Friday, January 18, 2008

And the winner is...

I haven't done a post on this subject as far as I recall, but I have likely mentioned or alluded to it in the comments and have said it to many people out here in the real world, but I felt, before it becomes the conventional wisdom, I should put it in writing. I've held this view on the Republican side all along but it has just now occurred to me on the Democratic side.

Barack Obama will win the Democratic nomination and, if it is not him by some fluke, it will be Edwards, not Clinton.

John McCain will win the Republican nomination.

Why? History told us so.

Since the advent of conventions driven by primaries in 1972, there has been a common thread in non-incumbent elections; one for each party.

The Republicans have an establishment-backed frontrunner well in advance, he falters, then comes back and wins. The Demcorats have an establishment-backed frontrunner well in advance and, with the exception of Mondale, he or she falters and loses the nomination.

Let's take a walk back through memory lane of the contested nominations since 1972.

Republicans: Ford (1976 won, though many thought Reagan would over take him); Reagan (1980 won, but after Bush won the Iowa caucus it was over, besides, he was too old to win); Bush (1988 won, but after winning Iowa in 1980, he was thought to be toast for coming third there in 1988); Dole (1996 won, but after winning Iowa in 1988, he was thought to be toast there for coming third in 1996, plus he was too old to win); Bush (2000 won, but after losing New Hampshire by nearly 20 points, there was no hope to recover); McCain (2008 ?, but after blowing all of his money early and losing his staff, he was a done cause, plus he was too old to win)

Democrats: Muskie (1972 lost, to McGovern the left-winger); Jackson (1976 lost, to the unknown populist Carter); Mondale (1984 won, but almost was swept under by Hart); Hart (1988 lost, dropped out before the race even began which was won by Dukakis); Tsongas (1992 lost, Clinton came second in New Hampshire after slipping from second to eleventh in national polls and stole the momentum); Dean (2004 lost, after raising the most money and getting the endorsements of 2000 contenders Gore and Bradley and leading in all national polls by 20+ points over Wesley Clark with all others in single digits, lost Iowa to Kerry and the rest was history); Clinton (2008 ?, came third in Iowa and barely won New Hampshire, if she loses Nevada she almost certainly loses South Carolina putting her 1-3 on Tsunami Tuesday...)


Anonymous said...

I agree with your prediction, it'll be Obama versus McCain - should make for an interesting race!

nbt said...

Wow!! Great analysis (and excellent research). Two places where I disagree though:

-Sen. Clinton will win both Nevada and South Carolina. One of the two will be a significant win which will, in turn, take the wind out of Obama's sails, mostly due to the fact that [he] will finish second amongst African American voters. A huge blow.

-Edwards will fair well in one of the two states (Nevada & SC) with a solid third place finish and the other a blowout. Therefore, he will not gain the required momentum needed to propel his campaign heading into Tsunami tuesday. He will drop off the ballot after Feb. 5th, thus ending his presidential bid. However, he will throw his support behind Obama, but it will be too late to matter as Clinton will win big on super tuesday.

nbpolitico said...

NBT - my gut tells me the same that it will be a Clinton win, but when harping on about the Republican record of choosing the original frontrunner despite stumbles, it occured to me that I was ignoring the record among Democrats. I am a strong believer in history repeating itself.

I am confused. I would be very surprised if Clinton won South Carolina by anything more than a hair. She could carry a handy margin in Nevada though, I guess we'll have to see. It's too hard to call :|

Anonymous said...

What do you think about those trying to draft Lou Dobbs to run?

He's my hero!

nbpolitico said...

Lou Dobbs is obnoxious and I can't stand to listen to the guy for more than a few minutes. I think he isn't running because he knows he'd get embarrassed. Though he would probably surge to near 20% in early polls due to dominance on the immigration issue but when people came to realize how arrogant he is and how self obsessed he'd take a quick and steep fall.