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Florida’s Turn
Posted by: Dale Franks on Tuesday, January 29, 2008

With 24% of the vote counted as of 1708 PST, it looks like a reversal of South Carolina on the Democratic side in today's Florida primary. Hillary Clinton has already been called as the winner, with 48% of the vote currently, followed by Barack Obama with 29%. John Edwards is trailing with his usual 14%.

Not that it matters. Since Florida's delegates are persona non grata at the DNC this year, the race is effectively a tie, with both Clinton and Obama grabbing 0 delegates apiece.

On the Republican side, it's too close to call the leader. Romney and McCain are battling for the lead, each of them with about 1/3 of the vote. Guiliani is in a distant third with 15%. His rope-a-dope strategy, waiting for a late strike in Florida to leap into the front-runner position is obviously a bust.

Interestingly, Hillary Clinton won by 20% among voters who voted early, or who made up their mind more than two weeks ago. Among voters who decided within the last two weeks, Obama polled a slight majority. That seems to indicate that in the last two weeks, Obama has gained momentum.

It'll be fascinating to see if he can carry it through to next Tuesday. If the defections from the Clinton camp of establishment democrats like Ted Kennedy continues, he just might.

1748: Hillary Clinton, just this moment in Florida, pledged to do everything she can to seat the Florida delegates at the Democratic Convention.

This despite her signed pledge five months ago that she would do no such thing. I concur with the judgment of the editors of the Manchester Union-Leader:
COURTING VOTERS in Iowa and New Hampshire, last August Sen. Hillary Clinton signed a pledge not to "campaign or participate" in the Michigan or Florida Democratic primaries. She participated in both primaries and is campaigning in Florida. Which proves, again, that Hillary Clinton is a liar.

Clinton kept her name on the Michigan ballot when others removed theirs, she campaigned this past weekend in Florida, and she is pushing to seat Michigan and Florida delegates at the Democratic National Convention. The party stripped those states of delegates as punishment for moving up their primary dates.

"I will try to persuade my delegates to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida," Clinton said last week, after the New Hampshire primaries and Iowa caucuses were safely over.

Clinton coldly and knowingly lied to New Hampshire and Iowa.
Of course, why this should come as a surprise to anyone is beyond me. The Clintons have long been a couple for whom the truth is...malleable.

1754: The GOP race is still too close to call, but it seems to be becoming less so. McCain leads Romney 35% to 32% with 46% of precincts counted.

1757: It's fitting to see that Hillary Clinton is now picking up the endorsement of Congressman Alcee Hastings. That should lock up the key "former Federal judges who were impeached and removed from office for corruption" demographic.

1813: It's McCain, with 35% of the vote. He's followed by Romney with 31%, then Giuliani with 15%.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Fred Thompson has like 1.4% of the vote.

Not bad for a dude who’s not even running.
 
Written By: Robb Allen
URL: http://blog.robballen.com
Bye-bye Rudy :(

Thus ensuring my vote is cast for a 3rd party candidate or write-in come election day.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It’s McCain, with 35% of the vote.
Ughhh - Thus ensuring I go and cast my vote for someone other than McCain next Tuesday in GA on GENERAL PRINCIPAL! My goodness, he is one of the few people on the R side of the ballot that can make me think rationally about voting for Obama. Jiminy Crickets!
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
If McCain gets the nod, I’m sitting this one out or doing a write-in protest vote.

I just can’t fathom it, really. The MSM didn’t even have this kind of influence in the 90’s or the 80’s. WTF happened to people’s critical thinking skills.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Wow, what’s this animosity for McCain?! He’s a bit of a maverick, but he’s certainly conservative and pragmatic. He probably is the best bet for a Republican who can beat Clinton (though against Obama it would be very interesting). Romney has spent a lot of money and not excited people — this is a sign that he is a weak campaigner and candidate, especially since he seems to be benefiting only because a lot of people don’t like McCain. So who would be a feasible Republican alternative? Nope, it’s almost certainly going to be McCain for the GOP. Probably McCain vs. Clinton, but I’d love to see McCain vs. Obama.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
McCain conservative? Huh? It’s hard to describe President Bush as a conservative and McCain is left of the President.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
He probably is the best bet for a Republican who can beat Clinton
Feh. Who cares? "Electability" is not the end all, be all for some of us.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Scott, it’s called principles. McCain either doesn’t have them, or he has a set that are not congruent with those conservatives whose enmity he has garnered.

To wit:
He consorted with members of the opposition party to torpedo the judicial nominations of a president of his own party and foreclose a movement to end an extraconstitutional rule requiring a supermajority for the confirmation of judges.

He supported the rights of illegal aliens to remain in this country with little or no penalty for violating immigration laws.

His name is on a piece of legislation that curbs rights to political speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.

He opposed the tax cuts that stimulated the economy in the wake of 9-11.

He likens drilling in the alternately frozen and boggy wasteland of ANWR with drilling in the Grand Canyon.

He lied about Gov. Romney’s position on Iraq.

