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Friday, February 29, 2008

The GOP Candidate Selection Process is Broken

The GOP Candidate Selection Process is Broken

Well, John McCain is the de facto Republican nominee for President of the United States, perhaps the first Republican nominee for President that is not the clear choice of the majority of Republicans in the United States. The result is that Republicans in general, and conservatives in particular, are very unhappy with their nominee.

It was an almost bizarre selection process beginning with a caucus state, Iowa, that almost never votes for the Republican candidate for President in the general election. From there, the process moved on to New Hampshire where McCain won a plurality on the basis of support from Independents, while losing the Republican vote.

Based on late primaries after all the serious candidates have dropped out, McCain may indeed wind up with a majority of Republican votes, but the fact is he won the nomination only because of a deeply flawed nomination process.

The Republican Party needs to dramatically overhaul the selection process so that Republicans, not Independents, not Democrats, or any other group selects their nominee. Republicans need to remember that they are a private party and those who are active in the party should be the ones who select their nominees at the local, state and national level. 

McCain may win, but the likelihood is that like Tom Dewey, Richard Nixon (1960), Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush, his liberal approach will go down in flames in November. That’s the reality of Republican politicsModerate (read liberal) Republicans who are a "me too" shadow of their Democratic opponents lose. In contrast, those who firmly advocate and cling to conservative principleslike Ronald Reaganwin.

When the GOP allows the selection process to go forward in a way in which candidates who are the minority choice of the Republicans become the nominee, they are courting disaster. It’s time for a return to the tried-and-true convention process where Republican Party loyalists (in this private organization) select nominees who are conservative in principle and winners in November.

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