Go Mitt, Go!

Wherein I explain why I hope Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination...

Although I generally have not paid much attention to the campaign for the Republican nomination, at least relative to the campaign for the Democratic nomination, I have consistently help out hope that someone besides McCain or Giuliani would win. After my weekend survey of general election polling, despite overwhelming Democratic advantages right now, I no longer have any doubt that the three leading Democrats are basically tied with McCain, and about four or five points behind Giuliani. Now, I know there is a long way to go before the election, but I don't think the long-run favors us against these two. Here is why:
  • All five of the candidates in the weekend polling study are pretty well known, and so it is hard to imagine a huge amount of polling movement among them between now and November 2008.

  • McCain and Giuliani are generally viewed as different from, and independent of, the Republican Party, thus helping them avoid the negatives currently facing pretty much every other Republican in the country. And those disadvantages are large, right now. Democrats lead the generic presidential ballot by 20 points, for crying out loud.

  • Democrats are currently sitting on top of a huge peak, both in terms of popularity relative to Republicans, and in terms of partisan self-identification relative to Republicans. It seems more likely that Republicans will close those gaps between now and November 2008, than it does Democrats will maintain our current lead or build an even larger advantage.

  • John McCain and Rudy Giuliani remain two idols of the establishment media and punditry elite, and the Republican Noise Machine is still better at smearing Dems than we are at counterattacks.
In short, I really would rather avoid facing either of these two, especially Giuliani, in a general election. This is not just because I am scared of losing to those two, but because of how incredibly easy a victory appears against any other currently announced Republican. We would have a tough time against Giuliani, no matter who we nominated, but a squeaker is possible. By comparison, McCain is clearly more beatable, and I might even slightly favor the Democratic nominee. However, against anyone else, quite frankly I would give our nominee about a 90-95% chance of victory. The rest of their field just plain sucks, and would present us with a tremendous opportunity to complete the 2006 realignment in 2008.

Enter Mitt Romney--the man who can complete the Democratic realignment. Word is that he raised more primary campaign funds, $23 million, than anyone else running for President, Democrat or Republican. It also is not a secret that Romney is the favorite of Republican insiders, as an LA Times poll from January showed. In that poll, not only did Romney lead among the first-place choice trial heat (with Giuliani second) Romney had a net favorablity of +77% among Republican insiders, while McCain was a paltry +18% (Giuliani was a close second at +73%). McCain's "poor" fundraising numbers, despite a wave of small donors, further verify that he does not have many friends among the Republican establishment. The theocons and conservative blogosphere also hate McCain, and while they might not love Romney, at least they won't be a drag on his campaign.

Romney's advantages in terms of insider support, fundraising ability, and fewer enemies among the grassroots are starting to make an impact in early state polling. In New Hampshire, he has clearly risen to the top tier, and is now only single-digits behind McCain and Giuliani. He lags further behind in Iowa, but is still in the double digits and has clearly inched up a few points since December and January. If these trends continue, and considering the structural advantages listed here, I see no reason why they won't continue, then his deficit in national polls will not matter one bit. If Romney wins Iowa, he will win the Republican nomination. And that would be very, very good news.

Mitt Romney has none of the advantages enjoyed by McCain or Giuliani. While they have been defined, or some time now, as exceptions to the Republican rule, Romney would just be a another Republican during a time when it is very bad to just be another Republican. Polls show him down by between fifteen and thirty points to every top-tier Democrat, and that is not just name ID. Whether or not it is justified, as a Mormon, he has a huge problem with national electability, according to a recent Gallup poll. Further, after spending two decades running against such people, Republicans would ironically, and hilariously, nominate a flip-flopper from Massachusetts. And oh yeah--he is entirely in favor of endlessly continuing the Iraq war, which I sure will be a hugely popular position in another year or so. The guy is so beatable I almost want to go volunteer for his campaign. Had he run for re-eleciton in Mass., Deval Patrick would have eaten him alive.

