And since G.O.P. Front Runner Ronald Reagan relies upon a base of support that is on the far right wing of the Republican Party, some experts have long declared that if he wins the nomination, the G.O.P. would simply be repeating the suicidal Goldwater campaign. Ex-President Gerald Ford left no doubt about his views when he warned last month: “A very conservative Republican cannot win in a national election.”
National opinion polls continue to show Carter leading Reagan by an apparently comfortable margin of about 25%. They also show that more moderate Republicans like Ford would run better against the President.
Reagan cannot hope to win, however, unless he moves beyond the hard-line conservative base that has sustained him since he first appeared on the national political scene as a spokesman for Goldwater himself.
TIME, 31 March 1980