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US Presidential Campaign: Super Tuesday « Previous | |Next »
February 6, 2008

Super Tuesday. 24 states will hold primaries, caucuses or party conventions with over 3000 delegates up for grabs. The polls and the pundits indicate that John McCain will become the Republican nomination for President (crowned, in fact). The Democrats will continue to slug it out. The Democrat delegates are awarded proportionally, which means that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama is likely to score a breakaway victory.

Though Obama has the Big Mo, the pundits are saying that Democratic nomination will be "possibly decided in March, possibly decided in April, possibly not decided until the convention.

Obama.jpg Alan Moir

Does that mean even more Clinton hating. Does that mean more squalls of anger on the right against the prospect of John McCain as the Republican presidential nominee. The conservative Republican base does not feel he is a Republican. He is a liberal-moderate. The ailing economy and the morass in Iraq means that the GOP is generally in the pits with American voters. The criticisms of Obama in the media are few nd far between, but Paul Krugman has reservations about Obama's health plan, as it would leave more people uninsured than the Clinton plan.

In a long contest----going all the way to the convention-- Obama might have an advantage. He has the momentum and now has more money than Clinton. And this is not because it's a close race on Super Tuesday. Even if one candidate were to win every available delegate, they would still fall well short of the 2,025 needed to secure the nomination. Is momentum the key? According to this account on Talking Points Memo:

Obama had huge momentum entering New Hampshire, and lost to Hillary, whose momentum mounted in Nevada, setting the stage for her historic rout in South Carolina. It turns out that voters actually pay attention to what candidates say and do on the trail. Winning in Iowa gave Obama a boost, but not enough to overcome Hillary’s sudden willingness to display her essential humanity. Similarly, all the momentum in the world wasn’t enough to compensate for the Clintons’ willingness to launch slimy attacks, and the voter disgust it engendered.

The difference between the Republican and Democrat primaries is that many Republican caucuses and primaries are winner-take-all, whilst the Democrats are done on a proportional basis. California is the decisive battle ground.
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| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:17 AM | | Comments (9)
Comments

Comments

It would seem that we are going to be in this for the long haul throughout all of 2008. I think you're right about feeling a tad depressed when we consider what we have to look forward to; more rabid attacks on Hillary Clinton, a replay of eight years ago in the form of John McCain, and the prospect that it will all end in the tragedy of a third consecutive Republican administration.

Let's hope Obama at least gets the chance to give a few more rousing speeches.

Gary,
The results so far:
Huckabee wins in West Virgina. Huckabee doesn’t have much of a presence or support in California – but West Virginia indicates that he may be popular in some Southern states like Alabama. McCain wins New Jersey whilst Romney wins Massachusetts's and Illinois.McCain is heavily favored to win other northeastern states

Obama has an early -- and convincing -- win over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in Georgia's presidential primary built on an overwhelming outpouring of support from black voters. He is expected to win this state. And win in his home state of Illinois.

Guy, Obama will have the opportunity to make more than a few speeches. The Democrats, according to the exit polls from all the Super Tuesday states combined, voters said that the quality they were most looking for in a candidate was the ability to bring about change. They valued that over experience by about two to one. The person most most qualified to be commander-in-chief was Clinton whilst Obama would be the most likely person to unite the country.

Guy,
Hillary is seen to carry a lot of baggage ---Bill Clinton.This whole primary system of selecting the presidential candidates from each party is rather strange. It starts much too early, heavily favors those who can raise a lot of money in advance , and it gives a lot of weight to two untypical states, New Hampshire and Iowa. They need to shift to a series of regional primaries, with real breathing spaces between them.

more updates:
McCain wins Connecticut where the G.O.P. is fairly moderate. Huckabee is projected to win the Republican primary in Arkansas and the Republican primary in Alabama. I thought that Huckabee was dead in the water? Is it his guitar-picking or Chuck Norris? Or the southeren strategy?
McCain will win the Republican primary in Delaware and New Jersey. Where is Romney? Being squeezed? he is not doing as well as expected. He looks to be a well-coiffed, suited, technocracy-loving financial executive. However, he has strongly courted the anti-immigration vote in California. Does that make him a phoney?

John McCain is winning in the Democratic core states--that does not look for the Presidential election. An early sign of a bad moon rising; trouble on the way? What will he do about the shrinking Republican base?

Clinton is projected to win the Democratic primaries in Arkansas and Tennessee. Same for Massachusetts and New York. Obama wins Delaware. The Democrats are torn between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton but the majority would be happy with either as President. The angst and bitterness is on the Republican side. The Republican have lower enthusiasm for their candidates, and lower expectations for November.

On the Democrat side

The Obama states are: Georgia, Illinois, Delaware, Georgia, North Dakota, Kansas, Connecticut, Minnesota, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Misssouri

The Clinton states are: Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Arizona, California

On the Republican side:

McCain: Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Delaware, New York, Arizona, Missouri, California

Huckabee: West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia

Romney: Massachusetts, Utah, Michigan, North Dakota and Minnesota


Nan,
The Republican Party has changed over the last generation. It is now more southern, more evangelical, and much less diverse than it was. The Reagan-era Republican coalition (southern christians, country club business Repubs, "national security" hard-line Repubs, suburban moms,etc) is crumbling. You can see it in the split support for the candiates. Huckabee could well be the wild card that does better than expected given his southern strategy.

From what I can make the Clinton camp's strategy has been to focus on the delegate- rich states including New York, New Jersey, California, and Arkansas. They are counting on winning California decisively. The polls show Clinton and Obama neck and neck.

The Obama strategy is a broad one based around seven caucus-states: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico and North Dakota.

California is the key battleground in terms of headline narrative and the delegates. The booths have just closed.The Clinton campaign has long known that the states following Super Tuesday are not the easiest ones for her, so a strong showing tonight was imperative. She has to win California and slow down Obama's momentum.

Romney's key message is that Washington is broken and that it hasn’t fixed anything. He was expected to do well enough to be a major player on Super Tuesday, and the main challenger to Republican front-runner John McCain. It didn't work out that way, as Mike Huckabee came rushing back from the brink of oblivion to capture victories in multiple Southern states. Huckabee's strong showing in the South also denied McCain momentum.

Who will crack first? Romney or Huckabee?

Nan,
the next big events are the March 4 primaries in Texas and Ohio and then April 22 in Pennsylvania. If the nomination is not resolved by then, the battle will continue to the convention itself, in Denver Colarado in August.

Clinton wins in California and so slows down Obama's momentum. McCain declares himself the front-runner, whilst Huckabee resurfaces and Romney sinks. Does that mean the Republicans will run a McCain/Huckabee ticket?

Nan,
I see that Mitt Romney has pulled out of the presidential race as you suggested. That leaves McCain with the Republican nomination and leading a divided party with conservatives detesting him for being in favour of illegal immigration and voting against Bush's tax cuts. The Republicans have a difficult fight on their hands against either of the two Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.