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CLARIFYING THE FIELD FOR 2016

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Two years from now the Republican convention selects a presidential nominee and recent weeks helped clarify the field of contenders. Governor Rick Perry hurt himself with clumsy comments comparing homosexuality and alcoholism, while Jeb Bush suffered through association with the “Common Core” curriculum – massively unpopular with the GOP base. Senator Rand Paul opposed even the president’s tepid response to terrorist advances in Iraq, placing himself outside the conservative mainstream, while Governor Chris Christie faced continuing problems with “Bridge Gate” and the New Jersey budget. Partisan prosecutors accused Governor Scott Walker of election law violations and he’ll need a decisive re-election victory to bury those charges. Among all-but-certain candidates, only Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz moved ahead without setbacks – leaving three young, ethnic minority contenders who shatter the image of Republicans as the party of boring old white guys.

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