The crowded field of prospective GOP presidential candidates is not good for the party
If you discuss the matter with a loyal Republican, he or she likely will tell you that it’s good news for the GOP that so many people are considering official candidacies for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.
You’ll probably hear the argument that Republican prospects for winning the White House back from the Democrats are so good that lots of people are willing to vie for the party nod.
Perhaps so, but I have my doubts about that.
Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight.com doesn’t say whether he thinks Republicans have a good chance of winning the presidency, but he does point out HERE a few factors that should be of concern to the GOP:
The field of plausible Republican presidential candidates is historically flat — all the contenders are massed together with about the same level of support. A clear front-runner has yet to emerge. But here’s another unusual characteristic of the GOP race so far: It’s crowded. Very crowded…
Why does that matter? Well, the flatness of the GOP field and its size are related. Since the 1980 campaign, by which time parties had adjusted to the primary reforms of the 1970s, each party’s establishment has done a good job of winnowing out candidates early in the campaign…
But if a lot of viable Republicans run in 2016, it will be a sign that the party cannot decide. The polls in which no candidate jumps out to a lead indicate something beyond lack of name recognition. The 2016 Republican campaign could look like the Democratic races in the 1970s, in which the top tier was crowded.