Category Archives: Ron Paul

Nevada v. South Carolina, a Gutsy Strategy

Yesterday, Mitt Romney practically conceded South Carolina to his fellow GOP competitors for the nomination and announced that he would spend the weekend campaigning in Nevada.  This is wise, yet gutsy, move for Mitt.  It is wise because he knows he has no chance to win.  South Carolina is naturally a better fit for McCain (Military members and veterans), Huckabee (evangelicals), and Thompson (accent) as opposed to the smooth NE state governer Mormon candidate.

So here are the positives:

1. Nevada has more delgates than South Carolina, the SC delegates are likely to be more divided due to more people splitting the vote, including Mitt.

2. Minimizes the impact of a McCain or Huckabee victory, although only slightly. 

3. Winning Nevada gives him a win going into Florida, counters the Mo for the winner of SC.

4. Helps solidify Mitt in the West, the western States are going to be more important than the Southern in the general, as the South will most likely stick with the GOP candidate regardless.

5. Losing SC is becomes not as big of a deal, he can say, “what do you want? I wasn’t contesting there and I, as a Mormon, barely lost to two Southerners and a military hero.

6. His organizational strength, coupled with the strong SC endorsements and the MI win, could still give Mitt a 2nd or 3rd place finish. If in the unlikely event that he finishes 2nd, that would be a major victory for Mitt that he can play up.  It would also all but eliminate Thompson and Huckabee from the race (assuming they finished 3rd and 4th)

7. Mitt is saying that McCain looks like a foregone conclusion in SC, this raises McCain’s expectations, while lowering Mitt’s.  So if Huck or Fred beats McCain, it will look like an even bigger loss for McCain, which could be devastating for him.

Here are the negatives:

1. Demonstrates Mitt’s inherent weakness in the South.  Can he overcome this? (I think so)

2. Nevada is being ignored by Republicans, will Nevada be viewed the way Wyoming was? (By the way, if I were a Republican in a western state, I would be pretty offended that this is the second time that important region is being ignored by the bulk of the party).

3. Possibly being overshadowed by the Democrats in Nevada with media coverage.

4. More positive media coverage for the SC winner (especially because the media doesn’t like Mitt at all) rather than the Nevada winner.

5. Media and McCain will try to pass Mitt’s Nevada win off as only being because of all the Mormons there. The media will conveniently forget that Nevada should a natural McCain state, as he is from the neighboring state and the only candidate from the West.  (I hate the media)

So this is how I see Mitt’s strategy.  It is obviously less than ideal, but considering the circumstances, it was a wise decision.  It is more important for Mitt to have another win to offset the likely McCain win in SC heading into Florida.  This will set up a 3-way race in Florida.  The big question is how does Rudy play in Florida, he has been dedicating all his time and money there, yet he is not getting any traction.  I also think that Rudy and McCain split the vote in Florida and it will provide a great opportunity for Mitt there.

It is way to early to make predictions about Florida, but one thing is for sure, it is going to be a fist fight.  One of the good things, is that it is likely that Fred will drop out of the race if he doesn’t win in SC on Saturday (which he won’t).  I think Fred will endorse McCain, but I don’t see many of his supporters heading that way, they more logically fit with Mitt (and vice-versa, Mitt supporters-like myself-would have moved to Fred’s camp had Mitt dropped out).   If Fred drops out, I definitely give the advantage to Mitt in Florida, but that is all dependent upon how this weekend and the subsequent news coverage plays out. 

One final note regarding strategy for Mitt, I would put in a lot of really quiet effort into getting out Huckabee, Paul, or Thompson voters in Nevada.  I would try to push McCain into third or fourth there.  That would be pretty embarassing for McCain to come in third in both his neighboring and pretty moderate Republican state. An ideal finish in Nevada would be a huge margin of victory for Mitt, someone not named McCain in 2nd, and McCain far behind.  GO NEVADA!

 You’re thoughts?

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Filed under Election 2008, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Nevada, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, South Carolina

MITT WINS MICHIGAN!

It is a great night to be a Mitt Romney fan!  Mitt won the Michigan primary in a hard fight with John McCain tonight.    As of right now (9:30EST) Mitt has a 39% – 30% with a good 20,000+ votes than McCain.    This is a great win and it looks like it will be bigger than expected.

