Tuesday, May 8, 2007

My Presidential Crystal Ball

A comment asked about Huckabee: "Do you really have hope?"

First of all, HOPE is all I ever have. And secondly, given that caution, yes. I know that there is dissatisfaction, and I know that he can solve a significant hunk of that dissatisfaction. All that needs to be overcome is the public's intimidation about inadequate media attention. As always, if they are depending on the media to get ahead of them, it ain't gonna happen. But, the public CAN pull (force) the media, if it decides to.

Honestly, I don't think the media can shove McCain or Giuliani down the throat of Republican activists, and I also hope not. I don't think they are making progress.

At this point, I think Huckabee's big hurdles are Romney and the unannounced Fred Thompson, who is getting that attention as a non-candidate. Actually, the fact that the media are willing to give Thompson that profile as a potential conservative savior, is a big red flag for me.

I look for Huckabee and Tommy Thompson to surprise in Iowa, and for the "big "three" to be weaker than expected. However, Romney is strong in New Hampshire and McCain has a following there, though it's dwindling, not growing. And McCain has a pro-military following in South Carolina, which will be substantial if the field is still broad, but (maybe a lot) less so if it is considerably thinned out. In SC, I think it's between Huckabee and McCain. After some thinning out and some more time (there's a debate in SC, next Tue), I think Huckabee could win.

I don't see Giuliani making it. I'll be very disappointed in the psychological pliability of conservatives, if he does. He and Romney will have a tough slog in SC. Romney might have to carry NH momentum past SC to the big day on Feb. 5. But a good show in Iowa, NH, and SC could push Huckabee up for Feb 5. Of course, he will need a good financial push from it, too. Romney can afford to hang with a NH showing and buy media for Feb. 5.

The national polls don't mean jack-squat. They are no more than bald popular name-recognition (a lot of people have never heard of any of them). The activists will have seen the political discussions on the tube and the Internet and will be more encouraged by the comments they have heard about Huckabee and Romney.

So, imagine that only Romney, Huckabee, Thompson, and a weakened McCain are around Feb 5. If Giuliani is still in, he might do well in New York and BIG California, Thompson in the Midwest, and Huckabbee in the South. Romney will need to gather a big kick from NH. He may be helped with name recognition in Michigan, where his father was governor over 40 years ago, getting some of the "I know that name! - maybe, he was a ballplayer" vote.

Anyway, I have exactly that: HOPE. I'd have more if they hadn't compacted and front-loaded the system. The nominee may be chosen 8 months before the election, and that might make a Democratic win more likely.


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