05 August 2006


Top Ten Most Electable Presidential Candidates of 2008

Mitt Romney: By far the most electable candidate of the 2008 election. Besides his proven ability to win over voters from the Democratic Party, making him a favorite in the general election, his primary prospects are so far the best of any candidate. Anti-abortion, avidly pro-family (anti-gay-marriage), and a history of turning deficits into surpluses which will be important this election season because voters are increasingly seeing republicans as overspenders. He's had his oopses but no skeletons in the closet. Digging up dirt on him will be somewhat comparable to digging to China. Entering the primaries his campaign contributions will likely top those of the rest of the field, including possibly Hillary Clinton, due to his huge fundraising base in Utah where he presided over the Salt Lake City Olympics. Possibly his greatest asset in the field of electability is that we've seen him perform in a top executive post and he's done well.
Forget the "Mormon label" as being a deterrent to his possible election. JFK dealt with the same thing—Catholic—in his election of 1960 and the ranking democrat Harry Reid is Mormon as well; meaning, Democrats won't be able to attack his religion without attacking their minority leader. Giuliani and McCain, who currently hold the lead in presidential polling, will have a hard time beating him in the primaries due to their pro-choice stance on abortion (essentially the republican litmus test).

Evan Bayh: The most electable Democrat this time around. He is likable, charismatic, and looks the part. His on the job performance is second only to perhaps Mark Warner, which means like Warner, Mitt, and others, he is very reelectable—an issue that will no doubt be a part of future candidate analysis as the election draws closer—better to win two elections instead of one. Bayh is a former successful two-term governor which means he his better qualified than just a Senator to run the nation's top executive post. He won both his elections to the Senate by wide margins receiving over 62% of the vote each time, combined with his terms as Senator, Bayh is likely the most politically qualified candidate who will enter the primaries of either party. Like all top candidates, he’s a businessman which is favorable over strict politician. The biggest question for Bayh is whether or not his party will be intelligent enough to put a centrist into the general election.

Dick Cheney: Though he has stated in the most clear terms possible that he won't run for the presidency in 2008 "'If nominated, I will not run,' 'If elected, I will not serve,' or not only no, but 'Hell no." He still ranks high for his electability if he were to run, which according to that last statement is not even a possibility. Besides having the power of association with the presidency by way of his office of vice-president, Dick Cheney has a political resume even George W. Bush could envy. Even if W’s popularity is somewhat low at the time of the 2008 election Cheney is different enough in demeanor and style to avoid any significant damage by association, having a completely different personality than W. His views on gay-marriage may trouble primary voters, however, he's skilled enough to sidestep the issue in one of many ways, and many feel that his views on the subject are ingenuine, due to his daughter, which also makes him hard to attack on the subject; Edwards tried it in the vice-presidential debate and saw his poll numbers take a significant beating, along with his image in the news. Besides having served as vice-president for the last eight years, his quiet demeanor screams “I’m smarter than you” and he could easily make other candidates look inexperienced and young.

Harry Reid: One of the few democrats who would have a shot at the general election. He would first need to overcome his negative demeanor, however, if we wants to win over enough voters. If pleasant, he could have a very good chance at beating a dark horse candidate such as George Allen or Tom Tancredo. His record is mixed enough that he can paint himself whichever way he wants and could have strong appeal among traditionally Republican Mormon voters, heavy in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, Nevada,Wyoming and Oregon, which help him pick up a few extra electoral votes, likely in Nevada (his home state) and Arizona. Forget it however, if Romney becomes his political opponent who many Mormons feel is the ideal presidential candidate.

John Edwards: If he runs, as he intends, it is almost a guarantee that he will do better than former running-mate John Kerry in the primaries this time. John Kerry has already lost a presidential election and the ghosts in the closet have already been exposed, John Edwards on the other hand has only lost primaries, which has virtually no effect on future primary elections. His political resume is somewhat the opposite of vice-president Cheney's, as highlighted in the vice-presidential debate of 2004, in which Cheney smashed his credibility making him look foolish and young. If the two were to run against each other in a general election, expect a landslide victory by Dick Cheney.John Edwards is intelligent. It is likely that he has learned several lessons since 2004, which was his first time in the national spotlight. His political posturing ability is mysteriously second-to-none having finagled his way into his party's vice-presidential nomination part way through his first term as a senator having no previous political career; having been on a general presidential election ticket he will appear more experienced and qualified than he is. He makes this list because of his shot at winning the primaries. He will likely have about as hard of time as John Kerry winning the general election.

