Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

An 'ObamaCare-loving moderate' as GOP's nominee?

A couple of items on which to end the day:

1.) Politico has the self-negating headline of the week. "Who is the GOP's strongest candidate?" it asks. Its answer? "Why ObamaCare-loving moderate John Kasich may be the Republican Party's best bet."

I'm sorry. An "ObamaCare-loving moderate" by definition cannot be the Republicans' 2016 presidential candidate. It's dumb to even suggest such a thing. That would be like gearing up to run against Obama and ObamaCare in 2012, then nominating as your candidate some former governor who had pioneered the ObamaCare concept in the first place. Even the Republicans wouldn't do that.

2.) Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker still looks like the best bet to win the GOP nomination, although his inexperience on the national scene has caused some early problems.  His supporters believe that his ability to do well in a blue state such as Wisconsin would bode well for his ability to compete against Hillary Clinton on the national scene.

Maybe. Or maybe not, according to a newly released poll from Wisconsin's own Marquette Law School.  Among Wisconsin Republicans, the governor is certainly the clear choice to win the GOP presidential nod, with 40 percent supporting Walker. Rand Paul comes in a poor second, at 10 percent.

But among general-election voters in Wisconsin?

"To look ahead to a possible 2016 presidential matchup, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads Walker in Wisconsin, 52 percent to 40 percent.... Thirty-four percent of registered voters say that they would like to see Walker run for president while 62 percent would not like him to run.

Voters also see the state’s employment situation as turning down compared to other states, with 52 percent saying that Wisconsin is lagging behind other states in job creation, 34 percent saying that the state is doing about the same as other states and 8 percent saying that the state is creating jobs faster than other states."

Eight percent? Eight percent of his own people say that Walker's economic program is creating jobs faster than in other states? (For the record, that 8 percent is wrong. Job growth in Wisconsin lags the national average.)

And Walker trails Hillary in his own home state by 12 points? Both Paul (8-point deficit) and Jeb Bush (11-point deficit) do slightly better among Wisconsin voters.

Yes, it's a long time between now and November 2016. But that's a big hole.


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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.