Different situation, guy running for Senate and all ... but my analogy was a bad one in the first place. Maybe if Kerry was against the right to organize a union, had a history of pushing for right-to-work legislation ... but even that's not quite right.
I honestly can't think of a major group on the Democratic side with such clearly defined issue stances that are so deeply held as the Christian right's belief in the pro-life, anti-gay issue mix. The GOP has been tremendously successful in pushing those issues to the exclusion of almost all else with that population.
Could be, but I think a better analogy would be if Kerry had a history of being strongly against affirmative action and workplace discrimination laws. Would you expect African-Americans to turn out for him just to beat Bush? Some would, no doubt, but he'd lose a lot of support there and cause major havoc with the electoral coalition.
I think you underestimate the depth of feeling of a lot of the Christian right. Abortion is not an "issue" for them but a moral touchstone. People who support abortion rights are immoral people, folks who are just not right with Jesus. And abortion and "defense of traditional lifestyles" are vital components to a huge part of the GOP's overall branding; it's pretty close to the only way they brand themselves as the "more moral" of the two parties. And that's a big part of their success nationally.
And this isn't even getting into the NRA aspect of all this.
Would I feel comfortable about PA, MI, and FL? Yes, about the same, and no, in that order. But I'd feel a lot more comfortable in OH, NM, CO (especially), VA, IA, and MO. And I think the right candidate could pull in something like TN, too. Basically all of the states that are nominally in play for Democrats where the Christian right is a big part of the Republican base would be more in our column with Giuliani running.
I still say this is academic, though. McCain's guns haven't really been trained on Rudy, yet, but they will be. And, while McCain's campaign isn't doing too well, he does have some of the best smear merchants in American working for him. A few chain emails to the right people, a couple negative stories in Dobson's newsletters, and a targeted mailer or two and Giuliani's votes start disappearing in the GOP primary. Then get the NRA's muscle against him, and he's toast.
But he removes an even bigger motivation for their base.
There's no way Giuliani wins 40 states. Are we really gaining that much just on social issues?
The fundamentalist Christians I know get almost all of their political information from a mix of chain emails, semi-official church bulletins, Christian radio/TV, and conversation at church groups. And they are the primary GOTV organization on the GOP side. And there is no way in hell Giuliani can turn them out. No way. They have enormous emotional energy invested in the social issues, and nominating Giuliani would be the equivalent of spitting on their core beliefs.
That'd be even worse than Democrats deciding to nominate a Presidential candidate who's political career was littered with union-busting.
I know from a message/national media perspective it seems like Giuliani would make sense, but he just doesn't. He'd fracture the GOP coalition beyond repair, and he couldn't rebuild another coalition in one election cycle.
I think Murtha and Pelosi shouldn't "water down" their proposal as much as streamline it. Rather than attach a series of things to one bill, start with the most popular and clearest item first. Just introduce a stand-alone bill requiring troops to stay in the US at least one year before getting rotated back in. Or start with the troops having enough training before being sent into combat. Then introduce another. And another. Make each issue clear enough that the vote can be easily understood and the opposing view can be appropriately ridiculed.
If they were talking about co-branding it as a Fox News/Air America debate, that's one thing. That would explicitly put Fox on the side of the spectrum where it belongs: as a partisan news outlet. But just throwing an "Air America" voice on the panel doesn't do sh*t. And it shows that Tom Collins doesn't understand the real issue at hand. This isn't about the panelists asking leading questions.
I am in no way out of touch with politics, and I think it's very possible for Clinton to finish out of the top two in all of the first three states. Edwards is very strong in Iowa, and Obama is from the neighboring state, inspires more activism than Clinton, and will be competitive financially with her. Richardson is strong in NV, and if Edwards can get formal union endorsements, he can be in the top two in that labor-strong state.
Obama is enormously popular in NH among Independents, and if Edwards wins Iowa and does well in NV, he can pull ahead of Clinton in NH.
It's not likely (I think it's most likely that her money and the Clinton name will pull her into second in NH behind Obama), but it's clearly possible. Hell, it's even possible for a Richardson surge in NH to put him past Hillary. I think there's a small chance of that, but it's possible.
I agree with you, but I keep coming up with excellent reasons why each of the GOP candidates can't win. The GOP field sucks, it really does. Romney is Mormon and the "Multiple-Choice Mitt" theme has taken hold. McCain is cratering and has really large problems with the base. Giuliani is wrong on almost every issue besides "being a tough guy" and has a personal history that's pretty twisted. And the rest just don't have the money to be competitive.
So, who wins? I think McCain's team of unethical smear artists will probably nuke the other two in the top tier so badly that McCain will be the last man standing and will limp to the nomination. The GOP is going to have a serious case of "holding your nose while voting" during 2008, imo.
I don't think it is. No one else in the field is known much at all in NH. Richardson maybe makes a blip, but that's all. Edwards is very well known in NH, so I don't think 17% and solidly behind the top two is a great showing for him.
That said, I don't think it's all that important. He's in striking distance, so while he doesn't have much growth potential over the course of the next quarter or so since he's already well-known, imo, he's got enough support that if he can win Iowa decisively (outperform expectations) and do well in Nevada, he'll have an excellent chance to be in the top two in NH at least.
There's a pretty substantial libertarian element in NH GOP circles, and they are plugged in, so they'd know who Ron Paul was. iirc, he was pretty active in NH in 1988 when he ran on the Libertarian ticket; I was pretty young, but I remember him a bit.
I'd guess Tancredo gets a measurable number of GOP respondents is every state; his leading role as an anti-immigration bigot makes him popular among another segment of the GOP activist base. There's a decent shot he could rise, too, if immigration becomes a more central issue over the course of this year and folks outside the activist base get a sense of him.