Barack Obama: The new Leiberman. Barack Obama is painted as middle-of-road by democrats, but is actually a leftist democrat who simply stands up for what he believes in regardless of partisanship. Barack is an accomplished, very intelligent speaker and his message resonates with much of America, republican or democrat. Likely one of the democrats' best candidates if he were to decide to run, which he has stated he will not. He is inexperienced, this being his first term in the Senate, and would likely have a hard time funding his campaign amidst other democratic party contenders.

Condoleeza Rice: The movement to "draft" Condoleeza Rice into the presidency is sort of happening from with under her, with no real participation of her own part. The movement has plateaued however, as of late, as Hillary Clinton is being seen as less and less of potential '08 contender, to whom Condoleeza was seen as the perfect counter.Condoleeza is an excellent speaker and extremely intelligent, and could trounce most of her contenders in the primary debates should she decide to seek her party's nomination, a skill which could make her the candidate to beat in the primaries if she is duly able to dominate time at the mic—doubtful given her company. Her electability could skyrocket as high as the two spot if it becomes increasingly likely that Hillary will become the Democratic candidate; which, as it stands, is unlikely. Condoleeza also recieves points for her amazing skills at dimplomacy, a skill that democrats tend to view republicans as very poor with. Condoleeza's primary possibilities could seriously be booned by a possible endorsement of President Bush. But it is likely that he will refrain from endorsing any candidate till the general election; because endorsing a losing primary candidate could hurt the party's chances in the general election.

Mark Warner: A former Governor of Virginia is often considered one of the most electable Democrats in a general election because of his centrist views. However, he lacks the name recognition of a winning primary candidate in part because he is no longer in office (due to term restrictions). The Senate has dominated the news recently and Warner hasn't managed to put himself in the spotlight as former Senator John Edwards has. With the majority of the Democratic Party leaning to the far-left it is likely that Mark Warner may be too centrist for his party's support. He is, however, the type of candidate that can get re-elected, evidenced by his very high approval ratings leaving office, 80%.

Colin Powell: Though he has not stated any intentions to run, from an electability standpoint, He is likely the most versatile of any possible candidate. Though most people don't even know his party affiliation, he is highly respected on all sides of the aisle and may take the cake from Mitt Romney as the most presidential-looking candidate on the board. Colin Powell is generally not considered in 2008 presidential polling, but when he is considered, tends to do very well. His electability will only increase as the world becomes more war-torn. He finds himself at the bottom of this list simply because he will have a difficult time winning the primaries. Colin Powell is a Republican but not anti-abortion. Further, he supports affirmative action and limited gun control. Though affirmative action may be another problem for him, it is hard to argue with a former joint chiefs of staff on proper gun use. Colin Powell does have another advantage, however, and that it has been a long time since he has been quoted on any of his views about abortion etc... meaning he could shift relatively easily. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, it also could become a non-issue. If he were to run as an independent, a political orientation becoming more and more popular, he would be the most successful independent candidate ever, likely with a shot at the presidency.

Bill Frist: Bill Frist finds himself in an interesting position. He's a good candidate on the positions but finds himself in a den of Power Hitters and is likely to get eclipsed by the likes of Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki, and other big wigs, which is unusual for a Senate Majority Leader. The Republican party is a party of strong candidates this year, and the Democrats will have a hard time either electing the right candidate or finding the right candidate.

I'm surprised that Rudy Giuliani, Chuck Hagel, and John McCain didn't make the top ten most electable list.
Strange list. I agree with who's at the top (I'm a big Romney supporter), but Dick Cheney, Harry Reid? . . . c'mon! You make several good points and a few "far out" ones.
When the list was done I was surprised with the outcome as well. The interesting composition of the list is mainly due to the large number of popular candidates who either very clearly can't win the general election or their party's primary, i.e. John McCain, George Pataki, Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton etc. I appreciate the remarks.
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