Ladies and Gentleman: Behold the sundry frontrunners!

(When does thie race start, anyway?)

By Mark Kilmer Posted in Comments (36) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

The party has not started yet, so such talk at this point has to be for amusement purposes only. The frontrunners, the tiers, the polls, the managers and strategists.

Rudy Giuliani is not the frontrunner in the race for the Republican nomination. He's leading in all the early national polls and his support is strong. But the frontrunner is Mitt Romney. Yeah, I know the early national polls show him either tied with John McCain for third or in fourth place, but the early polls show that Romney is leading in New Hampshire and Iowa. Momentum, my man. More momentum than Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul combined.

Not necessarily.

A senior Romney strategist concocted this bit, according to the WashPost:

"Rudy Giuliani continues to lead the Republican field as he has since polling on the race began last year," writes Gage in a document dated July 20. "However, Giuliani's support began to ebb in February and has slipped 2-3 points per month since then."

As evidence, Gage points to a compilation of national polls done by Charles Franklin, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, that seems to show similar negative trend lines in national polls for both Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

A few early polls showing early trends might – might! – indicate that Rudy Giuliani might not be the frontrunner forever, which allows that there is a frontrunner, but a little slippage doesn't make Romney the frontrunner unless or until he actually is. Tell the candidate what he wants to hear, man, but don't lure him into delusions of things which have not happened and may not materialize.

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Giuliani "is now trailing in four of the five key states that fall before Feb. 5," Gage writes. The memo goes on to note that the average of public polls conducted in June and July show Romney leading comfortably in Iowa and New Hampshire and more narrowly in Nevada. Former senator Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) leads the way in South Carolina, while Giuliani is a strong first choice only in Florida.

Fred Thompson has not declared. Fred Thompson has not begun to campaign. I've written for a long time and time again that this campaign does not begin until Fred Thompson starts to campaign. However he fares, his entry inflates the dynamic, twists it into knots, pokes it with a pin, and sends it blowing around the arena hither and yon.

Besides, Camp Rudy has a new plan! McCain? He's just not talking about it.

I'm not sure what is Team Mitt's plan, unless it is to declare him the winner and hope somebody buys it. Remember, a candidate's chances must be taken seriously before he can win.

With this memo, Romney is clearly making a play at front-runner status, figuring that if he can establish himself atop the heap, Thompson and Giuliani will fight it out for the chance to be one of the last two standing. Gage asserts that Thompson and Giuliani "may be competing for the same pool of voters" judging by Thompson's ascent in the polls, and he adds a line from Romney media consultant Alex Castellanos: "If Rudy is the tough mayor of New York, Fred is the guy they would hire to play Rudy on TV."

Wrong. Fred wants the Reagan wing and Romney needs it. Rudy picks up most of his support, it seems, among the security and anti-terrorist voters. Could it be a resurgent John McCain fighting like Luke Skywalker coming out of the death star with a Mitt Romney who is still having trouble making the connection with the party base? This is for third place, mind you, just like many of the early national polls already read.

I'm going to say it again. Such memoranda are eye candy at this point in this race. Anything could happen, and we all have our predictions, but oughtn't we to wait to see how the field sorts itself out of Fred Thompson? Remember, after Fred Thompson, nothing will be the same.

But tiers at this point give everyone something to do before the race begins and some fall out.

All out! Don't fall out.

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Ladies and Gentleman: Behold the sundry frontrunners! 36 Comments (0 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

On 4/3, the first Rasmussen with Thompson in it, Romney had 8 points, Giuliani 26, McCain 16 and Fred? had 14.

Now, Romney has 12 (+4); Giuliani 21 (-5); McCain 10 (-6) and Fred? 26 (+12).

Fred? appears to be pulling from Rudy and Mccain, no?
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First State Politics

National Journal, the National Journal's Insider Poll and Chris Cilizza have Romney at the top, solo or tied, too.
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First State Politics

If we're going to predict the future, we need to look at the current strengths and weaknesses of the prospectives, and which will increase while others fade away.

Giuliani:

Strengths: mayoral experience, name recognition, "I was there at 9/11"
Weaknesses: abortion, temperament, personal life, stage presence

Evaluation: his experience stays to his credit, but his name recognition advantage will erode throughout the campaign. His
constant 9/11 references are meaningless, and his "9/11" glow will continue to deflate, and possibly turn against him if he looks like an opportunist. As the race becomes less about shouldering for position and more about substance, his abortion, erratic temperament, and personal life will all drag him down. His stage presence will (unfairly) hurt him each time the public gets to see him (the guy is like a gnome).

