The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Can a Republican win the White House in 2016?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/29/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 493 times Debate No: 81779
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




I am posing the stance that one of the various Republican candidates for President has the ability to win the presidency in 2016. I have heard various assertions made in the media that present an idea of a blue wall which will make it impossible for a Republican to win the presidency in 2016, or ever by some of their views.

The only restrictions that I have for this debate are that you must take the position that it is impossible for the Republicans to win in 2016, but beyond that, happy debating!


Republicans will not win because of their foreign policy, economic policy, and gun laws.
Debate Round No. 1


According to the Huffington Post, not exactly a conservative think-tank, right now Obama's foreign policy has a negative approval rating of 14.1%. While this statistic does not necessarily prove that Americans would be more accepting of Republican foreign policy, it does show that they are discontent with the status quo. Typically discontent within the electorate translates into a push for new leadership. While Americans could decide that Democratic foreign policy is not the problem, and that Obama is really the problem, historically after one party has controlled the White House for two consecutive terms, the people tend to vote for the other party. This has happened in all but three cases in the last 100 years.

While I could not find any polls that gave a clear view of Obama's economic policy, at least none I considered current enough to be relevant to this discussion, I did find an article stating that women had suffered under Obama's economic policies. The piece, written by realclearpolitics which is also not particularly conservative, details how women across the US have suffered under Obama's economic policies. I would tend to say that even if many other groups benefited from Obama's policies, it looks bad that he has hurt one of the core Democratic constituencies.

According to CNN, more Americans are against stricter gun control than are for it by a margin of 6% points. The same article that I found this information in, however, also pointed out that this is up from a 49-49 split only a few months ago. While gun control continues to be an issue on the minds of the voters, it is clearly not going to be a driving force behind this next election. If it were, we would see a constant and consistent trend in one way or the other either for or against more gun control. While conservatives may feel that they have a selling point in saying that Hillary will take your guns away, and liberals may feel they have a strong point in saying that Republicans don't care about gun violence, neither side will really benefit from using this as a point of their campaigns. To be able to use this, one side or the other would have to be able to point to a steady and constant increase in support for their point of view. To illustrate how fickle the issue of gun control is in America, a report was released by gallup only two days before the CNN report which stated that Americans support more restrictive gun control. That report included a graphic displaying the changes in how the electorate felt about gun control over the course of the last 15 years. Interestingly, there was far more support for more restrictive gun control during the entire tenure of President Bush, including when he was reelected over John Kerry, than there is today.

My final thoughts on this issue are that, historically, we have seen the electorate shift usually over a course of about a decade. We have also seen, based on history, that after 8 years of the same party, the other side very often gets a chance. While my argument was never that the Republicans will definitely win the next election, my argument is that they have a shot where many analysts are stating that it is impossible. Many of them are relying on this so called blue wall to make that argument and on demographic voting. Many of them are also relying on the coalition that Obama put together to win his first election and for his reelection. Many Democrats voted for Ronald Reagan during his two elections, but they have since returned to voting for Democratic candidates. As was the case with Reagan, I do not believe that many of the typically more moderate groups who voted for Obama are going to, necessarily, continue voting for Democrats.


The Republican party is bad for America and the world for these reasons: Republicans support the death penalty, war, torture, favor the rich while screwing the poor.
Debate Round No. 2


Bad really is an opinion. What some may find to be "bad for America" others might consider to be beneficial. Nevertheless, the argument never was whether or not Republicans are bad for America nor was it whether or not I even like their opinions or agree with them. The argument was simply can they win the next election.

According to Gallup, more Americans support the death penalty by a margin of 63% to 33%. While this support has fallen from its high in the 1990s, which was 80%, there are still significantly more Americans who agree with the death penalty than those who do not. The graph provided on Gallup also illustrates that, over the last decade, support for the death penalty has remained relatively static. Based on this information, I would posit that the issue of the death penalty will not harm the Republicans chances of winning the election and may, in fact, improve their chances.

According to the Wall Street Journal who was citing a Pew Research Center poll, more Americans approved of the CIA "torture" program by a margin of 51% to 29%. This means that even if your premise is correct and Republicans are more likely to torture than are Democrats, it would seem that the electorate is not particularly concerned about it. I would also question where you have gotten your information that the Republicans are pro-torture, though, as you did not cite any particular source. It seems as though this is simply your own opinion.

As a matter of war, I do not even need to cite a reference for you to be fully aware that we have just committed ground troops to Syria. If there is any sentiment among the populace that we should not be getting involved in all of these conflicts and wars, such a sentiment would surely benefit, to a much greater degree, several of the Republican candidates who have espoused an interest in non-intervention on matters of foreign conflict. One such candidate would be Rand Paul. The same cannot be said of Hillary Clinton who has espoused that, if anything, she would be more an interventionist than is our current president. You could make the argument that Bernie Sanders also espouses an non-interventionist policy, but it does not currently seem like Sanders is going to win the nomination. Even if Sanders does win the Democratic nomination, if Rand Paul were to be the Republican nominee this would not be a point of contention as the two agree on the idea of non-interventionism.

Of the top tier Republican candidates, those with the greatest chance of taking the nomination, many of them favor creating a flat tax that applies to all citizens. While I would, personally, agree with you that this favors the rich over the poor, it would appear that the American citizens do not look on this issue so unfavorably. 62% of Americans, according to, would support a flat tax. To be honest, this really does not surprise me. Americans have been pining for years that changes needed to be made to our tax code which has become so cumbersome that only the wealth, with the ability to hire many lawyers to explain it to them, really have a hope of understanding it. Basically, it seems that, whether or not the citizens feel that the Republicans favor the rich over the poor, the citizens are in favor of some of their economic plans.

Finally I will finish with this last thought. It does not matter what you, or even I, think personally of one party or the other. It matters what the electorate thinks about them. Current polling may suggest certain benefits for a particular side on specific issues, but no polling shows an overall rejection of the political philosophies of either side. I do believe that the Republicans have an advantage in this next election as is always the case when the ruling party must defend the policies of the previous administration. This said, I also believe it to be incredibly important that the Republicans choose a good candidate, and it is, likewise, very important the the Democrats pick the best candidate. If either side chooses to nominate a weak candidate, that side may well pay the price in the upcoming elections. I do worry, though, personally if both sides choose to nominate their weakest candidates as the American people will be the one's paying the price.


LiberalProlifer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by imabench 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited the last round and essentially conceded every argument pro made in the second round as well. Clear win for the pro, as the whole debate was essentially a forfeit