Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The GOP Field's Dirty Little Iowa Secret

Over the last two months, one thing has become increasingly clear in the fight for the GOP presidential nomination: The Republican field is all-but-ceding the Iowa caucuses to Mitt Romney.


Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney on the campaign trail in Iowa. (AP File Photo)

They won't say that on the record, for the very reason that "writing off" Iowa publicly ensures a disastrous showing in the Hawkeye state.

But a look at the number of days that each of Romney's rivals is spending in the state tells a very different story. A candidate's time is the most precious resource any campaign has, and he (or she) will only be dispatched to places where their presence can make a difference. How much time a candidate is spending in a particular state is by far the most important test of whether or not the campaign believes the state can be won.

Thanks to Iowa Democratic Party communications director Carrie Giddins, who remains as indefatigable as ever, The Fix has a detailed list of days spent in the state by the candidates for each party's presidential nod -- and it's quite telling.

In June, the Republican candidates spent a combined 45 days in Iowa, compared with just 17 days for Democrats. In July Republicans still held an edge, with 68 days spent in the state to 47 for Democrats. By August, the numbers had been reversed, with Democrats spending 57 days in Iowa while Republicans spent 45. By September, the balance had tipped considerably -- Democrats spent 40 days in the state as compared with 14 for Republicans.

What happened to change the calculus? Well, the big event of the summer in Iowa was the Ames Straw poll, which Romney won convincingly after Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Fred Thompson declined to participate.

Romney's win at the straw poll affirmed a few things. It showed that his organization in Iowa is strong and vibrant, and that he is willing to spend heavily in the state to keep his lead. (About that lead: Pollster.com's poll average puts Romney at 28 percent to 15 percent each for Giuliani and Thompson in Iowa.)

That's not to suggest that the straw poll results alone are responsible for the decided lack of attention to Iowa from the other GOP candidates in the past few months. The other GOP campaigns still see Iowa as part of an overall path to the nomination, even if they acknowledge privately that a win is probably out of the question.

Here's our look at what the top tier candidates (aside from Romney) have done in Iowa recently and what they hope to get out of the caucuses next year.

* Rudy Giuliani: Giuliani's campaign has gone up with radio ads in Iowa over the last few days. Two observations: First, radio ads -- for a campaign as well funded as Giuliani's -- cost next to nothing, meaning there is little downside for them to keep some sort of paid advertising presence in the state. Second, the ad makes absolutely no mention of any of his Republican opponents and, instead, focuses almost exclusively on Democrats. Say what they will, but Giuliani strategists know that radio ads that draw no contrasts with the rest of the GOP field are not a recipe for winning the caucuses. The fact that Giuliani hasn't spent a day in the state since Aug. 15, according to Giddins, is another telling sign of Hizzoner's attitude toward Iowa. Expect Giuliani to visit Iowa from time to time over the next two months and even spend some money on paid advertising. But all of that is aimed at ensuring a respectable finish rather than making a serious attempt to win. The Giuliani campaign sees New Hampshire, where polls have shown a tightening between their candidate and Romney, as their best chance to score an early victory and ensure the nomination fight extends until Super Tuesday (Feb. 5) where their candidate is extremely well positioned.

* Fred Thompson: For Thompson, Iowa represents real opportunity. It's not by chance that he spent three days in Iowa right after formally announcing his campaign last month, and he has returned to the state for five more days since then. The Des Moines Register poll released last weekend shows reason for Thompson to be optimistic; Romney led with 29 percent followed by Thompson at 18 percent. Thompson probably can't win Iowa -- building an organizational machine to match Romney's is close to impossible at this late stage. But a second-place showing could well position Thompson for victories in early states like South Carolina and Florida where he is already running strong. Thompson may well make a real push in Iowa, but it's a push for second place.

* John McCain: McCain skipped Iowa in the 2000 presidential race, and his campaign in the state this time around never took off despite the recruitment of a number of top Iowa operatives. Now that McCain's campaign has been drastically scaled back due to his continued fundraising struggles, it's hard to see him playing seriously in Iowa. In the last two months McCain has spent a total of three days in Iowa; meanwhile, he is a regular presence in New Hampshire and is even advertising on television in the state.

* Mike Huckabee: Following his surprise second-place showing at the Ames straw poll, Huckabee hasn't spent all that much time in the state, according to Giddins's calculations. He spent a day in the state on Aug. 28 for the Lance Armstrong Cancer Forum and made a two-day swing through the eastern part of the state (the most Democratic area) on Sept. 13 and 14. As the Des Moines Register poll showed, Huckabee is winning hearts in the state -- he placed third with 12 percent. But his lack of money ($1 million raised in last three months) handicaps his ability to build a top-notch organization in Iowa. Still, Huckabee's social conservatism with a smile could strike a stronger chord in Iowa if he can raise enough money to make his message heard.

It will be interesting to see if any candidate is more blatant about his commitment (or lack thereof) to winning Iowa as the caucuses get closer. It's a tough line to walk: On the one hand, the less noise the campaigns make about their chances or aspirations in Iowa, the more they can potentially devalue the meaning of winning Iowa for Romney -- as they attempted to do earlier this summer with the straw poll. On the other, an obvious kiss-off to Iowa by one of the serious candidates could jeopardize his showing in the state and lead to a potential domino effect in New Hampshire and beyond. It's a dangerous game.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 11, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Comments Change for The Fix
Next: Movement From the Gore-acle?

Comments

This discussion is still far more interesting than those occurring on today's posts. In fact, one pretty much looks like the Rufus show!

dan_w71, I agree with you. The health benefits provided for military personnel and their dependents is not socialized medicine - technically, it is indeed employer provided health insurance. But like Medicare, it is administered by the government. I was being facetious in that anything administered by the federal government is always decried by Rs as being "socialized medicine."

Also, keep in mind that any military personnel with 20 years of service is guaranteed medical care for him and his dependents for life. The same is true for any veteran who is disabled by any meaningful percentage. (I don't know what this is precisely). I know more "retired" military personnel than the average civilian because I grew up a military brat -- and I can assure you that many retired in their early 40s and are now in their second careers, and some consequently have more than one health insurer: the U.S. government and their private sector employer. I think this is fine for giving up 20 years of your life, but I do think that everyone else should also have access. to some form of health care.

Like Jason in MD, I like HRC's proposal on the surface. And Jason, I like the idea of increasing access to energy efficient vehicles by providing tax credits. I also like the idea of charging a luxury tax for those who choose to drive gas guzzlers.

Posted by: femalenick | October 12, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: Any lawyer knows to not ask a question they do not know the answer to. Russert was trying to get Hillary to commit to something that only a fool would do, and Hillary, being no fool, did not take the bait. The dislike of The Clintons by Russert is well known, and since Hillary made him look like the fool on his Sunday show, I think he was trying for a little payback, and it didn't work.

Posted by: lylepink | October 12, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Great conversation everyone.
----------
"I don't think universal care of any kind (whether it's Hillary's plan, pure single-payer, or something else)is realistic till we reduce the costs involved." -Colin

Well that's the beauty of a plan like HRC's. The high cost of healthcare is, in large part, tied to the number of uninsured. As someone else was pointing out yesterday, people in an emergency room must be treated, regardless of citizenship or ability to pay. Illegal immigrants make up a fairly small potion compared to those who simply can't afford care (maybe 15-20% nationally but I can check on an exact figure if you don't believe me). By making sure everyone has access to health care, they see a regular doctor (much cheaper than an emergency room doctor) when they're sick and also have access to preventative medicine. People will also have access to prenatal care, without which the cost of having a baby is much higher because the chances of a premature baby increase dramatically (my wife is a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).

You see, not only is universal (or mostly universal) health care a morally good thing, it also reduces the cost of health care for everyone.

A corollary to this is energy efficiency. The government should also be increasing access to high mpg vehicles with tax credits (at the federal level) and sales tax exemption on energy efficient vehicles. The same rule applies here. By increasing access you decrease the cost for everyone (for economic reasons as well as the tax breaks) and also decrease to cost of gas for everyone (decrease demand to lower cost).

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 12, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

It was refreshing to have Perot talk about actual issues in some depth. I still think the guy would have been an absolute disaster if he'd won, but he certainly helped contribute positively to the debate. The SS "twist" you mentioned, mark, is a great example.

As far as healthcare goes, I understand federalism concerns and the benefits that can come from experimentation. But I admit I'm skeptical that we can solve our current problems without a global (meaning nationwide) approach, since I don't think universal care of any kind (whether it's Hillary's plan, pure single-payer, or something else)is realistic till we reduce the costs involved. Right now, we as a nation pay more for drugs, doctor visits, and everything else than other industrialized countries. The % of our GDP spent on healthcare is ridiculous. Till we change that, it's hard for me to see how individual states are going to be able to actually ensure universal coverage -- especially those states that lack the economic strength of California and Mass.

At any rate, it's encouraging that the public at large seems receptive to trying to fix the system today. In '92, simply repeating "socialized medicine" 5,000 times seemed enough to deter folks. I doubt that will work this time.

Posted by: _Colin | October 12, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Mark:

As set up Social security was only meant to assist those who were unable to work and only for a short time. SS benefits ages should be increased to match the rise in life expectancy.

Femalenick: The medical services provided by the military is not socialize medicine because it is not provided by the government, it is provided by the employer. A small distinction that I am going to catch hell for but a huge distinction non the less.

Posted by: dan_w71 | October 12, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Boko - I did not get you to bite on Perot's "twist."

He pointed out, correctly, that Social Security is seen as a Trust, but that it had always had a COLA so that your money was not lost to inflation. He said the cap on the tax should be lifted, but high end payers should still get a benefit based on all their input with a 4% simple interest rate to allow for inflation. They would still be substantially "over" contributing, but they could not claim they were being victimized. He also wanted to income tax those with SS payments above a relatively generous ceiling for untaxed SS + other income. In his plan, he would have paid
800 times more social security tax than he did in 1990, but potentially received 100 times more benefits than he would have by 2000, or something like that. He then added he should be income taxed on most of his huge SS pension. He called it "means testing" at the other end. I'll try to find it - it was one of his
"lectures".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 12, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

You are correct: Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax covers SS, Medicare, Medicaid.

Back to Health care: Why is this a federal issue. With each state coming up with solutions for their state, doesn't this mean we should continue to let the states solve this problem as each sees fit and to let the Fed Govt handle those problems that cannot be addressed at the state level?

Posted by: d_westenberger | October 12, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

maybe a mistake - when I said "FICA" I meant "for the funding of SS, Medicare, Medicaid" - that's FICA, right?

