Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pre-Super Tuesday Results Analysis

Given that the polls didn't open in New York until noon today, I haven't voted yet but will do so as soon as I get off from work. I don't anticipate any surprises on the GOP side. Even with CA appearing to be close (which allots its delegates proportionally), other mega-states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and Arizona, are all solidly polling for McCain and they're all winner-take-all. In the South, McCain is leading in most of the states, with Huckabee chipping votes away from Romney, as what happened in the West Virginia convention, which Huckabee won by having McCain supporters go for him in the second ballot today.

Of course, there are some on the Right who are vehemently opposed to McCain, like Rush Limbaugh, who has indicated before that he may not vote in the general election if McCain is the GOP nominee. Others, like Ann Coulter, have expressly stated that they would prefer Hillary over McCain. Frankly, I understand their frustration with McCain but I do not comprehend why they are sooo negative about him. Here's a good article about the situation. There are clearly issues where I disagree with McCain, particularly McCain-Feingold (you know, that glorious bill that was supposed to "take money out of politics," but ended up making the system worse, empowering 527s, curtailing our First Amendment rights, and producing election after election where more money has been donated and spent each year). When it came to McCain's immigration bill, I had mixed feelings. While I understand the need to come up with a solution to the problem we face involving the 12-13 million illegal aliens in this country, I also recognize the need to secure the border. That's why Rudy had the best plan of all, IMHO, which was later adopted by McCain: Secure the border first, deport the criminals, and then deal with the other illegal immigrants later. To me, that's the best way to reach a consensus on this issue. And while I first cringed at the Gang of 14 idea, it ultimately produced good results in getting conservative justices on to the Supreme Court. So, in essence, my major issue with McCain is mostly over Campaign Finance Reform, which frankly, is not a "life or death" issue for me to preclude voting for him, and with an American Conservative Union lifetime rating of 82.3%, and the best chance the GOP has in keeping the White House, it seems to me that this vehement anti-McCain sentiment by some on the Right is extremely counterproductive. Fine, your guy Romney isn't going to be the nominee. My guy, Rudy, isn't either, but do what I did: Get over it! The only other major concern I have with McCain is his age and non-eloquent speaking style. Yet, for a man who spent more than five years in the hellish Hanoi Hotel and survived, he can most certainly survive being president and gets off from having to sound "eloquent."

On the Dem side, we just might have a horse race on our hands tonight. I still think Hillary will ultimately be their nominee, and the Dems will only have themselves to blame for the outcome of that decision. When you have a young, dynamic candidate who is the most liberal senator getting praise from Republicans, building a phenomenal grassroots coalition based on change, character, and honesty, and poll numbers showing that he has the best chance to beat John McCain in the fall, and you choose the other candidate, who along with her husband, has a scandal rap sheet that runs around the block and is viewed as one of the most polarizing figures in American politics, don't complain about the results in November. In fact, let's just think hypothetically that she actually pulls it off this year and wins the presidency. Does anyone actually believe that she will help the Dems on the Hill in 2010? For me, I see a clear pathway for the GOP to make huge gains in both houses of Congress (if not take both back) in such a scenario, a la 1994. And do you reasonably believe that she could get herself reelected? Oh sure, she might, but by a slim margin, further polarizing the Clinton image and this country.

Just some thoughts to chew over before the results come in later tonight.

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