Monday, January 4, 2016

The Shrinking Field

Terre Haute, IN – At last, 2016 is here, and we are finally about a month away from a time when actual people will be going to actual polling places to cast votes that actually matter. After all the debates, the guessing, the polls, the attack ads, whatever happens in Iowa might seem a bit anti-climactic.

But now that we are so close to the early voting states, there are several things that will happen. First, candidates will begin to drop out. That’s right, the impossible will become probable, candidates will be forced to start bowing out. This will be happening not just because many candidates numbers are in the basement, but also because they lack money, their candidates are exhausted and tired of fighting for seventh place, and because the media will start to have actual content to cover in the race, thus making stories about Huckabee and Santorum less and less needful. Already the noose is being tightened, as the next GOP Debate will reportedly only have six candidates on the stage.
The candidates that do not look to be dropping out anytime soon on the Republican side are of course Trump, who remains, despite all, on top, as well as Cruz, his current biggest rival. Rubio, the establishment’s last hope, does not look to be going anywhere. Those to be less sure about are Rand Paul and Chris Christie. Paul continues to go nowhere in the polls, but he isn’t a quitter, and as long as he runs, he knows that is able to lay forth his unique view of the need for liberty from government. On the Democratic side, it does not appear likely that any of the last three standing will drop out of the race. Bernie is far too arrogant, Hillary is doing far too well, and Martin O’Malley is far too necessary as a last option to take a bow.
The biggest name likely to go, either before Iowa or just after, running away in disgrace, is Jeb Bush. He has spent fifty million dollars on ads, and has gone nowhere. He has spent millions of dollars on consultants, but has gone nowhere. Americans simply do not want another Bush era. Recently he announced that, bowing to reality, he would be canceling another ad buy that would have cost him three million dollars. Mr. Bush has done everything he could, but he is starting to find that his name and his “dynastic connections” cannot save him.
Another candidate that is likely to drop out is John Kasich, you know, that guy you only watch for comedic relief when you can’t sleep at night. In a way, his eventual exit from the race, which is at last very near at hand, will be bitter sweet. It has long been written in the stars that the governor who doesn’t even know what the second month of the year is would be departing, but it the debates will be less fun without him screaming at the moderators and spouting more nonsense than a horse would have, had one been put at the podium.
The next month will see the field grow smaller, possibly seeing Mrs. Fiorina drop out, and maybe even Mr. Carson, although that is by no means a given. Either way, it seems likely that we are on the verge of a serious race breaking out, as we come closer to the wire, and normal people begin to pay attention to politics.

Andrew C. Abbott

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