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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Sunday, January 06, 2008

THE REAL PRIMARIES - WILL THOMPSON, ROMNEY AND HUCKABEE SURVIVE - THE SUNDAY COMMENTARY

Iowa has come and gone and though the media and the pundits made a huge deal out of it, in the grand scheme of primary elections it was only the beginning and then just a small drop in the nomination bucket. The true test is starting, first in New Hampshire and then on to the South.

Both parties always place a great emphasis on New Hampshire, one because it is the first real primary and two New Hampshire has a reputation of picking the next President that is before 1992 when Clinton lost and still won the Presidency as did George Bush.

Also New Hampshire starts the primary season in earnest and especially this year because of the great shift by the majority of States to either a January Primary or the big kahuna, Super Tuesday on February 5th.

While Huckabee had his moments in the sun with the win in Iowa, Nationally he is still running third behind Giuliani and a resurgent Jhn McCain who is also leading the field in New Hampshire. From a polling stand point it looks as though Huckabee has peaked and with some of the statements he has made recently then backed away from like a child caught stealing from the cookie jar, he still has not arrived at his make or break point yet.

His next real test will be South Carolina where he currently leads. His distant third in New Hampshire is to be expected. South Carolinians are looking closely at Huckabee to see if he is what he says he is. Personally I see him as a tax and spend liberal whose record in Arkansas backs this up and come Primary day here in South Carolina he will NOT receive this writers vote.

New Hampshire could very well be the beginning of the end for Mitt Romney. He has spent more money than any of the candidates and thus far he has not received the bang for his buck that he thought he would. As the former Governor of the neighboring State of Massachusetts it has long been thought New Hampshire a shoe in for Romney. Iowa was a huge disappointment for his campaign and he now is nearly six points behind McCain in his own territory. While a loss in New Hampshire will not be the death blow for Romney it could be the beginning of the end.

Thompson's third place showing in Iowa was considered by most including his campaign a small victory because of his late push in that State. New Hampshire is not as important to Fred as it is to McCain and Romney but South Carolina is. As a Thompson supporter I receive regular e-mails from his campaign and he is banking on the Palmetto State. His city to city bus tour begins this week and the next GOP Debate is in Myrtle Beach,SC. Fred needs a win in this State to survive. He may be able to hold on with a second place finish but the prospects are still not good without a win.

Huckabee's touting the Christian aspect has given him strong support in this Bible Belt State, which concerns me because it has also caused his record to be ignored. Come Primary Day on the 19th, Fred could pull a victory especially as the scrutiny of Huckabee's record and his recent statements are beginning to have a slight effect in South Carolina. The Debate and hard campaigning here could still put Fred over the top.

McCain is another story altogether. In 2000 McCain won in New Hampshire only to fall to a devastating defeat to Bush in South Carolina which virtually ended his campaign. McCain's recent surge in the polls could help him some as he has garnered a second to Giuliani Nationally. But in the State to State breakdown he is showing a consistent fourth place except in New Hampshire. Once again as in 2000 New Hampshire may be his only moment in the sun.

Giuliani has still not been tested. He chose to bypass Iowa for good reason and concentrate more on New Hampshire where he is currently polling fourth as well as South Carolina. Giuliani is banking on Florida and Super Tuesday where he is strong in most States. On the national level he still leads McCain and Huckabee but both within the margin of error. This based on a average of all polls. Most still consider him the favorite but again he has not been tested at the voting booth so his real stance with voters still remains somewhat of a mystery.

Ron Paul....well he has been finished for quite some time. He is the only one who still believes he has a chance and that delusion will continue until he runs out of money.

A quick take on the Democrats. Though she is not admitting it Iowa was a real disappointment for Hillary especially third place. New Hampshire could be a cross roads for her especially since she does not have the likability of her husband. Bill lost New Hampshire in 1992 and went on to win the nomination because he is likable. His politics stink but his personality is friendly. Hillary on the other hand is very polarizing. Voters either love her or hate her, there is no on between. New Hampshire will hurt her if she looses, but she will survive to Super Tuesday and I still believe will be the eventual nominee, despite the Oprah/Obama popularity of late.

New Hampshire becomes the first real test and possibly the make or break point for several candidates with South Carolina following soon after. By the time we reach Super Tuesday the GOP side of the coin may very well be lighter by a few candidates unless current trends change.

Ken Taylor

13 Comments:

Blogger Rob said...