Right now, barring a late entrance and despite McCain's position in the polls, I think the Republican nomination is primarily a battle between Romney and Giuliani. Given that choice, I think we should all hope Romney becomes the nominee. While Giuliani would be a real challenge, any of our top candidates could beat Romney by 8-10 points, and win over 350 electoral votes. So, I say, go Mitt, it's your birthday. Win that Republican nomination, for the good of all of us.

Tags: President 2008, Republicans (all tags)

Comments

54 Comments

Re: Go Mitt, Go!

Cris we want Mitt to win the same way they want Hillary to win. In fact the only matchup Hillary wouldn't be an underdog is to Romney.

by nevadadem 2007-04-02 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!
Romney versus either Obama or Edwards sounds good to me. We would be heavily favored in either contest.
by Chris Bowers 2007-04-02 01:49PM | 0 recs
I agree Giuliani

would be the most problematic.. particularly for Hillary

(although I still think Edwards' 30 year marriage to Elizabeth would sway a lot of wholesome voters of the Giulianis 6 marriages, brutal divorce and  puppy killing)

McCain and Romney don't scare me..

McCain was so savaged by rove in 2000 we can roll out soundbites of Rush and co. trashing him

by TarHeel 2007-04-02 04:21PM | 0 recs
Hillary won't be an underdog

No Democrat will be.

By fall '08 whoever the Democratic candidate is will be the favorite.

by dpANDREWS 2007-04-02 03:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

me too, I'm really starting to think Thompson may take thier nomination  though, they hate thier choices so much I think he raises money real quick when he gets in and the Reagon comparison's they will make will be powerful among those voters, put it this way I hope we don't have to the visual of him v/s Hillary in oct 08.

by nevadadem 2007-04-02 01:52PM | 0 recs
Yeah, have

you see Mitt's numbers will Thompson in the poll?

Three percent!

A Mormon with a multiple choice position on abortion? Nope. The guy believes in nothing and an utter lack of conviction can hurt you even in a GOP primary.

Course Thompson is a late convert to the "prolife" cause as well.

by david mizner 2007-04-02 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

Eh, I don't think McCain would be so hard to beat. He reminds me more and more of Bob Dole every day.

by b1oody8romance7 2007-04-02 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

That idiotic stunt in Baghdad the other day would be like gold for the general election.  It would "tank" McCain as badly as Dukakis' riding in one.

In 2004, republicans brought flip-flops and wore purple band aids to make fun of McCain.  We should all wear flak jackets to the convention if McCain wins.

Thanks,

Mike

by lordmikethegreat 2007-04-02 03:55PM | 0 recs
Gotta say, I disagree

If voters were logical, I'd totally agree with you Chris.  Romney has changed his views on so many issues, and so transparently, that it's hard to imagine that he'd be able to appeal to indies and his base at the same time.  But I think that's exactly what he'd be able to do if he wins the nomination.  And that's why I fear him a lot more than I do Rudy.

If Rudy runs, without flip-flopping on the social issues, I can't imagine there won't be a semi-serious third-party candidate running on a christian right/pro-gun platform.  In that kind of race, I think any of the Democratic nominees win.  

If Romney is the GOP nominee, I think that the base will vote for him because he espouses the proper views NOW.  As cynical as that is, there is precedent for the GOP accepting conversions.  Take a look at Reagan himself and Bush I, who was pro-choice till the day he joined Reagan's ticket.  

Assuming no third party candidate runs if Romney is the GOP nominee, the other problem is that Romney is actually an incredibly talented politician.  Even when the guy is spewing forth the crazy stuff he feels is necessary to win the primary, he doesn't look or sound as wacko as most GOPrs.  Similarly, I think he's politically adroit enough to move back towards the center for a general election.  Finally, he can obviously raise some serious cash.  

