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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday Analysis--Republicans

Lately, I can't even count the number of times I've been right with predictions, but that still doesn't stop me from having no idea where the Democratic race is going. I don't know where to begin.

People are coming to me for answers, and I don't have them. The Republican race is decided, but as I've said for weeks, that's nothing new. The Democratic race, however, is very difficult to analyze because no one can settle on a reliable delegate projection. Obama's people have him up big, Clinton's people have her up big, and the networks have thrown up their hands in defeat, especially have those terrible, non-indicative exit polls they were feeding the public with last night.

So let's start with the easy one. While no delegate numbers are final, we can draw the following conclusions for each GOP candidate.

1. John McCain took the majority of delegates yesterday and is the heavy favorite.
2. The conservative media's attempt at strong-arming Mike Huckabee so he dropped out was a laughable attempt by the base to rally around Romney. Huckabee is as viable as Romney is.
3. Mitt Romney is toast, and he's about to spend a lot more money to find that out.

We can also draw the following conclusion for the conservative media:
1. No one cares what you think.

State victories for Super Tuesday:

McCain - New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oklahoma, Arizona, California, Missouri (9)
Romney - Massachusetts, Maine, Utah, North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Alaska, Colorado (8)
Huckabee - West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee (5)

McCain took 9 of the 22 states, only a plurality, but those wins included much larger states, while Romney took home Maine, North Dakota, Montana, and Alaska.

Delegate estimates, from CNN, including January primaries.

McCain - 615
Romney - 268
Huckabee - 169
Paul - 16

Analysis: McCain has won about 58% of the delegates, which means he's well on his way to the nomination. Huckabee and Romney will fight on, though Huckabee will do it with a lot less money than Romney, but will fair about the same. They split the conservative vote, while McCain wins big among everyone else, and even takes his share of right wingers. As explained time and time again in January, this race is over. If either Romney or Huckabee drop out, it's not to help the other, as the two candidates have public animosity. On the contrary, if either drop out, it will likely be Huckabee who throws his votes to McCain in exchange for the VP nomination. This cannot be overstated: These guys do not like Romney.


To best analyze the Super Tuesday on the Democratic side, I need more numbers. My prediction yesterday was that Clinton would win by a narrow margin - within 100 delegates - keeping Obama's heart beating. If it's more than 100, it's essentially over. If Obama is within a couple dozen, it's anyone's game.

Therefore, the responsible decision is to wait until the delegate counts become official before we draw any conclusions about where this race is headed, so tomorrow will be dedicated to the latest Democratic analysis. See you then.

9 comments:

Kindel said...

Do you believe that Huckabee has a real chance at the VP nomination?

steadyjohn said...

2. The conservative media's attempt at strong-arming Mike Huckabee so he dropped out was a laughable attempt by the base to rally around Romney.

Above is laughable and flat out wrong. The Mac-Huck cabal strategy was to drive out Romney (West Virginia was the obvious example) then lie about what they were doing.

Adam said...

Responsible decision?? Come on, everyone else is making unintelligent, random guesses!! Haha... thanks for the post, keep up the good work.

IC said...

Kindel, if that's what it takes to get the majority of the delegates, Huckabee would be added. Huckabee has been sucking up for a while. I think he wants the job.

John, how was that laughable and wrong. Are you denying that's what the conservative media tried to do?

Adam, this is the chaos theory. There is order, and even great beauty, in what looks like total chaos. If we look closely enough at the randomness around us, patterns will start to emerge.

But first we have to look closely.

steadyjohn said...

I'm sure I am not the first to suggest that the Mac and Huck camps conspired to join forces and drive out Romney; the reward for Huck, the Veep slot. As you say, he wants the job.

IC said...

My follow-up comment to you asked what was wrong about the quote that you pulled is wrong?

I wasn't contending your follow up explanation. If you're looking for me to address that:

I agree that McCain and Huckabee are keeping the gloves on when it comes to dealing with each other, I just don't think there's an official agreement between the two. I think Huckabee's in a month-long job interview.

Thomas C. said...

I feel like you're saying what everyone else is saying, 'cept you said it first and more plainly.

I look forward to the Crats tomorrow!

The Dude said...

WHAT in the name of Chris Matthews is going on here?

It is way to early to talk about VP's. Even the purposed cabal of the war vet and the chicken hawk seems like media driven nonsense. The polarization of the 'Cans is real and could forshadow a third party conservative. The fracturing of this coalition has been the delightful twist of the winter. I am giddy...

Right now McCain has become the 07/08 Patriots. We know how that ends....

IC said...

Dude, the point was that if getting more delegates was necessary for McCain to earn a convention majority, Huckabee's behavior over the past month would make it possible that McCain could accept Huck as his VP nominee if he releases his delegates and endorses McCain.

The alternative would be to let it ride at the convention, when a conservative coalition could potentially rally a candidate other than McCain to get the majority of delegates.

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