After Iowa

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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The Iowa Caucus was a watershed election which could bring about the transformation of America politics.

While Democrats didn't run against Republicans directly, Democrats beat Republicans in turnout by over 2:1 - even though Democratic voters had to endure a 2-hour ordeal while Republican votes just had to vote.

Even though the Democratic vote was split three ways, all three leading Democrats trounced Mike Huckabee in raw votes (out of 356,000 cast):

24.5% Obama
20.5% Edwards
19.8% Clinton
11.4% Huckabee (R)

Chris Bowers found mind-bending numbers:

Which caucus each group attended
Moderates: Democratic 88%--12% Republican (I keep saying it--the Democratic Party is Unity08)
Urban: Democratic 87%--13% Republican
Age 17-29: Democratic 80%--20% Republican
Independents: Democratic 75%--25% Republican
Suburban: Democratic 73%--27% Republican
Women: Democratic 72%--28% Republican
Age 30-44: Democratic 70%--30% Republican
Age 45-64: Democratic 62%--38% Republican
Age 65+: Democratic 61%--39% Republican
Men: Democratic 60%--40% Republican
Rural: Republican 53%--47% Democratic

Not only did self-identified liberals out-number self-identified conservatives, but 88% of self-identified moderates caucused with Democrats? Not only did self-identified Democrats outnumber self-identified Republicans by 20%, but 75% self-identified Independents caucused with Democrats?

Looking at it from a national perspective, Iowa is a swing midwestern state dominated by white rural voters. If Democrats can win Iowa as we did last night, we can win just about every state outside Dixie, the Mormon states of Utah and Idaho, and the dark-red states of Oklahoma, Nebraska and Indiana. That means we can win big battleground states like Ohio, Missouri, Florida, Virginia, and Colorado - and produce a sweeping Electoral College victory.

Democrats are united internally, and united with Independents and even many Republicans on the need for comprehensive political change after Bush.

Who will be the Democratic nominee? Obama has GHWB's famous "Big Mo" (momentum), and he's got both an excellent message (speeches) and ground game (field organization). He will get a big bounce in the next round of polls, and that bounce will get twice as big if he can make up a small 5% deficit in New Hampshire this weekend and beat Hillary a second time.

After that comes Nevada, which is getting zero attention in the media. Hillary leads by 22% there in pre-Iowa polls, but Obama could easily win there if he wins New Hampshire. Next comes South Carolina, where Obama trails by only 6% in pre-Iowa polls. Since 1/2 of SC Democrats are black, Obama will definitely win there if he wins NH and NV. If Obama wins NH, NV, and SC, the media coverage will be so overwhelmingly positive for Obama that it will be impossible for Hillary to win.

Bottom line: my money is on Obama.

The Republican coalition is turning into a circular firing squad, with ideologically-committed working class evangelicals (led by Huckabee) at war with rich and cynical capitalists (led by Romney and Giuliani). As Scarecrow writes,

The Republican annointers had already rejected Huckabee; last night, Huckabee's supporters rejected those who once annointed Republican candidates. Their party has now inherited its own sectarian cultural war.

The Republican establishment hopes old John McCain can win a cease-fire and keep the GOP coalition together, but McCain lost the religious right forever in 2000 when he personally attacked Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as "agents of intolerance." Despite McCain's popularity with pundits, he always had the toughest challenge because of his age, which would make him even older than Reagan if he won. McCain lost any appeal to Democrats with his wretched "bomb-bomb-Iran" joke and his laughing when asked "how do we beat the bitch," but this week's promise to stay in Iraq for 100 years (or one million years) guarantees his defeat by independents and even Ron Paul Republicans.

Progressive bloggers seem to be deeply worried that Republicans will end up nominating someone who can beat our Democratic nominee. But after Iowa, I'm not worried about that at all. Whoever wins the Republican nomination will do so barely and by default because there simply is no one who can unite the evangelical and capitalist wings of the GOP. If McCain or Romney win the nomination, evangelicals will stay home; if Huckabee wins, capitalists will stay home. Without a completely united base, the GOP cannot win, and if the GOP base is divided down the middle, a sweeping defeat is guaranteed.


