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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/10 (305 comments)

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  •  If only... (1+ / 0-)
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    Obama would have won by at least 10 points.  Mr. Wall Street as the Republican nominee during the worst of the financial crisis would have been a gift that kept on giving.

    NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

    by sawolf on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:41:31 AM PST

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    •  Actually, I disagree (2+ / 0-)
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      sacman701, jncca

      I thought Romney would have been a stronger nominee in 2008 than in 2012 than McCain in some respects. Remember the financial meltdown didn't really get started until September (when Lehman Brothers failed) and I always thought Romney would have been able to sell his business experience to better effect that year than in 2012 when it was obvious that the plutocrats who caused the financial meltdown did not feel guilty at all about it, and Obama got to take some credit for an economic recovery.

      Also, even more than McCain, Romney would have likely been able to distance himself from Bush, since as Massachusetts governor he had little to do with Bush's foreign policy. Finally, Romney would have been able to run on his signature health care achievement in Massachusetts much more easily in 2008 than 2012, when it turned into (essentially) Obamacare. In fact, on almost every issue, Romney would have been given slack to take much more moderate positions than he was in 2012. No tea party back in 2008.

      Romney still would have lost, but he might have done better than McCain, anyway.

      •  Sorry, meant to say (0+ / 0-)

        "A stronger nominee than McCain."  (forget the than in 2012)

        Conversely, I think McCain would have likely been a stronger nominee than Romney in 2012.

      •  Romney was a better candidate than McCain (4+ / 0-)

        For the following reasons:

        1) He knew about domestic policy, McCain didn't. He could discuss it in detail, McCain couldn't.

        2) He was (and is) a much better communicator than McCain. Better speaker, better at expressing ideas (even if they were mostly bull).

        3) His pick for running mate, while still quite out there with loony Randroid beliefs, at least didn't come across as dangerously, proudly ignorant. In terms of policy there might not have been as much of a difference, but the politics were better.

        Also, the thing with Palin is that she essentially guaranteed McCain wouldn't win the election since too many people saw her as unfit and in turn saw McCain the same way. But she probably chipped away at Obama's margins by driving out disaffected conservatives. It's not necessarily illogical to say that Romney would have run a better campaign in 2008, and would have lost by more to Obama than McCain did. Once Palin was picked, McCain lost the election. With Romney-Pawlenty, say, the chance might have been 5% of their winning, but it wouldn't have been around 0%.

      •  I think these are weak arguments (6+ / 0-)

        The fact is Romney was a weaker candidate in 2008 than in 2012, he got better in debates and otherwise over 4 years, and so the 2008 Romney would've fared much worse by his own mouth.

        And Romney already veered hard right in 2008 for the primaries then, even before teabaggers organized a year later after Obama won, so that was going to kill him in November.  He embraced all the same positions, including on foreign policy, as the neocons, which again was going to kill him.

        Romney's business background was as easily exploited then as now for weaknesses...after all, the Bain stuff already was successfully used against him in 1994.  Romney would've been more easily attacked for his ties to the very crowd causing the crash, it was obvious to ordinary voters in 2008 that "the plutocrats" were responsible for the crash.  After all, that's why the big bailout was so controversial, it seemed to many people to amount to saving the very culprits, with the victims' money.

        And Romney was no more distant from Bush than McCain.  Again, see above on foreign policy, Romney wrapped himself around support for the wars.

        And health care was not going to help him because it wasn't important to voters.  Obama ran on health care because it was (and still is) a core issue in Democratic primaries, not in the general election.

        On top of all this, McCain was a respected figure for his long public service and his war heroism.  Romney had nothing so redeeming in the eyes of any bloc of voters.

        I agree with sawolf, Obama would've beaten Romney by more than he beat McCain.

        44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

        by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:14:49 AM PST

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        •  I agree with pretty much all of this (3+ / 0-)
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          MichaelNY, DCCyclone, James Allen

          and would have said it myself earlier if I hadn't been busy.

          People tend to forget that McCain actually had strong favorables on election day, despite picking Sarah Palin, despite being a Republican, despite "the fundamentals of the economy are strong."  Romney was underwater when his party was basically at parity with Dems and without Dems going nuclear over Paul Ryan.  The guy would have been absolutely routed by Obama in 2008 and would have been the embodiment of everything wrong with Wall Street.  I don't think a 15 point win would have been totally out of the question and it would have been 10 points minimum.

          In fact I think Obama would have carried every state he won in reality, plus Arizona, Alaska, Missouri, Montana, maybe Georgia and South Carolina too and maybe even the Dakotas.

          NC-06/NC-04; -9.12, -8.62; Yellow Dog Democrat

          by sawolf on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 02:23:09 PM PST

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          •  I think you're exactly right (1+ / 0-)
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            Your point on favorables is key, I didn't think of that, but it's exactly right.

            And everything people disliked about Romney this time would've been a much more amplified problem in 2008.

            44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

            by DCCyclone on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:28:46 PM PST

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      •  Everyone forgets what a strong candidate (5+ / 0-)

        McCain was; I think a lot of liberals tended to overlook it at the time, in fact. He maintained quite high favorables right through election day, despite being from the same party as the epically unpopular president at the time. He had that whole media-fluffed maverick reputation; he was a war hero; he even had occasional bouts of integrity. He was easily the strongest candidate the republicans could put up.

