Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And Then There Were Four

The Fantastic Four? We wish!


The results of Florida's primary are too close to call at this point, except to say that Rudy Guiliani will likely be out of the race. That will reduce the race from eleven to four candidates- but paring down those last four may be problematic. All of them have reason to stay in the race.

There are only two candidates who have both significant funds left and more importantly a built-in nation-wide network of supporters. Those two are Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Romney can count on a network of Mormons and a vast personal fortune while Paul has a network of Constitutionalists and demonstrated online fund-raising prowess.

Let's look at where Paul is first: While Rudy trumpeted his "wait until later to really get going" strategy, Ron Paul is the one who quietly executed that strategy with success. He spent less of his total resources on the early primaries than any other candidate except Guiliani. By staying low-key about his de-emphasis of the early states, Paul did respectably enough in them to stay viable while building an organization for Super Tuesday and beyond that is superior to the other candidates. For example, Paul has no less than FIVE state headquarters in Arkansas (Rogers, Ft. Smith, Jonesboro, Mena, Camden) while no other candidate even has a single one (I don't count Huckabee's hidden office). Paul's biggest problems: one-issue voters who agree with him on every issue EXCEPT the war, and would rather have someone who will lie to them than disagree with them on one thing and 2) a corporate media who maintain a near-blackout on the candidate.

Now lets look at McCain and Romney: They also both have reason to stay in the race. One of them will lead in delegates, the other will be second. At first glance, it may appear that no matter who wins tonight that Romney has the winning hand. McCain is going to run low on states with elections that include the independent voters that favor him, and he lacks Romney's nationwide network of co-religionists. Though he is a wealthy man, his personal fortune is not on par with Romney's. He led the push for amnesty that is anathema to the base of the party.

But McCain lots of advantages too. The media gives him millions of dollars worth of favorable coverage that Romney mostly has to buy. His record, while liberal by Republican standards is actually to the right of Romney. He is a stake president of a church that considers all orthodox Christian churches to be in apostasy along with a host of other curious doctrines. And that brings us to McCain's other ace in the hole.......

Mike Huckabee seems to be in alliance with McCain. His job is to help attack Romney and keep religious conservatives from going to Romney (as odd as that sounds on fact, on feeling tone and "look", Mormons and Fundamentalist Christians have much in common). Though as we have seen, the corporate media will savage him if he gets too far in front, they lavish him with positive attention when he is helping McCain double-team Romney. He has enough states coming up where he is strong to make it worth his while staying in the race even if he is broke. He does not have to get a majority of delegates- just a big enough pile to trade for a VP slot. With four in the race, it could happen. Especially since there appears to be no compelling reason for any of them to leave.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Rick said...

This race is going to be won by McCain. Its amazing to me that a few short months ago McCain's campaign was all but dead and will now more than likely be the Republican candidate for President. No doubt he is the strongest candidate we have to put forth in November and if Hillary gets the Dem nomination, McCain will be the next President.

6:33 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Pretty amazing what a few tens of millions of dollars worth of free air time/pumping up from the CFR media can do for a guy.

McCain is unacceptable to much of the base and a goodly slice of them simply will not support him. Six months ago we were up in arms over amnesty and McCain was its architect. Today he is frontrunner. It is amazing how manipulated people are by FAUX news et al.

7:09 PM, January 29, 2008  
Anonymous Rick said...

Mark,

I think it goes beyond being "pumped up" by the media. McCain polls the best against Obama and Hillary. Its important to nominate someone who can win the general.
I am interested in seeing if Huckabee fills the VP slot. McCain will have to go with a southerner. I think he should go with Crist since Florida is a very important state and Crist is popular enough to deliver it for McCain in November.

7:30 PM, January 29, 2008  
Anonymous Rick said...

Mark,

I don't think people are manipulated by the media. I was listening to Dick Morris tonight and I think he touched on something that is happening in the GOP. The Republican Party is becoming more liberal. A third of evangelicals in Florida went with McCain. Thats as high as any other candidate received on the stats I saw.
To be honest I see no difference in McCain and Hillary. I like neither one. I don't agree with Obama's idealogy but I do respect the guy for the kind of campaign he has run. I am not so sure he isn't the best guy for the job. What do you think?

8:42 PM, January 29, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Rick,

Of COURSE they are becoming more liberal (liberal as in loving government intervention at home and abroad not in terms of protecting civil liberties)- because they are being manipulated by the media. Working in the Holt campaign and now with Paul has really highlighted it for me. The media takes sides and winning against them is like trying to win a battle when the other side has complete control of the air.

While McCain polls best against the dems due to media pump-up, they will turn on him in a second in the general. They only like him compared to Thompson and Paul, not compared to Clinton or Obama.

As for Obama being the best choice, I can't believe what I am reading from you. You agree with Paul on every issue but the war, yet won't support him. Then you consider supporting a guy who is to the left of Hillary on every issue and is a flip-flopper on the war in Iraq as well. He will pull the troops out too, he will just wait until the first time things are not going well (and the polling on it slips) to do so. Paul will take us out while we can reasonably be said to have "won".

I just don't understand your logic.

4:27 AM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous Rick said...

