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Just a Reminder: It's a Bad Idea to Ignore History

The readers who know me are well aware that I said early on, that a Republican would win the White House in 2008. I did not make that prediction in 2004 or 2005, but 2006 when it seemed as though the Donks were doing a 'reconquista' on everything the Reagan Revolution had given to the American people. And I made that prediction on the basis of two key traits:

[] While they are absolute morons at times, Republicans in general will put the country ahead of everything else, and the voters know this;
[] Democrats always end up going to extremes, having abandoned the center to the degree that they cannot find it, even when they most need it.

In short, I am confident that the GOP will nominate someone capable enough for the job, who will demonstrate love for America and a commitment to American interests, and I am also confident that the Donks will ignore history to a degree sufficient to cost them the election. Lord knows, they've shown that propensity beyond dispute in recent years. A simple example of this can be seen in the results of past Presidential elections, and what it means for 2008. The following are the results of Presidential elections since World War 2 by the class of candidate's occupation, that is the role most voters identified with the candidate:

2004 - President defeats Senator
2000 - Governor defeats Vice-President
1996 - President defeats Senator
1992 - Governor defeats President
1988 - Vice-President defeats Governor
1984 - President defeats Senator
1980 - Governor defeats President
1976 - Governor defeats President
1972 - President defeats Senator
1968 - Vice-President defeats Vice-President
1964 - President defeats Senator
1960 - Senator defeats Vice-President
1956 - President defeats Governor
1952 - General defeats Governor
1948 - President defeats Governor

Looking at that run, we see the President running 10 times, winning 7 of them (70%). Vice-Presidents ran 5 times, winning twice (40%). Senators ran 6 times, winning once (17%). A retired General ran once and won (100%), and Governors ran 8 times, winning 4 of them (50%). If we considered just those numbers, Wesley Clark would look much more formidable (but it would be foolish to over-count the results of one instance), but in general the results tell us that whatever a party wants in a candidate, nominating a Senator is a bad idea. Sure, JFK won as a Senator, but that was against Richard Nixon, and even then it was a squeaker and some folks would argue that Kennedy, umm, "had help" in that election. It's a lot more interesting to see the other five Senators:

1964 - Senator Barry Goldwater from Arizona; a popular champion of Conservatism and seemed a formidable match against Lyndon Johnson. But Goldwater only collected 38.5% of the popular vote, and won only 6 states;

1972 - Senator George McGovern from Minnesota; very popular with the Left, who believed Vietnam would be the issue to drive Nixon from office. But McGovern claimed only 37.5% of the popular vote, and won only 1 state;

1984 - Senator Walter Mondale from Minnesota; the Democrats though his 'straight-talk' style would appeal to Americans. But Mondale claimed only 40.6% of the popular vote, and won only 1 state;

1996 - Senator Bob Dole from Kansas; the GOP believed his war record and impeccable personal integrity would win over voters against the scandal-ridden Bill Clinton. But Dole took only 40.7% of the popular vote, although he won 19 states;

2004 - Senator John Kerry from Massachusetts; Democrats thought his medals from Vietnam would make him credible as a critic of Bush and the war in Iraq. Kerry did the best of the losing Senators, claiming 48.3% of the popular vote, and like Dole he won 19 states.

So these five nominees were all impressive at the time to their party, and carried something like charisma into the general election. But when the ballots were counted, they won a collective average of 41.1% of the popular vote, and an average of only 9 states. Whether Democrat or Republican, in peacetime or war, running a Senator as the party nominee is a poor choice, tactically.

So, looking at the two major parties, what does this mean about the races? The Republicans have a Mayor and a Governor in the lead, with another Governor and two Senators a bit behind. Kick out the Senators from the GOP race and you still have three healthy contenders. For the Democrats, things are a bit different. Both of the heavy front-runners are Senators, and so is the guy in third place. Only Governor Bill Richardson and Representative Dennis "I See Green People" Kucinich are left if you scratch off the Senators. So, it looks very much as if the Democrats will nominate a Senator to run against a GOP nominee who is not a Senator.

