For the Republican Party, an ominous case of déjà vu could be a threat to the party’s White House aspirations in 2012.
A Gallup poll released Friday shows former candidate and current talk show host Mike Huckabee is the top presidential choice among potential GOP voters for 2012. However, the Gallup poll, along with a poll from Politico, reveals a virtual tie among the GOP’s top contenders.
The polls place Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich all within percentage points of each other in the race. The result is likely to be a primary election that pits Republican leaders against each other.
Fighting among the candidates in the 2008 election may have played a role in dividing the Republicans and their voters, and if the party is smart, they will make sure the same thing does not happen again.
The GOP has a common rallying cry for the first time in years – smaller government. With a unified stance they have the ingredients necessary to make a run at President Obama in 2012. But to do so, the GOP needs a unified leader.
Without a solid frontrunner, the Republican primary may turn into a political bloodbath, as former allies transform into bitter rivals. For Republican voters, a variety of candidates may seem like a good thing.
However, as GOP voters consider multiple candidates, the Democratic Party can pounce on a prime opportunity. They can paint themselves as a party of stability, united on its platform.
The Republican National Convention must ensure a long, drawn-out campaign does not derail their attempt to retake the presidency in the next election.
Of course, the Republicans need a primary, but they must ensure the candidates do not undermine the message of the party in an attempt at personal gain.
The Republican Party seems to have the momentum after the 2010 midterm election, but they must be wary of this potential primary danger.
In 2012, President Obama will be the GOP’s chief nemesis, but in 2011, its main threat is internal. So when the primary begins, voters and the party would be wise to make a decision – quickly.