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2016 Presidential Election Preview: Grading The Top 11 Potential Republican Presidential Candidates


Here is a look at the best 11 candidates that the Republican Party has to offer. I have graded them based on their social views, fiscal views, potential grassroots momentum, potential establishment support, their total candidate grade, their likelihood of winning the primary, and their overall likelihood of winning the general election.

Please feel free to discuss/argue/debate my opinions in the comment section, I would love to dive deep on each of these candidates before I decide who to endorse, and I want to hear from you folks!

 

Mike Huckabee

Background: Former Arkansas Governor, Former Preacher, Former Television host

Social Issues: B+ – Strong on Abortion, Crime, and the 2nd Amendment, moderate on Immigration

Fiscal Issues: A – Supports the Fair Tax, and fiscal reform

Grassroots Momentum: A – Fox News Republican base would get behind him, so would Evangelicals

Establishment Support: C – Backed out to let Mitt take the nomination, some will respect that

Total Candidate Grade: A- – Great candidate if he decides to run, needs to declare early and run hard

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 16%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 8%

 

Jeb Bush

Background: Former Florida Governor, George Walker Bush’s Brother, George HW Bush’s Son

Social Issues: B – Strong on Abortion, Crime, and the 2nd Amendment. Moderate on Immigration.

Fiscal Issues: D – Willing to negotiate on taxes, careful entitlement reform, big spender

Grassroots Momentum: B – Big brand name, moderates in the party will rally behind him in primary

Establishment Support: A – GOP looking for best chance to win moderates will rally around Jeb

Total Candidate Grade: B+ – Swing State Gov + moderate on immigration/entitlement + big spender

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 15%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 7%

 

 

Rick Perry

Background: 4-Term Texas Governor

Social Issues: A – Strong on Abortion, Crime, Immigration, and the 2nd Amendment

Fiscal Issues: A – Called Social Security a Ponzi Scheme, supports the balanced budget amendment

Grassroots Momentum: B – Republicans like Texas Republicans, and he is right on the issues

Establishment Support: D – Needs to shed the “dumb” label from 2012, but can overcome that

Total Candidate Grade: B – Needs to convince people he is intelligent, but he has the whole package

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 14%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 6%

 

 

Marco Rubio

Background: Florida Senator

Social Issues: B – Strong on gun rights, and crime, moderate on Immigration and abortion.

Fiscal Issues: A – Strong on tax reform, entitlement reform, and good on budget issues

Grassroots Momentum: B – Latino candidate that people can believe in, could unite party

Establishment Support: B – Strong choice if Jeb is out and Dems are leaning towards Hillary

Total Candidate Grade: B- – Swing State Senator on the right side of every issue for mainstream America

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 11%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 6%

 

Scott Walker

Background: Wisconsin Governor

Social Issues: C – Strong on Abortion, gun rights, moderate on Crime, and weak on Immigration.

Fiscal Issues: B+ – Union Buster, strong on budget, light experience on federal fiscal issues

Grassroots Momentum: B – Anti-union crowd hero, survived Recall vote, strong candidate

Establishment Support: A – Fiscal Conservative with good track record, could gain momentum

Total Candidate Grade: C+ – Swing State Governor with guts/determination, don’t count him out

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 9%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 5%

 

Rand Paul

Background: Kentucky Senator, Former Doctor

Social Issues: B+ – Strong on Abortion, gun rights, moderate on Crime and Immigration.

Fiscal Issues: A – Strong on reducing spending, entitlement reform, and endorses the flat-tax

Grassroots Momentum: A – Daddy’s fans, plus he won a lot of support with his filibusters

Establishment Support: B – Reasonably conservative candidate with a brand name and moderate ideas

Total Candidate Grade: C+ – He would be #1 here if he was a governor with 4+ years of experience…

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 8%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 5%

 

Paul Ryan

Background: Wisconsin Representative

Social Issues: A – Strong on Abortion, gun rights, Crime, and Immigration.

Fiscal Issues: A – Advanced multiple balanced budgets to congress looking for 5+% bump in revenues

Grassroots Momentum: B – Lots of name recognition, newest budget talks could spark discussion

Establishment Support: B – Lots of establishment money spent on Romeny/Ryan, could continue

Total Candidate Grade: C- – Swing State Representative with budget chops, could leverage debt crisis

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 8%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 5%

 

John Kasich

Background: Ohio Governor, Former Representative

Social Issues: A- – Strong on Abortion, Crime, and the 2nd Amendment, and Immigration

Fiscal Issues: A – Supports lower taxes, lower spending, and entitlement reform

Grassroots Momentum: B – Would build momentum if he can tell his balanced budget story

Establishment Support: D – Very little support in 2000, he would need to improve on fundraising

