Sunday, January 27, 2008

Musings on a Chilly Sunday

The Caps are 8-3 so far this month (January) and now everyone is talking playoffs. From what I can see they are on the right track but talking about the playoffs is premature. The Caps have 32 regular season games to go, 16 home games and 16 away games. The schedule includes a stretch of 6 straight away games between March 18th and March 29th. They finish the season with three straight home games against Southeast Division rivals, in fact the last 6 games of the season will be against SE division opponents. There are no guarantees, except if the Caps keep playing like they have since Thanksgiving, it'll be fun to watch. LETS GO CAPS!!!!!!

In politics, the presidential primaries, have been a lot like the Caps season or maybe it's more like the NCAA football season. No clear front runners - at least not for long. If anyone had predicted that coming out of Super Tuesday, it'll be far more likely the Republican nomination would be clearer than the Democratic nominee, even around Thanksgiving would anything have happened except laughter? I doubt it. At the time the Republicans had seven (8) "serious candidates" and five (6) (Guiliani, Huckebee, McCain, Paul, Romney, and Thompson) who have/had hardcore base constituencies and relatively solid funding. On the Democratic side, while in November there were also eight (8) "serious candidates", conventional wisdom was that only three (3) or four (4) of them (Clinton, Edwards, Obama, and Richardson) had the drive, constituency and funding to go the distance.

It now appears entirely possible that after Tuesday's Florida primary where the Republicans will be a neck in neck horse race between Romney and McCain, despite a last ditch effort by Gulliani to save his campaign, McCain could be a clear front runner. Senator McCain has also surged nationally in polls of Republicans, a situation that bodes well for him going into "Super Tuesday" - February 5th -with it's many "winner take all" states. If Senator McCain can show well in or better yet win in Florida (a tough thing given he is neck and neck with Governor Romney and fighting for many of the same votes that Mayor Guilliani is courting) he will go into Super Tuesday well poised. If after Florida, Mayor Gulliani decides that his likely third place showing isn't good enough to continue, a clear possibility given the state of his campaign's dwindling cash on hand going into Super Tuesday and the precipitous erosion of his national support may drive him to retire from the field, support for McCain is likely to swell. For that reason it appears on the Republican side, Super Tuesday will likely be a battle between Romney and McCain, with Congressman Paul's hardcore 5-7% staying true to the paragon of true constitutionalism.

Although, clearly Governor Huckebee is a Super Tuesday wild card, particularly in states with conservative Republican bases like Utah, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Tennessee, and Georgia. Further complicating things, for the Republicans, are the "winner take all states" Florida this Tuesday (a winner take all by Congressional District) and New York, Missouri, Arizona, New Jersey, Utah, Connecticut, Montana, and Delaware on Super Tuesday. It seems based on the polls that Huckebee would need a couple of major upsets to stay relevant in the race. Between now and February 6th, four hundred and twenty (420) delegates will be designated in winner take all primaries on the Republican side of the battle for the presidency. After Super Tuesday the only other states with winner take all republican primaries are: Virginia (63 delegates on 2/12) and Vermont (17 delegates on 3/4). Given the current polls it's hard to see Guliani going far without winning a significant amount of delegates in California, regardless of whether he wins Florida or not, but a win in Florida, though unlikely at present, would likely propel him to capture New York's 101 winner take all delegates; however at present Guiliani trails McCain in the polls even there in his home state. The way things are going it's hard to see how the Republicans won't have a clearer picture than the Democrats, or at least a two candidate race, after the dust from Super Tuesday clears.

On the other hand, if the Democratic primaries continue the way they've been going the Clinton - Obama battle could go all the way to the convention. Perhaps that's why John Edwards stays in the race, is he looking to be the "king-maker"?

Well Tuesday evening will be really interesting, the Caps return to action in Montreal against the Canadeans and I can watch the primary results come in from Florida. What could be better than hockey from it's largest cathedral the sport has - the Bell Center home of the 24 time Stanley Cup Champion Canadeans and election results the great State of Florida - home of the "hanging chad"?

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