge – even pivotal – so could the Hispanic vote. Much of Rubio’s support could come directly from Hillary Clinton’s. Down-ballot races could be affected as well.

So Rubio increases turnout and, together with Kasich, pulls some moderate swing votes as well. Would it be enough? Rubio and Kasich seem to be among the “safe” Republican contenders, unlikely to lead to disaster. That’s comforting. Will it play?

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