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 12, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I do not believe that those making more than 97K could not afford to pay a greater percentage of their income in FICA, just as they pay a greater percentage of their income in income taxes. It is discouraging that the leading candidate for president feels that she has to evade this question.
Femalenick, you say "it would be wrong to cap the profits of a corporation - even if an insurance company... Talk about demotivating!" - I understand, but guess that my response would be that if the gov't is to guarantee a certain HUGE amount of revenue for a corporation/industry, it is legitimate for them to place some restrictions on how the money is earned - especially in the name of providing reasonable care at the lowest possible cost.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 12, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

lylepink, in the transcript of the Dartmouth debate less than two weeks ago -

http://ipol-2008.blogspot.com/2007/09/transcript-of-dartmouth-debate.html

you will find the extended discussion of lifting the cap.

excerpt:

BIDEN: We did that one -- I supported that; that's what got it solvent to 2041. By simply going and taking -- raising the cap, you can solve the problem.

RUSSERT: Senator Clinton, would you be in favor of saying to the American people, "I'm going to tax your income; I'm not going to cap at $97,500. Everyone, even if you are a millionaire is going to pay
Social Security tax on every cent they make."

CLINTON: Well, Tim, let me tell you what I think about this,[offers 3 talking points]

RUSSERT: But you would not take lifting the cap at $97,500 off the table?

CLINTON: Well, I'd take everything off the table until we move toward fiscal responsibility and before we have a bipartisan process. I don't think I should be negotiating about what I would do as
president. You know, I want to see what other people come to the table with.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 12, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

It sounds a tad perverse, but perhaps Thompson and Giuliani would benefit from persuading some of their donors to give to Huckabee. If he got a quick infusion of cash, he could make a better run at Iowa, knock out Romney, and leave the field better open for the remaining "top tier" candidates. Of course, there's a risk it could propel Huckabee into that "top tier," but NH happens so fast after Iowa he probably wouldn't have enough time and publicity from Iowa to do much damage.

Posted by: Budikavlan | October 12, 2007 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Lyle, deductions for FICA end after a certain amount -- $97.5k for 2007. Medicare deductions don't end. But again - when you're employed by others, your employer pays 50% of that 15.3% until you hit the max, at which point your employer only has to match the percentage for Medicare.

So yes - you are right that an employed person making $100 million is currently paying the same SS tax as someone making $97.5k. But the income tax percentages will vary.

I like to remember what my accountant told me many years ago. He said that rather than lamenting how much I owe IRS, I should aim to owe them a million dollars in one year for it would mean I made a lot of money. It put it in perspective for me. Since then, I've aimed to owe more than the year before, and I'm just a working stiff. Maybe if the wealthy thought that way, we wouldn't have the deficit we do.


Posted by: femalenick | October 12, 2007 2:02 AM | Report abuse

femalenick: That is the point I am trying to make. Self employed or not, 15.3% of income is taxed as FICA. This means that a person making 100K or 100M would pay the same $ amount of 15.3K. I am not sure, but think there is something in the IRS code that exempts earnings up to a certain point, simular to the cap, so the 15.3K $ amount may not be correct.

Posted by: lylepink | October 12, 2007 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Lylepink, you can double both those percentages for the self-employed -- known as the "self employment tax." I now only hire subcontractors as needed because having employees is extremely costly for a small business by the time you factor in payroll taxes, health insurance, workmen's comp, etc. Normally, businesses have to add no less than 20% on top of a person's salary to determine the actual cost of that employee.

Posted by: femalenick | October 12, 2007 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: Forgot to add that since about 2001, the cap was about 80K, and now 97.5K. The big difference is the ones more able to pay are actually paying less by a huge amount, percentage of income being the factor to consider, than the ones less able to pay. No way this can be disputed. The rate has remained the same--SS 6.2%--Medicare 1.45%.

Posted by: lylepink | October 12, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: Can you find where Hillary advocated this position you state about "that at a recent forum all the D's were for lifting caps on both SS and medicare payroll taxes, EXCEPT HRC"??. My memory is that SS benefit CUTS were off the table as far as Hillary was concerned.

Posted by: lylepink | October 12, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Tylepink, I agree -- not capping SS taxes would certainly help. Funny thing is that the average person doesn't know that you don't get taxed for SS until a certain amount. Hell, I didn't until one day my paycheck was suddenly bigger. That's when I learned about the cap. It also wasn't until I was self-employed that I learned that I had to pay the other 50% of the SS taxes. So ultimately, I think the SS tax cap is really more for the benefit of the employer than for the employee.

And Boko, as far as what Arnie is proposing, here are some highlights:

1. Everyone will be required to have some form of health insurance.

2. Allow individuals to make pre-tax contributions to a health insurance savings account. Employers will be required to put plans in place whereby employees can do this -- which saves employers money by reducing their FICA contributions.

3. Insurance companies cannot deny coverage for anyone.

4. If you don't qualify for Medicaid, then you get financial assistance from a state-administered insurance purchasing pool.

5. Implement state programs to promote preventive health care.

It's easy for those who have never been uninsured to decry the various DEM proposals, esp. Hillary's, as socialized medicine. But I can recall being between jobs in my mid-20s and having to go to the emergency room and taking nearly two years to pay off the resulting medical bills because I don't have rich parents to help me.

To your question, Boko, what I've found is that successful businesses, by definition, are adept at responding to change. I'm not as familiar as I should be on Hillary's original proposal as I wasn't paying attention in those days. And I'm also not exactly sure of what's meant by a single payer system. But I do know that insurance companies were originally formed to handle catastrophes, not every sniffle and headache. That said, I think it would be wrong to cap the profits of a corporation - even if an insurance company. It would be akin to telling a salesman who works strictly on commission that he can only make so much. Talk about demotivating!

I think the solution with the pharmas and insurance companies is to allow the free market concepts apply to them. Why should drugs cost less in Mexico or Canada than in the U.S.? Because the government, the biggest buyers, won't negotiate. Remember this being an issue in '04? Who fought it? Republicans. And why? Because of the powerful lobbies in DC would have pulled their support otherwise.

But I want to be clear that it isn't the average Republican that is at fault; most are ignorant of the real issues. Most simply know the propaganda (true of the average Dem as well) -- and so what we see is serious hypocrisy, i.e., proponents of free trade and capitalism, and yet -- when in power, they won't bargain with the pharmas as they would in a business situation. The no-bid contracts in Iraq or in New Orleans are simply more examples of either hypocrisy or business stupidity.

And as long as most Americans won't take the time to understand what's going on around them until they're personally affected, I believe that, revolutionary change in any aspect of government is not possible. And until then, all this political talk of "change" is nothing more than rhetoric. WE are not ready for any overhaul. All we can handle are baby steps.

Posted by: femalenick | October 12, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Boko, the aging population of the western world should mean no healthcare or pharma jobs will be lost.
The specialty insurers like BC/BS will be hurt, but full line carriers will not miss their med ins. biz.
Insurance cos. are organized as "stock" cos that pay profits to shareholders or "mutuals" that distribute
profit to members. The reputed best HMO, Kaiser-Permanente, is orgainzed as member owned, I think.

Lyle, you should know that at a recent forum all the Ds were for lifting caps on both SS and medicare payroll taxes, EXCEPT HRC.

In 1992, Perot suggested this, with a neat twist on the SS component.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 11, 2007 11:33 PM | Report abuse

femalenick: You are essentially correct. I have both Medicare/aid. These vary little from state to state in that Medicaid is a state issue, where Medicare is a Federal plan. Both these and the SS system could be made solid for many years in the future simply by having the SS tax, or FICA, as stated on your paycheck, would have no top on the earnings as now exists, on stocks and bonds, investment income, etc... By simply changing the cap to no limit, and reducing the rate, the problem is solved. Simple, yet, no one I have heard of, in the political world, will advance this solution.

Posted by: lylepink | October 11, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Femalenick, that presumes that each consumer will have a level of education/expertise/awareness to be able to know what plan serves his/her needs best. I don't think most people are there with that... I would be interested in hearing some more about the current CA plan. ("Medical"-?) Is that single-payer, or how does it work? Is it like the system in Massachusetts, where you are required by law to have (private) health insurance, and the state helps out those who can't meet the premiums? actually, does more than that - administers/brokers/something a cheaper plan ("Commonwealth Care," I think) for those who can't afford to pay much or any premium... is CA similar?
Mark, I would be on board with a version of single-payer care like the one you describe, but of course the health care industry (providers, insurance, Big Pharma) is famously like - I want to say 40%? some large percentage - of our economy. Single payer care - which, once again, I support and believe in - would end or radically transform a great many jobs, and would put a lot of companies out of business.
I personally would have little to no sympathy, but I can see how that might be a big shock to the economy. What is your take on that? Would you try to make the ins. companies a part of the plan, as Hillary did? but in that case, it wouldn't really be 'single-payer' any more, would it...
Is there a legal way to structure a for-profit corporation so as to ensure that the profits do not exceed a certain percentage of the initial outlay? and/or that a certain (substantial) percentage of the profits are re-invested or put toward increasing efficiency/reducing cost?

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 11, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I think I understand what Colin is trying to say. However, Colin, I think that the "current inefficiencies" equate to a broken health care system, and the emergency room issue is a direct result of this.

HRC wanted to blow the system up in the early 90s but that clearly didn't work, ergo, her revised proposal. We choose what works for each of us. Why people think this is a bad thing is beyond me.

My husband and I are both currently self-employed, and save for a couple years, we've had to buy our own health insurance policies for over a decade. It isn't cheap. Because of the rates, we opted for the $500/month version which essentially covers only 30% until we incur $5000 per person. And we don't go to emergency rooms for basic care...

Inefficiencies are certainly one aspect of it, e.g., gaining access to records so that tests aren't duplicated. But then that would mean digitizing all info so that physicians have access no matter where we are which presents a different problem.

It's a complicated issue, and I personally think that Hillary's plan of allowing us to choose the plan that works best for us makes sense. For me, that means keeping what I have right now because I can still afford it. But should something happen, I would like to know that I have access to the same plans that Congress has.

In my mind, health care is less about inefficiencies than about access.

Posted by: femalenick | October 11, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Colin, bsimon and I have been talking about the [non] system and the incredible disadvantage of employer basing it for Ameerican industry. But we are both too suspicious of federalizing it to support that. In my case, it is partly out of respect for the federal system, itself.

But I am beginning to think that a state bold enough to enact single payer [and tie it to local property tax relief for the hospital districts] would soon attract an inflow of employers that would be the envy of every other state. It would surely snowball. No state could afford not to do it. The lab effect of different states using different approaches would probably be a positive, too.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 11, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Mark --I was less than perfectly clear in my last post. My point was simply that current inefficiencies in health care deliver, generally, contribute to our growing challenge of meeting healthcare related programs. The emergency room component is one example, but not the only one. Sorry for creating confusion. As far as addressing inefficiencies first, I understand where you're coming from but am at a point right now where I candidly would prefer to blow the current system up. Whether that's feasible once the various special interest groups get involved...we will see.

