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First the Dems. It's go-time for Obama and Edwards. Depending on the poll, they are within the margin of error or close to Clinton's lead in Iowa. (See www.electoral-vote.com).

If Obama or Edwards win Iowa, they can carry the momentum into N.H., and it will also ruin her aura of inevitability. If Clinton wins Iowa, it will be near impossible to stop her train. My money is still on Clinton, but it is not the sure thing it was two weeks ago.

At this point, it's pretty much a three-way race for the Dems.  

For real fireworks, the GOP side on the flip...

The GOP race is more interesting. The latest polls in Iowa show Romney and Huckabee. Rudy leads nationally, including the big states and the swing states, but none of the early states. Folks, this is a big deal. I don't know of any prez to have lost all three early states (IA, NH, and SC) and gone on to win the primary. What happens here effects the other states.

This was taken from the site www.electionprojection.com that show what happened in early 2004:

Here are the numbers in California from a field poll a week before Iowa:

Dean 25%, Clark 20%, Kerry 7%, Edwards 3%

Contrast those with a Survey USA poll conducted a few days after New Hampshire:

Kerry 49%, Dean 18%, Edwards 12%, Clark 8%

After New Hampshire, the numbers pratically reversed in Kerry's favor.

If Rudy loses the first three, I can promise you it will change the dynamic of the race. This is what Romney is counting on.

If not Rudy, who? I don't think Romney will be able to pull it off. He has poured tons of money (most of it, his own) into Iowa and New Hampshire, but he can't buy his way into this. For the rest of the nation: he trails badly. Yes, the Mormon question is somewhat of an issue, which is unfortunate. (You think conservatives would give a break to a religion that is completely American.) However, it is much more the fact that he flip-flopped on every major issue: gay rights, stem cells, guns, and abortion. People can't stand a panderer--Rudy was wise not to follow his footsteps on that matter.

Thompson is a dud. He is rejected by Dobson and many cultural conservatives--and if he doesn't have them, then what's the point? That's why he entered the race! Anyways, he is sinking fast. He waited too long to get in, and he certainly hasn't impressed anyone.

I was willing to write off McCain, but he is actually rising. He is now leading in South Carolina and rising in New Hampshire. You could argue he retooled his campaign, but frankly, this is more a dissatisfaction with Rudy/Romney than anything else. I predicted in early March that he would win because he is the establishment candidate. (That was the day before his stupid remarks in Baghdad.)  He was supposed to take the path of Bob Dole: Prove yourself electable, then prove yourself loyal. There were actually stronger opponents of Bill Clinton in 1996, but it was Bob Dole's turn. So he got the nod in 1996.

McCain proved himself in the 2000 election, then became loyal (to a fault) to W. It was his turn, and Bush turned over the keys to his apparatus. The problem is that McCain was originally liked because of his independent streak, and now he is seen as Bush's lapdog. He was the biggest cheerleader for Bush, the war, the surge, and immigration reform. None have proved popular.

The darkhorse in the GOP race is Huckabee. He is leading in Iowa or coming in second depending on the poll. He was a relatively popular Southern governor and a Baptist minister. He would be palatable for most social, religious, and economic conservatives.

The problem is the poor guy can't catch a break.

First, Robertson endorsed Rudy to the chagrin of Huck supporters. How a thrice-divorced, gay supporting, taxpayer-funded abortion proponent got the nod is more of a desperate attempt by Robertson to stay relevant than anything else. (Didn't he agree with Falwell that people like that caused 9/11??)

The second blow to Huckabee came from the national Right to Life. It has a large core of grass-roots volunteers who could have really helped him instead of blowing it all on Thompson. What's funny is that they actually said Huckster was much better with their core issue, since he opposes all abortion instead of just saying it should be determined by the states like Thompson. Nonetheless, they went with Thompson, ironically, because he was more "electable". (Bad move for them, but good for us.)

What do you guys think? I'm taking bets...

Originally posted to SemDem on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:19 PM PST.

Poll

Who will be in the ring this time next year?

13%21 votes
6%10 votes
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11%17 votes
7%11 votes
13%21 votes
4%7 votes
7%12 votes
6%10 votes
5%8 votes
8%13 votes
9%14 votes
0%0 votes
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| 154 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  And the winners are.... (10+ / 0-)

    The Seminole Democrat
    A blue voice calling from the deep red

    by SemDem on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:16:25 PM PST

    •  hmm... (0+ / 0-)

      Well thanks for posting the 2004 numbers, but aside from that, basically everything you've said is CW now.

      We know Huckabee is rising and Thompson is falling, that Romney is spending tons of money with a traditional IA/NH strategy, and that McCain is hanging in there.  Your Dem comments don't even bear repeating.

