Is a long GOP primary good for the party?
March 20th, 2012
03:06 PM ET

Is a long GOP primary good for the party?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Another Tuesday, another Republican presidential primary.

And if the candidates have their way, there could be many more to come, before it's all over.

But some GOP heavyweights don't see it that way.

They're worried this long, drawn-out, bare-knuckle blood letting may wind up hurting the party in the long run.

Karl Rove, the so-called "architect" of George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns, told Fox News the "scales have moved from the long process being a positive to being a negative."

And he thinks some of the "worst moments for the Republicans" have occurred just in recent weeks.

Senator John McCain - who knows a thing or two about how ugly it can get on the campaign trail - calls this race the "nastiest" he has ever seen.

He's stumping for Mitt Romney this time around, but that didn't stop him from telling NBC "everyday that goes by" with these candidates attacking each other is "a day that President Obama wins."

Doesn't matter. At this point there's no end in sight.

Romney won big in Puerto Rico over the weekend.

But who can forget last Tuesday's embarrassing losses not only to Rick Santorum, but Newt Gingrich as well in Mississippi and Alabama.

The pundits say Illinois is a "must-win" state for him. Aren't they all?

They said the same thing for Ohio and Michigan, the state where he grew up and his father was governor.

He won, but just barely in those two states.

Santorum, meanwhile, is banking on another big surprise tonight.

He's done it before, but if the polls are right, it might not happen this time.

Oh, and then there are Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

Neither one apparently willing to read the writing on the wall and throw in the towel.

It may be March, but it seems like we've only just begun.

Here’s my question to you: Is a long GOP primary good for the party?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • GOP • GOP Ticket • Republican Party
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Oh Jack,you mean the 4 man gong show.I don't even know how to put it to words Jack.What a mess and worse yet
    they have no plan for anything.And I do mean that politely but they need a real stated plan on something.So yes is
    the answer to the question.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  2. Brad, Portland, OR

    A long GOP primary helps voters become more familiar with the candidates. The same with having frequent debates.

    Why would this be a bad thing?

    I wouldn't want to buy a pig in a poke and make him President.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  3. BILL, WI

    The longer the GOP primary goes on, the more people will see how outdated their way of thinking is.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  4. Jim Kipler

    From January to June, the prospective party candidates trapse across the Country, effectively involved in character assasination of the "other" candidate. Then when the Party picks the candidate, the loser expounds on the good qualities and exceptional leadership qualities of the winner. This is so ineffective and yesterday. We need to find a different system to elect our representatives. I'm punch drunk already from the debates and Political Ads.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  5. jk in MN

    The Party is getting exactly what it deserves for pulling so far to the right thy left no wiggle room. For the rest of us, it's been a comedy to behold.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  6. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    One thing for sure we are getting a good look at what the Republican candidates stand for and who they are. They seem to be stuck on social issues. Not one of them stood up against Rush Limbaugh with his outrageous comments against women. That tells me there is a lot of backbone missing and I for one want a president with a backbone. The more this goes on the more I like Obama.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  7. Gary in San Jose, California

    Not in this case Jack. A long primary might be good for the party if the choice was between Lincoln, Grant, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower but that is not the case. These candidates are exposing basic and unhealthy differences within the party. How can the party expect to be successful when moderates are shunned while extremists alienate other extremist?

    March 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  8. Bill of New Mexico

    The long and vicious campaign, plus the sordid revelations of each Republican, is sickening.

    But, look on the sidelines: Cost of fuels is surging with surprising strength. Most voters are going to blame Obama
    Obama's War has a horrible surprise every week. What if this continues up to election? To half of the Independents, Obama has been a dismal failure.

    Come election day, Obama will probably lose to any Republican.

    At which point, a long vicious GOP primary will not matter.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  9. Lawrence

    Dear Jack,
    Is truTV going to exploit its success from their coverage of March Madness and the NCAA Tournament? They should do a series called "March To Madness" and run it through to the end of both conventions. Here's an idea for the first episode; "Politicians, Pundits, and other Liars."
    All the best,

    March 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  10. Terry in Virginia

    Absolutely not. Through its candidates and current elected representatives, the GOP is showing that its platform is about destroying hard-won women's rights, vacating the rights of minorities to vote, and returning workers to low wages and unsafe working conditions. The longer this contest goes the more daylight shines on what the GOP really stands for – turning back the clock to a time when only rich white men ruled this country. Come November the GOP will be shocked by how much light has been shown on its dark heart by the number of seats it will lose in Congress and the fact President Obama will beat its nominee by 10 points or better.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

    Which party. My party? Absolutely.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  12. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, ny

    If the alternative is to quit and leave America looking at a modern version of the three stooges, than the GOP must go on. If this expose is left naked to the world, GOP numbers in the House and Senate will take a big hit.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  13. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Absolutely! A long GOP primary is very good for the party.......the Democratic Party!

