Saturday, October 29, 2011

Romney now positioned to win the GOP nomination

As strange as it may seem (for any number of reasons), Mitt Romney is on the cusp of winning the GOP Presidential nomination. Of the first five state contests, Romney is assured of winning one easily (New Hampshire) and will be competitive in Nevada and Florida. With conservative votes divided between Cain, Gingrich, Bachmann and Perry, Romney can move along steadily between 25-30% and pick up delegates along the way. As the primaries move to more moderate states (like California and Connecticut) he can take all the delegates in a "winner takes all" scenario in those states no matter what percentage he gets as long as he finishes first. In the end, he wins the nomination unless one solid conservative opponent emerges from the pack and can eclipse Romney. As of this writing that doesn't seem likely and Mitt Romney should be able to steer a straight path to the nomination.


The Snitch

Monday, October 10, 2011

Can Herman Cain win the Presidency?

The short answer is yes but I'm wondering if he's having what I call a "Howard Dean" moment. The former governor of Vermont came out of nowhere in late 2003 seizing on the anti-Iraq fervor in the Democratic party and found himself in first place just before the Iowa caucus. In fact, many felt he was a prohibitive favorite to win the nomination but at the last minute a letter was released (nobody knows who although it was probably Bill Clinton) showing Dean's support for Clinton's unilateral military strikes in Yugoslavia in 1998. This undercut Dean's claim as an antiwar liberal, and, after his disastrous speech the night he lost the Iowa caucus sunk him and allowed John Kerry to seize the nomination.

Right now it certainly seems that Cain is the "stop Romney" candidate. He's conservative fiscally and socially and seems very likeable to most that seem he him in stump speeches. He's gotten his biggest lift from the debates; he seems comfortable and plain spoken. He's got a great life story and he's unapologetic for his political positions. His "9-9-9" plan seems to resonate with a lot of voters but I think this will be his Achilles Heel. If he wins the nomination the Democrats will hit him over and over again with the idea of a 9% sales tax as a "regressive tax" on the poor. That's political dynamite and will be hard to handle.

Having said all that, two months is basically a geological ice age and so much can happen. A month ago the conventional wisdom on the GOP side was that Perry would be the "stop Romney" candidate. Perry has since faded into obscurity, chewed up by his own incomprehensible answers in the debates while Herman Cain shined. Conservative GOP voters will probably have to decide in the next two months whether or not they'll take the more moderate Romney or whether they'll gamble on a untested conservative like Herman Cain. Right now my money is on Cain. If anything, it would be very funny to watch the Left attack him, an African American who, unlike the current President, actually was the victim of racial discrimination who rose from obscurity to be a successful businessman.


The Snitch

Monday, October 3, 2011

If Christie runs he could win the nomination and the Presidency

One thing is for sure: if Chris Christie runs it will be the end of Mitt Romney. Mitt has always been the moderate's choice in the race but the big man from Jersey would overtake him easily. Christie has some baggage (including a large waistline) but he'll be seen by a lot of moderates and some conservatives as a strong leader who can really challenge Obama in the general election.

I believe Christie would actually have an easier time winning the general election than the Republican nomination. If he wins the nomination he puts all the swing states in play (see previous posts) and even a few blue states. If he ran the table in the general election and won the swing states, Christie could end up with an Electoral College vote in the high 300s, easily capturing the Presidency.

This is all assuming he's running. I thought Mitch Daniels and Paul Ryan would run so I'm used to being wrong. Right now in Trenton Governor Christie and his team and considering how to put together a last minute strategy to get on the ballot in several states (like Florida) that have moved up their primaries. We should know by Friday if he's running. Many in the GOP are not at all satisfied with the current crop of candidates and a lot of pressure is being put on the Governor Christie to run. Simply put, the GOP doesn't want to lose an election to a President who is so obviously vulnerable and Chris Christie may be the answer they are looking for. While he may not be Ronald Reagan, he'll be able put together a coalition based on strong leadership that would be very hard to beat.


The Snitch

A Republican will be elected tomorrow in West Virginia

Bill Maloney, the Republican candidate for governor of West Virginia, will defeat Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin in the state's special election tomorrow. I predict Maloney will win 51.5% to 48.5% after being down by as many as 30 points earlier this year. President Obama's approval rating is in the high 20s in the state and any Democrat will suffer because of that large albatross. Six weeks ago Tomblin was ahead by more than 15 points but has seen the race become a dead heat in the last 5 days. Most of late breaking voters are deciding to vote for Maloney, which only makes sense as political independents in the state simply can't stand the national Democratic party right now.

Having said that, Tomblin does have a solid chance of pulling out a win. The Democrats do have a substantial registration edge and control the State Assembly and Senate (and have controlled it since the 1930s). There have only been 2 Republicans elected to the governorship in the state since the Great Depression so it is only natural to think the Democrats have home field advantage. However, George Bush won the state twice and John McCain was victorious in 2008 so Republicans can win statewide and I believe they'll win tomorrow.


The Snitch