July 4th, 2015: Rethinking the Primary Elections and Caucuses on the way to the 2016 Nomination Process

Keywords or Terms: America’s Independence Day; Republican and Democratic Party Aspirants; Political Speeches; British Colonialists; Old Glory, red, white and blue; Early Primary States: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida; RCP Poles’ Averages; Hillary Rodham Clinton; Jeb Bush; Scott Walker; Switching Loyalties; Authenticity and Genuineness of Interests; Bernie Sanders, Millenniums; Republican Party stewardship of the White House; America’s Economy and Recession

The cornerstone of our freedom - America’s Primary Elections and Caucuses – are on their way on this Independence Day. The custom of celebration, fireworks, parades, carnivals, family reunion, fair, picnics, alliances, neighborhood and family barbecues, and the ever so familiar political speeches from all manner of politicians are also concurrently taking place from coast to coast on this Independence Day. The fact that Presidential campaigns are going on hand in hand with the celebration of our two hundredth and thirty-ninth Independence is hardly an unexpected; rather, it has become an opportunity for reflection on the challenges of a long drawn out nomination process for the political party’s flag bearer. The usual display of fireworks on Washington Monument is a cause of celebration of liberty and freedom on this Independence Day; but the choice of who is likely to replace the current occupant of the White House Oval Office, President Barack Obama, is also as important as the celebration of our Independence. The need for the contemplation of who is likely to lead us come January 2017, is also as important as the celebration of Old Glory; because we understand and appreciate what poor or good leadership means right now, even if we didn’t a little over two and one-third centuries ago.

The race for the White House oval office in 2016 has began in earnest, with a host of Republicans and a sprinkle number of Democrats, jostling for attention from American Voters in the early primary states, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. RCP Averages of Poles for Republican Party aspirants for last month (5/29/ to 6/29), give the lead in the State of Iowa to Scott Walker, among the slate of leading Republican aspirants, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, Tom Cruz, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, John Perry, Carlie Fiorina; and Jeb Bush in the States of New Hampshire and South Carolina. Among the Democratic Party slate of aspirants, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and John Chafee, the RCP Averages of Poles give the edge to Hillary Rodham Clinton in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Strictly on the basis of these poles, the consensus is more to give the party flag bearers’ position to Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Scott Walker or Jeb Bush for the Republican Party.

Unfortunately, the consensus of polling emerging from early primary states, while somewhat of a predictor of the ultimate flag bearer, has been known to change as the campaign for the White House approaches the general election day in November of every four years. It is not out of place to presume with current polling that Democrats will likely put forward Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders; however, the leadership and ego tussles emerging in the Republican Party, point direction to a new thesis regarding the ultimate flag bearer for the Republicans. Constant or Dynamic changes in the number of Republican candidates vying for the 2016 contest is already becoming a draconian problem for statisticians or estimators of who is likely to carry the Party’s crown in November of next year. The genuineness and authenticity of newer entrants among the Republicans into the 2016 race have been questioned on so many grounds, including the speculation of a bandwagon effect. The growing number of new Republican aspirants entering the race may make the predictability of the ultimate flag bearer even more trying and dicey; with the potential of having newer entrants splintering support and loyalties of party’s faithful’s or rank and file. Worse more, this very august occurrence calls to question the preparedness and veracity of a winning chance for the ultimate Republican flag bearer against a Democrat. Voters’ loyalty is fluid in party primaries; and, initial support of loyalists in early primary states may change; with one misstep by one candidate, leading to loss of support for his or her candidacy; and, probably leading to initial supporters switching loyalty to other candidates in the contest.

Moreover, it is argued that the viability of current slate of fourteen Republican candidacies’ campaigns is very shaky on the basis of finances and financiers; and, the possibility of Democrats continuing in power after 2016, is fast growing if Republicans don’t get their house in order. Growing wrangling and unavailability of seasoned campaign organizers, especially those with national general elections experience, to help chart, plan  and control releases of campaign messages and instill discipline in campaign  canvassing, are sure not reasons for Republican party’s stalwarts, power brokers or die-hard, to celebrate. Neither are these good enough reasons for Democratic Party’s candidacies’ complacency; all candidates, Republican or Democrat, have to work hard for the American votes and support to end up as the party’s big prize winner.

No one knows whether there are going to be mass voters’ or supporters defections after conclusion of early primary states’ contests; however, based on historical experiences, it is not uncommon for initial supporters to junk their preferred candidates for a surrogate or a better-prepared campaign organization and candidate, after initial results of early primary states. Nor does anyone know whether an unexpected turmoil in a candidate’s campaign organization and or finances will lead to the demise of a candidacy's campaign and or, removal from the front-runner status. Current unstable entries into the Republican contest could escalate; and, hitherto unknown fractures in supporters’ loyalty become glaring or evident to the extent that it disadvantages the whole structure of party primaries.

In short, the ever changing and dynamics in the number of Republicans showing newer interests in the 2016 race, have not eliminated the mistrust of current US Congressional Republican legislator’s; nor has it made voters more comfortable with Republicans based on the last performance of the Republican President in office. Indeed, the possibility of another Republican coming to occupy the White House oval office is hardly alluring at this time to the nation for more than one reason, one of which is the renewed disfranchisement of minorities on many fronts and the castigation of slurs on some minorities by prominent Republican Party aspirants. Nevertheless, the reality of politics is that American voters get an opportunity to nominate a party’s flag bearer and elect a new President of the United States of America, every four years. The threats to the Republican Party’s chances in 2016, is not only the dexterity of the most likely Democratic Party flag bearer, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, but probably the unusual missteps of likely winner of the Republican Party's primary; and maybe, the light weight of the class of 2016 Republican Party's contenders.

