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?This thread is tagged:
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bad polling data for Obama.
Politico/GWU/Battleground has a poll out showing Obama up by ten among likely voters, but that poll usually runs in favor of Obama.
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.
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.
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.
One lesson I hope both Santorum and Romney learned watching Hillary in 2008: Don't ignore the caucuses.
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.
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.
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.