Bad odds if you're a Donk fan, but hopeful for Americans.


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Comments (59)

Notice that nowhere on that... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Notice that nowhere on that list is there a governor vs. senator matchup (or mayor vs. senator). In each of the five losses for senator-candidates, they were running against an incumbent president.

Of course governors have shown quite capable of unseating presidents or defeating vice-presidents, but 2008 will likely be a previously unseen matchup, experience-wise. If it's mayor vs. senator, it's a completely new ballgame.

Don't mean to upset your optimism or anything. ;)

I've been thinking of the n... (Below threshold)

I've been thinking of the new Governor of Louisiana in this respect. If he had/has aspirations it makes sense for him to leave DC and govern a state.

"It's a bad idea to igno... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"It's a bad idea to ignore history." -- DJ Drummond

It's an even worse idea to draw strong conclusions from a clearly inadequate amount of data.

Speaking of Mayor vs. Senat... (Below threshold)

Speaking of Mayor vs. Senator. If it's Clinton, then it's really Mayor vs. First Lady.

Quite unprecedented.

No Synova, Senator</i... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

No Synova, Senator Clinton. This is because she is currently a Senator, and because she has made such emphasis on her time as Senator, apparently trying to bury her escapades as the "co-President".

And Herman, if you have a more relevant data set for this characteristic, why don't you present it? And even for the short set, 1 for 6 is not good odds for future efforts no matter how you try to spin it.

Actually, I believe Senator... (Below threshold)
RPL:

Actually, I believe Senator McGovern was from South Dakota.

i think we'll see Jindal ru... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

i think we'll see Jindal run for Pres in 2012 or 2016 depending on who wins next year. from everything i have seen he will be a truly formidable opponent. especially if he is able to do anything constructive in Louisiana, as compared to how that state fared under democrat control.

Brian,Yes, he was ... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Brian,

Yes, he was the most popular president to serve between 1992 and 1999.

DJ, I always knew the repub... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

DJ, I always knew the republicans would not lose. I always knew Hillary would be the candidate. She cannot win the general election. ww

DJ:Sorry, DJ, but ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

DJ:

Sorry, DJ, but I don't agree. I think that the winner will be a Democrat and that Democrat will be Senator Clinton.

RE: "Republicans in general will put the country ahead of everything else, and the voters know this."
I think that the voters still feel betrayed by the GOP in general and President Bush in particular. No matter how badly the Democrats do in the next year, there will still be a knee-jerk reaction against the GOP in 2008. They will remember who started an unpopular war, they don't feel good about the economy, they will remember the corruption, and the other party will be offering them lots of "free" programs.

RE: "Democrats always end up going to extremes, having abandoned the center to the degree that they cannot find it, even when they most need it.'
I don't think so because the campaign will be run by the Clintons, two people who understand more about American politics than anyone else in the world. They will stay on message. The campaign will be carefully planned and well executed. She will continue to avoid answering questions and revealing what she plans to do. The public will not require her to tell them what she really plans to do. (And it will be all lies, anyway.) The MSM will continue to let her avoid answering tough questions; gloss over her personal and professional failures; and trash her GOP opponent.

RE: Senator v. whatever
First of all, the data doesn't accurately describe the race. Hitlary doesn't have the executive experience necessary, but the public doesn't appear to care and the MSM won't call attention to the fact. She is part of an American political dynasty and history in the making. Also, it is too little data, and nothing from before about 1980 is valid because the country is very different and the voters' expectations and prejudices are very different.

But here's the really big difference: if Clinton or Senator Obama get the nomination, there will be a huge number of new voters coming to the polls to vote for them. People who have rarely (if ever) voted will come to the pools in huge numbers to "make history" by electing a woman or a black man President.

Add to that the millions of illegal immigrants who will see this as their chance to get amnesty and a fast-track to citizenship, the the GOP candidate won't stand a chance.

