Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Recipe for Republican Defeat

It's simple math, really. The GOP selects its nominee by a delegate system. Through the current state primaries and caucuses, the various candidates are accumulating delegates. Whoever has the majority of delegates at the time of the party convention this Summer will be the GOP nominee.

However, a great many of those delegates come from states that simply will not, under any reasonable forecast, yield any electors for the Republican nominee in November. Thus, although New York's 101 delegates, New Jersey's 52 delegates and Connecticut's 27 delegates will help to select the GOP nominee, those states will not do a thing to help that nominee get elected this Fall.

Many people tout John McCain's "electability." Of course, "electability" contests seem always to feature McCain-Clinton or McCain-Obama matchups in national popular-vote polls. The popular vote, my friends, does not secure you the Presidency. Ask Al Gore. To win, you have to win the Electoral College. One simple fact remains clear, reinforced by today's results in Kansas—John McCain cannot win in the South. With the low GOP turnout a McCain ticket is certain to produce in the South, the Dems may have a better chance of picking off some Southern states than they have had in my lifetime. McCain does a great job winning Republican primaries in the Northeast, but he cannot win there in November. He is not a wise selection for Republicans.

Let the argument begin, but I'll be taking names for "I told you so"s in November. [grin]


Big Daddy Weave said...

First, what Southern States do you believe Obama or Hillary could pick up in a race with McCain?

With two back to back Dem Governors, a newly elected Dem Senator in Jim Webb and the growth explosion in the DC suburbs, Virginia was already leaning Democrat with or without McCain on the ticket. Huckabee can't win Virginia.

Georgia is forever lost to the GOP.

Are you talking about Arkansas or Louisiana? I'm having a hard time seeing Obama or Hillary pick off any Southern states.

Bart Barber said...

Big Daddy!

I thought I had lost your astute readership. Thanks for stopping by.

Of the open primaries that have taken place in the South so far, only in Alabama has the GOP turned out more voters than the Democrats. In my native state of Arkansas, the Dems beat GOP turnout 3:2. Arkansas has replaced Mike Huckabee with Mike Beebe (Dem), who represents one of a series of GOP losses at the state level.

In SC the Dems had 19% more voters show up at their primary than the GOP.


GA...nearly 10%.

Even in Alabama, the GOP turnout advantage was a mere 4.27%. I expect that a McCain nomination would lower the GOP total somewhat.

So, in summary, I think a great deal of the South is vulnerable, especially to Obama.

I've heard lots of people say that they don't like Obama's policies or don't like Obama's lack of experience. I have yet to hear a single person anywhere express a negative opinion of Obama himself.

Ms. Rodham, on the other hand, must battle significant negatives. She might be a factor driving up GOP turnout, should she secure the Democrat nomination.

We'll see.

Tim Guthrie said...

Somebody was doing some thinking when they wrote this one. Astute is a word I would use to describe this post.

CB Scott said...


Sadly, you are right. Yet, I cannot help but wonder what might have happened has Southern Baptists and other conservative Protestant groups gotten behind Huckabee in the beginning.

If dead babies could talk they might be asking that same question.


Alan Stoddard said...

CB: You're right. Those Huckabee needed came too late. The "Pressler's" chose to support Thompson. I can't believe Dobson waited so long to support Huckabee.

Sad. We are in trouble.

It's a long time until November. I never thought Bush would win in 2004. Who knows?