Sunday, December 30, 2007

Romney Retaking the Lead in Iowa?

According to Robert Novak, a new uber poll (N=15,000) shows the world righting itself and insurgent candidate Mike Huckabee falling behind to Mitt Romney.

Of course, I'm being a little sarcastic here.

But I have always believed that Romney's superior organization would win out in the end and this private poll ("private" meaning that we can't see it and have only Novak's word on this) supports my theory.

Huckabee has the buzz and the energy, but cautious Iowa caucus-goers might be inclined to move towards Romney's traditional campaign (just as they moving back towards McCain in New Hampshire) over the uncertainty of Huckabee's "aw shucks" populism and old time religion (and his occasionally dubious ethical practices when he was governor of Arkansas).

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Theory Predicting Crist Will (One Day) Be Vice-President

I still don't think believe that Charlie Crist will be anywhere near the VP spot on the GOP's presidential ticket. Whether you believe that rumors about Crist are baseless gossip, gospel truth, or beside the point, it seems unlikely to me that any of the contenders would be willing to take that chance.

However, I wanted to share a theory I heard recently. This individual believe that the Semblers will exert their pull to get Crist on the ticket in either 2008 or 2012.

Mel Sembler (see photo) is one of the GOP's biggest fundraisers. In the past, the St. Pete developer's exertions on behalf of Republicans has netted him a couple of ambassadorships and a lot of access. His son, Brent, is well poised to continue the family tradition. But if Brent is going to get himself his own ambassadorship (his father had such arduous postings as Italy, Australian, and the Pacific island nation of Narau), he needs a strong cheerleader in Washington, DC - and who better to perform that function his own Governor (himself a great beneficiary of the Semblers' well stocked rolodex)?

So, we shall see over the next two presidential cycles which is stronger - the fear that rumors might be true or the love of money.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Florida Poll

A new Strategic Vision poll that shows Rudy Giuliani ahead with 25% support, followed by Mike Huckabee at 21%, John McCain at 15%, Mitt Romney at 13%, and Fred Thompson at 10%.

On the Democratic side it shows Hillary Clinton leading with 48% support, followed by Barack Obama at 31%, and John Edwards at 6%.

The poll will be officially released tomorrow.

A SurveyUSA poll shows a similar result for the top two, but some strong variation further down, with Rudy Giuliani leading the Republican field with 29%, followed by Mike Huckabee at 24%, Mitt Romney at 20%, Sen. John McCain at 10% and Fred Thompson at 8%.

In the SurveyUSA polls, over the last two weeks, Giuliani is down 3, Huckabee is up 6, Romney is up 5, Fred Thompson is down 6 and John McCain is flat.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rudy's Florida Situation Turns Desperate

According to a recent Rasmussen poll (admittedly not the service I trust most), Giuliani's firewall is in flames.

The poll has Huckabee leading with 27% and Romney not far behind with 23% and Giuliani slipping to third with 19% - an eight point drop since the last Rasmussen poll of Florida.

I mentioned that Rasmussen is not a poll I believe to be particularly reliable, but there is no reason to doubt the trend that this reflects - that the race is rapidly becoming a two person between Huckabee and Romney, with Giuliani's numbers dropping the closer a state's voters get to actually casting their vote.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Giuliani: Back to the Firewall

After distancing himself from his Florida firewall, Giuliani is now running back to Florida as the place where he will make the last stand that will make or break his campaign.

Am I being a little dramatic? Yes, but only a little.

Right now, not only is Giuliani looking unlikely to win a single early primary (or caucus) state, but it is entirely possible that he will not do better than 3rd in any of them. Should either Huckabee or Romney roll up consecutive victories before the Florida primary on January 29th, it may still be too late for Giuliani's fading hopes.

As we speak, Rudy and his team are in constant prayer that Huckabee and Romney split the early contests so no one candidate rolls into Florida with a clear edge in the early results.

Giuliani has already written off Iowa and New Hampshire almost completely (he never really took off in either state). Now, he is planning a big campaign event here in Tampa. The official purpose of this event is to roll out his "governing vision."

The real reason is to secure Florida and the vital precincts in the Tampa media market. He will also lay out a conservative vision to try and recapture the Republican imagination. I suspect much of what he says will also be subtle (or not so subtle) digs at Huckabee's record of raising taxes in Arkansas and generally painting Romney as not being strong enough.

It's been a tough several weeks for Giuliani, with allegations of misuse of public funds giving already wary conservatives the excuse they were looking for to jump ship. Time is running out and if he can't raise his Florida numbers, Rudy will be going back to the private sector - probably for good this time.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

All About the Delegate Question

This article in CQ addresses in a concise and comprehensive way the issues related to Florida queue jumping the primary process and explains the negative consequences to members of both the Republican and Democratic parties to the legislature's unprincipled decision to participate in the mass rush to lower the level of our national political discourse by frontloading the process.

I would like to quote from that article about my pet peeve - the frontloading of the nominating schedule.

Can anything be done to reduce “front-loading” for future presidential primaries?

A reform of the presidential primary scheduling plan could help avoid future front-loading and many lawmakers, party members, and political observers have offered their solutions to solve primary scheduling problems. Among them:

•The Delaware Plan- States are divided into four regions with the least populous holding the first nominating contests. One election day would be designated for each region.

• Rotating Regional Primaries Plan- Nominating contests would be grouped by regions: East, South, Midwest and West. A lottery would determine which region holds the first contest and that region would go last in the next election year. Iowa and New Hampshire would retain their historical status and the first states to hold nominating contests. This plan is supported by the National Association of Secretaries of State.

A rotating regional plan was introduced in the Senate in July by Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. It is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 8 senators from both parties. Democratic Rep. Alcee L. Hastings of Florida introduced a companion bill in the House.

•A plan to divide states into six regions which would each contain six sub-regions. One sub-region from each region would hold a nominating contest on one of six designated election dates. No favored status is given to any states. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida and co-sponsor Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan offered this plan in Senate legislation this year. Michigan Democratic National Committeewoman Debbie Dingell, wife of Democratic Rep. John D. Dingell , and Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saulius “Saul” Anuzis proposed a bi-partisan plan this week patterned after the Nelson-Levin legislation.

Applications to Be a Delegate at the Democratic National Convention Now Available

The Florida Democratic is now taking applications from people interested in becoming a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Despite the controversy over whether Florida delegates will be counted, the fact is, the Democratic nominee will seat our delegates so, while the controversy isn't over, there isn't any question that Florida will get a seat at the table next year.

To apply, please click here.