Category Archives: Obama

IA Results: They’re Just More Important Than Me

Well, the good voters of IA have caucused, and have selected a moderate evangelical democrat from Hope Arkansas, and an even further left wing cipher.

Now, I generally like organic tradition, a la Russell Kirk.  I also generally like heterogeneity and quirkiness.  It is somewhat refreshing that rural Iowans and grumpy Granite Staters have such a large say in our electoral system, especially since so much of what goes on in this country seems predetermined in some well-funded conference room full of people mildly afraid and hugely disdainful of average Americans.

So from that perspective it is gratifying to find those candidates most obviously designed in those conference rooms– Romney and Clinton– dealt a demoralizing defeat by just those Americans over Swedish meatballs and warm cider in a hundred high school gyms and living rooms in the IA caucuses last night

But…

Why, exactly, should the votes of a few hundred Iowans matter so much to the future of our country?  One is reminded of the famous speech in the movie Bull Durham, which I’ve mentioned here before in a different context, about the difference in baseball between a career minor leaguer and hall of famer being one hit a week.  Should the course of our country be based on such obviously fickle vicissitudes?  A couple family crises and a broken-down bus on the way to a caucus site could have made all the difference last night for any number of candidates.  Now we’re stuck with the withdrawal of Chris Dodd and Joe Biden!

It is well established on this site that I think it is an absurdity verging on a representative miscarriage that the people of Pennsylvania– and many other states– have little say in the presidential primary process.  That miscarriage seems all the more obvious when the two winners out of IA are so similar, and so similarly wrong.

In purely parochial concerns, one of my commenters recently suggested GOP bigwig Bob Asher has been recently spotted genuflecting in Mitt Romney’s direction.  Wouldn’t it be funny if such a consummate insider had to find a way to explain that away because his new favorite candidate never got a chance to even run in PA?

Finally, we should note in this space that last night’s result was pretty much ideal for Giuliani, given the fact that Team Rudy chose to skip IA altogether.  Romney is dealt a huge defeat, and Thompson and McCain do OK, thereby keeping the field wide open.  McCain appears poised to win NH.  SC will be a scramble.  Then FL comes around, where Rudy still polls on top.

It’s white knuckle time over at Team Rudy.  Their “national strategy” is about to be tested.  They’ve been quiet, letting the other candidates spend time, money, and moral capital over two early states with not many delegates at stake.  They plan to plant their flag in FL, then roll up delegates in NJ, NY, CA, and IL on Tsunami Tuesday.

So they have to win FL.  Then on Super Duper Tuesday, if they win MO, they will be in the cat bird seat.  If the Feb. 5 results are more mixed, maybe we will get to cast a vote that matters here in PA.  If Rudy can’t win FL, though, it’s looking like McCain or Huck.  Who knows, though?

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Filed under Bob Asher, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, PA Support, Primaries, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Philly Suburbs Turning Blue?

A blogger here [HT Keystone Politics] representing “young” and “progressive” ideas in Southeast PA seems to think the Philadelphia suburbs are potentially nascent democratic strongholds.  In a general, penumbra emanating sense– similar to the legal logic employed to justify Roe vs. Wade– I suppose I agree.

It is true that the Philadelphia suburbs are drifting leftward.  Traditional democrats continue to run screaming from the urban nest their own leaders have defiled.  These suburbs are also attracting a fairly wealthy world-citizen crowd– both immigrant and native– who are pretty well steeped the post-modern ennui typical of the well-educated.  I submit these groups are pretty receptive to a moderate Democrat message.

That said, a simple perusal of the voter registration statistics for Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware counties will indicate the GOP still has a tremendous advantage.  Our young, progressive blogger has, I think, mistaken the current general mood for a demographic trend.

What will confirm this?  When Rudy Giuliani wins these counties with a significant margin over Ms. Clinton.  Previous polling has suggested Obama is pretty popular in the Philly burbs, but it currently looks like he’s all sizzle and no steak, so I am betting he doesn’t get the nod. The open question, of course, is if Hizzoner’s margin of victory in those counties can overcome what is likely to be Ms. Clinton’s overwhelming urban advantage when buttressed by endorsements like this.

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Filed under Fellow Bloggers in Arms of The Commonwealth, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Patrick Murphy to Endorse Obama

Giuliani leads all candidates in securing endorsements from PA’s sitting congresscritters.  I have always assumed this is because GOP legislators facing tough races want to align themselves with a presidential candidate who polls well.  In fact, the attraction of Giuliani may be that of all the presidential candidates he has the most cross-party appeal, especially amongst independents.

