Ideology and Insider/Outsider Status Among Potential Republican Presidential Candidates
As potential Republican candidates for President (Daniels, Christie, Trump, Huckabee) bail on running, and as others (Pawlenty today) get into the race, I thought this would make a good time to reblog this graphic, originally from Nate Silver at 538.com. It offers a schematic look at the then-potential candidates along two dimensions: insider versus outsider status, and conservative versus moderate politics (especially on social issues). Actually, there’s a third dimension as well: the size of each candidate’s bubble is an estimate of that potential candidate’s chances of winning the Republican nomination.
Two by two tables, while still crude, are a much more effective way to assess complex questions than the simple, linear “conservative versus liberal” language that so seems to dominate political discourse today. We all live complicated, complex and sometimes internally contradictory lives, but that doesn’t mean that general patterns can’t be discerned and predictions made based on those patterns.
This graphic is particularly helpful in imagining the aftermath of a potential candidate’s choosing not to run … or what might happen later, when candidates drop out. To the degree that Mitch Daniels had many supporters, for example, they seem as or more likely to shift towards supporting Romney than they do Pawlenty … and not at all likely to move towards Palin or Gingrich.
Another interesting question is how might Huckabee’s sympathizers react: towards their ideological kindred spirit, Sarah Palin, or towards the schematically nearer, but less ideologically friendly, Tim Pawlenty. It is obviously too early to tell, since Palin has not even decided to run yet, but as the field thins, such triangulations will become more prevalent.
When thinking politics, it is best to think in multiple dimensions, not just one.
A Graphical Overview of the 2012 Republican Field - NYTimes.com (Via FiveThrityEight)
The race to become The Man
They look like party balloons …