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Dumpster Busting It Real Politik: 2008 Mythical Presidential Horserace II

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Everyone knows that 2008 is still a long way off. Still, there have been several developments and trends percolating over the last few months that may give an indication of where things stand at the moment. And as we know in modern presidential politics, you can never start running for President too early.

So what do we know?

Kerry’s In
Kerry hasn’t been sight unseen since his November defeat. In fact, he’s looking more like he will keep his presidential campaign rolling straight on through to the ’08 primaries.

Kerry huddled with his top fund-raisers Monday night in his Georgetown mansion, preparing a massive money push aimed at keeping the defeated presidential nominee’s ambitions alive.

“He wants to keep his team together,” said one member of Kerry’s national finance team. “He’s looking ahead. He will be a strong voice in the party.”

Strategists say Kerry will use his new political action committee, Keeping America’s Promise, to promote his agenda, help party causes and keep his army of 2.7 million supporters together.

Gore’s Out, Jeb Bush’s Out (Or is He?)
Reports this week have Gore and Jeb Bush “definitely” out of the ’08 race. But already speculation has it that if the GOP looks to be in trouble at any point (which seems unlikely) a Draft Jeb movement will swiftly be brought to bear (Presidential dynasties be damned).

Hillary Clinton’s Hot… Amongst Dems
A Marist College Institute for Public Opinion Poll has Hill as the choice among Dems with 39%. However, when faced with a hypothetical match-up with Arizona Senator John McCain, HRC loses by a 54-42 margin.

The McCain Express… May Have Trouble Gearing Up
The same poll finds that while McCain looks strong for the general election, hypothetical match-ups give him a harder time against his fellow GOP (potential) rivals.

Although McCain leads Clinton, the poll shows he could have trouble in first sewing up the GOP presidential nomination. That’s something McCain failed to do in 2000 when running against then-Texas Gov. George Bush.

When registered Republicans or Republican-leaning independents were asked who they’d choose if the party’s primary were held today, McCain trailed former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani 21 percent to 25 percent, but led Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s 14 percent.

Bill Clinton’s Not Feeling So Hot, But He’s Hot Nonetheless
Bill Clinton will go under the knife once again, this time “to correct a rare, though not especially risky, complication of the heart bypass surgery he had six months ago, doctors say.”

Don’t underestimate the sympathy factor, its effect on washing away Monica-era sins, and more importantly, the role it may play in Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. That, combined, with Bill playing very cozy with the Bushes of late, equals a former President who is still very much on center stage and playing a power role in the ’08 pre-game festivities.

Republican Scrum
Many of the Republicans who will likely run for President (Bill Frist, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Hagel, John McCain, Bill Owens, etc. etc.) are busy building their resumes during this uniquely GOP-dominated era. Look for signs of presidential machinations soon enough, however.

Presidential Horserace
Top Republicans – % Shot at Nomination – 2008 Prediction

John McCain
March ’05: 30% (1-05: 33%)
Mega-candidate in the general… but can he get the nomination?

Rudolph Giuliani
March ’05: 30% (1-05: 25%)
An all New York presidential contest?

Condoleeza Rice
March ’05: 10% (1-05: — )
‘Freedom is on the march…’ but will Condi lead the pack?

The Five Percent Club
Bill Frist, Mitch McConnell, George Pataki, Mitt Romney

The One Percent Club
Newt Gingrich, Bill Owens, Rick Santorum, George Allen, Chuck Hagel

Top Democrats – % Shot at Nomination – 2008 Prediction

Hillary Rodham Clinton
March ’05: 35% (1-05: 20%)
As strong a lock on a nomination as there can be at this early stage

John Kerry
March ’05: 20% (1-05: 30%)
He’s gearing up even now… needs to write a new chapter in his life

John Edwards
March ’05: 15% (1-05: 25%)
Will have to upgrade from the speech-circuit to stay vital… but there’s time

Bill Richardson
March ’05: 15% (1-05: –)
Was seen on national morning news shows this week… you think he’s not running?