The only thing working against the Democrats is the desire for split government. Democrats stand to make gains in the House and the Senate. Many Americans will not like turning over total power to Hitlary. But that won't be enough to stop the flood.

I've said all along the Dem... (Below threshold)
Pretzel_Logic:

I've said all along the Dems do not have a viable candidate. Actually the guy who would have the best chance is Joe Biden.

kevino,There's som... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

kevino,

There's something frighteningly prophetic about referring to Hillary and the Democrats as "the flood".

Add to that the millions... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Add to that the millions of illegal immigrants who will see this as their chance to get amnesty and a fast-track to citizenship, the the GOP candidate won't stand a chance.

I don't even need to comment...

Kevino, that entire post is... (Below threshold)
Pretzel_Logic:

Kevino, that entire post is emotion and shenanigans. Democrat trade marks.

The other problem with DJ's... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

The other problem with DJ's post is that Thompson is holding a strong second behind Giuliani.

Thompson's second is nation... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Thompson's second is national and is actually very weak (McCain and Thompson are statistically tied). He is far behind in Iowa and NH; his only strong polling is in South Carolina.

Kevino, interesting take, i... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Kevino, interesting take, if based on a great deal of wishful thinking.

First off, do I need to remind you that Ms. Clinton has very high negatives, even in some Democratic power centers?

Second, assuming there will be a "knee-jerk reaction" in 2008 misses the fact that you got it in 2006. Historically, the voters most often choose to match a President of one party against a controlling Congress of the other. Since it is unlikely the Democrats will lose Congress in 2008, any "knee-jerK' reaction is, historically, more likely to cost the Democrats' nominee.

Next, no, Hillary Clinton definitely does NOT understand American politics as well as she thinks, as evidenced by her continued struggles to get a clear message out which is popular. She's made statements then backtracked, she brags about her record then refuses to discuss it. I could go on, but the point is that Senator Clinton is far from ready for the main event.

Next, need I remind you that the American public, overwhelmingly, opposes the idea of a "dynasty"? Some experts have alraedy said this is why Jeb Bush is not running in 2008, and in that context you need to be aware that a sizable and growing number of people are put off by the notion of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton. Too elitist, you see.

And what "new voters" do you see, exactly? Howard Dean believed the Internet would sweep him to the nomination, but alas no. Kerry believed millions of young people would decide to become new voters for him, but again he was wrong. Every time someone looks at the demographics, them throws away what they say because they think some slick trick will make the difference, they end up being very wrong.

As for the illegals, have you noticed that Hillary is slowly backing away from her support for the New York Driver License con? It's been slow building, but if there is a death blow to the Democratic nominee, it's their clearly unethical gaming of Border Security for political gain. Waves of illegals are NOT going to suddenly appear across the nation and vote for Hillary, but if she does not wise up and recognize the fury building on that isuse, Hillary might have a hard time taking Arkansas, let alone the White House.

THe reaction to the flood o... (Below threshold)

THe reaction to the flood of illegals might be enough to invalidate sufficient states to actually prevent Hillary from winning. The problem with Hillary is that she tends to go far enough overboard that people cannot continue to blind themselves. Look what happened to HillaryCare, had she not gone overboard, she might have fooled enough people to get it passed.

Add to that the millions... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Add to that the millions of illegal immigrants who will see this as their chance to get amnesty and a fast-track to citizenship, the the GOP candidate won't stand a chance.

And the fact that the Democrats are counting on a group of lawbreakers as a constituency says something about their principles. What about their cries of voter fraud? Oh, yeah. Never mind.

Actually, if you go further... (Below threshold)
LenS:

Actually, if you go further back, it gets much worse for Senators as Presidential candidates. Harding and Kennedy are the only two to ever win it without being VP first. And VP's went through a long stretch of it truly being a dead-end job where the death of the President was the only way they moved up. Papa Bush was a rare exception. Governors and Generals have been the overwhelming favorites of the electorate. Of course, today's Generals are a dime a dozen thanks to rank inflation. Plus, the modern Democratic Party works hard to make sure the US loses wars and tarnish any successful commanders, so it'll be a while before we see a General again.