Projection: His standing will slip slowly for a time, and then more quickly once his fair weather supporters no longer see him as a front runner.

Thompson:

Strengths: clean slate, folksy, name recognition, "Reaganesque because he is an actor, too"
Weaknesses: substance, experience, ability

Evaluation: His unaccomplished past works to his advantage, because it makes it hard for opponents to attack his past. This advantage will stay with him, but also will put his remarks under greater scrutiny as people try to figure out what he's about. His analytical sloppiness might make this a disadvantage. His folksiness will stick with him too, but he's not going to get any more benefit out of that than he already has. His name recognition advantage will fade. Thompson doesn't even know what he thinks yet. But once his handlers tell him, who knows if he'll remember? Anyway, political handlers are not going to come up with any creative ideas--he's going to try to play it safe, just as he has so far by entering the race and hiding from it at the same time. His experience is primarily doing the bidding of superiors, with unremarkable results. He was a senator too, but who had heard of him? Also, he may not be "as dumb as hell," but he's not as smart as Nixon.

Projection: He will go down faster than Giuliani.

Romney:

Strengths: experience, intelligence/ability, personal life
Strength/Weakness: polish/fakeness
Weaknesses: flip-flops (handled candidate), theology-driven voters, name recognition.

Evaluation: All of Romney's strengths will continue to serve him. As for his weaknesses, the flip-flop thing will continue to haunt him, even through to the general elections if he gets that far (People will call him "Kerry II"). The theology factor won't get any worse--a certain factional core won't budge, and many of the rest will be slightly bothered, but will forget about it. The name recognition weakness will evaporate.

Projection: He will gain from Giuliani and Thompson's losses. He'll hit a ceiling, though, which will leave a support gap that a current second-tier candidate could fill (a McCain comeback, or Newt if he gets in the race).

When you play it out, Romney is the front-runner, especially considering his performance in the early states. I hope McCain survives the media death sentence and makes the comeback, because as much as I would like to like Romney, I can't support a pro-torture candidate. Torture and abortion are my two deal-breakers.


...when they see me they'll say, "There goes Loren Wallace,
the greatest thing to ever climb into a race car."

Romney supporter of course. I should have gotten that from the context. im a little slow on the up take i guess.

Not all Romney supporters are "Rombots", unlike all RonPaul™ supporters who ARE "Ronbots". Note the "m" and the "n"...

A real ...bot is typically one who takes a challenge to his preferred candidate personally because they view his candidacy as the single event that will save the US from all bad things that will happen if their candidate is not elected.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

That will help me follow future threads.

And just how do you define "torture". Very important question, because frankly, reading most of the crap thrown against the wall by the Rombots, I consider to be "torture".
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Look, I'm not saying defining torture is easy. Frankly, I don't think defining human life is easy, but I'm still dead set against abortion. You've got to take a stand somewhere.

Mitt, to me, is the candidate of torture. Rudy (and, as far as I can tell, Fred) passively accepts torture, but Mitt downright embraces it. McCain is the top candidate to reject it (and he has a solid pro-life stance).

What is torture?

Do you consider sensory deprivation to be torture?
Waterboarding?
Shouting at the person be interviewed?
Questioning someone without a lawyer present?

Should the US military apply the same standards to people picked up in a combat zone as US law enforcement applies to suspects picked up in the US?

You've been here four hours bubba. We don't allow equivocating or whining. So far that's all you've done. Now, put up or shut up.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

"What is torture?"

Any technique that induces suffering as the primary means of extracting information qualifies with me.

"Do you consider sensory deprivation to be torture?"

Yes.

"Waterboarding?"

Yes.

"Shouting at the person be interviewed?"

Not necessarily, but I'm sure a torture technique could be constructed with shouting.

"Questioning someone without a lawyer present?"

By itself, no. Obviously that plays a role in torture schemes.

"You've been here four hours bubba. We don't allow equivocating or whining. So far that's all you've done. Now, put up or shut up."

I expect to be addressed with basic respect. That includes not calling me "bubba," not saying that I'm whining for speaking my mind, and not telling me I have to shut up if my post didn't entirely satiate your curiosity. I guess you didn't know that. If you cannot handle that in the future, I'll ignore you. If you can, I can address you with that basic respect.

