Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hillary and the Dems Rack Up Big Votes, But GOP Sen. Fred Thompson Doesn't

Sen. Hillary Clinton stunned most observers Tuesday night when New Hampshire voters turned out to give her a surprise win over Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama.

Despite her strong showing, some on the right have downplayed Clinton's win. Oklahoma City's Mike McCarville, for instance, put the win down as a "narrow" victory.

Perhaps. Clinton received 110,550 votes, not that much more than Obama's 102,883.

Consider, however, that both Clinton and Obama were well ahead of the top Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain, who received 86,802 votes.

And what about actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson, a favorite of McCarville and other Oklahoma Republicans? Fred left New Hampshire with measly 2,808 votes, a thousand less than the anti-war Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

Even the gadfly Republican Rep. Ron Paul was light years ahead of Thompson, racking up nearly 18,000 Granite State votes, more than six times Thompson's total.

Thompson will have a much better chance in South Carolina, but we expect that former Baptist minister and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will beat Thompson there as well.

Our take: Thompson and his candidacy continue to fizzle. We could be wrong, but we don't see Fred beating any major candidate in any state in the near future.


Dan Paden said...

I understand that you're trying to contrast Mrs. Clinton's vote totals with those of the Republicans, which, of course, makes her look like a more popular candidate. I must note a couple of things:

1) Well, of course she outdrew the Republicans. It is, for cryin' out loud, a blue state.

2) To my mind, right now the important thing is not so much the vote totals for each party, so to speak, but who's pulling ahead for the nominations. When it comes to the Democrats, it seems to me that for a candidate who seemed all but inevitable and invincible only a month and a half ago, losing in Iowa and winning in New Hampshire by as small a margin as Mrs. Clinton did really is one heck of a come-down. What used to have all the appearances of a coronation now looks like it's going to be a dogfight.

And what about actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson...

Yes, Fred continues to do poorly. I'm not at all surprised that he did poorly in New Hampshire, as the Republicans there tilt a little against the grain of the party. It was no surprise to me that McCain won, for that very reason.

...we don't see Fred beating any major candidate in any state in the near future.

Barring some interesting new development, I would have to agree. Sadly, this is not because I think Fred is out of step with most of the Republican Party, but due to the perception--justified or not--that he just doesn't give a rat's patoot, coupled with Mike Huckabee's surge. I do think if the primary season were longer, extending on into the early summer, perhaps, Huckabee's weaknesses would be more apparent and that would benefit Fred. However, the situation being what it is, I rather expect that Huckabee will be the nominee.

If you haven't already started reading up on the Fair Tax, one of Huckabee's signature issues and one of the reasons I might actually vote for him, you might want to go ahead and order the books.

Seriously, even though you're libs, don't write off the Fair Tax before researching it. It is revenue-neutral, a bonanza for the poor, and quite likely the only thing that can realistically save Social Security. You might find that you like it, and at least reading the books would ensure that you don't sound like a twit when criticizing it, should you decide that you don't like it (not that I think you're twits, it's just that it's painfully obvious to anyone who's read the book when a critic hasn't bothered to read the bill or look into it substantively.).

Tulsan said...

I disagree that Huckabee will be the nominee, despite his strength with evangelicals and his ability to connect with audiences. When you see the Limbaughs and the Hannitys go after a Republican candidate as they have Huckabee, it's obvious that the GOP establishment has passed judgment. No doubt Huckabee's populist message sounds a little too sincere for them.

It's probably not completely impossible for evangelicals to find a way to rationalize Romney's Mormonism, which is utterly bizarre from a Southern Baptist viewpoint. It's certainly more difficult than getting behind Giuliani, with his marital and non-marital history, plus his liberal social attitudes (even though he attempts to shift the focus to his bellicosity.) And this part of the base needs to be energized by a candidate in order for their votes to be delivered.

Ron Paul never had a chance with the GOP powers that be; Fox News included Thompson, but excluded Paul from the New Hampshire debate, and Paul's numbers topped Fred's.

McCain, despite his out-of-date "maverick" label, is a "go along to get along" guy---he would have to be if he could publicly give Bush a big hug after the vicious "black baby" push-polling orchestrated by Rove against him in 2000. He doesn't have the big GOP negatives of Rudy or Mitt.

I think GOP support is beginning to coalesce around McCain as the default candidate.

Tulsan said...

Rudy will need to boost his bellicosity quotient to keep up with the other hopefuls (except the sane-sounding Paul.) Their comments about the recent Iranian speedboat incident:

Giuliani: "I think an incident like this reminds us that we shouldn't be lulled into some false sense of confidence about Iran. We have to be very focused on the fact that Iran should not be allowed to become a nuclear power."

Romney: "I believe it was a very serious act. And the Iranians continue to take acts like this, it points out that we have in Iran a very troubled nation."

Huckabee: "Be prepared, first, to put your sights on the American vessel. And then be prepared that the next things you see will be the gates of Hell, because that is exactly what you will see after that."

Paul: "I would certainly urge a lot more caution than I'm hearing here tonight," he said. "This incident should not be thrown out of proportion to the point where we're getting ready to attack Iran over this."

Tulsan said...

If McCain is the nominee, presumably Hillary would be the preferred opponent, as the rhetorical pathways for demonization are all laid out. If you can't energize positively, you can energize negatively.

On the other hand, it's old hat, and likely all the dirt on her has been dug up. It is possible that evangelicals are tiring of being cynically used. I suspect the embrace of "green" issues by some of their leaders is preparing the way to chart an independent course from the GOP.

Among younger voters, I don't think the "passion" potential is there to use against a female or a black candidate.

So needless to say, it will be interesting.

Tulsan said...


"50,000 more Granite Staters voted in the Democratic primary than the Republican primary, with nearly 280,000 voting in the Democratic race and only 229,000 turning out for Republicans. This was the first time since the establishment of the modern New Hampshire primary system that more people voted in the Democratic primary than the Republican primary when both were contested. Republicans actually turned out 10,000 fewer voters for their primary than in 2000, the last time there was a contested Republican presidential primary in their state. On the Democratic side, there were 125,000 more voters than in the 2000 primary, and 61,000 more voters than the 2004 primary, which was then a Democratic record, largely due to the fact that there was no Republican contest that year."