Category Archives: South Carolina

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?

Advertisements

5 Comments

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

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.

8 Comments

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

Another Endorsement for Mitt Romney

 Today, the Romney campaign announced that SC State Senator Kevin Bryant is endorsing the Governor for President.  While not as significant as Paul Weyrich’s endorsement yesterday, this is still good news for the campaign.

First, South Carolina is the closest race of all the early states and the one that poses the most significant problems for Romney.  The Mormon issue will be a greater obstacle here than anywhere else.  Endorsements by elected officials in SC can only help to overcome such challenges.

Second, Kevin Bryant formerly worked on the Brownback campaign.  It is no secret that Brownback and many of his supporters loath Mitt Romney, so this shows a lot about Romney’s appeal across the board.  It may also help steer former Brownback supporters into Mitt’s camp.

Below is the official press release:

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE SENATOR KEVIN BRYANT
ENDORSES MITT ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT

Boston, MA – Today, Governor Mitt Romney announced that State Senator Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson), a former member of Senator Brownback’s South Carolina Campaign Leadership, has endorsed his candidacy for President.

Announcing the endorsement of Senator Bryant, Governor Romney said, “Senator Bryant is a strong voice for conservative principles, both at the Statehouse in Columbia and in the Anderson community that he serves.  As a pharmacist and small businessman, Senator Bryant brings real-life experience to the table when it comes to working towards solutions for solving the healthcare crisis and keeping our economy growing.  As a Senator, he is a leading advocate for lower taxes, limited government and preserving traditional family values.  I’m proud to welcome him to the team.”

Senator Bryant will join an already strong Romney for President South Carolina team that includes National Campaign Co-Chair and United States Senator Jim DeMint as well as numerous other leaders across the state.

With today’s announcement, Senator Bryant said, “Governor Romney is the only candidate with the experience, values, and vision to solve the problems facing the United States.  His experience in the private sector, success turning around the 2002 Olympics and leadership as a Governor make him uniquely qualified to be our next president.  I am proud to announce my support for Governor Romney’s campaign.”

Background On Representative Senator Kevin Bryant:

Senator Kevin Bryant Has Served In The South Carolina Senate Since 2004.  During his time in the South Carolina legislature, he has been a strong proponent of lower taxes, smaller government, and protecting traditional American values.  Senator Bryant is a seasoned grassroots leader, tripling voter turnout in the 2000 GOP presidential primary as the Chairman of the Anderson County Republican Party.  Senator Bryant, along with his father and brothers, manage Bryant Pharmacy and Supply, an independent pharmacy in Anderson.  Senator Bryant and his wife, Ann, live in Anderson with their three children.  Prior to joining Mitt Romney’s South Carolina team, Senator Bryant served on Senator Sam Brownback’s South Carolina Presidential Campaign Committee.

1 Comment

Filed under Brownback, Christian, Election 2008, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Politics, Sam Brownback, South Carolina