Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stranger Than Fiction: McCain vs. GOP

McCain looks to pick up Arizona, according to the polls, but Romney has a strong following and won't let McCain walk away with it without a fight. Furthermore, much of the recent polling has taken on the accuracy of weather forecasting. Obviously, neither candidate sees Arizona as a critical state as far as the number of available delegates, but McCain can't afford to lose face in his home state. So the Senator is working hard to get party leaders to break their neutrality pledges and line up behind him hoping Republican voters will follow suit. So far, his strategy appears to be paying off to a limited degree. But all is not gold in Arizona.

Currently, Republicans and independents represent a strange mix when it comes to McCain. Many independents see McCain as the anti-partisan maverick needed to shake things up and get something done in Washington while some are disgruntled Republicans who see McCain as an opportunist untrue to many GOP principles. Republicans, likewise, are fairly conflicted. Some boo loudly at state conventions when McCain's name is read while others demand loyalty to the long-term Arizona senator who spent time in a POW camp during his military service.

While McCain will pick up many independents and loyal party Republicans, his challenge is to persuade less-convinced Republican activists and party leaders that they should ignore his organized funding boycott of the state party and not reciprocate by boycotting his run for the nomination. Loud criticism of his support for amnesty the past couple of years has led McCain to turn up his nose and walk the other way whenever he's had an opportunity to help the party encouraging his largest supporters to do likewise. Now he needs state party leaders and GOP voters to solidify a victory in the state. With no sign of an olive branch forthcoming, it looks like McCain is intent on digging in and holding his position. How much of an effect this will have on his success in the state remains to be seen. He may win the state, as expected, but even a narrow win would communicate weak support out of his home state—something that could hurt him in the long run if the contest drags on past Super Tuesday.

Confucius say he who poke stick in eye of friend, lose friend, but he who extend arm, lose enemy.

If ever there was a time for Senator McCain to lay down the stick, this would be it. It can only help him on Super Tuesday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hershberger Challenges Melvin for Senate

Representative Hershberger, finishing his last session as a term-limited Representative, has forced a Republican primary in LD26 by challenging returning candidate Al Melvin for state Senate.

In 2006, Melvin soundly upset Senator Toni Hellon in the primary only to lose by a few hundred votes to Democrat Charlene Pesquiera in the general election. After the election, Al Melvin immediately declared himself a candidate for 2008 and has been the sole Republican declared until now.

Pete Hershberger, bound by the resign-to-run law, kept silent about his desire to fight for a seat in the Senate. Now he's looking to bump Melvin out of the race so he can extend his time in the legislature, an action long anticipated by many.

This will prove to be the most clearly divided race in Southern Arizona with Pete, known to campaign with Democrats, in one corner, and Al, the staunch party conservative, in the other.

This race will be anything but boring.

Slicing and Dicing Florida

Here is some interesting data from the Florida primary.

Mitt lost Florida in two counties where McCain trounced him: Broward and Miami-Dade. Do these counties ring a bell?
In Broward, McCain had 40,658, Romney had 23,921, and Giuliani 18,662 (third place).
In Miami-Dade, McCain had a whopping 75,516, Romney had 23,936, and Giuliani 40,251 (a strong second place).

It appears that instead of Giuliani supporters taking votes from McCain, they ended up taking them from Romney. It will be interesting to see how this plays out on Feb. 5.
Have you been listening to Jon Justice at 104.1 FM / The Truth this week? Listen in from 6am to 9am, Monday through Friday. He has come up with a great idea!


"This started on Jan 24th 2008 while I was printing the story of President Bush and Congress agreeing on a stimulus package. Being married with 2 boys I could certainly use the $1800.00 that I will be getting this summer. But then I thought "what if"? What if enough people decided to pledge some if not all their Tax Rebate money to secure the US Mexico Border? What if we sent a message back to our government that said "Since you failed to secure our border, we will do it for you". It would take a one time cost of roughly 3 billion dollars to put the entire fence up. Our government is going to hand the tax payers 150 Billion! A fraction of that could save us billions in Illegal Immigration costs for years to come."