    March 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  14. Richard Texas

    It depends on who you ask Jack. For myself it is a turn off. Somehow listening to a bunch of want to be's telling Americans how they are going to save us from ourselves makes my eyes roll back in my head. The sad thing is that these folks are the very best the republicans have to offer us. What a bitter disappointment that is. I think this year I will stay home on election day and save my gas.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  15. Jack Rice

    This race is a lost cause for the republicans. Newt just wants to be able to say "I told you so" when Obama is done in 2016.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  16. Adanna

    Yes, for the democratic party.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  17. Jenna Roseville CA

    Is a long GOP primary good for the party?

    It's not good for the Republicans, but GREAT for the Democrats. We love seeing the Republicans eating their own sticking their feet in their mouths and alienating entire voting blocks like women and Latino's etc..

    Keep fighting Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul. Take it all the way to the RNC convention.

    Roseville CA

    March 20, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  18. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    It is not good for any political party, more importantly our country. Our fate lies in the sculls of hateful dim whited power seekers. Those running could not qualify to sell previously driven automobiles. One candidate doesn't even know where to put a dog, in or on top of a car.

    March 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  19. John from Alabama

    Jack: A long primary season which runs into the convention is not good for the Republican Party. Those new members of the Republican Party known as the Tea Party wing love the fight. The Tea Party wing better known as the "No, No boys and girls" have given the party faithful fits, John Boehner, can not deliver votes when needed pass legislation. All this plays into the hands of the next President of the United States Barrack Obama.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  20. Aiyana in Austin

    no but for those of is that want to continue to live in a free country it is. there is not one of them that does not want to restrict the majority to please the minority. the sad part they might win unless more attention is payed to their more extreme views.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  21. Dave - Phx

    It sure is! Good for the Democratic party! The longer these out of touch people are running their mouths, the longer the rest of the country gets to see how completely incompetent and insane they will be. Independents have to either be a religous zealot or someone who hates women to side with Republicans anymore. The only way the GOP can get more right is to start calling for slavery again.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  22. Pete in Florida

    Are you kidding? It's GREAT!....for the Democrats!

    March 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  23. pat in michigan

    The longer it goes the more of a chance all present candidates will self destruct . This opens the door to Jeb Bush stealing the presidency at half the price with little of the vetting.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  24. Doug Ericson

    The Republican Party died when Bush failed us by ignoring Katrina. What was once a given became a myth, that the Federal government would run to the aid of people in a desperate situation. Now the Democratic Party is in the process of becoming a myth, as the Country slowly but surely sinks into a depression. A depression that may be infused with inflation, which will whip the middle and lower classes the hardest. So Short Primary, Long Primary, doesn't make a difference. We live in a new era where everything is possible except repeating the past. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  25. Conor in Chicago

    A long GOP primary may not be ideal for this particular election but it might be good for all of us in the long run because an overall shedding is long overdue in that party and I think this primary will help make that happen. There are essentially 3 types of Republicans that are duking it out right now: 1) The traditional “lower taxes less government” Establishment types that can be reasoned with, 2) The Religious Right types who can only be reasoned with in religious terms, 3) The Tea-Party, which essentially can’t be reasoned with. So long as this primary season helps weed out the Religious Right and the Tea-Party and helps re-establish the normal Republicans as the power shakers then this party the Republican party has a chance at doing something useful with their Democrat counterparts. Otherwise this party will stand for little other than narrow minded ideology and complete inflexibility-and no one wants to work with people like that.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  26. Al

    Jack, the issue is whether a long GOP primary is good for the country. So far I have not seen anything that the country can rally around to build a better future. It is not the length of the campaign, it is the lack of substance and leadership that is the problem.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  27. Pete in Florida

    It definitely is good for our country; all voters benefit from seeing and hearing the extreme views and sometimes absolutely sickening plans these four yahoos have for our country. I do not understand how ANYONE who isn't a wealthy white male would vote Republican these days.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  28. Joseph

    No, I think it'll damage the party. If this race leads to a brokered convention Obama will be in the office for another four years. I believe it's time to have a nominee, so that we can focus on Obama and the senate.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  29. Mr D

    Is a long illness or protracted family feud good for anyone? I think not. Why keep showcasing all the "warts" in the Republican party. Familiarity breeds contempt.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  30. Jim


    Well, it's good for the Democratic party. It's hard to see how it does the Republicans much good to spend even more months trashing each other.

