Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Other Big Game

I find it amusing that the TV pundits are almost all wrong on predicting the results of the primaries so far. They seem to be missing the point of the whole primary game. I recall discussing this with some of my co-workers at MS over lunch during the early part of the 2004 campaign when Howard Dean was the leader of the Democratic pack.

A few of my friends were convinced that Dean would go on to win the nomination. It was obvious if you understand the process that Dean would not - I predicted that Kerry would get the nomination and I was right.

Am I that politically astute? No. It's a simple study in psychology to understand how the process evolves.

Think about this: Who gets involved in the early part of the process? People at the fervent extremes of their ideologies. Moderates may have an interest but, I believe, unlikely to vote in primaries in as great percentages as the politically motivated.

Huckabee won the Iowa caucus. Will he win the nomination? Hell, no. The man is an uber-Christian preacher who attracts strong conservatives who are now the most active Republicans in the process. He didn't win New Hampshire and it's unlikely that he will win too many other primaries coming up. He's too polarizing. The GOP winner will be McCain, Giuliani, or Romney in that order of likelihood. As time progresses they will begin to moderate their messages as more moderates become involved in the process.

On the Democratic side it's a slightly different equation. There is a very strong Democratic Party political machine who greatly promotes the candidate with the best chances to win. Analysis may dictate that Obama is currently the exciting candidate and the change candidate but Clinton is the annoited one and the influence of the "machine" will gradually push her into the winning position as time progresses.

The behind-the-scenes deal that will occur, I believe, is that Obama will be urged to drop out at some point and become part of a Clinton/Obama ticket. For the Party as a whole that would be the "best of both worlds" - it would mix the candidate of change with the establishment and possibly ameliorate some of the high negatives associated with Clinton.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good call on the Republican primaries - the Democratic churn has continued way beyond any normal or abnormal human behavior. I'll look forward to your next post on the outcome, primary and general.