      Again, sorry to be pessimistic, and you're certainly entitled to your opinions...but it just seems they aren't very different from what you hear on any given day watching Hardball.

      •  I don't have cable (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SemDem, Ismay

        and wouldn't watch Hardball if I did. I don't get much news from tv at all, so I appreciate the diary.

      •  Sorry to disagree, CW is Rudy/Hillary now (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SemDem

        I watch Hardball religiously and I haven't heard anything about Huckabee.

        The diarist and apparently other Kossacks think otherwise.

        And I don't know what your offense is about his analysis of the Dem field--I'd say his take on both parties are spot on.

        See you in Guantanamo

        by Ismay on Sun Nov 18, 2007 at 07:15:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, great analysis (4+ / 0-)

    I think the winners will be neither of the current front-runners.

    I remember Dean being all but sewn up this time in 2003--anything can happen.

    See you in Guantanamo

    by Ismay on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:21:46 PM PST

  •  I think Robertson's endorsement (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grannyhelen, Mae, SemDem

    of Giuliani says it all about him and his true religious beliefs. I wonder how the average evangelical rationalizes this. I love our three-way race minus the 8,000 diaries a day but there race looks like a bad novel.

    The list of malfeasances is so dang long.... Buffalo Girl

    by niteskolar on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:30:09 PM PST

    •  So do I (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grannyhelen, Mae, Judge Moonbox

      :)

      Another benefit for us is that after NH our frontrunner will be very clear.  I don't think that's the case for the GOP--Rudy could still be the nominee after the big three, but he will be very bloodied because of it.  I think the R candidates will have a drag-out fight after the early states, while our guy (or gal) will be focusing resources on the general election!

      The Seminole Democrat
      A blue voice calling from the deep red

      by SemDem on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:33:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rudy at the Federalist society. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grannyhelen, niteskolar, auditor, SemDem

      I noted the reports of Giuliani's speech to the Federalist Society. How's that for a full-fledged pander! I think we should mine the speech for nuggets that'll be useful when he tries to swing back to the middle. This may strike the average voter as "water under the bridge," but I'd like to explore his saying that the rejection of Bork was a new low. If that issue had any currency among the voters, I'd talk about how they're both too arrogant for high office.

      I've always had the suspicion that the left listens to Bush a lot more than his own administration ever did.-Babylonandon, Huffington Post.

      by Judge Moonbox on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:59:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It does indeed! (5+ / 0-)

      I used to know someone who is an evangelical Christian and at least used to be pretty active in Republican politics.  They've actually had dinner at Robertson's mansion, and the description I got afterward was, "This is the biggest hypocrite I've ever met.  He's ONLY concerned about money."  That may be the only thing this person and I ever agreed on about politics, but we certainly agreed on that one.

      "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

      by leevank on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 07:33:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You forget who Robertson is (4+ / 0-)

      Beginning in the 60s Wealthy Conservative Elites bought onto the Neocon idea: Wealthy athiestic elite controling the masses through excessive religiosity.

      The Upper or High Neocons (the wealthy)have funded seed money to lots of 'relgious groups' in order to merge right wing politics with religious groups, especially fundementalist, be it protestant, catholic, or Jewish, i.e. Low Neocons.

      Robertson runs one of these religious groups. He's a field commander in the Neocon culture war.  

      But before the Neocons, fundementalist religion hasn't always been political or economically motivated.  Huckabee is such an animal.

      Robertson's took his orders from on high. Huckabee isn't controled or influenced enough by the high neocons. Therefore Robertson is instructed to direct his constituents towards Ruddy.

      •  By the way... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SemDem

        The Mormons have their own inner sanctum/later day sanhedrin, so Romney was out of the question for Neocon consideration. Huckabee's an old school pre-neocon fundementalist, and Thompson's an old school main stream garden variety Republican. McCain is inauthentic, too much of a wild card, no matter how he fakes fielty to Neocons, but Ruddy is up for sale, and up for grabs, can't even begin to make it on his own, but has lots of traction, therefore he's in bed with the Neocons.

  •  The difference in the Iowa GOP result... (5+ / 0-)

    ...is that in most ways Rudy has already conceded the state, and that's been true from the very beginnings of his campaign.  This is not like the Democrats, where all parties are treating the state as a "must win".

    A victory for Romney/Huckabee in Iowa means less when (a) It's widely anticipated going in; (b) They key opponent chose not to show up for the ballgame.

    I agree that Romney (or Huckabee) will get some sort of boost, but enough to make up for national poll numbers that lag in the low teens?  I don't know.  Personally, I think Romney pisses off a lot of people for a lot of different reasons, and if he wins, it's going to be the result of some sort of ugly plurality, rather than any real kind of mandate/majority from the base.  He is in many ways the John Kerry of 2008.