Total Candidate Grade: D – Swing State Governor with top-rate credentials, just needs to raise cash

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 6%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 3%

 

Chris Christie

Background: New Jersey Governor, former US Attorney, former Lobbyist

Social Issues: D – Flip-flopped on Abortion, semi-weak on immigration, very weak on 2nd amendment

Fiscal Issues: C – Good on tax reform, great on entitlement reform, weak on replacing taxes with fees

Grassroots Momentum: B – BridgeGate slowed down the momentum, but still has a lot of fans

Establishment Support: B – Well known, lots of wall street money behind him, good establishment choice

Total Candidate Grade: D- – Primary will be tough, lots of baggage to overcome, no huge upside

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 6%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 2%

 

Rick Santorum

Background: Former Pennsylvania Senator, Former Representative

Social Issues: A- – Strong on Abortion, Crime, and the 2nd Amendment, and Immigration

Fiscal Issues: A – Supports lower taxes, lower spending, and entitlement reform

Grassroots Momentum: B – Some fans left from 2012, but his fan base will always be limited

Establishment Support: C – Fought Mitt to the end, wasting his money, people will not appreciate that

Total Candidate Grade: E – Strong conservative with little chance of winning the entire election

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 3%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 1%

 

Ted Cruz

Background: Texas Senator

Social Issues: A – Strong on Abortion, gun rights, Crime, and Immigration.

Fiscal Issues: A – Supports single-rate tax, entitlement reform, and smaller government.

Grassroots Momentum: A – Hardcore Republicans love him, he will have a following

Establishment Support: D – Never met anyone who thinks he can actually win the nomination

Total Candidate Grade: F – Newby who has a reputation for being extreme, no name recognition

Likelihood of Winning the Primary: 2%

Likelihood of Winning the Election: 1%

 

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Calling all Conservatives: Would you rather vote for the GOP, or this new Political Party?


Ever since the Tea Party emerged onto the Political Scene, True Conservatives have been looking for a home to call their own.  The traditional Republican Party has not welcomed us, as the Tea Party has had mixed reviews in the Main Stream Media.  Joining the existing third parties have not been effective, because it is hard to gain meaningful election wins without a major party.  In addition, no one has been able to properly define what a typical “Tea Party Voter” is, so the part has been unable to mobilize nationally.

What if we could change all of that?  What if we could define the ideals of the Tea Party in an easy-to-understand manner, which allowed a very conservative party to cast a wide net of support?

What if we were able to draw supporters of the right-wing Republicans, Fiscally-Conservative Democrats, along with the support of 3rd parties like the Constitution Party, the Natural Law Party, and the Libertarian Party?

What if we had 3 simple rules.  As long as you could follow those rules, you could be a member of the party, and the national party would support your candidacy?

What if the new party’s only three rules were:

1)  Protect the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution of the United States of America

2)  Reduce Tax liability, drastically reduce spending, and work to reduce the National Debt

3)  Social issues should be decided by the 10th Amendment, and all views are welcome within the Party

Can anyone reading this blog post think of a reason why such a party would not garner significant support?  You have a party who protects the Constitution, a party which lowers federal spending, lowers overall taxation, and lowers the National Debt.  And, finally, you have a party who allows you to believe what you want on Social issues, as long as you believe that the individual state legislatures, or that state’s population, should get to decide on the legality of those issues.

This party would allow for a far-right-conservative to vote for a candidate, while at the same time allowing for a Moderate Democrat to vote for the same candidate.  This party could theoretically attract folks from the Constitution Party, while also attracting folks from the Green Party.  In short, a Constitution-protecting candidate, with the latitude to support what social views they want, so long as they support the 10th Amendment, could garner a wide-range of political support.  This party could provide the true third party that the country has been looking for since the days of the Whigs in the mid-1800’s…

For argument’s sake, let’s give this Political Party a name:  The Founder’s Party

If “The Founder’s Party” existed today, could you see yourself voting for them?

Would you be okay with a person who agreed with you on 90% of the issues, but believed the other 10% of the issues should be settled by the representatives of that state, or the people of that state?

How do we go about consolidating the third parties in this great nation?  How do we garner support in the traditional deep-pocketed political machine?  Once a third party has gained credibility, how do we convince them to abandon their specific cause and join our movement to create a true third option in U.S. Politics?

Please share this article if you would like to see such a party enacted in this country!  Thanks!

 

English: William Blount. Signer of the Constit...