Couple of thoughts -

For Huckabee. the Iowa win means that he will be around until Super Tuesday and probably beyond given the strong support he has gotten from the social conservatives.

Romney has to win or come in a very close second in New Hampshire to have a clear shot at winning the nomination. He has money, but he doesn't inspire.

McCain looks like he will win in New Hampshire and may become a de facto choice for a lot of folks because there isn't anyone else that is exciting for Republicans (not that McCain is all that well-loved either).

Ron Paul is running a very successful campaign. He is outraising many of his opponents and will stay in until the end. He must know he cannot win the nomination, but I am sure his goal is to try to return his party to the small, limited government party it once was. If he can get a prime speaking slot at the convention and influence the party platform that will be a win for him.

Everyone else is out. Rudy is an idiot for abandoning the early states in hopes of winning Florida and doing reasonably well on Super Tuesday. He won't even be around by Super Tuesday. Fred is too lazy a campaigner and has not built any semblance of an organization to be considered a serious contender.

But, whoever wins the Republican nomination is in real trouble. Twice as many Dems votes in Iowa as Republicans. If that holds up in the coming primaries it will be a harbinger of bad things to come for Republicans.

4:24 PM, January 06, 2008  
Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Rob, the Caucus numbers don't support your conclusion. Obama won with only 940 votes as compared to Huckabee who won with 40,841 votes. Iowa also was a Red State in 2004 and 2006.

If you consider the break down of registered voters the Dems are at 31% with GOP at 30% and Indy at 39%

I think what your mixing up in what you heard is that this was the largest turn out for the Dems in Iowa Caucus history not twice as many voting than the GOP.

5:52 PM, January 06, 2008  
Blogger Gayle said...

Hi, Ken.

The thought that Ron Paul will hang in there until he runs out of money is very disturbing. LOL! He drives me up a wall! Problem is, he has a lot of money.

Well, we have another Republican debate in about 10 minutes. I still think it's way to early to be able to tell what's going to happen, but it sure is interesting.

7:53 PM, January 06, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

You are mistaken Ken. You are just reporting the delegate counts, but the delegates were not the only ones who were voting. Each delegate represents a portion of the total Dems voting.

The bottom line is that more than 239,000 Dems voted in the Iowa Caucuses. Only 100,000 Republicans voted.

Read about it yourself at the Des Moines Register's blog.

It is clearly a bad sign for Republicans considering that it was a Red State. Given the wide disparity in the numbers, it is pretty obvious the Dems are going to take Iowa.

9:41 PM, January 06, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Independent voters and new voters broke heavily toward the Dems in Iowa.

We'll see how it goes in New Hampshire, but if the vote counts are anywhere close to what happened in Iowa and the Dem voters double up the number of Republican voters, it will be a very, very bad sign for Republicans.

9:46 PM, January 06, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

FYI Ken, Romney won in the Wyoming Republican Caucuses.

He got 8 delegates.
Fred got 3 and Duncan Hunter got 1.

That doesn't mean that only 12 people voted, it just means that Romney got 66% of the total number of Republicans voting and earned 8 delegates.

9:58 PM, January 06, 2008  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Huckabee's touting the Christian aspect has given him strong support in this Bible Belt State, which concerns me because it has also caused his record to be ignored.

Interesting take from Medved regarding Huckabee's evangelical support:

Predictably enough, most media commentators have totally misinterpreted the nature of Mike Huckabee’s big win in the Iowa GOP caucuses. Conventional wisdom says that he swept to victory based on overwhelming support from Evangelicals, but conventional wisdom is flat-out wrong. According to the exit polls used by major news networks, a majority of voters who described themselves as “evangelical” or “born again” Christians actually voted against Huckabee –with 54% splitting their support among Romney, McCain, Thompson and Ron Paul. Yes, Huckabee’s 46% of Evangelicals was a strong showing, but it was directly comparable to his commanding 40% of women, or 40% of all voters under the age of 30, or 41% of those earning less than $30,000 a year. His powerful appeal to females, the young and the poor make him a different kind of Republican, who connects with voting blocs the GOP needs to win back. He’s hardly the one-dimensional religious candidate of media caricature.

