The Clarus Research Group has a year-end poll out, with some interesting results to ponder,as the 2012 Presidential campaign is set to emerge as a bigger story in 2011. The most unfortunate finding is the fact 85% of Americans believe America is in decline. The poll found the sentiment cut accross all political lines and respondents were looking for "strong, competent leadership, to get us back on track." According to CRG:
"The public mood is bigger than the sum of its parts," said Faucheux, president of Clarus Research Group. "Regardless of how voters feel about specific issues or personalities, there is a shared sense that the nation is in decline and needs strong, competent leadership to get it back on track. Large majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents agree with this sentiment."That sentiment is also strongly reflected in what Republican respondents are looking for in a leader for 2012. Per the Clarus results, what GOP voters are seeking a presidential candidate who:
- has management experience as a governor (65 percent) over someone with legislative experience in Congress (15 percent)––10 percent volunteered that a candidate should have both.
- has experience in private business (53 percent) over someone with experience in government (28 percent)––11 percent volunteered that a candidate should have both.
- is known for being intelligent and competent (49 percent) over someone who is known for clear and consistent philosophical principles (37 percent)––10 percent volunteered that a candidate should have both.
- is a moderate, pragmatic conservative with a good chance to beat Obama (61 percent) over someone who is a staunch, outspoken conservative who has only a fair chance of beating Obama (29 percent).
Albeit, Daniels would have a more ardous task, considering his low name recognition, but his skill at retail politics could offset Romney's advantages at fund-raising and organization, as well a highly successful business career as a problem solver and turnaround specialist. Daniels is the highly popular Governor of Indiana, who resolved many of the states financial woe. He was previously the Director of OMD under Presdient George W. Bush and had a very successful career at Eli Lily & Co, where he also rectified negative business conditions.
Mike Huckabee, who through his TV and Radio appearences, is not thought of as a polorizing figure, lacks the impressive private sector experince Romney and Daniels provide. He his best known for his Social Conservative positions and not for experience with problems solving.
Sarah Palin's profile and qualities seem to be favored by a smaller segment of the GOP. She has in 2010 carved out a niche as the most red-blooded conservative bar none, via her Twitter and Facebook updates. However, as President Obama continues to struggle to solve the nation's problems, being just a conservative clarion may not be what a nation, plauged by soaring deficits and stubbornly high unemployment rates, may be looking for.
The results of the Presdiential preference poll of Republicans is as follows:
REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION:
Clarus also looked at potential three match-ups between President Obama, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg and potential GOPers Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. In both cases, Obama was the winner and Bloomberg took third, with Romney and Palin taking second. Noteworthy however was Romney kept Obama to a slim 3-pt lead, 39-36, while Obama trounced Palin by 11 points, 42-31. Palin's problems with Moderates and Independents led Clarus to observe:
"In a three-way race with Palin as the Republican nominee, the GOP loses major support to an independent alternative," said Faucheux. "Against Obama and Palin, Bloomberg gets 24 percent of Republicans, 10 percent of Democrats, and 22 percent of independents."
In a 2012 race which promises to be thisclose, it will be interesting to see how the GOP selects it's standard bearer and how they will approach winning over Americans who are currently feeling very pessimistic.