So what do we expect in the future, South Carolina is going to be a tough fight, but I don’t expect Mitt to win there, so no worries.  What I do expect is a top 3 finish, which is going to be easier said than done as there is 4-way race in there.  What I do expect is for this to propel Mitt in Nevada.  If Mitt can win Nevada and finish top-3 in SC, he will be in good shape heading into Florida.  Tonight was a huge night for Mitt and a bad night for McCain, for McCain could have virtually sewn up the nomination with a victory tonight in Michigan.

Now folks, lets get off our duffs and get moving.  Let’s get Mitt victories across the board.  In your respective state start working and in neighboring states go there and work.  (for example, PA doesn’t vote until March or April, but MD is Feb 12, guess where I am going to be working — unofficially by the way).

PS. How about Rudy, likely finishing in 6th again, barely ahead of uncommitted.  While he is not quite dead (I wouldn’t rule anyone out at this point), he is in a bad, bad way.    Although, as I write, Rudy has a tax commercial on Fox News, how about that.

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Filed under Election 2008, John McCain, Michigan, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul

Mitt Wins Wyoming With Over 65% of the Vote

Now Mitt is leading the medal count in the GOP race: 1-Gold, 1-Silver. Even better he now leads the GOP delegate count with 28 delegates total. Here is the total delegate count in case you are paying attention:

Romney-26
Huckabee-20
Thompson-5
McCain-3
Hunter-1
Giuliani-1

While Wyoming is less meaningful than the other January states (for whatever reason), a win is a win is a win. Fortunately CNN, Drudge, USA Today, and many other news organizations are at least mentioning Mitt’s win. Hopefully, this with solid debates in the next two days, will prove enough to propel Mitt in New Hampshire. If Mitt wins New Hampshire, he will also win MI and NV, and be close in SC.

Ultimately, McCain needs NH more than Mitt does. If McCain loses NH, that could be the end for him. He will continue at least through Feb. 5th, but he would likely have minimal success.

I for one still have a lot of optimism in Mitt’s overall chances. I wouldn’t dare go so far to say that he is the front-runner, I can’t say anyone is at this point. I am confident, however, that Mitt is the GOP’s best candidate and the only one that brings together all conservative facets under one umbrella and has the work ethic to beat the Democrat in November.

PS. Notice that Giuliani came in far behind Ron Paul in Iowa and is tied with Duncan Hunter in the delegate count. That is some campaign he is running over there.

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Filed under Conservative, Election 2008, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Uncategorized

Should Iowa really have this much control?

Perhaps the real question is do they really have any at all?

Reading the coverage today I was reminded of one of the posters hanging on our wall at work. You know the kind, where they are supposed to have some sort of trite phrase that affects the employee’s morale and motivation? Anyway, you can see the particular poster I’m reminded of here.

Yes, none of are indeed as dumb as all of us, CNN tells us this is true. I will applaud the subtlety.

Looking at that page without understanding the English language you’d be forced to see the pictures only. Which candidates seem to have the most appeal for CNN? What would you say about their personality, or suitability as a candidate based on photo alone? It would appear that according their coverage that Rudy, Hillary and Barack are the only viable candidates. Then interestingly enough compare the adjectives in the descriptions of each candidate. Look at the difference between the Edwards and McCain excerpts. Both of whom were unsuccessful in their seeking of the presidential nominations. Interesting.

The real question becomes, do small things like adjectives, photos and the like have so large an effect on us as individual thinkers? The answer is surprisingly, no. The problem is that those little things have a tremendous effect on people as a whole. In an election nobody wants to back the loser, so often times they pick the person who has the highest likelihood of winning. Not the best person for the job. That is what is alarming to me in this presidential race. There are only three people (or so) that I will be able to vote for, in no particular order: Barack, Mitt, Mike (Bloomberg). I’m half joking about Bloomberg, but if it’s a choice between Hillary and Rudy, I will either abstain or be voting some independent third party (if any real ones emerge).

My prediction will be that harnessing the power of Chuck Norris, Mitt will edge Huck by a few points with McCain a distant third, Ron Paul a close fourth.

Let’s hope the all of us are not dumb enough as some of us that buy into the garbage that Huck is presenting during the race.

~RationalZen  – part-time contributer, full-time thinker.

Go Seahawks!