Yes, he was the most pop... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Yes, he was the most popular president to serve between 1992 and 1999.

If that is truly all you see, then your Clinton-hatred is causing you to ignore reality.

If that is truly all you... (Below threshold)
Clay:

If that is truly all you see, then your Clinton-hatred is causing you to ignore reality.

Just curious, Brian. Do you characterize Reagan as being popular?

How do these play out when ... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

How do these play out when neither party has a candidate who is not a sitting President?
When neither party has a candidate who is not a sitting Vice-President or former Vice-President?
Yes is has happened a few times...
However it has been awhile right?
Wide open on both sides...

If the race came down to a ... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

If the race came down to a Mayor v. a Senator, I would not count out Rudy. A mayor's role is exectuive in its nature. And considering Rudy was the mayor of one of the largest cities in the world, his track record as an executive would overshadow anything of substance the senators in this race could put forward.

If the Dems were smart, they would throw their support behind Bill Richardson. As an hispanic governor from the southwest, with a pretty good track record of execuitve experience/credentials, he could be a formidable candidate with the right apparatus behind him.

But alas, the Dems are not smart. The front runners are:

A former first lady who grew up in Illinois, was wife of the governor of Arkansas, but who had to move to the most liberal city in the country to get elected senator to replace a retiring Democrat senator, got all the power seats on senate commissions because her husband controlled the purse strings, but is still a policy novice after being in the senate for 6 years, equivocates daily on the issue of the war; who cannot answer an elementary question given by a liberal news personality; who has been caught using plants in town hall meetings to ask her favorable questions, and who despite the biggest effort in history by the media to increase her exposure and candidacy... cries she is being picked on when the other Dem candidates call her out for her failure to answer the aforementioned elementary question by said liberal news personality

A senator from Illinois who while being touted as the Second Coming, was defeated in a try at Congress 2 years earlier and who became the de facto candidate to beat when the Republican front runner in the senate race became embroiled in a sex scandal conerning his wife?; has ZERO policy experience, ZERO legislative experience as a senator, and who has basically been running a presidential campaign since the day he took office as a senator in January of '05

A former senator from North Carolina who campaigns as a spokesman for the poor, but who lives like a king, created a non-profit to fight poverty, but only used it as a campaign slush fund, who got elected as senator because he outspent his opponent, , but who was also polling in the mid-20% as a senator WHEN HE WAS CAMPAIGNING FOR VP IN '04, and who basically ran for president to increase his profile because he knew he was not going to be re-elected as a senator, who voted for the war because his campaign advisor told him to, but questions the integrity of Bush; his neighbors currently dislike him... although most of them are among the poor he claims to represent; and whose wife, while sick with inoperable cancer, has more heart and gonads than he could hope to have;

senators who know they will not get elected, but who are auditioning for high level cabinet seats

a congressman who sees UFOs and who will get re-elected in spite of it

a man with extensive executive experience as a governor and diplomat, but who has no personality, and no apparatus to distibuish him from the pack of amatuers, hacks, re-treads, and prop jobs

Nogo appears to have forgot... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Nogo appears to have forgotten that Obama and Hillary are running against President George W. Bush. They just can't get enough of Dubya, I reckon.

Just curious, Brian. Do ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Just curious, Brian. Do you characterize Reagan as being popular?

Of course, he's very popular. It's not a matter of my "characterizing" him as such. It's a fact, without a doubt.

It would be bizarre for someone to deny that. Just as it would be to deny the same of Clinton.

Brian, if Bubba was "popula... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Brian, if Bubba was "popular", how come he never got a majority victory in either of his two elections? Seems like, if you're going to call Bill Clinton "popular", you're gonna have to man up and call W popular, seeing as his first election took a higher popular % than Clinton's first election, and his re-election took a clear majority while ol' Bubs never made it there.