For more information, cut and paste this link to your web browser:

I like thinking like this.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sharon Bronson in the Crosshairs

Sonoran Alliance reported that Sharon Bronson might be getting a challenger in the Democrat primary. It looks like Sharon is being fired upon from all sides. On the Republican side, Barney Brenner is rumored to be exploring the possibility of taking out Bronson as well.

The Race Is On!

In Florida, as they come out of the gate it's Romney and McCain running neck and neck at 33.6%. Giuliani, barely out of the chute holds 14.8%. Huckabee is holding on to fourth place by half a length at 13.1%.

Looks like a nail biter to me!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Barack and Janet?

It's been long rumored that Governor Janet has been eyeing Senator John's senate seat, but now her gaze has shifted. Insiders in the state capitol say Napolitano's heavy push for all-day kindergarten to prepare kids for school, and now her push for expansive early childhood education programs to prepare kids for all-day kindergarten to prepare kids for school has a purpose beyond pushing the state debt to $2 billion. Janet wants to look good to Barack Obama who she hopes will pick her as a running mate provided he takes all the marbles for the Democrats. Now, the Obama endorsement makes a bit more sense.

Of course, why would Obama pick a governor from an obscure western state with few electoral votes when he could look almost anywhere else and get a better return for his pick? No question, it's a long shot.

So don't start looking for those Obama-Napolitano in '08 bumper stickers, yet. But wouldn't it be interesting to see McCain and Napolitano duking it out on opposite teams?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

AZ Star moves Portillo to Jazz Blog

Back on January 17th Greg at Espresso Pundit reported that Ernesto Portillo Jr. had lost his column in the Arizona Daily Star. In Sunday’s Star Debbie Kornmiller confirms Greg’s report and elaborates:

Rather than write three opinion columns a week, Portillo will write a news column on Sundays with a focus on Tucson's culture and people. He also will start an Internet blog on Latin jazz. The blog will allow Portillo, who hosts a weekly radio show on KXCI-FM, to share his expertise and passion on the topic with readers. In addition to that, Portillo will write news stories about Tucson's ethnic communities. And he will continue his public duties as a speaker and master of ceremonies at public events.

No mention yet if Portillo will continue to appear on the Friday edition of Arizona Illustrated.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Democrat Caste System for Delegates

Here's how the Democrats select delegates:
"Delegates and Alternates must be equally divided between men and women.
The delegate selection process is open to all Democrats who are registered voters. The SC Democratic Party encourages participation by members of groups that are underrepresented in party affairs, including African Americans, Hispanics, ethnics, youth, those over 65, gay men and lesbians, persons with physical disabilities, and persons of low and moderate income.
Our goal is to elect a delegation that is at least 50% African American, as well as at least 3 GLBT delegates and 5 who are under 30. The election of At-Large delegates may be used to reach this goal."

The party of equal opportunity selects by race, sexual practice and age. Why not simply select the best people?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pesquiera Fined for Campaign Violation

Charlene Pesquiera, State Senator from LD26, was hit with a $1000 fine for failing to report campaign donations as a non-Clean Elections candidate in 2006. As the candidate who had never bothered to register to vote, Charlene was coaxed into running with no experience but still managed to win by a few hundred votes. Being new to the process, she may not have understood that withholding the information for a month prevents the opponent from receiving Clean Elections matching funds in a timely manner thereby negating the equalizing intent of the law. In this case, however, candidate Al Melvin did not appear to be impacted as he had already received his maximum match for the campaign.

Several inside sources have repeated Charlene's statements that she had no intention of running for re-election this year, although the Democrat party has indicated otherwise. There are no indications at this point that this situation will have an effect on her decision.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nintzel to AZ Dems - Play a new tune

Tucson Weekly columnist Jim Nintzel is the last person you would describe as a member of the vast right wing conspiracy but even he has had enough of the Democrats harping on Senator Tim Bee and resign to run. In his recent weekly column Nintzel issues the following reminder:

The Dems should really work up a new angle, by the way; it's a slippery slope to keep harping on the idea that a candidate can't handle campaigning and serving in office at the same time. Is Attorney General Terry Goddard supposed to resign in 2010 if he decides to run for governor? Is Gov. Janet Napolitano supposed to resign if she runs for the U.S. Senate in the last year of her term?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Earmark Breakthough...Maybe

Wow! It seems that some elected officials are stepping up to the plate and eschewing earmarks. Yet, while some are taking the plunge, President Bush's stance has stiffened on calls by conservatives to use his Executive Order privilege to take the teeth out of any earmark that makes it past his desk. Clearly, one doesn't need the other to break the earmark curse, but if congress and the Prez could agree on anything, solving the pork problem would be a great place to start.

