Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Outcome In Michigan: Romney And Meaningless

As the pundit corps debates the meaning of the Michigan primary results, other election questions need to be pondered.

Hillary, the only top-tier Democratic candidate to not have his/her name removed, has beaten Uncommitted fairly soundly. And Mitt's win shows that Michigan has not forgotten the Romney name. But other states loom in the distance and must be won, if a candidate is serious about winning.

Democrats have much to decide, but the power bases are more concentrated in three candidates. The consensus is, it's really a two person race at this point. John Edwards really isn't projected to win anything in the near future, although one cannot rule out that if he remains, a state or two may actually swing his way, somewhere down the road. But unfortunately for Mr. Edwards, it will not be enough.

It's widely accepted that Hillary and Obama are the two that will bring the Dems down to the wire. One of the major questions this leads to has already been asked: Who will Edwards supporters swing their allegiance to after their man is gone?

From the NY Post article linked to above, we read what Dick Morris thinks:

THE Democratic nomination for president will likely be decided by the subtle pulls of ego against duty that tug at the conscience of John Edwards. He manifestly can no longer win - but he helps Hillary Clinton if he stays in the race and boosts Barack Obama if he pulls out.

It's a given that he will be in the race at least until after South Carolina, and then Super Tuesday. After that, there will be massive calls for him to exit, I am pretty sure.

I am not sure that all of the support that Edwards currently enjoys will be transferred straight to Obama's camp. But clearly, a lot will. There is an anti-Hillary element that exists within the party and the conventional wisdom of such people is anyone is better than her. The question is, will it be enough to cast her down out of contention in the upcoming big states that have many coveted delegates.

In the GOP side, Romney has won Wyoming and now, Michigan. These are two that he should have won and sorely needed to, if he was to have any chance whatsoever. Sure, he leads the delegate total right now. But, Super Tuesday is around the corner and the delegates up for grabs will mean much more than the nickel and dime amounts that have been at stake before tonight.

Nevada will be hard to predict. There are a lot of Mormons there, who may fall behind Romney. At the same time, we also must keep in mind that it is a neighboring state to John McCain's Arizona. McCain is quite popular in the west. Still, one cannot rule out Romney (based on the religious demographics).

In South Carolina, McCain and Huckabee will be the top two, with McCain probably winning a squeaker due to the military vote. After that showing, I think McCain stands a good chance of carrying California and some other key states.

Back to the Democratic side, I think Obama should win big in SC (mainly due to the race issue that has arisen of late). But I do think NY and California will go Clinton, the latter by a far lesser margin than the former. I also think Hillary has a good chance to win in Nevada, but I would not count Obama out.

Key point, if Hillary makes it close in SC, there will be signs that the polls (like in NH) may be in the midst of some serious media manipulations. We may find that Hillary is more formidable than is currently being thought. And we may also have a better understanding that the media is trying to do what they do best, which is play a role in the coronation of a democratic nominee.

But tonight, the results of the Democratic race means little or nothing; that is, unless the DNC decides down the road to restore the delegates it took as punishment for holding the contest too early for Howard deans and company's tastes. And unless it is in the best interest of the party, I seriously doubt they will.

One factor tho think about is the winner, which (in this case) is Hillary over the Uncommitted. Had the Uncommitted won, I would say that they would likely be restored at some point soon. However, the only way they may be restored now is, if Hillary is a few delegates away from the nomination without them and to prevent a protracted floor fight that the GOP could somehow exploit, they opt to avoid such a scenario on national TV.

So, here we are again. A lot can happen in the coming weeks. There will be those that claim front-runner status as part of their campaign rhetoric machines. But in reality, there really is none on either side. It makes it even plainer, when you sit and think about how much is at stake next month and how much can be lost if someone really screws up between now and then.

No comments: