Right now? Yes! One of my favorite blogs to visit, Riehl World View, put a post up this morning that said the following:
Funny, everyone will say Romney is done for coming in second, but Hillary is fine with third? I’ll make this short, because Iowa only proved one thing – the Republicans are in big trouble.
The energy and participation is off the charts on the Dem side. It went up on the Republican side due to the Evangelical vote. That’s great, but it isn’t enough to win a general election.
The fact is, as things stand, the Republicans don’t have a candidate that can win nationally in 2008.
This is dead on target. Obama is going to turn a lot of the established Democratic heads with the amount of younger support and independent excitement that he brings to the table in this Presidential race. And as a guy who generally does not vote for the Democrats, I’m even excited about something new coming from Barack Obama – though I’m not quite sure what his exact policies are and how they would have a direct effect (if any) on me.
It seems that the Riehl World View post is correct and that Republicans are lacking both excitement and new participation. There really is no, “Oh my God, I have to go vote for this person,” candidate on the Republican side. The only one that comes close is Ron Paul and he’s more of an old school, late 1800’s/early 1900’s conservative (we call them Libertarians today) than he is a modern-day Republican.
While on this topic, I also want to comment that if you’re paying attention and watching the Republican race you can see that the voters WANT someone to be excited about and someone to be jumping up and down over. The majority of voters were disenfranchised with Rudy Giuliani going into the race and then they discovered Mitt Romney and you saw some excitement. Then the voters learned more about Romney and how he’s more of a return to politics as usual and you saw the excitement transfer to Mike Huckabee. Now you’re seeing some of that excitement transfer to John McCain in New Hampshire, but the fact still remains that Obama is bringing new and younger voters out to voice their opinions. No one else is doing that in either party, period.