    Reno, Nevada

    March 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  31. Ed from Texas

    Yes, the Democratic Party.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  32. Paul From Austin Texas

    No all it does is show how split the party has become and how the Tea Party was just the start of the split. You have Romeny and Newt that just want power and as much of it as they can get no matter what or who it hurts. Then you have Rick that would most likely give Obama the most problem in November yet he is being kept in the wings at least for now. And ah yes Ron Paul who is a constituionalist. The party just does not seem to have anyone they all can get behind and support.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  33. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Your question is a perfect example of why this country is in such terrible shape. People who put their political party ahead of their concern for the country, are making it next to impossible for this nation to effectively govern itself. Our entire election process is antiquated and severely compromised by the Supreme Court, and will never again attract our best and brightest to the highest office in the land. America is up for bid, and the Republican Party is proving that any moron with enough money can steal our country from us.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  34. Kim McMullen Tolbert

    A longer primary has a somewhat better advantage in vetting (ie: the more Santorum speaks, the more his foot in mouth disease becomes apparent). Causing a primary to run to convention, however, is a drain on party resources and the rule changes that Michael Steele pushed are absurd. Steele wanted "excitement" like the Democratic primary had in '08. Instead, he has created division and frustration. Had we wanted to run our primaries like the Democrats, we would have joined the Democratic Party.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  35. Daniel; Parker, CO

    Jack, Is covering a long and boring Republican primary good for CNN? Answer, NO. Please cover the news not fools.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  36. Jim/Calabash

    I don't think the long GOP primary will matter. Obama's record is so horrendous that either one of the GOP contenders can beat him in the general.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  37. Wilhelm von Nord Bach - Las Vegas

    NO BUT it is MOST EXCELLENT for the Democrates, Jack. whoever the Republican nominee ends up being, the Democrates just have to "copy & paste" their rival's attack ads during this primary season.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  38. Loren

    The long GOP primary is only good for the Democratic Party, feeding the ammo boxes of the President's reelection campaign with Romney's gaffes and the other candidates' identification of Romney's weak spots. The President doesn't have to run on his record if the Republican's nominate a candidate that appears like he will be worse for the country than the President already is. It just may now be the President's election to lose.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  39. Annie, Atlanta

    It's certainly been good for the voters, seeing the candidates exposed as they have been. The numerous debates were also a plus.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  40. Janet R.

    Of Course it is Jack! It brings a clearer picture to the voters; on who not to vote for!;+)

    March 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  41. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No, but it is great entertainment and job security for the news media. It is very obvious that none of the GOP candidates are what the Conservatives really want but they will hold their noses and vote for Romney in November, a very rich CEO that will lead us on a path of total anarchy within a year. More tax cuts for his very wealthy friends who bought him the oval office.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  42. Jeff In Minnesota

    Such a drawn out affair didn't hurt the Democratic party in 2008, why would it hurt the Republicans any worse in 2012?

    March 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  43. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Yes, as it shows that the GOP is as divided as our country and Congress. This is not a vetting process, it is a reality game show.

    March 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  44. Ian

    No Jack. Every single attack ad that each of these canidates releases puts a grenade in Obama's hand. the lonbger this lasts the more Obama can kick back and laugh and the mudslinging contest

    March 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  45. Peg in NY

    No. The more drawn out it is, the more the GOP could split.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  46. ken from connecticut

    The question to you is, Is the shadow gov't or the ruler elite in agreement with an extented GOP primary? The presidency is nothing more than theater. We are all letting President Obama sucker us into believing that what he says will change our world into a better place. It's a deception. Do not believe him. Weather a long primary is good or bad for the party, President Obama has been selected as the next president even before the election. A long primary is good for the party but it is not going to win in November!

    March 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  47. lindaglenn

    Jack one word YES!