Who's Next?

Two more have dropped out of the GOP presidential race meaning those followers will have to go somewhere. Where do they go and what does it mean for those contenders still duking it out? Back in December, I raised this issue. But now that we're further into the fun, I'll raise it again.

As I've mentioned before, Duncan Hunter, as a candidate, was probably the conservative's conservative, but never seemed to gain traction with anyone (although he did pick up a delegate in Wyoming). His followers are certainly conservatives. Although, the numbers are few, they will most likely end up with Romney. They can't go to Guiliani or McCain. They would most likely have gone to Thompson before he dropped, but now have to choose between Huckabee, who is fast losing ground, and Romney, who is still in the lead. Most, albeit few, will end up with Romney. A few may join Ron Paul.

I've also before stated that although Fred Thompson, longtime friend of McCain, will probably endorse McCain, which will give him some needed support, many Thompson supporters saw Fred as an alternative to Huckabee who was too weak on non-social issues. Now many of those supporters are faced with the same choice as Hunter's supporters. Most of those who don't go to McCain will go to Romney. Huckabee will take the biggest hit on this shift.

Huckabee needs a strong showing in Florida to hang on, but isn't likely to get it. His organization is weak in Florida, and he doesn't seem to be building the excitement he had in Iowa which is certainly a different demographic. Giuliani, who bailed on state after state in order to put what he had left into a big win in Florida, is spent, and he will probably end well behind the pack. The big question still remains what happens to the Huckabeee and/or Giuliani supporters when one or both drop out? I believe they will both split to the remaining frontrunners with Romney ending up with

As in Nevada and Michigan, polling has been underreporting Romney supporters in Florida...until recently. It looks increasingly like Florida will go to Romney. There has been speculation about a possible endorsement from Jeb Bush to one of the candidates. If Jeb endorses anyone, it will be Romney with whom he has had a positive relationship for some time. If that happens, Romney nails it. If not, Romney is on his own with fairly strong momentum.

McCain needs to win this race, or hold his own in a tight matchup in order to stay in the game. A win would be the huge boost that he needs. A big loss would be tough to overcome on Super Tuesday. Romney, likewise, is in a similar situation, but better positioned, it appears.

Unless there are some big surprises next Tuesday, it looks like it will be Romney and McCain as the top picks going into February 5th.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lena Saradnik's Replacement Selected

Nancy Wright gets the nod.

Despite getting 62 out of 76 votes cast by his district, Don Jorgenson was slammed by his fellow Democrats at the Board meeting this morning. Supervisor Bronson wisely anointed fellow Supervisors to make the motion and the 2nd to get a vote on Nancy thereby distancing herself from the back-door deal against Don.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Bee Choice

This is a fascinating announcement and commentary posted on Sonoran Alliance regarding the Bee campaign's new pick for a third vice-chairman.

The first pick, Jim Click, was clearly symbolic in an effort to assure would-be contributors that Bee has the big money backing him. The second chairman, or co-chairman, Sandy Froman, is believed by many to be an effort to pull in northwest side activists as well as the conservatives due to Sandy's standing as the NRA Past-president and the respect she commands in her own district.

The reason for Jim Kolbe as a third co-chairman is much less apparent. If it's for the purpose of drawing in NRCC support, considering the substantial shift that has occurred in the NRCC since the Kolbe-Huffman fiasco of '06, we're left scratching our heads. Kolbe's joining the Giffords campaign during the last election has seriously weakened his least in the GOP, which further whittles down that chip.

In speculating on the motives of this move, it may be useful to assess the cost of these decisions. Although, Jim Click has stirred up plenty of controversy lately, the cost of his involvement is probably mostly offset by his ability to bring financial backing to the campaign. Sandy carries no baggage in the party and can only be a plus albeit not likely in the way the campaign anticipated. Nobody would argue that Kolbe, however, doesn't alienate a substantial percentage of party activists and members, regardless of who they supported in the CD8 Primary election.