(Waits to see how long until Brian tries to redefine "popular" to suit his tilt)

I agree almost word for wor... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I agree almost word for word with DJ, just as Joe Biden did with Neil Kinnock.

Yes, W got more votes, and ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Yes, W got more votes, and a higher percentage of votes, than Bubba. Bubba never got above low 40's.

Last Democrat to do so was Carter in 1977--30 years ago--how pathetic for you Dims.

By this measure, the Democr... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

By this measure, the Democrats' best candidate would be Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico.

But his candidacy is not going anywhere because Hillary sucks all the oxygen out of the room. He is also having a problem figuring out a message for himself.

In general, a President who... (Below threshold)

In general, a President who's done a good job wins re-election. After that.

Generals > Governors > Veeps > Senators

Note that the curve correlates roughly with executive experience. (And that the rankings are rough; charismatic Senator Kennedy beats VP Nixon, for instance).

Chaney for president in 08.... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Chaney for president in 08...Makes more sense that any of the democrats.

Why in the hell wouldn't an... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Why in the hell wouldn't anyone run against Bush? it should be Bush all day everyday. The 2 leading Republicans are just Bush all over again. Every other word out of the Dem nominees mouth should be Bush and the war. The election is probably going to about war - and like it or not the Republicans own it. They may not be factually accurate because of the votes to go but I don't see it making any difference.

Guiliani and Romney have incredible weaknesses - they make Kerry look pathetic when it comes to the famous "was he for it before he was against it" question. I don't think either one knows what he believes in or has the courage to stand by whatever it is. I think your real hope is MCcain - who, by the way, I think would make a good president.

Scrapiron, if he was health... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Scrapiron, if he was healthier I'd be for that. Dick Cheney is a really sharp guy, and a good candidate were it not for the 8 year campaign of lies and whacky conspiracy nut nonsense that the Democrats and Left have made against him.

You forgot nutcase vs nutca... (Below threshold)
Rua:

You forgot nutcase vs nutcase (Kucinich and Paul). Would Kucinich's 'green people', as you called them, be considered illegal aliens? Would they get a 'green card'? Ok, enough silliness for me.

"Every word out of the dems... (Below threshold)
914:

"Every word out of the dems mouth's should be Bush and the war."

It is ! glad You noticed and the bds is not helping.

The carpetbagger who spend's all Her time garnering illegal fund's and trying to rig debate question's has 0% chance..

seeing as his first elec... (Below threshold)
Brian:

seeing as his first election took a higher popular % than Clinton's first election

What does the vote percentage of someone 15 years ago have to do with his "popularity" today? When I first voted for Clinton in 1992, I'd barely heard of him. He was not very popular then. Was he a preferred candidate over Bush Sr.? Obviously.

and his re-election took a clear majority while ol' Bubs never made it there.

Again, you're reaching for apples to make orange juice. Because a majority of Americans preferred one candidate to another has nothing to do with them being "popular". And it's even less relevant reaching back 11 years. Both Gore and Kerry had greater popular vote numbers than Clinton did, but that hardly makes them more popular than he is today.

(Waits to see how long until Brian tries to redefine "popular" to suit his tilt)

You're the one trying to redefine current popularity as something like "won an election by more than the percentage of another person several years ago".

By this measure, the Dem... (Below threshold)
Brian:

By this measure, the Democrats' best candidate would be Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico.

He is probably the most qualified, resume-wise.

A nit about 1984. Mondale's... (Below threshold)
bman2u:

A nit about 1984. Mondale's last gig prior to the nomination was VP from 76-80. That was more recent then him being a Senator. either way it didn't matter....

