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Union University Department of Political Science
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Evans Speaks to Exchange Club

Oct 19, 2011

Yesterday, Sean Evans, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science, spoke to the Bicentennial Exchange Club at their weekly meeting. In his talk on the presidential race, he noted that most voters were not pleased with their choices but that GOP voters were basically stuck with the current crop of candidates because it is too late for anyone else to jump in the race. In assessing the chances fof the candidates, he believes the race will come down to a Perry-Romney race for several reasons.

First, several candidates pass the "smell test" of whether we can see them as president. Herman Cain's background as a CEO and talk radio show host is not the resume of someone who voters perceive as "presidential." Congresswoman Michelle Bachman also has this problem because of the lack of a legislative record while Congressman Ron Paul is too extreme.

Of the candidates remaining, Santorum and Huntsman are substantive and experienced but has limited appeal. Gingrich is credible but lacks discipline and is character-challenged. That basically leaves Romney and Perry. Plus, Perry has the money to create an organization and run ads that the other conservatives do not. By default, Perry, as a ten year Governor of Texas, is the conservative choice when Republicans want to nominate a conservative.

Finally, the campaign schedule favors the conservative because Iowa and Nevada are caucus states which favors the conservative while South Carolina is a conservative state. If Perry, as the credible conservative wins three out of four races, then he should have the momentum to wrap up the nomination quickly.

However, Romney does have some things going for him. He has an existing organization in each of the early states from four years ago. Nevada has a large Mormon population which may help him. And South Carolina Jim DeMint, a tea party favorite, is likely to endorse Romney again.

Getting the GOP nomination is highly valued this year because the economy is unlikely to improve and Obama remains unpopular. The GOP nominee, whether Romney or Perry, should be the favorite next November.