Top Presidential Disqualifiers

 

shutterstock_106049342The great unwashed have been polled by WSJ/NBC, and have spoken. The top three traits causing voters to be uncomfortable or have reservations about a president candidate are: 1. No previous elected experience (excludes Carson and Fiorina) 2. A leader of the Tea Party movement (excludes Cruz and possibly Rubio); and 3. No college degree (excludes Walker).

While I haven’t been able to dig up the methodology on this poll — and I suspect Democrats are over-sampled, as usual — I believe these results are instructive. The most favorable traits among the general electorate are for an African-American or a woman, which verifies my speculation that Hillary picks up six points just for being a woman, the way Barack Obama picked up six for being African-American. It also tells me that Americans are enamored by what identity politics says about them way more than they are interested in improving the country. I think that’s sad, but true.

The poll also indicates how hung-up the country has become on credentials, and how badly damaged the Tea Party brand has become. There’s also something deeply disturbing about the state of the nation’s moral compass that “corrupt” doesn’t even register as a category. That may be a flaw in the poll or, perhaps — as long as your team wins — it doesn’t matter if your candidate regularly sells her influence to the highest bidder <cough>Hillary Clinton<cough>. Hard to tell without more information.

Among Democrats, the highest negatives are:

  1. A leader of the Tea Party movement;
  2. No previous elected experience;
  3. No college degree; and
  4. An evangelical Christian (surprise!).

Among Republicans, the highest negatives are:

  1. No previous elected experience;
  2. A person who is gay or lesbian (I don’t think this would be a thing if it weren’t for the SSM battle);
  3. No college degree; and
  4. First term senator.

What do you think? Are these traits of any concern to you when picking your primary or general election candidate? Or do you have other, greater concerns?

As an aside, is the Tea Party brand redeemable with average voters?

Image Credit: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Published in Politics
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  1. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    I would say no experience in a worldly or political environment.  Ike Eisenhower was a great president yet he didn’t have any elected office experience.  He did however have more worldly experience than almost anybody else dealing with a huge world event and various leaders from around the world.  I wouldn’t reject and actually prefer a former Secretary of State, high ranking general, head of CIA amongst many non elected positions I would consider a huge asset to their candidacy.

    • #1
  2. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Decent moral behavior(lack is a DQ)

    Knows how to govern(inexperience is a near DQ)

    Despises progressives(moderates who think we can get along are a DQ)

    • #2
  3. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    thelonious:I would say no experience in a worldly or political environment. Ike Eisenhower was a great president yet he didn’t have any elected office experience. He did however have more worldly experience than almost anybody else dealing with a huge world event and various leaders from around the world. I wouldn’t reject and actually prefer a former Secretary of State, high ranking general, head of CIA amongst many non elected positions I would consider a huge asset to their candidacy.

    I agree any of those are better than a first term senator. I’m done with senators, even (especially?!) if I like them in the Senate.

    • #3
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    DocJay:Decent moral behavior(lack is a DQ)

    Knows how to govern(inexperience is a near DQ)

    Despises progressives(moderates who think we can get along are a DQ)

    I thought you were a Rand Paul guy. Does he have enough governing experience for you? If so, where?

    • #4
  5. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    My top three DQs:

    3. Lack of executive experience (which can be garnered in military roles, as Thelonious pointed out)

    2. Corrupt

    1. Doesn’t obviously love the country as founded

    1 and 2 are essentially tied.

    • #5
  6. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Western Chauvinist:

    DocJay:Decent moral behavior(lack is a DQ)

    Knows how to govern(inexperience is a near DQ)

    Despises progressives(moderates who think we can get along are a DQ)

    I thought you were a Rand Paul guy. Does he have enough governing experience for you? If so, where?

    Not enough but I love his influence on issues.  I’d like him as a VP or in a cabinet position but I’d be happy if he were president.  He’d pick good people to help him.

    • #6
  7. thelonious Member
    thelonious
    @thelonious

    Interesting atheist wasn’t mentioned.  My whole life I’ve always heard an atheist could never be elected president.  Btw not one of my disqualifiers.

    • #7
  8. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Disqualifying:

    1. Not previously an elected officeholder

    2. First-term officeholder

    3. First-term elected officeholders who don’t finish that first term

    :)

    • #8
  9. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Western Chauvinist:2. A person who is gay or lesbian (I don’t think this would be a thing if it weren’t for the SSM battle)

    Regardless of whether there is a reasonable explanation for this or not, if this poll result is true it makes Republicans look really bad.