  •  \Giuliani's NY tough guy will irk (4+ / 0-)

    Midwesterners. He's already giving up Iowa. If Romney wins, Giuliani's still okay but if Huckabee wins Iowa, Giuliani could be upset.

  •  Huckabee is the worst threat for Dems, imo (7+ / 0-)

    because he's likeable, he isn't weird (like Guiliani weird), he isn't senile (like Uncle Fred) and he isn't Stepford (like Romney).

    Let's all pray he doesn't get the GOP nod. Let's also pray that Ron Paul decides to go third party.

    "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

    by grannyhelen on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:35:44 PM PST

    •  Agreed would be bad for Dems (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grannyhelen, SemDem

      because he is likable, at least until he gets into his weird anti-evolution, pro-life shit.

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grannyhelen, Mae

      but the GOP hasn't figured that out.

      PS--Ron Paul may hurt us if he runs.  He gives independents and swing voters who strongly oppose the war a reason not vote Democratic.  

      The Seminole Democrat
      A blue voice calling from the deep red

      by SemDem on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:37:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huckabee courts pro=life Dems (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cecrops Tangaroa, grannyhelen, SemDem

        here on a creepy website that says this

        Most Democrats in Arkansas, like elsewhere, do not subscribe to the most liberal tenets of their party's platform. They are good Christian folks who support things like stong family values and looking out for the most vulnerable people in our society, including the unborn.

        That is who Mike Huckabee is, too. A former Baptist minister, Mike Huckabee is strongly pro-life. And as a person who grew up in a blue collar (he joking says 'no collar') family in Hope, Arkansas (yes, THAT Hope) he maintains truly compassionate stances on other issues important to you. Things like immigration reform, education reform, Medicaid reform, and social programs.

        •  From Rolling Stone... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GeckoBlue, Ranting Roland, SemDem

          Mike Huckabee represents something that is either tremendously encouraging or deeply disturbing, depending on your point of view: a marriage of Christian fundamentalism with economic populism. Rather than employing the ­patented Bush-Rove tactic of using abortion and gay rights to hoodwink low-­income Christians into supporting patrician, pro-corporate policies, Huckabee is a bigger-government Republican who emphasizes prison reform and poverty relief. In the world of GOP politics, he represents something entirely new — a cross between John Edwards and Jerry Falwell, an ordained Southern Baptist preacher who actually seems to give a shit about the working poor.

          But Huckabee is also something else: full-blown nuts, a Christian goofball of the highest order. He believes the Earth may be only 6,000 years old, angrily rejects the evidence that human beings evolved from "primates" and thinks America wouldn't need so much Mexican labor if we allowed every aborted ­fetus to grow up and enter the workforce. To top it off, Huckabee also left behind a record of ethical missteps in the swamp of ­Arkansas politics that make White­water seem like a jaywalking ticket.

          All of which begs the question: If this religious zealot's rise represents the end of corporate dominance of the Republican Party, is that a good thing? Or is the real thing even worse than the fraud?

          link: http://www.rollingstone.com/...

          And...he also signed up on a wedding registry when leaving the governorship of Arkansas...you know, so folks could buy him stuff:

          LITTLE ROCK — "Wedding" registries in the names of Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, Janet, have been set up at two department store chains in advance of the Huckabees’ move out of the Governor’s Mansion into a private home.

          The term-limited governor leaves office in January, and friends of Janet Huckabee created the registries at Dillard’s and Target stores to help facilitate their transition to private life, Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart said Friday.

          The Huckabees purchased a 7,000-square-foot home in North Little Rock this year.

          link: http://www.swtimes.com/...

          "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

          by grannyhelen on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:52:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Pro-family--where the divorce rate is highest. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GeckoBlue, SemDem

          Most Democrats in Arkansas, like elsewhere, do not subscribe to the most liberal tenets of their party's platform. They are good Christian folks who support things like stong family values...

          But Dixie has higher divorce rates than the much more Liberal Northeast.

          and looking out for the most vulnerable people in our society, including the unborn.

          I don't want to dismiss this as utterly Lip Service, but the thrust of Republican antiabortion agitation would only make abortions unsafe, illegal, and frequent.

          I've always had the suspicion that the left listens to Bush a lot more than his own administration ever did.-Babylonandon, Huffington Post.

          by Judge Moonbox on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 07:13:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah...I can see Paulites going both ways (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ranting Roland, Mae, SemDem

        depending on who the GOPer is. I think he would hurt someone like Guiliani...

        "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

        by grannyhelen on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 06:40:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed on Ron Paul too (4+ / 0-)

        Could take away anti-war votes who swing libertarian on other issues, but his strong anti-abortion stand should be cause for alarm. (Among other things about him, like he's nuts.)

