The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Monday, October 31, 2005

Who's It Gonna Be In 2008?

A friend of mine sent out an e-mail to group of us with his early predictions for 2008. His nominees?

Republican
Pres: John McCain
VP: Condoleeza Rice

Democrat
Pres: Hillary Clinton
VP: Barack Obama- God willing (his words)

Because I spent so much time writing out my thoughts in e-mail form, I thought I'd share them with y'all:

Two Women and Two African-Americans on the presidential tickets? Highly unlikely.

McCain does have the best shot right now, but what happens if/when Hagel or another 'moderate/reform' candidate gets in the race? They split that constituency, leaving the powerful social conservatives to all but anoint the nominee. The real question is who is going to court the social conservative vote almost exclusively, there's
generally one in each open Republican primary. Santorum would've been the likely one, but he took his hat out of the race a few months ago and doesn't seem very likely to keep his seat. Maybe Brownback, I don't know. Since Republican primaries tend to be heirarchical, orderly matters, I'd lean towards Frist right now. For R VPs, if they wanted a woman I think they'd go with Kay Bailey over Condoleeza.

On the D side, I don't know if Hillary will be able to pull it off. If we get into a 'electability' repeat, her off the charts unfavorables will just kill her. It's a toss-up right now, but I'd put Edwards, Warner, Vilsack, Bayh, Richardson, and Biden in the top tier with Clinton. Plus, Kerry's still got $45 million in the bank
right, meaning- at the very least- he could just go after the frontrunner and be the rest of the group's hatchet man.

Two things that will figure into the electoral calculus that normally haven't in the past. 1) If the Ds get a new primary calendar. Even a small shift here could tip the balance. Some early Southwest states could push Richardson to the forefront. Some early southern states would do the same for Edwards or Warner. If we keep it the same, then Vilsack runs away with Iowa with everyone else just trying to play the
expectations game, leaving New Hampshire as the almost penultimate test... which would mean the nomination would go to someone from the North Atlantic/New England states (a fact that gets tossed around waaaay too little: 3/4 of 2004 NH Dem primary voters voted for a candidate from North Atlantic/New England states, with Edwards and
Clark- even though they spent alot of time there- splitting the other 1/4. And yet all anyone wants to talk about is the monolithic South.)

2) This is the first open primary for both parties since 1952 and the
first ever in our modern day presidential nominating system. There aren't going to be alot of crossover voters, so running as the 'moderate' candidate in either primary is going to be tough to do. People are going to have to choose which primary to vote in, so it's going to be very tough to figure out how this will play out.

One school of thought in my head says we are going to see some major differences between the two candidates due to the fact that both nominees will be chosen by the parties base, leaving very little room for a 'moderate' candidate. Which would kill Hillary.

However, if Bush keeps his sub-40 approval rating through the next two years (something that I would find to be extremely tough to do... but hey, it's Bush), then we could see a mass exodus of self-identified moderates and independents show up in the Dem primary voting for our person, helping out Bayh, Hillary, et al immensely. This would push the Republican primary further right, leaving the Dems as the party of sanity.

Don't know just yet, besides, as my e-mail was prefaced, this is waaaay too soon to be talking about this.