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Filed under Barack Obama, Candidates, Democracy, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, Iowa, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Race, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani

Iowa Caucus Predictions

The day we have been waiting for is finally here!  After months and months of campaigning, the voting starts tonight, and the race is much murkier than it was even 3 months ago.  As a result, attempting to make a prediction on what will happen is futile.  Nevertheless, it is an obligation that we bloggers have to throw our two cents in so here it goes.

1. Mitt Romney-33%

2. Mike Huckabee – 28%

3. Ron Paul – 13%

4. Fred Thompson – 12%

5. John McCain – 11%

6. Rudy Giuliani – 2%

Yes, I have Ron Paul third.  This was a hugely tough decision, but I know how passionate Ron Paul supporters are and I think they will turn out in droves to the caucuses.  It appears that McCain, Fred, and Giuliani fans in Iowa are less enthusiastic because they aren’t going to win the state.  So even though Paul is only polling at about 7-8% now, his passionate supporters and his organization could be good enough to propel him into third.

Organization is what should ultimately separate Mitt from Huck.  They are virtually tied heading into tonight and Mitt’s machine should propel him to victory.  That being said, Huck has the support of a lot of Churches, they too are quite effective at organization, so I would no be shocked with a Huck win. That being said, if Huckabee wins, I will lose all confidence in the judgement of Iowans and will call for them being punished to be the last state to vote in 2012.  I can understand voters choosing Thompson or McCain, but Huckabee? Really?

Finally, Thompson gets the edge over McCain because he has spent more time and resources in Iowa.  I think his organization is a little better.  However, his supporters could be dejected due to his poor overall standing and that may affect turn out.  McCain supporters on the other hand may turn out in higher percentage because he is now surging nationally and especially in New Hampshire. 

Ultimately, the race for first can go either way and so can the race for third.   Although, I find third place is harder to call.  It all comes down to how truly dedicated Paul supporters are and how positive Thompson supporters can remain.  One thing we do know is that it is highly likely that anything besides a third place finish and Thompson is dropping out (and I think he is praying for a 4th place finish to give him an excuse).

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Filed under Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Iowa, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani

Mitt and Fred Up; Impact on Iowa

Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson were the two obvious winners in the Iowa debate yesterday.  Mitt wins because he had the best answers, was specific, showed Presidential attributes, and differentiated himself from the rest of the competitors.

Fox News Focus Group: Mitt Wins

Fred won because he had solid answers and had the most memorable lines and moments of the debate.  His refusal to raise his hand and not answer the global warming question was priceless.  It will probably help him with the voter too.

Fred’s Memorable Moment:

The rest of the candidates were largely forgettable.   McCain started out well, but as the debate wore on he seemed annoyed or, perhaps, somber.  Every answer showed his age and he talked with a soft and almost reflective manner, that normally wouldn’t bother me, but this is about 4 straight debates he has been like this; it gets old.  Additionally, he has become a one-issue candidate.  What immigration is to Tancredo, Iraq/Vietnam is to McCain.  One issue candidates don’t win.  The one positive, he didn’t say “let me give you some straight talk”.  I hate that.

With the exception of Huckabee, there is not much to say about any other candidate.  Rudy needed a big day to stem his plummeting numbers, but he didn’t.  Alan Keyes and Ron Paul were made for each other, how about a Paul/Keyes run on the Libertarian ticket; that would be hilarious.

Huckabee had the most pressure as the new Iowa front runner.  He folded like a cheap tent.  It wasn’t that he said anything wrong or detrimental, but he wasn’t himself.  I really think that he went into intent on not cracking jokes and limiting his witty statements; I think he wanted to come across as Presidential.  It didn’t work for him. 

What baffled me though, were the “so-called” experts on the MSM (Fox and CNN).  Many of them said that Huck won by default because none of the other candidates challenged him and he had no tough questions.  They argued that his style today won’t be a negative because most people weren’t watching.  I disagree.  While most of America wasn’t watching, Iowans were.  That is most important.  I really think this debate, coupled with the negative news of late will pull Huckabee back to the pack.  The one-night stand is over.

So in the unlikely event that I am right about Huck, what happens in Iowa.  Well I think two things will occur.  First, I think Mitt will get his mojo back and win the state.  Huck will finish a close second.  However, both Mitt and Huck need to check the rear-view mirror for Fred Thompson.  It looks like Iowa is Fred’s Alamo. He is putting all of his effort there and had a successful debate.  We saw how fast Huck caught fire, if Huck quickly flames out that support could quickly switch Fred and put him in the race. 

