A similar poll with similar results is probably done every four years for both parties. Democrats appear to be always looking for that next John Kennedy. Republicans pine for the next Ronald Reagan. There is always a sizable number of party members who don’t like the field as it stands and want more candidates to choose from.
Alas, world historical figures only emerge once in a great while so the nature of our politics in this matter disappoints us. Still, 58% of Republicans being dissatisfied with their choice for president seems high at this point in the process.
The nominating process may officially be underway, but Republicans have yet to enthusiastically embrace a potential nominee for president – and despite the late date, most would like to see other candidates enter the race, according to a new CBS News poll.
The survey finds that 58 percent of Republican primary voters want more presidential choices, while just 37 percent say they are satisfied with the current field. The percentage of Republican primary voters that wants more choices has increased 12 percentage points since October.
Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the nomination, has struggled to break 30 percent support in state and local polls in an election cycle that has seen multiple candidates move ahead of Romney in the polls before seeing their support erode. In this national survey, taken after Romney’s narrow victory in the Iowa caucuses, the former Massachusetts governor leads the field – though he holds just 19 percent support. Only 28 percent of GOP primary voters say they’ve made up their mind, and just 20 percent who’ve made a choice strongly favor their candidate.
It’s mathematically possible for another candidate to enter the race as late as early February and still win enough delegates to take the nomination, though some deadlines for candidates to get on state ballots have already passed, including those in delegate-rich Virginia and Illinois. A late entry into the GOP race would come with potentially-overwhelming obstacles, including the need to instantly build a national campaign apparatus and do the hard work of getting on state ballots in an extremely compressed time period.
The list of prominent Republicans who have announced they would not seek the presidency this cycle include Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan and Haley Barbour.
None of those candidates would remind anyone of Ronald Reagan, although they would all be formidable opponents for President Obama. And that, perhaps, is the lesson to be drawn from this poll; there is no use complaining about what you don’t have. Work with what you’ve got and make the best of it.