Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 5, 2008
POLITICS: Super-De-Dooper Tuesday

*A must read: Jay Cost on the McCain voters.

*Yes, everybody hates Romney.

*Not the analogy Romney should be looking for - given McCain's close association with the U.S. war effort in Iraq, this imagery used by Romney's press secretary seems ill-advised, to say nothing of who it makes Mitt out to be in this analogy:

"When we wake up Wednesday morning, there will be a realization it will be a long, hard slog to the convention," not a cake walk for McCain, Fehrnstrom said.

*Can all the stories about Obama's late surge in the polls the last few days be believed? The important thing isn't that Obama is gaining in polls, but that he is being reported as gaining in polls. You can't buy the kind of publicity he has gotten in the last 72 hours.

*It's always hazardous to read too much into a single poll, let alone the cross-tabs from a single small-sample poll, but I was looking at the breakdowns from the lastest SurveyUSA poll of 556 actual or likely GOP primary voters in California, and I noticed something interesting from the tabs breaking out McCain and Romney voters by their top issues:

McCain 51
Romney 32

Health Care
McCain 63
Romney 19

Romney 53
McCain 27

Romney 52
McCain 19

(Voters who listed education or Social Security first put Huckabee above the other two. Whereas on foreign policy, McCain drew a commanding lead among Iraq-War voters).

Why is this interesting? Well, which candidate is most associated with doing something about the economy, and with having a health care plan? Romney. Which candidate is most associated with "comprehensive immigration reform" and environmental legislation? McCain. Yet at least in this one survey, voters who listed those issues first preferred the candidate who seems less likely to make something happen in Washington.

Maybe among Republican voters, the hunger for change is outweighed by concern that no matter who wins, Washington is just going to make things worse.

*Three words that should bring every single Republican back to the GOP fold: Justice John Edwards.

*Jonah Goldberg offers some much-needed perspective for the overheated McCain-bashing at NRO. Mark Steyn questions Romney's, er, stones. And the WSJ explores Mitt Romney's conservative convictions, or rather lack thereof.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 5:59 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

The Time article on the other candidate's animosity towards Mitt reminded me of when Fred Thompson used his 30 second spot at the GOP YouTube/CNN Debate to replay all the clips of Romney contradicting his earlier postions.

It was hysterical on so many levels. First, everyone seemed kind of shocked at its lack of subtlety. Anderson Cooper asked, "what was that?" And Fred, with his sh*t eating grin, said he should ask Mitt.

Second, in true Fred fashion, the clips included nothing original, no new footage or packaging -- You got the feeling Fred may have downloaded them from YouTube about 15 minutes before the debate.

And what do you think went through Mitt's head? "Is this guy serious? I've spent the last three years of my life running for President and spent a good deal of my fortune doing it, and now Kudzu saunters in here and makes a fool of me."

I can't remember any campaign where the other candidate's collective ill will towards one candidate has been such a factor.

Posted by: Patrick at February 5, 2008 11:00 PM

#1 on Obama...Zogby's polls are a joke, and he keeps showing this "late swing" to Obama right before the primary votes. NH was the same as CA is now. The reality is that Clinton has infrastructure on the ground in the form of career politicos, which are important for organization and for superdelegates. Their influence is very underrepresented in primary polling.

#2 on Romney...guy was a joke of a candidate...he basically is the ultimate "morph" man used car salesman. Fred Thompson just pointed it out. Thompson was the best hope for the R's due to his ability to keep it simple and direct...but McCain makes it a centrist candidate either way it goes. McCain has pandered for the primary, but truly is anti-choice, so he should satisfy that crowd, but a lot of his other policies will give many R's a heart attack. Romney should have tried to run the centrist campaign...instead he tried to make himself into something he was not...a Mormon Massachusetts Governor trying to argue he's the anti-progressive Christian Right choice of the group? Really? Definitely explains Huckabee.

I was frankly surprised that after Iowa Huckabee didn't do better, particularly with the smaller R turnouts.

Posted by: AstrosFan at February 6, 2008 12:21 AM

Looking at last night's results, I think it's interesting that Obama won primarily in states where McCain lost, and most of them states that are usually Republican in the general election. Which could indicate a fairly unpredictable election if Obama's the nominee. Hillary, as the embodiment of the Democratic establishment, more predictably won the major blue states.

Posted by: Jerry at February 6, 2008 8:33 AM

Difference is, I can see Obama winning blue states and contending enough to make R's have to raise serious cash to defend a lot of turf.

I think we've all seen it is better to be non-specific in politics like depositions. Lot harder to put principals on which everyone agrees on a big poster board/YouTube video...Obama gets it...Hillary is playing the Gore/Kerry policy wonkette role...and national, general elections you need to be charismatic above all...

Posted by: AstrosFan at February 6, 2008 11:24 AM

*Three words that should bring every single Republican back to the GOP fold: Justice John Edwards.

How about Justice David Souter? That's likely to be what we get out of President McCain if not worse. McCain will probably try to find a liberal judge to appoint which is significantly easier than finding a conservative one.

Posted by: Steve Johnson at February 6, 2008 5:22 PM
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