Friday, January 04, 2008


Quick Takes on the Iowa Caucus

First, I almost had the order of finish picked accurately. I nailed the Democratic results, and my only mix-up with the Republicans was switching Romney and Huckabee. (I thought that Romney's superior organization would barely carry him to a narrow victory.) Everything else was exactly as I predicted.

So where does that leave us? Well, besides those who were declared the winners...

BIG WINNER: The Democrats - At least it was a big night for Democrats who actually want to win in November. With Obama's victory, the aura of invincibility that once illuminated from the campaign of Hillary Clinton is gone. Obama's supporters - many of whom were laying back in the weeds waiting to see if he was viable in the face of the coronation of Queen Hillary - may come forth in force heading into New Hampshire and, more importantly, South Carolina. Having a potential nominee that is not Hillary greatly increases the Democrats' chances of victory in November. Add the youthful draw of Obama and disarray in the GOP field and you have one great night for the Democrats.

WINNERS: Fred Thompson and John McCain - Despite sourceless rumors spread by certain Internet "journalists" and mainstream sources, these men are still in this race. However, Thompson's third-place finish and McCain's fourth-place finish are only good enough to get them to the next two primaries. McCain looks to be in good shape as Romney (McCain's real competition) may be in real trouble before all of the field even assembles in New Hampshire Friday. Fred will try to put on a good show in New Hampshire prior to his first Southern stand in South Carolina. Both men have to win those respective primaries to see Super Tuesday. I think there is a good chance that both will be alive and kickin' come February 5th.

BIGGEST LOSER: Mitt Romney - You can't allocate the resources that Romney did in one state and then lose to a guy you outspent, outorganized, and outworked. Unless Mitt can pull out New Hampshire, his candidacy may shockingly be shot before we reach Super Tuesday. His money may allow him to stick around for a while, but he won't be viable unless he can turn this downslide around.

LOSER: - I like Jonathan Martin and have enjoyed working with him in the past. I want to get that out of the way right off the bat. However, their attempts to sink Fred Thompson by spreading rumors which appear to be planted from rival campaigns stinks to high heaven. RedState has assailed Politico relentlessly, and conservatives have taken notice. I doubt that any true conservative will ever believe anything coming out of ever again. (But they can look on the bright side - CNN will love them now.)

LOSER: Rudy Giuliani - Sorry, Rudy, but a real frontrunner should be able to use minimal effort to at least compete with your rivals in a state that isn't exactly the most conservative in the Union. Geez, Rudy, you only had 1/3 of the votes of Ron Paul, and Paul ran a distant fifth. I guess you should be glad to have beaten Duncan Hunter, huh? And it wasn't like you wrote off Iowa, because you blew quite a bit of money on direct mail, radio ads, and staff in the state. Either you were wasting money or you thought you could do better than you did. I know that you are putting all of your eggs in the Florida basket for Super Tuesday, but you risk being a campaign afterthought by trying to break so late. A very risky, strange strategy...

LOSER: John Edwards - Congrats to Edwards on beating Hillary for second place, but given John's money issues (and the coming flood of donations that are sure to flood Obama Headquarters this morning), he really needed to win here. If Obama obtains rock star status, the lines of cash that would normally accompany a ticket out of Iowa may not be usable by Edwards, and his campaign will be starved to death before we see Nevada later this month.

OBVIOUS LOSERS: Chris Dodd and Joe Biden - When the first contest forces you to disband your campaign... It's a shame that Biden is gone, though, as he was actually telling the truth every once in a while during the debates. Without Joe, there will be a definite lack of refreshing moments in future Democratic debates.

SO-SO: Ron Paul - Hey, Ron showed that he could be Giuliani in at least one state. That's a positive. However, all of that Internet money and Internet buzz didn't really translate to an exhibition of support on the ground. Ron did better than I thought he would, but I think this might be where he peaks against the rest of the field. Did anyone have higher expectations? Oh yeah, that's right. A.C. Kleinheider had Paul finishing third, over Thompson and McCain. Heh heh...

POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC LOSER: The Christian Right - One after another, from Bill Bennett to Rush Limbaugh to Fred Barnes last night, conservative commentator after conservative commentator agreed on one thing - if the Christian Right propels Mike Huckabee to the nomination, blindly ignoring his horrible record on raising taxes, backroom deals, and illegal immigration, the prospect of a Democratic President becomes an almost certainty. Rush, Bill, and the rest also believe that this will be the end of the Christian Right's place as the GOP's base. Quite frankly, it would be deserved, as one group shouldn't bear the burden of leadership if it doesn't want to pay the consequences when it is wrong.


Iowa's caucus format hasn't been the most accurate predictor of success at the party conventions. Neither has New Hampshire (which has a considerably worse record than Iowa, actually). Things really kick-off when we get to South Carolina, which has correctly predicted the Republican nominee every election cycle since my birth. Lose the Palmetto State at your own peril.

Labels: ,

In fairness to the Christian Right, Fred Barnes and his associate Bill Kristol aren't exactly known as paragons of conservatism themselves...Barnes and Kristol are among the worst I know on social and cultural issues and immigration. They would love to see social conservatives displaced.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?