Have you checked the Republican presidential field lately? The announcements are coming at a regular pace now. Rick Santorum and George Pataki made it official this week. There are still a good number of potential candidates who have yet to make their announcements, but it’s obvious they are in the running as well—Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich, for example.
Is it a good thing to have a field this crowded?
Opinions differ. There are pluses and minuses. On the plus side, this shows that there is a hunger on the Republican side to replace Obama. Very little of that hunger came to the forefront in 2012, and we were not given as many choices. At the very least, this provides an opportunity for each of these candidates to make their case. And in a primary, that is important. We need to listen closely to what each one is saying, look at their records, and make the best possible decision as to whom to support.
So, I rejoice in a wide-open field such as this because it is not limited to whomever the party bigwigs think ought to be the nominee.
The down side, of course, is that it will be hard to focus on the messages because there are so many. In my opinion, some of these candidates don’t have a chance at all and shouldn’t even be running. Too many are trying to grab the “social conservative” mantel and that vote will be split, possibly opening the way for another “squishy” middle-of-the-road nominee who has fewer real convictions about limited government, religious liberty, and the cultural divide in the country.
My protestations, though, are not going to stop anyone from jumping into the fray. I have my favorites at the moment, but I’ll refrain from naming them. I also have some I fervently hope never get the nomination. Again, I’ll stop short of pointing them out right now. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably won’t be surprised which of these candidates are on which list.
One thing is for sure—they will have to roll up their sleeves and get to know the people who will be voting in the caucuses and primaries. Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina will have a major impact on who will be able to go forward and who will have to drop out. Voters may even get a little tired of the constant attention from those seeking their support.
The process is now well underway. The field will be narrowed by the end of this year, even before the Iowa caucuses, I believe. By early 2016, we will be down to just a few, and the choice will be made before we go into the summer. I pray for the most consistent candidate—consistent with Biblical and constitutional principles—and the one who will actually follow through on what he/she says. Faithfulness to one’s word is central to my support. Integrity cannot be compromised.