The 2012 Republican nomination process went on longer than most pundits predicted early on. While Mitt Romney began the season as the prohibitive favorite, he was tested repeatedly by what was seemingly the Republican flavor of the week (including Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum). The sheer number of candidates who were viewed as legitimate contenders demonstrate the fundamental concern facing Republicans moving forward: a fractured party. The pro-business, Tea Party, ...
The 2012 Republican nomination process went on longer than most pundits predicted early on. While Mitt Romney began the season as the prohibitive favorite, he was tested repeatedly by what was seemingly the Republican flavor of the week (including Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum). The sheer number of candidates who were viewed as legitimate contenders demonstrate the fundamental concern facing Republicans moving forward: a fractured party. The pro-business, Tea Party, and evangelical Christian wings disagreed in 2010 on who would provide the best alternative to Democratic President Barack Obama and as a result created a crippling nomination period. By the time Romney was able to claim victory, he was severely wounded after countless attacks from his fellow Republicans. To this internal discontent, we can also add the changing national demographics that could lead to electoral problems for Republicans in their own right. Consider that Mitt Romney did better with older, white male voters than John McCain had. Unfortunately, the share of the national vote for this demographic decreased from 2008 to 2012. As Rand Paul stated recently, the time has come for Republicans to reach out to individuals who do not fit the stereotyped Republican image if they have any hope of being successful. In this volume, we assess how the 2012 GOP nomination cycle is indicative of just how the Republican Party has become in the words of pundit Cuck Warren a “Mad Men Party in a Modern Family World.”
The 2012 presidential election was decisive for the Republican Party. Facing a potentially beatable president, a strong Republican candidate who could have united the party and appealed to swing voters had a real chance of beating Barack Obama. Yet the Republicans failed, and the prospects for the future of the party look equally dim in 2016. Explaining why the Republican Party faces a fractious future is the subject of this terrific collection of essays. Chapter 1 sets the context of the book, describing the political factions within the party and suggesting that the battle among the Tea Party, social conservatives, and the fiscal moderates challenges the Republicans to find a candidate upon whom they agree. Chapter 2 discusses how changes in party nomination rules affected the 2012 primary, with chapter 3 detailing how Republicans were dissatisfied with their current crop of candidates and longing for someone new. The bulk of the book consists of chapter-by-chapter analysis of the various Republican candidates, with a conclusion painting a party torn apart by fringe candidates with little prospect of unity in sight. Excellent for collections on US politics. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels.
The outcome of the 2012 Republican presidential nomination cycle wasn't particularly shocking–the candidate with most of the money and insider support won–but the road the party traveled to get there was an unusual and unforgettable one. This book takes us through some of the rule changes that helped produce such an interesting cycle, and then provides us with detailed profiles of the oversized personalities that defined the year. Why did formidable candidates stay out of this race, while factional politicians with non-traditional résumés not only jumped in but occasionally led the pack? What did the race tell us about the state of the Republican Party and its prospects for the future? This book provides us with some answers and makes for an entertaining yet detailed read about this most curious election cycle.
Kyle L. Saunders
In The 2012 Nomination and the Future of the Republican Party: The Internal Battle, Will Miller has assembled a detailed account of the trials and tribulations of the many major players who attempted to secure the GOP presidential nomination for the 2012 cycle. Additional coverage of the procedural twists and turns as viewed from the perspective of party, candidate, and campaign, as well as the successes and the failures experienced by a bruised and battered Mitt Romney as he negotiated this complex nomination minefield, make the book an excellent summation of the distinctive weaknesses and strengths of the Republican Party in 2012. This book is an essential reference that students of political parties, campaigns, and primary elections should read with interest.
William J. Miller is assistant professor of public administration at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. He received his doctorate in 2010 in public administration and urban studies from The University of Akron along with a master’s degree in applied politics (campaign management and polling). He is the editor of Tea Party Effects on 2010 U.S. Senate Elections: Stuck in the Middle to Lose (Lexington 2012) and The Political Battle over Congressional Redistricting (Lexington 2013).