March 17, 2008


Many voting for Clinton to boost GOP (Scott Helman, March 17, 2008, Boston Globe)

For a party that loves to hate the Clintons, Republican voters have cast an awful lot of ballots lately for Senator Hillary Clinton: About 100,000 GOP loyalists voted for her in Ohio, 119,000 in Texas, and about 38,000 in Mississippi, exit polls show.

A sudden change of heart? Hardly.

Since Senator John McCain effectively sewed up the GOP nomination last month, Republicans have begun participating in Democratic primaries specifically to vote for Clinton, a tactic that some voters and local Republican activists think will help their party in November. With every delegate important in the tight Democratic race, this trend could help shape the outcome if it continues in the remaining Democratic primaries open to all voters.

...while Obama is the easier to defeat, the longer it goes the more damage she does to him, keeping Maverick's hands clean.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 17, 2008 12:37 PM

Both of us voted for her in the Illinois primary, which is essentially the election here in Chicago. While I would not like to see the political soap opera that is the Clinton's returned to the White House, an Obama Presidency would likely be a disaster. At the time, it wasn't clear who had the upper hand on the Democratic side.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 17, 2008 1:30 PM

That was the plan all along. If Hillary had not survived TX and Ohio, the Dem nomination would be wrapped up, and there would be 5-6 months of fire at McCain.

At this point, it is likely that the Dems will not have a nominee till August (in fact, given their insane delegate selection process, there will probably be no change in respective positions at all. Hilalry wins some, Obama wins some, no net change). This does a number of things:

1) Dems keep spending money and ammo on each other
2) Both keep bringing each other down (you can already see the net favorability ratings for Obama and Clinton start to drop in daily tracking polls)
3) The longer the race goes, the worse the race-gender divide grows
4) If Hillary wins, there go the black and the young liberal votes
5) If Obama wins, there go the Latino and Catholic votes
6) Either wins, the "Reagan Democrats" are up for grabs.

The longer this circus continues, the merrier the situation for McCain (as well as down-ticket Republicans). If this continues till August (and erupts into a riot situation), McCain can forego campaigning and start working on his inauguration speech.

Posted by: sam at March 17, 2008 1:56 PM

"...their insane delegate selection process..."

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks that. Is this new or is it the way they've always selected delegates?

Posted by: Bryan at March 17, 2008 3:07 PM

Brings to mind that quote about the Iran - Iraq War: "Pity they both can't lose."

This time it looks like that will come to pass.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 17, 2008 3:47 PM

Ironically, all the states wanted to front-load their primaries so they would "count." That's why Florida and Michigan didn't count; because they held their primaries earlier than the Democratic Party wanted.

Of course, a couple of big states voting now would get to decide the whole enchilada. The thing to watch for is what happens in Pennsylvania. If Clinton wins big, which is entirely possible, the Dems are screwed, because it will be too late to get her the nomination through votes, so they'd either be stuck with a nominee that is unpopular in states they have to carry, or with a nominee who is selected by the machine over the popular vote for a black candidate. If half of the black population stays home on election day, the Dems not only lose the presidency but might lose the Senate.

Posted by: Ibid at March 17, 2008 4:09 PM

I'm wondering if Republicans should start voting for Obama now, because he's looking easier to beat and because he's starting to fall in the polls in PA and elsewhere.

Posted by: PapayaSF at March 17, 2008 4:16 PM

McCain still needs to run on something other than "Bush III."

Also, the economy is a wild card. If the recession hits mostly/only the banks, and unemployment stays stable (1991, 2002), McCain will do OK.

A full scale financial meltdown (79-82), and even the Maverick will have trouble with either Hillary or Obama.

Posted by: Bruno at March 17, 2008 4:35 PM

Bruno: Hence the genius of the Maverick. Even if he were to run as "Bush III" (he isn't) and the Dems & MSM tried to attack him for it, his image would mean that the public wouldn't buy it.

Posted by: b at March 17, 2008 5:46 PM

No, he needs Gramm to get him to run on Bush III, preferably with Jeb or Mititch Daniels, who get it.

Posted by: oj at March 17, 2008 7:21 PM

If Obama wins PA, Hill could drop out, for the good of the party because unless he gets caughtwitha hooker, she can't win.

So the raid is still on and it Hill in PA.

Posted by: Perry at March 17, 2008 7:48 PM