Sunday, January 6, 2008

IOWA CAUCUS: BAD GOP OMENS

Single issue voters are destroying the GOP's chances of winning crucial elections -- including the presidency. That's true whether the single issue is abortion, gay marriage, or immigration. Ironically (sadly?), the single-issue voters are also undermining their chances to win on their issue of choice.

In fact, abortion, gay marriage, and immigration are NOT big issues with most American voters, as we found out once again in almost all-white, politically moderate Iowa. All three of the Democratic candidates hold views the opposite of GOP single-issue voters, including the evangelicals who cast their votes for Mike Huckabee.

Look at it this way: the number of Iowans who participate in the Democratic caucuses totaled an amazing 239,000. That was nearly twice the number in the Republican caucuses.

In Iowa, the registration figures break down this way: one-third Republican, one-third Democratic, and one-third "other (mainly Independent).

Iowa is a "light Blue" or "light pink" state, as illustrated by George Bush's losing narrowly in 2000 and winning narrowly in 2004. It's one where Republicans should at least be competitive on a statewide basis. Right now, Republicans are nowhere near being competitive in Iowa.

Look at the Caucus this way: ONE Republican, Mike Huckabee, won by a fairly comfortable margin. However, THREE Democrats -- Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Hillary -- all got MORE Caucus votes than Huckabee. If he'd been running for Democratic votes, he would have finished a failry distant FOURTH.

Of course, many Huckabee supporters -- Larry Perrault being a prominent one -- have announced that if Mike doesn't get the nomination, they will sit out the election. That should make it much easier for either Obama or Hillary Clinton to win the general election.

Generally, Democrats like their choice of (extremely liberal) candidates. Republicans don't like their choice of (mainly conservative) candidates.

If what happens in New Hampshire and South Carolina resembles in any way what occurred in Iowa, Republican candidates -- many of them superb human beings -- are in for a drubbing. Democrats are united, while Republicans are fractured.

Whomever the Democrats select as their nominee for President, bet your money on him -- or her.

Tomorrow's column (on Tuesday) will be about the candidacy of Melissa Hart trying to regain her seat in PA's 4th Congressional District.

Later this week I'll write one of my last pieces on the Russell-Murtha race. After analyzing the race carefully, I believe -- sadly -- that the race is not currently winnable by a challenger; however, any Republican candidate that can chalk up 100,000 votes would be in a good position to win the seat when Murtha retires/passes away. Diana Irey probably will be the strongest challenger Murtha will face in his lifetime, and she got nearly 79,000 votes -- and they came in an off-year election. In off years in the 12th CD many people don't bother to vote.

2 comments:

Larry said...

"Of course, many Huckabee supporters -- Larry Perrault being a prominent one -- have announced that if Mike doesn't get the nomination, they will sit out the election. That should make it much easier for either Obama or Hillary Clinton to win the general election."

Just to clarify: I would support a McCain/Huckabee ticket, or ogbviously a Huckabee/McCain ticket. I don't think there will be a Huckabee/Romney ticket or a Huckabee Giuliani ticket. Thompson possibly. But, I don't know if Thompson wants to be Veep. I can't imagine what magic Thompson might have up his sleeve to win the nomination. He doesn't beat Ron Paul on Tuesday in NH (Giuliani may not, either). Paul polled at about 9 in the last poll, but, the intensity factor could boost him well into the teens. He polled mid-single digits in Iowa. I guessed 8%. He got 10%

Huckabee polls at 11-12% in New Hampshire. No one has Paul's intensity, but Huckabee's could boost him above 15%, which might be third. If both McCain and Huckabee beat Romney in Michigan, I think the Romney party's over.

Then, McCain and Huckabee square off in SC. McCain better have an avalanche of momentum, because he's far behind, there. There's a pro-defense potential McCain contingent in SC, but I also think there's about a 25% ceiling, right now. If he has any momentum, the sky's the limit for Huckabee in SC.

So, after Huckabee won SC, Giuliani has to beat him in Florida. Sure, there are a lot of Yankee transplants in FL, but some are from the Midwest and the state is still half Southern conservative. And, Giuliani has to raise his campaign from the dead.

If Huckabee has beaten McCain before he goes to FL, McCain may have endorsed Huckabee going in and maybe Huckabee will have promised him a post. I would,and Huckabee likes him.

I WOULDN'T, in the long-shot chance that Giuliani can do a standing broad jump from Feb. 5 (I wouldn't even bet on Florida), support a Giuliani/Anyone ticket Well, if Huckabee actually accepted a second spot to Giuliani, I'd take Giuliani's pledge to appoint conservative judges more seriously, which I don't, now. Huckabee would have to choke a commitment out of Giuliani to provide the Southern balance/boost.

I don't think I'm typical. A lot of social conservatives would hold their nose and vote for Giuliani, but many might not do THAT on a cold day. Anyway, they wouldn't turn out big and they wouldn't stuff envelopes and walk blocks and get out the vote. And, I think Giuliani would get waxed by Obama and maybe even Clinton. With her HIGH negatives, a Giuliani nomination would be her best hope. Moneybags Romney would get waxed too, but what flailing we will see if he loses in NH on Tues.

Let's go back to when we were friendly: I would prefer a Huckabee/Sarah Palin ticket and I will be certain the name is there. But, Huckabee might want to look for some northern balance, though Republican pickin's are gettin slim up there.

If I didn't have to bet, I wouldn't. But if I did, I'd say the best chance is a ticket with Huckabee and McCain on it, in some order.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I think we had all better wait for Florida until we figure out what's going on. This is a new ballgame, and I think Giuliani and Romney (wounded, but not dead) will stay in the race for longer than people think. Florida is so few days ahead of Super Tuesday that things may not be clear until Feb. 6 (and just maybe, not even then). The fact that Mike won Iowa decisively didn't carry much of a bounce into NH. Will SC (a real Dixie state) carry over to FL? I expect SC to be a battle royal, although Mike should have an advantage with evangelicals there. I think any candidate that emerges would be lucky to have Gov. Palin on the ticket. She had an Op Ed piece in the Saturday New York Times. I wonder what kind of staying power Obama will have -- but talk about the Flavor of the Month! His wife and children help his campaign. I expect him to clear the table, with IO, NH, SC, and FL, but he will not knock Hillary out even with that performance. The critical issue with Huckabee is if he can build his support beyond evangelicals/home schoolers. NH is a very unusual state, with 45% of the voters being Independents, partly because that lets them vote for whoever they want. It's an all-white state with few evangelicals. McCain could blow Romney out of the race but I don't think he's going to win by a huge margin.

steve