1972 - Senator Geo... (Below threshold)
Stan25:
1972 - Senator George McGovern from Minnesota; very popular with the Left, who believed Vietnam would be the issue to drive Nixon from office. But McGovern claimed only 37.5% of the popular vote, and won only 1 state;

Sorry DJ but Senator George McGovern was a Senator from South Dakota. He was in the same position as Tom Dashale. The senior Senator.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_McGovern

Ah, I see the problem...</p... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Ah, I see the problem...

Brian, if Bubba was "popular",

I didn't say he "was" popular. I said he "is" one of the most popular presidents in recent history. Lincoln, Reagan, Clinton all rank high in popularity polls (not necessarily in that order).

I think it's kind of flawed... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

I think it's kind of flawed to pin your election hopes at this point on a list of job title matchups. You don't take into account recent election history, current events, the general feeling of the voting populace, or anything that has a real bearing in this, and all those other election matchups.

"Every other word out of... (Below threshold)

"Every other word out of the Dem nominees mouth should be Bush and the war. The election is probably going to about war - ..."

I think you're wrong. I think with the media's continuing blind-eye turned toward progress, unless it simply can't be ignored, but at the same time its ratcheting down of the constant negativity in regards to the war, people are beginning to talk about other things.

The media is spending more time on domestic issues. The war is no longer a winning game for them. The public is looking more toward domestic issues too; social security, health-care, immigration, etc. They're paying attention to the debates and what the candidates have to say about their personal futures in America.

This is a Presidential election - not the mid-term.

It's only the die-hards that want the war to be A-#1 on the list. The war is no longer THE defining issue. It would be a mistake to make it so.

"I think it's kind of flawe... (Below threshold)
Michael:

"I think it's kind of flawed to pin your election hopes at this point on a list of job title matchups. You don't take into account recent election history, current events, the general feeling of the voting populace, or anything that has a real bearing in this, and all those other election matchups." and your not taking into account the "Hillary factor"...
that alone assures a Republican victory.

OysterI would back... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Oyster

I would back off my view under one circumstance and that would be if the economy turns into a recession. Then I think folks would, as they often do, vote their pocketbook.

But this is an incredibly unpopular president managing a very unpopular war. And I think it's hard to distinguish him from Romney or Guiliani. So as a practical political tactic why wouldn't you keep talking about Bush, the management of an unpopular war and two candidates who are just Bush-lite. If it were McCain I don't think you can get away with that.

David Brooks wrote a column about McCain and his character in the Times today. His column is the reason why I could vote for McCain against Clinton or if he won against anyone why I'd be OK as a dem with that.

DJ, I hope you are right. B... (Below threshold)
carly:

DJ, I hope you are right. But, in reality, Bill Clinton is running also. How does that effect your calculations with his popularity figured in...people are expecting him to be the shadow President. She is touting this in many ways. I am not being sarcastic as I say this.

DJ:RE: High negati... (Below threshold)
kevino:

DJ:

RE: High negatives
Democrats may give her high negatives, but they will vote for her over a Republican in a flash.

RE: Continued reaction against the GOP
If the country actually required the Democrats to do something positive, then you statement holds. That implies that logic and careful thought is involved. If it was, Senator Clinton wouldn't have a chance. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Emotion and reaction is going to have a big impact on this election. For starters, the war is still very unpopular and even worse is the way that Americans believe that the Bush Administration has botched it. They wanted a Democratic congress to fix it, and they still do. They see Republicans standing in the way. There will still be a lot of residual anger left for 2008. The Democrats' strategy of letting the war drag on to win votes in 2008 will work. On the economy, people feel a lot of pressure to keep their jobs, they see people not being able to sell their homes, and they see the dollar plunging. The country is not happy, and they mostly blame the GOP.

Bottom line: more Americans are declaring themselves Democrats than Republicans. That is a big built-in advantage for Democrats.

RE: Split government
That's why I said that split government is the Democrats only real problem.

RE: Hitlary can't get out a clear message.
True, only because she's avoided answering questions in all of her public life, including the run for Senate. I think that she will learn to lie better as time goes on, and the MSM is not going to hold her to the same standards that they do other candidates. The MSM and the Washington establishment really want a Democrat to win, and Hitlary has been their choice for a long time. Since most Americans get their view of the candidates from the MSM, the information they get is going to be carefully filtered.