English: William Blount. Signer of the Constitution of the United States of America. Deutsch: William Blount. Unterzeichner der Unabhängigkeitserklärung der USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Debunking the “Affordable Care Act” Myth & the complete disregard for the 10th Amendment


ObamaCare was passed as the “Affordable Care Act”.  Now, as people are seeing their revised Health Care Plan for the first time under the new law, we are realizing just how misleading the title of that law really is…

According to a CNN Poll, only 35% of people now support ObamaCare, while 62% oppose the legislation.  That is the lowest level of support the law has seen yet, and it coincides with everyone getting information about their new 2014 health care plans at work.

This massive drop in support has to do with two major issues:

1)  People are realizing that the cost of their insurance is going up…not down

2)  People are realizing that their insurance is changing, when the President said it would not

On the issue of the cost going up, the most glaring statistic is that 42% of people now say that they will be worse off under their new Plan, which is a stunning indictment of what was supposed to increase “Affordable Care”.  In addition, despite the 35% of people who still support the legislation, only 16% admit that they will actually be better off with ObamaCare than they were previously.  That means that we are paying over $2.6 TRILLION in government funds, along with paying higher premiums on our own policies, to help only 16% of the population…

On the issue of you being able to keep your own health plan if you like it, they now estimate that 15 million people have lost their current insurance, and over 100 million people will have their work insurance altered due to the new law.  The CNN poll states that 35% of people say that they will have to change their doctor due to the implementation of ObamaCare.

The truth about ObamaCare is finally coming out, and the revolution against this overreaching legislation has just begun.  My own policy premiums did not change, but I now have to lose weight in order to recoup the financial benefits that I used to gain by performing a certain number of activities (physicals, classes, exams, etc) each year.  I believe that the 10th Amendment (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”) should protect people from Government-mandated weight loss, but that is just me and it stems from my silly strict constructionist views that we should protect and honor the Constitution that governs this great country…

Please help us replace the current Senate and drive ObamaCare from the history books in 2014!

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a NeoCon/WackoBird…but I now support Gay Marriage


English: Portrait of United States Senator Rob...

English: Portrait of United States Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I applaud Senator Rob Portman, who dramatically revealed his change of heart on the issue of Gay Marriage this past week.  Portman’s decision was based on a very personal story where his son revealed to him that he was gay, and the Senator realized that he wanted his son to have the same opportunity for happiness and marriage that his other children will have.

Portman’s decision was slammed in the twitterverse and in the mainstream media as self-serving, with people turning this deeply personal change of heart into something much more sinister.  Rather than embracing the converted Senator, Gay Marriage supporters rained insults down on him and his political party, ranging from calling him a flip-flopper, to asking if he would change his mind on the minimum wage or abortion if his children ran across hard times financially or were involved in an unplanned pregnancy.

Many of their comments, not listed here, were completely disgusting and disheartening.

Personally, I am a recovering NeoConservative, who is beginning to lean more and more towards WackoBird Libertarianism.  The issue of Gay Marriage is one that I have struggled with for a long time, and I have participated in several spirited debates with my friends and family throughout the years.  While I am capable of making a full-throated defense of the Republican Party-Line, it has been years since my inner-argument amounted to much more than a slippery slope debate which I was not overly passionate about.  That being said, until recently I have not found the motivation to sit down and really dig into the issue to see if my overall opinion had changed.

Rob Portman changed that for me.  After hearing his announcement, I was surprisingly not angry, as I typically would have been if a Champion for one of my political positions had changed their mind.  I began looking back at the years of debates, thinking about how the strength of my opinion had decreased over time, and I dove deep into the issue.  My position hasn’t changed over the last 48 hours.  However, over the past 48 hours I have realized that my opinion has definitely changed over the last several years.

I now support Gay Marriage.

While you likely won’t see me marching on Washington, or screaming at those who advocate against Gay Marriage, I thought it was worth posting this online to show that it is okay to change your position on key issues and we should not demonize each other when that happens.  Whether you change your opinion based of something that happens in your personal life, or whether it was a slow evolution over time, Political advocates should welcome these new converts with open arms.

Whether it’s Gay Marriage, Abortion, Death Penalty, Gun Control, Minimum Wage, Tax Policy…

On these issues where each side has the support of around 50% of the country, how will your side ever become a clear majority if you don’t embrace those who are willing to let their opinions evolve over time.  The only way to guarantee effective Political discourse in this country is to be respectful of each other’s opinions, and to allow people to change their mind when they have heard a good argument.

I now proudly support Gay Marriage – I challenge each one of you to take a look at some of your own Political Positions this week.  In a world where people are allowed to change their mind on key issues without being demonized, would there be any issues that you might like to alter your stance on?

Socratic Method & The US Federal Income Tax


Cropped image of a Socrates bust for use in ph...

Cropped image of a Socrates bust for use in philosophy-related templates etc. Bust carved by by Victor Wager from a model by Paul Montford, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John:  “Rich people should pay more in taxes and poor people should pay less.”