I have always said, though, in this Commonwealth Obama presents the strongest competition.  Clinton still polls the best, but my gut tells me Obama has the potential to absolutely gut Giuliani’s moderate GOP support in the suburban Philadelphia counties, and these counties are to PA what PA, OH, and FL are to national elections.

Congressman Patrick Murphy has, I think, just indicated he agrees.  He represents Buck County in Congress.  He is also the only Iraq War vet in that august body, and is viewed as a rising star in the Democrat party.  He has also come out in support of Obama, saying the freshman senator from Illinois best represents Murphy’s own feelings on Iraq.

It is news to me Murphy believes the surge– which currently appears to be working– was always a bad idea.  It is also news to me that he thinks troop deployments should have little to do with what General Petraus has to say on the efficacy of the surge.  Finally, it is news to me that turning Iraq into a genocidal crapstorm worse than Vietnam in the mid-seventies seems like a good idea to him.  These are the positions of the political waif Obama, and apparently the positions of Congressman Murphy.

On one thing, though, Murphy and I agree.  In the Commonwealth of PA Obama is a force.

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Filed under Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, PA Support, Patrick Murphy, Primaries, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Rudy & Hill in PA

Some folks may have noticed recently that Hillary is racking up endorsements here in the Keystone State, er, Commonwealth.  [valuable reminder of this via Josh at the Morning Call]

The Dem candidates all recently came to PA to pay homage to the teamsters of the classrooms, the NEA.  This is the union far more interested in protecting their sinecures and running children through the PC grinder than actually teaching things like reading comprehension and math.  And make no mistake:  This apparatus is powerful.  In fact, in NYC Mayor Giuliani ran roughshod over organized crime, municipal unions, and left-wing media star chambers.  But against the education establishment he reached an impasse.

While here kissing the NEA’s ring, Ms. Clinton enjoyed endorsements from both upstate and downstate. Proving she can suck up to people outside her base– which she did to become Senator– she enjoyed the endorsement of Lehigh County Executive Don Cunnnigham.  He was the first Democrat elected to that office EVER, so one assumes he’s a bit blue-doggy.  He also, from my preliminary research, has a Phd in pork acquisition.

She also accepted the endorsement of Philadelphia Mayor John Street.  That would be Philadelphia Mayor & African American John Street to those of you from out of state.  This seems to confirm polling that suggests Hillary is actually stronger with urban blacks than Obama.  Contrary to the common wisdom held by some, Obama’s strength is actually with white liberals and moderates.  How else do you explain the reams of moolah he’s able to raise despite have zero accomplishments and saying nothing of consequence?

What does this mean to Rudy?  Well, it’s an illustration of his electability.  It seems a touch Machiavellian, but one of Giuliani’s many strengths is his electability in the general election.  So even in a state like Pennsylvania, where Clinton is far more popular than she is generally, how does Giuliani stack up?  Well, as of today, he ties her.  As I’ve said before, against a candidate like Hillary who has stunningly lofty negatives I would take a tie at this stage of the game any day.

If this is the story in PA, it is also the story in NJ, NY, and CA.  Can anyone explain to me how any democrat can win the presidency if they have to spend real money in these states?

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Filed under Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, PA Visits, Polling, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani to Visit Pittsburgh

Appears Hizzoner will be reprising a visit he made last year supporting Senator Rick Santorum by swinging through Pittsburgh next Wednesday, 6/27/07.  Clinton and Obama will be making similar visits.  The rest of the GOP field has not, as yet, announced any such plans.  Full coverage here.

As I am a SE PA guy the chances of me having anything insidery for your consumption regarding this whistle-stop are slim.  But as I aspire to be the voice of our entire wonderful Commonwealth while reporting on Giuliani’s prospects here, I will do my best.

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Filed under Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, PA Visits, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

PA Polling Extravaganza: Rudy Rules PA; Gore Dem Savior?

Recent polling in Pennsylvania confirms some of what I said yesterday, and also muddies the waters a bit.  Giuliani’s strength has slipped in Southeastern PA, but he still remains the dominant presidential candidate in our Commonwealth.  Pennsylvania’s leading paper in presidential converage, The Allentown Morning Call, had a poll yesterday.  It does look like there’s some pro-McCain spinning going on, though.  Analysis from the paper is here, the poll internals are here [PDF].  A poll from Quinnipiac that came out today tells us pretty much the same thing.