        Romney, meanwhile, was openly mocked by other republicans during their 2008 primary debates; he fought tooth and nail to win out in 2012 against a galley of fools; and he had quite low favorables straight through the election. And if being associated with vulture capitalism was a liability for him in 2012, what would it have been in the immediate aftermath of the financial meeltdown?

        As for "moderate positioning," McCain did take moderate positions, relative to the post-2010 republicans; he supported cap and trade, for god's sake.

        There's not a chance in the universe Romney would have been stronger than McCain.

        •  Romney isn't a shadow of McCain (1+ / 0-)
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          He would have been thrashed in 2008.  He literally has no advantage over Mccain, except for being Mormon in utah.

          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

          by tommypaine on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 01:17:49 PM PST

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        •  McCain may have blown his advantages... (0+ / 0-)

          ... in the end, McCain's margins among the groups you'd expect him to do well in - independents, blue states, etc. - was horrible. It's hard to see Romney doing a lot worse. Between McCain's September meltdown, the Palin pick, and his poor financing, he just couldn't capitalize on his favorability ratings.

          In the end, I'm not sure Romney would have done much worse if at all than McCain. I'd actually suspect they'd have done roughly the same. Maybe Romney would have done marginally worse in the EC - Obama could probably have taken Missouri and Arizona. But in the popular vote, I think it'd be about the same.

          The more interesting question is who would the GOP then nominate in 2012? Tim Pawlenty? Paul Ryan? Chris Christie?

        •  I don't think McCain was a strong candidate at all (2+ / 0-)
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          MichaelNY, bumiputera

          In fact, he showed himself to be very erratic, from his Palin pick to his suspension of his campaign during the financial meltdown. He never had a single good moment after he was chosen as nominee (whereas Romney had one - the first debate). I think the idea of McCain as a candidate was much stronger than the reality.

          But I think DCCyclone makes pretty good arguments against my position - in particular, I was unaware that Romney had embraced a neoconservative foreign policy in 2008 (hard to believe, given how descredited that position would have been by then).

          I think Romney would have been a more stable appearing candidate than McCain, and better able to seem like a potential president. That doesn't mean, however, I think he would have been a good candidate. He was still Romney, he still would have lost. In fact, I don't think any Republican, even Reagan, could have beaten Obama in 2008.

          I certainly admire McCain more than Romney, but let's not forget what a lousy candidate he was in 2008. For Palin alone, he should be ridiculed. (yeah, I know, she energized the base, but there likely would have been a better way of doing that than turning off the center. Not to mention how completely irresponsible it was to ever consider somewhat like that to be heartbeat away from the presidency).

          •  I wonder who Romney would have picked (1+ / 0-)
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            If you assume he wouldn't have picked McCain (not for any reason, just to make the conversation more fun), who else does Romney consider for VP in 2008.

            "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

            by rdw72777 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 02:21:41 PM PST

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          •  This is what I'm talking about... (3+ / 0-)
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            sawolf, MichaelNY, James Allen

            The whole "McCain the Erratic" storyline is the way liberals saw him - because we were inclined to see him in a negative light, and this was a plausible way to frame him. But if it was actually a harmful image to the general population, his favorability would have been a lot lower.

            And of course whoever the Republican nominee was in 2008 would have been seen in a negative light by liberals - Romney would have been the out-of-touch fat cat, as we all thought of him in 2012; Giuliani would have been the bellicose jingoist bully, etc.) - and any one of them would have been thrashed by Obama. And so we all would have thought they were lousy candidates for the reasons that we thought they sucked. But they were just all destined to lose regardless.

            •  McCain got somewhat of a pass (0+ / 0-)

              For being erratic I mean.  Being erratic by picking Palin or by temporarily suspending his campaign isn't exactly earth-shaking.  It's not somethign really major to the common man.

              He looked less presidential because of Palin but that just made people less likely to vote for him with her at his side, they were'nt necessarily less likely to approve or favor him (whichever the poll asked).  I doubt most people even remembered he suspended his campaign by the time they voted.

              But you're right about everything else, Obama was going to win in a landslide; then again any of us would have won too :-)

              "What if you're on a game show one day and the name of some random New Jersey state senator is the only thing between you and several thousand dollars? And you'll think to yourself, "if only I had clapped faster." - sapelcovits

              by rdw72777 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 02:59:59 PM PST

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          •  McCain (1+ / 0-)
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            James Allen

            He was probably the best candidate the GOP had in terms of general election appeal, but he ran a bad campaign.

            I think if the financial crisis had broken earlier in the year Romney would have won the nomination ("I'm a businessman! I know how to fix this!") but his campaign probably would have been even more erratic than it was this year. The one plus he would have had is that he almost certainly would have picked someone better than Sarah Palin. I don't think Ryan was a good pick, but he wasn't blatantly unqualified like Palin was. Ultimately I think he would have lost by a point or two more than McCain did, losing the same states plus MO and AZ.

            SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

            by sacman701 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:50:12 PM PST

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