You're idea was that Democrats blow it by articulating their true intentions. My counter-point is that the Clintons won't make that mistake. Sure, she's a socialist, but it will be much more difficult to detect based on anything she says from now on.

RE: Opposition to a dynasty
It might work against her in some quarters. The problem is that rejection of a Bush is not the same as electing a female Clinton. In particular, President Clinton was still very popular. One of the things in her favor is the perception that unlike most Senators, Hitlary will have former Clinton aides and a former President to help her get organized. The big disadvantage that Senators have is they don't understand national campaigns very well and they don't have the experience running anything as big as the White House. The Clintons don't have those problems.

Also, Bill is still very popular with Americans. Besides being a good asset on the campaign trail, Hitlary's election will be seen as a return to the Clinton "good-old days" and a vindication of Bill's impeachment.

RE: And what "new voters" do you see, exactly?
Women and minorities.

In most polls taken of the American public, Democrats poll very well on issue after issue. In simple terms, if the entire public voted based on the issues, Democrats would have a commanding majority. The problem for Democrats is a huge number of these potential votes never vote in elections. Many of the nation's poor, for example, see themselves as outside of politics. Yet if they voted for Democrats, they could improve their situation. That's why the key for Democrats is get-out-the-vote drives: higher turnout almost always works for them.

RE: Illegal voters versus Hitlary's position on driver's licenses.
First, whatever Hitlary says to get elected has nothing to do with what she will do once she's elected. Secondly, is their any doubt that if she's elected that she won't push through an amnesty bill? If you're an illegal alien, the 2008 election is a golden opportunity. They will vote for her, and Democrats will be shocked, shocked to hear that illegals are voting. Democrats will get the advantage and not take responsibility. What a surprise.

And by the way, also notice that the GOP needs Hispanic voters, particularly in the south and west. They aren't going to get it they way that they did in electing President Bush. Hispanic voters also know that a Democratic amnesty bill will create a new opportunity for them to become a major power group.

And by the way, look at the disadvantages that the GOP has.

My friends from New York and New Jersey know and admire Mayor Giuliani. They liked him as mayor, but they want a Democrat in the White House much more. The probability that Rudy can actually win New York state is very low: 10-20%. People from NY, NJ, and MA vote for GOP candidates our of desperation. When Democratic politicians have screwed things up so thoroughly that nothing works they put in enough GOP leaders to clean up the mess.

Governor Romney has a worse problem: the probability that he can win Massachusetts is too small to be seen with the naked eye.

The likely GOP candidate is Rudy or Mitt, and neither has a base: the North East will go solidly for the Democrats. As a student of history, DJ, I'm sure you're aware of the number of Presidents who got elected after failing to win their home state.

"But, in reality, Bill ... (Below threshold)
Rovin Author Profile Page:

"But, in reality, Bill Clinton is running also."

Carly makes an excellent point. At this point it is hard to tell if this will be a positive or negative for the democratic party.

As the first brigade is returning home to our shores, and 3 to 5 more scheduled to depart Iraq next year, the events of success in Iraq will play into this election.

"I would back off my view under one circumstance and that would be if the economy turns into a recession. Then I think folks would, as they often do, vote their pocketbook."

JFO's dead on with this point. If the media drives this issue of a negative economy, it will be pivital. For those who don't remember, the media drove this issue against Bush-I even while the last quarter before the election was UP 3.9%.

It is a sad commentary when a party (and the mainstream liberal media) advocate and promote economic and military defeat for political advancement. This will leave a sour taste in the mouths of the electorate.

One more pertinent point. ... (Below threshold)
Rovin Author Profile Page:

One more pertinent point. The RNC needs to push the point that the "Clintons" are looking more and more like the Manchurian candidates.

