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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Candidate Profile: #16. George Pataki

For background to this series, click here.

Let's get this Republican Party started...

#16. George Pataki, 70, former Governor of New York, 1995-2009

Campaign Website and Slogan--http://www.georgepataki.com/--"People Over Politics"

PPFA Slogan--"Losing Over Winning"

Ideology on liberal-conservative spectrum (-10 is far left and +10 is far right. A center moderate is 0.): +3, including being pro-choice. (Individual rights: 0; Domestic: 0; Economic: +8; Foreign policy: +4)

Conservative Rank based on above: 14 of 16

Spin from the candidate's campaign--Grandson of immigrants, grew up on a family farm, worked to put himself through Yale, served in the New York House and Senate before becoming an accomplished three-term governor of a massive blue state. He helped guide it through its darkest hour after September 11. He's an outsider who has never held federal office. As the only candidate for New York Governor to ever win on the Conservative Party Line (going it three times no less), he'll boast his ability as an executive who can reach across the aisle to get things done. He created 750,000 private sector jobs while reducing taxes by $143 billion (slashing more than the other 49 states combined), cut the government's size by 15 percent, and he turned a $5 billion deficit into a surplus, increasing New York's credit rating three times in the process.

Spin from opponents--George Who?

How do the polls look?--The National Journal was pretty close with its headline, "George Pataki, Currently Polling at --, Is Running for President."  Not a typo. Just as sad, and perhaps sadder, is that the go to website for organizing all political polls, Real Clear Politics, is charting national polling for only 15 of the 16 candidates. The odd man out? Poor George Who. He's the only one of the 16 who isn't registering in national polls. (That link also tells you that he tied with Marco Rubio for the lead in a New York poll at 11 points apiece with Jeb Bush one back at 10. It's not a good sign when 89 percent of your own state doesn't prefer you as their presidential candidate.)

PPFA analysis--There's a reason I rank him at 16. The polling data reveals he's a candidate with no national name recognition. The way to fix that is by getting people to turn their heads when you walk by or listen when you open your mouth, but it's unclear what issue or driving passion voters should associate with him with. Moreover, he'd be 71 on his first day in office. No one has started the presidency older, not even that old guy who caught pneumonia and died a month later (he was 68). His personality matches his age, looks and ideology, which is to say that in every way he's as grey as Gandalf before that thing happened to him in one of those movies that made him white.

PPFA nomination rank--16 of 16 (Odds: 100:1)

PPFA general election rank--7 of 16. Remember, this category is assuming the candidate is nominated, where would he or she rank among the 16 Republican candidates in likelihood of delivering in November? As a center-right politician from a big blue state, Pataki would do quite well with moderates and any disillusioned Democrats. He doesn't alienate the center or moderate left with controversial, far right positions. In fact, the biggest hurdle in the general for this pro-choice Republican would be getting conservatives out to vote for him.

Number 15 in a couple days!  See you then.

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