Add to Technorati Favorites Presidential Politics for America: Super Tuesday Preview and Predictions--Republicans

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday Preview and Predictions--Republicans

Two fractured parties, one perhaps irrevocably. This was the impact of the frontloaded primary schedule. Campaigns have rarely been this fierce, attacks rarely this acute.

With only one week between Christmas and the Iowa Caucus, campaigns had to fit what traditionally was weeks of last minute campaign strategy into six working days. Since then, Super Tuesday perpetually loomed over both primaries. Today was the day the nominations were supposed to be all but official. Therefore, an entire campaign was crunched into the one month between Iowa and February 5th. This, combined with the underlying factor of an open White House seat, produced an unprecedented blitzkrieg of ads, stump speeches, and debates. There was a seemingly limitless opportunity to not only promote ones agenda, but also to take an ax to the platform planks of a rival candidate.

There has been a palpable effect of the frontloaded schedule, though it is felt differently in each primary.


If you despise the Republican Party, which many do, there is an outside shot of a dream scenario lining up, though I think Republicans are too talented of politicians to let it happen.

Weeks ago, on the night of the South Carolina Primary, Presidential Politics for America explained that John McCain was a lock for the Republican nomination. His nomination grows more likely with each passing day and with each new poll.

He is not, however, being nominated without a fight from the Republican base. Last Wednesday, I wrote about the impending unification of the conservative media against John McCain. Here is an excerpt:

Rush Limbaugh and conservative radio will rail against McCain for a week, bringing up McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman and the rest of McCain's maverick tendencies to remind the Republican Party why they did not nominate him in 2000. Romney will see a lot of conservative money for the next week with promises of more to come. He'll combine that cash with his own wealth and blitzkrieg the airwaves across the country in order to subdue McCain's vote tally on February 5th.

Today, CNN finally agreed, citing Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Hugh Hewitt and Lars Larson as conservative pundits who have come out against McCain's nomination, hoping to rally the Republican base around Mitt Romney in an effort to stave off McCain, or at least keep Romney alive through Super Tuesday, in order to regroup after Mike Huckabee leaves the race later this week. Ann Coulter piled on this weekend, saying she would rather vote for Hillary Clinton (!) than John McCain, in a blatant effort to steer votes away from McCain in the primary before it's too late.

The reason for this concentrated campaign against McCain is that there was only one week before the Florida Primary and the day where 24 states vote in the Republican Primary. There was no time for thinking about what to do, or even time to make the most prudent decision that would not hurt the Republican Party in the general election. The conservative media and the Republican base just went from zero to sixty on Wednesday morning and they haven't let up since. It was a myopic decision, because (prediction alert) John McCain will win big on Super Tuesday and he will easily win the nomination.

Regardless, it has come to blows in the Republican Party, with potential for a deep divide if rifts are not crossed after McCain's nomination. If there were a struggle for the Republican Party, pitting the social moderates and war hawks against the social conservatives, it would be the greatest civil war a United States political party has seen since the 1824 general election, when four Democratic-Republicans all ran against each other.

If the animosity lingers after the primary, it is feasible, if not likely, that an independent social conservative would run, further dividing the party. This would result not only in severe and possibly irreversible acrimony in the Republican Party, but also a Democratic White House, with a Clinton once again calling the shots in the West Wing, which one has to assume is a bigger nightmare to a Republican than a McCain White House.

Perhaps the reason the Republicans cannot see the forest from the trees is because there is still hope among the party that Hillary Clinton will not be the nominee; that they would rather have Romney lose to Barack Obama than McCain beat Hillary Clinton.

This is because this is the first time since the eve of the New Hampshire Primary that there just might be understandable hope for Republicans (and Obama supporters) that Clinton is not inevitable.

For the Democratic preview and prediction, however, you'll just have to check back in this afternoon.


Bill said...

I think you underestimate Romney here. As you point out, the social conservatives aren't taking this sitting down.

Anonymous said...

November will have liberals on both sides. Pick your poison.

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