First, I am a Dodd supporter. I have a long and proud record of supporting fabulous candidates who go nowhere. Howard Dean, Paul Tsongas, Pat Schroeder, Teddy Kennedy, hell, even Edwin Muskie! I know what it is to love a candidate who really should win, but, just isn't gonna.
Next, I know a little something about handicapping political races. I did it, state by state, in the 2006 cycle and did substantially better than the guy who is supposed to be OUR guy in handicapping races, Rahm Emanuel (and Rahm, if you're reading this, I TOLD YOU IL-10 WAS IN PLAY!)
Onto the diary.
OK everybody! Here's the primary schedule we have to work with. This primary schedule almost guarantees a Hillary Clinton victory. Follow the links if you don't believe me.
1/14/08 - Iowa
1/15/08 - Michigan
1/19/08 - Nevada
1/22/08 - New Hampshire
1/29/08 - Florida,South Carolina
2/5/08 - Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah
2/9/08 - Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington
2/10/08 - Maine
2/12/08 - DC, Maryland, Virginia
2/19/08 - Wisconsin
2/26/08 - Hawaii
3/4/08 - Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas
Now, if I'm you think I'm just cherry-picking here, missing Barack's three point lead in Illinois, or Richardson's 8 point lead in New Mexico (as of January)... well, I am... because even if they win their home states, it won't generate any huge press outside their states, and, it has little effect outside their states. In short, it's an expectations game, and people are expected to do well in their home state. If they do, no big deal, if they don't, watch the media feeding frenzy.
I suggest you hang out for awhile on http://www.realclearpolitics.com, http://www.americanresearchgroup.com and http://www.surveyusa.com. Look how she's solidifying her lead over time. It's not that, as people get to know the other candidates, she's gone down. This isn't just name recognition. This isn't shallow support. This is across the board in virtually every state in the Union.
There are exactly two scenarios where she doesn't win, and they're both pretty lame, and neither one is going to happen, but here they are:
Obama and Edwards flip a coin, one goes for the big chair, the other for veep, and they turn their attacks on her now. Now, because of the front-loaded primary, this HAS TO HAPPEN before Iowa in order to have any effect. This was the Gephardt/Kerry recipe to take down Howard Dean. The problem is, I don't see either Edwards or Obama taking this option.
There's a full moon and someone sacrifices a chicken, and Dodd winds up winning Iowa. All the folks in New Hampshire realize that Dodd is really their guy and he's got a chance, so, en masse, they swing over to Dodd. Dodd wins New Hampshire too. Everyone else except Hillary drops out of the race. And then it's a horserace. Again, I don't see this happening.
It's simply not going to happen. Barring unforeseen circumstances that would employ future conspiracy theorists, she's going to win the nomination.
The thing is, she's going to win the election too.
First, go here. This is the head-to-head between Clinton and Guiliani in New York, the one state that knows them both better than any other state. She's kicking has ass. I don't care what the PVI is, there is no accounting for this kind of discrepancy among two state-wide race winners blaming it on partisanship. Look again. She cleans his clock.
Second, Hillary is going to have such a huge cash disparity in her favor that she will be able to put her message everywhere, so that head-to-head thing you see in New York is going to be a lot more ubiquitous than it looks to be now.
Third, you are going to have some percentage of Republican women who will cross over and vote for a woman candidate at the top of the ticket. It may not be a large percentage, but if three Republican women in 100 cross over, it changes every state that had a 2% margin in favor of the reddies.
Fourth, you are going to have a Republican opponent that his base doesn't like
Fifth, she's going to have a universally known surrogate who took 379 electoral college votes last time he ran for anything
Sixth, when the Republican slime machine comes out, what in the world are they going to throw at her that she hasn't seen over the past 15 years? She's a lesbian? Her husband has a zipper problem? She believes in health care for people? She's already faced these down time and again, and there isn't anything new... if there was, it would have been hurled at her a long time ago. Swift-boating only works if people are looking for information to form an opinion. There's just no toe-hold for new attacks to do anything. People already know what the Republicans have to say, they're disinclined to believe Republicans anyway, and she's got tens of millions of dollars to go on television and tell her side now.
Get used to looking in the mirror and saying "President Hillary Rodham Clinton" without the bile showing in your mouth, because you're going to be working your ass off for her. And she's going all the way.