Posted by Brad @ 4:56 pm on February 23rd 2007

CrossedPond CattleCall — Republicans

Same deal, different field.

Remember, explain why you think the stupid things you think.


  1. I say:

    1. McCain
    2. Brownback
    3. Giuliani
    4. Huckabee

    I think that the NRA and the socons kill Giuliani off, Brownback has the socons behind him en masse, Huckabee drifts, Romney steps aside when it becomes apparent that his bid for the socons was stillborn. McCain is just too steady and the others’ fortunes too quickly changing for them to land sufficiently heavy blows.

    Again, I expect 100% error.

    Comment by Adam — 2/23/2007 @ 5:30 pm

  2. 1. Rudy Giuliani

    2. John McCain

    3. Sam Brownback

    4. Mike Huckabee

    5. Ron Paul

    6. Romney

    What I like about this field is there is so much potential for a dark horse to crack it wide open. I have almost zero confidence in my notions of how I would expect this race to shake out, save a few things.

    The first is I don’t think Mitt Romney makes it to voting day, or if he does, he drops out a day or two after Iowa. He’s been torn to shreds by the right in the last month, absolutely crippled. He is no longer a viable primary candidate, period. The only reason he’s still around at all and didn’t just tuck his tail and run a week ago is he’s still got some money to burn. Once that’s gone (and it will be), he’s done. I would not be surprised to see him drop out by April.

    I think Brownback puts in a surprisingly strong showing. He’s a smart guy, eloquent, he’s got some great people around him and has the ability to put together a helluva campaign apparatus, and he’s the only guy (at least this early) that’s going to be in the race and considered serious that represents the views of a huge chunk of the base. The only reason he’ll never become first tier is because he’s absolutely unelectable. But he’ll pull in an incredibly strong performance, I think, ala Steve Forbes in 1996. I think there’s no way in holy hell he wins, or even gets serious VP consideration, but I do think he’s not to be underestimated.

    Huckabee’s my dark horse, but I’m taking a “wait and see” approach. He is the candidate, of all of the third tier ones, with the most potential to become the Bill Clinton of the race.

    I think Ron Paul will have an interesting presence, and will make the primary much more entertaining. I plan to vote for him. I have no idea how he actually places among the bottom field, but will be examining that carefully.

    Then there are any number of other candidates, almost all of whom have the potential to flare up into a strong presence. Duncan Hunter slash Tom Tancredo. Newt Gingrich. Chuck Hagel (depending on how badly Iraq is going and how sick of it the GOP base has become). Tommy Thompson (though he has an Orrin Hatch feel, to me). I even have an itching feeling that Condi Rice may not be as indisposed to a Presidential run as we might think.

    The bottom line is the Republican field is next to impossible to call this early. But, assuming that the two heavies remain McCain and Giuliani, I think McCain loses.

    I honestly just think that people overestimate the friction Giuliani will have with the base, and I think they underestimate the distrust and outright contempt the base has for McCain.

    It’s interesting to me that the people predicting the most trouble for Rudy are all non-Republicans (or not characteristic Republican primary voices). “Oh, he dressed in drag once, he hates guns, he is liberal on things”, etc. The Republican base seems, and historically has been, surprisingly comfortable with all of this in Rudy, or at least still able to be excited by him despite these things. It’s also interesting that the people predicting the most trouble for McCain are nearly ALL emblematic of the GOP base, and the people predicting his great strength are, by and large, pretty far divorced.

    Rudy will be a target, no doubt, and will catch a lot of shit, but at the end of the day people will pull the lever for him, people will get excited by him, and people will deem him the best chance for the general. The entire base certainly won’t be thrilled with him, but enough of them will, if people DO have too many misgivings about him along socon lines, they’re not going to flock to McCain to protest.

    Don’t underestimate the “9/11’s Mayor!” appeal among this crowd. The one possible Trojan Horse for Rudy is scandal, which will undoubtedly be dragged out for months and months. Whether that’s enough to take him down, I don’t know, but I would guess not, at least from what I’ve seen.

