Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Few Notes From The Horse Race

Multiple Choice Mitt won Illinois last night as everyone knew he would.

Once again we are treated to the delegate math.  The main difference between Romney's delegate math in 2012 and Obama's delegate math in 2008 is that the Democratic primaries and caucuses actually determined who got the delegates.  The GOP process is so weird that we really have no idea, for instance, who is getting the delegates out of Missouri.

The assumption has been that it would be better for Democrats if Newt were to drop out and throw his weight behind Santorum.  But it seems pretty clear that the best possible result for Democrats is if Romney is unable to lock up the nomination before Tampa.  ANY sort of floor fight, even if it only lasts a night, will help Democrats immensely.


Check this out.

The man who runs communications for the candidate Zander calls Metamorphomitt, admits that all the crap Mittens is saying now will be tossed out the window depending on the requirements of the general election.  But since the convention is in late August, Mitt would have to stay hard right if he does not have the nomination sewn up.  It's one thing to say something in April and another in September.  Even Metamorphomitt would have trouble pulling that off between August and September.

A fractured GOP base will require Mitt to spend the convention shoring up his base, not reaching out to the various groups that might be necessary to win the general.

Which groups might those be?

Well, women and Hispanics.  Mitt isn't going to win either of those demographics.  But he needs to stanch his bleeding amongst them.

Let's take Hispanics, the fastest growing demographic and essential for a candidate who wants to win in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.  According to a Fox News poll, Hispanics give Obama high marks on the economy (58% approve) and health care (65.7% approve).  They give him only middling marks on immigration (44.5%/41%).  Overall, Obama has a 71.8% personal approval rating among Hispanics.  The Democratic Party has a 65.1% approval rating.

The Republican Party has a 24.9% approval rating.  Mitt Romney has a 23.8% approval rating.

How would they vote today?  Obama would get 69.6% of Hispanic votes, Romney would get 14.2%, most of that coming among the 7% of Hispanics who are Cuban and concentrated in Florida.

McCain won 31% of Hispanic votes.  Romney would win less than half that and there are more Hispanics voting this year than four years ago.

(Part of the mass fluctuations we are seeing polls is a problem of sampling, I think, and margins of error.  This far out, it's tough to tell what the electorate will look like in November.  But 70%?  That's a number beyond the margins of error.)

What about women?

Well, since ACA really isn't in effect yet, it's tough to explain to people how it might make their lives better.  We are starting to see some parts of it becoming popular - kids on parent's insurance until they are 25, most rates are falling some - but until it's really implemented, you can't point to what's good about it or point out that there really aren't any death panels and that liberty has somehow survived.

But because of the contraception fight, ACA can become a proxy for women who are concerned about the shift to Taliban style sexual politics in the GOP.  It won't be an issue of mandates or whether Romneycare and Obamacare are essentially identical.  It will be which candidate to you trust to keep people from sticking an ultrasound wand up your Hooha (to use the medical term).

So, Rick, Newt and you too Crazy Uncle Ron, please stay on the trail!  I hope the Sweater Vest of the Blessed Virgin wins Louisiana and Pennsylvania.  Keep dividing up those delegates.  Stay the course!  Keep hope alive!

The country needs you to.

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