However, timing is a tough thing.  The Christmas holiday will likely hamper any major movement in the campaigns, leaving just one week to boom.  Additionally, what kind of ground game does Fred have in Iowa?  Not much of one.  Nevertheless, I think this new push will give him a solid 3rd place finish, with Rudy being a distant 4th.

All in all, things are starting to shape up nicely for Mitt.  He has received a bump nationally from “the Speech”, had a great debate, and pulled within 5 points of Huck in the latest Iowa poll.  A lot have said, and I agree, that if Mitt wins Iowa, he will then win New Hampshire in a landslide, and will then win the nomination.  It will be fun to watch, no matter what happens.

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Filed under Conservative, Democracy, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Iowa, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, New Hampshire, People, Politics, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, South Carolina

Is Huckabee’s Rise Hurting Giuliani More?

Many bloggers and commenters of blogs theorized in late November that Giuliani supporters were supporting Mike Huckabee in Iowa in order to stem Mitt Romney’s momentum.  While Huck’s rise has indeed had those inteded consequences, as Huck holds the lead in 2 of the last 4 polls in Iowa, it has also had much more significant unintended consequences at the expense of the Giuliani campaign.

Mike’s rise has provided an alternative to Mitt and Rudy for the religious right.  Since Huck’s apparent rise in Iowa and coming off of his apparently strong debate performance (what debate were they watching?), Huckabee seems to be stealing a lot of those voters where supporting Rudy because they thought he was the most electable and, to a lesser extent, wasn’t Mormon. 

Just look at the latest national polls, Huckabee is now in a solid second place.  Where did that surge come from?  Mostly from Rudy, a little from Mitt.  Rasmussen yesterday had Rudy at 18% and Mike at 18% with Mitt pulling up the rear of the big 5 at 12%.  Whereas in a poll release 3 weeks ago, Rudy was at 29% and Huck was at 11%. 

Now, national polls are largely worthless and I have consistently downplayed their importance.  However in this instance they are significant, in that Rudy’s whole strategy is at a national level.  He is betting on his national support to help him navigate losses in the early states.  Essentially it is a Feb. 5th + Florida strategy.  So here the national numbers are important, they have been what the Rudy camp has relied on. Additionally, Huck may be starting to make a move in South Carolina and Florida.

In the latest SC ARG poll (which I deem to be the least accurate), Huck shot up to 18%; only 5 back of Rudy, 3 back of Mitt.  In the latest Insider Advantage Florida poll, Rudy’s support dropped back to 26% and Huck’s rocketed to 17%.   So while much of this is deemed as bad news for Mitt also, it is worse for Rudy.  

What happens if Iowa finishes Huck, Mitt, Fred, Rudy and New Hampshire finishes Mitt, John, Rudy?  With Rudy finishing 3rd in both, where does momentum take us.  Add to it the likelihood that this momentum gives Mitt wins in Wyoming and Michigan heading into South Carolina and Nevada.   Can Rudy win SC or NV with no Moe?  Doubtful.  So Mitt and Huck end up finishing 1-2 (or 2-1) in SC. 

Now we head to Florida.  By then the whole dichotomy has changed.  Rudy will have finished no better than 3rd in the three traditional states of IA, NH, and SC.  Likely finishes 2nd in MI and NV.  But has no wins under his belt.  My guess is that Florida collapses and goes to Huck or Mitt, with more money on Huck if things play out as I have written above.

Thus, heading into Mega-Tuesday, we essentially have a two man race between Huck and Mitt, with Rudy badly damaged but not dead.  He is hoping that New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will stick with him and will be enough to propel him the rest of the way. 

While I think a scenario like this is possible, it is not a given (I give it a 35% chance of playing out like this).  This column is not a prediction, but is simply stating the tight edge that Rudy’s campaign is on.  EVERYTHING hinges on Florida for Rudy (Note: everything hinges on Iowa for Mike).  Mitt, and maybe Huck, can get by without a Florida win.  Thus, Huck’s rise seems to have done more damage to Rudy than to Mitt.

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Filed under Candidates, Democracy, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani