Don't Underestimate the Republican Field

If the economy's weak, it might not matter who the nominee is
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2011 1:29 PM CDT
Don't Underestimate the Republican Field
This guy was once a flawed candidate in a flawed field.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The conventional wisdom seems to be that the GOP presidential field is hopelessly flawed and probably doomed. But don’t write these guys off just yet, warns Steve Kornacki on Salon. Remember, in late 1991 and early 1992, everybody thought the Democratic field was a pack of losers, too, and it wound up producing Bill Clinton. “His ‘flaws’ didn’t end up mattering once he secured the Democratic nomination and the party united around him,” Kornacki points out.

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Sure, voters might think twice before pulling the lever for Haley Barbour thanks to his problematic racial history, and "Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin customarily score horribly on basic poll questions about competence and likability." But Republicans know all that, and probably won’t nominate any of them. Everyone else's flaws are manageable, Kornacki argues, and no matter who they pick, "if the economy takes a turn for the worse and popular anxiety is soaring, Obama will be a ripe target." (Read more Republican presidential primaries stories.)

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