How this will affect the Bee campaign, as a net positive or negative, remains to be seen. Perhaps it will become more apparent after Bee's announcement.

Sharon Bronson's Backroom Deal

Posted on Blog for Arizona is a letter from Lena Saradnik confronting Sharon Bronson on stacking the vote in favor of Nancy Young Wright as Lena's replacement. Apparently, there is a bit of cronyism going on and Lena's not too happy about it keeping her pick, Don Jorgenson, out of the picture.

Vote Trent v.1.0

OK, NOW the Trent Humphries 2008 website is up.

We do have a few rough edges to knock off and a mountain of content to add, but I am very proud of the result so far.

And yes, grammar checks are welcome and appreciated.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Thanks for the tip

There are two conservative Arizona political blogs that cover Southern Arizona. One of them even specializes in CD-8. Does the Bee campaign give either of them a tip on his announcement? No, we have to read about it on a less than conservative independent blog. I wonder if the campaign will want our help as the year progresses. We’ll still be here.

District 30 GOP update

Word is that Dr. Wayne Peate has decided to pass on running for the legislature this year. According to the information that we have that still leaves the following candidates (sorry we cannot find a web site for Sharon Collins.)

Frank Antenori
Sharon Collins
David Gowan
Doug Sposito

We have heard that Frank Antenori is very popular. The district has a history of also electing a woman to the house and that should benefit Sharon Collins. The fact that Sharon is a bit more conservative than Marian McClure should help Collins even more. Gowan has some name recognition because of multiple runs for the house. The more moderate Sposito may have trouble getting his message out above the other candidates.

Lena Saradnik's Replacement Nominees Named

Thanks to fellow blogger Rum, Romanism and Rebellion for providing District 26's nominees for Lena Saradnik's replacement to finish the current session before this fall's election. It appears that the choices are (drum roll please):
Cheryl Cage
Don Jorgenson, current candidate
Nancy Young Wright

Tedski is betting on Wright as the County Board's pick, but where does that put Jorgenson who has been endorsed by Saradnik?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Who Speaks for Southern Arizona Retirees?

We're not yet sure of the economic impact on our community since according some this situation doesn't really exist, but an article on the worst places to retire has identified southern Arizona as a not-so-hot spot for retirees. Here's what the article said about Green Valley, the 12th worst place to retire in America:

"Green Valley, Arizona: Trouble in a Sheltered Community
This once idyllic retirement town is now facing a drug violence problem. Green Valley, just 40 miles north of the Mexican border, is mostly made up of age-restricted communities. In the 2000 census, only 1.5% of households had kids under 18 and only about 105 of its 26,000 residents work. Once cited as a best place to retire, Green Valley now may be one of the worst.

Gangs of bandits known as bajadores carry AK-47s and ambush trucks of smugglers sneaking up from Mexico. They hope to resell the drugs or hold the immigrants hostage. According to an investigation by CBS News, hundreds of bodies are found in the surrounding desert each year and at least a dozen people have been murdered by the bajadores this year."

Has anyone told the Governor about this?

Linoln Day Luncheon with Bay Buchanan!

The Southern Pima Arizona Republican Club (SPARC) is pleased to announce that Bay Buchanan will be the keynote speaker at their annual Lincoln Day Luncheon. The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 16th, 11:00AM at the Desert Diamond Casino located at I-19 and Pima Mine Road. Cost of the luncheon is $35.00 per person.

Angela Marie "Bay" Buchanan
served as Treasurer of the United States under President Ronald Reagan. She is the sister of Patrick J. Buchanan and managed his three campaigns for President of the United States. After appearing regularly on CNN's news program "Inside Politics," she became a commentator for CNN's The Situation Room.

For more information and reservation forms, please contact Cathy Graf, SPARC President, (520) 625-1742.

Election Results Databases Released

On Friday, after a little haggling over procedures to be used, Pima County turned over the data ordered by the Board of Supervisors. As reported in a previous post, the Pima County Board of Supervisors agreed to turn over the series of databases to the 2006 RTA, 2006 Primary and 2006 General elections. As of Friday afternoon, the details as to how this was to be done had yet to been finalized.