Posted by: _Colin | October 11, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Mark --I was less than perfectly clear in my last post. My point was simply that current inefficiencies in health care deliver, generally, contribute to our growing challenge of meeting healthcare related programs. The emergency room component is one example, but not the only one. Sorry for creating confusion. As far as addressing inefficiencies first, I understand where you're coming from but am at a point right now where I candidly would prefer to blow the current system up. Whether that's feasible once the various special interest groups get involved...we will see.

Posted by: _Colin | October 11, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Hi femalenick -

I do know who gets what from medicare and medicaid, I just do not know anyone receiving either who has ever been treated in the emergency room of the public hospital. I was wondering if Colin was suggesting a relationship to his criticism of public health delivered through emergency rooms when he said:
"Second, problems with Medicaid and Medicare are related to inefficiencies in health care delivery."

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 11, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Tylepink is correct...California law requires hospitals to treat anyone who walks into an emergency room regardless of their ability to pay. So they're overcrowded, and each treatment costs 5-6 times over normal. There are about 20 ERs in southern Cal that may close because of bankruptcy.

California, for all the craziness attributed to its residents and their liberal ways, is always a bellwether. Health care is such a serious issue here that our Republican governor has had no choice but to put forth a health care reform proposal. Yet only the Dems seem to be talking about health care in any meaningful fashion. All I've heard from the right is how "Hillary Care" is socialized medicine. What the heck do Republicans think Medicare is? Or the health care that is provided to military personnel and their families?

Posted by: femalenick | October 11, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Tylepink is correct...California law requires hospitals to treat anyone who walks into an emergency room regardless of their ability to pay. So they're overcrowded, and each treatment costs 5-6 times over normal. There are about 20 ERs in southern Cal that may close because of bankruptcy.

California, for all the craziness attributed to its residents and their liberal ways, is always a bellwether. Health care is such a serious issue here that our Republican governor has had no choice but to put forth a health care reform proposal. Yet only the Dems seem to be talking about health care in any meaningful fashion. All I've heard from the right is how "Hillary Care" is socialized medicine. What the heck do Republicans think Medicare is? Or the health care that is provided to military personnel and their families?

Finally, Mark - Medicare doesn't pay for the ER portion if you are immediately admitted to the hospital but Medicaid does. Further, Medicare is strictly for those 65 and older or with disabilities, whereas Medicaid, administered by the states, is based on financial need.

Posted by: femalenick | October 11, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Hi Mark, interesting, but while I agree on nearly all you listed as problems that need to be addressed, I think that the average American will still vote based on the one issue that s/he deems most important -- and it will be personal.

I would bet that the majority of Americans would give you a blank stare if you were sitting in a room with them, and you rattled off the problems that you just did. I'm here because I don't really know anyone who lives nearby who is willing to engage in serious political discussion.

So I think the 08 vote will be decided on the issues of Iraq and middle class concerns -- the most pressing issue on the latter will vary from person to person -- health care for some, marriage or abortion for others, or some other issue that they can relate to personally. And that could be something as simple as watching one general election debate in which Giuliani forgets that he's no longer on a testosterone laden stage, and he comes across as a verbally abusive male and people somehow associate that with the three marriages. Remember what happened to Gore when he walked away from his podium and looked like he was going to punch Bush.

That said, your summary of the debates to date is perfect!

Posted by: femalenick | October 11, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: Emergeny room treatment is used as a primary care facility for the large majority of the uninsured. The oath requires Dr.s to treat everyone in need. Once in awhile, there are cases brought against hospital ERs for non treatment and turning the sick away. Several ideas are out there, but the only way I see is a form of a single-payer.

Posted by: lylepink | October 11, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Colin and Dave, it is worthwhile to argue about what is optional and what is within the ambit of Federal responsibility, but both of you are right that at any moment that is a fluid concept. Social Security did not exist in 1937, within the memory of many who are still with us, but it is a fed responsibility now. Fighting communicable disease has had a fed component since the late 1790s. Is CDC or the PHS therefore more legit than SS?

Theory is fun, I was only trying to say that some stuff is in our face right now but it seems more difficult to get people to talk about it than their dreams of the next big thing.

Colin, your point on the relationship between medicare/caid cost and the system inefficiency is well taken. I think we could push for efficiencies through the existing programs before we invent new programs. We both know that the emergency room model is gross, but that would be better addressed by states, for whom local governments are integral, it seems to me. And I did not think that Medicare/caid was
largely delivered in the emergency rooms of public hospitals. Is that a misunderstanding on my part?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 11, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin,
Interesting. I fear, however, that it's really not what you think is OPTIONAL for the fed government to do, it's what is important to you that can get solved by the fed gov. Few people care what the Fed Gov is supposed to be doing. They care what they are doing that benefits them. That is how politician stay elected - by giving their constituents what they think they want, not what they need or should. After eight years of compassionate conservatism and decades of liberalism, call me skeptical that the federal government will be able to focus on the things that it needs to do or that the people know what those things are.

Posted by: dave | October 11, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff Mark. As a neutral observer (that's a joke), I would note that Democrats are the only ones spending time discussing Health Care and Energy Independence. Sort of telling, from my vantage point. Also, I'd quibble with marking the cost and inefficiency of health care delivery as "optional."

First, it's pretty hard to address the issue of the uninsured without figuring out a way to control costs, which are much higher here than elsewhere in the world. Any of the Democratic health care plans would help shift the delivery from the most ineffecient access points (emergency rooms) to more normal and cost-effective venues. Second, problems with Medicaid and Medicare are related to inefficiencies in health care delivery. Unless one's preferred "solution" is to eliminate the programs.

Posted by: _Colin | October 11, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Mark, excellent series. One might quibble with a few items on the 'must' list vs the 'optional' list, but overall a great summary of what we're facing. I particularly enjoyed the early description of the races thus far:

"The Rs, with some notable exceptions, seem trapped in debates about doctrinal purity on tax cutting and displays of who is more "macho" on immigration and Jihadists, and how bad HRC is.

The Ds, with some notable exceptions, seem trapped in debates about who can win, how much "optional" service Ds would provide, and how bad GWB has been."

Posted by: bsimon | October 11, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Part 3.

Examples of serious issues that are purely OPTIONAL for the federal government are: addressing the cost and inefficiency of health care delivery; the cost of pre-school and college; the funding of stem-cell research; the funding of elective abortions for poor people, and favored tax breaks for individuals; the legal nature of "marriage".

The Federal Government has no direct responsibility for these serious issues.
The emphasis of candidates on these issues absolutely diverts attention from the "must
be addressed" issues. You will see that Ds and Rs dwell on some of these secondary issues.

A candidate who drove home one of the primary issues - say energy use - could be the winner in November just because common sense might prevail, rather than mere "What's in it for me?"

It's anybody's game.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 11, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Part 2. Without attempting a rank ordering, because that would be different for Ds and Rs, these problems are up for immediate address:
the direction of American foreign policy; the establishment of an energy policy that sharply reduces dependence on oil, first, and carbon based fuels, generally; securing the borders; the size of the military and the recognition of the inefficiencies of the Rumsfield "reforms"; the Medicaid hole; the coming Social Security hole; the Medicare hole; trade imbalance; massive deficits; the maintenance of civil liberties and the rule of law; the inefficiencies of large federal bureaucracies like DOD and DHLS; pork barrel/earmarks/; the relative desirability of national service; the identification of undocs; adding labor and environmental protocols to NAFTA; extending UN-ILO rules to WTO and enforcing them against the main offender, China; the unintended consequences of the AMT; the future of the Estate Tax; and whether to have a guest worker program outside of amending NAFTA.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 11, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Part 1.
JasonL and Colin, Hi.

Assume, as I do, that the country is still closely divided, perhaps leaning differently than it did in 2004. Then predicting how a candidate will fare in Nov. 2008 is simply not possible and, I would argue, counterproductive.
The Rs and Ds should be thinking about who can best lead, given their respective priorities.

The Rs, with some notable exceptions, seem trapped in debates about doctrinal purity on tax cutting and displays of who is more "macho" on immigration and Jihadists, and how bad HRC is.

The Ds, with some notable exceptions, seem trapped in debates about who can win, how much "optional" service Ds would provide, and how bad GWB has been.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 11, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

FYI: These last several posts about Hillary seems to be along the same line of thought. CNN has Obama on now and they showed a poll about handling Iraq andHillary has a srtong lead, around 2 to 1.

Posted by: lylepink | October 11, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm with AndyR3. I think Huckabee can take Iowa. He has the "right" Christian values but doesn't offend the moderates. Heck, he doesn't even offend me, an HRC supporter.

In addition to being a social conservative, In addition to being the model social conservative, Huckabee is also uniquely attuned to the plight of the middle class and the poor, and in Iowa, where the average household income is in the mid-40s and the median home value at $128k, I suspect that the compassionate conservatism he embodies will play well. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he came in first, and Romney second.

Posted by: femalenick | October 11, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

JasonL -- I agree with you that she can win, but do you really think it's remotely possible that she wins more than 52% of the vote? To be clear, I think she's absolutely saavy enough as a politician to win the next election (I agree that she likely wins Ohio and Florida), but she's not going to change the fundamental 50/50 dynamic that we've had in this country for the last decade or so. I'll vote for her if she's the nominee and work to get her elected, but i'd rather see someone who could actually heal some of the wounds left from Bill's time in office.

Posted by: _Colin | October 11, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

That brings up the question... Can Granholm be Vice President? Isn't she Canadian by birth, and therefore ineligible to become President? If so, that begs the question; if you're ineligible to be President, can you be Vice President?

Posted by: bsimon | October 11, 2007 01:33 PM

FYI, it's in the 12th Amendment, which updated the original language about how electors cast balots for Pres & VP and the process for the Congress to select the winners if no majority of electors is attained:

"But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."


And the requirements are in Article II, Section 1:

"No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."


http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution_transcript.html

Posted by: mgmcca | October 11, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Also, here's a Boston Globe article from the ninth talking abotu people in NH warming up to HRC.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/10/09/many_warming_unexpectedly_to_clinton/

I love google.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 11, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"Stated otherwise, more people have already decided they'll never vote for her than feel the same way about Obama, Edwards, etc." -Colin

According to some research done by Gallup, her favorable/unfavorable numbers are not unprecedented for a candidate. And HRC has been trending more favorable recently. Check out the article. It's a good read.

http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=28477

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 11, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

jaymills1124-"or win states that kerry lost in the last election?"
I see her having a shot at winning FL, VA and possibly OH. I agree that she is the one the Republicans want because they think it will be their get out the vote motivation. I am not sold on polls (other than the election day ones) but they can tell you something. The fact that the high up Democratic party ops and media (CC is not the only one) are focusing on her is telling. The Dems (smartly) do not want a brutal primary and it seems that this time they are in a position to have that (unlike Republicans). The voters have not voted yet but the people that matter seem to have picked her and are pushing her as the nomination. I don't believe that it's just because of her name that she is getting her 2 minutes a night on the news...