Interested Republicans contemplating entering the 2016 race after the fourteenth, Governor Chris Christie, introduce further upheaval into the Party’s primary election. The possibility of inflicting a different outcome to the wilting process thereby impacting the ultimate party’s flag bearer is real, as another aspirant enters the race daily or further. Republican aspirants who have already declared their candidature are themselves, wondering why the ever increasing number of Republican aspirants filing up to enter the race now, after probably a perceived muddled up exercise. Any new Republican entrants would be repudiated even by Republicans themselves; as this entry would be seen as another confusion into an already complicated primary election process. Republican voters are pleased to have options in the number of candidates in their primary election process; however, they are hardly looking forward to the current dilution of the number of already declared candidates; and, the possibility of other Republican aspirants coming on, will substantially impact affinity for the candidature, his or her message or reason for entering the race, and loyalty of party followers. The dexterity and resilience of a Republican nominee against a Democratic Party flag bearer are probably impacted negatively as a long drawn-out nomination process are known to impact a party's  flag bearer chances in the general elections. Unilaterally drawn out nomination process hardly pays well for the party as a whole. Long drawn out nomination process not only leave out the ultimate candidate carrying the Party’s flag brutalized, it harms his or her chances from mending fences with ousted competitors in the primary election process. The havoc of a long-drawn out nomination process is usually a subversion of the strength of the ultimate flag bearer, substantially reducing his or her chances in the general election.

Of course, there could be a reversal of this unwelcome fortunes if other Republicans do not enter the race after the fourteenth or so aspirants  just before America's Independence Day. Unfortunately, there is no way to convince the next Republican aspirant from showing interest in the contest, or the possibility of becoming the next President of the United States. Neither the Republican Party power brokers nor senior party executives can rain in further interest of any Republican. This is the nature of Party Primary Elections and America's Caucus-based general election.

At the opposite of the Republican Party experience is the new insurgence of Bernie Sanders, a Socialist Democrat that has been making inroad in the hearts and minds of American voters. For a while, Democrats had contemplated what looked like a coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton; however, Senator Sanders Campaign message is dramatically sitting well with many. Bernie Sander’s rally in Wisconsin and his far-left campaign messages are not only welcomed by newer and younger voters, they are calling out many preconceived notion, including an assumption that the Party nomination for the Democratic Party is a coronation process or long settled in 2016. Senator Sander’s inroad has shown that he is able to excite and mobilize younger voters, the millennials. He not only speaks the language of the millennials, he is bringing their younger siblings into the big tent as he continues to deliver campaign messages that resonate very much with the concerns of this group, the economy, lopsided corporate profits and widening gap between the rich and poor, experiences that have made it difficult for this group from reaching their heights or expecting a better tomorrow. The global assumption that the crooks on the Wall Street whose action(s) led to the severe recession of 2008 – 2012 that led to Americans losing their homes, savings and jobs, is rather appealing and also resonating with the millenniums. Senator Sander’s call for retribution for the failures or contributors of the last recession places Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign on the notice: there is a need to move more leftwards than her Campaign would have wanted or contemplated to-date. If Senator Bernie Sander’s Campaign messages continue to resonate with the younger group and their siblings, there is the likelihood that his campaign could expose possible divisions among Democrats on issues of ideology and gender difference; and this, may become a waterloo for the Democratic Party. Hopefully, this new phenomenon, Senator Bernie Sander’s achievement on the 2016 campaign trail, will not persist furthermore; however, if it does, the leaders and establishment members of the Democratic Party will have a heavy load to carry on their way to party caucuses.

On the two hundredth and thirty-ninth Independence Day celebration, American voters understand the special place of the party nomination process, including the primary elections and caucuses and what each means for electing a new President on November 8, 2016. Each contestant has the obligation of securing votes and support for their candidacy in the primary election exercises; and, ultimately in the general election. Voters like Presidential aspirants have learned one basic truth, the longer the nomination process takes, and more difficult is the chances of triumphing very easily against the other major party's candidacy in a general election. The current confusion in the Republican Party and the insurgency in the Democratic Party have the potential of putting party’s power brokers on notice that the old rules of having a coronation or a favorite candidate of the party has long lost its meaning and effectiveness in making loyalist voters to fall in line, is now whimsical.

Far more important than ever on this Independent Day celebration is the fact that the system works the way the forefathers contemplated and that all votes have to be earned by any aspirant for the White House oval office. Further, initial support of a candidate’s campaign is volatile and the participation of more candidates at the primary election stages has an increasing complex implication for the survival of any candidacy. In addition, with the current dispensation in the Republican Party, each candidate has to devise a means for self-preservation in the early states’ primary voting contest to be able to last the long haul. The general dynamic process of having newer entrants into the race not only influence the party primary elections, it makes the nomination chances even more daunting for many candidates that may have had more fellowship at the party’s grassroots. There is merit in a rapidly and quickly settled party primary election process, and merit in the argument that any aspirant still contemplating entering the Republican party primary election stand very little chance of winning and must therefore, junk the idea since the field is probably already full on this day of Independence celebration.
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