You can argue the merits and demerits of McCain’s positions versus their opposites, but these are significant issues to a lot of people, and McCain is on the wrong side of each of them.

To some of us, politics is not a game, and winning isn’t everything. Politics is a means to an end, and what good does it do us to support someone who does not share our objectives for government or our political values?

On a personal basis, he lacks integrity, and is mean, petty, and vindictive.

McCain needs people like me to win the election, but we are certain that the reward for our loyalty will be a stick in the eye, the same stick he’s wielded against us, with glee, I might add, in the past. Aside from the hope that any judges McCain appoints will be somewhere to the right of Justice Ginsburg, there’s not much reason for someone like me — a conservative first and Republican second — to vote for McCain.
 
Written By: Diffus
URL: http://
He probably is the best bet for a Republican who can beat Clinton
The Left slides left. The Republican run someone barely to the right of that candidate with the theory that much of their base will have no choice and the Leftward candidate will pick up the moderates and perhaps some of the left of center votes.

The problem is that process is repeating. The Left Slides left, and the Republicans chase them, in their minds, to maximize their votes. The Left slides left again. Repeat.

And the political spectrum shifts left with them.

In the short term, the Republican tactic is good for Republicans. It leave Conservatives with a Pyhrric victory, even though they had little part in their fate.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Well kids, like it or not, McCain’s going all the way. It’s his turn, see. Like it was Dole’s turn in ’96, this time it’s McCain’s turn. And like Dole he’s too f*cking old and shouldn’t have run in the first place.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
Diffus: not agreeing with what you consider to be proper principles is not having principles. You list a few issues, most of them minor, which you disagree with him on. I daresay you’ll find a lot of candidates who take different issues than you. It doesn’t seem to warrant such animosity.

And I see McCain to the right of Bush. The media illusion is that he’s a centrist, but I remember him fighting tooth and nail for the Reagan agenda, and having a reputation for a long time as a strong conservative. He takes pragmatic views on some issues, and fiscally conservative views on others. For instance, it was wrong to try to stimulate the economy after 9-11, it didn’t need stimulation, it was a short term jolt. If anything, that only hurt our debt load and fed the housing bubble, whose collapse has made things much worse now.

But as someone who routinely votes for someone not from the mainstream parties, I have no disagreement with your choice not to support a Republican or Democrat. It just seems like there is undue animosity towards him personally — perhaps its stoked by talk radio? Don’t take those guys too seriously.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Diffus: you forgot Keating 5. His role in that is indicative of his principles or lack thereof.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Yeah Scott, it’s talk radio. We rubes can’t think for ourselves.

"He’s a bit of a maverick, but he’s certainly conservative and pragmatic."
This is just silly. What subject do you teach? If McCain is a conservative than I’m a collectivist anarchist. And btw, calling him a ’maverick’ is as cliched as it gets.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
He’s a bit of a maverick, but he’s certainly conservative and pragmatic
Professor Erb, I’m sorry, but are you high? He’s voted against tax cuts, for amnesty (LED the fight for it for the republican side), led the Gang of 14 to block judicial nominees, backs "Blame America" flavors of global warming, is the co-blame holder for McCain-Feingold...

If that’s conservitive, I don’t want to see liberal.

McCain is LEFT of bush, and Bush is hardly far-right.

With Rudy dropping outto back McCain, and with the Huckster’s eventual backing (because come on, it’s not like he’s going to win out, nor will he back Romney), it looks like McCain will get the nod.

So I’ll vote for whoever the Democrats put up. I’ll even vote Democrat for congress out of spite.

I don’t care much for Romney, but he’s a hell of a lot better than McCain.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I’m a registered independent who voted for Bush twice. He sucked in a lot of ways but even he is more conservative than McCain. I will not vote for McCain, ever.
 
Written By: jt007
URL: http://
McCain routinely gets between 80 and 100% from conservative groups on his voting record. He is fiscally conservative so he often does not support tax cuts if he thinks it will raise the deficit. Many republicans recognize the reality of the immigration situation, that’s why the issue is going to essentially be minor or almost non-existent next year. You guys have chosen a few issues and let the talk radio jocks make you think McCain is something he isn’t. I’m sure the Democrats are delighted. If you think Romney’s record as Governor is more conservative than McCain’s as Senator, well...oh, yeah, Romney doesn’t say what he thinks, he says what you want to hear so you’ll ignore his record. Since McCain doesn’t do that, you’ll go for Romney. There’s one born every minutes....
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"it’s called principles. McCain either doesn’t have them, or he has a set that are not congruent with those conservatives whose enmity he has garnered."

Yeah, so we should sit out the election or vote Democratic because Hillary or Obama would be so much better. They certainly represent conservative principles better than McCain, right?

The presidential election is always a lesser of two evils vote. I can’t remember one that wasn’t, except maybe when Reagan was running. McCain is no prize, but in my opinion he’s still far better than either Democratic candidate on most of the issues.
o I’ll vote for whoever the Democrats put up
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You don’t like someone so you’ll vote for someone worse. I’m sure a Democratic president working with a Democratic congress is going to be much better from a conservative perspective.