I'm guessing a lot of us won't like you being here either.

Hooray!

We don't take kindly to spamgourmet.com email addies here.

Go somewhere else and explain how asking stern questions is equal to or worse than gouging out eyeballs and using power drills in select locations on living human beings' bodies.

If he was supposed to be Me So Conservative or Meso Conservative. I'm guessing it was the former.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

For at least a day or two.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

and only if, you earn it. HINT: you haven't.

You are a raving moonbat. You are absolutely a whiner, and totally out of touch with the reality of the fact that we are at war.

Neil is absolutely right, you will not enjoy your time here. And you'll find me to be a real pussy cat (sorry Franz) compared to some of the people who are now lining up to rip your sorry attitude from one end to another.

You are a complete and utter waste of oxygen.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Mitt, to me, is the candidate of torture...Mitt downright embraces it.

You seem a little light in the facts department here. You want to provide a link to something that supports your claim?

McCain is the top candidate to reject it (and he has a solid pro-life stance).

You mean, besides the comments he made during his last presidential campaign about not wanting to see Roe being overturned because it would result in women dying in backalley abortions, right?
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Wow by zuiko

I can't support a pro-torture candidate.

Did I miss some candidate coming out and advocating installing racks and iron maidens in our prisons?
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Hmm by zuiko

Also, he may not be "as dumb as hell," but he's not as smart as Nixon.

After all it takes a real political genius to run a dysfunctional Carteresque domestic policy and tape record all his incriminating conversations for posterity. If Nixon were running in 2008, he'd be my last choice. I'd sooner vote for Ron Paul.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

that takes real brains

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

I would like to see all the candidates--Conservative and Liberal alike--address the United States’ commitment to the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, which call for cutting world hunger in half by 2015 and eliminating it altogether by 2025. Indeed, it is estimated that the expenditure of a mere $19 billion would eliminate starvation and malnutrition worldwide. In a time when the current defense budget is $522 billion, the goal of eradicating world hunger is clearly well within reach and it is my hope that whoever becomes president in 2008 addresses this pressing issue.

be a better goal. The UN as currently structured is simply a bash America forum for most of the rest of the world. John Bolton was the only hope and we lost his services because the Anti American Democrats couldn't stand to have anyone stand for America.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

The UN could kick out all those countries that don't have free and fair elections. Of course, that would mean they'd lose most of the membership, and nearly all the recipients of aid. And how would the dictators of impoverished nations feed their armies if the UN wasn't willing to do it for them?
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

It's some coincidence that those countries with free and fair elections usually don't need any aid.

Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you. Washington Elected Elite

are ya gonna join the party or just sulk in your room????
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Well by zuiko

It is enough to harsh anyone's buzz, maaan. Maybe we can put that $19bln/yr towards Plan B: buying the world a Coke. Maybe that would take care of this whole terrorism thing I've been hearing about.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

If you are dumb enough to believe that anybody, let alone the UN, can "...eliminate starvation and malnutrition worldwide" for a lousy $19B, you are utterly beyond redemption. Heck, the French and Russians stole more than than from OFF.

The US has thus far spent several TRILLION dollars on the "War on Poverty" in the relatively "friendly" atmosphere here, and we STILL have poverty, starving children and people who suffer from malnutrition. Of course in the US, they can call for an ambulance on their cell phones, but that's a separate issue.

The only issue related to the UN that needs to be addressed by our next President is the elimination of diplomatic immunity for UN personnel, the elimination of all US contributions to the organization and it's expulsion from perfectly good commercial real estate in New York City that could be put to productive use after the wastrels have been summarily expelled.

Oh yeah, one more good thing to address would be to increase the defense budget to about $750B and eliminate entitlements to "pay for it".
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Use the "Reply To This" link in the blue bar at the bottom of the comment to which you are responding. Wow are you stupid. And you're probably too old to actually learn simple things like how to click the correct link so the RS threaded responses will work.

Dumb, dumb, dumb and even dumber. You are not a credit to your age group.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

I have given myself similar severe scoldings over this very issue.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

not Moe. I'd have to ban myself.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

You have to factor in all the additional money the extra UN personnel can make running sex slavery rings in these impoverished countries. I think they call that a multiplier effect.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Hunger and malnutrition will disappear because the UN personnel can't get full value for malnourished kids.

Hey, they'll be involved in sexual slavery, but at least they'll be well fed. Life IS about tradeoffs you know.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

 
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