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| - January, 2008|
|Wednesday, January 30, 2008|
|Giuliani to endorse McCain|
|Reports say that Rudy Giuliani will officially endorse John McCain. Looks like everything
is going his way. In a close race, this endorsement will be pivotal. On the other hand, it may not be a close
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:25am 01/30/08 ::
|Giuliani's big bust, McCain now true frontrunner|
|Last night sealed the deal on The Blogging Caesar's second edict and
thrust John McCain out in front of a diminishing GOP field. The Florida primary showed McCain's ability to win a
closed GOP primary. It also brought to an end to the "how-not-to-run-a-campaign" debacle that was Rudy Giuliani's
After McCain's convincing winner-take-all triumph last night over Mitt Romney, I'm tempted to issue another edict that
the senator will now be the nominee. However, I have counted Mr. Romney out too many times before to risk my
authority of the decree on his demise once again. His resiliency - and the fact that he is still the only
"true conservative" running - precludes any forthcoming edicts on the matter. (I confer that characteristic on him
simply as an echo of what more learned GOP pundits are saying. Personally, I still doubt that his rhetoric on the
campaign trail is consistent with his true self. Knowing the mind and heart of a used car salesman is a challenge
Now back to the man of the hour. As I watched the returns break in McCain's favor last night, an old adage
crept into my mind. "Be careful what you wish for!" It is true that I want the GOP to win in November real
bad (grammatical blunder intended), but I got a sinking feeling when I thought about President McCain. Not so much
about amnesty for illegals or sunsetting tax cuts, but about the Supreme Court. You see, conservatives are on the
verge of establishing a momentous majority on the bench.
With several justices, at least two of a liberal bent, getting way up in years, the next 4 to 8 years will likely
present multiple opportunities to move the Court closer to where it was designed to be by the Founding Fathers.
However, I am unaware of McCain's guiding principles on the issue of choosing justices. And even if he does
nominate constructionist candidates, I am doubtful of Mr. Compromise's resolve to face down a Democratic majority Senate
in any confirmation battle.
As a side note, it is a great irony to me that, on the judicial front, I am most comfortable with Rudy handling the
reins. He is well-known as a social liberal, but that comes more from a libertarian mindset. As such, he
committed openly to nominating only strict constructionists to serve on the bench. Of course, he will not get that
opportunity. Florida made sure of that.
It also confirmed the fact that the race for the GOP nomination is now between John McCain and Mitt Romney.
With Giuliani set to pull out and Huckabee floundering in the teens, only those two have any real shot. Heading
into Super-duper-mega-jumbo Tuesday, the storyline will revolve around the impact Huckabee's continued presence will
have on the top two. Most of what I've read seems to indicate the Arkansan will help McCain by siphoning more
support away from Romney. I tend to agree with that assessment. It is another reason John McCain should feel
pretty good about his chances this morning.
A couple of notes on the Democratic side. Since they were playing with play chips last night, Hillary's victory
doesn't mean a whole lot. However, after what happened in South Carolina on Saturday, a lopsided victory was just
what the doctor ordered. It confirms again that she is still a player and may take a bit of the luster off Obama's
rising star, which has shown ever so brightly in recent days. How does one decide who is the frontrunner in this
one? It could go either way, and probably will before the convention now that John Edwards has dropped out.
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:00am 01/30/08 ::
|Tuesday, January 29, 2008|
|John McCain and Mitt Romney are locked in a nail-biter down in the Sunshine State. Because
of the winner-take-all format for the GOP in Florida, even the slightest victory translates into a substantial pick up
in delegates. Perhaps more importantly, the winner today will be well-positioned heading into next week's
So who will be that victor? Polls are close, very close. This week's endorsement of McCain by Florida
Governor Charlie Crist certainly didn't hurt the senator's chances, but it's hard to tell how many voters the announcement
will sway. It did help convince me to go with the aggregate polling average and predict a slim McCain margin over
Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani looks like he'll find out his strategy of effectively waiting on the sidelines until this
day in Florida was not such a great idea. No, the Rudy firewall is burning. With his poll numbers tanking
nationwide, it is very difficult to see how he can survive a distant third here today and mount any credible comeback
in the future. And Mike Huckabee's support, as expected after the second-place finish in South Carolina, is
waning as well. This has clearly become a two-man race for the GOP nomination.
On the Democratic side, the candidates are once again fighting for nothing but bragging rights. Like Michigan,
Florida's delegates have been taken away by the DNC for conducting the primary before Feb. 5. However, that doesn't
stop The Blogging Caesar from making predictions on that contest, too.
Other predictions from around the blogosphere:
- John McCain - 36%
- Mitt Romney - 35%
- Rudy Giuliani - 14%
- Mike Huckabee - 10%
- Ron Paul - 5%
- Hillary Clinton - 47%
- Barack Obama - 38%
- John Edwards - 15%
- Mike Gravel - 0%
If you have posted predictions, send me an email so I can put you on this list.
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:00am 01/29/08 ::
|Monday, January 28, 2008|
|Poll: Are we ready for a woman or African-American president?|
|The latest edition of Election Projection's Weekly Poll is up. With the Democrats poised to
nominate either a woman or an African-American as their standard bearer, the question of our culture's receptivity to
someone other than a white male in the White House has become a topic of debate. Even after the progress we've
seen in civil and gender rights over the last century, some feel deep-seated biases remain when it comes to the nation's
Regardless of your personal sentiments on the matter, do you believe America, at the present time, can elect a woman
or a person of color? NOTE: This is not a question of who will win, but whether our culture is ready to
overcome past prejudices and choose a woman or an African-American president. The poll is located in the right
sidebar. Please be sure to cast your vote.
posted by Scott Elliott at 1:25pm 01/28/08 ::
|Saturday, January 26, 2008|
|South Carolina Predictions - Updated|
|Today Democrats and other South Carolinians who didn't vote in last weekend's GOP primary will be
eligible to vote in the South Carolina Democratic primary. I'm foreseeing an Obama victory with Hillary trailing by
a good margin. Because of my schedule today, I won't be able to post a prediction roundup. I will try to post
one on Tuesday for the pivotal Florida primary.