Posted by: dave | October 11, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"If I'm thinking of the law you're referencing it prohibited minors from renting certain content. Although I don't agree with the legislation, and depending on the specifics may agree its unconstitutional, that doesn't sound like something that was legally irresponsible to sign into law. Content restrictions on minors often are acceptable where the same restriction on the general public would be constitutionally infirm." -Colin

Oops. I got my time lines messed up. Governor Granholm's bill was ruled unconstitutional in '05 and the law in Illinois failed to pass Constitutional muster in '06. I got the two mixed up.

Still a bad law but not so obviously bad. Everyone after that was just been begging to lose their court battle and pony up legal fees to the ESA.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 11, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Jason -- I agree that Hillary can win. In fact, I think she probably will win if she gets the nomination. But it's hard to argue that her 'cap' isn't lower than some of the other Dems. Stated otherwise, more people have already decided they'll never vote for her than feel the same way about Obama, Edwards, etc.

Posted by: _Colin | October 11, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Also, after a quick search it looks like the law was struck down by a District Court Judge, not the Supreme Court. Not saying the guy got it wrong, but that is a less definitive ruling.

Posted by: _Colin | October 11, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

So my last comment got dropped by WaPo for whatever reason. Quick summary instead.

1. If she's getting press coverage and at least half of it is about her stances on things, doesn't that mean that at least some of the new comers driving her lead are people making informed decisions?

2. Doesn't that same high level of coverage help her in the general election?

3. As much as she might mobilize the Republican base more than another Democrat (I happen to think that Obama might mobilize the base nearly as much because of his name and skin color as much as his policies), don't the current Republican front runners turn off a large minority of the Republican base? Not to mention the possibility of a third party Christian conservative candidate splitting the vote.

4. I'm not a HRC cheerleader. I like Biden and Richardson more. I just disagree with the perception among a lot of people here that HRC can't win the election.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 11, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

JasonL -- If I'm thinking of the law you're referencing it prohibited minors from renting certain content. Although I don't agree with the legislation, and depending on the specifics may agree its unconstitutional, that doesn't sound like something that was legally irresponsible to sign into law. Content restrictions on minors often are acceptable where the same restriction on the general public would be constitutionally infirm.

Posted by: _Colin | October 11, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Jay Mills, I'd be interested in your thoughts as to why HRC's lead is based on media hype and why, if it's true, that media hype wouldn't carry through to the general election. And just for argument's sake, HRC held strong leads in NH and FL, for example, even back in 2006.

jason_l- here's my theory on it. her lead on the polls is only name recongizion. there's been books for and against her, she's always a 2 minute or more news piece about her on the evening news, and dont even get me started on the cable news networks. and there lies the danger of hillary. she has a glass jaw like no one belives. this is the other gop dirty secret. they need some one polizing to rally the base and pull out a win in 2008. and her name hillary. can anyone honestly name a major piece of legislation she has authored? or win states that kerry lost in the last election? the only people who are seriously talking about hillary is the CC and the beltway cocktail circut.

the democrats got to think stragtically about this. going with a clinton re-tread instead of offering true change is a losing gamble.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | October 11, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to say, you guys are great - thanks for all the information. I don't typically get involved in political conversations. Whomever posted the information re: youtube, THANK YOU! I have recently become a Paul supporter. After following the links, I did see where the poll is back up on MSNBC's site - and Ron Paul clearly was the winner in Dearborn.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21209617

Posted by: Shmedley | October 11, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"I actually think Granholm would make a pretty good choice for the Supreme Court if a Democrat wins this election. It's been waaaay too long since we had someone with political experience on the Court..." -Colin

After her support of a law censoring video games, that she had to know by then wouldn't pass Constitutional muster, I'm not sure I agree. She may have allowed political concerns interfere with Constitutional law. After the past 8 years, I've had about as much of that as I can take.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 11, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I actually think Granholm would make a pretty good choice for the Supreme Court if a Democrat wins this election. It's been waaaay too long since we had someone with political experience on the Court and, if memory serves, Granholm has the right kind of pedigree for the post. Along those lines, I believe she was on the "short list" that Tom Goldstein put together a few months ago for both parties.

Posted by: _Colin | October 11, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"close to offensive and don't think I won't report you for it.
"


ooooowwwww/ So tough. so scary. go pick on 12 year old sick boys, bully. Go pick on high school kids. They may fear you or give you the strenth you never had as a kid. When your ready to pick on someone your own size, without whining and complaining, I'll be here.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Organization on the ground is what wins Iowa, not standing in the polls Unlike a primary, the caucus tests a candidate's ability to motivate their supporters to attend a caucus.

If Huckabee wants to break out as the social conservatives' candidate, he must make an early strike here. He doesn't have to win Iowa, but he must show strong, in order to capture the votes of social conservatives in primary states who might otherwise feel disenfranchised with this years' Republican crop.

It would seem that Huckabee could find a good base of foot soldiers among fundamentalist churches around Iowa. Such a group could motivate a large number of social conservatives to go to caucuses.

Likewise with Thompson, if he wants the fundamentalists to really believe his social conservative bonafides, he has to make a strong showing.

Romney, of course, is suspect because his present social conservatism is in contrast to former positions held as governor of liberal Massachusetts. He has another problem with getting foot soldiers among fundamentalist Christians, because they are also most likely to object to his Mormon beliefs.

I'm not so sure that Giuliani's "oh well, Iowa is not important because I didn't really try there," is a smart strategy. As always, it will be interesting to see what shakes out.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | October 11, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

jasonl IS zouk , by another name. Plytime for the sci fi nerds with nothing to do but TRY and silence the left all day everyday. I see you zouk you are pathetic

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

That is the gop way jason. Only you have free speech. Do what you will. Coward.

Always looking to the government or cc to tailor the rules to your sensibilities and ideals. To me the stret runs one way. The oly power you have is the power I give you. do not foget that.

You want to put out your gop propoganda but silence the left. That is hypocritical double think. No one is stopping you from posting. Your trying to hinder me shows all independant thinkers waht the gop is about. Coward hypocrite fascists.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Negative views by voters everywhere but no place to register that on the yes only ballots or in the yes only polls. A no column and the highest net yes wins would produce a result that showed whether the winner won with support or by default. Why do we have to say we like parsnips to say we don't like broccoli? We can vote no on measures. We should be able to vote no on candidates. Wouldn't that terrorize candidates if they knew we could vote as they encourage us to...against A, the trashee, without having to vote for B, the trasher? Just imagine what that would do to campaign practices based on attacking the opponent(s).

Posted by: Valjean1 | October 11, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

One more point. By your rational JasonL. Captain america. The appitamy of what america is about and what america stands for. is a criminal and terrorst siimply because the president, at the time, wants to make a law singling him out. Does that makes sense to you.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

P.S. My name is back! Thanks for the tip Zouk, that worked nicely.

The poster formerly known as JasonL and temporarily as palin1016.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 11, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"To many swords and socerers. to many sci fi books. You see why they are bad for you jason. They have you people not living in the real world. Non-fiction, buddy. Non-fiction.

The 1500's are over. No more dragons. They were only dinosaur bones :)" -Rufus

What part of drop it don't you understand. I don't care if you put a smiley face on the end, you're getting dangerously close to offensive and don't think I won't report you for it.

My beliefs and policy and political positions are not compromised by what I do to relieve stress in my free time. They're based on logical, critical thinking and a university education. So drop it.

--------

Jay Mills, I'd be interested in your thoughts as to why HRC's lead is based on media hype and why, if it's true, that media hype wouldn't carry through to the general election. And just for argument's sake, HRC held strong leads in NH and FL, for example, even back in 2006.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | October 11, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"And then, more importantly still, there is the fact that McConnell has more extensive private sector connections than virtually anyone in the country to the very telecommunication companies for which he is now demanding amnesty, and he has spent the last decade working on behalf of the very companies who would be the prime beneficiaries of this extraordinary legislative gift. In a healthily functioning political system, McConnell would be disqualified from opining on an amnesty bill for companies to which he is so closely tied.

But to our Beltway opinion-makers, the opposite is true -- McConnell is the Unimpeachable Source, and if he decrees that National Security requires Amnesty for his friends and colleagues in the telcom industry, then no decent or serious person will question that. Or else they will have Blood on Their Hands.
"
greenwald

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/?last_story=/opinion/greenwald/2007/10/11/klein_fisa/

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

The GOP biggest dirty secret is silencing Ron Paul. That's the GOP's way of letting him know that no matter you do or get, we're not going to nominate you. Even the media is in on it.

Did CNBC intentionally misreport the results of the Republican debate poll?

-----> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=685

.

Posted by: PollM | October 11, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

dave-i had a well thought out point about polls but i timed out. drats, but the main point of it is her lead in the polls is media hype. i only go by the one poll and thats on election day.

bsimon-nice to see you here. what i gather from my memory of the consitution is that she cant be vice president. she would have to be a natual born citizen. if she was chosen to be a running mate then she would be passed over to the 3rd in line which would be the speaker of the house. nancy pelosi. the best granholm can hope for is a cabinet position or maybe a advisor of some sort.

originally her ambitions was a senate seat in 08 but senator carl levin wisely opted to stay on. when her term is up in 2010 she could try for the other seat but i think people here are generally satisified with stabinow as the junior senator.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | October 11, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

To many swords and socerers. to many sci fi books. You see why they are bad for you jason. They have you people not living in the real world. Non-fiction, buddy. Non-fiction.

The 1500's are over. No more dragons. They were only dinosaur bones :)

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Your right. you people always got a republcian angle. So the president makes the law and we obey. ok. Remember that when the d's are in power.

So bush spying on us is now legal then, for all time? No more privacy in this country because the king said so?

you are living in the wrong country at the wrong time. you should be in monarchy england or france in the 1500's. you would feel more at home, I think.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

bsimon,
"if you're ineligible to be President, can you be Vice President?" I thought we covered that with the Bill Clinton for VP discussion a few weeks ago. In her case (just like Arnold's), I think you have to be born here.

Posted by: dave | October 11, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

what a mess

"The point is palin1016. A patriot would never wage wage agaisnt his own country.countrymen. A REAL patriot no matter how much he disagree's would never that it to that next level. In this country anyway, where we supposedly have free speech and equal opions."