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think if we hope for Romeny to win we may end up feeling like the Democrats who hoped that Reagan won beccause he was too conservative for the country.  They were objectively right as well, but the country seemed to disagree.    

by HSTruman 2007-04-02 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Gotta say, I disagree

I think any of the Republican Big Three are weak. The way to win election as a Republican is to be a solid enough conservative that the base can take your conservatism for granted and settle for dog-whistles. That lets you run to the center without losing the support of your base. This is how Bush won in 2000 (or rather, was able to get within stealing distance). Romney, McCain, and Giuliani will be asked straight out whether they support Roe vs. Wade, and instead of some nonsense about litmus tests and Dred Scott and the culture of life, they'll have to say a flat no, or the base will get suspicious.

I'm more scared of someone like Fred Thompson or Mike Huckabee who can afford to just wink at the base.

by Gpack3 2007-04-02 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Gotta say, I disagree

But the base of the Republican Party is simply the dead-enders who refuse to accept reality right now. If they nominate someone who only appeals to the base, we win.

by Dave Sund 2007-04-02 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Gotta say, I disagree

Romney also bothers me a lot.  He looks good, has a real TV presence, is glib as hell and somehow sounds reassuring when he speaks.  And now, he's well funded. He will make "character" his main issue, and it will play well against the current contenders.  He could be more of a threat than we think.  Today, BYU profs and students started a protest against the school's plans to invite Cheney to speak.  A "character" thing, they said.  Interesting juxtaposition with the startling fund raising total the Romney campaign announced.  Hmmm?

by Yo Duh 2007-04-02 05:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!
From what I've seen, the media seems to like Romney.  As well, since he has been a liberal Republican, and he's "from" the Northeast, that'll help him portray himself as an outsider.
However, if he portrays himself as an outsider, he may alienate the base doubly, with both the Mormon and liberal stuff.
I have been hoping for Romney, though, despite how little hope there is, I think.  It would be great to win a landslide, which I agree is really likely with Romney vs. Edwards or Obama.  I'm not sure I'd want to win because of the prejudice of non-Mormon Christians, though.  As well, I think that because many won't vote for him simply because he is a Mormon liberal Republican, his defeat wouldn't be a rejection of Republican neocon/neoliberalism, so I'm not sure it would help our candidate's coattails, or be part of a largfer realignment.
by jallen 2007-04-02 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

   I really don't think that independents are buying into "Multiple Choice Mitt's" candidacy (deadly nickname).  The polls support this view.  I think it's easier to portray Giuliani as an outsider than Romney.  Romney is just the best of all worlds for us.  Young voters, I'm sure, would run away screaming from Romney.  He's boring and hopelessly hypocritical on social issues.  I feel that a Romney nomination would at least solidify the alignment of the younger generations into the Democratic party.

by cilerder86 2007-04-02 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

I don't think most real independents are paying attention yet.  Even many Republicans don't know who Mitt is.

by jallen 2007-04-02 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

Sheesh....put down the doobie Chris...

Your two 'front runners' have no chance to win. Rudy 'I had three wives' G. will not bring out the fundie zombies.

McCain is dead meat. He went back to Baghdad so he could walk around with 100 solders, three helicopters and a pre-sanitized neighborhood to try and dig out of his 'stroll hole'; that will not work.

Unless James 'I screw a Republican every night' Carville is running the Dem Presidential campaign McCain has no chance.

None.

Frankly, I do not see the usefulness of this sort of analysis as a the political landscape will be vastly altered when:

Our army in Iraq self-destructs....

Bush or Cheney or Abu Gonzo are impeached....

The economy goes in the toilet...already mostly there Chris....

I can see talking in general terms about the race but this horse racing is absurd.

Too, too many variables in this mix.
.

by Pericles 2007-04-02 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!
   I agree on McCain.  Whoever decided to knight him "Mr. Magoo" got it exactly right.  He's old, ineffectual, and has been lackluster on the campaign trail already!  Can you imagine Obama debating McCain?  It would be the famously shallow 1960 debate between Nixon and Kennedy all over again.
   Giuliani is the only one we can beat the Democratic candidate.  I think a Giuliani candidacy would shake up the electoral calculus more than most expect.
by cilerder86 2007-04-02 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

Don't count on Rudy's personal problems tanking his candidacy...

