Friday, February 1, 2008

Previewing Super Tuesday

So now it's down to basically two in each party: Obama vs. Clinton on the left and McCain vs. Romney on what used to be the right (and Huckabee, stealing votes from Romney in the hope that McCain will reward him later, maybe as veep). As I've said before, predictions are only fun if you go out on a limb in advance. So here are mine, which are worth exactly what you paid for them:

Democrats: After Super Tuesday, Hillary will be the nominee. Obama is a far better candidate, but the demographics are all in her favor. Just doing the math will tell you that her margins among whites, women, and Hispanics equal more eventual votes in more states than his among African-Americans and Ivy League students. I hope I'm wrong, but that's my pick.

Republicans: McCain has done the near-impossible--become the GOP front-runner while never winning over most Republicans. And the "establishment" really hates him. But sadly, the other choice is Mitt Romney, and he can't win. I'm sorry, but he's just tough to like. I've tried. I actually agree more with Romney's (recent) positions than McCain's. And I've tried to tell myself that it's not his fault that he looks like a Ken doll, and that it's just envy to resent his money, and I know his family life is a lot cleaner than McCain's.... but whatever it is, I can't make myself LIKE him. And if I can't, then he's not gonna beat Hillary. Period. That's the calculus--conservatives know that McCain will stick it to them if he ever gets in the White House, but that's still better than what Hillary would do, and a vote for Romney ensures that worst-case scenario. And if it's Obama, either one of them would almost certainly lose. So McCain will be the nominee. He's the least-bad choice.

Bonus Prediction: If nominated, I'll bet McCain picks as his running mate SC Governor Mark Sanford. Sanford balances McCain's age, and brings a solid Gingrich-Revolution voting record from his three terms as a congressman, plus a hatred of pork and a reputation as a bit of a "maverick" with a flair for "straight talk" himself. And Sanford was a McCainiac in 2000. He could do a lot worse (Huckabee would be a lot worse, as would Rudy, at trying to hold together the party). Hillary likely asks Obama. No, she doesn't LIKE him. But she'll do what it takes to win. I think he'd be smarter to turn it down, though, and live to fight again in 2012 or even 2016 (when he'll still be young by presidential standards, and a mere babe by McCain's) without having ever been tarnished by Clinton, Inc.

There you have it. By Wednesday, we'll see!


bekster said...

Your predictions surprise me.

Please explain more why you think that Hillary will get it instead of Obama. I thought that those people loved Obama. I thought he had the whole "looking to the future" thing on his side. If those people actually watched the debates, wouldn't they see how much of a skeevy liar Hillary is?

Sanford? Hmmm... That one shocked me because he is of our own dear state but I don't know why the rest of the country would hold the same value for him. Other than the age thing, why not Fred or Huck?

mbellison said...

I still think you're wrong about the Dems. It won't be done after Super Tuesday.
And Obama's gonna win Connecticut.

And I can't imagine McCain picking Sanford, and in doing so, turning down one of Time's 5 best governors in the country (Huckabee) for one of Time's 3 worst (Sanford). I don't think it'll be Huckabee either. If Jeb's last name wasn't Bush, he'd be the clear choice. But then again, if Jeb's last name wasn't Bush, he would likely be the Republican nominee. But then again, if Jeb's last name wasn't Bush, he would never have become governor of Florida in the first place.

mbellison said...

That link didn't work. But it shows Obama up 3 in California, and down 1 in Missouri and New Jersey, which I thought would be Clinton country by a long shot.

Goode Design said...

So, who would the VP candidates be for Osama & Billary? would they choose each other? I don't see that happening.

I'd really be more encouraged with a McCain & Huckabee ticket... there's nothing thrilling about this years GOP ticket. Nothing thrilling about the Dems either.

The biggest concern with a Dem: How much are the dems going to try to raise taxes on those of us who actually PAY taxes? How much are they going to weaken defence? What new entitlement programs will they start? Will they punish investors & entrepreneurs by taxing "excessive profits."

The biggest concern with the current GOP: what moral compromises are they willing to make? How much are they going to raise taxes to appease the left and fund new pork-barrel policies? How much are they going to actually try to get us off of imported oil? Are they actually going to move toward an oil-less US?

Coach Sal said...

Matthew, I LOVE the Jeb Bush analysis. But the TIME ranking is less important. There was a pattern there--all their "best" governors (including Huck) RAISED taxes, and all their "worst" governors CUT them, and spending/programs, too (including Sanford). It's kinda like McCain being endorsed by the NY Times: thanks, but you're the guys I WANT to hate my guy.