Never age war.

Would ever take it to that level

equal opinions


A real patriot would not give out a 12 year old boy's address, and stalk his family, because he is getting hurt by a law their president vetoed.

Understand now jason?

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, Rufus you're disproving your own allegory. Captain America fought against his country because he opposed a law made by the duly elected representatives of the American people.

Technically that makes him the terrorist and US Agent to protector of our nation.

Just drop it, Rufus. We're not getting anywhere on this.

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The point is palin1016. A patriot would never wage wage agaisnt his own country.countrymen. A REAL patriot no matter how much he disagree's would never that it to that next level. In this country anyway, where we supposedly have free speech and equal opions.

So who would wage war agasitn their own country, and why? And would such a person be considered a patriot. I say no. I say that person is either a traitor to their nation, or you could consider them "terrorist". This is why I say the gop is in with the terrorists. They have the same goals and use the same methods.

9/11 being an inside job aside, our country has been gutted by the republcains since 9/11. I think 9/11 was so they could do these things, others would agree these things are happening BECAUE of 9/11. Either way, our country is getting gutted by the republicans. I you look at the big picutre it all makes sense. But the black and white patrol cannot look at the big picture. Their minds don't work that way. To authoritatian, to analitical. But i can. Others can.

now are the bad people just stupid, or are they compliant? You know waht I think. so who is responsible? Bush? Cheaney? Fox? Or the monster they serve?

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

lartfromabove,
Republicans do care about winning in 11/08. But seven electoral votes means Iowa is just not that important, from a big picture point of view.

Posted by: dave | October 11, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

jaymills1134 writes
"my advice to any dem canidate who wins the election in 08, take granholm please!!!! get her out of the state!"

That brings up the question... Can Granholm be Vice President? Isn't she Canadian by birth, and therefore ineligible to become President? If so, that begs the question; if you're ineligible to be President, can you be Vice President?

Posted by: bsimon | October 11, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

What an entertaining and astute bunch you guys are! I'm a democrat and I like Hilary, Obama, and Edwards just fine, but I'm weirdly fascinated by the Republicans. There seems to be so much psychodrama going on under the surface with that group. In comparison, the Democrats seem pretty straightforward and sort of boring.

I think the poster(s) who imagined the Romney/Huckabee pairing was/were right on the money. Temperamentally, philosophically, and aesthetically (the latter shouldn't matter, but it does) I think these two would do well.

Also, I really fear for Fred Thompson if he stays in this thing too long. Supposedly he's in remission, but he seems tired and unwell and his color isn't so good. Remember, Rudy had a bout with cancer, too, but he seems quite chipper. I think Fred needs to think about his priorities--after all, he has two little kids.

Posted by: Anndougherty | October 11, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

"maybe cc should talk about hillary's chances in iowa." -Jay Mills

I'll beat him to it. Since 9/21 Hillary has had the lead in Iowa, fluctuating between a 2 and 7 point lead. The only exception was a 9/27 News week poll that put Obama ahead by 4 points.

In case you're interested she's had a sizable lead all year in both NH and FL.

This all comes from Pollster.com

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Greenwald:

"To Klein, telecoms did not act illegally. Not at all. They were simply victims of "the Bush Administration['s] refus[al] to update the law" to make the law consistent with what the telecoms were doing. That would be tantamount to a criminal defendant charged with embezzlement going into court and saying: "Your Honor, I didn't do anything wrong. Why should I be punished just because the Bush administration refused to update the law to make my criminal behavior legal?"

Such an "argument" would trigger judicial laughing fits and probably sanctions. But our Beltway elite is so desperate to defend telcoms (and, more importantly, to close off the sole remaining mechanism for investigating the administration's illegal warrantless eavesdropping and obtaining a judicial ruling as to its illegality) that they will twist themselves into the most inane positions in order to defend something as extraordinary as granting retroactive amnesty for lawbreaking telecoms.
"

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/?last_story=/opinion/greenwald/2007/10/11/klein_fisa/

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Your right about one thing palin1016. This conversation is going no where. Obviously you are failing to grasp what I am saying to you.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I am from Iowa and I was there in December 2006, and it was pretty darned cold.

There may be a nominal winner in the Iowa caucus, but none of the Republican candidates are very exciting. Most Americans are tired of lurid lies from fear-mongering extremists. A Republican who could speak credibly about economic prosperity and real national security issues (i.e. how can we protect ourselves from countries that really don't like us while most of our troops are bogged down in Iraq) might have a chance of regaining the political center. You'd think Republicans would care about having a chance in November 2008.

Posted by: lartfromabove | October 11, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

JD and all
If you want a personalized user name you will have to sign out and erase your cookies. then you can sign up as a new user with the name:
JD@yahoo.com or anything that has your preferred name before the @ symbol. It does not have to be real. If it is taken use JD@msn.com. then you can go to preferences and alter your email address to the real one, in case you forget your password and need it sent to you.

Posted by: kingofzouk | October 11, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

jaymills1124,
You're correct that Hillary is an IF as people still need to vote and we are far enough out to where polls mean little. If she does not get it, then it makes it a much easier choice for either 3rd party support or sitting out the election. However, HRC is clearly the front runner and has been polling that way consistently for a while. One would have to say that she is the odds on favorite to win the nomination.

Posted by: dave | October 11, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Rufus, I understand that you see an allegorical relationship in that picture but what I see is somewhat different.

I see two patriots with a different idea of what's right for the country. Each option has good and bad parts. One thinks security is worth giving up some rights for some people (which are not Constitutional rights, just an accepted practice in that universe). The other believes that those rights are as important as Constitutional ones. They're having a heated argument that's being broken up by a mutual friend.

None of the men in your picture are evil or fascists.

If I ever find the source of that picture I'll provide you with some context for it but otherwise I'm done. This conversation isn't going anywhere.

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Blarg,
I find that amazing. Not because I doubt you or the poll but because i have NEVER come across anyone that said they believed that. The other interesting part of that poll is that only 25% of respondents claimed to be Republicans. Apparently this belief is not limited to only them!

Posted by: dave | October 11, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"is a sizable minority among the evangelicals who will not vote for a Mormon under any circumstances. "

I'm sure it's not just them. Are there any moromns here? Tell us about your religon. I can't see it happening. A man and woman rowed a row boat from europe to america in jesus's time? I doubt it. No disrespect, but let's be real here. The mormon movement is a hoax, in my opion. it's all about fellowship. It's all about clones and robots. It's all about "be like me or don't be". "Be like me or you are wrong". That is not religon. That is a form of, you guessed it, fascism.

Change that and a moron may be elected someday. But I don't see it. Same clothes, same hair, same speech, same people. That is not america. America is freedom. mormonism is the opposite. It's like the devil running the catholic church. O wait. :0

Take as a grain of salt.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks JasonL/Palin1016:

"You have to cancel your registration and remake it. I'm using an old email address because my normal log-in has my last name, which I'm not quite comfortable with."

Me too, my normal WaPo login has my name and state, so I had to revert to my alternate email address; too many crazies out there!

bsimon, I guess with the recent warming spell that Iowa isn't that cold anymore, but that doesn't disprove my theory; that Mitt's popularity in Iowa is mostly due to advertising and a HUGE investment in that state. In most of the country, it's Rudy's or Fred's to lose (check out the WaTimes editorial today, citing some very interesting data from RealClearPolitics; they've taken an avg of the 5 most recent polls, can't argue with that approach)

http://washingtontimes.com/article/20071011/EDITORIAL/110110001/1013/editorial

JD

Posted by: pokerngolf | October 11, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

dave- but here's the thing we dont know if hillary has the nom wrapped up. the polls now mean jack squat. if she wins iowa,NH and beyond, you may have a point. but if obama or edwards pulls out a come from behind win in iowa and NH then that theory becomes moot.

maybe cc should talk about hillary's chances in iowa.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | October 11, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"According to a June 2007 Newsweek poll of what Americans know, 41% answered yes to this question:
"

That's americans. the fox poll said this

"SURVEY: Daily Show/Colbert Viewers Most Knowledgeable, Fox News Viewers Rank Lowest"

I can't seem to find the fox poll. they must have used their power to bury it. Like they do with all unfavorable information or news regarding the gop or it's cult members.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Shmedley-no problem, now if you asked me which canidate won, i would say:clinton/92,engler/94,clinton/96,engler/98,gore/2000,graholm/02,kerry/04,and granholm/06.

in order for either party to win this state you got to do the following.

rally or supress the detroit vote. imagine over 800k plus votes for the dem nominee or not voting at all.

go for the union vote, despite what the free traders and anti union vote would say the uaw is still a strong voice in this state.

if your republican, the center of gop power is in grand rapids. democrat, go to metro detroit with oakland county for economic concerns,macomb county for reagan democrats and wayne/detroit for african americans and union votes.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | October 11, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I think well funded candidates, especially on the R side, can survive until Mega-Tuesday as long as one candidate is not a runaway winner in Iowa and NH.

I don't think Romney will fare that well in the South. There is a sizable minority among the evangelicals who will not vote for a Mormon under any circumstances. With Thompson, Huckabee and Romney all trying to appeal to the social conservatives, Giuliani could win a plurality and walk away with most of the delegates. There are many conservatives who have a libertarian streak on social issues but care deeply about national security, cutting spending and law and order. Rudy is a natural for that group.

The poster formerly known as JimD in FL

Posted by: jimd52 | October 11, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

jaymills1124,
"...expect a 3rd party challenge on his right flank, or possibly have them sit out this cycle." I guess but that would mean that the right would be OK with a (probable) HRC presidency. The question is, knowing sitting out or a third party would guarantee a Democratic victory, would they suffer through 4 possibly 8 years of HRC for priciple? I don't know for sure but I do know that that would be a hard pill to swallow.

Posted by: dave | October 11, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

COOL, JASON. but I'm not into comic books. I just look for allegories, in gop "things" to turn you people and help you realize why you are on the wrong side. Whether it's comics, space, plato, tv, movies. Whatever is considered a gop icon or medium, I use it. The source means nothing to me. Only the word matters. The word can be found everywhere around you. It's all about you, and the interretation.

Do you understand that picture, in my eye's? Look again. you got the red patriot trying to attack the blue, real patriot. You got the industrial complex holding him back. The two evil men mean nothing. It is the patriot and what he represents, that i want you to acknowledge.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Jay for your analysis. I will trust your numbers, I was going off what was told to me. (unwise, I know).

Posted by: Shmedley | October 11, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

palin106-um nope that was illinois. honestly if the economic situation wasnt a total cluster f*ck she would be a good canidate as attorney general, now the best she can hope for is some ambassadorship, and thats being generous.

as for the Mi situation, the state parties are breaking the rules, and the dems(with the exception of hillary being on the ballot)are not coming to campagin. guess where all those pissed off primary dem voters are going to go?

my prediction, ron paul wins michigan.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | October 11, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Dave!, sorry you lost your punctuation.