Clinton's rumors of affairs happened during the '92 race and he strolled to victory.

We need to concentrate more on his political corruption and ineffectiveness.  These' a lot of nasty dirt on him in New York....   we just need ot make it public.

Thanks,

Mike

by lordmikethegreat 2007-04-02 03:58PM | 0 recs
Rudi's problem

Yeah, Clinton did that.  But Clinton was really, really likable.  Rudi, according my northeastern friends, isn't.  People think he is right now because they remember his 9-11 speech.  But in fact (I'm told) he's thin skinned and bossy and unpleasant when stymied in any way.

by Emma Anne 2007-04-02 05:28PM | 0 recs
Rudy

Rudy's personality is, indeed, a problem.  Even winning elections here in NYC, people didn't LIKE him...and NYers are more tolerant about abrasiveness than others, I think.

F'more, there is indeed tons of dirt, and Rudy will not take it well.

Nevertheless, he would be formidable, but beatable.

by borlov 2007-04-02 07:12PM | 0 recs
Completely Agree

That's why I've rooting for Romney for a while now.

by PhillyGuy 2007-04-02 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

I agreed with everything except the 8-10 point margin over Romney. Regardless of the nominee from both sides, I can't see the popular vote outside a 3-4 point margin either way. Independents won't back us to the same tilt as '06, and open races are historically extremely tight. See '60, '68, '00.

I think the assertions that Hillary would be destroyed and ruin downticket Democrats are ridiculously exaggerated. She might fare 1-3 points worse than Edwards or Obama. But that point or three could be all the difference.

McCain is looking more and more like a Republican to me. The media isn't even sucking up to him anymore, as evidenced by reports I watched last night basically mocking him for touring Iraq with a bullet proof vest and armed entourage while proclaiming Baghdad much safer than the press is reporting.

The only one I fear is Rudy. As Chris posted, if we defeat him it would be by a squeaker. I look at a race vs. Rudy as something like the '06 Connecticut senate race. He steals from categories we desperately need. Whether we understand it or not, Rudy's level is frozen very high. I'm worried we can pound and pound but not sufficiently dent that dynamic, that Rudy has 9/11 glow and a tough guy aura no matter the drag pictures, etc. Plus he undeniably changes the baseline in many states. A race against Rudy would be like a Price is Right game, with lights flashing and threatening to stop on one of maybe six numbers, but four of the six work against us and not for us. We would probably need perfect timing in terms of Iraq mood and other outside events to defeat Rudy.

I can't see Romney emerging. On balanced sites I post on, too many Republicans show up immediately and say they would never vote for a Mormon whenever Romney's name pops up.

by Gary Kilbride 2007-04-02 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

Our margin, even with HRC, by far our weakest candidate, will be AT LEAST 5%.

Why do I say that?  The Emerging Democratic Majority site had a great post last year showing the "bounce" the out party gets in the Presidential year after one party has held the White House for 8 years.  The LOWEST bounce was 8%.  At times, the swing has been in the high 20s (compare 1916-3% Wilson win with 1920, about a 25% win for......that Republican elected in 1920 and who died in 1923).  The only exception to this was in 1904 when Roosevelt won by a larger margin then McKinley won in 1900.  But I think that election doesnt count because Roosevelt was so different from McKinley there was no "Im tired of the incumbent party" effect.  For what it is worth, Taft's margin was about 10% less then Roosevelts (comparing TR's 1904 result with Taft's 1908).

