Monday, February 04, 2008

GOP Super Tuesday Key States and Strategem

Missouri and Georgia are the two key states for GOP electioneers to watch tomorrow night.
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Super Tuesday is almost on us. Will McCain get the job done tomorrow? Extremely unlikely. Besides California, Missouri and Georgia are the two key states to watch. They have quite a few delegates and, most importantly, are winner-take-all states. Assuming a near split in California: If John McCain can win both Missouri and Georgia- and most recent polls show him with narrow leads - then he is going to be hard to stop. If he loses them both, the race is still pretty much wide open. If he loses one of them but wins the other, the door is not closed but it is only open a crack for the other contenders. The WTA format over-rewards guys who win with less than 50% of the vote, and McCain is benefiting tremendously from it. The states he is winning in tend to be WTA, while states where his rivals lead award delegates proportionately.

Jumping into game theory here, Ron Paul supporters in those two states should vote for Romney in Georgia and Huckabee in Missouri. They should do this because they don't have the votes to be #1 in either state, and in a winner-take-all state #1 is all that matters. By throwing their weight to the other two, they could keep McCain from locking it up. Doing so would give them time to get delegates in states which award them proportionately, more time to get to Texas and Penn., both of which are large prizes that ought to be good for Paul, and more time to go around a corporate media that all but refuses to mention the name "Ron Paul".

McCain needs, realistically, about 1,050 delegates to lock it up (technically he needs 1,191 but there are some 123 party-appointed super-delegates that can be counted on to back the establishment choice). He has 97. If he wins 700 delegates tomorrow that will give him about 800 delegates with 17 states to go. That is very doable. If he only wins 500 then he is less than two-thirds of the way there with all of his best states behind him.

3 Comments:

Blogger The Real Sporer said...

I totally agree with you about Missouri and Georgia as bell weathers.

It sounds like Huck and Johnny Mac worked together in West Virginia. From the sounds of Huck's rap today it really sounds like a deal may be in the works.

Finally, another rumor has Huck's exit polls (the source of many baseless rumors) show big things in the rest of the south. That is very bad for Mitt.

12:13 PM, February 05, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Ted,

Turnout on the Republican side is not so great in Northwest Arkansas. I am in the most Republican county in this state. .29 percent of the Republican vote STATEWIDE in the o6 primary came from this one county.

At my polling station, I noticed this morning that there were 149 names signing for Republican ballots and 148 signing for Democratic ones. In 06 the Repub ballots had a 3-1 advantage over the Dem. ballots.

Add to that, we are now under a Tornado watch in this county. I don't see a big turnout for the rest of the day here, or in Ft. Smith which is also having terrible weather. The rest of the state has patches of light rain, but nothing like this.

12:27 PM, February 05, 2008  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I wonder how much control Huckabee has over his delegates? He may "release them" to vote for McCain, but will they do it? McCain is anathema to what Huck's supporters stand for (and so is Huck, that is why he can make nice with McCain, but his supporters don't know it yet).

I am all for Huck winning a few, Romney winning a few, and Paul winning a few. McCain will win even more, but maybe not enough to avoid a brokered convention where anything can happen.

12:35 PM, February 05, 2008  

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