Update: Obama 55%, Clinton 27%. Wow, what a shellacking! I guess we've now seen what happens
when Hillary ventures into highly African-American states where Obama is actually on the ballot. I will be
expectantly awaiting how polls in Super-duper-mega-jumbo Tuesday states react to tonight's result. Will Obama
emerge as a true frontrunner? Or can Hillary weather this full frontal assault? Either way, it's clear more
than ever that we have a real battle for the Democratic nomination on our hands.
- Barack Obama - 45%
- Hillary Clinton - 35%
- John Edwards - 19%
- Mike Gravel - 1%
posted by Scott Elliott at 12:50pm 01/26/08 ::
|Thursday, January 24, 2008|
|Another one bites the dust|
|In a shocking announcement today that is sure to throw the race for the Democratic nomination into
turmoil, Rep. Dennis Kucinich is calling it quits.
Heightened speculation surrounds his withdrawal as the Democratic field eagerly awaits his endorsement. The lucky
endorsee stands to gain a substantial boost of a dozen or so votes across the nation. Stayed tuned; I'll have more
on this developing story. Well, actually, probably not.
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:25pm 01/24/08 ::
|Tuesday, January 22, 2008|
|And then there were five...|
|The path to the GOP nomination got a little less crowded today with Fred Thompson's decision to
drop out of the race. Thompson's departure comes
just days after a poor showing in the South Carolina primary, a contest which was essentially his last stand. He
now joins Duncan Hunter - who dropped out immediately following South Carolina - as the latest Republicans to call it
posted by Scott Elliott at 4:00pm 01/22/08 ::
|Monday, January 21, 2008|
|Poll: Will we see brokered conventions this year?|
|The latest edition of Election Projection's Weekly Poll is up. With no clear frontrunner on
either side, both the Democratic Party and the GOP may be headed for a brokered convention this summer. Unless
a candidate can pull ahead substantially over the next month of primaries and caucuses, the nominees from one or both
parties may not be known until the delegates hash it out at their respective party conventions. What do you think
will happen? Will we know the Democratic nominee before the last week of August? How about the GOP nominee;
will Republicans settle on their choice before the first week of September? The poll is located in the right
sidebar. Please be sure to cast your vote.
posted by Scott Elliott at 2:05pm 01/21/08 ::
|Bad weekend for Election Projection|
|I apologize for the obvious problems we had here at Election Projection this weekend. The
issues lay with the hosting service. I am back up now and will be continuing normal programming later today.
Update: The primary table has not been updated to reflect this weekends results. That will occur
later today as well. Also, if you sent me an email this weekend, I did not receive it.
Update2: The primary table has now been updated.
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:10am 01/21/08 ::
|Friday, January 18, 2008|
|Polls are once again offering conflicting data on the GOP primary race in South Carolina. I posted yesterday
that John McCain seemed to be losing ground based on two polls conducted after the Michigan primary. Today, however,
a Reuters/CSpan/Zogby tracking poll indicates McCain's lead is holding steady. He has stayed at 29% over the last
three days, two of which were after Michigan. In fact, that Zogby poll shows very little movement top to bottom.
This could mean folks are settling on a particular candidate and are becoming less impacted by past results.
It also means McCain does have a shot at winning in South Carolina. I still believe he will falter tomorrow, but
after everything that's happened so far this primary season, who knows? I am hoping another poll or two will be
released before the voting starts so I can have more data with which to identify trends and make my final South Carolina
There is another primary happening on Saturday. I have been lacking in my discussion of Nevada. Let me
give you a word or two on that race. On the GOP side, Mitt Romney looks well-positioned to win, and he is busy
campaigning there today. McCain seems poised to take second. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is
leading in the polls by a half-dozen or so over Barack Obama. But, will the polls get it right this time?
I post my final predictions on both races later on. Stay tuned...
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:35am 01/18/08 ::
|Thursday, January 17, 2008|
|Update on South Carolina|
|Polls post-Michigan are starting to trickle in. In South Carolina, we have
taken on the 16th, one day after the Michigan primary. After what happened to John McCain's numbers following
his New Hampshire victory, I expected to see a significant bounce in Mitt Romney's support and a drop in McCain's
following Michigan's results. We do see the latter happening, but not the former. Indeed, McCain's numbers
are faltering, but there really hasn't yet been much in the way of an increase for Romney.
A great example of McCain's up and down ride is the Rasmussen poll in South Carolina. Before New Hampshire, with
Mike Huckabee riding high on his Iowa victory, McCain polled at 21%, 7 points behind Huckabee. After McCain won
in New Hampshire, he vaulted past Huckabee into the lead 28% to 19%. And now a poll taken yesterday by Rasmussen
shows McCain dropping back into a tie with Huckabee. Going forward, I don't foresee anything to bolster McCain's
numbers. Instead, I believe we'll see his support continue to erode over the next 48 hours.
Now back to Romney. I opined in an update to my previous post that Romney would springboard into a two-man race
with Huckabee as a result of his victory in Michigan. So far, that doesn't appear to be happening. The reason
has to do with Fred Thompson's last stand. The southern gentleman is making an all out push to score a victory
in South Carolina, and his efforts are a threat to Romney's support more than any other GOP contender. The end
result is that neither man is seeing a marked increase in the polls. Romney's numbers appear to be pretty static -
no bounce at all - while Thompson may be seeing just a slight up tick.
So what are we to conclude about South Carolina two days before the votes are cast? Huckabee seems to have
the upper hand, and I see him continuing to draw support away from McCain. Romney and Thompson are battling each
other - in my mind for second. It is entirely possible for McCain to fall to fourth before all the votes are
counted on Saturday evening.
I'll post another update on the South Carolina race tomorrow and then my official predictions late tomorrow night or
early Saturday morning. As earlier, there'll be a prediction roundup from around the blogosphere as well. So,
email me those predictions!
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:55pm 01/17/08 ::
|Wednesday, January 16, 2008|
|Fifty-state tour: Connecticut|
|In the successful quest for the House waged by the Democrats in 2006, Connecticut was, seat
for seat, one of their most decisive battlegrounds. Two of the state's meager delegation of five seats switched
to the Democratic side of the aisle. A third, Chris Shays' seat in district 4, narrowly escaped the same fate.
