Can a viable Republican candidate survive the primaries?

Romney has lately said that one of the reasons he lost was the primary contests, i.e. Republicans beating each other up to see who can most appeal to the base. The problem course is that the base is way out there so moderate republicans are either forced too take extreme positions, like McCain and Romney, even though in the past they have been more moderate. Or they have zero chance like Huntsman. Once someone wins they have you spend most of their time trying to gain back the moderate position, which makes them look bad. The result: McCain and Romney get crushed. Who can survive in 2016?

I am sure if they find a guy people agree is nice, someone who looks good on TV and has the right haircut, someone who can really nail the perfect tone of voice when explaining how tax cuts for the wealthy actually increase revenue, how cutting Social Security is patriotic, and someone who can display the body language of conviction when pointing out that the Earth is 6000 years old, climate change is a fraud and God wants rape babies- yeah, find a guy with really good delivery and I’m sure they’re a shoo-in.

None of the guys in the last go round combined charisma with competence. Mitt was actually more competent than the rest of the clown car (with the possible exception of Huntsman who was way too far to the left). But once in the real world his stuffed shirt personality was too apparent. The traditional strategies of the Republican Party are outdated. The Southern Strategy may no longer work. Running to the right in the primaries and then running to the center in the general is too obvious with modern media coverage. The Democrats have many of the same problems. Obama won this time by conducting a well organized and effective campaign behind the cameras. A Republican who does the same will be just as successful.

I think it depends on the conservative media. If they continue to delude their masses with rotten meat painted red, and crucify the moderates, then no.

To be fair, over the last two cycles the Republican party has nominated two of the more moderate candidates running. McCain was the most moderate choice in 2008, and Romney was the most moderate of 2012 with the exception of Huntsman.

But the conservative media did a lot of damage (to Romney, specifically) during the primarires that a lot of the damage was done by the time he got to the general. And I think Huntsman saw the writing on the wall so he got out early. And any sane conservatives didn’t even get in, I half suspect, because of the idiocy of the right wing media and their complete inability to grasp reality.

Romney was the viable candidate. There never was any doubt that he’d win the nomination.

This election proved that the dominating factor in the presidential race is not candidates or positions, but demographics. The Republican Party as a whole has worked very hard for decades to scare away the fastest growing segments of the population. They vote for party, not candidate, on a national level. This will be as true in 2016 and the relative percentage of scorned minorities will be larger. It simply won’t matter who the Republican candidate will be, barring some extraordinary events over the next four years. Those are always possible, and if so people will read that election wrongly just as they are doing so for this election. But the trend is inexorable.

Romney has found everyone and everything under the sun to blame but himself.

Whatever happened to the Etch-A-Sketch that would magically repair everything after the primaries?

Yabbut wasn’t shaking the Etch-a-Sketch supposed to undo that damage?

Coulda sworn I read about a Romney aide using that argument to pooh-pooh the notion that the primary campaign would damage Romney’s chances in the general.

Do the parties have to have primaries? Seems like it would be a great thing if the democrats could come together and agree that their nominee for 2016 is Jon Doe and avoid all the airing of dirty laundry that gives the other side much ammunition during the general election.

I suppose this would be up to the states, and not likely that all 50 would find the joy of unification in their hearts.

Yes, I believe the DNC can choose a candidate however they want.

I agree, but how is this possible when the Republican party insists on having 1,279 TV debates before anointing their candidate? I really believe they shot themselves in the foot on that score. IMHO it diminished their stature by presenting their party as a reality TV show. As the saying goes - always leave them wanting more. They did the exact opposite.

I think this is going to be a bigger and bigger problem if the bases of either party get too far out of whack with the mainstream middle. The attacks and problems and statements of dismay live on in a way that they didn’t 20 years ago, and a candidate’s public persona can get set so early that they are fighting a battle against their opponent and their past at the same time.

In what respect is Huntsman moderate?

Yeah, he looks moderate next to the crazies, but he’s very conservative. Just not a firebrand.

They probably won’t do the debate parade again. A good candidate will also lock up the available funds. Clinton and Bush were effective at doing this. The Democrats used to be more susceptible to this than the Republicans. The Republicans may not be able to get past it though. They’ve long argued in favor of letting the rich buy the government they want, and now they’re suffering the result of that. There are a lot of rich whackos who can fund their own favorite spoiler. But given the Republican penchant for manipulating the system I think their will be a lot of changes to their primary process coming up. Hopefully it will require a bloody civil war within their party which will further divide and dimish their influence.

They have to comply with federal election law.

How many televised Republican primary debates were had in 2012 compared to previous years?

I’ll admit I never watched any until this year, and yeah, totally off-putting if not outright offensive.

My conservative (heh) estimate is ONE HUNDRED MILLION!

Actually, I think there were something like 26. Most of those would have been held in 2011 (I’m not sure if you were using 2012 as the calendar year or the election year).

There were 20.