The New Field
I was wrong. I thought Mitt Romney would run in 2016, but he declined. Where does this leave the election? More importantly, with a large field of potential candidates, is there a path for freedom? Meaning, can someone like Rand Paul who really believes in applying the Constitution in our modern times actually win?
The definite answer is “maybe.” But, more than any election since at least the 1980s, there is a narrow chance of this happening in 2016.
To explore this, we need to clearly understand two important points.
Charisma and Coolidge
First, in every presidential general election the most likeable candidate wins. Always. And in presidential politics “likeable” means both “fun, cool, engaging” and also that a majority of voters believe the candidate really cares about them.
This reality isn’t negotiable. The U.S. electorate always chooses the most likeable candidate for president. So if a Republican candidate isn’t more likeable to the general electorate than Hillary Clinton, he or she won’t win.
Second, there are two major groups of Republicans running for the White House: Establishment Republicans and Serious Freedom-Lovers. It’s been over thirty years since a Serious Freedom-Lover won the presidency. Since 1988, Republican nominees have been a long list of Establishment Rep’s: Bush I, Dole, Bush II, McCain, Romney. And before Ronald Reagan, Republican presidents were all Establishment Rep’s through Ford, Nixon, Eisenhower, and all the way back to Freedom-Lover Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s.