posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 02:38 AM
It really depends on 4 seperate factors.
1) How much damage President Bush does during the next two years.
In realistic terms, President Bush has become an albatross hung around the necks of the members of his party. The man scorns polls, especially
popularity polls, which can be a sign of strength to some. But, it also means that he often times makes decisions out of spite, while disregarding
conventional wisdom, which is really, really, remarkably bad.
The latest polls have Bush dropping like a stone, with 28% approval rating. Nothing short of a disaster, considering he's bleeding Republican support
nearly as fast as Democratic support.
When he decides to send another 20,000 troops to Iraq, even though only 20% of the country actually support it, he tarnishes the GOP brand name.
(Regardless of how anyone feels about his decision, we can all agree that it's considered very unpopular). So, conventional wisdom becomes that Bush
is only serving the will of a small minority of the American population, at the expense of everyone else.
I can applaud the stance, but it's also political suicide. And, every time Bush makes an unpopular decision, he hurts the next candidate. If he
attacks Iran, then I'm not sure another Republican gets elected to the white house for 12 years.
The best thing for frontrunner, John McCain, right now would be if Bush took a two year vacation in Aruba, and never opened his mouth again. Every
time Bush talks, McCain's poll standing drops.
2) How republicans react to immigration reform, and in specific, amnesty for illegals already in the country.
Republicans won in 2000 and 2004 because of two groups, Hispanics, and evengelicals. Hispanics carry Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado, and
they previously came out in record numbers for both George Bush and Jeb Bush, both of whom were well respected by the latino communities.
To Bush's credit, he isolated and ignored the efforts by Tancredo and Sensenbrenner to build a wall, and deport everybody. But, as Bush over-extended
himself in Iraq, the only way for Karl Rove to rally the traditonal base was to exploit the issue of illegal aliens.
Basically, if the Republican candidate has any hope of surviving the primaries, then they have to support the wall, and reject amnesty. However, the
minute they do, they lose the hispanic vote.
There's been a paradigm shift during the last 4 years. Hispanics make up nearly 12% of all votes cast in during the elections. They were the GOP's
new power base, adding 6 million new voters in races across the entire country. But, in 2006, all those new latino voters suddenly felt betrayed by
their new party. And, as revenge, they voted for the opposition party.
In 2004, 44% of Hispanics voted for the GOP.
In 2006, 31% of Hispanics voted for the GOP
In 2008, the number is likely to drop further.
When you lose that much of the vote over night, you're in trouble. Especially when races are now determined by several thousand votes.
Any anti-immigrant stance taken by the presumptive GOP candidate, will be viewed as anti-latino by the hispanic community...and they will react. Yet,
NOT taking an an anti-immigrant stance will doom any candidate trying to survive the southern primaries.
It's a horrible catch 22 for the GOP
3) Cuba, and whoever doesn't support normalization talks with the Raul Castro, after Fidel dies.
This one is easy. Easy money says Fidel Castro dies before 2008, leaving Raul in charge. Nobody knows what happens then. Will Raul violently crack
down on pro-democracy supporters? Or, will I be buying beach front property in Cuba?
The candidate who supports normalization talks, and lifting tariffs on Cuba, while allowing it to remain a communist nation, immediately loses
Florida. No question.
The candidate who supports democracy in Cuba, armed revolt or otherwise, immediately wins Cuba.
4) Who wins the Southern Republican primaries.
This comes back to the first two points. Traditional conservative values have suddenly been thrust out of the mainstream. While still murky, the
majority of American people support stem cell research, abortion rights, gay civil unions. These issues have been played out on the national scale.
Musgrave and Allard aren't introducing anti-gay legislation anymore. They can't. Across the board, the conservative agenda is being jettisoned for a
more populist approach. A great short term fix, but Republicans are eventually going to have to re-examine their positions, and decide if these issues
are worth losing for.
Take Terri Schiavo. Many Republicans felt strongly about using the full weight of the United States government to keep her alive. And yet, the
decision was widely critisized as intruding and domineering, and flat out wrong. 70% of the American people HATED the GOP response.
Conservative idealogy isn't in the mainstream anymore. People got a taste with Bush, and they flat out rejected it. And this is actually a very
interesting problem, because in 2008 - unless your name is John McCain - if you win the GOP primaries, you won't win the general election.
Newt Gingrich and Sam Brownback just flat out, don't have a chance of winning the general election, they're too far right...but they're going to
win Alabama and Mississippi, and South Carolina, and Texas.
Plus, we have Conservative anger at the GOP.
Will it depress the vote? Will conservatives and evangelicals deny their votes, and protest the polls until the GOP swings back in their direction?
These are some pretty good questions. Richard Viguerie is already calling for Evangelicals to leave the GOP, and start their own third party.
Unlikely, maybe. But, if Giuliani wins, all hell's gonna break loose. Heck, if McCain wins, it might happen.
5) What does all of this have to do with Hillary?
Hillary will win the Democratic nomination. She has the best primary ground team in the party, meaning she has lists and names of of voters that she
can depend on. She has a 20 year history with most of the district heads, and the state party chairmen.
She's going to easily raise 200 million dollars during her campaign, literally sucking up the resources for every other candidate.
She'll pick Obama if he put up a good fight. Bill Richardson if he can carry New Mexico. Or Wesley Clark if Iraq is a disaster.
Hillary has to carry the same states that Kerry did, and then add one. And given the developements during the last two years: dropping hispanic
support, losing the western plains to the libertarian democrats, the mass exedous of Republicans from the Republican Party of Kanas - and most
revealing about voter disatisfaction - the loss of 350 state seats across the nation.
Suddenly, Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Virginia are all up for grabs.
Hillary only needs one.
The only thing the Republicans can do is run a moderate, populist candidate. And, the only one I can see surviving the primary, and having a shot at
the general is Mike Huckabee from Arkansas.