According to a June 2007 Newsweek poll of what Americans know, 41% answered yes to this question:
"Do you think Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?"
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19375611/site/newsweek/

Posted by: Blarg | October 11, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

palin1016-perhaps. unless romeny can convince the leaders of the christan right that he's legit, he could expect a 3rd party challenge on his right flank, or possibly have them sit out this cycle.

i guess the general consensus of the board is thinking of a brokered convention for the repubicans. i guess great minds think alike then.

rufus-um you may not want to click on this link then. i saw your rant about captain america last week

http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=12094

dont say i didnt warn you.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | October 11, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"I have enjoyed the Log Cabin Republican's add supporting Mr. Romney. "

Me too. Where mitt says he has been fighting the far right and the "regan conservatives". Gold. What goes around comes around. He was right back then. Where did he go wrong? :)

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a malicous person, though I seem like one sometimes. It's more frustration with my coutnry being sestroyed and my brothers being killed. But I'm a nice person. I'm not the monster they like to paint me as, here.

I was just messing with you jason. do your thing boy. :)


Real quick if I can. Check out that picture again, I was talking about last week. Look at us agents gloves. Red vs blue? Who is the real patriot? The picture has political signifigance to me. If you understand this picture, you can understand why I do what I do. also this one.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Agent

Second from the bottom

http://www.just4kidsmagazine.com/rainbowcastle/daniel.html

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Okay, yeah, I know it was supposed to be ad and not add. Should have hit preview before submit. I guess I have taken too many lessons from GW; shooting from the hip without thinking what I am doing. At least I feel more comfortable blaming it on him than any of the current sub-par Republican candidates for his job.

Posted by: mackfollower | October 11, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Governor Granholm introduce anti video game legislation that was overturned by state courts and resulted in a suit being filed against the state by the ESA? Or was that IL that got sued? Pretty disastrous either way.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure she's too much of a f**k up to get picked up by anyone.

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

It's very clear that Romney will win Iowa, but--as in previous years--the question is by how much and who is second. IMHO, I believe that the Iowa caucuses are Huckabee's to lose.

If Huckabee has a strong second, as I believe he will when he increases his focus over the next two months, he will be the social conservative's baby (more than Thompson ever wishes he could be) and should sweep most Southern and Heartland states (about 1,000 delegates).

Romney will fizzle from the flurry of media attention that will shift to Huckabee over a strong second-place showing. Romney will probably win a few more states like Utah and Michigan (about 150 delegates), but Giuliani should pick up the coastal and expensive advertising states easily (about 900 delegates).

I think novamatt is right--this has the makings of a convention nailbitter.

Posted by: beeyawn | October 11, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I have enjoyed the Log Cabin Republican's add supporting Mr. Romney.

Posted by: mackfollower | October 11, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Shmedley-a minor quibble with your assesment about MI. michigan has went to the dem presidental canidate in 92,96,2000,and 04. if you want to look at it locally, it went state gop 94 and 98, and dem in 2002 and 06. so it is very much a swing state. if anything the national dems will have to fight for it to win a little harder than before.

my advice to any dem canidate who wins the election in 08, take granholm please!!!! get her out of the state!

(yes its spartan, i decided to give up my old name and use my real life one.)

Posted by: jaymills1124 | October 11, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"What are you doing jasonl? Marvel last week. Sci fi books this week. Stay on topic? HAHHAHAHAH


you living all the republcian stereotypes :)

Read real books. NON-Fiction is better for you buddy. :)" -Rufus

Laugh it up. I'm a big nerd. Lets not even go into my other nerd hobbies.

As to non-fiction over fiction. I have to live non-fiction. Sometimes I'll read non-fiction when I want to educate myself on the topic ("No God but God" by Reza Aslan was a great read) but for the rest of the time I want some fun escapist fiction to balance me out. Not that I have much time to read, though.

JayMills, Romney might have some ability to compete in deep blue states but I don't think he can win them. He's been sifting steadily right this year and his Mormonism is a negative to many people, too. Money's great but unless he can use it to change a lot of Republican minds about Mormonism it won't matter. There's a pretty high number who say that they'll never vote for a Mormon. He needs a JFK moment to succeed and I don't think he can pull it off.

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, everyone who cleared up the Mich-FL status, analyzed McCain in NH, and generally stayed right with the thread. Registration is working.

Boko, Romney is not yet a "word" in TX, one way or another.

Evangelicals are not monolithic followers of the Dobson type ayatollahs. Many believe in social justice and the environment and education as well as "right to life". Old timey Baptists are strict separationists. Huckabee is in that mold, and would not run a vanity campaign outside the two party system to serve the ayatollahs, IMHO.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 11, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Fred thompson cannot take iowa. the more he talks the faster his numbers will go down.

The u.s.s.r.? He's seen the hunt for red october one to many times. He nees to ride that old pick-up into retirment. everytime I see this guy he looks like he just got up off his deadbed, coughing the whole time. But worse, he has no idea what he is talking about. He needs a scipt writer. Is that really what we want as a president. Someone who reads what he's told and does what's he's told? Who is telling him? The neo-cons. He would be the worse possible republcain candidate, short of newt gingrich tom delay or sean hannity rush limbaugh. Only they are worse choices than thonmpson. Were did they did this guy up from? He was a nixon mole. Do we really want to continue down this path. i hope eh wins your nom gop. Give the dem's or an independant a cake-walk.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

who has the percentage of fox viewers that thinks saddam was involved in 9/11, via a fox poll. I think it was at 60 % last time I checked. I used to think it was willful ignorance. I thought once the goper's realized they were getting lied to for profit they would be just as angry as me. A rude awakening. Now I call them fascists. At first I blamed the liars and propogandists. Now i realize they are just filling a niche. The fascists are at fault for destroying the country. 08 we take our country back.

go Obama-Gore 08 :)

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

What's going on in MI is interesting. MI was always primarily an R state. Following Engler's disastrous finish as Governor, the state switched to D giving that party a chance. Ironically, the Governor pulled it off so the next election (Gov.) a businessman (R) ran against the current Governor and lost by a slight margin. Since then however, MI has gone in the dumps and the citizens' are eyeing the Governor as the responsible party. I see the state going back to an R state. From those that I've talked to from MI, following the debates in Dearborn, Paul is clearly gaining momentum and interest.

Posted by: Shmedley | October 11, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

novamatt,
I have to concur with you on your McCain analysis. If you follow the money, it does not lead to McCain. Despite some mistakes and blots on his record (McCain-Feingold has been, to put it kindly, useless), McCain does garner a lot of respect from many R's. But I think that the feeling is that his time truly has passed.

Posted by: dave | October 11, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Blarg,
" A large percent of voters, particularly Republican voters, believe that Saddam caused 9/11 and had WMDs" Saddam DID have WMDs (just not when we got there). But seriously, I don't think that it's a big percentage that believe that Saddam caused 911. My one word response to this is hyperbole. [Dave!]

Posted by: dave | October 11, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

What are you doing jasonl? Marvel last week. Sci fi books this week. Stay on topic? HAHHAHAHAH


you living all the republcian stereotypes :)

Read real books. NON-Fiction is better for you buddy. :)

Just messin with you. Don't tell on me.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

my two cents on this:

cc-nice job actually requiring registration for the posters. my complements, now about that receding hairline and that hillary worship you got going.....

now back to the topic on hand.
Mitt Romney is a threat to both his gop competitors and the dems in the general election. this is what he has:

1)the ability to self fund, who else in this campagin is able to dump millions of his own money in to the primary and still have enough left over for the general election?

2)he has won in a deep blue state. that means he can compete in states like califorina, new york, illinois and others. who ever is the dem nominee better shore up support the day after super-extreme tuesday.

3)it relates back to one but, he's a self made man, coming from a well known gop family(well at least in michigan)and very telegenic. you look at the rest of the gop field and think are they auditioning for Dr. Evil role in the next austin powers movie?

am i suprised that folks like rudy and mccain of arabia is abandoning iowa? nope cause they are making a last stand in new hampshire.(well maybe folks like brownback,mccain and possibly tancredo)


his biggest threat? ron paul and rudy gives him hell all the away up to the convention. a brokered convention in miniapolis/st paul?

Posted by: jaymills1124 | October 11, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh and quick note to the last post, Fred Thompson got 7th place with 203 votes. Tommy Thompson took 6th place with over 1,000 votes.

That's how well Fred Thompson did.

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, my gut tells me that McCain's inability to raise significant funds means his standing in NH and elsewhere will continue to erode as we get closer to primary season. His moment has passed, I think, for better or worse.

One thing I hardly ever anyone talking about is the effect of teevee commercials on this process. The one thing that Republicans really excel at is are 30-second spots that make you want to tar and feather the other guy. This will be diluted maybe by the fact that primary season follows so closely on holiday season, but I expect that from Jan. 1 on, voters in IA, SC, NH, and to a lesser extent the Super Duper Awesome Tuesday states will be seeing lots of Rudy in drag raising taxes and being unfaithful, lots of Frederick of Hollywood stuttering like the town drunk and looking really old, lots of Multiple Choice Mitt being from Massachusetts and therefore vaguely French. Should be quite the spectacle, and it makes it really difficult to predict which candidate will overstep and which one will nail the meme that drives Candidate X into political retirement. Heck, maybe all those will work and Happy Huckabee will emerge as the only one R voters don't want to toss overboard.

Posted by: novamatt | October 11, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"I don't recall Thompson's numbers in the straw poll. Its unclear if 'votes' for him at that time represented anything more than a 'none of the above' vote for the other candidates." -bsimon

Google rocks. Thompson got 7th place with a whopping 203 votes. The only people who did worse were Giuliani (183), Duncan Hunter (174), McCain (101), and finishing last with 41 votes was John Cox. I don't even know who john Cox is.

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Bokonon, So first I believe Gore when he says he doesn't want to run. I also think he missed his opportunity to do so this summer. He could raise alot of money but all the staffers are already in place and he would need someone like Edwards to basically give him his staff, which won't happen.
Now who he will choose is between Obama and Edwards. I think that either one he chooses will be with the understanding that the Other needs to be on the ticket as the VP. My thought are that he will endorse Edwards. This will have two-fold effect, 1) It will immediatly put Edwards as the Anti-hillary candidate and will take the wind out of Obama's Sails. 2)It will also solidify Edwards' environmental cred and his progressive credentials.

Then Edwards wins a suprise victory in Iowa followed by Nevada, and her and Hillary battle it out in NH with Hillary taking it by a nose. Obama drops out. Then Edwards wins SC and you have a super duper tuesday showdown. This is where Gore comes in real handy cause he will campaign in places like California, Oregon, Washington etc.