I can't believe that I am agreeing with you...

  • 20again's picture
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A few weeks ago, if you would have told me that Utah/Southern Idaho could possible go blue, I would have told you that you were crazy. Now, I couldn't agree more.

Mike Huckabee has covertly run on an anti-Mormon platform because it is his best anti-Mitt platform. I don't know how the Mormon Republicans in Utah and Southern Idaho can possibly vote for him.

If Huckabee wins the the nomination, this Utahn will fully support Sen. Obama. Many of my Mormon friends will do the same.

I personally feel driven from the Republican party by the politics that came out of Iowa.

Sigh...So you choose your

  • Bill Harding's picture
    Bill Harding
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So you choose your candidates based on their religious affiliations and beliefs?

By the way Bill...

  • Jim's picture
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...this is the moment when restoring forces have begun.

I can't find the thread but I remember a few of us talking about it a while back. It was fine to gang up on the "non religious". However now that one group is advancing it may no longer be "US" against "THEM". No longer simply "non religious" versus "religious".

The best solution for a people who will never agree on religion, always was and always will be, what we were given: Neutrality in Government. I guess it takes some abuse to remind folks of it.

The Mormons have been fine with the...

Repugnant attack machine for over 16 years now. Suddenly, instead of being allies with the evangelical right, they have become enemies. A pox on both your houses!

There is a reason for Liberals who desire nothing less than a secular society where we can all live in peace with each other. Nice to see that some of the right wing is beginning to realize this--when their particular ox is gored...shame they didn't see it coming.

A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.

Anne Hathaway: 1556-1623


The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Funny thing about equilibrium...

  • Jim's picture
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...advance too far and you change the game board.


  • Jim's picture
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I think this is why, in GENERAL, some of us frown on wearing our spirituality on our sleeves.

It is NOT, as the straw man arguers argue, that we do not allow room for it. Why can't we have a neutral government, thereby showing respect to ALL, rather than attempting religion by majority rule?

Everyone seemed fine when they could unite and bash the non OVERTLY religious folks or the Neutral Government folks. Huckabee's Mormon bashing was despicable and transparent. So was it's prequel.

So I wonder with you 20again, will voters decide America is a place for respect across the board? For a neutral government?

Neutrality does not mean leaving one's religious beliefs behind at the voting booth. It simply means behaving as mortals rather than puffed up demi gods who know all. Showing some respect to fellow travelers by following the neutrality the framers handed us.

Then again, I know little about God as I'm neither a Political Conservative or a Terrorist.

2004 Redux

  • Real American's picture
    Real American
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In 2004, I supported John Kerry after he won the nomination, although I could hardly believe that he got the nomination...Even if he is a bit boring, patrician, uppper crust, he is smart and capable and could have been an excellent leader. And sure enough, even if he technically won the popular vote... it was so much by a sliver that it made it too hard to challenge the Ohio election obstacles/ republican shennanigans.

Now we are going for 2008... and I want the democrats to WIN... not just run a smart, capable candidate. I think any one of the democrats running would make smart, capable leaders...but I don't think all of them could WIN a general election. I have doubts whether Hillary could ... and I feel practically certain Obama could not. I do not believe caucusing democrats are representative of the public at large and even for the primaries, none of the democratic candidates have an overwhelming lead... the field is broken up into thirds.

When I talk to moderate republicans and they weigh in about Obama... somehow remarks about Oprah, Sharpton, Jackson and Hollywood make their way into the discussion. Why they think that Sharpton will "get in there" just because Obama is president is unknown to me. But this is the vibe. Few people would admit it on a survey, but a lot of whites will refrain from voting at all rather than vote for a black candidate. It's an ugly fact, but I think it is true.

I do think both Edwards and Richardson could win the general election. I think the MSM and the GOP and Karl Rove would very much like to see Clinton or Obama nominated, because then the GOP would have a shot at winning the presidency.

So at this point, I feel pretty much as I did in 2004... what do they say about democrats... snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?