 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
David, follow me on this...

McCain’s presidency would be crap. Utter crap. Hillary or Obama’s would be crap. Utter crap.

So if it is crap we must have, I would rather it be crap that serves the purpose of reminding america why we shouldn’t have socialists in power.

There is no "wrose" this time, just differen flavors of dung.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
David, follow me on this...

McCain’s presidency would be crap. Utter crap. Hillary or Obama’s would be crap. Utter crap.
The most power the president has is in foreign policy. You don’t think McCain’s foreign policy is going to be more in line with what conservatives want than Hillary or Obama’s? That alone is more than enough reason to vote for him over them.
There is no "wrose" this time, just differen flavors of dung.
Totally disagree. McCain is bad for many reasons, but he’s still an order of magnitude better than Hillary and Obama.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://

He consorted with members of the opposition party to torpedo the judicial nominations of a president of his own party and foreclose a movement to end an extraconstitutional rule requiring a supermajority for the confirmation of judges.
Here’s an interesting article about that.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
McCain routinely gets between 80 and 100% from conservative groups on his voting record.
Prof. Erb — Please do your homework before lecturing conservatives about conservative voting. See McCain’s Voting Scores - American Conservative Union vs Americans for Democratic Action. McCain did have a pretty straight conservative voting record in the 1980s and early 90s with scores between 80 and 100. However, in the last ten years McCain’s conservative numbers are bobbing between 65 and 80, and his democratic numbers have shot up as high as 40.

Furthermore, McCain’s recent sponsoring—not just voting—but sponsoring of McCain-Feingold and Kennedy-McCain bills are serious problems for conservatives. Then there is his stance on global warming. These are the primary causes for the animosity McCain receives from conservatives and conservative talk radio hosts, and not a false emotional tempest whipped up by talk radio.

I don’t consider myself a conservative, but I can understand why they are upset with McCain.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Huxley, McCain’s lifetime score from the ACU is 82.5. He had an 80 in 2005, though he did dip to 65 in 2006. But if you look at the website and compare with other Republicans and with Democrats, McCain is clearly conservative. He has scores similar to many conservative Republicans (though much higher than the two Republicans representing my state, who have scores below 50 or 40), while Democrats seem often in the single digits. To say McCain is liberal is utterly and completely absurd. He’s nowhere close! What he is, is a lifetime conservative who has some maverick views. He’s also a fiscal conservative who doesn’t knee jerk to cut taxes without asking where the money is coming from.

You want a liberal Republicans, well, like at Snow, Collins, and others. Go through the list and compare. It seems to indicate he thinks for himself rather than following a political set of "always vote X on Y." That is something far more valuable — and electable — to someone who serves the partisan extremists of either party. But to doubt he’s conservative simply defies logic.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Prof. Erb — As usual, you misconstrue some of my points and nitpick others. I’m not saying that McCain is a liberal. I’m not looking for liberal Republicans. I am saying that conservatives are understandably displeased with McCain.

McCain’s recent voting record—surely more important for those concerned about McCain as a candidate now than his lifetime record—has gone south and averages, eyeballing it, around 73 for the last ten years, compared to around 88 from 1984 to 1996. That’s a disturbing slide if one is conservative and faced with voting for McCain 2008 versus McCain 1995.

And on some of the most prominent issues of the day, except for the Iraq War, he has been markedly non-conservative: McCain-Feingold, Kennedy-McCain and global warming. Again, he sponsored those two bills, not just voted on them, which makes his stands all the more worrisome for conservatives.

Politics doesn’t offer easy answers. Everyone—politicians and voters alike—have to strike balances between what they want, what they think best, what will work, and what they’ll accept.

My main concern with McCain is that 72 is old for such a rigorous job, especially if he has to run against Obama.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
My main concern with McCain is that 72 is old for such a rigorous job, especially if he has to run against Obama.
That doesn’t bother me, but I see your point. That’s one reason I think a McCain-Obama race would be so fascinating. I also tend to think those two are the most sincere of the candidates. Hillary wants power too much, Romney’s changed position to fit polls, Guiliani has a character problem, Edwards is a bit too slick. That might be why those two generate so much support, though for Obama it may not be enough.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
[McCain’s age] doesn’t bother me, but I see your point.
Why not? That job ages people. It’s not good to go in aged already. He’d be 76 for his second term. I know that the pundits and polls keep saying that McCain has the best prospects against either Dem candidate, but I dunno.

When it comes time for the actual race, it seems to me that the independents are going to look at this young, tall, thin, attractive guy with a full head of hair and then over at the old, short, unattractive bald guy and it’s game over.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Yeah, but many will see a white war hero and a black with the name Barak Hussein Obama and, well, each has its problems. Still, I think Obama would likely beat McCain, but McCain would probably be able to handle Hillary. That’s of course early speculation without knowing what stories and events will transpire between now and then.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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