Ready or not, election season is upon us as Republicans struggle to name their candidate to run against President Obama in the 2012 election, after which we’ll be bombarded with political debates, bumper stickers, rallies, speeches, and plenty of antics and drama. However, watching the Republicans struggle to find a suitable candidate is like watching an enthusiastic dog chase its tail, with little luck.
Though it’s still early, the Obama administration seems to be in a good position, as Republicans have yet to determine their standard-bearer. In the last couple of months, the list has varied wildly from celebrity hopefuls like Donald Trump, to former Alaskan governor/reality star Sarah Palin, to a wide mix of ambitious folks being touted as potential candidates. These include: Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, John Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Charles Elson “Buddy” Roemer III, John Bolton, Mitch Daniels, Mike Huckabee, Haley Barbour, John Thune, Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and Michael Bloomberg. Already, this list is dwindling as many have made announcements that they would not be running for president. Of the candidates who remain, I fear there isn’t a solid enough candidate to be a viable option. And, will Sarah Palin get off the fence and finally announce her intentions? Is it going to be reality TV or leading the free world? Decide already! Read the list of bios here.
While the agriculture community has been frustrated from day one about the hands-on-style of government Obama offers, I wonder how the young voter feels about his performance so far and if they will stay loyal to him in 2012. In the last election, I was a young college student who watched as campuses across the country became enamored with Obama as he promised change — change from the long-lasting effects of 9-11, change from the poor economy and a promise of a bright future, eloquently promised with a slick campaign. Three years later, I watch as many of my peers are still struggling to find a jobs in an economy that has yet to find solid footing, leaving them pretty disappointed about his empty promises. So, has Obama influenced enough positive change to maintain the young voter, or will it be a new group calling the shots? One journalist writes that Obama might have a hard time in this election, despite the Republicans’ inability to find a leader.
An interesting article in the Portland Oregonian predicts the election will come down to the influential vote of the white working class. An excerpt reads, "Every presidential campaign year, some demographic group seems to get anointed as the key to victory. Remember soccer moms or value voters? Sometimes it seems overblown, but political scientist Ruy Texeira may be pointing at the right group for 2012. Texeira argues that working class whites could be the key demographic group next year. They've taken the hardest economic hit in the last recession and, as a group, they're still a long way from recovery. As Texeira explains, "it's not a question of whether President Barack Obama will win this vote. He lost working class whites by 18 percentage points in 2008. But Democrats lost this vote by 30 percentage points in 2010, which would spell real trouble for Obama if this voting pattern prevails in 2012."
So, what's your take on the 2012 presidential election? Consider this an early election poll among beef producers. Will the Republicans find a strong enough candidate to move Obama out of office, or will the voters keep Obama in charge? Who is your favorite potential Republican candidate? What are your thoughts on the success and failures of the Obama administration? What does this country need? What do you need?