Voting Time (primaries) approaches

Less than a week from now I’ll step into a polling booth and (figuratively) pull the lever for someone.  I think it time to do a bit more discussion – partly because this helps me clarify my own thinking.

I will not vote for a Republican candidate for federal office.  There’s one for state office about whom I’m ambivalent, and I may wind up voting for him — I despise the other Republican on a personal level, his politics thus being immaterial.  But let’s stay with the federal level and continue.  More relevant to my few readers, I’ll stay with the presidential candidates.  And even though I won’t vote for them, I’ll discuss the Republicans a bit first.

In North Georgia, Ron Paul is going to have one of his best turnouts ever.  Seriously, his signs were up before anyone else, and they are EVERYWHERE — in people’s yards, not just the cluster zones.  No, I don’t think he’ll win.  But… considering what I said earlier about him, it gives me pause once more when I consider the people among whom I live.  Anyway, the winner is going to be Huckabee.  They don’t like Romney and don’t trust McCain and are heavily biased in favor of the candidate who is one of them.  Not just religious, but dominionist.  I suspect, based on polls, that Huckabee may actually win Georgia as a whole (on the R side), but don’t know for sure.

As to my vote, I was planning to vote for Edwards.  Since he’s withdrawn that’s obviously not going to happen, and so I’m down to Clinton and Obama.  And I am, frankly, torn.  I have disagreements with both, and there are things from each I like.  And believe it or not there is no calculation of “electability” — both will defeat McCain – who polls the best in every head-to-head matchup.

Digression to expand that bit…  In several polls of “likely voters”, McCain is within the margin of error against both Obama and Clinton – meaning it’s a nominal tie.  The problem is that the way “likely voters” is measured is wrong for this year.  See, it’s based on two historical datapoints – the number of self-declared D, R, and I (and how they split), and historical turnout rates for each.  If the sample’s number of D, R, and I isn’t in line with the expected numbers, they’re adjusted — polling is still a bit of art to go with the science.  With that in mind, the big problem comes up just by looking at the primaries and caucuses so far.  First, the number of self-declared D/R/I has shifted heavily toward the D.  (My guess is that several I have shifted to D, and several R have shifted to I.)  Second, turnout for Ds has SURGED.  Now at first I thought this was some sneaky – foul but legal – play.  (I’ve mentioned that before.)  But the turnout surge has been consistent across all elections so far regardless of eventual winner.  The Rs have faced… very tiny increases, if not declines.

My back-of-the-envelope swags are that the likely voter models are over-weighted in favor of the R by between 3 and 8%.  Shifting 3% from McCain to either of the two Dems puts them clearly ahead.

Is this surmountable?  Yes.  Will it be overcome?  I strongly doubt it.  Between war and the economy, too many people do NOT want “more of the same”, and that’s what McCain’s promises come down to being.  Less jobs, more wars is how Scarborough described it the other night.

What this means is that I am free to select my candidate not on “can he/she win” but “which one do I want in office?”  And the answer is, I can’t make up my mind.

Expect more posts as I try to parse the two enough to make a decision.  And yes, I’ll tell you which one got my vote when I do it, and why – even if it was, “I flipped a coin…”


3 thoughts on “Voting Time (primaries) approaches

  1. I don’t think a lot of people know that stuff about Ron Paul. They like him because he is a conservative in the true meaning of the word. Small Government, Get the Government the heck out of your business… ALL OF IT. I think there a large number of Republicans that would like to be rid of the whacky religious part of thier party. Heck, I’m conservative, but until the Rs kick out the religious Riech and the Corporate welfare-ists, I’ll vote for morons that run as Ds any day of the week.

    I don’t see the difference between Hillary and a Republican:

    1) Lack of Moral Compass. Check
    2) Pro Big Business. Check
    3) Pro US Hegemony. Check

    I simply cannot tell the difference between Romney and Clinton. Either will say whatever they think you want to hear while taking off your clothes and bending you over a chair to bugger you. If I had wanted that, I would have been in a fraternity in college.


    I just went to his website since I guess I have to vote for him:

    1) Energy plan. Stupid. It is as stupid as anyone else’s plan though. It is “change that doesn’t cost you anything”. Right. Stupid. Whatever though, I don’t expect intelligent energy plans from anyone. It is too big of an Elephant, and there are too many people that think drilling in ANWAR would change oil prices more than $ .05/ barrel. You can’t have in intelligent plan when the electorate is ignorant, innumerate, and ideologically blinded. Cheney believes in peak oil, but you will note that he isn’t trying to solve it. “The American way of life is non-negotiable…..(because if I tried to negotiate your standard of living to save you from chaos in 20 years you would vote me out of office and go back to watching what latest tragedy Britney has managed to get involved in)”


    2) Rural community: Some REALLY good stuff here. CAFOs are the devils work and I see that he recognizes this.


    3) Iraq. Whatever.

    “Bringing Our Troops Home

    Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.”

    So….. I say I will bring the troops home, but I won’t. OF COURSE AL QAEDA WILL TRY TO BUILD A BASE! IT IS WHAT THEY DO. “When the enemy retreats, we advance”-Mao. So Obama may have been against the war, but he won’t actually end it.

    Targeted strikes have solved ALL or Israel’s problems.

    Grade: F-

    4) Fiscal Policy: OMFG a fiscally conservative Democrat. I’d vote for him just for this.

    5) Poverty: Bunch of meaningless noise. Real change would be the 12:1 ratio law that lots of Scandinavian countries have. If you pay your lowest wage earner 30K, your highest wage earner can earn no more than 360K in a year. No idea how that works with stocks and such, but all of sudden minimum wage would be raised just so the CEO could take home more. The mass transit initiatives would do more good for energy use than any of the silly crap under his energy topic.

    6) Economy: Some crap, some good. I like his idea about simple tax system, but then he goes and says and proposes all these social engineering things via the tax code. Bogus. If you want to have a kid, you should pay MORE taxes not less. There should be no tax incentive to buy a home. Why does the housing market need a government subsidy? Taxes should take about 5 minutes and come on a post card. You made X, you are in tax braket Y, you pay X*Y =Z. DONE. END OF STORY. Let the free market work. People will figure out where there money should go, the tax code shouldn’t tell them how to spend money.


    7) Crime:
    “Expand Use of Drug Courts

    Obama will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior. ”


    Prison only creates criminals. We have GOT to change things such that criminals are rehabilitated. I don’t know how to do it, but I know what we have in place is busted.

    I guess I can vote for him without throwing up. I’ll kill myself before I vote for Hillary. She and Bill are the kind of people that cause lawyer jokes to be made.

  2. PH, “I don’t see the difference between Hillary and a Republican[.]”

    Well, assuming it’s McCain the difference is one has balls and the other is an old man.

    sigh – old joke, offensive, and yet in so many ways absolutely true.

  3. OK, more realistically – and the reason I’m firmly D for now.

    There is an absolutely constant thread from all the R candidates for president. “Government does not work.”

    This, in my eyes, explains the cronyism and various failings while the R’s are in charge – they view it as a sinecure. No need to try making it work, just enjoy the good times while they last.

    There are some Ds who would do the cronyism and the neglect and all the rest, but at least as a party the belief is that government CAN work – however sluggishly and imperfectly.

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