The two turnovers from 2006 - CD-2 and CD-5 - now have the power of incumbency. I've listed them as possibly
competitive. We'll have to see if the GOP can mount a credible challenge to either seat. On the other hand,
Shays' seat will once again be among the Democrats' top targets and should be a close race. However, if the
Democrats couldn't knock him off in the very favorable climate of 2006, they probably won't be able to this year. So,
The Blogging Caesar starts this race off as a Weak GOP Hold. That could change, and
another good night for the Democrats here is certainly within reason.
On the presidential front, a good night for the Democratic nominee is all but assured in this state.
Connecticut is part of the solid liberal Northeast and has voted blue since Bill Clinton's first run in 1992.
This year will be no different. The only question is whether to project a "solid" or "strong" margin. For
now, let's go with Solid DEM.
Neither Democratic Senator Chris Dodd nor newly-independent Joe Lieberman is up for re-election this year, and
Republican Jodi Rell has two more years remaining in her first full term as governor. (Dodd is retiring and will
not seek re-election when his turn comes up in 2010.)
Be sure to check out the Connecticut state page for lots more information.
Next stop: Delaware
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:00pm 01/16/08 ::
|Thoughts on Michigan - Updated|
|After predicting the Iowa caucuses extremely well and getting New Hampshire right except for the
Hillary win which no one saw coming, my powers of divination seemed to slip a bit last night. Unlike in the
previous two attention-grabbing state contests, John McCain was the one who didn't deliver last night. That was
probably thanks in part to lower than expected participation by independents. Mike Huckabee was a strong, but not
praise-worthy, third place.
But Mitt Romney, in his home state, was the man of the hour last night. More than just his ties to Michigan,
his message of economic hope scored big in this financially distraught state. His victory cements the fact that
we have no fewer than 4 men running neck and neck on the GOP side. Three victors in 4 states - and the frontrunner
for most of last year (Rudy Giuliani) has yet to compete in earnest. And who knows, maybe Fred Thompson will win
Whereas Hillary Clinton's nomination was perceived until Iowa to be an inevitability, it now is becoming clear that
a brokered convention may be inevitable for the Republicans. It will be interesting to me to see how the polls
react to Romney's win last night. After New Hampshire, McCain rocketed to the top. He went from
middle-of-the-pack to prohibitive favorite overnight. Will Romney do the same? Probably to some degree, at
least for a while.
I do believe the second-place finish will certainly draw McCain back to the rest. Before the primary yesterday,
he looked like the favorite to win South Carolina on Saturday. Now, it looks like a two-way contest between
Thompson Romney and Huckabee. In fact, by finishing runner-up, McCain will be hurt more than any
His candidacy has always been iffy due to his past record within GOP circles. Now that he has lost an open
primary where Democrats and Independents could vote for him, his prospects of winning the nomination may have
evaporated. Even with the momentum of a New Hampshire/Michigan sweep, it would have been a tough task; without
that momentum, it's probably an impossibility.
So where does the race go from here? The two I've written off, Romney and Giuliani, are front and center again.
Huckabee still has a chance, but he's running against Rush Limbaugh as well as the other
candidates. Talk about a tough task! I've gone from threatening an edict decreeing a Huckabee nominee with a
victory in Michigan to having serious thoughts about him dropping out altogether if he doesn't win South Carolina.
What a crazy primary season we have going on this year!
While the picture gets cloudier on the GOP side with each passing election, it's not much clearer on the Democratic
side. Hillary Clinton only got 55% of the vote last night even though she was the only major candidate even
listed on the ballot! Forty percent of voters braved the cold and snow to register an "uncommitted" vote.
This cannot be a good sign for her as we move into more heavily African-American states. Even without Barack
Obama's name on the ballot, people flocked to the polls to vote against Hillary. I still give Hillary the edge
in the end, but the Democrats may be headed for a brokered convention as well. (Maybe John Edwards serves a
purpose in this race after all!)
A reader wrote me scolding me for my recent predictions. He said I should stick to formulating the numbers.
I'll get back to that in good time. For now, these two nomination races are far too intriguing not to try to
Update: I've reconsidered the race in South Carolina. As polls currently stand (pre-Michigan),
Romney and Thompson are in a close battle for third behind McCain and Huckabee. Romney will benefit from his
victory last night and will move ahead of Thompson, who is courting essentially the same block of fiscal conservatives.
So, instead of a two-man race between Huck and Fred, it will be a contest between Huck and Mitt.
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:45am 01/16/08 ::
|Tuesday, January 15, 2008|
|Michigan predictions - Updated at 8:55pm|
|It will be close. But who will win today in Michigan is hard to say. Unlike many
states, Michigan's primary is open. That means anyone, Democrat, Independent, or Republican, can vote in either
party's primary. As we saw in New Hampshire, this can have some measure of impact on the outcome. This year
is different in Michigan, though.
With the DNC attempting to strip Michigan of its delegates, many more Democrats
than normal may decide to vote in the GOP primary instead. If they do, how will they vote? On the one hand
they may vote for someone they like. That could benefit McCain. On the other hand, with an eye on November's
outcome, they may vote for the one they think will be the easiest for a Democrat to beat. That could help either
Romney or Huckabee.
And then there are the polls. They've been all over the place this last week. Add to that the failure we
saw in New Hampshire with regard to the polls, and it's just very difficult to pick a winner with any confidence.
Yet, here I go. Below are my predictions for the 2008 Michigan primary. I've included the Democrats even
though the frontrunners are skipping this one and, among them, only Hillary is even on the ballot.
Other predictions from around the blogosphere:
- John McCain - 30%
- Mitt Romney - 29%
- Mike Huckabee - 21%
- Fred Thompson - 8%
- Ron Paul - 7%
- Rudy Giuliani - 4%
- Duncan Hunter - 1%
- Hillary Clinton - 63%
- Uncommitted - 30%:
Barack Obama - 20%
John Edwards - 10%
- Dennis Kucinich - 2%
- Others - 5%
If you have posted predictions, send me an email so I can put you on this list.
