Alexander P. De Filippi
Friday 4, January 2008
Wednesday 9, January 2008
This article will be updated trough the year.
Mainstream Republicans have reasons to celebrate and to worry about the news coming from the Iowa caucuses this past Thursday, January 3. In effect, Mike Huckabee, the mainstream candidate and future Republican presidential nominee easily won the election. The media calls Mitt Romney “the establishment candidate” because he has money, but the truth is, the real establishment candidate is Huckabee, who represents the George W. Bush line in all matters, from free trade, to immigration, in addition to his pro-life stance.
The mainstream or establishment candidate in the Republican Party is not determined by the amount of money or name recognition but by the base of support within the Republican Party that he has. Governor Mike Huckabee has in his favor the two main factions of the Republican Party, the Christian right and the business community. None of the other Republicans in the race can count on those two elements of support. Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Ron Paul have to divide among themselves the fiscally conservative, non-religious right, which is located mostly on the east and west coasts, and that does not surpass more than twenty percent of the Republican electorate across the country.
The second good news for Republicans came from the Democrats’ results, especially the fact that the establishment candidate, Senator Hillary Clinton, was in third place. I call her the establishment candidate because she has the media support and the most money from that business community, located mostly in California and New York. It is very difficult to believe that Barack Obama would win a presidential contest against Mike Huckabee. Therefore, if the Democrats nominate Senator Obama, they will lose the presidential election, an election that, based on the results of the 2006 congressional election, is up to the Democrats to lose.
The sobering or sour note for Republicans came from the Iowans’ participation in the caucus. Iowa isn’t New York. Iowa is a conservative state that went for George W. Bush in 2004 and slightly for Al Gore in 2000. Therefore, the fact that the number of people participating in the Democrats’ caucuses was two and a half times greater than those participating in the Republican caucuses is bad news for Republicans. Iowa has only seen benefits for the last seven years from the Bush administration, so they should be grateful to Republicans. Also, in that state, the grassroots Republican machine is almost as good as the one they have in the South. In fact, the Christian Republican grassroots machine runs well even in New York City. The Iowan local press isn’t liberal either, so that massive participation of people, including independents, in the Democrats’ caucuses, is impressive and should put the Republicans on notice that something as unusual as the awful results of the congressional and gubernatorial races of 2006 could happen again this year.
The Democrats’ conundrum: they have the momentum with the American electorate this year as they had it in 2006, so winning the presidential race should not be a problem for them. Nevertheless, in spite of the favorable winds, the Democrats find themselves unable to nominate a good candidate; any of the three main contenders, Obama, Edwards and Clinton is an easy target for Republicans. Any of those three should lose in a race against Huckabee. Any of those three will have to name a vice-president that can propel them, maybe Al Gore? Vice-president again? I do not know. I believe the Democratic establishment will be able to keep Hillary Clinton as its nominee. Unfortunately for Democrats, she is as bad as the other two. Therefore, their faith depends on two factors: the vice-president they name and a repetition of the 2006 phenomenon in which independents and moderates, nationwide, broke for the Democrats. They could make it easier for themselves to get the independent and moderate votes if they play the “minister card” against Huckabee. Independents and moderates that make up easily twenty percent of the electorate, tend to be non-religious; they tend to be moderate or independent because they do not take any position to the extreme, whether in politics, environment or religion. In addition, on this occasion, the Republicans, apparently, won’t have the Hispanic support as they did in 2000 and 2004. The media have manipulated the immigration subject in such a way that Hispanics, unfairly, perceive Republicans as anti-immigrants.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
If January 3 Iowa caucuses results was a victory for the republican establishment, Tuesday 8 in New Hampshire was a victory for the democrat establishment. Three issues I would like to address in this update, first the polls, second the Hillary Clinton victory and the independents votes.
1) The polls. Again the polls were wrong big time. In 2006, no poll predicted that the republican would suffer such terrible defeat at all levels, and in this occasion every poll predicted a major victory for Obama, again the pollster were wrong, maybe the new moon? Just kidding. For some reason in some occasions the pollsters are unable to get the pulse of the people.
2) Hillary Clinton victory. The democrat establishment was able to save Hillary even before Super Tuesday, and they did, using again, the power of the media. The media played again and again the Hillary “two sweet moments”, the Saturday comment at the debate “I am likable enough” and the Monday “tears”. Now that Obama appears vulnerable to the media machine, he appeared immune to it just until January 7, he needs the vote coming from Kucinich, Edwards and Richardson combine to defeat the democrat establishment’s money and media power, although in this case Richardson is a supporter of Hillary, but his supporters are either Edwards or Obama votes. Therefore Edwards and Kucinich should drop and declare their support for Obama.
3) Again most of the independents participated in the Democrats primaries than in the Republican one.