I dont believe that just because something has happened historically means it MUST repeat itself.  But when you also look at the political environment, which is only getting worse for the Rs because of their policies, the margin-at least for everyone but HRC, will be huge.

by Andy Katz 2007-04-02 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

It looks more and more like the Republican nominee will be either Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney.  Giuliani, like it or not, will be hard to beat in a general election.  I sure wish we had a better idea of how the Iowa SAtraw Poll will go on August 11.  The winner is the official establishment candidate, the front runner for five months, and the likely Republican nominee.

The Des Moines Register has had more coverage of Democrats in Iowa than Republicans.  The straw poll vote is way more establishmemt than the actual caucuses (more fundy, hard right economic).  Desmoines dem?  Drew Miller?  Anybody got a clue.  This is a one-time bus in (one spot) that pays a heavy premium on organization and money.  Despite the free meals and free bus rides somebody has to talk people into this farce and make them show up.

by David Kowalski 2007-04-02 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

All five of the candidates in the weekend polling study are pretty well known

No, all five are pretty well recognized.  I'd wager that with the likely exception of Hillary, most voters don't yet know most of what they'll know about the big name candidates by the time they vote in the primaries.

by aaronetc 2007-04-02 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

I think what people miss when they talk about how strong Rudy and Magoo will be in the general is the near certainty that they will attract a third party nut job candidate that will siphon off some of the far far right wing vote.  I think you automatically have to slice 5-10 % off RG's and JMcC's votes because of this third party reality when considering their electoral potential.

by Andy Katz 2007-04-02 03:17PM | 0 recs
Hope you are right.

It certainly makes sense.  Why would the base, if a "conservative" candidate doesn't get elected, vote for one of these three (in their view) non-conservative Republicans?

But - they voted for Bush 1, remember.  

That's the real question - if the base holds their nose and votes for the Republican anyway, then you can definitely see any of the three main R's attracting independents from the Dem.

by jc 2007-04-02 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

by Andy Katz 2007-04-02 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

Interesting take.  

For myself, I just don't think there is enough clear visibility, on any candidate, to know this far in advance.

For myself, I can't see how Guiliani could overcome the marriage thing and the Kerik thing - but stranger things have happened.

And those two things ARE more than balanced out by his ability to speak (a former very good prosector), and the image as "America's Mayor during 9/11").

McCain just seems...old, nowadays.  It's surprising when I see him speak, just how slow, and careful, and plodding he is, while speaking.

Romney IS a good speaker.  And showed himself capable to win in a liberal state.  

You point to the negative of a flip-flopper from Massachusetts.  But Digby has made the point that, when confronted by a candidate that the base doesn't like, they still "man up" and vote for that candidate, misgivings or not.  "Our guy is still better than the other guy".  

Your main negative on Romney is "Romney would just be a another Republican during a time when it is very bad to just be another Republican".

Paradoxically though, IF (and a big if) he wins the primary, he HAS ALREADY SHOWN he knows how to appeal to the center, and the liberal, by his election in Mass.

So I'm not sure that the "just another Republican" negative will be correct, since he can effectively blunt this via his Mass. record.

But again, I have no visibility.  You are definitely right in the polls NOW.  Guiliani is ahead, and that is WITH the current environment's inbuilt advantage for the Democrats.  (Why IS that, by the way??)

by jc 2007-04-02 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

Romney won in Massachusetts because MA had a tradition of electing Republican governors, due to the Democrats holding every other statewide office.

That said, Romney will have a LOT of difficulty appealing to the "center and the liberal". This is the same Mitt Romney who spent most of his last two years as governor making Massachusetts the butt of his jokes at conventions in South Carolina and spending the few days he was actually in state and doing his job pushing an ultraconservative, anti-gay marriage agenda that had nothing to do with most MA voters' actual needs. Romney is so hated in Massachusetts that the MA GOP and most in-state conservative pundits blame him for singlehandedly destroying what was left of the statewide party by spending all of his time transparently running for president before his first term was even up. Any "moderate" cred or "leadership" bullshit he tries to pony up can be easily destroyed by anyone who does 15 seconds of research.