Update(8:55pm): Well, it looks like Romney has proven me wrong, both about tonight and
overall. Two possible reasons come to mind. Bill Kristol voiced one on
Fox News tonight when he wondered what if anything can be gleaned from these first three major contests in Iowa, New
Hampshire, and Michigan. In effect, given the evangelical support for Huck in Iowa, the rock star status of
McCain in New Hampshire, and Romney's family roots in Michigan, we really haven't seen how the frontrunners will fare
out in the open water of mainstream Republican voters.
The second factor that I think may be gaining momentum is the daily barrage against McCain and Huckabee from Rush
Limbaugh. On his radio show, he consistently berates and criticizes both men for their lack of fiscal conservatism.
Perhaps his influence has begun to be felt. Perhaps it will only increase as we move into the closed primaries
that dot the rest of the primary calendar. If that's the case, it could spell serious trouble for McCain and
Huckabee and open the door for Romney or Giuliani, or even Thompson, to get ahead.
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:10am 01/15/08 ::
|Monday, January 14, 2008|
|Fifty-state tour: Colorado|
|Situated on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is a breathtaking, scenic place that
calls to mind the "purple mountain majesty" of that great anthem, America, the Beautiful. On the political
front, Colorado has a certain shade of purple, too, and is becoming more so with each passing election. The days
of Colorado seeing all red are all but gone. Recently, Republicans have been finding it harder and harder to win
In 1996, Bob Dole won the state even while Bill Clinton was winning a convincing re-election bid nationwide.
In 2004, George W. Bush got millions more votes than he did in 2000 across the country, but his victory margin here was
cut in half. Trends point to an even closer margin this year. Add to that the residual effects of a mild
landslide victory for the Democrats in 2006, and you have the ingredients for a party switch come November. As a
result, The Blogging Caesar rates Colorado Weak DEM, making it the first state
projected to turn colors in 2008.
The outlook is not much brighter as we move down the ticket. In 2006, Republican Bob Beauprez failed to keep
the Governor's Mansion for the GOP against Democrat Bill Ritter. It wasn't even close. This year Wayne
Allard's retirement from the Senate presents the GOP with another problematic open seat to defend. Compounding the
dilemma is the decision of Democrat Mark Udall to enter the race. Even with an attractive candidate on the GOP
side, former Rep. Bob Schaffer, The Blogging Caesar has to give the edge to the Democrat and rate this race a
Weak DEM Gain as well.
The slow shift of Colorado to the blue side is perhaps most evident in the House. In each of the past two
elections, the Democrats have picked off a congressional seat. After the election of 2002, the GOP held a 5-2
advantage. That balance now stands at 4-3 for the Democrats. And yet another GOP seat is somewhat vulnerable
this year - Marilyn Musgrave's fourth district seat. However, since she was able to survive a strong challenge in
2006, this seat will start out rated a Weak GOP Hold here at Election Projection.
You can peruse much more information on the Colorado state page.
Next stop: Connecticut
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:40pm 01/14/08 ::
|Michigan predictions coming - Updated|
|In preparation for tomorrow's Michigan primary, I will be evaluating the polling data tonight,
trying to divine some trend or signal that will let me know who is set to win. This primary, much more than the
GOP contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, is a difficult mystery to solve. By late tonight, I will make a decision
and post my predictions. If you have a blog and will be posting predictions, let me know so I can include it in
the Michigan prediction roundup.
Update: Looks like it will be "on the morrow" before I can get the predictions and roundup posted.
I'll try to get them up bright and early.
posted by Scott Elliott at 2:15pm 01/14/08 ::
|Poll: Who will win the Republican nomination?|
|The latest edition of Election Projection's Weekly Poll is up. Last week's poll took a look
at the battle for the Democratic nomination. Early in the week, Barack Obama, still benefitting from his convincing
win in Iowa, took a commanding lead. Then the New Hampshire primary produced an unexpected win for Hillary Clinton.
Over the latter part of the week she closed the gap some, but not enough to make the poll close.
This week is your chance to weigh in on the GOP nomination contest. Who do you think will get the opportunity to
face the Democratic nominee in November? Keep in mind that the Michigan primary is tomorrow and South Carolina's
is on Saturday. When you cast your vote may help determine who you choose. The poll is located in the right
sidebar. Please be sure to cast your vote.
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:25am 01/14/08 ::
|Saturday, January 12, 2008|
|Fifty-state tour: California|
|With 55 electoral votes, California is by far the biggest prize in the race for the White
House. Since 1992 it has been locked up in the Democratic column. 2008 will be no different. As usual,
the only question is what the Democratic victory margin will be.
The same would likely be true if a race either California Senate seat were on the ballot this year, but neither
is. And since Governor Schwarzenegger is not up for re-election this year, we'll go straight to the House
races. Almost all of the 53 seats in California's House delegation are secure in the incumbent party's hands.
At most, we'll see only a couple seats change hands. The most likely candidates are CD-4 and CD-11.
The former will be a battle to replace retiring GOP Congressman John Doolittle. The field is not set, but the
Democrats have a decent chance at painting this district blue in November.
The latter is a district won in a surprise last time by Democrat Jerry McNerney. The power of incumbency gives
him the edge early on, but this is definitely a seat ripe for the picking with a decent GOP challenger. As for
preliminary ratings, The Blogging Caesar rates district 4 as a Weak GOP Hold and district
11 as a Weak Dem Hold.
Check out the California state page for lots more cool stuff.
Next stop: Colorado
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:00pm 01/12/08 ::
|Wednesday, January 9, 2008|
|Fifty-state tour: Arkansas|
|Not much is going on in Arkansas this year in terms of competitive races. All four House
seats are secure - 3 Democrats and 1 Republican. The governor and lt. governor are not up for re-election.
And Senator Mark Pryor (D) is relatively safe as well.
