Christie out, nobody in

| Staff Columnist

The road to the GOP nomination for the 2012 elections has been a long and rocky one. With no clear, single frontrunner, the candidacy is wide open for most of the 10 official candidates. For some people, however, the 10 potentials we have are not good enough. From Rick Perry to Mitt Romney, many people believe that the Republican nominee field has yet to produce a candidate who has a solid chance of beating President Obama in next year’s elections.

But many of these people believed that they had found the perfect candidate: Chris Christie. Christie, the current governor of New Jersey, was getting a lot of pressure from a variety of high-profile Republicans to run for president. And when political heavyweights like George W. Bush and Nancy Reagan throw their support behind you, you’re expected to run. Christie, however, has proven himself to be hard to predict, announcing early Tuesday that he will not, in fact, seek the Republican nomination.

So what are the Republicans to do? With barely three months left until the first primaries, now should not be the time for a new frontrunner to enter the race. The overwhelming support for Christie to run shows that, despite the large number of potential candidates, no one has yet proven him or herself as the best person to run against, and potentially beat, President Obama.

While the Republicans all seem to agree that big change is needed in government, they somehow are unable to agree on the person who is best to do it. Early frontrunners like Michelle Bachmann have fallen by the wayside to newer candidates like Rick Perry, who recently has seen a 16 percent drop in popularity. Even Mitt Romney, who has been a steady contender throughout the entirety of the race, has fluctuated in his placement in the polls.

The problem is that the Republican voting public varies so much in their actual levels of conservatism, from barely right of center to Tea Party rally-er. While each candidate appeals to a certain kind of conservative on their own, there has yet to be one who appeals to Republicans as a whole. Each has his or her own niche, but can’t seem to escape it and pull in the larger group of voters needed to secure the eventual nomination. Despite initial fanfare over each new candidate, not a single one has yet ridden that wave all the way to the end of the line, instead watching it fizzle out over the course of the next few days or weeks.

With Sarah Palin’s recent announcement that she will not enter the GOP race, the nomination itself is still very much up in the air. It’s now just up to the candidates to figure out some way to remain true to their personal ideals while also appealing to the broad range of people who will be deciding who makes it down the long, winding road to the White House. Whether or not that will actually happen is up for debate, but eventually we will have a Republican nominee. And it will without a doubt be an interesting road to the 2012 presidential elections.

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