On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, many Republicans remain dissatisfied with their choices. According to a new CBS News poll, just 37% of GOP primary voters say they are satisfied with the candidates while 58% say they want more choices, up from 46% in October.
After months of campaigning and scads of debates, voters have had plenty of opportunity to get to know their candidates so these poll numbers must be disheartening to GOP stalwarts. Conventional wisdom is that the polls reflect dissatisfaction with front-running Mitt Romney, who has a solid lead in New Hampshire but only garners enthusiasm from 27% of national GOP primary voters, according to CBS.
Dr. David Barker, a former Fed economist and self-described libertarian, says there's more than just anti-Romney feelings to explain GOP voter dissatisfaction.
"The reason people are having trouble latching on to any candidate is voters want things that are impossible," Barker says. "They want continuing generous government programs and they don't want taxes to pay for them; and no candidate can deliver that. So voters bounce from one candidate to another looking for the magic bullet and there's no such thing."
Barker, a resident of Iowa, voted in the caucus for Ron Paul -- the one candidate many believe actually tells it like it is vs. telling the voters what they want to hear.
"But even Ron Paul soft-peddles some of the entitlement issues and is not talking about immediate cuts in entitlement spending because he knows that will not work politically," he says.
Barker says he voted for Paul in part to "send a signal to rest of the candidates that I thought some of his agenda was worth taking seriously." But the economist is not sure Paul would make a good President, in part because his "unorthodox solutions" are politically nonviable.
Barker, author of Welcome to Free America, received his PhD from the University of Chicago and is about as libertarian as they come. But he is not as critical of President Obama as you might expect.
The President is facing a "very difficult situation," which is that "what voters want is impossible to give them," he says.
But "I don't think his policies are so terribly different from those we've seen from Republican administrations," Barker continues. "But those policies are leading us in a slow-motion train wreck to a fiscal disaster: Revenues aren't enough to support the promises government has made and those promises increase all the time whether we have Republican administrations or Democratic ones."
In other words, as long as Americans continue to vote for the status quo offered by the two parties, the fault dear reader is not in our political stars. But in ourselves.
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