Oh wait, there is that presidential election everyone's talking about. So far on the national stage,
the race for the White House has been full of surprises and uncertainty. That uncertainty is no where more
apparent than in Arkansas. With native Arkansans making serious bids for the nomination in both major parties,
projecting the outcome of this state 10 months out is not unlike predicting now which states will enjoy sunny skies on
But I've got to make a preliminary projection. To pass would not be like The Blogging Caesar you've all come to
know and...well...read, occasionally. When I take into consideration all the variables, I feel like Arkansas will
end up once again in the GOP column. So it is with great uncertainty - there's that word again - I'll call this
state a Weak GOP Hold for now.
There's lots more Arkansas information on the Arkansas state page.
Next stop: California
posted by Scott Elliott at 7:55pm 01/09/08 ::
|After New Hampshire, Huckabee sitting pretty|
|I floated the idea in the previous post of what would happen if Mike Huckabee actually won the
Michigan primary next week. Today
from Rossman Group, the first to be released in Michigan this year, shows Huckabee indeed leading there. The margin
is small, and the Democratic polling firm may have some interest in propping him up. Nevertheless, Huckabee is,
if not winning, for sure competitive.
Over at Real Clear Politics, John Ellis has published
an article which looks very
favorably at Huckabee's chance to shake the already reeling conventional wisdom about election 2008. The piece
articulates with almost eerie similarity the impression I have had for over a week now. If you want to know what I
think about the rest of the GOP nomination process, check out his article to get a very good idea.
posted by Scott Elliott at 6:20pm 01/09/08 ::
|Reactions to the New Hampshire primary - Updated|
|Last week in Iowa, we saw a few surprises. But they were trivial compared to what we saw
last night in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton's victory is one of the most unlikely we've seen in a while.
No one, not the polls, not the pundits, not even her own campaign, saw it coming. How did she win and what does
it mean for the rest of the race for the White House? I have a few ideas.
Independents dominate the political landscape in New Hampshire, and they came out in droves. Conventional
wisdom would predict a strong independent turnout benefits Obama. But there was another race on the ballot
that New Hampshire independents could choose to participate in - the GOP primary. Perhaps the polls showing Obama
stretching his lead over Clinton and Romney slightly edging closer to McCain enticed more independents to cast their
vote in the GOP primary. The desire to make their votes count would steer them toward the closer race. Why
vote for Obama - whose victory, many thought, was a foregone conclusion - when you could impact a race whose outcome
was much less certain. The result was a strong victory for McCain and a stunning loss for Obama.
Another factor was the Hillary breakdown. She cried. Whether staged or not, it turned out to be a
brilliant ploy that tore away the abrasively inpenetrable persona she has been trying to get away from all this time.
One emotional moment did what 14 months of careful strategizing and image spinning could not do - it made her appear
human. And it captured the hearts of Democrats, especially women. Proof can be seen in the fact that roughly
20 percent of voters said they made up their minds in the last 2 days before the primaries, and the strong majority
voted for Clinton.
Those two factors contributed more than any other to the surprise result in my view. So what are the
implications? What do the races look like in the aftermath? One thing is clear on both sides - we do not
have a front-runner in either race. Obama has yet to benefit from the large African-American populations who live
in southern and industrial states. Yet, Hillary's political machine and on-the-ground organization are second to
none. Either could win the nomination, and, at this point, neither would be a surprise.
On the GOP side, McCain's victory further weakens Romney's anemic chances. The pundits on television last night
pointed to New Hampshire and Michigan, which holds its primary next week, as a do-or-die double-header for McCain and
Romney. They posited that if either one wins both, the other is finished. As you know if you read me over
the last two weeks, I predicted Romney was finished even before Iowa. I have not changed that position and will
not even if he wins next week in Michigan.
What I didn't hear last night about Michigan is what it will mean if Mike Huckabee wins there. After a good
third place finish in New Hampshire, his momentum from Iowa is virtually intact. And he has polled even with the
others in Michigan. I believe he has a chance to win. Here's a news break for you. I'm prepared,
should Huckabee win Michigan, to issue an edict that he will be the GOP nominee. First place in Michigan will
undoubtedly lead to a massive victory in South Carolina and another, closer, victory in Florida. The momentum
generated before Feb. 5 would then be too much too overcome.
It was an historic victory for the new "comeback kid." It was a harsh rebuke to a popular governor from a
neighboring state. New Hampshire likes to be known as a state that bucks the trends. They certainly
demonstrated that once again last night.
Update: I've gotten a couple of email responses to this post from New Hampshire folks. One
gentleman wrote in to agree with my assertions, stating...
Of course, this does not prove in itself that my assertions are correct. In fact, Coleman Kane writes in with a
much different take. He attended several rallies, at least one each featuring Obama, Hillary, and Bill
(Clinton). He says the Obama events were nothing more than pep rallies filled with vague cries of "change" and
"hope." By contrast, at the Clintons' rallies, Bill and Hillary spoke of specific issues and specific ways to
make them better. Of course, I'm sure the rhetoric was nothing resembling the kind of change I would support, but
the arguments resonated with issue-driven Democratic electorate in the Granite State. He continued.
|Your analysis of the Independent vote in NH is right on.
My wife was trying to decide between Obama and Guiliani, and finally voted for Guiliani since "Obama doesn't need my
help". My dad was similar, although he voted for McCain. If you asked either of them on Sunday who they
were going to vote for, they would have said Obama.
Looking at the turnout demographics, Coleman's point appears to be well-taken. While Hillary did win the female
vote by a wide margin, we also saw voters from older and less affluent areas turn out big for Hillary and overwhelm the
youth and yuppie vote which favored Obama.
|All of this policy detail and planning was absent from the
Obama speeches, and he really sounded all too familiarly like the Bush 2000 campaign stressing himself as a "Washington
Outsider" who will "Reach across the aisles" and "End partisan politics in Washington" all through "Change" and
"Hope". The "change", "hope", and the rallying cries get the youth energized, but the older people were really
interested in knowing specifics about plans.
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:25am 01/09/08 ::
|Monday, January 7, 2008|
|New Hampshire predictions|
|The first-in-the-nation primary starts at 6AM tomorrow. Here are my predictions.
I'll be hard-pressed to duplicate my Iowa predictions. Nevertheless, here
goes. I see a razor-close victory for McCain (Romney seems to be making a last-minute comeback, but I believe it
is a bit too little, too late) and a comfortable win - but not really a blowout - for Obama.
