Friday, November 30, 2007

Slew of New Early State Polls

I'm not going to post all of the polls, but I have updated the RCP averages along the margins. You may notice that Obama has sneaked past HRC in Iowa and that Huckabee has moved into 4th in each New Hampshire (passing Ron Paul) and South Carolina (passing John McCain).

There is one set of numbers that I want to draw your attention to. American Research Group asked supporters of each of the main candidates in Iowa if their support of that candidate was "definite".

Here were the results (overall % in parentheses):

Clinton 80% (25)
Obama 75% (27)
Edwards 57% (23)

I've heard some speculation that Edwards might collapse in these final weeks, leaving Iowa a two-way affair, or even serving as an opening for Richardson or the surging (in Iowa, at least) Biden. These numbers seem to indicate that such speculation might not be far off.

Huckabee 89% (27)
Thompson 75% (14)
McCain 71% (9)
Romney 56% (28)

I don't know why they didn't poll Giuliani supporters (they made up 9%, the same as McCain supporters), but I'm sure his number would be in the 70s along with McCain's and Thompson's. Regardless, Huckabee's figure shows that he is not going away. Even if he falls back to only those supporters who are "definite," he'll still walk away with 1/4 of the vote.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not Exactly Surprised

Maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but I've gotta think that, barring a pre-Feb. 5th terrorist attack, Giuliani's campaign just ended. If the rest of the MSM does even half-asses their job with regard to this story, I don't see how he can survive it.

Let me know if you think I'm making to much of this.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Never Thought I'd Link to

Yet, they've given me something that's worth a link.

They've got a contest to decide which of four Center for American Progress-produced ads they'll throw on TV. The ads are aimed at defining the word "progressive". It really epitomizes the kind of ideological and linguistic fight that I think the DNC ought to be engaging in during these off years, so I'm glad to see someone doing it.

On second thought, I won't ask you to follow the link and I'll just embed the ads:

So, which one(s) do you like? How should we define ourselves?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Michigan and New Hampshire Primary Dates Set

Mere hours after Michigan's Jan. 15 date was finally approved by the state Supreme Court, NH Secretary of State Bill Gardner announced that his primary will come exactly one week before Michigan's on Jan. 8th.

I've added Michigan GOP numbers to my list in the right margin. The Democratic primary will be a sham with only Clinton and Dodd on the ballot (maybe Kucinich, too).

The first campaign to send out an email about Gardner finally choosing a date? No surprise here, it's John McCain.

Let's Play Pool

We've got 43 days until Iowa. Clearly, we need to start a pool soon. So, how do we want to do this?

Some things to consider:

Do we want to just pick Iowa first and make New Hampshire picks on Jan. 4th? Or should we pick all of the early states at once? What should we do for Feb. 5th?

Are we picking the winners? Top 3 in each state? Top 5?

Most importantly, what are the stakes?

Hell, Yeah, I'm Confrontational

Like him or not, Edwards finally seems comfortable as an unabashed crusader. Perhaps this iteration of John Edwards (3.0, is it?) was the real John Edwards all along.

While I'm on this point, I also think Obama's getting the shaft with the coverage of his "testy" response to a voter in Iowa:

Sure, he yelled at an elderly woman and that was probably a bad plan. On the other hand, Democrats will always get painted as "weak on national security" until we do something about it. Some might say that yelling at the questioner isn't the solution. I say, what else should you do when someone implies that you are somehow disinclined to defend your fellow Americans. If that voter had been anything other than a senior, I'm sure Obama's anger would have been favorably compared to John Kerry's aloofness in the face of similar baseless attacks.

I could be wrong, though. Wouldn't be the first time (it would be the second).

New Blog Title

I finally came up with a better rap reference to head the blog. Thank you Evan Mecham and Public Enemy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

45 Days From Iowa, A Look at the Polls

It's been a while since my last poll round-up, so now seems as good a time as any.

To the numbers! The "numbers" are Real Clear Politics averages of recent polls.

Our side:

Iowa (Jan. 3rd)
Clinton 27.2%
Obama 24.8%
Edwards 21.8%
Richardson 10.3%
Biden 4.2%

Recent polls show that Clinton might be leveling off a bit. Obama is on a slight upward trend. Edwards and Richardson seem to have settled in around 22% and 10%, respectively. Biden might be seeing the beginning of a small bump.

