Monthly Archives: October 2007

Want Cheese w/that Whine, Mitt?

Gee willakers, it seems like my part-time pro-Rudy blogging avocation trends frequently towards Mitt-bashing.  I really wish it didn’t work out that way.  I would love to snark more about McCain, Fred, and the Huckster.

Thing is, Romney makes it so gosh-darned easy.  He won’t give a guy a break.

His campaign recently took time off from suggesting he call Obama “Osama”, and supportingscurrilous anti-Fred Thompson websites to complain to a humble– if establishmentarian– PA blogger about a polygamy joke.

Our friends at Pennsyltucky Politics– that’s the royal “we”, mind you– made a somewhat unoriginal joke at the expense of Romney’s Mormonosity by commenting he and his “17 wives” would be swinging through Philadelphia to scrounge up some donated cash to help offset the mammoth loans he’s giving his own campaign out of his pocket.

Please note that while the joke may be unoriginal, Pennsyltucky Politics is at a disadvantage because we are nowhere near the point where jokes about multiple wives have actually stopped being funny.

Well, Mitt’s communications people have sent Pennstyltucky Politics a mildly scolding note which has apparently inspired a collegial apology. Take it for what you will.

I take it thusly:  If Mormons are so mainstream, and just like everyone else, why skin so thin that they go out of their way to scold a regional blogger?  You think Giuliani gets cranky at Italian jokes?  Do you think he takes criticisms of the Spanish Inquisition personally?

Here, I’ll take a test flight and see if I get a call from Team Rudy: Giuliani is Torquemada to petty drug dealers and transvestite hookers that used to do brisk trade in Times Square.  Disappointed NYT reporters lament this Mayoral mafioso’s ascent.

To learn more about the Church of Latter-Day Saints click here.

Open Primaries

I was looking at a NH poll today showing Mayor Giuliani lagging behind Romney– which was a bummer as Hizzoner had tightened things up there during the last round of polls– and saw that the bulk of independent voters in NH still aren’t sure which primary they’ll vote in.

They get to make that choice as NH has an open primary: You don’t have to be registered as a member of the same party in who’s primary you’d like to cast a ballot.  I think this bodes will for Giuliani.  The GOP race will be more comeptitive, and hence should draw more independent voters.  I bet Giuliani is very strong with that crowd.  I have not seen commentary regarding this.

As a matter of theory I don’t know how I feel about this.  On the one hand, we are a de facto two party system, if not a de jure one.  I used to be a registered libertarian, and one of the main reasons I now am a registered member of the GOP– and now a ward leader– was I became sick of having no voice in the primaries.  It was a real bummer to be unable to cast a ballot against Arlen Specter…

On the other hand, though, political parties are private organizations.  Now, I think it might be difficult for the Dems to restrict their primary to only illegal immigrants, and for the GOP to restrict theirs to men named Cleetus.  Still, as private organizations I instinctively support their rights to handle their affairs however they want.

I do wonder, though, if Giuliani’s fight for the GOP nod would pretty much be fait accompli if all states had open primaries.  It would certainly be the case here in the Commonwealth of PA.

It’s a problem as old as the GOP, actually.  The primaries are the place where minority factions carry the most water.  But does this end up giving us the best possible candidates for a general election?  Ronald Reagans aren’t very commonplace…

Who is the 2nd choice?

Over at Red State there’s a little discussion going about the dynamics of the GOP primary.  The initial piece theorized that none of the GOP voters supporting 2nd and 3rd tier candidates will select Giuliani as their candidate, so his row will get tougher to hoe as time goes on.

This is just a different way of putting the case that Giuliani benefits from a diffusion of the socially conservative vote.

The question I have is this: What evidence exists that the supporters of Tancredo, Brownback, Hunter, Huckabee, and even McCain do not have Giuliani as their second choice?  It seems to be assumed as impossible, but in PA, for example, we have seen ample polling suggesting evangelical and rural voters like Giuliani just fine.

As I say, people should check the actual data before making assertions.

Raising PA Ducats

Mayor Giuliani has raised more money out of Pennsylvania than any other GOP candidate, we learn here.

[Piece by the ever helpful Josh Drobnyk, who continues to kick the big papers’ collective behinds on campaign ’08 coverage, although the HT goes to Keystone Politics]

Hillary has a similar lead over her competition in the state.

The Dems are raising more cash in PA than the GOP, which mirrors national trends.  More interestingly, the margin by which PA Dems are raising more cash over the GOP is even higher in PA than it is in states like NY and CA.  This is a little odd.

Some theorize this indicates PA is getting increasingly solidly “blue”.  I have commented elsewhere that this analysis is simplistic, and ignores a clear data point:  The GOP in PA is particularly dysfunctional.