Other predictions from around the blogosphere:
- John McCain - 34%
- Mitt Romney - 33%
- Mike Huckabee - 11%
- Rudy Giuliani - 9%
- Ron Paul - 8%
- Fred Thompson - 4%
- Duncan Hunter - 1%
- Barack Obama - 41%
- Hillary Clinton - 34%
- John Edwards - 17%
- Bill Richardson - 6%
- Others - 2%
If you have posted predictions, send me an email so I can put you on this list.
Update (01/08/08): Stephen Green thinks the shortage of ballots in New Hampshire means
Obama may eclipse 45%. At this point, I tend to agree. Looks
like my predictions on the Obama victory may fall woefully short. And as Bob Owens points out over at
Confederate Yankee, this phenomenon most probably
means a poorer than expected showing for John McCain - which puts my GOP prediction in doubt as well. Still, only
the 30 or so votes from Dixville Notch and Hart's Location have been counted so far. Too early to make any definite
Update2 (01/08/08, 11:00pm): Whoa. Tomorrow, I'll have reactions.
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:00pm 01/07/08 ::
|Poll: Who will win the Democratic nomination?|
|The latest edition of Election Projection's Weekly Poll is up. The events in Iowa last
week changed the face of the race in both parties. Barack Obama's substantial victory amid record-breaking turnout
was an enormous story. The battle for the Democratic nomination was supposed to be Hillary's coronation. Now
it is a true dogfight. Some feel it's now Obama's to lose. Others still believe Hillary's political machine
will prevail. What do you think? The poll is located in the right sidebar. Please be sure to cast your
vote. Oh, and by the way, it's fine to wait to vote until the New Hampshire results are in.
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:55am 01/07/08 ::
|Saturday, January 5, 2008|
|Fifty-state tour: Arizona|
|The Democrats had a very strong year nationwide in 2006. Arizona played a significant role
in the Democrats winning back the House of Representatives. Two congressional seats from Arizona's 8-seat
delegation went from red to blue that year. 2008 may hold more good news for them.
The presidential election here has gone the GOP's way so far this millenium. As the population takes on more
and more of a latin flair, the race for Arizona's 10 electoral votes may get a little closer. George W. Bush took
the state in 2004 by an 11-point margin. Expect the GOP to once again paint Arizona red, but by a bit less.
Call it a Mod Hold for the Republican candidate.
Since there are no Senate or gubernatorial races on tap this year, we'll move to the House. Just as they did
in 2006, the Democrats have a good chance of gaining ground here on Election Day. Particularly vulnerable on the
GOP side is Rick Renzi's district 1 seat. Mired in controversy, he has decided to forego a defense of his seat.
That opens the door for two strong candidates on the Democratic side to take aim at it. Because they both are of
Native American descent in this most Native American of districts, The Blogging Caesar rates this race a
Weak DEM Gain. That may change, but for now, Arizona CD-1 becomes the first
seat I'm projecting to switch parties.
The only other race which should be interesting is the possible rematch between Democrat Harold Mitchell and
Republican J.D. Hayworth in district 5. Mitchell took the seat from Hayworth two years ago and should hold onto
it now with the power of incumbency, but it will be a close race. For now, I'm rating it a
Weak DEM Hold.
There's lots more information on the Arizona state page.
Next stop: Arkansas
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:55pm 01/05/08 ::
|Romney wins Wyoming caucuses|
|Because the state GOP in Wyoming decided to hold their caucuses before February 5, the RNC
stripped 14 of 28 delegates from their convention delelgation. Eight of those delegates are now in Mitt Romney's
column after his win in Wyoming today. So far, Fred Thompson has also picked up 3 delegates, and Duncan Hunter has
claimed his first. Check Election Projection's Primary Table for an updated tally.
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:25pm 01/05/08 ::
|The truth about religion in the Iowa results|
|Michael Medved has looked closely at entrance poll results for the Iowa caucuses and has posted
some insightful findings.
I was going to analyze and excerpt his article here, but instead found it more appropriate just to say it's spot on and
encourage you to read the whole thing.
posted by Scott Elliott at 5:15pm 01/05/08 ::
|Will Romney and McCain mudslinging open door|
for Huck in New Hampshire?
|One of the most pivotal moments in the 2004 Democratic primary process happened in the run up to
the Iowa caucuses. Richard Gephardt and Howard Dean were battling it out for first place there by slinging negative
ad after negative ad at each other. I wrote shortly after that in a two-man race mudslinging can work to one's
advantage, but when a solid third candidate is waiting on the sidelines, untouched by the fray, it may not be a good
idea to focus all your angst on your main opponent. John Kerry benefited mightily from the spat between the two
front runners and won Iowa in a surprise. The rest, of course, is history.
What we are going to be seeing over the next 3 days will somewhat resemble Iowa of 2004 with Mitt Romney and John
McCain constantly punching and counter-punching one another. Could this be just the right set of circumstances for
Mike Huckabee to get into contention? Perhaps. With GOP debates - Huckabee's strong suit - set to air between
now and when polls open on Tuesday in addition to the fight brewing between the top two, we might be in for a 2006
version of Kerry's 2004 Iowa surprise.
I'm not predicting Huck to win on Tuesday, but I do think he will outperform. It wouldn't surprise me if he
comes in just a couple points behind Romney instead of the 15 to 18 point deficit the polls now give him. If Rudy
Giuliani had been halfway engaged in the Granite State, he might benefit as well. (And, yes, that means I think
posted by Scott Elliott at 1:10pm 01/05/08 ::
|Friday, January 4, 2008|
|Fifty-state tour: Alaska|
|Alaska is the largest state and has the smallest population (correction - it used to be have the
smallest population, now it ranks 47th). It is also a Republican
stronghold. On the presidential front, it will continue as such in 2008. But a couple of other statewide
races this year may test the GOP's fortitude in our northernmost state.
First is the race for Ted Stevens' Senate seat. The 4-term senator is caught in an ethics scandal and may yet
be indicted for alleged wrongdoings. As a result, this race is presently very cloudy at best. He may avoid
serious legal action; he may withstand probable primary opposition; he may win the general election in November.