    March 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  48. Ed from MD

    Yes, the people who think they can do better should already be flocking to the party in droves. And If that holds true, By the time this is over everyone should be republican.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  49. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, it may not be good for the party, but it is good for the nation as a whole. We need to see what this new GOP stands for and the words uttered now, will be remembered in the fall.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  50. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    Whic party? It's certainly good for the Democratic party. And if the Republicans had serious candidates it mght be good for their party. But given the slate of candidates now campaigning it can oly hurt as they keep shooting themselves in the foot on a daily basis.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  51. TomInRochNY

    If by 'good' you mean material for comedians and pundits, then yes. If by 'good' you mean getting to know who these people really are, then yes. If by 'good' you mean seeing just how ridiculous one can be when compared to the others, then yes. If by 'good' you mean killing the party, then yes.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    March 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  52. Mitoosense

    Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years and he only had 10 plagues. Could take a long time Jack

    March 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  53. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The lengh of the GOP primary is only going to make it worse and more miserable for the GOP. However, it is going to give Americans the rare pleasure of seeing the GOP candidates for what they are and at the same will compensate us for the misery of being them. Although the poor experiences misery, the rich seem to enjoy it.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  54. diridi

    Yes, it is good for the party–Democratic party, and Obama. Obama2012.
    PS: None of the GOP idiots are worth my dime. True, true, and true.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  55. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    Their problem is not a bad process, but pathetic candidates. The leadership decided on Mitt years ago, and he is actually doing a pretty fair job at building an organization, but the egos of Santorum and Gingrich don't know that they have no chance.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  56. Michael

    Jack, it seems the longer the primaries go the more duplicitous and backward the Republican nominees seem to be. If you ask anyone on the street, they're terrified of having any of them with the nuclear launch codes.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  57. jen seattle wa

    If we could have a Real Debate about demise of country and not a censored agenda by the big spenda who regurgitates oil and gas and corporate welfare.Our 1 party opposition is why our democracy is hippocritical to needs of people.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  58. r.landschoot

    no, it sure irritates hedoubletoothpicks out of most viewers, no matter what pols say. Get out of your chair, Jack, walk a mile in common man's shoes.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  59. Susie

    It is what Michael Steele, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Fox news, and Mark Levin want.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  60. thom richer

    No, Jack, it isn't. The reason being they have no qualified, able or coherent candidate for the office of President of the United States. They let money do the choosing of candidates and neglected their obligation to themselves and the citizens of America to choose competent candidates. Now they have the price to pay for their errors in judgement and lack of character. Romney and Santorum are not suited for the office and will not be elected in 2012. This is a given. The two together could not make one competent candidate let alone president. Their motives for the candidacy are personal, egocentric and obsessive. The people will see this come November or before. So, the longer this insanity goes on, the more the Party will be damaged. We need a president of the people, by the people and for the people. They have no candidate that fits the bill. Each is full of themselves, of themselves and for themselves.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    March 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  61. andy Lynn, MA

    When the Republican version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show first started I really didn't dislike any of the Republican Candidates. Now, after the Republican version of a primary a day keeps the voter away, I swear I will never, ever, for any reason vote for a Republican. As of this moment I am an INDEPENDENT!

    March 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  62. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Yes, it's good for the party-the DEMOCRATIC Party.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  63. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    This long primary is terrible for the GOP since nobody is thrilled with any of the candidates-unlike the Democratic primary race in '08 which had two historic candidates running against each other. This time the GOP has a 1%er phony running against a flat-earther, and the longer it goes on, the more their true and ugly colors come out.

    March 20, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  64. Jimmy

    Reagan put the Republican party in the coffin. These fellows are nailing the lid shut. Jimmy from Wa.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  65. Don Tennison

    If you are a Republican, you are a member of the Republican Party.

    If you are a Democrat, you are a member of the Democrat Party.

    For years Democrats have had the unfair advantage of being called members of the “Democratic Party”, instead of “Democrat Party” which could be misleading and subliminal to many, especially young voters who certainly want and support a “Democratic Government” and so are influenced to vote therefore for those in the “Democratic Party”.

    Advertisers know the importance of using phrases that draw attention to something that is easy to compare to in order make it easy for you think of something else they are trying to sell.

    In the European Union their Democrat Party is called “The European Democrats”, in Italy it’s “The Democrat Party”, in Brazil and Greenland it’s called “Democrat Party”, in San Marino “The Party of Democrats”, in Austria it’s simply “Democrats” and in Switzerland the “Swiss Democrats”.

    If you are describing a Republican you should say, “He or she is a Republican and is a member of the Republican Party.”

    If you are describing a Democrat you should say, “He or she is a Democrat and is a member of the Democrat Party.”