The grassroots that blow to the right in our Commonwealth increasingly view the PA GOP leadership as an incestuous band of logrollers and featherbedders that more resemble Teamsters than fiscal conservatives when it comes to financial responsibility.  The Highmark merger, irrelevant presidential primary, anemic candidate recruitment, legislative pay-raise hangover, and inability to deal with gambling and property taxes all contribute to internal dissatisfaction here in the GOP.

It’s death by a thousand pin-pricks.  None of these issues, and others I have not mentioned, amounts to much individually.  But most GOP voters in the state don’t have to look hard to find some local GOP politico keyed into the party leadership that acts like a preening self-interested buffoon.

Of course, the climate is similar nationally.  It’s just even worse here, although probably not as bad as it is in, say, Ohio.  This explains why GOP money is staying in modest interest bearing accounts here and all over the country.

That said, the second it becomes official that Mrs. Clinton is the Dem. nominee for the general election and voters have the opportunity to seriously ponder the prospect of being hectored by Mrs. Clinton for four years I bet the purse stings will loosen up.  So I do not think things are as bleak nationally as many others do.  After all, here in PA Giuliani runs tight against Clinton in hypothetical general election polls despite all of the institutional handicaps the GOP brings to the game.

Phil English and Giuliani

Back when I noted Congreeman Phil English’s (R-PA) endorsement of Giuliani I omitted a very important fact of which I was unaware.

Phil English’s rating with the National Right to Life Committee?  100%.

Just sayin’.

Swing State Quinnipiac Poll Time: Looking like Rudy & Hil

Quinnipiac University does a monthly poll of swing states: PA, OH, and FL.

The big picture?  Hillary and Giuliani appear to remain the favorites for their respective nominations.  Rudy’s matchups w/her in a general election are looking marginally worse.  Still close, but he’s now behind her in all three.  The upside of this?  He’s still way better than all the other GOP candidates.

Vis a vis the GOP race, the big news is this: Giuliani *still* is doing well amongst evangelicals.  He leads amongst them in OH and PA, and comes in second to Fred Thompson in Florida.  I say that’s more a product of the fact that Thompson is Southern than anything else.  It’s easy for us northerners to think of Florida as Miami and Orlando.  Travel around the state, though, and you’ll see many parts are every bit as “southern” as Mississippi.

Also interesting to note is that in hypothetical general election matchups the GOP candidate that comes closest to performing as well as Giuliani is not Romney or Thompson, but McCain. So stay in the game, John!  It’s good for Hizzoner.

Aside:  They seem to like Obama a lot in OH.  It seems it can’t catch a break in the Dem. primary, there, but he’s arguably stronger than Hillary in a general.  Weird.  I guess they just hate the GOP that much.

Consider yourselves warned, Commonwealth GOP leaders in PA.  You guys aren’t all that different….wait….I’m one of those guys, now, since I’m now a ward leader.  Well, at least I’ve warned myself!

PA & Giuliani’s Electability

It would be disingenuous to deny that some of Hizzoner’s appeal lies in his electability.  It is difficult to imagine any other GOP candidate has a better chance at winning a general election.

Of course, the fly in the ointment has always been about his electability in the GOP primary.  Take a look at this map, though: (ht Lead Us Forward)

Repprim.png

This map is based on the most recent polling in various state’s primaries, as they stand right now.

When the math is broken down, Mayor Giuliani would have more than twice as many delegates as his next nearest comeptitor, Fred Thompson.  Romney and McCain would have about one seventh the delegates of Giuliani, with McCain actually beating Romney.

Currently, the Giuliani and Romney campaigns view each other as the primary competition.  I judge this by the e-mail missives sent to pundits from each team’s communication’s apparatus.  Last night the Giuliani campaign sent out nine such e-mails, with five taking digs at Romney and two taking runs at Fred as something of an afterthought.  I am told the Romney campaign is maintaining a similar ratio, just taking jabs at Rudy.

Frankly, though, I find it hard to imagine Romney can overcome these odds.  He’s spent about 10 million dollars to build his lead in IA, and not even he has enough money to do that everywhere else.

This is where PA comes in.  Everyone knows Giuliani is strong in the Northeast.  What other campaign’s must bitterly realize is these are all states where it is really, really expensive to organize and purchase media.  Giuliani’s strength, you’ll see, also lies on the West Coast and upper Midwest (yes, yes, I know these are considered more “liberal”, but you be careful saying that to an Orange County Republican who launched Reagan’s political career).

Thing is, unless some candidate can erode Giuliani’s support in PA, NJ, NY, CA, he may be unstoppable.  Not that those states are enough to win.  But again, they are pricey.  On that terrain it is much less fiscally prohibitive to play defence than offense.

Given this, the Giuliani campaigns electoral bar for the rest of the country may be set about as low as the one set for Fred Thompson at yesterday’s debates.