The Morning Call poll of all voters shows GOP candidates McCain and Giuliani show very well against potential democrat nominees for president.  While Giuliani’s strength is greater, and has a longer track record, McCain’s strength gets equal billing in the analysis to which I linked despite its inconsistency.

The most interesting thing about this poll, though, is what it does not bother to track:  How well Romney does in potential match-ups against democrats in Pennsylvania.  You see, Romney was running behind Newt and Fred Thompson back in late March, and he’s still sucking wind in PA as we shall see.

This is because when it comes to the relative strength of candidates in their party’s primaries Quinnipiac’s poll has more good news for Team Giuliani.  It also has news likely to cause indigestion among democrats.  Of course, this exercise remains purely academic as our General Assembly– and former and current Governors– remain uninterested in graciously extending to us a national franchise.

Should PA move its primary up and become relevant, though, Team Giuliani would be very happy.  He has opened up a lead to almost three times that of the rest of the field.  He garnered 28 points in the poll, with McCain, Romney, Thompson, and Newt clustered within the margin of error between 8-11 apiece.

So when it comes to Pennsylvania, Giuliani remains the clear leader among Republicans, and beats all current potential democrat nominees.  It is of some interest to note previously Giuliani beat Clinton in the southeast Philadelphia suburbs, but not Obama.  Currently, both Obama and Clinton beat Giuliani in this region.  This is not a good indicator, and merits further attention as a potential canary in the mine.

But you know the Democrat that shows the strongest in potential general election match-ups?  That’s right, dear hearts, it’s Al Gore!  My, it would be fun if he tried a Nixon from the wilderness maneuver.  And don’t fool yourselves, he may try.  It seems in PA his enviro-cred picks up votes from the GOP upstate.  It also may not hurt that he’s from Tennessee and much of Pennsylvania is functionally Southern.

This is confirmed by the fact that he ranks second in a potential democrat primary, and he’s not even running.  Those types of numbers certainly persuaded Fred Thompson to take a crack at running, and he’s merely a former senator of the more disinterested breed.  Gore actually won the popular vote for president a few years ago.

The takeaway from all this polling, though, is the song remains the same.  Pennsylvania Republicans love Rudy Giuliani, and it appears he definitely has the best chance of beating any democrat in a general election.  Why?  You can all say it with me this time:  Because Giuliani sincerely happens reflect the general electorate on a wide range of issues.  It’s just that simple.

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Filed under Fred Thompson, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, McCain, Newt, Obama, Polling, Primaries, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Chester County, PA = USA

The Philadelphia suburbs, in case y’all didn’t know, are the key to winning statewide and Federal elections in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Remember James Carville’s famous quip about PA?  “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia on one side, Pittsburgh on the other, and Alabama in the middle.”

What this means is Democrats can be expected to win the urban areas, and Republicans can be expected to win the rural areas.  The counties surrounding Philadelphia, then, are generally the deciding factor.  These counties used to trend for the GOP.  Not so much anymore.  Exhibit one is the fact Governor Ed Rendell recently garnered around 70% of the vote in these counties against the half-hearted competition of Lynn Swann.  More distressing is the trouncing Rick Santorum recently took against Bob Casey.  Those numbers are detailed by yours truly here.

I mention all this again because G. Terry Madonna and Michael Young had a piece yesterday in The Morning Call pointing out how this trend is bad news for the GOP nationally, and PA may be slipping into a solidly blue state.

[note to Inquirer and Daily News:  The Allentown Morning Call is continuing to kick your big paper ass in presidential election coverage and commentary]

What Madonna and Young do not discuss are the most recent Pennsylvania presidential polls from Quinnipiac University.  [UPDATE:  New Quinnipiac polls were coming out at the time of this post’s composition] What they show is not that the Philadelphia suburbs are turning solidly blue, but that they are purple.  Rudy Giuliani is the only potential GOP candidate who shows well against Democrats here, beating all potential democrat nominees except for Obama, with whom the race would be within the margin of error.

This is because Giuliani has a strong record as a fiscal and law and order conservative, but also a Federalist agenda on potentially divisive social issues.  This is why Giuliani can win Pennsylvania.  And I think this is the most untold story of the presidential race so far:  Giuliani polls well because his positions happen to be the same as the bulk of the American electorate.  It is just that simple.  What plays well in Chester County, Pennsylvania also plays well all over the country.

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Filed under Federalism, Giuliani, Obama, Polling, Rendell, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani, Santorum, Social Issues