New Hampshire (likely Jan. 8th)
Clinton 36.0%
Obama 23.0%
Edwards 13.2%
Richardson 8.4%

Clinton lost about 5 points after the debate screw up. She looks to have peaked for a while. Obama picked up about half of those points and is gaining a bit. Edwards is holding steady, while Richardson may be gaining a bit on the pack.

Nevada (Jan. 19th)
Clinton 42.3%
Obama 21.0%
Edwards 11.7%
Richardson 6.3%

All four candidates, Clinton, Obama, Edwards, and Richardson have held remarkably steady. That's probably a sign that very few eventual caucus-goers have started paying attention.

South Carolina (Jan. 26th)
Clinton 40.3%
Obama 25.0%
Edwards 12.7%

These numbers have been totally erratic. Clinton has ranged from 32-47%, Obama from 19-33%, and Edwards from 7-24%. At the other extreme from Nevada's numbers, this could still be an indication that voters here are paying less attention than their counterparts in Iowa or New Hampshire.

The dark side:

Iowa (Jan. 3rd)
Romney 27.8%
Huckabee 19,6%
Giuliani 13.8%
Thompson 11.0%
McCain 6.6%
Paul 4.2%

In general, numbers on the GOP side are a bit less stable than on our side. Still, it's possible to identify when the numbers vary around a relatively flat trend and when they are a sign of a surge or a fade. Here,
Romney has settled in just under 30%. Huckabee is on fire and could soon be posting averages in the 20s. Giuliani is fairly stable right around 15%. Thompson, McCain, and Paul are also holding steady around 11%, 7% and 4%, respectively.

New Hampshire (likely Jan. 8th)
Romney 33.0%
Giuliani 18.4%
McCain 16.2%
Paul 6.8%
Huckabee 6.6%
Thompson 4.8%

Romney's lead is growing by leaps and bounds, but 33% may be the peak of that growth. Giuliani is probably steady around 18%. McCain's rebound has put him right around Giuliani territory. These two are effectively tied for 2nd. Paul is getting close to flirting with double digits. Huckabee is a little bit all over the map, but probably won't fall below 5%. Thompson is in total free-fall.

Nevada (Jan. 19th)
Giuliani 29.0%
Romney 22.0%
Thompson 14.8%
McCain 10.0%
Paul 4.3%
Huckabee 3.3%

Numbers here have been erratic, probably because polls have been sparse. We can be fairly confident that Giuliani is around 30% and has a 6-8 point lead over Romney who is holding steady around 22%. Thompson is all over the map. He could be anywhere from 4th to 2nd in this state, but is probably in a rough tie with McCain in the low teens. Paul appears to be surging and nearing double digits. Huckabee has a handful, around 4% or 5%, but isn't exactly taking off.

South Carolina (Jan. 19th)
Romney 20.5%
Giuliani 20.5%
Thompson 16.8%
McCain 13.0%
Huckabee 8.3%

This is a 3-tiered race.
Romney is climbing into a small lead over Giuliani. Both men have about a 5-6 point lead on each Thompson and McCain. Huckabee might be climbing into that second tier, but for now he is sitting at around 10%.

Florida (Jan. 29th)
Giuliani 34.3%
Romney 15.8%
Thompson 13.8%
McCain 11.3%
Huckabee 8.8%

Giuliani is in the process of stretching his lead. He probably owes his surge to Romney's stall and especially to Thompson's collapse. McCain and Huckabee are locked in a virtual tie around 10%.

Friday, November 9, 2007

More Video

Apparently Kentuckians ought to reelect Mitch McConnell because Alben Barkley was really cool.

Someone's gonna have to explain to me how this is a good ad.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The "Electability" Question Pt. 1

I wish there were some other term, because I've always hated it when this factor is termed "electability". Maybe in 2004 that kind of talk was appropriate, but I find it difficult to say that any of our major candidates for 2008 are totally unelectable. We need a new term to measure the "electa-likelihood" of a candidate.

Anyway, I've been meaning to post SurveyUSA's latest state-by-state general election polls for some time. There are two sets of polls. The first, conducted in late September and early October, pairs Giuliani, Romney, and Thompson against Clinton, Edwards, and Obama in each of 17 different states, most of them swing states. The second, conducted in late October, pits HRC against Giuliani, Romney, Thompson, Huckabee, McCain, and Paul. They also threw in a Gore v. Giuliani match-up just for kicks.

