Reinstate the Draft-- The Obama Draft! And, Other Guilty-Pleasure '08 Analyses

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Dec 14, 2006 3:53 PM

Feel the sensation.


Believe again.

The race, it is on.

Yeah, we've got a new balance of power in Congress and a war going on, but let's talk about '08. It's a guilty pleasure, and the Obamamania has made it impossible to ignore of late.

Earlier this week someone suggested I go a HamNation in which I recast the Nativity scene as Democrats, with Obama as the little infant Savior. I said it had already been done, by the MSM.

The Washington Post has a new national survey out this week that ranks the front-runners for the party's nominations thusly:

Democrats: Hillary, Obama, Edwards
Republicans: Giuliani, McCain, Newt

Hillary has lots of baggage, so her unfavorables are high, and Rudy has a bunch of baggage that hasn't even been unpacked yet, so his will undoubtedly go up, but for now 2/3 of Americans give him the thumbs up. McCain's favorables have been falling:

In contrast, McCain's favorability ratings have declined over the past nine months. Among independents, his support has dropped 15 percentage points since March. Independents were his strongest supporters when he sought the Republican nomination in 2000. The decline comes at a time when McCain is calling for sending more troops to Iraq and has aggressively reached out to conservative groups and Christian conservative leaders.

Romney is running into trouble:

Romney had the worst ratio: 22 percent favorable to 24 percent unfavorable, with 54 percent saying they didn't know enough about him to have an opinion.

Probably for the same reason McCain's unfavorables are up. McCain is a conservative alternative, which isn't helping him much in a national survey. SOme more thoughts on Romney's numbers, including the Mormon factor:

--One answer: If voters know anything about Romney, it's that he's Mormon, which may stir concern. Or that he's trying to be the conservative alternative (which may be a turnoff right now to the vast middle). Also, Romney's been forced recently to discuss his past support for gay and abortion rights. And while flip-flopping itself isn't fatal, Romney faces the added burden of being from MA, a state known for sending candidates onto the nat'l stage who vote for things before they vote against them. Also, how does Romney fare in direct comparison to the other McCain alternative (Giuliani), who enjoys a 3-1 fav/unfav rating in the Post/ABC poll?
— The good news for Romney: Most folks don't know him yet, meaning he has time to introduce himself in a more positive light

The WaPo numbers on the Mormon question: "35 percent said they would be less likely and 3 percent said they would be more likely. Sixty-one percent said it would make no difference." What Romney has over Giuliani, as a McCain alternative, is that he's a conservative alternative, which is key in primaries. Giuliani is many things and many of them likeable, but one of them is not the darling of the conservative base.

I'm a Romney fan, but given Rudy's and McCain's star power, and the Mormon factor, there is much work to be done. If only he could get some of that sweet sloppy-wet-kiss action Obama's getting from the press. Come on, I mean, Mitt's good-looking and well-spoken. And, we all know how the press digs a charismatic conservative. They loved Reagan.

Yeah right. You won't be seeing anyone say Romney has a "voice like molten gold" on TV anytime soon. I seriously saw a Dem say that the other day about Obama. It's downright embarrassing.

But given that none of this matters anyway, and nominees are decided by actual, involved liberals and conservatives in a handful of states, check out this news for the Tar Heel State's prettiest senator ever:

Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards is the top choice among Iowa Democrats likely to attend the 2008 presidential caucuses, according to a new poll.

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., finished second, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was third.

Edwards, who has traveled to the state several times since the 2004 campaign when he was the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee, won the support of 36 percent of those polled.

Clinton, who recently has made inquiries to political figures in the state, had 16 percent, while Obama came in at 13 percent.

This is the second poll Edwards has lead in Iowa since June. Will it be enough lead to hold off the Obamanaut? Edwards is good-looking and well-spoken, too, but much less black than Obama, which has been holding him back in the all-important contest for early media fawnage. 

Uh-oh:

That's enough data for The Fix to label him the Iowa frontrunner heading into 2007. That status is a double edged-sword for Edwards. On the one hand, his strong early showing in Iowa is sure to help him raise money early next year and may also deflate a bit of the Barack balloon that has swelled to massive proportions in recent weeks. On the other hand, Edwards as frontrunner raises the expectations for the former North Carolina Senator. If he doesn't win in Iowa it could well hamstring his campaign in Nevada, New Hampshire and beyond.
Someone better take action before Edwards catches a wave.
Looks like the media’s going to have ratchet up the coverage from 23 hours a day to the full 24.