After Edwards wins the nomination and HRC concedes then he names Obama as his running mate, and you have a Edwards/Obama vs Huckabee/McCain. But hey I don't know it is still really early.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 11, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"JasonL, are you a Dragonlance fan?" -Blarg

I've been caught! I made the palin1016@yahoo.com email address when I was a sophomore in high school and an avid Dragonlance fan. I've since moved on to better books (Robert Jordan's passing crushed me)n and better email, but that had my full name on it. So I'm back in high school name-wise.

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure that a HRC/Obama ticket is impossible. Even Hillary has to realize that Obama has great potential as a leader and he'd be very difficult to beat with executive experience under his belt. Richardson is definitely still a viable VP, but not Biden. I like Biden but I very much doubt that he would add much to the ticket (in terms of votes, not competence, which he has in spades).

Rufus11_33,

1. Primary voters are already paying attention, but the rest of the likely and unlikely voters will get interested next year when they're already stuck with a nominee for both parties.

2. Personally, I think Edwards is a pompous jack@$$. Never liked him. I think he's too arrogant to drop out to throw support to another candidate or take a VP slot again.

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Rufus, I disagree with your ticket pairings. If Gore gets involved in this race, it'll be as a presidential candidate. I don't think he has anything to gain from being VP again. Gore/Obama is my dream ticket, but I can't imagine Obama/Gore.

Obama/Edwards is more likely, but I think it's a bad idea in either combination. They're too similar in terms of policies, appeal, and lack of experience. Both Obama and Edwards need a VP who makes up for their weaknesses, particularly lack of foreign policy experience. They should pick a general or diplomat, someone older, and more willing to go on the offensive during the campaign. Look at Cheney; he brought experience and gravitas to the 2000 Bush campaign, and he didn't care about his popularity so he could say all the things that Bush couldn't.

Posted by: Blarg | October 11, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

bokonon writes
"didn't Thompson finish not too badly in the Iowa straw poll for someone who was at that point not even running yet? It's just hard for me to believe that Romney can make the sale to anyone, anywhere."


I don't recall Thompson's numbers in the straw poll. Its unclear if 'votes' for him at that time represented anything more than a 'none of the above' vote for the other candidates.

Posted by: bsimon | October 11, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"But war will continue. Not that that will ever stop in that part of the country. "

opps. the fighting will continue, between ethnic groups with help of the neighbors. A blood bath. WAy worse than when Saddam was there. It may always be that way in that part of teh world.

The only way to change is to give them another financial option, while not forcing them to sell out their souls/religon in the process. Kind of like here in america. :)

Trickle down econmoics only works if the money trickles down.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I hope that Mitt (and the fightin' Romney boys) are winners in the quest for the barbarian nomination...
America woulkd sooner elect a Sunni ere a Mormon...(and rightly so!)

Posted by: kase | October 11, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"The Brownback-Biden thing is a plan for Iraq that they both have been pushing for a year now that calls for a three way partitioning of Iraq into a Kurdish, Sunni, and Shiite regions. It doesn't mean they are running togethor at all."

Ok great. That scared me for a minute. So it's the partition plan? Ok. Cool. It is already in effect already. But war will continue. Not that that will ever stop in that part of the country. It's all abou toil. Hunt oil, bush's texas freind, already made a deal with the kurds for their oil, shutting out the other two ethnic groups. So it is not possible for the nation to be one iraq. why they are waiting, now after the hunt deal, seems like a waste of money and lives. What are they waiting on? the election?

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I hope so andy. My ideal ticket for teh d's would be Obama-Gore. youth/change AND Experiance/environment issues. They touch all bases for ..... the base:)


I also would be very happy with a Obama-edwards ticket. Hillary is either going with Richardson or biden as her vp, moderate.

I feel like we are running out of time. But I'm new to this thing. Someone enlighten me.

1. When do voters start paying attention?

and

2. What are the cahnces, in your opinion, in the above happening to fight hillary for the nom. A obama-gore. A edwards-gore. Or an obama -edwards? Seems like dream unbeatable candidates. Why are they not standing up to take the podium from hillary? Is it greed? Is it to many cheif's not enough indians? It seems a small sacrafice for gore or edwards to make for the good of the nation. If they really beleive hillary is who she is.

I fear hillary is no better than the r candidates. So if gore edwards and obama believe this, why do they not work togther to thwart her?

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, didn't Thompson finish not too badly in the Iowa straw poll for someone who was at that point not even running yet? It's just hard for me to believe that Romney can make the sale to anyone, anywhere.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 11, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

AndyR, you mention a Gore endorsement - two questions... 1, I assume you think he means it and cannot be persuaded to run? (did you see the 'Draft Gore' ad in the NY Times?) and 2, who do you think would get the endorsement? Probably not Hillary, is my guess... if it's Obama, how much good do you think it will do?

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 11, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The Brownback-Biden thing is a plan for Iraq that they both have been pushing for a year now that calls for a three way partitioning of Iraq into a Kurdish, Sunni, and Shiite regions. It doesn't mean they are running togethor at all.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 11, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

campaigndiaries asks
"How can the candidates get away with letting Romney walk in Iowa?"


A great question. Perhaps they're all waiting for someone else to step into the breach & do the heavy lifting. Surely, that's a poor strategy, but then, who has the best chance of knocking Romney out of the lead? Huckabee & McCain don't appear to have the money or the organization necessary, while Giuliani & Thompson see other places where their time & money is better spent.

Posted by: bsimon | October 11, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I don't think McCain will take NH, or at least he wouldn't if they voted today. He is still popular there, but it's getting into a hissy between Giuliani and Romney - Giuliani because he's "the frontrunner," and Romney because he's from the state next door. I think a lot will depend on how and for whom independents vote - and this year, I think a lot more independents will vote Democrat. Not sure about that, though, and not sure how that will play out vis a vis the GOP primary.
in re: Iowa, I think everyone knows that on the GOP side, Romney bought the straw poll vote and is trying to spin that as legitimate momentum. It will be interesting to see if Huckabee can make it a race. If he does, I don't see the Bible-thumpin' 3rd party materializing, because Huck will be social con enough for them. If it's Giuliani, from what I have read Dobson will try to make it happen... Romney, I'm not sure - I don't see many people convinced by his getting last-minute religion on abortion and gay marriage, and his backpedaling on health care I think means he will be unable to use that (MA universal coverage) to his benefit in the campaign. I would be interested in your read on Romney, Mark, Loudoun Voter, JD (or 'pokerngolf,' two things which I also like). or anyone else, of course, but I'm especially curious how Romney is selling or failing to sell in the South.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 11, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Rufus, Rudy doesn't really have high numbers at all. In polls that only talk to Registered voters he comes in at 25% in the GOP group. That is by no means an unsumountable number for even a second tier candidate.

Now Hillary on the other hand is at the mid forties with Demcorats nationally. And as you say "As is, with the lack of public participation, she DOES seem inevitable". The thing is that more and more people will get involved when it gets to be say one month away. I think then you will see the polls really start to move. Also look for Gore to endorse sometime in November. That should set-up a Hillary Anti-hillary battle royal, or maybe a cage match.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 11, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Who knows what's up with this Brownback-Biden thing? Is biden sellin gout to that extent. Is it going to be a dual aprty ticket. I heard a line, but didn't hear the full story.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Rufus, I agree that Rudy's high numbers are mostly due to ignorance. But what makes you think that people are going to start paying attention? A large percent of voters, particularly Republican voters, believe that Saddam caused 9/11 and had WMDs. These people obviously don't pay attention to the news. They remember that Giuliani was great after 9/11, they hear that he's tough on terrorism, and they'll vote for him.

I'm not sure who has a better chance in the general election, out of Giuliani and Romney. It's so hard to believe that people would vote for either of them.

Posted by: Blarg | October 11, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

If Romney wins in IA and comes in second in NH, then I believe is a forgone conclusion that Mitt wins the nomination. The others will be playing for a chance at the second spot. Romney will be going back to the center in the general, so why not pick Huckabee as a VP. Huckabee will help with the anti-Hillary vote in the South and Southwest, has impeccable conservative creditals, and is quick on his feet in a debate format. I think this is the best scenerio for the GOP.

Posted by: rogden71 | October 11, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I don't think rudy has a chance at all. In both the primaries OR the general. The reason he has such high numbers is ignorance. Most people, the reasons boggle my mind why not, are not paying attention to politics right now. They are content on letting their country go down the drain. Not sure why, but it a fact of life I have to accept.

But when they do start paying attention. When they find out more about Rudy. his numbers are going to sink faster than the titantic. Watch. Why peopel aren't involved now, I have no idea. If they did care and were more involved, maybe we wouldn't get stuck with hillary. As is, with the lack of public participation, she DOES seem inevitable. Very sad. I guess we deserve what we get. I pray she is really the 70's hillary and not the 00's hillary

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Can anyone explain this to me? How is Giuliani going to win New Hampshire if he loses Iowa 5 days before? And when Romney is in striking distance in Nevada as well? Check out the latest Insider Advantage polls frm last week of all the January states:
http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2007/10/evening-polls-from-early-states.html
How can the candidates get away with letting Romney walk in Iowa?

Posted by: campaigndiaries | October 11, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

romney OWNS iowa republcians. Bought and paid for. Why is this a topic of interest? Who else is going to win it? Rudy?

The only candidate the r's have that has a slowball chance is Romney in the general. I would put that chance at 40/1, though. Not very likely.

I'm sure the moderates will screw the pooch at just the right time to give the r's a shot. It's what they do. Sell-out moderates.

I pray for a more than one party government, one day. Current parties are differant sides to the same fascist coin.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"So, are the Marines "phony soldiers," too?
You know the line, "Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan"? We thought about using it a couple of months ago when we heard Dick Cheney seek some distance from Iraq by saying that "the president" is the one who "makes the decisions" and "bears the greatest burden" for what happens there.

We resisted. Now we can't.

The news of the day: The U.S. Marine Corps would like to pull out of Iraq and take over operations in Afghanistan instead. As the New York Times puts it, "The idea by the Marine Corps commandant would effectively leave the Iraq war in the hands of the Army while giving the Marines a prominent new role in Afghanistan."

The semi-official explanation: Putting each service in charge of its own war "could allow the Army and Marines each to operate more efficiently in sustaining troop levels for two wars that have put a strain on their forces."

Of course, there's another way to operate more efficiently and reduce the strain, too: Just bring everybody home from Iraq now.