Their connection to Chinese influence (direct dollars to support their campaign)that is still suspect in the previous Clinton administration would be a compelling argument for keeping an American election just that-----American.

The public also needs to be reminded that the good ol' 90's came about because a Republican controlled Congress swept in to produce the popular BALANCED BUGET AMENDMENT that Clinton was force to sign into law. (and he attempts to take credit for) So far, Pelosi and Reid's "Pay as you go" policy is a joke unless we can find a few billion new smokers.

There is not such thing as ... (Below threshold)

There is not such thing as 'the popular vote' in presidential elections. Referring to it as if it were a real thing just plays into the ignorance of the American voters.

Our system, based on the notion of sovereign states, is the most powerful aspect of our constitution. People who refer to the notion of 'the popular vote' need to learn something about our government and our history.

Meanwhile, they should just stop using such nonsense to make their points because they just sound stupid.
Jahfre Fire Eater

The Thunder Run has linked ... (Below threshold)

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 11/13/2007 A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Bottom line: more Americ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Bottom line: more Americans are declaring themselves Democrats than Republicans. That is a big built-in advantage for Democrats.

Actually, I think more of them are defecting from Republican to "moderate". Which could be an advantage for Democrats, as it shows a disenchantment with the Republican party. But it could also just be true conservatives who feel they have nowhere to go, since the Republican party is no longer conservative.

Brian:I don't thin... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Brian:

I don't think so: the polls that I saw show the Republicans trending down and the Democrats trending up. I imagine that a lot of Republicans have dropped their support and declared themselves to be independent, but the Democrats made gains.

Quick google search: Gallop has Democrats gaining and Republicans losing. Rasmussen has Democrats slipping a little recently while Republicans dropped a lot.

It is still true that Democrats have the advantage: more Americans have aligned themselves with Democrats than Republicans.

People always align themsel... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

People always align themselves with Democrats more than the GOP. It's a function of the fact that, according to the media, all GOP programs are hard-hearted and all Dem programs are "For the Children", but once you start actually talking about what you want gov't to do, suddenly people start talking like fiscal conservatives. Most Americans are libertarian by nature, they want as little gov't as possible.

Just like a generic Democrat usually beats a generic Republican in polls before elections.

It's when you get to specific Dems and specific Dem proposals that the problems set it.

As a general rule, voters d... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

As a general rule, voters don't just look for what is right or wrong with the current administration. They look for a change or break in a destructive pattern overall. If the choices of focus are the war and economy, the strongest concern will probably be the economy with devaluation of the dollar against the euro. The admin leaving will always have a backdrop influence, but going forward, the U.S. economic situation overall will take priority. This could also very well include military action.

once you start actually ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

once you start actually talking about what you want gov't to do, suddenly people start talking like fiscal conservatives. Most Americans are libertarian by nature, they want as little gov't as possible.

Well, that would explain why they are leaving the Republican party, which no longer represents either fiscal conservatism or smaller government.

The real issue is attractin... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

The real issue is attracting independants, and this is where the Democrats may have a problem as the presidential race gets more specific next year. The Democrats have flirted with pro-amnesty immigration stances that are very unpopular among independants ( and at times, even unpopular with Democrats ). Hillary has strong negatives among independants and such strong negatives are very difficult to overcome.

The presidential race is closer today than it appears to most.

An interesting new poll her... (Below threshold)
JFO:

An interesting new poll here today in Iowa. Huckabee has had a big surge and it is now Romey 27 to Huckabee 21. Polls are tough here because we are a caucus state and the turnout is not nearly as large as in a primary.

Still an interesting change in the dynamics - Clinton has also lost some ground. Obama will pick up a lot after his performance at the annual Iowa Jackson Day dinner/speeches which all the candidates attend. His speech was reported to be way above all the rest.

I think too, that just beca... (Below threshold)
Rua:

I think too, that just because someone claims to be a Democrat or Republican doesn't necessarily mean that is how they will vote.




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