Thursday, February 24, 2005

First Look At The '08 Election

First off, I'd like to thank IMAO for including my answers to their quiz. It made me feel better.

Alright. Today, I'm going to take a quick look at the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. Around the blogosphere, it seems that the front-running candidates would be Condi Rice and Hillary Clinton.

Now, it's been said by many (and you know who you are), that the Democratic Party is on its deathbed and must win in 2008 or face extinction. I can't say that I agree that this is the case. The GOP had their best chance, in my opinion, to knock out the Democrats in 1992, and failed. Just imagine if George HW Bush had won a second term in 1992. No Bill Clinton presidency, for one thing. No Lewinsky scandal. No evil KKKen Starr. Not even Al Gore. Probably the most important thing - no real notice of Hillary Clinton. Who would the Dems have run in 1996? Clinton again? Ted Kennedy? I think it's a safe bet to say that if the Dems had lost in '92, they would have lost in '96 as well.

Now, losses in '92 and '96 instead of 2000 and '04 would have put the Dems at the hand of a nasty statistic - only one election victory in the span of 28 years. That looks a lot harsher than say, the no electoral victories they've had in only eight. I would think that Republicans would have to win in 2008 AND 2012 before we could seriously give the talk about the Democratic Party at Death's Door serious consideration, though I admit a defeat of Hillary Clinton would probably send most left-leaning bloggers into convulsions.

However, it seems to me that Hillary is going to win in 2008. She won't reach 51.5% of the vote like W, (we may never see a challenger from the Democratic Party reach that mark again) and she may not even reach 50% (which hasn't been done by a Dem in how long? 30 years?), but she will win.

Why? Because the republican party is not unified enough. Not to say that the Democratic party is unified at all, but they're more likely than Republicans to vote for the person because of the letter next to their name than Republicans are. (To put it in a better way, Democrats are more likely to vote for the guy who DOESN'T have the R next to his name), whereas Republicans have an easier time casting votes for third party candidates (see 1992).

Who to run though? The obvious choices would in fact be Condi and Arnold. Not because of their credentials, though they both have very good things going for them (much more so Condi, however). The sticking point is, as in real estate, location, location, location. No one who has ever become president has lost their home state (see Al Gore, 2000), and a win in California by either of these two would basically end the election as is. The electoral vote count this year was 286-252. Assuming a switch by Ohio, New Mexico, and Florida to Democrats, and California to Republicans, the Republicans would still win 289 to 249, an even bigger margin. That is not good news for the Democrats.

What's stopping them? Well, for Arnold, his past is way too big to ignore, and he's still an immigrant, which means as of this writing, he can't run. Condi has the problem of never holding elected office. This may not SEEM like a problem, but I would like to see how she handles something like the VP first. Another problem is that she's unmarried. People don't seem to find that a good quality in an elected official. While she could be able to garner some of the female vote and some of the black vote, I don't think it would be enough to put her over the top.

Well, it would be in a two-horse race. If it was just Condi against Hillary, I could see another close one, but that won't be the case. The Conservatives in the Republican Party and the Libertarians in the Republican Party (like my own congressman Rob Simmons, republican in name only, though I do like him) will not be able to stick together for the next four years. They will run a 3rd candidate (not Simmons, of course) who will most definitely siphon off enough votes from the Republicans to tip the election in favor of Hillary.

Subjectively, I can't say that's a good thing.

Okay... maybe that wasn't a "Quick" look, but it's a look nonetheless. What can I say? Other than "Enjoy the Baba Gannouj" of course.

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