But since all three of these possibilities are unknown right now, this race can only be classified as a
Weak GOP Hold. However, the events in the next few months will most likely change
that rating - to one side or the other - in dramatic fashion.
If he secures the Republican party nod, he'll be in for a tough fight regardless of what comes out of the
investigation. If he loses in the GOP primary, his successor in Washington will likely be another Republican.
On the other hand, if the Democrats can entice former Governor Tony Knowles into the race, it will be competitive for
the Democrats no matter who is on the ballot for the GOP. This race is definitely one worth keeping an eye on.
The second vulnerable Republican is Congressman Don Young. He has some legal troubles of his own. Since
he's been in the House for over 35 years, he may decide it's time to quit. That would make keeping this seat in
the 'R' column much easier. Like Stevens, he will probably face stiff primary competition anyway, so that may be
a moot point. This race is also rated a Weak GOP Hold for the time being.
Be sure to check out all the great information on the Alaska state page.
Next stop: Arizona
Update: I initially - and erroneously - characterized Don Young's seat as solid for the GOP. The
current post reflects a change in that evaluation.
posted by Scott Elliott at 5:45pm 01/04/08 ::
|Ten reactions to the Iowa caucuses|
|Last night was very good, obviously, for the two winners, Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama.
It was very bad for two prior frontrunners, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton. Beyond that, let's take a look at
what else I think we can glean from the results in Iowa.
First, Democratic enthusiasm has maintained - if not increased - the very high level we saw in 2006. Well over
200,000 Iowans participated in the Democratic caucuses. That's huge when you consider the previous record, set in
2004, was around 120,000. Barack Obama is largely to credit for the increase. It appears he was successful
in his aim to widen the pool of participants. This substantial uptick portends another difficult year for the GOP
Second, Mike Huckabee is the real deal. Sure, Iowa was won by a tremendous outpouring of support among Christians,
but this nation - especially the red states - are full of Christians who have longed for a candidate like Mike.
Last night proved that the Huckabee appeal has an enormous ability to motivate and mobilize. Regardless of his
questionable fiscal credentials, he "shares my values" with enough folks in America who will get out and vote to make
him a legitimate contender, not just for the GOP nomination, but also for the presidency.
Third, how I wish Barack Obama were a Republican! I have to say the man is impressive. I don't think I've
been privileged to hear a more gifted orator in my lifetime, for sure not one running for office. I was blown away
by his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention. I was blown away once again by the victory speech he gave last
night. And at his age, he'll be a major force in American politics for a long time to come.
Fourth, Hillary Clinton is in serious trouble. I predicted earlier that if Hillary didn't win Iowa she would be
in trouble, and, indeed, she is. I'm sure she has plenty of dirty tricks up her sleeve to spring on Obama, and she
could still capture the nomination. I think, however, at this point, it looks like she'll have to go dirty, heavy
and often, to win. She cannot beat Obama on substance, and she is no match for him on charisma and personality.
(Plus, she doesn't have Oprah in her corner.)
Fifth, again as I predicted, Mitt Romney underperformed. He was perhaps the biggest loser of the night.
Unlike Hillary, who still leads in national polls and must contend with only Obama the rest of the way, Romney's troubles
only get worse. After the resounding loss last night, he now must go to New Hampshire - another 'must-win' that
has recently gone south for him. As it stands now, he almost certainly will not win there. Those are two
states where he was heavily favored just weeks ago. McCain and Huckabee are rising, and Romney is fading. And
I haven't even mentioned Giuliani who waits in the wings to continue the clobbering once we get to Florida and beyond.
If Romney didn't have the vast fortunes to self-finance his candidacy, he would surely be out
after New Hampshire. Since he does, only his unwillingness to concede the inevitable will keep him in the race.
In truth, last night and his impending loss in New Hampshire (he could finish 3rd or worse there depending on how the
Granite State reacts to Huckabee's win in Iowa) all but ended any hope Romney has of capturing the nomination.
Sixth, John Edwards is still irrelevant. It's as if he's content to campaign in Iowa for 4 years, come in second
in the caucuses, give a victory speech, and start the process over again. Someone needs to tell him that runner-up
in Iowa is not on par with winning the presidency. Apparently, he hasn't grasped that yet.
Seventh, John McCain made some noise last night with a virtual third-place tie. Yet, even though he should win
New Hampshire, it is hard for me see how he can win the nomination. I just don't see him overtaking Giuliani and
withstanding the momentum Huckabee has in his favor. I do believe that last night, assuming a McCain victory in
New Hampshire, turned this race into a contest between three men - Huckabee, McCain and Giuliani.
Eighth, Thompson's late surge produced a third-place finish, but not the strong third-place finish he needed to
solidify his chances. I think we'll see the rumors of his departure are true. Look for him to be gone soon
after South Carolina.
Ninth, Ron Paul didn't do as well as I thought. Still, 10 percent in Iowa isn't bad.
He will stick around until all that money runs out, but I don't think he'll have much impact going forward. (I do
think it is wrong for him to be excluded from any debates. Twenty million dollars in campaign contributions has
earned him a place at the table.)
Tenth, Iowa deserves it place as the first in the nation. There's something quintessentially American about a
smallish Midwestern state full of common folks getting to have a bit of additional sway over the election process.
I think Thomas Jefferson would be proud.
And so we're off. I'm excited that things are underway now. This will be one of the most interesting
primary and general election seasons in a long while. I have long thought this election would be an uphill battle
for the GOP. After the turnout last night, I don't feel any need to adjust that sentiment.
posted by Scott Elliott at 12:55pm 01/04/08 ::
|Thursday, January 3, 2008|
|If you are a first time visitor to Election Projection (or even if you're not), please see a
short note at the bottom of this post.
Ok, I know I said the caucuses are too close to call. But I just can't help myself.
So here are my predictions for tonight's battle in the heartland.
Update: Other predictions from around the blogosphere:
- Mike Huckabee - 30%
- Mitt Romney - 19%
- Fred Thompson - 18%
- Ron Paul - 14%
- John McCain - 13%
- Rudy Giuliani - 5%
- Duncan Hunter - 1%
- Barack Obama - 38%
- John Edwards - 29%
- Hillary Clinton - 25%
- Bill Richardson - 5%
- Joe Biden - 2%
- Others - 1%
If you have posted predictions, send me an email so I can put you on this list.