Still, the fact that he's a good-looking, successful businessman (unlike Dubya) will net him the appearance vote. His campaign has a lot of holes in it, but I wouldn't underestimate him.

by gesundheit 2007-04-05 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!
Bill Crystal had an article a week ago in which be predicts this race will end up being Obama v/s Thompson, I think he's right if Thompson runs he will probably be thier nominee, Dems like thier candidates, it's very difficult to find dems who don't atleast like one of the big 3 even if they hope Gore or Clark run, for the GOP it's different Rudy is imploding , they don't like McCain and Romney is both a phony and a Morman and they don't either of those traits, Fred Thompson knows this and knows he can easily raise enough to win he's probably balking because of the general election process, as for the dems if it becomes clear a Fred Thompson nomination is coming,even Hillary strongest backers will begin to realize that she matches up particularly bad against his likeable folksy image, she'd do better against an abrasive Rudy or McCain, Thompson 's likeabilty will scare some into going along with Obama even with experience reservations, knowing that at unlike possably against McCain or Rudy experience would not be a handicap for Barack against a senator most don't know outside of Law and Order, It would be a great race between two likeable people but Obama would win because pesonalies being equal, Obama's ideas are better and dems are more trusted right now genericly that repubs,
if it's Hillary v/s Thompson it becomes a personality contrast and IMHO we get killed.
by nevadadem 2007-04-02 03:39PM | 0 recs
Mitt creeps me out the least

Seriously, Rudy and McCain both seem like authoritarian psychos.

by delmoi 2007-04-02 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Mitt creeps me out the least

In short, ideal mainstream Republican candidates, authoritarian psychos -- that could be a billboard in South Carolina!

by howardpark 2007-04-02 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

Romney will not be the Republican nominee.  I'd love to see that but it's not gonna happen.  It'll probably be Thompson.  When talking about him Republicans can hardly speak a sentence without comparing him to Reagan.

A few months ago I would have said Huckabee but he seems to have lost steam... what are Huckabee's quarter 1 fundraising numbers?

by mbcarl 2007-04-02 04:52PM | 0 recs
Thompson

But have you taken a look at the guy?  Voters are pretty shallow about looks.  They want a guy who looks presidential.  T. Thompson - at least from the picture I saw in the paper this morning - looks old, pudgy, and boring.

by Emma Anne 2007-04-02 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Thompson

I think mbcarl was referring to Fred Thompson, the character actor and former senator from Tennessee not Tommy Thompson, the former governor of Wisconsin.

by Gpack3 2007-04-02 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Thompson

Yes, I was referring to Fred Thompson.

For the record, I think Tommy Thompsn is indeed old, pudgy, and boring.

by mbcarl 2007-04-02 11:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Thompson

Well, Fred's unattractive, too, unless you favor that hound dog look, although he has a trophy wife and a string of broken hearts inside the Beltway.

I've never seen him speak at length, and I grant that he may be compelling and persuasive.

by joyful alternative 2007-04-03 05:42AM | 0 recs
Independent Candidacy

Chris,
I think there's one big oversight in your post: both Giuliani and Romney, if nominated, will virtually guarantee independent candidacies by some right-wing ideologue who will inevitably siphon off the votes of "true conservatives."  The right-wing would never allow the nomination of what are effectively pro-choice candidates to go unchallenged.  Even if Boomberg gets into the race, siphoning independents, the split in the Republican base and hammering of the Republican nominee on "moral" issues means any Democrat will likely win in a walk.

As far as the other candidates go, I'm not afraid of Fred Thompson, and in fact I think that, like Dole in 96', he would provide the perfect "past vs. future" contrast the Democrats wish to project.  He may consolidate the votes of the religious right, but I don't see independent voters gravitating to a candidate who's much to the right of Bush.