    He’s a Republican and member of the Republican Party.

    He’s a Democrat and member of the Democrat Party.

    It’s only fair and makes a whole lot more sense!

    So if you’ve been referring to “Republicans” being members of the “Republican Party”, but “Democrats” being members of the “Democratic Party”, please make the corrections each time you refer to the two political parties.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  66. Jesse

    A long GOP primary is very good for the party. The Democratic Party that is. Keep talking dinosaurs, every day more people are realizing that your ideas went extinct long ago.

    Victoria, BC, Canada

    March 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  67. Joe Eustis Fl

    Jack at this point the damage is done. The only thing the GOP can hope for is that someone gets smart enough to drop out my guess is that won't happen at this point its all or none.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  68. Greg Cox of Bremerton, WA

    Say, Jack, I'm not giving the current crop of Republican Presidential candidates my ears, my donations and certainly not my time. Same holds true for the Democrats, including President Obama and his Cabinet. As of lately, we'd be better off without any party affiliation. Instead, all of our elected representatives should be re-named The Peoples' Representatives. Perhaps, then, they'd be thinking of us rather than themselves, their parties and their cronies. I've had enough of their girdlock, puffery and poppycock.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  69. John from Santa Maria, CA

    In a long process each state gets to weigh-in its opinion, that's good. The real damage is being done by the big money that has no one to answer to and is destroying the process. The Republicans thought that the big money would be to their advantage, now it looks like they are paying for that mistake.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  70. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    Well Jack, The long fight basically has it plus's and it minus's. Because it has gone on for such a long while we've witnessed what they will say or do to become President and that's been very alarming . The ironic thing I discovered was how they say they are Christians, but display the moral integrity of evil wretches. All save Ron Paul, who to say the least seems very honorable and the most honest. For Ron Paul this long battle is a great thing because of all the exposure he is getting. I wouldn't be surprised if he runs as a third party candidate after all is said and done, thus taking his delegates with him and putting a whole new perspective on the numbers regarding GOP turn out during this primary season. In my opinion President Obama will have the general election won by 9 pm on November 2 and the Repbulican's will spend the next two years saying how they've learned from their mistakes, but few will believe them anymore. The Bush/Cheney era has killed the Republicans for decades to come.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  71. carrie , Bham ,Alabama

    Absolutely Jack , that is if you are a member of the DNC!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  72. Karl in Flint, MI

    If you mean the Democratic Party, it is wonderful. For the GOP. Not so much. At this rate, by the convention, the GOP will be the Tea Party extremist only and everyone else will be some form of Moderate to Liberal Democrat. If they read some of the blogs, they would realize there are a majority of old school Republicans that will either vote for Obama or just stay home. They aren't buying in to the clown act.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  73. Larry in Houston

    Is a long GOP primary good for the party?
    Short Answer : NO
    I'm no fan of karl rove, but in my opinion, this time he's correct regarding this GOP primary. McCain is right also. Here is what gets me : The saying "must win" is like crying wolf. It seems like every primary it's a "must win" for Somebody, for some reason. People are going to get tired of hearing the "must win" scenario. Either he "wins" or loses, at this point. And another thing : The Newt knows he's only carried 2 states. He's waiting on Tampa, so by then, he will have "Big Money" backing him, and they probably told him to Stay IN, so Nobody will get to 1144 before the convention, and by that time, most of the people in that convention center will be the "hard core" "right wing" of the GOP er's – that's when the "deal" will be made, on the Newter being the nominee. ( At least that's what Newt is thinking)

    March 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  74. RickFromDetroit

    I would have to say it probably does the GOP more good than harm since it keeps the party in the "Media Spotlight."

    March 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  75. Mike S., New Orleans

    The long GOP primary isn't the problem Jack, but the quality of the candidates is. The frontrunner has been running for seven years and couldn't beat the man who couldn't beat Obama. Then there's a U.S. Senator who couldn't win his own re-election in his own state. What's left is a failed Speaker of the House and your favorite crazy uncle. It wouldn't matter if they shortened or lengthened the primaries, their candidates are short on substance.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  76. Sean - North Carolina

    A long republican primary is great for the party ... if the party you mean is Democrat. Barack Obama should be sending these guys gift baskets for tearing each other apart, so he won't have to in the fall.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  77. Scott Holmes

    It's good for the democrats..let the GOP beat each other up,then crash and burn in November

