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Start your engines: Will we have a better choice of drivers in 2012?
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The Perfect World >> Politics >> Start your engines: Will we have a better choice of drivers in 2012?

Start your engines: Will we have a better choice of drivers in 2012?

Nicholas Kronos -- Monday, January 31, 2011 -- 05:44:24 PM

The 2012 presidential campaign--you know it's coming and starting already. Will anyone run we can actually be excited about?

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CurbSide -- Sunday, February 26, 2012 -- 02:28:52 AM -- 1989 of 2421
I have cheese touch.

That's not what happened last time around. The Dems went on and on into the summer, and they still won in the general.

jenrenton -- Sunday, February 26, 2012 -- 02:29:35 AM -- 1990 of 2421
Snowflake mother

Not saying that'll be the case, just that it might explain the urge to be "done."

Phillip Sheridan -- Sunday, February 26, 2012 -- 03:12:53 PM -- 1991 of 2421

I wonder if the money issue is a non-issue at this point. Kerry finished with cash on hand. The candidates will be able to get as much as is necessary for them to win.

As for the length of the race, it can only assist the eventual nominee in terms of prep, and it keeps a focus on the GOP, but it also means that the eventual nominee can do something stupid fending off challengers. Like giving a speech in Ford Field when it had a puppet-show sized crowd.

That said, the president is unopposed and in a week, he gave the GOP the gifts of "algae" as an energy policy and multiple apologies to the psychotics for the burning of their terror manual.

CalGal -- Sunday, February 26, 2012 -- 03:58:12 PM -- 1992 of 2421
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

I don't think it's about money. The Republican elite tends to care about what the press thinks, and the press presents this ongoing primary as a bad thing. They did in 08, too.

Amaxen -- Sunday, February 26, 2012 -- 06:53:21 PM -- 1993 of 2421
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

I get a feeling of relief and smugness from the lefties I associate with. And it appears to be because of the extended fighting between the nominees. I know that democrats tend to regard a long nomination process as damaging, and this extends to the press - god knows why. If the election is too long and you're attacking the opponent, it can reach a point where it goes on too long.

Pincher Martin -- Sunday, February 26, 2012 -- 08:08:57 PM -- 1994 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

When has one of the major party candidates ever lost a general election for lack of money? Name one.

When a candidate has a huge money advantage going into an election (Reagan in 84; Obama in 08). it's because their election is seen as inevitable. Politics is awash in money when the need arises, and a candidate is seen as competitive.

The election, if it's close, will come down to ad spending in perhaps a dozen states. Having that money for ads will be a necessary but not sufficient ingredient for victory. The notion that Romney won't have enough money to spend in those states in September because Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich made him spend it in March and April is absurd.

If Romney doesn't have money, it will be because the election got away from him for other reasons.

Pincher Martin -- Sunday, February 26, 2012 -- 08:20:56 PM -- 1995 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

That said, the president is unopposed and in a week, he gave the GOP the gifts of "algae" as an energy policy and multiple apologies to the psychotics for the burning of their terror manual.

The president is not unopposed. He has four guys running at him every day on a national platform that gives them unparalleled media access they otherwise would not have.

If Romney's nomination was in the bag, do you think he could have highlighted the Catholic Church health care issue with as much passion and skill as Rick Santorum has?

If Romney had knocked Gingrich out of the race in Iowa, do you think the governor would have been clever enough to coin the phrase "The food stamp president" that the Speaker used to such devastating effect and which noticeably got under Obama's skin?

The GOP candidates are not just running against each other. They are running against Obama.

Pincher Martin -- Sunday, February 26, 2012 -- 10:41:59 PM -- 1996 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

By the way, Obama is having money problems of his own. His campaign is flush with cash, but his supporters still felt the need to start up a Super PAC and that organization has not been successful in raising much money.

Paltry fundraising by Obama "Super PAC" prompted new strategy

On one side of the board, Messina sketched out the amounts of money he expected Republican "Super PACs" and other groups to raise and spend to try to defeat the Democratic president in the November 6 election.
Drawing a line under that cumulative number -- roughly $700 million -- Messina then highlighted the amount raised by the Republican groups' Democratic counterparts. It was a measly figure.
"We've got to talk about this. This is a problem," Messina told Axelrod, according to a campaign official.
Roughly a month later, on February 6, the Obama campaign announced it would start supporting Priorities USA Action, the struggling Super PAC formed to help Obama. The move reversed a position rooted in Obama's distaste for the Supreme Court decision that allowed such independent groups to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to try to influence elections.
If there were any lingering questions about why Obama's campaign changed course, they were answered late on Monday.
Priorities USA raised a paltry $59,000 in January, Federal Election Commission filings showed, and that amount came almost entirely from one longtime Obama supporter, John W. Rogers, who donated $50,000.
The disappointing figures were a sharp contrast with the tens of millions of dollars raised by the political action committees, or PACs, that support Republican presidential candidates.
Pincher Martin -- Monday, February 27, 2012 -- 05:04:25 PM -- 1997 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Bad polling data for Obama.