    •  Already have a serious question for Huckabee. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SemDem

      Digby has been reporting on Wayne Dumond, who can be characterized as Huckabee's Willie Horton. Let's see if the IOKIYAR attitude extends to someone who pardoned a criminal after a too-cursory check into the records. Horton wasn't pardoned, he was furloughed--he promised to return to prison after the furlough was up (It had worked for a lot of other convicts); and Dukakis wasn't involved before the fact--it was what he did afterwards that the Republicans were able to exploit.

      I've always had the suspicion that the left listens to Bush a lot more than his own administration ever did.-Babylonandon, Huffington Post.

      by Judge Moonbox on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 07:09:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree on Huckabee, disagree on Paul (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SemDem

      I'm not sure that Paul wouldn't attract at least as many otherswise Democratic voters as Republican ones.  A lot of people appear to be paying attention to his positions on the war in Iraq, to the complete exclusion of his incredibly extreme right-wing positions on other issues.

      "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

      by leevank on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 07:41:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Huckabee might send large parts of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Judge Moonbox

      big business to Hillary Clinton, like they did for LBJ against Goldwater.  Big business will rationalize this by saying that Bill Clinton wasn't so bad for business, and Hillary will also talk more of a pro-business line (like LBJ did in 1964)  
      Once that happens, his theocrat beliefs will sink him outside the Deep South.  
      Big landslide for HRC.
       

  •  I like all our Democratic candidates (6+ / 0-)

    and to me all of the Republican candidates feel like square wheels.  For my candidates it's like I'm at an ice cream store and I get to chose from chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry.  No grudging choices for me.

  •  I disagree with one thing in your diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GeckoBlue, IhateBush, poblano

    Huckabee is absolutey ANATHEMA to rhe economic conservatives, who seem to regard him as some kind of a leftist on economic issues.  

    And I think that's the reason the leaders of the so-called "Religious Right" are refusing to endorse him:  What Pat Robertson and his ilk are REALLY concerned about are economic positions that have nothing to do with Biblical Christianity (and are, if anything, antithectical to it), rather than the social issues upon which they attract their followers and their money.

    I think where Barack Obama can make inroads into the previously Republican evangelical community is precisely among Huckabee supporters -- not by agreeing with them on issues such as abortion, but by saying, in essence, "We may disagree on this issue, but I respect your values and your sincerety, and I'll be honest with you about where we agree and where we disagree.  Now, let's talk about the issues on which we agree, and on which we both disagree with my opponent."

    "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

    by leevank on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 07:27:28 PM PST

    •  I agree with you here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GeckoBlue, SemDem

      I would go as far to say that if Huckabee somehow wins the nomination (which I don't think the corporate Rethug establishment will let happen), much of the corporatists may switch over to Hillary.  After all Bill Clinton was quite good to corporate America anyway.  It is similar to 1964, when much of the corporate Rethugs backed LBJ over what they thought was the unstable, unpredictable, and unelectable Goldwater.

  •  psst, about your poll .... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ranting Roland, SemDem

    This time next year it will be down to one. If I had to bet, I'd say it'll be H. R. Clinton. She will have won in a close one over Rudolf Giuliani.

    If I have any real say in the matter our standardbearer will be John Edwards. If he can get the nomination, he'll win in a landslide. I think Obama would too. They carry very little baggage and represent change more obviously than Hillar Clinton.

  •  Fred Thompson (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GeckoBlue, SemDem, Judge Moonbox

    is the only one who can unite all conservatives and Rethugs.  Unfortunately for them, I think Thompson is the least suited to win over any independents or Democrats, with Romney a very close second.

    I think Guiliani and Huckabee will both bleed large portions of the Rethug base (Guiliani the theocrats, Huckabee the corporatist wing), Romney is a Mormon and not sincere enough, and McCain is also untrustworthy from a wingnut perspective.  

    From our perspective, I think Romney is the best bet, and McCain the worst.

  •  Hillary/Huckabee (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SemDem, Judge Moonbox

    That's going to be the matchup. Obama and Edwards both have great campaigns, but I never believed for a second that they could dethrone the DLC, even though I support any candidate who bears even a mild resemblance to Dean.

    The newly veiled Hillary campaign plan to take Iowa just shows that she didn't even care about winning the state up till now, and that scares me. In the next six weeks, I think 1/5 of Edwards and Obama supporters will switch to Hillary. It's already happening on the netroots - I see more and more Hillary supporters every day.

    I personally don't support her, but reading into the Iowa numbers and distribution, that's how I see it.

    Any Combination Of: Dean, Dodd, Edwards, Gore, Kerry, Kucinich, Obama (in alphabetical order).

    by bhagamu on Sat Nov 17, 2007 at 08:29:22 PM PST

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