    March 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  78. Brian Kopke

    Is it good to have a prolonged Repiblican primary? Yup. Double Yup. Why not, I am a democrat!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  79. Judy

    I am a Democrat. It's Grrrrreat!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  80. Jon in Tempe, Arizona

    Jack, In this particular situation I would say it is not good for the GOP. The candidates are fighting over who is more extreme further alienating the eventual nominee from center American. In 2008 Obama and Clinton were both trying to appeal to the center of the Democratic Party and the center of the American electorate. Right now Romney and Santorum are both trying to appeal to the most extreme right wing elements that exist in the Republican party which is in turn harming them amongst centrist voters for the general election.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  81. Bruce from brick

    Yes, the Democratic party.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  82. John Unger

    Kelseyville, Ca.

    No, this long GOP primary is not good for the party, but more important it is not good for the country...Another example of egos getting in the way

    March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  83. MaryLee

    IS IT GOOD FOR THE PARTY?......Depends on which party you are talking about. It's great for the Democratic Party!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  84. Robert


    Of course a long G.O.P. primary is good for the party. The Democratic party.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  85. Tamara of Daly City

    The long GOP primary is good for the Party because it is democratic. For the first time in living memory the primary outcome in every state will be crucial to the selection of the GOP Presidential nominee. I'm proud to be part of that process, a process that makes every Republican delegate count. It isn't pretty. It's better than pretty. It's good.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  86. Bruce from brick

    Yes it is, the democratic party!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  87. James -- Columbus

    Well Jack, it may be good for the GOP simply because it is bad for President Obama. He won't be able to focus on one candidate for a while. And since it is widely believed that we need a change at the executive level, it means that it can be good for the country. Honestly, I would like to see the Democrats give us a second candidate to consider, since we don't want Mr. Obama for another four years.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  88. christine

    It could have been a good thing if voters are excited about any of them. It worked for Obama and Clinton because people were truly excited about them. The very few Romney supporters don't mind staying home in nov even if they don't care for Obama because they don't believe Romney can make any major changes as a President.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  89. Gregory

    The longer the GOP primary last the more truth slip out from the canidates. Mitt Romney has already told the truth that he doesn't care about the poor and now Rick Santorum says he doesn't care about unemployed. These guys really are religous aren't they?

    March 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  90. Ted

    This unending campaign exists for one reason only: superpacs. Why? no money – no campaign. It shows just how distorted the electoral campaign process can become because of a few extraordinarily wealthy individuals. This is a travesty of the election process regardless of party.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  91. Christine - Newport Beach

    Jack, it becomes increasingly apparent that the costs are now exceeding the benefits. Santorum is living in a fantasy world. Gingrich has too much baggage and Paul's philosophy does not mesh with the Party. Romney will be the nominee. The sooner they get behind him the better for everyone.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  92. Bill G in Tucson AZ

    Of course it is. Sometimes, when a building is crumbling, you have to destroy it in order to put up a new one. The GOP has been beating itself for years. And the best way for the party to pull together is to be devastated by self inflicted gunshot wounds. They are shooting themselves in the foot. With social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and tea partiers all pushing and pulling at the voters, there isn't enough votes to go around for everyone. They will have to endure all the pain they are suffering before they finally get the message. And the democrats are laughing all the way to the polls.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  93. Matt Cannon

    Of course not. The longer these nuckle heads slug it out, the better for Obama. Rather than concentrate on taking him out, the candidates are slowly taking each other out, which will only spell doom for the Republicans. All Obama has to do is sit back and enjoy the show.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  94. Nancy

    Hi Jack I can tell you it is good for me. I love watching them creating the talking points for the Dems in the Primary. I love wathcing the war chests depleated with infighting. Not sure if it is good for the GOP but I'm lovin it

    March 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  95. Douglas A. Torok

    Why do liberal democrats care, what bother is it to them if we take our time and look hard, and invite all to participate by letting every state count.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  96. John Gray, Enterprise OR

    A long gop primary is very good for the party-my party. I'm a democrat and I wake each day wondering if these idiots can say or do anything more bizarre than their last stupid one. All they care about are the rich and us middle class are only here to pay their bills. Let it go on and go on and go on. Let's keep who we have. At least he is trying to help the working class.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  97. Ben in Maryland

    It may not be good for the party, buyt its good for the USA. The longer it goes, the more apparent it is that none of these candidates give a whit about anyone but their 1% pals. Repeal the ACA and let the poor die. Deny gay people their equal rights. Women are chattel and babymakers and have no choices. Resurrect some sorft of means test in order to vote. Etc Etc Etc.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  98. Ted