Gallup/US Today poll of registered voters shows him trailing both Santorum and Romney in 12 swing states.

In the poll, Obama lags the two leading Republican rivals in the 12 states likely to determine the outcome of a close race in November:
•Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum tops Obama 50%-45% in the swing states. Nationwide, Santorum's lead narrows to 49%-46%.
•Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney edges Obama 48%-46% in the swing states. Nationwide, they are tied at 47% each.
Amaxen -- Monday, February 27, 2012 -- 05:37:17 PM -- 1998 of 2421
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

Heard on NPR today a cite of a poll showing Obama beating all of the GOP nominees in a national poll.

Amaxen -- Monday, February 27, 2012 -- 05:54:26 PM -- 1999 of 2421
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

Debt ceiling triggering months earlier than anticipated - may occur during Presidential GE.

Pincher Martin -- Monday, February 27, 2012 -- 06:27:44 PM -- 2000 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Heard on NPR today a cite of a poll showing Obama beating all of the GOP nominees in a national poll.

Politico/GWU/Battleground has a poll out showing Obama up by ten among likely voters, but that poll usually runs in favor of Obama.

Pincher Martin -- Monday, February 27, 2012 -- 07:02:12 PM -- 2001 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Michigan and Arizona's primaries are tomorrow. Polls have Romney up comfortably in Arizona, but the former MA governor is ahead of Santorum in Michigan by less than the margin of error.

Even if Romney wins both primaries, the race will go on. Ten states are voting on Super Tuesday, and several of the larger states are not friendly territory for Romney.

Here are the ten states voting in order of the number of delegates they have up for grabs. I have also put which candidate(s) I think is likely to win the state in parentheses.

1. Georgia - 76 (Most likely Gingrich; possibly Santorum)

2. Ohio - 66 (Toss-up between Santorum and Romney)

3. Tennessee - 58 (Most likely Santorum; possibly Gingrich)

4. Virginia - 49 (Romney -- Santorum and Gingrich not on ballot)

5. Oklahoma - 43 (Santorum)

6. Massachusetts - 41 (Romney)

7. Idaho - 32 (Toss-up between Romney, Santorum and possibly Paul)

8. North Dakota - 28 (Toss-up between Romney, Santorum and possibly Paul)

9. Alaska - 27 (Toss-up between Romney, Santorum and possibly Paul)

10. Vermont - 17 (Romney)

*****

Alaska, North Dakota, and Idaho are all holding caucuses, so it's harder to guess which way they'll turn on Super Tuesday. I'm pretty sure, however, that Gingrich has no chance in any of them.

Romney has generally done pretty well in the caucuses up to now, winning Nevada and Maine, and coming in a close second in Colorado and Iowa.

Rick Santorum has also done pretty well in the caucuses. He won Iowa, Colorado, and Minnesota.

Ron Paul has done less well. He has no victories and only a couple of close finishes in Iowa and Maine. But given the energy and quality of Paul's organization, I don't think he can be counted out yet of any of the caucuses.

GregD -- Monday, February 27, 2012 -- 07:15:42 PM -- 2002 of 2421
After the power to choose a man wants the power to erase. --Stephen Dunn

To answer the highlight question, the establishment GOP only wants to end the process because Mitt's in the lead. If Santorum pulled ahead tomorrow and into Super Tuesday all that talk of drawing this to a close and lining up behind the leader would end right quick.

I'd count a loss in MI as a real, solid blow against Romney.

At this point it's Santorum or Gingrich, and the later's doing the tea-party insurgency no favors at this point. I figure he's sticking around to salvage his pride in GA before bowing out.

Pincher Martin -- Monday, February 27, 2012 -- 07:18:35 PM -- 2003 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Three states on Super Tuesday are solidly for Romney (Virginia, Massachusetts, and Vermont).

