Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Is Nader Nuts?

Ralph Nader:

John Edwards, the banner of Democratic Party populism, is dropping out, and Dennis Kucinich dropped out earlier, so in terms of voters who are at least interested in having major areas of injustice, depravations, and solutions discussed in a presidential campaign, they might be interested in my exploratory effort...

I'd suggest there is no way Nader could even reach the pitiful support levels of Dennis Kucinich, and Nader's bizarre notion that he can is yet another indication of his failing mental coherence and relevance to the national political scene.

Nader is correct that the old style populism embraced by Edwards and pseudo-socialist economics embraced by Kucinich match Nader's odd worldview, but I don't think Nader understands the degree to which his former support base has eroded, and also the strategic errors he made by failing to negotiate a deal with Al Gore - a deal that would have made Gore the president in 2000 and could have given Nader huge influence in certain areas.

John Edwards drops out of Democratic Primary

In a move that has surprised many pundits, John Edwards has dropped out of the democratic race. In New Orleans he said that Obama and Clinton had both pledged to make ending poverty a key cause of their campaigns:

"they will make ending poverty central to their campaign for the presidency."
"This is the cause of my life and I now have their commitment to engage in this cause,"

It's not clear how much Edwards support will flow to Clinton and Obama though the next set of tracking polls should be very interesting. I'd wildly guess it'll split about equally between Clinton and Obama.

Dick Morris was suggesting that the Florida results indicated Obama is moving up fast on Clinton, citing the fact that those who made a last minute decision were split between the two where earlier deciders went for Clinton. I'm not clear he's got the math right on this however, since this tell us something about "last minute deciders" rather than about the broader electorate. He felt this was like a tracking poll trending strongly in Obama's favor, but I think that is not mathematically sound reasoning.

McCain Wins Florida by 5%

John McCain soundly beat second place Mitt Romney in Florida, winning 36% of the vote in that key Republican primary. Giuliani will now drop out and endorse McCain.

Clinton "won" Florida as well for the democrats, but the delegates there currently are not eligible to participate at the national convention though many suggest they eventually will be allowed. In fact this could become a key point if the race gets close. A supreme irony would be a democratic convention where the Florida delegate ruling would determine the outcome.

Heading into mega primary Tuesday we find the Democrats and Republicans in two fairly close races between Clinton and Obama and McCain and Romney. Although I'm not nearly as confident as before I still think Clinton will win after a strong Tuesday showing. I'm not nearly as confident about a Romney victory - something seemed to derail his upward trend and it may simply be that McCain is a known quantity and that comforts voters.