I actually used to worry about Huckabee.  I read his book on weight loss a year ago, and hell, I haven't stopped liking the guy since.  He has conservative bona fides without coming across as a crusader.  AIDS in Africa, advocating for the poor...chances aside, I think he has genuine appeal to right-leaning independents who want neither a Club for Growth nor a Family Research Council ideologue.  At the same time, he's a foreign policy lightweight who's hitched himself to the Bush foreign policy as a necessity.  And he's just that...a nice guy.  Hillary and gang would eat him alive in a bare-knuckle campaign.  And Obama is both more articulate, is with the country on the war and cancels out the nice guy factor.  Anyway.

I still think McCain is the strongest candidate.  The hilarity of watching him scramble to save his campaign should not distract Democrats from the fact that the nation opted for "strong and wrong" in the last election, and that, as Chris mentions, the Republicans would likely be better at framing the race and tearing down the Dem nominee than the other way around.  I think Obama put it best when asked how a race vs. McCain would be framed: "war hero vs. snot-nosed rookie."  He may not always walk the party line, but if you look at his record, he is conservative enough.  If McCain winds up with the nomination and doesn't face a general election challenge on his right flank, then the Dems are in for a real fight.  And if that happens and Bloomberg jumps in with both feet, it could spell trouble for the Democratic nominee.

But yeah...the rest of the candidates are stooges.

by GeckoBlue 2007-04-02 04:55PM | 0 recs
And I forgot...

No way Giuliani wins the nomination in drag.  I think the entire edifice of his 9/11 persona will come crashing down once voters not only know his real views, but also find out about his marital turmoil and terrible decisions as mayor.  I don't think the other campaigns will let Rudy skate by and get the nomination, not a chance.

by GeckoBlue 2007-04-02 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

I'm still in shock that he pried over 20 million dollars away from folks. Completely stunned.

by rikyrah 2007-04-02 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

mormons love to give!

by tpiddy 2007-04-02 05:37PM | 0 recs
It'll Be Gingrich

The dem nomination is wide open between four candidates and possibly Al Gore (it might not be so wide open with him running), but on the repub side it is easy to pick Newt with confidence. He doesn't have to prove anything to the wingnut base, he can raise as much money as anyone, he has the national profile and the cult following.

If you gamble, take whatever odds you can get on Gingrich winning the repub nomination.

by Davidsfr 2007-04-02 05:40PM | 0 recs
Dammit, no Huckabee

I hate it when my dark horse bets fall to shit.  Especially after his gem about the evangelicals owing Bill Clinton an apology.  Man... you could have almost at least not hated your Republican friends for voting for a guy like that.

So, we have an exposed faux maverick, a cross dresser and a Mormon?

Let's pray they don't walk into a bar, or hijinks will ensue.

BTW, Guiliani would be an albatross.  Has no one yet figured out that the South tends to give Southerners a break?  Guiliani is a NYC liberal!  Totalitarian or not, Southerners are still going to vote less for the man.

Maybe this is why the chattering class is trying to test market Thompson.

The GOP candidates are simply awful representations of the party itself.

by jcjcjc 2007-04-02 05:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

  I wouldn't bet the farm yet. Let's remember one thing about 2008; W isn't running again. I think the Republican personality cult around Bush has had the effect of making everyone focus their eyes on Bush; as such, when he gets ready to leave, I think lots of people will be more ambiguous about 2008, since none of the current candidates look as polarizing as he was. As such, I think the match up between any of the top tier candidates, will be pretty tight.

by liberal2012 2007-04-02 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

I dunno, McCain looks more old, cranky, exhausted, and out of touch with every passing day. And this stupid 'surge' idea is HIS. They'd be asking America to vote for the bitchy old guy who yells at them out the window and tells incomprehensible war stories to his dog. And wants to stay in Iraq. I think that's a really tough sell. Bob Dole didn't do so hot.

