At this point, you have to ask whether the Republican establishment wants to win this race. The next presidential term is going to be one shitpile after another.
If they do, then they need to stop Huckabee. Romney's accumulated way too much baggage at this point. If they need to take him out in SC, they can, but it doesn't look like they will need to.
Sex on the City killed Giuliani, who had been teetering anyway, due to his horrible personal campaigning style. And to the fact that he could not possible live up to his billing in NH and IA venues. He's a lisping little guy with a power complex that comes across in retail settings. There's a reason NYers can't stand him.
Stopping Huckabee is non-trivial. It would have to be on Super Tuesday. SC doesn't serve as a firewall against the Huckster, so they'd have to have a candidate who can garner enough primary votes and also superdelegate support to stop the Huckster.
There's only one name in the hat who can do that. Not only that, but McCain, who looked weak and equivocal early in the campaign, now looks a whole lot more presidential than Grandpa Fred or magic underpants Mitt. As the post says, none of the above is leading. In that instance low turnouts on Super Tuesday with the least bad candidate winning could well turn into McCain.
Of course Clinton's support is softer than any other candidate. She's the default candidate. She's the one with the highest name recognition. A voter has to make some kind of affirmative act of support to move off the default. And it's not surprising to see Obama with a high fraction of his supporters who say they are enthusiastic.
The only surprising thing here is Edwards' low number. It means, IMO, that he is seen as the other establishment candidate, picked for qualities like electability and low negatives rather than enthusiastic and committed. He's campaigning as if he shares that opinion, BTW.
It is worth noting that the last candidate with a profile of electability and low negatives got the nomination.
None of these observations change the dynamics of the race. Whoever it was (Jonathan?) who pointed out that Clinton benefits from blurring the differences among the candidates is supported by this data. It doesn't matter if her support is soft if the other candidates can't define differences clearly delineated enough to move them off the default candidate.
Again, that's what Edwards has been trying to do these last few weeks.
As for the arithmetic, here's the question:
q25 Thinking about the candidates now running for President, is there any candidate that you feel enthusiastic about?
IF YES: Who is that?
This question is unrelated to the who would you vote for summary question. Moreover, the fraction is not of those who were asked q25. The fraction is of those who said they were enthusiastically supporting a candidate. It is certainly NOT 28 points out of Clinton's 48. It is 28 percent of the people who expressed enthusiasm. OF the people who are stoked, 28 percent support Clinton, 22 percent support Obama. But that may be only a hundred people out of the 836 polled. It might only be 50, especially this early in the race. This doesn't tell you anything about softness of support. It tells you something about intensity of support among the most committed voters.
I'm a Maloney constituent. She's been a consistent leader on these issues, and I'm glad to see that she has stepped forward here. I dropped a note to her UES office, and will pass this along to other constituents.
Frank Luntz, at a panel I was covering, said that he did a focus group right after the debate who said that Edwards had won. Seemed unlikely to me--Clinton seemed like the clear winner. But he said the we junkies don't see things the way those dumb voters do.
Yup. Karl miscalculated. He thought he could continue to shuck and jive his way through this by handing the yokels the religious right language, and distract them from the immigration bill. While this worked when this was combined with attacks on welfare and black people, that worked fine. The Reagan democrats were fine with this. But not with an influx of immigrants who did not have to be paid minimum wage, workman's comp and so forth.
The Reagan Democrats see their jobs and wage levels threatened by workers who are in jobs that don't comply with US labor law. Those are the ones who are up in arms.
But the meatpackers and agribusiness and the construction industry and the restaurant business and on and on all employ people in jobs that don't comply with US labor laws.
The reason there are 10-20 million illegals here is because existing labor law is not enforced. Firms are not fined for employing illegals. This new complex "compromise" doesn't address the problems of the first group. And it makes the life of the second group more complicated.
YearlyKos will make its way into Second Life this year. There will be live streams of Chicago sessions and some purely virtual sessions, including IM driven access to the presidential candidate forums, as well as other conference content.
Part of the point of this campaign is to advance the girly man, Breck Girl, Dems are wusses themes. Whether or not attacking Pelosi herself is effective, making the party the party of the girls, especially girls from gay SF, is an attack on the brand.
I went to an event at my Congresswoman's local office--a MoveOn rally day for pressing Congress on Iraq. As we were standing there, with our signs, a woman walked by and called out "Support the troops."
This was on the day after the Walter Reede story ran in the Post.
This is the conservative political model. Frank Luntz and others like him craft lines. Those lines get distributed by talk radio and a few internet sites.
I've been repeatedly struck by just how repetitive and unreasoned conservative trolls are (I know, that's pretty much the definition of "troll.") They don't seem to have ever had an original thought in their lives. That's all that woman who walked by us had--a precrafted, clearly false slogan.
Now there's nothing wrong with using slogans. It's just that the conservative model is stalinist--the slogans are generated by the Kremlin. There is no room for clever people like the folks at FDL to think up the Rubberstamp event.
Loss of message control makes Democratic strategists nervous. Republican strategists, on the other hand, don't have anything beyond message creation and control.