Socrates:  “How much more should the rich people pay?”

John:  “They should pay their fair share, since they are making so much more than us.”

Socrates:  “Define their fair share for me.”

John:  “Well, if someone makes ten times as much as me, they should pay ten times as much in taxes.”

Socrates:  “How much money do you make John?”

John:  “My wife and I make $45,000 a year.”

Socrates:  “So, if you two paid $10,000 in taxes, someone who makes $450,000 a year should pay $100,000 in taxes?”

John:  “Yes, that sounds about right.”

Socrates:  “Okay, so what I am hearing you say is that people should pay their fair share?”

John:  “Exactly!  I honestly don’t know how anyone could really argue against that point!”

Socrates:  “So, someone who makes $45,000 should not be allowed to pay zero in taxes?”

John:  “Of course not!  Following our logic, they would be paying way less than their fair share.”

Socrates:  “So, if a group of people make 45% of the total income, they should not have to pay over 70% of the taxes?”

John:  “Obviously not.  Following our logic, they would be paying way more than their fair share.

Socrates:  “So, if there was a tax code that forced people who make up 45% of the total income pay over 70% of the taxes AND allows 47% of income-earners to pay zero taxes, that would not be a fair system?”

John:  “Of course not!  That would be way too far in the other direction, you are trying to make me look like a Radical Communist!”

Socrates:  “So, in that system, you would actually want the rich to pay less and the poor to pay more?”

John:  “I guess, if that system was actually in place, I would be arguing for the rich to pay less and the poor to pay more.”

Socrates:  “But John, the system I just described is the current system in the United States.  I thought you said the rich don’t pay enough today?”

John:  “Well…uh…I…hmmm…”

Socrates:  “True wisdom comes to each of us as we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”

I am the future 1% – Why do you hate me?


This is an essay from someone who is destined to be in the 1% before long.  This group, the 1%, has been vilified in the media, eviscerated by Liberal groups, and demonized through political rhetoric during the Obama years.  Are these people really the devil?  Or is it possible that they are exactly the kind of hardworking, down-to-earth, creative-thinking people who we need to pull our country out of the hole that we have dug ourselves?

 

–          I am the future 1% – This is my story

–          I’m 5 foot 2 – Studies indicate I will make $237K less than the avg. 6 foot tall man in my lifetime

–          I started working at 14 at a fast food restaurant – I rode my bike to work every day

–          I did not make over $5/hour until I had gotten three raises and an assistant manager promotion

–          I worked full-time in High School while competing in sports and making the honor roll

–          I never did drugs, partied, or drank in High School

 

–          I am the future 1% – Should I have enjoyed High School more?  Worked less?  Partied harder?

–          I got a promotion to manager at the age of 18, after working at the same place for 4+ years

–          I didn’t get into my preferred college – I went to another school, quit for 1 yr before returning

–          I was arrested for drinking underage during college – I decided not to let it define who I was

 

–          I am the future 1% – Should I have given up when adversity struck for the first time?

–          I worked full-time and slowly finished college in 6 years after much prodding from my parents

–          I took a 100% commission job at a Fortune 500 company, fought hard for every meal for a year

–          I was arrested again – I decided to make myself a better person instead of spiraling downward

 

 

–          I am the future 1% – Should I have given up when everything seemed to be going against me?

–          I got promoted after a year of outstanding work – putting in more hours than anyone else

–          I moved to another Fortune 500 company, this time as a Bank Manager

–          I bought a house at the height of the housing boom – I am currently still $50K underwater on it

–          I took out over 80K in loans so I could quit my job and go back to school for my MBA

 

–          I am the future 1% – Should I have saved my money, settled down, and stopped progressing?

–          I received a Manager offer from another Fortune 500 company after business school

–          I got married to the love of my life and bought another house in a small town

–          I turned around two struggling business units, and quickly got promoted to Senior Manager

–          I am the future 1% – Should I have just enjoyed the ride and collected a paycheck?

–          I welcomed my first child into our family, and named him after my Grandfather

–          My wife runs a small business while raising our son full-time – She is absolutely amazing

–          Our current Net Worth is still below zero, though we are starting to catch up

–          I am currently in the top 13th income percentile at age 32…

 

–          I am the future 1% – Should I feel bad about what I have accomplished?

–          Would you rather I fell apart after the arrests and became a burden on society?

–          Would you rather I didn’t graduate college?

 

–          I am the future 1% – Should I feel bad about working hard to get ahead?

–          Would you rather I didn’t make an $80K bet on myself and my abilities?

–          Would you rather I coasted along in mediocrity without ever offering my employers value?

 

–          I am the future 1% – Why do you hate me?

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