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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Morning After: Michigan

posted by on January 16 at 11:42 AM

Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

Ross Douthat of the The Atlantic sums up the increasingly wild/wacky race for the GOP nomination better than anyone else I’ve read this morning:

After each GOP primary so far, the winner has faced an immediate test. For Huckabee after Iowa, it was whether his appeal could translate beyond his evangelical base. Two primaries later, the answer seems to be no. For McCain after New Hampshire, it was whether he could use his momentum and what looked liked a favorable schedule to break through his 30-percent ceiling and become the front-runner. After tonight’s result, the answer likewise looks like no. Now it’s Romney’s turn to be tested: Can his Mormon, flip-flopping, starched-shirt northeastern self do well in Dixie? If it can - if he can compete strongly in South Carolina and Florida, and maybe win one of the two - then he’ll be off to the races.

Which is to say that none of the candidates have been able to create a lasting coalition of voters that’s strong enough to consistently win states for them. And what’s more, the next contest goes into one of the few states where Fred Thompson may still be a viable player in the race.

Oh, and then after that there’s Florida, the last remaining bastion of Rudy Giuliani-dom, where polling has him neck-and-neck with McCain for the lead. Attempting to impose conventional wisdom on the Republican race seems to be totally impossible at this point, and everyone is either a winner or a loser, depending on how you view the situation.

Unless you count Rep. Duncan Hunter, who’s 0.33% share of the vote in Michigan probably means it will be hard to view him as a winner.

Except in my heart.

RSS icon Comments


You mean, "in your pants."

Posted by Tlazolteotl | January 16, 2008 11:56 AM

Republican on Republican violence is funny because it's mean.....

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 16, 2008 12:00 PM


You don't know the depths of my (electoral) passion for that man.

Posted by R. Jackson, Versatile Intern | January 16, 2008 12:04 PM

So what's with the MSM still not interviewing Ron Paul when he's beaten both Guilani and Thompson multiple times ... and they interview them when they lose ...

Just saying. Personally, I think Ron Paul is a loon.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 16, 2008 12:11 PM

I'd feel better about the R's shredding themselves into tiny little factions if the D's weren't kinda doing the same thing.

It's only three of them, but the longer they harp at each other, the more entrenched Clinton, Obama, and Edwards partisans seem to get.

Posted by elganador | January 16, 2008 12:50 PM

I assume the stranger is going to give equal debate SLOG'ing time to the Rebuplican debates?

Is there going to be another live chat session during the next scheduled Republican debate here on the SLOG?

Just curious...

Posted by Reality Check | January 16, 2008 1:57 PM

This election is fascinating because of how clearly the dividing lines of both parties are on display. On the Democratic side, you have women, African Americans, working class/pocketbook voters, and ideological and particularly anti-war leftists as the main constituencies, and (ignoring the quasi-campaign of Gravel) anybody paying any attention to the election could easily associate those factions with Clinton, Obama, Edwards, and Kucinich respectively. On the other side, it's people afraid of terrorism (Giuliani), conservative members of the military (McCain), rich assholes (Romney), Christian lunatics (Huckabee), loonball libertarians (Paul), anti-immigrant racists (Tancredo), and general idiots (Thompson). You also have Hunter, who doesn't fit cleanly into any category and so isn't gaining any traction.

The difference, I think, is that while personal animosity is high on the Democratic side, the constituencies themselves are ready to rally around the winner. The only exception to that is a vocal subset of Obama supporters who simultaneously embrace his unifying rhetoric at the same time as they proclaim that they will never vote for Hillary Clinton even if she's the nominee. Yet these people do not seem to be part of any key constituency in the party, but rather just a roving band of leader-hungry personality cultists. It's weird and I don't know what to do about it, because the options seem to be to vote for Obama and let some of these people into the decision-making apparatus of government, or vote against Obama and risk pissing them off and losing the election to the Republicans.

Posted by Cascadian | January 16, 2008 4:51 PM

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