The parties involved finally agreed to the procedure which included getting sequestered hard drives out of the courts and using a brand new laptop computer in the transfer. Supervisors Ann Day and Ray Carroll were on hand to make sure that not only the language of the Board was adhered to, but also the intent. And the intent was to get this information to the political parties in an expeditious and complete manner.

From what I understand, this is the first time anywhere in the country that the series of databases have been available to the public. The reason to get these databases is to see if there are any irregularities in the data tabulations. Such irregularities, if they exist (and it is believed that they may in the RTA election), could bring into doubt the outcome of the election. It will take some time for the analysis but you can consider it under way.

Hats off to the Pima County Democrat Party, Attorney Bill Risner, Auditor John Brakey and Computer Expert Jim March for their persistence in this matter. Stay tuned.

Randy Graf

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Too PC to Hit the Nail

Not to be confused with Guns and Roses, AZ Daily Star's Thorns & Flowers shot itself in the foot yesterday with the following statement:
"Thorns to those who toss aside their plastic water bottles as they walk and hike.
A Saturday afternoon hike along the Anza Trail near Tubac was exquisite: Blue sky with wispy clouds, a comfortable breeze, crunchy leaves on the ground and a cold running river. It was marred by clumps of plastic bottles stuck in the mud.
Apparently, a handful of selfish hikers don't know the outdoor ethic of leaving no trace of your presence.
Leave the woods and waters cleaner than you found them."

Having hiked that trail and picked up plenty of trash, I know that anyone who makes a statement like this has never been there, or is too PC to tell the truth. Just look at those plastic bottles and it's obvious where they came from. If you don't speak Spanish, you can at least recognize the labels contain zero English. Along with foreign label clothes strewn all over the ground, Mexican food cans, truck load levels of water bottles, soiled underwear and more disgusting items make it clear that it's drug smugglers, people smugglers, and other illegals who have created the mess, not your average Joe and Sally hiker who happen to enjoy the beautiful outdoors on a Saturday morning. Despite the herculean efforts of Boy Scouts and other groups who try to clean it up every year, it's still an environmental nightmare that would be declared a hazardous waste site if environmental groups had the guts to tell the truth about it.

Selfish hikers? Come on. Thorns to Thorns & Flowers for such a misleading statement that unfairly blames honest citizens for a problem our elected officials refuse to address.

Board of Supervisors Finally Gets One Right

I believe it was Ronald Reagan who once said, "Trust but verify." This is the essence of what culminated at the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, January 8th. We now have proof that our representative republic can be validated with actions taken by "We the People" and our elected officials.

The Pima County Democrat Party initiated a law suit some time ago against Pima County and it's Elections Division concerning irregularities that may have occurred in the electoral process. At issue in particular are concerns around the Regional Transportation Authority election that narrowly passed in May of 2006. During the trial, security issues were raised that question a whole host of procedures employed by staff and not addressed by County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry. These breaches of proper protocol bring into question everything from early ballot votes and who knew what when, to the possibility of vote total manipulation. Clouds like this over an election are unhealthy for the populace regardless of party affiliation or ideology.

Hat's off to the Democrat party for moving this forward. The judge ordered the county to turn over the final vote tally databases of the 2006 Primary and General election. The Pima County Board of Supervisors were scheduled to vote to appeal this decision. With bipartisan support against such an appeal, the Board originally voted against the appeal and to follow the judge's order. But those of us attending this meeting that were pushing for transparency in our electoral process were not satisfied. After some boisterous moments demanding that folks in attendance were still waiting to be heard, the Chair relented. These folks were heard, including some computer experts explaining that the County's concern of possible security issues in future elections being compromised by releasing past election data bases were baseless.

After a Board executive session, and against County Counsel recommendation, the Board overturned their previous vote and agreed to turn over the entire series of data bases to the 2006 RTA, 2006 Primary and 2006 General elections. With these data bases it is assumed that any irregularities, if they exist, can be recognized.