A caveat:

These are polls done one year before what are still hypothetical elections. That said, the extended primary period does give many voters their first impressions of the main candidates long before the general election begins.

Here's how the 3 front-running Democrats match up against Il Duce, by region:


Giuliani 52% Clinton 41%
Giuliani 59% Obama 32%
Giuliani 50% Edwards 40%

Giuliani 43% Clinton 49%
Giuliani 50% Obama 41%
Giuliani 48% Edwards 43%

Giuliani 51% Clinton 41%
Giuliani 54% Obama 36%
Giuliani 50% Edwards 43%

Giuliani 44% Clinton 50%
Giuliani 45% Obama 46%
Giuliani 43% Edwards 48%

Region Commentary: Hillary's unique strength in Florida is what sticks out here. It's also remarkable to see how much worse Obama does in the South against Rudy than do Hillary and Edwards. Racism?


Giuliani 34% Clinton 59%
Giuliani 43% Obama 48%
Giuliani 40% Edwards 48%

New York
Giuliani 35% Clinton 59%
Giuliani 44% Obama 49%
Giuliani 46% Edwards 45%

Region Commentary: Clearly, it's worrisome to see Rudy do so well in two large and deeply blue states against both Obama and Edwards. To be fair, I doubt that he would actually win either state against any Democrat, but making a Democrat spend money in either of these states is a win all by itself. What's worse is the implication these numbers have for more purplish states in this region (CT, DE, ME. MD, NJ) Once again, regionalism appears to be alive and well in American politics.


Giuliani 42% Clinton 50%
Giuliani 42% Obama 50%
Giuliani 39% Edwards 53%

Giuliani 52% Clinton 40%
Giuliani 51%
Obama 40%
Giuliani 50%
Edwards 40%

Giuliani 41% Clinton 52%
Giuliani 43%
Obama 47%
Giuliani 40%
Edwards 48%

Giuliani 48% Clinton 45%
Giuliani 44%
Obama 46%
Giuliani 42%
Edwards 47%

Giuliani 48% Clinton 47%
Giuliani 52% Obama 39%
Giuliani 48% Edwards 47%

Giuliani 47% Clinton 44%
Giuliani 54%
Obama 33%
Giuliani 40%
Edwards 49%

Giuliani 44% Clinton 48%
Giuliani 43%
Obama 46%
Giuliani 45%
Edwards 44%

Region Commentary: Edwards is clearly the strongest candidate here, while Obama is clearly the weakest. Edwards and Clinton both dominate in MN, while Obama's lead is far smaller. Edwards holds a modest lead in MO, while Clinton and Obama are in dogfights. OH is shockingly bad news for Obama (against Giuliani, at least). In OK, Edwards not only holds his own, he crushes Giuliani. It's hard to look at this region as anything other than very good for Edwards, okay for Clinton, and very poor for Obama.


Giuliani 37%
Clinton 57%
Giuliani 44%
Obama 48%
Giuliani 44%
Edwards 46%

New Mexico
Giuliani 43% Clinton 51%
Giuliani 46%
Obama 46%
Giuliani 44%
Edwards 48%

Giuliani 44% Clinton 48%
Giuliani 46%
Obama 46%
Giuliani 44%
Edwards 47%

Giuliani 47% Clinton 47%
Giuliani 41%
Obama 52%
Giuliani 44%
Edwards 45%

Region Commentary: Those California numbers are clearly the story here. Giuliani's claim to blue-state appeal seems to be valid, unless it's countered by Hillary. Beyond that, I'm curious why Hillary and Obama are the runaway favorites in New Mexico and Washington, respectively.

Finally, some national numbers. These 3 match-ups have all been tested in recent Newsweek, Quinnipiac, and Rasmussen polls. Here they are:

Giuliani 45% Clinton 49%
Giuliani 45%
Obama 48%
Giuliani 45%
Edwards 48%

Giuliani 45% Clinton 43%
Giuliani 42%
Obama 43%
Giuliani 44%
Edwards 41%

Giuliani 46% Clinton 44%
Giuliani 45%
Obama 43%
Giuliani 45%
Edwards 44%

And that's why the state-by-states are the only polls that should be used in judging a candidate's "electability" against Giuliani.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Let's Watch Some Ads

Here's Fred's new ad:
Click to play

If he's trying to put the focus back on his Reagan-esque-i-ness, then this ad is spot-on.