Update2: Welcome, Instapundit and Michelle Malkin readers! (Thanks so much, Glenn and Michelle!)
Now that you're here, let me invite you to look around. I've projected the last two elections with pretty good
results. You can check out the final 2004 and
2006 projection results.
I'm starting things up again this year. Yesterday, I began a fifty-state tour in which I will preview each
major race in every state. The tour starts here with Alabama. (Be sure to
check out Alabama's state page as well.) There are also handy election
resources for you to take advantage of - a 2008 Presidential Primary Table and a
2008 Election Calendar.
I hope you'll keep coming back as the 2008 Projection Maps fill out. If you do,
you'll be privy to election numbers from the guy Hugh Hewitt calls "one of the web's best prognosticators."
posted by Scott Elliott at 12:00pm 01/03/08 ::
|Wednesday, January 2, 2008|
|Thoughts on Iowa on Caucus Eve|
|We're just a few hours away now. After months of jockeying and jawing, politicking and
polling, the nation waits with bated breath for the first real indications of where we stand to come in. Tomorrow
Iowans will debate their way to the first concrete results of the 2008 election season. The dynamics of the races
have grown more intriguing with each passing day.
Instead of pulling away, former heir-apparent Hillary Clinton is bogged down in a three-way tie for the Democratic
prize in Iowa. On the Republican side, it appears that Mike Huckabee has peaked too early to run away with the GOP
title but perhaps not too early to win it close anyway. With Fred Thompson surging (you gotta see
this video) and John McCain getting a fresh look by many (he's
now separating from Romney in New Hampshire), it seems anything can happen tomorrow. These two contests - one
Democratic, one Republican - are about as hard to call as any I've seen.
That said, here are some hunches I'm beginning to get regarding the outcome tomorrow and in the coming weeks.
First, while my first edict may yet turn out correct, I'm
even more confident these days in my second one.
Look for Rudy Giuliani to be mired in the single-digits tomorrow. He could conceivably finish sixth behind Ron
Paul. But his slide won't end tomorrow. As McCain and Thompson become more and more viable to the GOP
electorate, Giuliani's flame will continue to dim. By the time we get to his "firewall" in Florida, he'll be on
life support - and the national numbers will reflect it. (A little peek at the future - don't expect Giuliani to
win the Sunshine State.)
Second, I think Mitt Romney will underperform tomorrow. When Huckabee began his rise late last year, the one
most impacted was Romney. Now that Huck is falling back some, Thompson and McCain - not Romney - are the
beneficiaries. Where once he stood alone in Iowa, heavily out-spending everyone else, he now finds himself matched
by Huckabee and hearing the rising sounds of Thompson's and McCain's footsteps behind him. It wouldn't surprise
me if Romney finishes third tomorrow and second in New Hampshire - and drops out of the race before Super-duper Tuesday
on February 5th.
Third, nothing comes to me about the Democratic race. At least not about who will do well and who will do
poorly. I will say this: if Hillary doesn't win, I think she's in real trouble despite a twenty point lead
in a recent national poll. As I heard Rush Limbaugh say today, if she does lose, the media will try to paint
Iowa as no longer significant in the race to the nomination. But momentum does have a way of building in the
wake of Iowa's results. I'm not saying a loss tomorrow erases her chances in the long run, but it will mean the
coronation is no longer inevitable. Conversely, if she does win - even by a hair - she will have weathered her
most difficult challenge and will cruise to the nomination.
And finally, John Edwards is still irrelevant. Even if he were to win by a large margin - which he won't - he
still isn't going anywhere. So there you have it. All the anticipation is just about over, and I for one am
happy about that. Just one more thing to say: let's get this party started!
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:15pm 01/02/08 ::
|Fifty-state tour: Alabama|
|For the GOP, Alabama is in the heart of the solid south. Alabamans have voted reliably
conservative for a generation now - especially in the presidential race - and 2008 stands to be no different. In
2004, George Bush won here by a whopping 63%-37% margin over John Kerry. In the Senate race that year, Richard
Shelby retained his seat by an even greater margin. And after a very close gubernatorial race in 2002, Governor
Bob Riley handily won re-lection in 2006. Neither Shelby nor Riley is up for re-election this year, but junior
Senator Jeff Sessions is running. He will easily join the eventual GOP presidential candidate in the winner's
circle in this state.
In the House of Representatives, Alabama's political makeup is remarkably stable. Not one of Alabama's seven
House seats has changed parties since at least as far back as 2000. That's 28-0 for the incumbent party over the
last 4 election cycles. During that time, the balance of power has favored the GOP, 5-2, in Alabama's delegation.
Don't expect that to change this year. All incumbents are heavily favored, and the open seat of retiring Rep. Terry
Everett in CD-2 will undoubtedly be filled by another Republican.
Be sure to check out all the great information on the Alabama state page.
Next stop: Alaska
posted by Scott Elliott at 7:45pm 01/02/08 ::
|Tuesday, January 1, 2008|
|Happy New Year!|
|Let me wish each of you a very happy new year as we embark on this new adventure called 2008.
It promises to be a very exciting, eventful time - especially in the political arena. The Blogging Caesar will be
here every step of the way to track and comment on all the proceedings. With your help, I hope to make this
election season the best yet here at Election Projection.
You can look forward to lots of great coverage of all the major election contests. I'll be tracking all the
Senate and gubernatorial races as well as several dozen hotly contested House races. And, of course, you'll get
state-by-state projections of the presidential race. Tomorrow, I plan to initiate a tour of all 50 states,
providing my preliminary outlook on each race in every state from Alabama to Wyoming. I hope to complete the tour
by the end of February.
While I'm sorting things out over the next couple days, some of the links may not work properly. Please bear
with me. In the meantime, let me wish you joy and peace in 2008, and may Election Projection - 2008 Edition
be your favorite election stop on the way to Election Day!
posted by Scott Elliott at 5:25pm 01/01/08 ::
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