    • #9
  10. user_309277 Inactive
    user_309277
    @AdamKoslin

    The Tea Party is broken for the next few cycles.  Too much hijacking by an unsavory combination of ex-pols looking to cash in on the bandwagon, and charismatic loons like Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, and Ben Carson.  Ted Cruz is only slightly better than that lot, and has probably placed a firm glass ceiling on his electability by driving so hard in that direction.  He’ll have to rebrand himself as something else – so-con culture warrior, defense hawk, libertarian, something – before he can think realistically about being more than a hothead senator.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Having a foreign policy stance indistinguishable from the Knucklehead in Chief.

    Having a member of the immediate family who has already been President.

    Pulling down $100K in cattle futures trading on a $1K investment and then being too stupid to do it again.

    • #11
  12. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    If we’re setting aside policy and character, all my qualifications come down to “all other things being equal.”  If you asked me, I suppose I’d rather the president have a college degree.  In the real world, it has precisely zero chance of influencing my vote.

    I do have a real queasiness about the first-term senators though, or at least Cruz and Paul.  It’s not just a lack of experience so much as a lack of a leadership record.  These senators have essentially spent all their time in opposition, and we don’t really have a sense for how they would handle actual governance.

    Put another way, how good are you at arm-twisting?  Do you know how to craft a compromise without giving away the store?  To play at political brinkmanship and outmaneuver your opponents?  Effective governance in a democratic system doesn’t simply boil down to “courage.”  If your leadership so far has been limited to yelling “stop” loudly, my confidence is limited.

    • #12
  13. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Sounds like everybody want Bobby Jindal.

    C’mon everybody, get on the Jindal bandwagon with me!!!!

    • #13
  14. TKC1101 Inactive
    TKC1101
    @TKC1101

    Disqualifiers:

    1. Complete lack of authenticity as a normal American.

    2. Cannot hold a firm position on any topic without qualification and trimming under questioning.

    3. Lack of sense of history.

    • #14
  15. S Inactive
    S
    @StevenWatson

    thelonious:Interesting atheist wasn’t mentioned. My whole life I’ve always heard an atheist could never be elected president. Btw not one of my disqualifiers.

    This surprised me too. I wonder if the question was reversed — i.e. what are your top requirements for president — whether being religious would have made the list.

    For me, not many disqualifications come to mind. I don’t know if a degree is necessary. But I would want the next leader of the free world to have a strong understanding of key political texts and a firm grounding in American and world history, at a minimum.

    They can’t be a libertarian either. Sorry, but the world needs the US to lead with a strong interventionist foreign policy.

    Also, I agree that point 2 makes republicans look bad. And it was kind of disheartening to see it there, if indeed the poll is at all representative.

    • #15
  16. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    TKC1101:Disqualifiers:

    1. Complete lack of authenticity as a normal American.

    2. Cannot hold a firm position on any topic without qualification and trimming under questioning.

    3. Lack of sense of history.

    I agree with all three (number three is especially important), to which I would add a fourth and fifth:

    4. Believe that government can solve all or most of our problems.

    5. No discernible moral principles.

    The college degree disqualifier is bizarre.  Exhibit A:  Abe Lincoln, a classic autodidact.

    • #16
  17. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Mendel:

    Western Chauvinist:2. A person who is gay or lesbian (I don’t think this would be a thing if it weren’t for the SSM battle)

    Regardless of whether there is a reasonable explanation for this or not, if this poll result is true it makes Republicans look really bad.

    I know what you’re saying, but driving SSM down everyone’s throats is making Republicans more than a little suspicious of homosexuals motives, particularly wrt freedom of conscience.

    And, besides, when has a poll been devised that isn’t intended to make Republicans look bad? Especially when the designers’ side is all about such important leadership traits as pigmentation and gender.

    • #17
  18. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    1. Last name is Clinton.

    2. Last name is Bush.

    • #18
  19. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Better add to be on the safe side…

    3. Last name is Obama.

    • #19
  20. Lucy Pevensie Inactive
    Lucy Pevensie
    @LucyPevensie

    Misthiocracy:Sounds like everybody want Bobby Jindal.

    C’mon everybody, get on the Jindal bandwagon with me!!!!

    I’m right there with you, Mis. Are you the other Jindal vote on all those polls?

