“Republican Debates Are a Hot Ticket on TV.” With the September Fox debate attracting over 6 million viewers as compared to an average of 2 million in 2007, it is no wonder every media outlet has jumped onto the Republican debate band wagon.There are around 23 debates planned with nine already behind us. There has been much talk about the Republican Presidential candidates with what seems like the weekly debates and each one has blended into the other like a bad reality show. Ron Paul keeps espousing his rigid Libertarian views and Michelle Bachmann keeps discussing her family life (none of which is relevant to the background and experience necessary for a presidential candidate). Herman Cain has become the front runner with his bold 9-9-9 plan but shows his inexperience when it comes to foreign policy and making gaffes. With Romney and Perry continuously going at each other, no one else can get a word in edge wise. Oh yes, Santorum and Gingrich do get in their clever gibes once in a while but Huntsman is essentially inconsequential.
For those of us here in California, the primaries are about eight months away and I don’t know about the rest of you but I am getting very tired of all the bickering and the Republicans tearing each other apart. Lets be honest, a Republican is going to vote Republican anyway; ABO, Anyone but Obama 2012! Even a “rino” would be better than Obama.
What I am more interested in is who the vice president on the ticket is going to be. I believe the VP choice will be crucial in winning over the independents. In fact with someone else on the ticket in 2008, McCain could have potentially won. This time, we need to pick the VP with utmost care, someone who will be viewed as Presidential but someone who will also attract the independent votes. With the changing demographics, I’m guessing that there will need to a be a “minority” on the Republican ticket.
If Herman Cain wins the nomination, the position is open to the entire Republican field. But what about if another candidate wins the nomination? The Republican party will most likely look towards Bobby Jindal or Nikki Haley for the “ethnic” vote, or Paul Ryan to win over a younger generation or to get both category of votes, Marco Rubio.
Let me first discuss the demographic shift then discuss the potential Vice President candidates.
According to Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais’s article Shifting Voter Demographics: America is a Different Country, “In 1965 the nation was 89% white and 11% black, about the same as it had been during the previous century. Since then, high levels of Asian and Latino immigration have produced an America today which is 66% white and 33% “people of color,” a tripling of the minority population in only four decades.” The minority vote is becoming ever so important. And with most minorities tending to vote for Democrats, it is becoming ever so more important for Republicans to try to relate to minorities and attract them to the Republican party.
The next demographic shift is in age. The Millennial (born 1982-2003), or “youth” vote, is becoming increasingly important. “There are about 95 million Millennials, about half of whom are now of voting age. One out of four eligible voters in 2012 will come from this generation. That will expand to more than one out of three voters by 2020.” This is the vote that pushed Obama into the White House and it is this vote that has the potential to vote him back in, in 2012.
So with this demographic shift in mind, who should the VP be? Like I mentioned above, there are four choices I see as viable candidates; Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, Paul Ryan, and Marco Rubio. Bobby Jindal is one of my favorite governors. He has run his state, Louisiana, really efficiently even under dire circumstances with the fallout from Katrina to the oils spills. He is obviously loved by his constituents as he was recently re-elected to office in a landslide. The only problem with Jindal is that he had a lackluster performance on the national stage when he provided the rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union address in 2009. That one small mistake was blown up by liberal media so much that there is a slight feeling amongst the independents that he is inexperienced and perhaps not dynamic enough. Nikki Haley is a rising star in the GOP, but is she too inexperienced? Perhaps. She has done wonders in the short time as governor of South Carolina but has only made national news in a negative light with the denial of her heritage.
Paul Ryan is a proven force to be reckoned with. As a young Representative from Wisconsin, Ryan was at the forefront of the Republican party and the powerhouse behind the Republican budget proposal. He is known nationally as the face of the young Republicans and a Tea Party favorite. Ryan is a relatively young politician, someone the “youth” vote can relate to, and someone who can energize the party once again. Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida, also has that appeal. He is relatively young and is a fresh figure in the Republican Party. Along with being able to attract the “youth,” Marco Rubio, as a son of Cuban immigrants, appeals to the “minority” vote. For this reason, I believe Marco Rubio should be on the top of all the candidates’ list. He has however recently announced on the Bill O’Reilly show that he would not accept if asked. However maybe party loyalty and some persuasion may sway him.
Other potentials? There are always Chris Christie and Scott Walker, but they have been too controversial to help garner enough independent votes to ensure a Republican win. With a strategically picked Vice President based on the demographic changes, the GOP will make sure Obama is a one-term President.