5 thoughts on “Deep thought

  1. it’s hard to say, largely because credible primary challenges to a sitting president are really rare. the last one that happened was ted kennedy vs. carter, right? that was over 30 years ago and while carter later went on to lose, that’s just a single example, not a pattern.

    in 1972 nixon faced a primary challenge from john ashbrook and then he later went on to be reelected. because he won in the general, no one remembers that primary challenge hurting him at all. but then ashbrook only got 5% of the vote, so maybe his challenge was “credible” and doesn’t count.

    if you go back further than that, you’re talking about a different primary system than the one we have now. actually, the system was different in 1980 and 1972 too, so maybe we have no data at all.

  2. I’d have to dig around for the literature, but there’s actually been some research in this field. As I understand it, most political science scholars would say B, as long as when you say challenger you’re referring to a credible challenger.

  3. Some people think a massive war chest, the threat of dividing the Democratic party along racial lines, and a GOP primary that will guarantee only the most bonkers candidates, gives ordinary voters no choice in the matter, and impunity from primaries. Those people have also been making a series of enormous, fundamental, and galling political miscalculations that bring the legitimacy of the entire U.S. Government into question.

  4. I think it’s a great idea to challenge in the primary. It’s time for Obama to answer some fucking hard questions about his abandonment of his campaign promises and enthusiastic adoption of the very things that Americans were voting against when they elected him. No primary challenge and all we’ll get are campaign platitudes.

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