If they nominate Romney and Republicans are still despised at election time, then we're home free for sure, but if the generic hatred for Republicans slacks off, so does our advantage over him. No matter how America feels about Republicans, McCain will still be old, cranky, and out of touch.

by tjekanefir 2007-04-02 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!
that's why Fred Thompson is goinh to run and win thier nomination, ist's sort of like a when a march 55 degree day feels so warm after 3 months of winter weather, the GOP feild is too flaed and obviosly bad It makes a run of the mill conservative actor look good to them, Obama or even Edwards would beat him pretty easily in the general especially if the war's still a mess, but Hillary would come off much more unlikeable, and get killed in charm debates of who would you rather have a beer with....It's not her fault but Thompson would kill her in rural america and
among male independant voters dooming dems nationwide.
by nevadadem 2007-04-02 08:23PM | 0 recs
Whether or not it is justified?

"Whether or not it is justified, as a Mormon, he has a huge problem with national electability..."

You might want to rephrase that comment....  How would it sound if you inserted some other religion for "Mormon"??????

I'm sure you meant that it's not justified, but jeez....

by Lex 2007-04-02 10:04PM | 0 recs
But there is a problem here...

I live in a western state, and I can guarantee you that there are a lot of socially conservative, active Republicans around here who will not, at the very least, work for a "Mormon candidate".  And those are the folks who tote most of the water for Republican campaigns around here.

Romney would have to pull off a speech on the order of JFK's speech to the Southern Baptists back in 1960 to turn things around regarding that issue, and so far he can't seem to string two sentences in public together without shooting himself in the foot.

by palamedes 2007-04-02 11:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

I'm pretty bad at predicting the future ... I was thrilled when the Repugs nominated Bush in 2000. I couldn't imagine anyone actually voting for such a dishonest moron. Clearly some did, even if it wasn't a majority. That said, I also know that poll numbers this early are pretty much meaningless.

I tend to disagree that Mitt would be the easiest to beat. As the only Repuglican with only one wife, as one that toes the party line, and as a Mormon, he is clearly trustworthy by social conservatives (despite his prior positions in Mass ... I think most people understand those positions were taken only to make him electable in that state).

The other Republican nominees are all hypocrites. Guiliani's got so much dirty laundry in his personal life AND as NYC mayor before 9-11 that his popularity will plummet once people start paying attention.

I don't know what to make of McCain, I figured he would be toast already, but he's clearly not even though it is trending that way.

Bottom line, I completely disagree, I think Romney and McCain are the strongest R's in the general election. Guiliani, I suspect, is a relative unknown except for one day of his political career. Once everybody gets to know a few of his other days, he's easily beatable, possibly even by HRC.

by BeekerDynasty 2007-04-03 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

The other thing about Giuliani, he's SO northeastern. His region of the country is the one that despises Republicans the most, to the point of throwing out relatively inoffensive moderate Republican congresspeople last year (including Chafee who WAS perceived as not-your-ordinary-Republican.) I really don't see Giuliani winning New York, do you? It'd be like us running a candidate from Alabama, we still wouldn't win Alabama.

After years of vilifying New York City and Massachusetts, I wonder how the Republican attempts to elect presidents from New York City and Massachusetts are going to go.

It'll sure be an interesting campaign season, that much I know. And we've got ABSOLUTELY nowhere to go but up from this administration, so maybe I can even enjoy watching it a little.

by tjekanefir 2007-04-03 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

Chris: Be careful for what you wish!  The truth is that Mitt is the most feared candidate by any of the Democrat candidates.  Why?   Because none of them can beat Romney during the debates.  Poll numbers can and will be dissolved by the debates.   Hence, despite the bi-partisan nature of the general elections, I hope America will vote based on the merits, skills, experience, intellect, etc., of the candidate.

by ken4 2007-04-03 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

   Bah, debates.  Kerry won them all in 2004.

by cilerder86 2007-04-05 02:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Go Mitt, Go!

Before everyone goes all Apeshit for Romney, spend some time with Taylor Marsh!

http://www.taylormarsh.com/tag_results.p hp?displayTag=Mitt%20Romney

by lectric lady 2007-04-05 03:09PM | 0 recs

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