Monday, January 07, 2008

New Hampshire Predictions

Since no one has gone out on a limb posted any predictions (as requested by my last post), I thought I might. Before Romney's strong performance at last night's Fox Forum, I would have said McCain had a clear leg up, but now I'm doubly unsure. McCain clearly had momentum coming into this weekend and, in my view, Saturday nights debate did nothing really to blunt it (even if McCain might have come off as petty to some with his several personal shots at Mitt).

Last night's debate, however, gave Romney a much needed shot in the arm. He did very, very well and was helped even more by the fact that Chris Wallace seemed to needle the other candidates on past statements and positions, McCain and Huckabee in particular, a little more than he did Romney. I think Republicans in New Hampshire will tend to think Romney came out on top in his tax and immigration exchanges with both Huckabee and McCain. And while McCain did less to hurt himself than Huckabee (whose answers sometimes bordered on incomprehensible), any support Huckabee loses would seem to indirectly hurt McCain.

The question is whether this was too little too late. How many people in New Hampshire saw his performance and how much play can it really get in one day? Romney can't like the fact that it was on cable television the night after a double-header debate on network television (a debate which was re-aired by CNN opposite last night's Fox Forum no less). Plus, it almost seems like the slew of polls yesterday showing McCain on top of Romney have drowned out discussion of the debate some.

So... on to my prediction. I'm REALLY unsure, but in my gut I still think McCain may edge out Romney by a percentage point or two. The closer it is, however, the better for Romney because it will allow him to hang on for a win in Michigan. The big development from last night's debate, in my mind, is that it gave Romney's candidacy renewed life even in the face of a possible New Hampshire loss. A bad performance at last night's debate could have finished Romney off, instead, he gets more longevity.

Who disagrees with me here? Was Romney's performance last night and McCain's failure to truly shine in either of the debates good enough to give him the bounce he needs to win tomorrow? Or does Romney need to find a way to somehow remain competitive in the face of another bruising loss?

[Update: I'm feeling less and less sure about my prediction... this Obama'mania may end up costing McCain the primary. His most likely voters may be drawn to vote in the big attraction. And Mitt's not taking this lying down... he seems to have been everywhere today. It's a complete toss-up in my mind.]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Romney is in an interesting position. Although without a major win (Iowa or NH) he leads the delegate total for the Republicans and has been the strongest across the board. Admittedly, he needs that "gold" to boost the campaign. Still, I do not think he is in that bad of shape considering most thought he absolutely had to win last night.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mitt Romney is finished after NH.

See this insigntful Robert Novak piece dated December 28, that predicted what would happen if Huck won Iowa and McCain NH.

Mitt’s “silver medal” spin is unconvincing. He had to win Iowa and NH and won neither.

This aftger spending a combined $12M to the Huck and McCain pittance.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi students, here's something for you to read between classes, hope you like it!

I realize now that I’ve been wrong about Mitt Romney all along. I have been mystified by the ability of Republicans to support George W. Bush when they know he is lying to them, but that somehow Republicans did not extend Mitt the same support given his repeated problems with the truth. But now I think I understand it.

George Bush is a straight ahead liar, he can lie repeatedly with a straight face to his adoring Republican adherents, people know he’s lying, but since they like him they are OK with it. They believe (like most sentient beings on the planet) that Bush is an amiable dunce, but they just plain like the guy so they’ll accept what he says, even if they know that he’s not being truthful with them.

Mitt, on the other hand, is not a straight ahead liar; at least he’s not perceived in that way. He is viewed (by most sentient beings on the planet) as a panderer, one who will change any position, wiggle out of any past opinion, slither away from any previous statement, all with a pasted-on smile. Bush’s lying is straightforward, bold, readily apparent, free from nuance. Mitt is all about nuance; it’s actually entertaining to watch him try and explain his past support of gays, of abortion, seeing his father march with MLK. His slick rationalizations, professionally packaged, rehearsed and delivered with a faux-conviction that makes his new position seem somehow heroic, its marketing genius. Except that people aren’t buying it. Clearly they will accept lying from people they like, but they can’t accept pandering insincerity from somebody they don’t like.

Of course Mitt is well-schooled in the insincerity business. He’s the guy who told you (and expected you to believe it) that when Bain Capital bought your company and you were one of the 25% of employees to be laid off, this was actually a good thing for you. He was the person who, when Bain bought the factory where you worked and shut it down to move the operation to China, that this was progress. He was the guy who, when he bought the business where you worked and cut your benefits, told you that it was for you and for good of the company.

What Mitt knew then, and knows still today, is that those things actually were good. But they weren’t good for you, your co-workers, your friends, they were good for him, and the small group of managers who would buy a company, gut it, break it up and re-sell it at an enormous profit. Mitt and his partners were left with millions. You were left without a job, and with Mitt’s voice ringing in your ears telling you how great the whole thing was. The thing is, Mitt wasn’t exactly lying to them, he was simply, painfully, obviously, insincere. Bottom line: people will accept lying from a known liar as long as they like him. People will not accept insincerity from one well known for it, even if they do like him. Of course, with Mitt, they don’t seem to like him, either.

It’s clear that, with Mitt and his handlers, the belief is that it’s all about marketing. If they package the product in a certain way hopefully enough people will look past their misgivings about the brilliant panderer and vote for him anyway. But over the long haul, people will inevitably see through the packaging and get an unadulterated view of the product, and when they see the real Mitt they don’t like what they see. Would that all Americans are able to get a similar, unvarnished view of the man. If they do, then the Mittanic, which has struck dual icebergs in Iowa and New Hampshire, will slip quietly beneath the surface of the political landscape in our beloved country. Here’s hoping!

Have a nice day,


10:50 AM  
Blogger NM_Mitt_Commit said...

All Romney supporters, let's make a push for donations on Wednesday, January 16, 2008, the day after the Michigan primaries. The media and the other Republican candidates are trying to push MITT out because they know he is strong.

I will be a first time donor. If you haven't donated, donate on that day. If you already donated, do it again on that day, even if it's just $10.

Now the hard part, commit to finding five more people who will donate on that day. We have to get up off our duffs and do something or a good man may go down, and we will wonder why. Also, try to get your five donors to commit to finding five more donors.

I may only get a little tree here in New Mexico, but if everybody else gets a small tree, we may just create a forest.



11:13 AM  
Blogger Marc said...

One of my biggest pet peeves: People ascribing motives to "the media"

8:59 PM  

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