A new CNN poll shows that 57 percent of Americans want a presidential candidate who will change most of the policies put in place by Barack Obama. The poll, which asked respondents a series of questions about their ideal 2016 White House candidate, found that Americans are ready for change.
Among the traits we would like to see in a presidential candidate were executive experience, a long political history in the public eye, and economic success.
Predictably, many of the questions inspired deep divisions along party lines. 94 percent of Republicans wanted a candidate who would change most of Obama’s policies as opposed to only 22 percent of Democrats. Democrats were much more likely to prefer a candidate with years of political experience – to the tune of 77 percent. One might surmise that the looming candidacy of Hillary Clinton has something to do with that preference.
Interestingly, the poll was almost evenly split on one question. CNN asked respondents if they would prefer a candidate who can win or one who shared their political views on all major issues. 51 percent chose the “shared views” option while 47 percent chose “likely to win.”
These polls are nearly meaningless when it comes to reality, of course. Voters are driven to the polls by emotion as much as they are by facts and ideologies. By the time the 2016 general election rolls around, months of debates, news coverage, and television commercials will have had their way with the populace. The smart money is on a race between Clinton and Jeb Bush, but anything can happen. For all we know, it could wind up being Ted Cruz vs Elizabeth Warren.
What is intriguing, however, is how 22 percent of Democrats want a candidate who will change most of Obama’s policies. If that’s true, it represents a remarkable opportunity for Republicans. And it also shows how negligent GOP congressional leadership has been over the last three months. Americans are crying out for change, and our representatives refuse to give it to us. Meanwhile, the RNC seems determined to get behind a candidate who is as much like Barack Obama as a Republican can possibly be without switching sides. It boggles the mind.
What are Obama’s major policies? What comes to mind when one thinks about the president? Obamacare, obviously. Illegal immigration. ISIS. The overall direction of the economy. These form the cornerstones of Obama’s legacy, and it appears that most Americans want to see them erased after he leaves office. So what sense does it make to put up a guy like Bush? A guy who has already spoken out in favor of many of these policies?
This is our chance. And it may be our last one. Our country can only stand for so long in the absence of its founding principles. If we want to save it, the time is now. If this poll is any indication, everyone is ready. Let’s do it.