Thursday, January 17, 2008

Are Republicans This Dumb?

While Republicans try to decide who is their frontrunner, there is a background story developing that should make the choice simple. I'm curious that the McCain camp doesn't highlight "electability" on the stump, because he soars above his opponents. If anyone wonders why the Democratic National Committee has already begun attacking McCain, while ignoring the rest, these head to head poll numbers explain the rationale in spades.

Zogby poll today:

Obama:

McCain leads Obama 45%-43%
Obama leads Romney 53%-34%
Obama leads Huckabee 51%-36%
Obama leads Guiliani 51%-34%


Clinton:

McCain leads Clinton 47%-42%
Clinton leads Romney 47%-37%
Clinton leads Huckabee 47%-38%
Clinton leads Guiliani 46%-35%

These numbers are mirrored in other recent polls. CNN:
McCain 48% Clinton 50%
McCain 48% Obama 49%

Romney 40% Clinton 58%
Romney 37% Obama 59%

Huckabee 42% Clinton 56%
Huckabee 39% Obama 59%

Guiliani 42% Clinton 55%
Guiliani 40% Obama 56%


Three or four more outfits with the same trends, but you get the drift.

I'm starting to believe one thing- the GOP race is really a referendum on just how tone deaf the base has become. Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and to a lesser extent Guiliani, are a Democratic wet dream. While the purists debate who is the mostest conservative, zealots get distracted by the trivial, groups react with monolithic zeal, Limbaugh calls McCain a "liberal", nobody seems to understand the big picture. If the goal is to get a Republican in the White House, stop the Democrats from taking over all the branches of government, there really isn't anything "muddled" about this field at all. Democrats are acutely aware of who they should fear, Republicans seem more content to engage in fantasy.

It might be a tight race (the latest batch of polls show Huckabee closing in South Carolina, just as he starts talking about homosexuality being equivalent to beastiality, why the confederate flag has a place at the capitol building and how the constitution should be changed to better incorporate the bible), but it sure isn't a close race, if you step back and see the horizon.

5 comments:

Scott Tribe said...

Personally, I'm more then content to allow the Republican swarm to continue on the "lemmings over the mountain" path they're taking. A brokered convention would be the ultimate climax to this. Can you imagine all the factions trying to out-wingnut each other to get the others support, while moderate and independent America watches and shudders?

Mushroom said...

Note the Michigan primary turnout. Romney won in a state with high unemployment and where the GOP is not competitive since the early 1990s. They are down to core voters and would swing to Romney.

McCain attracts independents. Come Super Tuesday, they will not vote in Republican primaries.

The thing Democrats need to be concern with is that McCain's ability to crossover hurts both Clinton and Obama. At the same time, a bruising battle makes it tougher for both of them to move to the centre.

daniel said...

It seems to me that the Republicans would rather go down in flames under the banner of a "real" conservative than win under the banner of a consensus candidate. Mind you, John McCain is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative - only among GOP quacks would he ever be considered "too liberal" - but the Republicans seem to have their hearts set on replicating the Democrats' "success" in the 1980s by nominating a candidate that appeals to the most rabid members of the party base, but to no one else (shades of Mondale and Dukakis, anyone?). If those poll numbers you gave turn out to be accurate, then even staunch Republican support would be in danger under any candidate but McCain. Does the GOP not realize how bad things have gotten when a number of their own supporters would rather have Hillary Clinton as president than Romney, Huckabee or Giuliani?

Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower must be rolling over in their graves. Heck, if they were alive today, they'd probably be Democrats.

Steve V said...

scott

At this point, I would say we have an equal chance of a brokered convention in both parties. A political junkies utopia ;)

mushroom

"McCain attracts independents. Come Super Tuesday, they will not vote in Republican primaries."

Is that true of all the Super Tuesday contests? I didn't know that. If McCain can pull it off in South Carolina, he is well positioned to win Florida (some polls actually have him ahead now). Win those two and I suspect the Republican establishment begrudingly gets behind McCain for Super Tuesday to avoid a protracted contrast. Lose SC, and the whole thing unravels.

Steve V said...

daniel

"Does the GOP not realize how bad things have gotten when a number of their own supporters would rather have Hillary Clinton as president than Romney, Huckabee or Giuliani?"

That't the thing that is really amazing. Conservatives absolutely despise Hillary, to the point of frothing. You would think there should be some recognition of the big picture here, in trying to pick a candidate that could appeal to the center.