    He also has the advantage over McCain of being a supporter of President Bush, but not one explicitly tied to his course in Iraq in the way McCain is. Iraq will be McCain’s albatross to bear in 2008, perhaps counterintuitivly. He so pathetically kept trying to scramble to stay out front on Iraq that he’s ended up way, way out front, alone, with the wolves in the dark around him baying.

    McCain gets the worst of both worlds with his record since 2000. He’s screwed himself with the loyalists by being a thorn in the loyalist side, and he’s screwed himself with the more independent-minded Republicans by so desperately brown-nosing to those loyalists. The shine is off John McCain. Almost nobody has any reason to vote for him at this point.

    McCain is perhaps the institutional candidate of the GOP power-brokers, but A. that’s why we hold elections, and B. it’s a begrudging relationship at best. The Bush Machine has yet to enter the fray, and when they it’ll be for Rudy, and McCain is not, even now, as the institutional candidate, the frontrunner. If that hasn’t changed by September, if it starts becoming clear that Rudy is in fact the frontrunner (meaning inertia isn’t going to win the election, but actively taking votes committed elsewhere by the base would be required), watch how fast the institutional backers run out of the room. So fast they’ll leave little cartoon institutional-backer dust-clouds behind them. The party machinery can only coronate a candidate if the party voters can be sold on him, and in that respect, McCain wasn’t able to do that in 2000, with much more of a shine on him against a much weaker opponent, and I can’t see that his position relative to the voters and the base has gotten anything but appreciably worse since then.

    He’s got enough institutional support to take him to the finish line, but more than enough vehement pushback to ever get over it.

    Comment by Paint CHiPs — 2/23/2007 @ 5:38 pm

  3. Some post synergy.

    Another Hugh Hewitt interview, with Rudy. Very good read. Giuliani is an impressive candidate, and would be even without the 911 business.

    And, while I’m at it, here’s a site I’m bookmarking and going to add to my daily read. Good site.

    Comment by Paint CHiPs — 2/24/2007 @ 12:27 am

  4. Check out the latest Quinnipac poll. It’s national, it’s this early, all the usual salts, but Rudy leads in every single state I’ve ever seen polled, and in these national ones, he’s routinely getting more than double McCain’s lead–in this case more than McCain, Romney, and Brownback combined. That’s real, and I’d have a hard time calling McCain anything but an underdog, and not by a small margin. Certainly, if the base was as uncomfortable with Rudy as we’re told, we’d be seeing that uncomfortability reveal itself outside of left-leaning op-eds and some national evangelical leaders. The Republican voting public, at some point, has to get the memo too.

    Comment by Paint CHiPs — 2/24/2007 @ 2:14 pm

  5. I don’t think that the groups that will have problems with Rudy have found their own candidate yet, nor started spending money to smear Giuliani. I’d be surprised if he escapes that unscathed, even assuming there’s no Kerik-style stuff to come.

    Comment by Adam — 2/24/2007 @ 2:29 pm

  6. 1. Rudy Giuliani
    2. John McCain
    3. Mike Huckabee
    4. Ron Paul
    5. Romney
    6. Sam Brownback

    Comment by weltschmerz — 2/26/2007 @ 7:27 pm

  7. 1-5 rating averages from my poll of 3413 people

    Rudy Giuliani : 2.50
    John McCain : 2.48
    Mitt Romney : 1.91
    Ron Paul : 1.85
    Mike Huckabee : 1.65
    Sam Brownback : 1.54

    Comment by weltschmerz — 2/26/2007 @ 7:32 pm

  8. […] the first, I’ve been saying for awhile that I don’t expect Mitt Romney to make it to Iowa. I think the damage done simply with the […]

    Pingback by The Crossed Pond » CPAC — 3/2/2007 @ 7:08 pm

  9. […] Same deal, different field. […]

    Pingback by The Crossed Pond » CrossedPond CattleCall 2 — Republicans — 5/21/2007 @ 1:33 pm

  10. If asked to call the final, I can’t say yet, but I call it a close election between McCain, Paul, and Giuliani, with Mitt trailing by more than we’d expect.

    Comment by weltschmerz — 5/21/2007 @ 2:42 pm

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