    • #20
  21. Palaeologus Inactive
    Palaeologus
    @Palaeologus

    1. Anyone who receives the nomination of the Democratic Party.

    2. Anyone who has weird obsessions with Blacks and/or Jews, or consistently tends to collect such types as supporters.

    3. Anyone who has a bumper sticker approach to policy.*

    *FWIW, I don’t think people who pitch these types of things (9-9-9, or postcard tax returns, or no bills longer than X, or these are the six exec agencies I’m gonna pretend to axe, or whatever) are necessarily buffoons. Some of them may be trying to highlight legitimate problems or change the generally accepted terms of debate, which can be incrementally useful. Presidential they ain’t.

    • #21
  22. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Interesting, it’s like the NBC/WSJ Poll framed their questions as if they want some one that the Wall Street crowd likes and who favors open borders.

    • Was “representative of a political family dynasty, Republican or Democrat’ as question?
    • Was running on one’s sex or ethnicity vs. policy prescriptions a question?
    • Did they even ask about personal ethics?

    Garbage in, garbage out – this poll looks like  crap.

    • #22
  23. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @EustaceCScrubb

    3) Endorsement from the New York Times

    2) a (D) after name

    1) a Yankees fan

    • #23
  24. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    1) Uses semi-closed fist with extended thumb on top as a gesture of emphasis or punctuation.

    2) Carries around a bale of straw with which to construct specious arguments.

    3) Fails to embrace American exceptionalism; or, uses exceptionalism as a catchphrase only.

    • #24
  25. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Western Chauvinist:

    Mendel:

    I know what you’re saying, but driving SSM down everyone’s throats is making Republicans more than a little suspicious of homosexuals motives, particularly wrt freedom of conscience.

    Even if this is the case, 95% of non-Republicans will not consider the back story, they will just look at the results and just see Republican=bigot.

    And, besides, when has a poll been devised that isn’t intended to make Republicans look bad? Especially when the designers’ side is all about such important leadership traits as pigmentation and gender.

    The WSJ is currently the most intellectually serious news operation in the US and they know it. I have a hard time believing they would allow a poll to be conducted in their name which was designed to make Republicans look bad.

    • #25
  26. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    The rest of the article is also a treasure trove of fun (but probably useless) information.

    For instance, a glimpse at the favorability side of the spectrum gives us the inside scoop on the real hierarchy of identity group sainthood in the Democrat party:

    – Woman: 90% enthusiastic

    – African-American: 85%

    – Hispanic: 74%

    – Gay/lesbian: 55%

    Which begs the obvious question: what’s with all the homophobia on the left?

    And on the Republican side, we see that “someone with a military background” is by far the most-desired trait at 90%. Which raises the next question: did we learn no lessons from Dole, McCain, or GHWB?

    • #26
  27. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Mendel:

    Western Chauvinist:

    Mendel:

    I know what you’re saying, but driving SSM down everyone’s throats is making Republicans more than a little suspicious of homosexuals motives, particularly wrt freedom of conscience.

    Even if this is the case, 95% of non-Republicans will not consider the back story, they will just look at the results and just see Republican=bigot.

    And, besides, when has a poll been devised that isn’t intended to make Republicans look bad? Especially when the designers’ side is all about such important leadership traits as pigmentation and gender.

    The WSJ is currently the most intellectually serious news operation in the US and they know it. I have a hard time believing they would allow a poll to be conducted in their name which was designed to make Republicans look bad.

    The WSJ news pages rank right in the middle among other news outlets politically (which means left-leaning). Only the opinion page has decent representation of non-progressives.

    I’d really like to see how this poll was put together. What’s the sample size? How were the categories devised/presented?

    • #27
  28. Ricochet Moderator
    Ricochet
    @OmegaPaladin

    MendelAnd on the Republican side, we see that “someone with a military background” is by far the most-desired trait at 90%. Which raises the next question: did we learn no lessons from Dole, McCain, or GHWB?

    Military service is important, but obviously it is not the only factor.  I would say that it is an element that is all upside for the one who has it.  I don’t think the poll had the option of “capable of beating the stuffing out of the opposition” as a favorable factor.

    • #28
  29. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The only disqualifier for me is Democrat. :)

    • #29
  30. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    1. Support of the surveilance state
    2. Inability to examine foreign intervention critically
    3. Too obvious cynicism

    • #30
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