We can presume that Dr. No will spend a good portion of yesterdays $4.2 million haul on these two New Hampshire ads:

I know that these ads look cheap and are kinda hokey, but I really like them. They fit perfectly with the image his is crafting, focusing on issues not glitz. In the face of ads run by an actor, a New Yorker, a guy who is more even polished than the actor, and a national celebrity who made a cameo in "Wedding Crashers", ads that look like they were shot with a personal camcorder might be exactly the trick. The first ad especially reminds me of those run by Paul Wellstone in his first race and Ned Lamont in his primary.

Finally, there's this Edwards ad. As Marc Ambinder says, "This is one of those ads you'll either love or hate. Too maudlin? Pitch-perfect?"

I think it's great. This is a DEMOCRATIC primary, after all.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Fred Thompson Reiterates His Opposition to the "Life Amendment"

Per MSNBC's First Read:

Thompson v. 2004 Republican Platform: Abortion
Russert asked Thompson if he would align himself with the 2004 Republican Party Platform on abortion, which called for "a human life amendment to the Constitution ... to make it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children." Thompson's simple response was "No."

Although Thompson touted his 100% pro-life voting record, he called for states to be the ultimate decision makers. "People ought to be free, at state and local levels, to make decisions even Fred Thompson disagrees with,” he said. “That's what freedom is about."

While he called for no federal funding or legislation that would assist in abortion, Thompson also came out against a federal law. "Nobody's proposed a federal law on this,” he said. “Nobody's recently proposed a federal constitutional amendment."

He continued, "I do not think it is a wise thing to criminalize young girls. It's not a sense of the Senate. You're talking about potential criminal law. I said those things are going to ultimately be one in the hearts and minds of people."

This last line, "hearts and minds of people," is something Giuliani often says. Unlike Thompson who touts a 100 percent pro-life voting record, Giuliani is often portrayed as pro-choice. By using this line and saying he cannot agree to the 2004 Republican platform, has Thompson opened a can of worms for Romney and others to say Thompson is not a true Christian conservative?

For a large segment of the Republican primary electorate (especially in IA, MI, and SC) this makes Thompson as unacceptable as Rudy and Mitt (if you don't buy his "conversion"). So, who's got the balls to go on TV and label all three of them as effectively pro-choice? McCain? Huckabee? Paul? That trio will likely be the only candidates with money to spend on attack ads, unless Hunter, Tancredo, or Keyes have a huge fourth quarter.

The "Money Bomb"

Per the campaign of Dr. Ron Paul:

Ron Paul Campaign Has Top Day in 2008 Election Cycle

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA—Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has raised over $3.1 million in the past 19 hours, making today’s the single largest fundraising effort of the 2008 election cycle. At 4:00 pm, the campaign’s $2.7 million broke the record for the largest online presidential primary fundraising effort in a single day, and by 6:30 pm, the campaign broke Mitt Romney’s $3.1 million record for single-day fundraising this year.

Thus far today, approximately 25,000 supporters have contributed to the so-called “money bomb.”

BTW: You can follow Paul's fourth quarter fund-raising progress on his website. Right now, he raising something like $10k every 5 minutes or so. He started at $2.77 million at midnight ET.

As of 9:16pm AZ time, he's at $4.15 million in new contributions.

At 10:17pm, he at $7.13 total for the quarter. That's $4.36 for the "money bomb". That's right, he raised $210k in an hour.

UPDATE: The Politico's Jonathan Martin has a good story on today's events.

UPDATE II: Related Facebook group.

SNL Reminds Us Why It's Still On the Air

They're the only show that actually attempts impersonations of the second-tier Democrats every four years.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Just a Quick Observation

While many gripe about the state of our presidential primary system based on the unpredictability of this cycle, I for one think the 2004 cycle evidenced a far more substantial problem. Only two weeks passed from the date of the Iowa Caucuses until mini-Super Tuesday, when seven states (Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina) effectively ended the race by voting overwhelmingly for Kerry (he won 5 states, while Clark won OK and Edwards won SC). After that date, Feb. 3 (the precursor to 2008's Feb. 5 date), the possibility of Edwards catching him was unthinkable. Effectively, the "voting stage" of the campaign lasted only two weeks and through only 9 states that make up less than 10% of the US population.

This time, the (meaningful) voting period is almost certain to extend to a full month since the Iowa caucuses have been forced to move up to the first days in January. To be exact, the Iowa Caucuses will now take place 33 days before the "national primary" on Feb. 5.

That sounds like the coolest 33 days ever.