Mark,

I don't agree with you that the media is pumping up all these candidates. McCain has never been liked by Rush, Hannity or Fox News.
I guess the reason I look at someone like Obama is my dislike for the choices on the Republican side. If McCain is elected he has said there will be more wars. Take that with him being a hot head and it worries me to the point I could possibly support Obama.
I could support Paul in the primary. But who do I support in November when he isn't around?

5:27 AM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous Rick said...

Mark,

I have made a decision. Because of my respect for Jim Holt, Jason Sheppard, and of course you, I am going to pull the lever for Ron Paul. I will probably early vote today---consider it done!!

6:12 AM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous c.b. said...

I am left dizzy & scratching my head after observing a "long-time republican" who began touting Guiliani, then settled on Huckabee, made a quick detour by Obama, and then ultimately pulled the lever for Paul....

Mark, you said we were on a journey, but...
Actually I'm impressed that you pulled it off. And if I'm next, please make sure I don't take that route.

8:09 AM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous Rick said...

c.b.,

I am a little dizzy myself. Let me go through my decision process. I am having computer problem so hopefully this will post.
I like Rudy but in the end couldn't support him because of his social positions. After Rudy I never really settled on a candidate.
The discussion about Obama was just that. I don't think I could ever support a Democrat. The vote for Paul is more of a protest vote. He doesn't have a prayer of winning the nomination but I am tired of giving the Republican Party a pass just because their Republican.

9:53 AM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous c.b. said...

Rick,
Though I was shocked that Obama would ever enter your mind, I was mostly teasing Mark about his "on a journey" analogy.

For the first time I am considering Paul, but not in the primary.......
I still think Huckabee would be the best bet for us at this point & will be voting for him Tuesday, but with his prospects looking ever dimmer I expect to get either the Fraud Romney or the Rino McCain. In which case I am considering voting Paul, like you, as a protest if, if he decides to run in the general which wouldn't surprise me with his money warchest & his alienation by the party.

2:28 PM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second c.b. on this. If Huckabee doesn't get the nomination, I could only dream that I get the chance to vote for Ron Paul in the General Election

2:59 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Why wait friends. You can vote for Paul right now!

Rick- NOW I understand your logic ;)

7:42 PM, January 30, 2008  
Anonymous c.b. said...

Because Huckabee still has a better shot than Paul, regardles of how slim.

12:20 PM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

A better shot at VP for sure. That is what he is running for anyway. The talk of the net is how McCain and Huckabee are double-teaming Romney.

Why don't you just save a step and vote directly for John McCain? A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain.

3:31 PM, January 31, 2008  
Anonymous c.b. said...

Mark,
It's above you to regurgitate talk radio conventional wisdom ie. Romney's talking points. You can make the case for your guy coherently without that. I've heard these arguments till I'm tired of it. First he was in cahoots with Rudy, now it's McCain. You can bet your bottom dollar that everyone who has ever run for president has a "Plan B" & most include a VP slot.
He has been running for President & were it not for either of the following two factors he would now be the presumtive nominee.
1. If the elitist "conservative" pundits hadn't spent 6 weeks distorting his record & spouting Romney talking points. &
2. The REAL cahoots story; that Fraud Thompson stayed in to split enough votes from Huck so his buddy McCain could win.

9:00 PM, January 31, 2008  
Anonymous c.b. said...

If you want to talk about real candidate strenth think about this;
In South Carolina Rudy wasn't even competing, leaving all the "moderates" to McCain. So the conservative votes were split between Paul, Romney(who spent millions there), Thompson(who practically lived there while the rest were campaigning in other states) & Huckabee. Four ways! Yet Huck still came out with 30%(under by 3).
He was the real winner but as we know the media perception is all that matters.

9:07 PM, January 31, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I hope you mean to say that it is BENEATH me to make talk radio talking points, in which case I thank you for the compliment.

Still, even talk radio can be right sometimes. The elites trusted Rudy because they had enough on him to destroy him at any time and knew he had no moral compass. They trusted Thompson. They trust McCain.

They don't trust Romney because he has another allegiance, same with Huckabee. At least those two seem to be making overtures to them, with Mitt in the CFR and Huckabee claiming the CFR President as his chief foreign policy advisor. But Paul is anathema to them and he likes it that way.

Basically Huckabee was a good tool for them to keep Romney from winning Iowa. At that time, Huckabee was defending Rudy and attacking Romney. But Huckabee got TOO popular for the kingmakers and they had to shift gears and throw mud at him for a month.

Now he and McCain are working together to deny Romney the nomination. That is based on what I see and hear from them. Just because the talk radio guys also observe that does not mean it is wrong, it just means that it is more obvious than usual.

4:02 AM, February 01, 2008  
Anonymous c.b. said...

Yes, I meant to say that YOU are above that, sorry.

I think your observations are pretty much right except I think you are off on some of the motivations. It's clear that ALL of the candidates dislike Romney, but I think it stems from several things. He comes in throwing money everywhere, when they have to raise it the old-fashioned way. He shows he won't hesitate to do a blatent 180 on ANY/EVERY position or co-opt their issues & accuse them of his own sins, being almost snake-oil slick enough to pull it off. Most of all he doesn't hesitate to USE all of those millions to attack & smear whoever happens to be in his way at the moment.
Many of the same reasons he disgusts me.

6:32 AM, February 01, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I am not here to defend Mitt Romney. We can sure agree on that.

4:44 PM, February 01, 2008  

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