    YES...for the democratic party.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  99. Charles - San Antonio

    No. The long primary is illustrating just how the republican party is the party of the rich white guys who want the rest of America to pay the income taxes while they keep women down by limiting thier rights to healthcare. The republicans are using religion to divide America and push thier right-wing bible-thumping christian-based agenda into our goverment. A long primary is needed to convince Americans that the republican party is not the party of the middle class, not the party that promotes women's rights, and not the party that believes all religions should be respected but in no way be infused into our goverment.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  100. Cee.Louisiana

    hell no its not good for the party, and even worse for us, we have to listen to a daily barrage of flip flopping,moralizing,Obama bashing..... If you give me Alll the money spent ion this campaign, I would have America put back to work in no time.....

    March 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  101. Eric in Hoover, Alabama

    No, Jack, it isn't. In years to come, this entire Republican Primary season will be known as Steele's Folly. Basically put, it is serving up a mixtape of the GOP's finest at their worst to the Obama campaign. They seem to be running in the old world, where you could say anything on a campaign and have it forgotten quickly. Now, the media and the public is taping every single word, and blasting it across the country, or worse, onto youtube. The Obama campaign is saving hordes of money on opposition research, as well. Each of the GOP candidates is already plumbing the depths of the others past, looking for flip flops and scared dogs. By the time they pick a "winner", Pres. Obama may not need even half a billion dollars to prove to the public that 2012 is a choice between Obama and a clown car of wannabe Fox-news contributors. The nail in the coffin is that while the party elites know how bad this is, the middle management of the party and the candidates themselves are obliviously convinced of the strength and correctness of their visions and positions. They can do no wrong, and as such must be shown they are wrong in November.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  102. Wes

    No its probably not a good thing but they need to keep hammering the president on the debt. We republicans believe in a limited government and now-a-days government is involved in everything and its getting worse. We need to make it where we can't and don't spend more than we take in. Wes Va

    March 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  103. Steve in Phoenix

    I have been a Republican my entire life. I am so disgusted with the divisive bickering in my own party I cannot in good conscience, vote for any of them. Ron Paul speaks his mind honestly, but doesn't have the backing. Santorum uses religion to back his policies. Romney flip flops. Gingrich can't be trusted. I will vote for the best candidate who works for the betterment of the entire country....oops, that means I'm voting for Obama. Am I Stephen Colbert?!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  104. troy45

    Jack; YES! I believe whole-heartedly that the long Gop primary season is good for the party-The Democratic party! I thank all the Republican candidates for helping re-elect President Obama and supporting the local economies in their travels. Sincerely, Troy (Broken Arrow, OK)

    March 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  105. Renee, Illinois

    We keep hearing about these 'whispers behind the scenes' from establishment Republicans. Why can't they just talk in front of a camera like their wanna-be frontrunners? All the public blunders are hurting the party, to be sure; but the lack of public comment from the more intelligent, less extremist members of the party may be hurting more. That, as much as anything else is contributing to the length of this interminable primary. The Republicans deserve to lose this election if only to shake the extremism out of the party in time for 2016, so in the long run it may do the party good; but for this election, forget about it!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  106. rose Harrison

    It's good for the Democrats and Obama. A brokered GOP convention would be nice.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  107. el don Rodrigo

    Sure Jack, it's good for a party. A celebration that these candidates are showing their true colors finally, not a Red, White and Blue attitude for the country. It would be more like Green with Envy & Greed for the U.S. Presidency.

    in San Jose

    March 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  108. Christine - Newport Beach

    Jack, it becomes increasingly apparent that the costa are now exceeding the benefits. Santorum is living in a fantasy world, Gingrich has too much baggage and Paul's philosophy does not mesh with the party. Romney will be the nominee. The sooner they get behind him the better for everyone.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  109. Minerva S. Schott

    It should be longer! Every four years these guys pull out the same old talking points and when elected do very little. Only by having these long campaigns do we get to see between the carefully scripted lines. I believe only one person running for president can put together a historic energy policy, tackle healthcare, and reduce the size of the military...Oh- he's not in the primaries!