-- Tim Grieve
"

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 11, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul will continue to provide a distinct voice in the Nomination process but Iowa isn't his bread and butter. New Hampshire is where Ron Paul has the best likelyhood of making a run at 3rd or 2nd in the primary, due to there large libertarian population. As Blarg said Paul's poll numbers need to catch up with his fundraising before he can be considered a real challenger.

And please don't spout out about how he has won some straw poll in Alaska that means absolutely nothing.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 11, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Some evangelical leaders are trying to persuade their movement to rally around Romney, in an effort to stop Rudy. They think time is running out, Law-and-Order-Fred is a big disappointment, and they want to focus on stopping Hillary.

Don't you just love it? The Radical Right realizes that the presidential race is down to three contenders: a Mormon from Massachusetts, a socially liberal Republican from New York City, and Hillary Clinton. So they have no choice but to throw their support behind the flip-flopping Mormon.

You just can't beat it when leaders from two religious sects, each of which is sure the other is going to hell, embrace.

Posted by: harlemboy | October 11, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

JasonL, are you a Dragonlance fan? Or do I misunderstand your username?

Sean, Ron Paul's fundraising last quarter was impressive. His poll numbers aren't. Recent Iowa polls have Huckabee in the #3 or #4 spot, with around 10-12%. The highest poll number for Ron Paul is 5%, putting him in 6th. Some polls have him trailing Brownback and Tancredo. So I think it's legitimate to call him a 3rd-tier candidate, at least until his poll numbers catch up to his fundraising.

Posted by: Blarg | October 11, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"I don't think there's any avoiding that fate, independant of his time in the race." -bsimon

That might be a little harsh. If he manages a few top 3 wins on Super Tuesday, he'll at least show that there is something presidential about him to somebody.

I'll still think he's a joke, though.

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

So I guess $5.3 million cash on hand isn't enough to put you in the first tier? Chris, has your dislike on Ron Paul become personal?

I don't mind you including Huckabee because he does poll well in Iowa and he's going to throw everything he's got into it. But Ron Paul has improved his polling in the Iowa despite spending minimal time and resources there, he just hired a well-regarded local Republican politico to head his Iowa campaign and there's large percentage of Iowa Republicans who are opposed to the war in Iraq and want an American withdrawl.

And so long as that percentage exists and so long as their are eight other candidates splitting the pro-war vote, why wouldn't Ron Paul be "first tier?"

Again you've let your dislike for Paul blind you to the situation and that's not good journalism.

Posted by: sean4 | October 11, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Ok, American Taliban is hysterical. I want to get that printed on a t-shirt under a picture of an elephant wearing a pope hat and holding a cross.

I really feel like Huckabee might be the nominee for Vice President. Romney and Giuliani might both look to him to calm the religious right and ease the fears of the Republican base. He's very likable and the national exposure he would get (not to mention benefiting from the coffers of the Presidential nominee) might be a big help to the Republican ticket. At the very least, it will drastically increase name recognition if the Dems win and Huck wants to make a run in 2012.

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

But Romney might just lose it for himself if he doesn't get a handle on the "lawyers" fiasco. That was a huge mistake...

http://political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | October 11, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Thompson would look like a fool if he was only in the race for 6 months and then dropped out."

I don't think there's any avoiding that fate, independant of his time in the race.

Posted by: bsimon | October 11, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

JasonL here. JD, there isn't a way to change your username. You have to cancel your registration and remake it. I'm using an old email address because my normal log-in has my last name, which I'm not quite comfortable with.

NovaMatt's prediction seems solid, with perhaps some surprise twitches in the 2nd and 3rd place finishers. As to a unified "stop Rudy" front, I don't see that happening. Romney's sunk too much cash into this to just step aside, and Thompson would look like a fool if he was only in the race for 6 months and then dropped out. The word "lazy" would spring up all over again.

Posted by: palin1016 | October 11, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"I do not think that Huckabee and Dobson are a good match. Huckabee is not a hater like so many of the extreme religious right. He is also fairly young for a presidential candidate and he would like to have a future in Republican politics."

You might be right, JimD; then again, maybe he'll look at McCain who passed on the opportunity to be VP (and a future in the Executive Branch) when he turned down a partnership with Kerry. Unlike McCain, however, Huckabee has a greater potential for a future in the R party if it continues to drift in the direction of the American Taliban.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 11, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"The reality is that Huckabee will start spending more and more time in Iowa..."

But time is not always money. If he's broke and in the state, does that really help him reach millions of voters?

"How much does the christian right come out For Mike or Against Rudy? That will in the end determine who wins on February 5th, and beyond, IMHO."

That would also be a battle for the soul of the R party, AndyR. I'd much prefer the third party formation that Dobson has proposed. Maybe R moderates could eventually stage a comeback under that scenario.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 11, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

This is JimD in FL - I registered for the Post a long time ago under jimd52.

I do not think that Huckabee and Dobson are a good match. Huckabee is not a hater like so many of the extreme religious right. He is also fairly young for a presidential candidate and he would like to have a future in Republican politics.

Posted by: jimd52 | October 11, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of dirty little secrets, the word in the local media is that National GOP figures are working on Jim Ramstad (R-MN(3)) to 'unretire' and run for another term in 2008. It sounds like he hasn't much warmed up to that idea, but also hasn't entirely ruled it out.

So... My question is - how many other announced retirements are they trying to reverse?

Posted by: bsimon | October 11, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"Nailed that one, didn't I bsimon?"

Indeed, Judge.

JD/pokerngolf wrote
" how much of Romney's lead is due to his attractiveness to the true-believers (who come out during cold Iowa winters)"

But what if Iowa winters are no longer cold?? Its all relative, I suppose, but winters round these parts have been pretty mild lately. Only one real cold snap in mid-late Feb, followed by 3 weeks of heavier snow, then an early spring. Cripes, it was 80° up here last week, and I'm 200 miles north of Iowa...

Posted by: bsimon | October 11, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I think one thing that is being over looked is that Romney's numbers are virtually stagnant in Iowa over the past two months. So his lead has grown but his total numbers have peaked. Polls aren't so much about exact numbers as they are about trends, and if you look at the trend in the Hawkeye state Huckabee looks the strongest at this point.

Basically, I see Romney continuing to dump money into Iowa thinking that he'll get the nod and that will lead him to victory in NH and from there the nomination. The reality is that Huckabee will start spending more and more time in Iowa and I would think that in two weeks or so there will be at least one poll that shows him in Second. That will be when he starts dropping radio ads. His numbers will continue to grow. I would then look for a Huckabee WIN in Iowa. That would fundamentally end Romney's campaign for good.
We then go to NH with Huckabee being the story of the week. Then I see a in order McCain, Huckabee, Guiliani finish in NH, going into SC. Once there Huckabee solidifies the southern christian vote and takes McCain out so you basically have Huckabee and Guiliani going into the big states. Now the real question is How much does the christian right come out For Mike or Against Rudy? That will in the end determine who wins on February 5th, and beyond, IMHO.

Posted by: AndyR3 | October 11, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I've been checking polls on a daily basis, many times, to try and get a picture of what is happening in the repub party. A good guess would be, Mitt wins in Iowa, then with his lead in NH, and likely win there, would overcome Rudy and go on to win the repub spot for the nomination. Another guess is the Christian right will throw their support to Mitt because of the pro-choice support by Rudy. Thompson seems to be going nowhere and McCain should drop out, but will remain for a time. Huckabee is, IMO, the one to watch for the next couple months.

Posted by: lylepink | October 11, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee is looking strong...2nd place finish is definately not out of the question...He needs at least a 3rd place finish in Iowa and a positive finish in NH...He needs a little mo going into SC...

Posted by: rett_h | October 11, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

"PS I'm JD, sorry I don't know how to change to that in WaPo's prefs"

Nailed that one, didn't I bsimon?

Nice crystal ball you have there, novamatt. I'd only add "Huckabee is still in, but he's still losing the fight for attention and support" so he agrees to head up a third party challenge financed by Pat Dobson and his army of supporters. The latter aren't happy with either Rudy, Thompson or Romney and feel it is their Christian duty to sponsor a more acceptable candidate and darn the torpedoes.

Posted by: judgeccrater | October 11, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Novamat (2nd post) sketches out a plausible scenario where even after Tuesday of the Gods there is not a clear GOP winner. In this scenario, the 1/2 of delegates for Florida, Michigan, etc. will become a huge issue. If those 1/2 lost delegates become the difference between a Guiliani win and loss, for example, the GOP will be mired in an ugly debate while the Dem. candidate makes her/his shots. The lost delegate issue is currently all about the Dems but its potenial as a GOP problem and party divider is huge.

Posted by: JimSheridan | October 11, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Ahh, Chris, but how much of Romney's lead is due to his attractiveness to the true-believers (who come out during cold Iowa winters), and how much is due to the media blitz, including negative ads, that tend to produce frail support; looks good on a poll, but fades during crunch time.

PS I'm JD, sorry I don't know how to change to that in WaPo's prefs

Posted by: pokerngolf | October 11, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse

novamatt,

Does not McCain look good for NH?

Is Michigan now an early state in play for Rs? The big brouhaha for the Ds in Mich.
has obscured the R pic there for me. Anybody know what is going on there for Rs?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 11, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

So Romney wins big in Iowa, with the second-place finisher maybe the second-tier Huckabee. Then Nevada and South Carolina, and Giuliani wins the former and Thompson wins the latter. Then New Hampshire, with either Giuliani or Romney winning a close one, and some wildcard (McCain? Paul?) finishing a surprisingly strong third.

At that point, following New Hampshire, who's out, who's looking iffy, who's looking good? Start with the easy ones -- Hunter's gone, Brownback's gone, McCain's made his tearful exit. Paul and Tancredo are still in and will be in until the convention because they're fighting to shift the party, not win the nomination. Thompson needs something to happen to energize his campaign. Huckabee is still in, but he's still losing the fight for attention and support. Romney needs lots of positive media to bridge the gap between the states he concentrated on and the upcoming states where he's not as strong on the ground or in the polls. Giuliani hasn't done well so far, but no one expected him to.

Then we have Florida, which helps Thompson and Giuliani and hurts Romney and is more of the same for everyone else. Then Super Duper Awesome Tuesday arrives, and my powers of prognostication fail. If Giuliani does well, I wouldn't be surprised to see one of Thompson or Romney step aside for a unified Stop Rudy. If the results are mixed, and each of the remaining Big Three has a legitimate shot, we might have ourselves a stalemate that goes to the convention. Now wouldn't that be fun?

Posted by: novamatt | October 11, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

It seems that Huckabee is gaining momentum. He is quietly building political capital in both Iowa and NH. While Romeny is spending his kids' inheritance in Iowa; it wouldn't be a stretch to see someone like Huckabee give him a run for his money.

Posted by: cel1ery | October 11, 2007 6:24 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company