Tuesday, July 17, 2007

None of the Above

From the AP:

WASHINGTON - And the leading Republican presidential candidate is ... none of the above.
The latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that nearly a quarter of Republicans are unwilling to back top-tier hopefuls Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and no one candidate has emerged as the clear front-runner among Christian evangelicals. Such dissatisfaction underscores the volatility of the 2008 GOP nomination fight.
A half year before voting begins, the survey shows the White House race is far more wide open on the Republican side than on the Democratic. The uneven enthusiasm about the fields also is reflected in fundraising in which Democrats outraised Republicans $80 million to $50 million from April through June, continuing a trend from the year's first three months.

More Republicans have become apathetic about their top options over the past month.

A hefty 23 percent can't or won't say which candidate they would back, a jump from the 14 percent who took a pass in June.

Giuliani's popularity continued to decline steadily as he faced a spate of headline headaches, came under increased scrutiny and saw the potential entry of Thompson in the mix; his support is at 21 percent compared with 27 percent in June and 35 percent in March.

The former New York mayor is running virtually even with Thompson, who has become a threat without even officially entering the race. The actor and former Tennessee senator has essentially stayed steady at 19 percent. McCain, the Arizona senator who is revamping his nearly broke campaign, clocked in a bit lower at 15 percent, while Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, remained at 11 percent.

None of the top candidates has a clear lead among Christian evangelicals, a critical part of the GOP base that has had considerable sway in past Republican primaries. Giuliani, a thrice-married backer of abortion rights and gay rights, had 20 percent support — roughly even with Thompson and McCain who have one divorce each in their pasts. Romney, a Mormon who has been married for three decades, was in the single digits.

Nine Republicans and one all-but-declared hopeful, Thompson, make up the crowded GOP field. It shrunk in recent days when former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, an underfunded long shot, dropped out. Such discontent with the top-tier could lead Republicans to reconsider lesser-knowns such as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee or Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback.

Andrew E. Smith, a polling expert at the University of New Hampshire, said the number of voters in flux is no surprise, given that the primaries aren't for another six months. "People really don't decide who to vote for until the last couple months or days," he said. full article

I can see why interest in the candidates are low. No one candidate has the record, the credentials , and is perceived as having the right moral fiber. You have some Reagan lites, some Dubya lites, Giuliani, and that Ron Paul guy.

The "money quote" form this story is, "I'm looking for a strong, honest person. Do you know of any?" and to many Republicans the answer seems to be no.

One has to wonder if they are looking at their line up of contenders and asking themselves,"Where's our Obama?"