Diary

Should RedState Endorse a Presidential Candidate ASAP?

Multiple conservative and establishment candidates dilute the strength of each other and lead to a delayed consensus.  There are several articles covering this, while it is also common sense.  RedState has a long history of endorsing candidates for different races.  The track record, at least in terms of endorsing effective candidates, is solid.  As with any process, there are mistakes, but these are still races where the alternative was clearly not going to vote in a conservative manner.  Not once have I seen a candidate not endorsed here go on to surprise everyone with how conservative their record has become.

RedState helped both [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] and [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] get elected to the Senate.  There is a plethora of articles supporting both.  There are some articles complaining about both, too, but the positive far outweigh the negative.

There is a fairly strong consensus among analysts that historically, someone who wins Iowa or NH is likely going to take home the prize.  Bill Clinton is the sole outlier, but there are substantive reasons for this.  In 2016, the odds are packed heavily in favor of an initial winner cruising to victory, or at least to a convention battle.

RedState as a collection of members supports various candidates.  I have seen articles supporting Fiorina, Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Trump, and Paul.  I have really not seen a single article touting Bush, Kasich, Christie, Graham, Santorum, Huckabee, Pataki, nor Gilmore.  So there truly are only six candidates from which to choose here.

I think we should recommend that Leon, on behalf of all of us, endorse a candidate, if only because failure to do so may end up with an alternative some of us don’t like and some of us can’t stomach.  We all want a conservative to win, but not one with a Party affiliation that is meaningless.  The budget which just got voted on is proof of what happens when we vote party and not principle.

Most of us have more than one acceptable choice.  And if the endorsement does not pan out, we are all able to throw our weight behind other choices.  But to the extent we can rally people who care, I think we should lean in that direction.  I have read blistering attacks on all six potential endorsees.  There are some of us who have very serious reservations about each of them.  My unscientific sense is that Trump and Paul are the least palatable.  So be it.

What we are seeing is that a plurality may determine the winner because candidates split the vote.  In 1992, this is somewhat the case.  Bill Clinton could not win a majority of the vote, but Ross Perot sure peeled off a whole set of voters and President Bush was not a retail politician.  We know the opposition will be Hillary Clinton, which gives us a very solid reason to get our candidate ready and battle test them.

I am not sure if RedState has the power, but it certainly does seem to have the influence, to vet these candidates.  Just like newspapers have done in the past, why don’t we interview our six candidates and have the senior RedState members make an endorsement prior to Iowa?  RedState is routinely quoted on RealClearPolitics, we have members who are quoted and invited on shows, and this site is the single strongest influencer in its category.

My fear is that if we do not take a stand, the plurality will dilute our strength and leave us with a candidate that we would not have had were we not united.  I understand that some people will threaten to opt out, depending on who takes the endorsement.  This, however, is a risk that seems acceptable because this will be the result if the voters head in that direction, anyway.  We might have some angry campaign managers, but if they have the opportunity to influence the outcome, the result would be on them, not us.