The Five Percent Club
Mark Warner, Barack Obama

The One Percent Club
Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman, Wesley Clark, Howard Dean

Related article:
Dumpster Bust Keeping It Real Politik: 2008 Magical Presidential Futures Market I

For more on this and every other topic under the sun, check out:

Dumpster Bust: Manufacturing Miracles from Mind Trash, Since 2003

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  • Eric Olsen

    nice EB, thanks! One angle: I would make the dark horse odds fairly high, but leave it open because I have no idea who that/those dark horses may be

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Thank Eric – I’ll implement some kind of Dark Horse-ometer (works with the horse race theme anyway, sort of…) for Edition III.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    “when faced with a hypothetical match-up with Arizona Senator John McCain, HRC loses by a 54-42 margin”

    Does that seem like an incredibly large margin to anyone else? Weird…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Not really, considering how early and hypothetical we’re talking about. I’m guessing the “real” figure is a bit closer, but you’d have to think that if the ’08 election were held today, McCain would defeat any Dem candidate handily.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Teddy Kennedy recently endorsed Kerry for 2008.

    Nope it’s NEVER too early… ;-)

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    McCain, IMO, would crush any candidate the Dems put up, assuming he remains healthy.

    HOWEVER, getting the nomination is more difficult. If President Bush tacitly endorses him (unlikely) that may put him over the top. Without such an endorsement, I’m thinking Owens or Frist.

    But it’s early! :-)

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    RJ – I think there’s going to be a fascinating hard-right / moderate battle in the ’08 GOP primaries. It’s entirely possible that McCain and Giuliani will cancel each other out, leaving room for an Owens or Frist to get the nomination.

    The annointed Bush successor and the choice of the consensus Southern conservative choice will also play large roles in who earns the nomination.

    The funny thing is that a Clinton or Edwards will likely have a far better shot at defeating a rightwing candidate rather than McCain or Giuliani.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “The funny thing is that a Clinton or Edwards will likely have a far better shot at defeating a rightwing candidate rather than McCain or Giuliani.”

    I totally agree.

    But honestly, I don’t see Rudy getting all that much support in 2008. He’s never held a national, or even statewide, elective office, and 9/11 will be almost 7 years past when the primaries roll around.

    Also, he’s just too damn liberal on social issues to get the GOP nomination.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    I agree regarding Giuliani, and am surprised that he’s still getting as much buzz as he is. He’s another one that will need to do more than give speeches if he’s to stay relevant. About his “liberal” side: he’s been talking really tough (on foreign policy, bashing Dems, etc.) in an effort to lean right, but his social agenda will likely never fly for the real GOP power network (think South, dark red country).

    Therefore, McCain may end up being the consensus candidate because he is rather conservative on social issues. But the important difference is that he doesn’t appear scary to the middle and left like so many other GOPers do.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    What it comes down to is money. McCain got crushed in fund-raising by George the W in 2000 despite some crucial wins and he still didn’t get the nomination. Many people like McCain (myself included) but he is “scary” according to many Republicans I’ve talked to about him.

    A thought just occured to me, what if the 2008 election came down to Kerry vs. McCain? That would be interesting to say the least…two old friends dukin’ it out on the national stage…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    McCain scaring hardline conservatives could be his one major hurdle to get to the presidency, assuming his health is fine and that he wants to run (which, I think, he does).

    McCain v. Kerry is as possible as almost any other scenario at this point. Kerry would need an entirely new campaign as his military service — while honorable and heroic — pales in comparison to McCain’s. At least it would likely make for a slightly less contentious election (for once) as the two are friends and see eye-to-eye on certain issues.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    I just found at pollingreport.com a Quinnipiac University Poll about the 2008 presidential race:

    “If the 2008 election for president were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Rodham Clinton the Democrat and Rudolph Giuliani the Republican, for whom would you vote?”
    Giuliani: 44%
    Clinton: 43%

    and…

    “If the 2008 election for president were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Rodham Clinton the Democrat and John McCain the Republican, for whom would you vote?”
    McCain: 43%
    Clinton: 41%

    That much closer to the numbers I would expect at this point…

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    Yes Scott, the polling is going to be a little bit all over the place at this point. But those numbers “feel” kind of right, don’t they?

    I found Quinnipiac polling to be a little wacky last year (it seemed to trend heavily for Bush) — but it turns out they pretty much had it right!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com/ Eric Berlin

    So now, in the last week we’ve had assertions from Condi that she will not run and from McCain that he’ll decide after the ’06 elections.

    The plot thickens…