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A Tale of Two Parties

Republicans struggle for cohesion while democrats gain stable footing

By Diego Frias
On October 24, 2015

The Grand Old Party is in disarray.

There is tremendous competition for the party nomination. Currently, 14 people are fighting for one spot on the ticket. This has led to confusion, infighting, and a lack of leadership. The media's focus on the circus the Republican presidential nomination race has turned into has not helped either. In fact, presidential hopeful Donald Trump, still seen as a major distraction from the genuine policy message of the GOP, has climbed back into a comfortable lead in the polls after a slight dip. National polls put him with a 10 point lead in some cases, and the website's realclearpolitics average of all major polls with 5.9 points ahead of businessman Ben Carson, who is 12.3 points ahead of anybody else.

Photo Credit John Minchillo, AP

Meanwhile, Republican leadership in Congress is collapsing. In the space of a month, we saw the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, announce his resignation and two potential speaker candidates fall out of the race. Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy accidentally insinuated that the purpose of the House committee to investigate Benghazi was to hurt Hillary Clinton in her race for the Presidency. Another presumed contender, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, coincidentally the chairman for the same committee mentioned by McCarthy, called the House “ungovernable” and close to “hitting rock bottom.”

Neither comments did anything to endear the Republican led Congress with the American public. In fact an Oct. 19 ABC News/Washington Post poll revealed that Congress currently has an asymmetrically low approval rating. Specifically, Republicans in Congress have a 71 percent disapproval rating with 49 percent of Americans strongly disapproving. In contrast, the democratic side of Congress has a 35 percent approval rating and only 39 percent of Americans strongly disapproving of their work in the capitol.

This comes at a time when the president is experiencing a bump in approval. President Obama, according to the same ABC News/Washington Post Poll, currently has a 51 approval rating, the highest in years.

Furthermore, Clinton is stronger than ever on the campaign trail. At a time when the democratic frontrunner had lost some traction, Joe Biden announced that he would not run for presidency. A significant portion of the voters and supporters for the democratic party had been holding off on pledging support to Clinton, as they were waiting to see whether the vice president would run.

While some of these undecided supporters might have been swayed by presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, the majority will undoubtedly head to the Clinton camp. There are still months left to go before the nominees for presidency are announced. However, Clinton seems to have the nomination sewn up before Halloween. With Clinton and Sanders as the democratic frontrunners, president Obama stronger than he has been in years and a congressional approval rating considerably higher than their counterparts, the democrats are currently settled and united.

In order to recover from the mess that is currently the Grand Old Party, Republicans need to do two crucial things. The first is to quietly and quickly appoint a new House speaker. They need to stop the soundbites coming out of their own backyard that are calling the House ungovernable and a tool for political prosecutions.

Second, they must start being brutal in the nomination race. Republicans need to use their grip on the media right now and push for more debates with less candidates. They need to start pushing fringe players to the side and focus on the top half. That's where you get names like Florida senator Marco Rubio and former Florida hopeful Jeb Bush, both capable of winning over Florida, which is the one of the biggest targets for both parties with its 29 electoral votes. Senator Ted Cruz is also in the top seven, and he

would do very well in Texas, the next biggest target with 38 electoral votes. With a Rubio/Cruz ticket, the GOP would have a killer chance to start the primary with 67 electoral votes simply by having those names on the ticket.

Throw in traditional Republican states such as Arizona, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama, Missouri and Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma and without batting an eye, the primary begins with Republicans reaching 171 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election. That's less than a 100 votes away from victory!

There is one thing in all of this that is clear. If Republicans want a say in who the next president will be, they need strong leadership. They need it from someone who can carry their weight come the primary and they need it from someone who can govern once in office. Trump is not that man. Ben Carson is not that man.

There are serious candidates out there, they simply have to have the means to be heard.

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