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strong Dem Strong Dem (253)
weak Dem Weak Dem (32)
barely Dem Barely Dem (73)
tied Exactly tied (0)
barely GOP Barely GOP (13)
weak GOP Weak GOP (42)
strong GOP Strong GOP (125)
270 Electoral votes needed to win
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Presidential polls today: (None) RSS
Dem pickups (vs. 2008): (None) GOP pickups (vs. 2008): (None) PDA

PW logo The Biggest Poll of the Campaign Season Bonus Quote of the Day
Many Iowa Republicans are Still Undecided In a Switch, Paul Now Ignores the Media
Palin Tells Candidates to Read Her Book Perry Advisers Play Blame Game

News from the Votemaster

Please Be Patient     Permalink

To the hundreds of people who have written asking me when I would start again, thank you very much. You are as loyal as Ron Paul's fans. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I am not sure if and when that might be, but I'll give it my best shot. At best there will be infrequent postings for a while. In any event, the software was designed for processing general election data so a serious attempt at the map won't begin for quite a while at best.

Here is my take on the Republican race so far. Basically, Gov. Rick Perry has knocked all the minor candidates out of the race. Ron Paul is good enough at his fabled moneybombs to keep going until he gets bored, but he won't get many delegates and has no chance at getting the nomination. Michele Bachman is going to follow Fred Thompson, Donald Trump, and so many other political flashes in the pan to the home for used politicians. The others are just on ego trips except for Huntsman. He is probably running to get name recognition in the event that a tea party candidate gets the nod and gets wiped out in November. Then in 2016 he can run under the slogan: "How about a grown-up this time?"

So basically it is Romney vs. Perry barring something very unexpected. It could be a long and bloody battle because all the Republican primaries before April 1 divide the delegates proportionally to the vote, making a quick knockout harder. Those Democrats who believe in prayer are probably praying their little hearts out now for Perry. He would be by far the weaker candidate in the general election. In the debates, he repeated the view he stated in his recent book that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme and should be eliminated. The base loves it. The problem is that there is no conceivable scenario in which the Republicans lose Florida and still assemble 270 electoral votes. It doesn't take much imagination to envision Obama's entire campaign in senior-heavy Florida being "Perry wants to end Social Security." Obama could even buy, say, a million copies of Perry's book and pass them out to seniors in the state. Perry would be devastated. At the debates he had his chance to repudiate (or possibly refudiate) that view saying: "Being governor of Texas is a tough job so I just hired a ghostwriter to write the book. I didn't even have time to read it. I want to privatize Social Security, not end it." But he didn't and he is stuck with that position now.

In contrast, Romney would be a very strong general election candidate. He's been through this before and is very cautious. He stays on message and rarely makes blunders. He would argue that he has years of experience in the private sector and can create jobs. He probably won't talk about the fact that in his years at Bain capital, what he really did was buy up distressed firms, fire many of the people to cut down on costs, and when the company was on its feet again, sell it at a huge profit. Generally the deals were leveraged buyouts, so Romney wasn't even risking a lot of his investors' money. But the details of how this worked are too complicated for most voters to understand. He'll just keep saying: "I created private sector jobs."

In the increasingly unlikely event that Sarah Palin decides she wants to be President after all, her entrance will just split the tea party vote three ways (Palin, Perry, Bachmann), making Romney's path to the nomination easier. If she really wanted to run, she should have announced already and started assemblying a team and raising money. That takes time and Perry and Bachmann have big leads there. Probably she'll just sit up there on Mount Olympus or Mount McKinley and chuck down thunderbolts from time to time.

The site isn't quite set up for 2012 yet. The map has the electoral votes for 2012 but shows the final results for 2008, for lack of anything else to show. Not all the links have been updated, either.

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-- The Votemaster