There have been a slew of Republican straw polls in recent weeks and it seems like a new frontrunner emerges every week. Likely primary voters have anointed Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee and even Haley Barbour as the next GOP nominee, depending on the GOP get-together you poll.
If you shudder at the thought of any of the above sitting behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, you’re not alone. Turns out, they scare a lot of people at Powershift 2011 too.
So that’s why I took a reverse straw poll in which a convention chock full of Democrats and liberals were asked to select the scenario that terrified them the most: any of these nutjobs—with the full support of “Real America™”, corporations, and fundamentalist churches—on their way to the White House.
I asked 50 people which potential Republican presidential nominee scared them most at this point. The results are as follows.
Even though I asked for a one name answer, I got plenty more insight from Powershifters who were eager to talk.
Palin, the fan favorite, received quite a few votes for her “drill, baby, drill” campaign. She was referred to as “stupid and proud of it” and disparaging comments were made about her half-term governorship. Others remarked that she was the only potential candidate they’d heard of, and therefore the automatic winner.
People were afraid of Romney for the exact opposite reason. Most people who mentioned his name –– even those who eventually selected someone else –– saw him as Obama’s most serious threat to re-election. “People actually take him seriously,” said one concerned Democrat.
Bachmann, current tea party favorite and climate change denier, was largely ignored by Powershift attendees in favor of her sound-a-like from Alaska. But some respondents saw her as more of a threat. “She’s the only person I know who would deny the existence of dinosaurs and then tell people to go drilling for their remains, regulation free,” said one attendee.
Trump got a few of the most immediate and loudest responses, and even elicited a few moans after his name.
He got my vote (not counted above) because he’ll be the one to keep crazy in the conversation the longest. He’s also finishing towards the front of most early polls, which is way better than anyone could’ve expected from him. And if he does somehow become president, citizen Obama will probably be deported, evidence be damned.