It’s also idiotic and dishonest for observers to keep harping on anti-Mormon bigotry as the basis for Mitt Romney’s disappointing showing. Yeah, it's true that 81% of Evangelicals voted against Romney--- but 75% of ALL Iowa Republicans voted against him, so where is the big evidence of "anti-Mormon bigotry"? In other words, there’s only a 6% difference between his general rejection and his Evangelical rejection. There’s no evidence, in other words, that those who described themselves as “born again” or “evangelical” faced an especially tough time voting for a Mormon. Romney, after all, finished second among this group—as he finished second among the electorate in general. Among Evangelicals, Mormon Mitt beat John McCain, Fred Thompson and Ron Paul by a ratio of nearly two-to-one…a bigger, not smaller margin of victory over these other non-Mormon candidates than he managed to achieve in the electorate in general. The message ought to be obvious: the core issue was phoniness, not faith-- and the religious and non-religious alike react badly to phoniness.

Meanwhile, 87% of non-Evangelicals voted against Huckabee.... compared to only 66% of all Iowa Republicans.... in other words a 21% gap! Think about this.... THERE'S MORE EVIDENCE IN THE EXIT POLLS OF ANTI-EVANGELICAL PREJUDICE than there is of anti-Mormon prejudice. Huckabee did well across the board with all groups in the exit polls except one: the 40% who said "no" to the question, "Are you a 'born-again' or 'evangelical' Christian?" He finished fourth among this group, behind Romney, Thompson and McCain.

The evidence is pretty clear, isn't it? The preferences of Evangelicals mirrored those of Iowans in general. But the preferences of the "non Evangelical" group were distorted by their religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) and led them (as the same prejudices leads angry members of the conservative establishment) to blast, resent and dismiss the Huck.

Massaging the numbers another way ---Huckabee got 46% of the Evangelical vote, only 14% of non-Evangelical--- a huge 32% difference based on the rejection by these people of a well-known religious identity.

Romney, on the other hand, got 19% of Evangelical vote, and 33% of non Evangelical voters--- a vastly less significant 14% difference...

In other words, Non-Evangelicals appear to have been much more influenced by the religious variable in their distaste for Huck, than Evangelicals were influenced by that variable in their distaste for Mitt.

Those who insist, over and over again, that the Iowa Caucuses reflected “Christian identity politics” or a “tidal wave of Evangelical support” are basing their analysis on feelings, not facts; on vapors, not voters. It’s dishonest to say that a guy who just won a crushing state-wide victory, without even winning the majority of his own religious group, displayed a one dimension appeal to Christian zealots only.

This endlessly repeated story line is not only tired, it’s a lie.

2:50 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

What is your point Wordsmith?

Huckabee had a base of support from evangelicals that the other candidates did not have which is what carried him in Iowa.

There is no such base of support in New Hampshire which is why he won't win in New Hampshire.

The story coming out of Iowa is really two-fold. First, there is not much excitement about the Republican field. Second, Dems seem to be really energized and all three of their top candidates (Obama, Clinton, and Edwards) got more votes than Huckabee. That is a bad sign for Republicans in a Red state.

3:57 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

I dont look for Fred to do well in New Hampshire, I will be shocked if he does.

But I do expect him to do quite well in SC.

Hopefully a win, but second wont be to bad.

It aint over till the fat lady sings and she doesnt even open her mouth till Nevember lol

Ron Paul....well he has been finished for quite some time. He is the only one who still believes he has a chance and that delusion will continue until he runs out of money.

LMAO!

4:38 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

The fat lady is certainly warming up her voice for Fred.

As for Ron Paul. I would not be surprised at all if he finishes 3rd in New Hampshire. He is going to get more votes than Rudy and probably more than Fred.

You have to recognize that he is not planning on winning. He wins by helping set the agenda for the Republican platform.

No matter who you are supporting, the key number to look at is how independents vote in New Hampshire. Clearly they broke for Dems in Iowa. If they break for Dems in New Hampshire (as I expect they will), it won't be a good sign for Republicans.

5:02 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

I think you will see the Ind. move to McCain in NH. he has always been strong there, and during his last campaign they went to him as a moderate.

Huckabe isn't out with a 3rd place finish in NH. South Carolina will be big for him.

I think Rudy isn't out and has the best strategy.

And it isn't news that there is a lack of enthusiasm for the GOP. In a uphill battle year with no true conservatives, there is a great deal of apathy.

8:16 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

I'm curious about Rudy's strategy. What is so great about it?

8:33 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Daniel Ruwe said...

I'm getting tired of Ron Paul. He has used up his fifteen minutes of fame. I think Fred is the only conservative, but he isn't doing much. After him, I like Mitt best. I thought he did well Saturday and Sunday.

10:50 AM, January 08, 2008  

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