There are questions around the country about election fraud. There is no definitive evidence as to whether there was any committed here in Pima County on the RTA election or any other election. It is imperative however that the process be transparent. The County asks "We the People" to trust them, in return "We the People" ask them to let us verify. As Joseph Stalin said, Those who cast the votes DECIDE NOTHING. Those who count the votes DECIDE EVERYTHING."

Randy Graf

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

He'll Sell You the Whole Seat...

...but you'll only need the edge.

The word on Tim Bee is that he will be making an announcement next week about his campaign intentions. But according to Dan Scarpinato, "Asked if he planned to announce before the end of the month, he said: “I’m not prepared to answer that today.”

It was once speculated that if he didn't raise enough money through the end of 2007, Bee might not go the distance. But insiders are saying Bee has a pretty good start on fundraising and, supporters are saying that at this point bad things would happen to him if he bailed out. Anyway, all indications are that Bee is a solid GO despite his sadastic pleasure watching supporters sweat about his decision. Apparantly, he would rather take a Second Coming approach and surprise the masses. No matter. The word will come and Bee will have his name on the some point.

Hillary and McCain take New Hamphshire

It looks like Hillary Clinton showed up smiling with a sweet victory over Obama who people were saying would sweep the primaries. Not so. Hillary shows she's still in the game despite recent sagging in the polls. So much for polls.

And McCain let everyone know he's playing for keeps in a narrow victory over Romney. McCain has a lot of ground to cover in most remaining states, but this victory was critical for keeping the wheels on the wagon. Again, Romney could have used the victory, but a close second works as well. He continues to run neck and neck in other states with Giuliani or McCain which means all three are already looking ahead to the next couple of states.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Poor Wyoming Gets No Respect

For you Cowboy fans out there, it looks like Mitt has the bulk of the pledged delegates from Saturday's primary.

Here's the breakdown:Mitt Romney gets 8, Fred Thompson came away with 3, and Duncan Hunter stays in the game picking up 1.
No sign of Giuliani, McCain or Huckabee supporters, not that anyone seems overly concerned. Still, Romney can use the additional delegates and probably doesn't care where they come from, or who bothers to report it.

Shift in LD26 Race

Bloggers are jumping to report today's news that Lena Saradnik has resigned from her position in the state House of Representatives. Sadly, Lena's stroke was much worse than the Democrat party let on. Once it was known that she was in the hospital for several weeks, it was clear things were anything but minor. Her ability to communicate was recognized as a major challenge that, no doubt, left her with no alternative but to resign. Regaining speech can take months, possibly over a year, and requires commitment and focus, which I'm sure will absorb her full attention for a while. We wish her a rapid and complete recovery.

The LD26 House seat vacated by Lena will be discussed by LD26 Democrats who will put forward 3 nominees to the Pima County Board of Supervisors who will appoint Lena's replacement on January 15th, a process I still find more than bizarre. In any case, candidate Don Jorgenson is the likely nominee. If Don is not selected, it will be seen as a no-confidence vote that will doom his campaign. Unless there is a boogeyman lurking in the shadows, I expect Don will get the nod.

LD26 Democrats also have another challenge in trying to find a second candidate to fill the open slot in the election. Francine Schacter and Jeff Latas are names that have emerged in the scuttlebutt. Maybe we can find a mole in the Democrat party who can slip some inside information into the blog about who, if anyone, will step into the race.

Lena's announcement isn't expected to change much on the Republican side. The two early announcers, Trent Humphries and Marilyn Zerull, along with more recent entrant, Vic Williams, will likely complete the slate of candidates for the Republican primary.

Very early polling

ThinkRight recently ran a story about how “winnable” the CD-8 race is based on some early polling conducted by the Bee exploratory committee. After reading the Capital Times article cited by Tom we come up with a slightly different conclusion.

First, lets look at the latest registration numbers from the district. According to Secretary of State there are almost 393,000 voters. The Republicans number just over 149,000 and the Democrats 131,000. That puts the GOP at 38% and the Democrats at 33.3%. There are a few Libertarians and a significant number of independents, almost 110,000 (28%.) The poll claims that Bee is competitive because of the 300 voters questioned Representative Giffords only won by 36% to 30% for Senator Bee. The article did not spell out party affiliate but did say “Those polled preferred Republicans over Democrats, 34 percent to 30 percent.” That 4-point spread is very close to the registration numbers in the district.