Two states are solidly for Santorum (Tennessee and Oklahoma).

The three caucuses (Alaska, North Dakota, and Idaho) are all toss-ups that I have no way of determining which way they will go.

That leaves the two biggest states (Georgia and Ohio).

According to the RCP's average of recent polls, Santorum is trailing Gingrich in Georgia by less than double digits. If Santorum can beat Gingrich in Georgia or even come close to beating him, I don't see how Newt can justify staying in the race. (Romney is also in the mix according to those polls, although I think it's unlikely he will win Georgia.)

As for Ohio, it strikes me as being very good territory for Santorum, but still very winnable for Romney. I think the Massachusetts governor has to win Michigan to stay competitive in Ohio. Santorum is currently up in the state's polls, but those surveys are very volatile depending on recent news.

Pincher Martin -- Monday, February 27, 2012 -- 07:19:58 PM -- 2004 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

One lesson I hope both Santorum and Romney learned watching Hillary in 2008: Don't ignore the caucuses.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, February 28, 2012 -- 05:04:28 PM -- 2005 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

A smart man gets a PhD in applied economics from Wharton and wastes it trying to use the fluctuations of Intrade and the entrails of pigeons to predict the general election.

As Republican nomination extends into March, candidates face weakening odds in general election

A portion of that decrease is the fact that any Republican nominee will have a harder time beating an incumbent with increasing economic growth and presidential approval approaching 50 percent. Another portion of that decrease is likely due to the fact that both candidates have increased exposure to gaffes and blunders as the nomination battle continues.

Well, the first sentence above is right, but the second sentence is obvious horseshit. Fighting a primary battle doesn't just give a candidate an increased chance to make gaffes, it also gives him an increased chance to be properly vetted (and innoculated) and to make his case to some voters who might otherwise tune out until the general election.

Even a party rival who exposes the eventual nominee's weaknesses in March probably makes him a better candidate in the fall by inoculating him against attacks from his opponent in the general election.

What would have happened in the 2004 election if John Kerry had been challenged on his military exploits early by his Democratic rivals instead of making it to the summer before the Swift Boat attacks went public?

Timing is important in politics. What's major news in March is often old and boring stuff by the summer. Voters internalize a major revelation about a candidate and if he survives the news cycle, they frequently then discount it. Thus Clinton's adulteries in 1992 and Obama's racist Reverend in 2008 didn't prevent them from attaining the presidency. They rode through the bad news in the primaries and by the general election, they were no longer major stories.

Kerry, on the other hand, didn't see the first serious Swift Boat attacks until he had already won the nomination. They began in May of that year, got going in the summer, and they finally went with TV ads in August -- just at the time that Kerry was trying to go after George W. Bush.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, February 28, 2012 -- 05:14:00 PM -- 2006 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

An obvious example from this election is Gingrich's attacks on Romney's actions at Bain Capital.

Many Republicans, including me, rolled our eyes when we first heard those attacks. But they were obviously effective (even in the GOP primary), and Romney was forced to respond to them in some detail.

He survived the attacks and moved on. More importantly, he has probably lessened the future effectiveness of those attacks when they eventually come from the Democrats and Obama. It's old news now, and old news is never quite as gripping as fresh revelations.

Pincher Martin -- Tuesday, February 28, 2012 -- 05:38:32 PM -- 2007 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Democratic lobbyists giving cold shoulder to Obama super-PAC

Democratic lobbyists who have been barred from fundraising for President Obama’s campaign are showing little interest in donating instead to a super-PAC that supports him.
Unlike Obama’s official campaign, the Priorities USA Action super-PAC accepts donations from registered lobbyists. The president gave his blessing to Priorities earlier this month, giving K Street a place to contribute cash to his reelection efforts.
But hard feelings toward Obama for his anti-lobbyist rhetoric linger on K Street, and lobbyists contacted by The Hill said they don’t expect an outpouring of support for the super-PAC.
“Did a great ‘huzzah’ go up among lobbyists when it was apparent that although we can’t give to the Obama reelect directly, we can [give] to the super-PAC that shares that goal? No,” said Robert Raben, the president and founder of the Raben Group and a former aide to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
Pincher Martin -- Wednesday, February 29, 2012 -- 03:00:05 AM -- 2008 of 2421
"Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible." -- George Orwell

Romney wins Arizona easily, and he looks set to also take Michigan.

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The Perfect World >> Politics >> Start your engines: Will we have a better choice of drivers in 2012?