    March 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  110. Don Haw

    Republican party?? These men are from four differing ideologies. The Business Party, The Religious Extreme Party, Libertarian Party, and the Fascist Party

    Don – Hyattsville, Maryland

    March 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  111. Tim in Evans, GA

    yes it's great for the party because it shows what a bunch of egotistical arrogant out-of-touch nasty individuals that represent the GOP, especially with their scary social views (i.e. Santorum). I mean, why is the party defined by such things as Evangelicals, anti-gay attitude, and other bigoted opinions? Their rhetoric which the media continues to assault the public unfortunately is sucked up by the American voters that call themselves Republican? Do they even know what they are signing up for? Please do an expose on what the GOP stands for today – it certainly is not less government and lower taxes and supporting the middle income Americans. Politicians should NOT be talking about their Bible beliefs – EVER. This is a country that has welcomed all religions. all nationalities, and who do you see in the audience of GOP supporters – white Christian fanatics.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  112. Lee - Keystone Heights, Florida

    Yes Jack, it definitely helps the party-the Democratic party. While these republicans beat the hell out of each other and try to "out right wing" one another, the public gets to see them for who they really are. Not endearing, at least to my way of thinking. The more they go an and rattle at one another, the crazier and more out of touch they seem. They have certainly convinced me to vote Democratic.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  113. marybeth, massachusetts

    Yes, it is good, though not for the GOP. A longer vetting process (which is what the primaries are supposed to be) gives everyone a longer and more in depth look at all of the candidates. Imagine what would happen if the decision re the nominee had been made in January–and only after the nominee had been selected had he started running off his mouth, supporting Limbaugh, stating that there's nothing wrong with banning birth control, etc.

    The more time we have to get a good look at these candidates, which means more time for them to make gaffes, to try to paint themselves as "severely conservative", to state that women have no role outside that of baby maker like the mother of the Duggars, that the wealthy and corporations deserve even more subsidies, tax breaks, and no regulations should ever be imposed on them, that the rest of the country is on its own because the candidates don't believe in any social safety nets, don't believe in public education, etc., the better. There will always be those who only listen to Limbaugh and the GOP Party Network (Fox) and those who think that the US would be better off if minorities can't vote, if women have to stay home and both groups have to return to being property of men. But for the rest of us, a prolonged primary gives us more information to be able to make a better decision.

    The GOP used to be moderate; now moderate is a 4-letter word, along with "compromise". It is time for the party to go the way of the dinosaur.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  114. Overby

    It was a long one for the Democrats in 2008, and even more bitter and divisive....didn't seem to hurt them. Unfortunately.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  115. Pete in Georgia

    It's good for the party and good for America. It shows the country that the Republican party isn't afraid to "Air" their laundry in front of the world unlike the current Democrat Dictator who has ZERO competition with ZERO alternative debate or dialog within the party. They're the blind leading the blind over a cliff of socialism with the sole responsibility of it all on the backs of decent working people, earning a paycheck, paying their taxes, and obeying the laws of the land.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  116. Tim in Evans, GA

    One can only hope that American voters have some sense when they go to the polls and don't just pull the GOP lever against a black President.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  117. Gerald from Mobile, AL

    Absolutely not Jack! This GOP primary has become too personal for each candidate and is causing all of them to act like little boys. Romney still thinks running this country is somehow equivalent to running a business and that Latinos are just votes, not concerned families. Santorum still can't decide what side of the rope he is on, and should really consider using a teleprompter. Gingrich is still trying to hang on to his failed past as Speaker Of The House while tongue and cheek selling his $2.50 gas (guaranteed). And Paul, well he's just walking down the street smelling a few flowers still waiting for the mother ship to land.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  118. Alvi Mana

    Yes, it's great for the Democratic Party! The longer Goofs on Parade campaign lasts, the more chances they'll have to make fools of themselves with gaffes, extremists views, and pandering to the right.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  119. Keith Jasberg

    A long primary may help the Republican Party in the long run. It will give them time to iron out their differences and figure out what is really important to the country. If the primary is long enough, they may be ready to offer a real candidate with substance by the 2016 election. Who knows?

    March 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  120. Bob of Morristown, NJ

    It's a terrific thing for thePparty, the Democratic Party that is.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  121. BroWhite7

    Yes; that will only give the Republicans SuperPac two months in the General Election

    March 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  122. James - St Petersburg FL

    The GOP loves to compare this race to the 2008 race but there is one major problem with correlating the two. See, Obama and Clinton had REAL ideas for moving our country forward......the GOP field has not really offered any policy ideas that don't include dismantling our entire federal government system.

    March 20, 2012 at 4:50 pm |