If Giffords had polled even with Bee that means she would have overcome a 4-point deficit in registration. The fact that she is ahead by 6 points indicates that she in really 10 points above where she should be based strictly on party registration assuming an even split of independents. So either she is winning big among independents, pulling in some Republican voters, or a combination of both.

Any polling at this time is much too early to be indicative of the final results. That being said I am not sure I would have put the exact number in the letter. Why not just say “early polling indicates that a race between Senator Bee and Representative Giffords would be competitive.”

The bright spot of the article was that the poll was conducted by The Summit Consulting Group. They have helped many successful candidates, recently getting Representative Kavanagh through a crowded primary field and onto victory in LD-8. Hopefully they will have the same effect on the Bee campaign. Either way the rabid anti-Sproul fringe of the party will be happy to see the campaign using someone besides the Lincoln Strategy Group.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

And the Speculating Continues...

So here we are on the eve of the second day of presidential caucusing for 2008 and nobody is even talking about it with "it" being Wyoming's caucuses. As bad as it makes me feel, I don't plan to discuss it either. Instead, here are my thoughts about the upcoming primaries minus Wyoming:

I won't say much about the Democrat side other than sharing the idea that if Edwards and Obama split the anti-Hillary vote, and Edwards is likely to bail early in the process, those votes should shift to Obama giving him a huge boost in the more Hillary-favored states. After his comfortable victory in Iowa, he has momentum and looks more and more like a tough competitor to Hillary.

As for Republicans, it came as no surprise that Huckabee won in Iowa. What was unexpected by some, including yours truly, was the margin by which he won. Of course, the evangelical supporters Huckabee has in Iowa don't exist at that level in most other states, so Huckabee should savor the victory and hope the momentum helps carry him in other states. But the reality is, he doesn't have that kind of support in more than a handful of states, and he has no money to work on boosting his image in the other states. This is the high mark for the Huckabee campaign although strong wins in Michigan and South Carolina can help him hold on longer.

Romney didn't have to win Iowa, but a closer second certainly would have helped him. Romney will likely win in New Hampshire and probably win in Michigan by a narrow margin. If he loses either state by a significant margin, he is in trouble. But if he loses New Hampshire, he may begin losing supporters who will worry that he can't win it all. He is doing okay in South Carolina which is all he has to do to stay in the game provided he does well in New Hampshire and Michigan as expected. Likewise, finishing strong in Nevada and Florida coupled with a win or close second in New Hampshire and Michigan puts him in position to take most of the marbles on Super Tuesday.

Despite what some have said about McCain, I think he's definitely in the game. He may show strong results in New Hampshire and Michigan which could give him the boost he needs, but it gets tougher after that. If he can maintain his momentum with reasonable showings in Nevada and Florida, he may have enough to show some surprises on Super Tuesday.

Giuliani is getting more and more difficult to gauge as his numbers slide. Of course, his best is ahead of him with a possible decent showing in New Hampshire, and very good chances in Nevada and Florida where he will be duking it out with Romney in what will likely be close races. A couple of strong victories here will position him well for February.

Thompson won't last much longer and will soon shift his support to McCain. Many of his supporters will move to Romney's camp, however. If Huckabee fades quickly, he will be the next to bail and his supporters will split between McCain and Romney. This could have a substantial impact on the outcome for the remaining three candidates.

Anyone recruiting VP candidates?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa Caucus Results 9 PM

Here are the results from the Iowa Democrat Party website:


According to the Iowa GOP website, Romney took the eastern and western counties in the state while Huckabee took everything in between. In the Huckabee counties, the pattern was fairly consistent with Huckabee taking first place followed by Romney in second and Thompson a distant third. The counties won by Romney were far less consistent with Huckabee, Paul, McCain, and Thompson frequently swapping places. As the night wanes, Huckabee's lead expands. No other candidate has taken first place in a county, and there are only a few left to report.

I'm having a hard time finding total numbers for the Republicans, but with 1,168 of 1,781 precincts reporting, Huckabee has 25,776 to Romney's 18,925.

According to Fox News it's Huckabee at 38%, Romney at 23%, Thompson at 14%, McCain at 12%.